Before release, players were less than thrilled with Bungie’s answer to the ever requested and highly desired transmog system in Destiny 2. Initially players were less than pleased with a cap of 10 earn-able synths per character a season and the obtuse choice of adding a new currency, to unlock a bounty, that ultimately gives the desired currency, but as Reddit user alonie-homie discovered, those aren’t the only problems.
In their post to Raid Secrets, alonie-homie discovered that Synthstrand, the aforementioned new currency needed to unlock bounties to ultimately use armor synthesis, is a time gate. Instead of being a chance or basing it off how effectively one plays, their research indicates the rate is approximately one Sythstrand per 2 minutes in-game time. The post might be early, it did come out a couple hours after the season began, but prior to posting I personally tested it.
I started by killing enemies at Thieves’ Landing on the Tangled Shore. Three kills gave me my first, I waited about two minutes and it took three kills to get my second. Following that, I killed 20 enemies and walked away with nothing. I then tried Gambit. In the two matches I played, I averaged 51 kills and three Synthstrand a game. This would mean I was getting a Synthstrand per 17 kills, a massive departure from my previous two in six on the shore. However, both matches were about six minutes long, strongly suggesting the reddit post is accurate and it applies to most, if not all, modes.
Since now players have a rough estimate of how long it takes to obtain Synthstrand, investment calculations can take place. As per the image above, it takes 150 Synthstrand to obtain one bounty. If the two minute average holds true, that means the bounty takes 300 minutes to complete or 5 hours. As the bounty notes, players can do a total of 10, making one character at least 50 hours in-game to finish. Once loading times, matchmaking, non-combat situations (Tower, visiting Ada-1, H.E.L.M., etc), finishing the last bounty and more come into play, you can expect a couple more hours.
While 50 hours may or may not sound like a lot, a lot of it has to do with perspective. In a massively popular post on Destiny’s main reddit page, I3igB reminds players that the 150 hours required to cap all three characters accounts is a little more than 6 full days of play. To put it into perspective, it took me less time to platinum Returnal than finish two characters in Destiny 2.
Given Bungie’s history, we will likely see this changed either later in the season or sometime in the next Destiny 2 season. Players were expecting that the moment transmog was announced and given how much worse the system ended up being, there is no way the system remains long term. But, it’s still important to know, realize and remember how bad it was at launch.