As promised, Bungie has made a wide variety of announcements about changes on the way to Destiny 2. The developer has pledged to be more open about its development plans for the future, and among those are significant adjustments to Eververse and the items that are distributed through the microtransaction-based store.
Bungie acknowledged that "the scales are tipped too far towards Tess at the moment," referencing the in-game shopkeeper who runs Eververse. The store "was never intended to be a substitute for end-game content and rewards," which is what has become for dedicated players. To address this, Bungie outlined a number of changes in a new blog post.
For starters, Bungie says it's "shifting the balance of new content in favor of activity rewards over Bright Engrams," which are currently obtained by leveling up or purchasing them with real money. Activity rewards will now include things like Ghosts, Sparrows, and ships, which Bungie noted were only acquired through Bright Engrams recently. And while they'll no longer be the exclusive home for those items, there will be a "gameplay path" to obtaining Bright Engrams and their rewards. That change also applies to event-specific Engrams, like those offered during The Dawning, something that was a major criticism of the recently concluded event. Furthermore, Bungie intends to provide more ways of directly purchasing the items players want, rather than having to blindly purchase Bright Engrams in the hopes of getting what you're looking for.
More changes will be introduced with the start of Season 3, but some will be in place for the start of the next seasonal event, Crimson Days, on February 13. Completing certain milestones during the event will earn you rewards, including a Legendary emote (for the Nightfall milestone), weapon skin (Raid milestone), and Exotic Sparrow (Crimson Days milestone). When leveling up, you'll earn both a Crimson Engram (for the event) and an Illuminated Engram during the event. Crimson Engrams can also be earned through drops in the Crimson Days match and finishing the aforementioned Crimson Days milestone with each of your characters. This Engram is "very strongly weighted to new rewards when decrypted until all new event items have been obtained."
As noted above, outside of real-money purchases, Engrams are earned by leveling up. Given the value of the rewards inside, that's part of what made last year's XP controversy so significant (the other component being the lack of communication from Bungie). The studio said it's continuing to look at how quickly XP is earned, but it agrees that the current setup is not ideal.
"Right now, it's too slow in general and lopsided towards grinding specific activities (which is not a fun grind) and we want to fix that without making those activities low value to players who aren't grinding them (fairness is cool)," Bungie explained. "Our first attempt turned out to be unworkably buggy so we’re having to investigate other angles. We will continue to update you as we move forward."
All of this is just some of the changes outlined in Bungie's development update post. It also made it clearer what content will be available for free to all owners (versus those who purchase the DLC), announced the return of Faction Rallies (which will follow server maintenance), and outlined a ton of short- and long-term updates that are coming, including Masterwork armor and quality-of-life improvements.