I made this suggestion in a previous thread and it got a positive reaction so I figured I try this out as a standalone suggestion. If you like the idea, please, give this thread a bump and try to keep it where Bungie might actually see it. [u]The Problem[/u] Our D2 Guardians feel frustratingly underwhelming. Not only that, the concept of building not only our Guardians but a full load-out custom tailored to our preferred playstyle has all but disappeared. In the interest of balance and simplification we've been left with an overall very "blah" system compared to D1's random weapon rolls and essentially 15-16 "mods" on armor offering a huge variety of "tuning" options. In D2, however, weapon perks are completely static and instead of over a dozen "mods" on armor we get a grand total of 5, and the current crop is hardly even noteworthy. Thanks to static weapon perks we're stuck with what we get, in more ways than one. If you like a particular Foundry's style but all the current crop of perks don't suit your style you're out of luck. I, for example, loved the Last Extremity (and Cocytys SR4) in D1. The LE, especially, I loved the body style and it was a good, solid, hard-hitting Scout Rifle and felt very satisfying to use. Seven-Six-Five, Manannan, and the other Omolon rifles in D2...not so much, mainly because they ALL have been lumped into the "Lightweight Frame" category, which is...well let's just call it what it is. They're weak. Pathetically weak. I know they can be better. They've BEEN better. [u]The Solution[/u] As the old saying goes, the best solution is usually the simplest. Players want to customize their gear. So LET us customize our gear. [b]The Basics[/b] To make this system work will require a new "economy" of sorts. A base, a template, and the modifiers. Certain items would be available through the various vendors while others would require grinding and could effectively replace post-activity gear drops. Don't panic, it'll make sense soon. [b]The Process[/b] The process is fairly simple, First, players must acquire a "base" item. For weapons, this will be the "Foundry Blueprint," for armor it will be an "Armor Pattern." These items lay the cosmetic groundwork of our gear. For weapons FBs may determine certain base stats (stability, reload speed, etc.) and/or "hidden" traits (aim assist, etc.). For Armor it's primarily style, as armor itself doesn't necessarily have "base stats." The basic versions of these items will primarily be available direct from Vendors (such as a Hakke Foundry Blueprint from Banshee, or a Phoenix Strife Pattern from Shaxx), with unique designs as possible post-activity drops (for example, Iron banner, Faction, Nightfall, Trials, Raid, Strike, or even Cayde Stash exclusive designs). These could also drop from Reputation/Vendor Engrams, Public Events, or be found in Lost Sector chests. The second step is the template item. For weapons, this will be the Frame (Lightweight, Rapid-Fire, High Impact, etc.) and for armor this will be the Style (Mobile, Heavy, etc.). These items will set (or modify) the base stats appropriately, such as rate-of-fire and impact on weapons and Mobility, Resilience, and Recovery stats on armor. As these are fairly fundamental and universal attributes template items could also be sold by vendors, as well as in ANY post-activity loot drop, found in ANY chest, and in my opinion could completely replace "Uncommon" tier Engrams, as the Uncommon tier is when weapons and armor first start to get "perks" of any kind. The third step would be the grind for perk mods. These could essentially replace Rare and Legendary loot drops, and be available from Heroic Strikes, Night Fall, Crucible (any mode), Heroic Public Events, Nightfall, Raid, Trials, and other "end-game" activities. This is where the customization comes in. Armor mods, weapon perks, everything that affects gameplay will be in this category. There could be a fourth set of items, essentially expanding the current Ornament economy, and would offer slight visual modifications, such as the difference between, say, the Seven-Six-Five (enclosed) and Manannan (skeletal) Omolon Scout Rifles. These could also add things like suppressors, tactical rails, or for Factions these would add visual flair like the New Monarchy lion badge. Just a little eye candy to further customize the gear. Give them to vendors, put them in Eververse, maybe do both. They could even be something you unlock based on performing certain tasks/mini-quests using that specific piece of gear. [i]So what does all that mean?[/i] Ok, let's give an example. I've mentioned missing the Last Extremity. So I go to Banshee and purchase an "Omolon Scout Rifle" Foundry Blueprint. I'm in luck and Tess has the "Enclosed" Ornament in her current stock so I pick that up for 50 Bright Dust. I head down to the EDZ and loot a Lost Sector to find a "High Impact" Frame. Let's say EDZ is the weekly Flashpoint, so I start hitting the Public Events, push for Heroic, and get a Flash HS5 scope. At this point the weapon can be Forged to create a "Common" tier Scout Rifle. It can be used but it cannot be infused. So I finish up the Flashpoint (picking up a Signal MS5 scope and a "Tactical Mag" perk mod which I slap on there to bump it up to "Uncommon." Slight power boost, still can't be infused higher). I jump into the Heroic Strike playlist and after some grinding I find an "Outlaw" perk to bump my rifle up to "Rare" grade. Call to Arms yields a "High-Caliber Rounds" perk mod and a Candle PS scope mod. Together they bump my rifle up to Legendary and now I can infuse it. The rifle is now complete, and feels far more personal because of the investment put into it along the journey from Common to Legendary. And to give an example of how "unique" gear could work, let's say I'm doing the Nightfall. It's the Pyramidion, and after Brakion falls I find a "Radiolarian Schematic" Quest Item in the chest. I take it to Asher to have it "identified" and it becomes a Blueprint for a Linear Fusion Rifle with a design reminiscent of a Hobgoblin's Line Rifle. I then go about finding a frame and relevant perk mods to complete the weapon. Later I go into the Raid and the Baths encounter drops an Emperor's Blaze mod which I can then apply to ANY class item to keep the style I like without sacrificing utility, and the Gauntlet yields a raid-unique Hand Cannon Blueprint, which begins a new grind to flesh it out with a Frame and Perks. Now, this doesn't mean that "premade" gear has to completely disappear. This system can work along side "random roll" or even "static roll" gear drops for those who don't have any interest or time trying to piece together their own custom gear, as well as serving as Infusion and Currency fodder. And dismantling gear or perks/mods will work the same way it does currently, yielding materials, components, and other such "currency" items which could then be traded in towards the items we really want in much the same way as the current (and D1) system works, with vendors offering a randomized stock that "re-rolls" periodically. There are, of course, various ways in which Gear Forging could actually work. Instead of progressing the weapon through rarity grades as described above Gear Forging could be a "Legendary only" and thus "End-game only" feature, with lower tier gear functioning exactly as they do now, with fixed perks, and Rare gear would become more or less the primary source of Infusion fodder to boost our gear up to the cap. And rather than crafting a weapon that fits the current "3, 2, and 1" perk tree format there could simply be three "mod slots" allowing us to swap out perks on the fly (assuming we have enough in our inventory to do so) with each slot being restricted to specific functions. The latter would probably be the better of the two options. Masterworks would still apply a random stat boost and double-kill Orbs to weapons and increased resilience while in Super to armor, but the armor stat re-roll would best be replaced by maybe adding a single random stat point so as not to completely undo player customization. Such a system would make expansions far easier, as it would essentially just involve adding new Blueprints, Patterns, and maybe perk mods to the existing pool. And if Gear Forging existed as an expansion to the mod system (as opposed to gear being "locked" once it has been forged) there would be far less complaining from the players when new expansions come out because it would be adding to the pool rather than burying old favorites. I remember a LOT of backlash after Dark Below rendered our old gear obsolete and we were forced, whether we liked it or not, to use the new gear. So, what do you all think? I'd love to hear feedback on this. Any questions, suggestions, discussion, I want there to be an ongoing conversation about this because personally I think this feature would be a massive improvement to the game and give some real purpose to the grind again. It would also give players a more personal connection to their Guardians and their gear, because it would allow us to fill our proverbial "golf bag" with the STYLE of gear we like without having to completely sacrifice utility and variety. Like right now if I want to use an "enclosed" Omolon Scout Rifle I'm pretty sure the Seven-Six-Five is the ONLY option. And if you like the Omolon aesthetics in general, well you're out of luck for Primary/Kinetic because near as I can tell they're only available as Energy weapons. I don't think anybody's happy about that kind of limitation.