A poor workman blames his tools, but if you're going into battle against Ghaul and his Red Legion (or against your pals on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One), you're going to want some solid gear. In the world of Destiny, half the battle is knowing what to take with you. The right weapon will tear an enemy combatant's shields to shreds; an "exotic" armor piece can act like a whole new upgrade to your Guardian's class abilities.
So where to begin? In the original Destiny, the line between "faction leaders" and "vendors" began to blur fairly early on, and in Destiny 2 they've become one and the same. At each of the four current destination worlds – the European Dead Zone on Earth, Titan, Nessus, and Io – there is one major region-specific character whom you meet in the course of your travels (i.e., during the Red War campaign). In the EDZ, you meet the ex-militiaman Devrim Kay; on Titan, you meet the Vanguard Scout Sloane; on Nessus, you meet the Golden Age AI Failsafe; and Io is home to the rascally scientist Asher Mir.
On each of the respective destination worlds, you'll plunder loot chests and earn rewards for various free-roam activities – namely, tokens – that you can later turn into each of the regional vendors in exchange for reputation. Each time you earn a new rep level, the vendor in question will reward you with a Legendary Engram, which is likely to contain one or two legendary weapons or armor pieces. You're going to want to save up your tokens until you've hit level 20, though, as there's no way to claim these kinds of Engrams until you've reached the level cap.
On the Farm, Destiny 2's main social space, you'll also find additional vendors, like the gunsmith Arcite 99-40 and the Eververse's Tess Everis. Tess is the odd one out, as she sells a special kind of item called "Bright Engrams," which can be earned either by leveling up your Guardian after you've hit the max of 20 or – get out that wallet, folks – by ponying up some real-life cash. Bright Engrams contain special items like consumable shaders (paint your gun pink!) and weapon ornaments (turn your gun gold!). They can also contain modifications to apply to armor pieces, giving your favorite gear a new set of statistics or elemental properties to suit your play style.
And don't forget about your three Vanguard leaders, Ikora, Cayde-6, and Zavala – they'll allow you to complete weekly ritual activities like "Challenges" and "Flashpoints" that'll net you Legendary Engrams containing some of the best items available in the game.
Xûr, Agent of the Nine, is everybody's favorite non-player character in the world of Destiny. Xûr deals in exotics, the game's rarest and most sought-after treasures. In the original game he would arrive on Friday morning and stay through Saturday night, and then, come Sunday, vanish until the following week. He's an emissary for the mysterious interplanetary order known as the Nine, and each week he brings along a goody bag full of otherworldly exotics that can be purchased with endgame-level currency. In the original Destiny, he traded in Strange Coins and Motes of Light; in Destiny 2, we can expect him to want a lot of Legendary Shards (obtained by dismantling purple-coded legendary gear).
Every week, Xûr will arrive on Friday morning at the standard daily reset time, 5 a.m. Eastern. Where exactly he'll be found is the more pressing question. In Destiny 1, he could either be found hanging out at the Tower like one of the Guardians or lurking in a spare storage area in the Reef. D2 has a lot more places where one might go to meet eager Guardians, like Devrim Kay's church sanctuary in the EDZ or Sloane's command center in the New Pacific Arcology on Titan.
Each Friday for the foreseeable future, I'll be up bright and early to check in with Xûr and report back to Glixel on his whereabouts, what precious loot he's got on offer, and just how much you'll need to fork over to claim it. Start saving up those EDZ Tokens and Legendary Shards, Guardians! See you starside.
Update Week 1: Here's Xur's Destiny 2 goods for the weekend of September 15th.