For some, he is a cryptic agent for the nine. For others, he is the exotic Engram guy. My friends call him Pasta Face. Most people know him as Xur, and after years of being obsolete, he is once again a weekly center of attention in the Destiny 2 universe. It feels good to have him back.
Xur’s products have undergone many different developments between the 2014 release of the original Fate and now, but for most of the last year and even longer, he had become a bit of an afterthought for many players. The pool of exotic engrams he was famous for had grown so large, with so many alternative sources, that it was rare that he ever sold anything 1) good and 2) most players did not already have.
That time in Fate 1 where he sold the merrily exaggerated and the highly coveted Gjallarhorn rocket launcher was a distant memory. More often than not, Xur has felt like a used car salesman, turning around well-known Exotics after the promise of a two- or three-point increase in their overall stats.
That all changed when Destiny 2’s current Season of the Lost was launched in late August. Since then, Xur has sold a set of legendary weapons with curated reels and armor of relatively high state, which is no longer available to serve anywhere else in the game. It was a small tweak, but a revealing one. There’s not a Friday going by now where I do not check in with the alien from beyond the asteroid belt to see what’s on the tap. Sometimes he offers decent throws with weapons I’ve never really hunted, and other times he gives absolutely gold away.
The most notable example of this was the weekend of September 17th. Among the curiosities offered was a Bottom Dollar handgun with both the Outlaw and Dragonfly perks. For the uninitiated, Outlaw causes your gun to recharge in a flash after a few headshots, while Dragonfly makes said headshots, causing enemies to explode and inflicting sun damage on everything else around them.
Needless to say, it’s a very fun, very powerful combination on a gun that is a pain-in-the-ass to farm for (it only falls from Fate 2‘s Gambit mode that some people dislike and everyone else hates). It was not like winning the lottery, but it was like getting a scratch card and revealing one of the special symbols that automatically make it a winner.
Not every week is as remarkable, but the fact that it power makes everyone check again. How to end one of the most unusual stories in recent Destiny 2 story: players take Xur hostage. How did they do it exactly? Well, it all started the weekend before Halloween when gamers discovered that Xur was selling a True Prophecy handgun with Rangefinder and Timed Payload. The first perk makes the weapon viable at longer distances, while the second causes rounds to explode in the opponent’s faces, thus causing a lot of withdrawal. In other words, it’s a PVP “good roll”, one of those combinations that is hard to top and will win over most smaller matchups.
It was actually so good that the players decided they could not let Xur go with it, at least not right away. In previous years, Xur traveled on Sunday. Now he travels just before Destiny 2’s weekly reset on Tuesday. In late October, players kidnapped him until Thursday. They did so by simply standing next to him all the time so the game could not be updated. When someone was going away, someone else took their place. An entire Discord was thrown together to coordinate the guards. Dozens danced, hugged and bought the gun. One person even tried to Venmo the brain behind it all for lunch. Only in Fate, male.
A lot of digital ink has been wasted to document Xur’s weekly achievements. Even after Bungie decided to start puts its weekly ranking in the game, the flood of “Where’s Xur?“Posts persisted thanks to the death knell Google’s search algorithms have on the Internet. Bungie later turned course, perhaps by acknowledging that it was cooler when he came and went as he pleased. Now people have at least one reason to start looking for him again. Long-lasting pasta face.