Bungie has detailed how Masterwork versions of Exotic weapons will work in Destiny 2, explaining both the unlock process and what the upgraded versions will offer.
For those that may not have been following, Masterwork Legendary weapons in Destiny 2 are a completely random drop, with increased chances of obtaining one from harder activities like raids and Nightfall Strikes. For Exotic Masterworks, Bungie wanted to do something a little different since it is easy to obtain exotics.
Rather than force players to hope for an Exotic Masterwork drop (or dismantle Masterworks for cores), players will have to find a Catalyst to turn their weapon into a Masterwork. Each Catalyst will drop from a different source, with the flavor text offering a clue as to how to acquire them.
The example given for Coldheart explains that the Catalyst for the Exotic trace rifle can be found in strikes against the most challenging opponents. Presumably, this suggests that the Coldheart Catalyst can drop from the Nightfall Strike or perhaps the Prestige Nightfall.
Once players have the Catalyst, the exotic weapon will give the base bonus for Masterworks, which drops orbs of light for super energy after double kills. However, in order to unlock the extra stat bonuses, players will have to complete a different objective unique to the weapon. For the Coldheart, unlocking a stability and reload speed increase will require defeating enemies using the weapon. Bungie says that different Masterwork Exotic weapons will require different tasks, and there can be multiple steps.
While we don’t have all the information on Masterwork Exotic Weapons, this does sound like a more predictable grind for Destiny 2 players. Rather than hope for a Masterwork of a completely random type, players can focus their efforts on upgrading a specific weapon by grinding a specific activity.
The mysterious nature of the catalyst also feeds into the theory-crafting element of the Destiny community, but it shouldn’t be long before players figure out how to get each catalyst. But the early days of the Warmind DLC release should offer plenty of opportunities for players to uncover some secrets.
Masterwork Exotics are just one of the handful of features included with the Season 3 update that releases on May 8th with the Warmind DLC. However, players will not need to purchase the add-on in order to upgrade their exotics; the feature is free to all.
Destiny 2: Warmind releases May 8, 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.