Why Umbral Engrams Are Fantastic: here’s what I hope Bungie continues to do with loot

Content of the article: "Why Umbral Engrams Are Fantastic: here’s what I hope Bungie continues to do with loot"


What do you remember about the drop system we had back in Season of Dawn? I'll tell you what I remember: grinding for a specific roll, not getting it, and just settling for a 'decent' one — on the right track to the roll I wanted, but some perks were off. This happened to me with Trophy Hunter, Perfect Paradox and Steelfeather. Ouch.

With the Umbral Engram system I do not want to settle for 'decent'. I am not stopping until I get the god roll, and I feel confident only settling for the best because the rate at which I get Umbrals to drop matches with the size of the drop/perk pool. The reason why I settled for less before was because with the amount of time it took to make the weapons in Dawn made me unsure if I would actually get the right roll before the season ended.

I think this is variable, actually. It would be perfectly okay to get less frequent drops if the perk pool was more limited. But I don't think it necessarily needs changing, it's just something to note.


There's actually some real nuance to deciding what you're gonna do with Umbrals. By that I mean you might actually take a second to figure out what best to do with one.

Maybe I have a bunch of Umbral Engrams and now I'm at the recaster wondering what I'm gonna do. I could put some in as CQC engrams to continue chasing down a nice IKELOS SMG. That'd cost a decent amount of altered element though. But, oh man, if I leave it unfocused, I have a chance at getting an exotic, which would be really nice. And then I'm saving a bunch of altered element, and as low as it is, there's still a chance I could get a good SMG roll.

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This is really cool, and I don't think we've really seen something like this with our loot systems in the past. It's really refreshing.


This morning I realized something really interesting. My current main 'chase', or my focused 'hunt' in the game was getting an IKELOS sniper with moving target and quickdraw. Everything I was doing — adventures, patrols, strikes — was based around grinding for more Exodus engrams, to try and get that roll.

But the Umbral Engram system also works perfectly as a secondary chase, a 'back-burner' goal that you progress while working towards something different. When I was going for the Trials helmet on my hunter last week, I got a Falling Guillotine to drop with the exact roll I wanted. Nice!!! Even if I hadn't succeeded in getting the helmet, it still would've been a bit of a win because I progressed on one of my 'secondary' or background chases.

If Umbral Engrams were only available through entirely random drops, it'd be frustrating trying to hunt down certain weapons. But you actually have quite a lot of control over how you'll get them, if you're willing to put in the time. I'm thinking of the Exodus bounties here, which are a fair balance of time to get a guaranteed Umbral.

(as a side note: I really enjoy the Exodus bounties, and I kind of wish we had this sort of thing for PvP, especially Trials, where people could feel even less like they wasted their time when losing a match)


I'll keep this short. If my armor is lower level than my weapons, I can 3D print armor at the recaster. Another way to help even out weirdly spread power level, which is always nice.

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TL;DR umbral emgrams good i lik it.


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