Recent Destiny patches appear to have removed common sources of Ascendant materials (Ascendant Shards & Ascendant Energy), which are still required to upgrade old gear.
- Newly acquired Faction reward packages will no longer produce Shards
- The Cryptarch will no longer convert newly acquired Legendary Engrams to Shards (possibilities include gear/weapons or Exotics)
- Expansion II featured Daily Heroic activities will produce Motes of Light in lieu of Shards
Though it doesn't appear to be specified in the Patch Notes, I've also noticed that certain other events (e.g.: your first gold-tier Public Event each day) appear to generate Motes instead of Ascendant materials.
What options remain for those who still want/need to get Ascendant materials?