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Destiny's expansion House of Wolves will add a lot of new content but it will also bring a change to the game's currency system. Players will no longer need to collect commendations to get new gear.
"Commendations are one more element to the upgrade path for your Guardian that we’re changing," said Bungie community manager David Dague in the new Weekly Update. "Essentially, they’re going away. You'll no longer need them to acquire new weapons or gear."
"If you have a bunch of them stockpiled, you can burn them for reputation. Gaining reputation will speed you toward your next promotion, thus earning you another reward package."
Commendations are currently used to buy Legendaries. These weapons and armor require you to spend commendations as well as another currency, Marks. If that sounds clunky, it's because it is. Once House of Wolves launches, though, you'll only need to earn and use Marks for gear.
They're streamlining these older currencies so they can add some new ones. Earlier this week, Bungie revealed that they're introducing Etheric Light, which can upgrade any Legendary and Exotic weapon (even ones from old raids) to the new damage cap of 365. Etheric Light can be earned in Nightfall Strikes and Iron Banner along with the new House of Wolves activities Trials of Osiris and Prison of Elders. Etheric Light will replace the upgrades previously offered by Xur.
Prison of Elders will also earn players Armor Cores and Weapon Cores. This pair of currencies is used at a new vendor in the Reef called the Warden. His wares rotate on a weekly basis. Like Eris in The Dark Below, the Warden has levels you need to earn to access more of his selection.
If you've got one type of virtual money but you want another, there's also going to be a way to exchange them. The Speaker will take your upgrade materials and change them into others. It seems he's only doing it with the pre-House of Wolves currencies, though, such as Ascendant Shards and Motes of Light.
Yeah, it's a lot to keep track of. I don't know of an MMO where players don't have pockets filled with ten different currencies. Developers don't want players to stockpile old currencies and use them to instantly buy new gear as they're released. To prevent that from happening, they introduce some new currency to grind. "Oh, those Star Coins aren't worth anything anymore. You need Galaxy Bucks now!" All you can do is hope that the developers give players some way to get value out of their piles of obsolete coins.
House of Wolves will also include new story missions and Crucible maps but no raid. Bungie plans to show off more features of the expansion in the weeks ahead with livestreams. For example, next Wednesday they'll finally explain what the Trials of Osiris are exactly. Wolves will then debut on May 19th on all platforms.