Following a positive reception from the community during Season 11, Destiny 2 will be bringing back the Umbral Engram concept for Season 13. Developer Bungie confirmed the news during its This Week at Bungie blog post, with further explanations of how the loot focusing concept will change starting this February.
Umbral Engrams were first introduced in Destiny 2's Season of Arrivals as a seasonal, randomized loot drop. If players decrypt an Umbral Engram they could receive any item from within the Season 11 loot pool, like the Gnawing Hunger auto rifle or the Falling Guillotine sword. However, if players focused their Umbral Engram using the Prismatic Recaster, they could target the Engram towards one of two items.
For Destiny 2 Season 13 (and moving forward), Umbral Engrams are making a return, but as a way for players to try to acquire loot from a variety of sources. The Prismatic Recaster will return with different pages where players can choose what destination or seasonal loot pools they want to target. Some Season 12 loot will still be relegated to its activity and the Season 13 loot will be tied to its activity, but everything else is presumably fair game.
That being said, while Umbral Engrams were plentiful in Season 11, they will be rarer in Season 13 and beyond. Bungie says that it has tweaked the drop rate of Umbral Engrams for more balance.
Players that want to chase the new Umbral Engrams will be directed towards a variety of seasonal and legacy Destiny 2 content. The full list includes:
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New Season 13 Activity
In addition to bringing back Umbral Engrams and the Prismatic Recaster, Bungie is also introducing a consumable called a Prismatic Lens. This new consumable will help players further focus their Umbral Engrams to either target a narrower collection of gear or specific armor stats. Delivering sources of high stat armor has been a struggle for Destiny 2 over the last few seasons, but Bungie is working to introduce sources whose sole focus is high stat armor. For example, Season 13 will make a chance so the Pit of Heresy Dungeon's final reward armor drop features high stats.
With the Prismatic Lens' introduction, it does beg the question as to whether the Focused Umbral Engram may be less targeted than in Season of the Arrivals. As mentioned, a Focused Umbral Engram would only give one of two items and allowed for players to easily grind for a specific weapon. If the Prismatic Lens narrows the collection, it could be that a basic Focused Umbral Engram has more items to choose from.
Bringing back Umbral Engrams seemed like a no-brainer for Destiny 2 and the community should be pleased to see them return. Allowing Destiny 2 players to target loot has been something that the game has struggled with early on, but things have improved significantly over time.
Destiny 2 is available now.