Welp, we’re well and truly on the seasonal treadmill now aren’t we. As Destiny enters its final season of year 3, I feel like the shine has mostly worn off, and things are becoming pretty wrote. Which is weird to say in the face of the recent Bungie announcements and commitments to Destiny 2 for at least another three years.
While Season of Arrivals does have me playing again after bouncing off Season of the Worthy pretty hard, it kind of just feels like a stop gap before get get Beyond Light in September.
Season of Arrivals
The four seasons of year three have been a quadrilogy of diminishing returns for me personally. While the first two had multiple events like the Vex offensive matchmade events, Vex Invasion public event, the Sundial matchmade events and the Corridors of Time story missions, as well as relic weapons. The following two seemed pretty reduced in comparison, putting everything new into a lone public event.
A lot of the negative feelings I have regarding this season would just me be reiterating my issues with the most previous season. In the end, the thing that’s invested me into this season more than the previous one is the fact that it feels like prelude to whatever the next major story beat is going to be, what with the darkness finally making moves on us.
I cannot pass full judgement on this season just yet, considering it’s still pretty early on. On top of that, I have no idea what’s been cut from this season thanks to the development team’s four months of working at reduced capacity due to being stuck at home thanks to quarantine.
But so far, it certainly seems like more of the same. A bunch of bounties, accompanied by a repeatable public event and a weekly story quest that has yet to diverge from the same mission thus far. All tied together by a relic that bestows the same three weapon effects that the previous three seasons did.
As of right now, the only reason I’m continuing to play the game is because it feels like the content of this season is going to heavily lead into the next major story point for the series that’ll come with Beyond Light in September.
Sunsetting of Content
During several streams and blogs, Bungie gave the player-base some indication of their intentions going forward with Destiny 2. Making a point to say they were going to continue working on Destiny 2 and not make a whole new game like they did in the transition between the previous and current console generation.
Thus, to keep their game more controllable, they’ve announced that going forward they’re going to start rotating old content out of the game, with a mind of sprucing it up and bringing it back in at a later date as it becomes relevant again. While it does seem like kind of a bummer that the game is losing content, I think about how often I really go to the likes of Mercury and Mars in the game these days and wonder if I’m just being precious about it.
One of my biggest concerns about Destiny as a franchise is how it can sustain itself after so many years and prevent itself from stagnating. As much as it might pain the completionist aspect of my personality, I feel like there is a lot of sense behind this move. From a personal standpoint though, my main concern is that these locations will only rotate in and out once every year or two.
I feel like the best solution would be locations shifting in and out season to season, as they become relevant to whatever seasonal storyline is going on in-game. Whether Bungie have the man power these days to work on new seasonal content and remaster locations like Venus.
Long story short; I think vaulting certain content from the game, as painful as it may seem, it probably healthy for the game. And I’ll make no friends by saying this, but I feel like that might be doubly true when it comes to weapons.
Expiring Weapons and Gear
Along with locations going into the vault, Bungie have announced that Guardian’s weapons and equipment are also on borrowed time. Something a lot of the playerbase have kicked up a right stink about.
With the end of this current season in September, any weapons attained before the beginning of year 3 will find their power capped out. Meaning they can’t be infused to meet the raised power level. This doesn’t mean the weapons are going to be uselsss, they’ll still be useable, but will end up holding the player’s back when it comes to content where your power actuslly matters: Trials, Iron Banner, Raids etc.
The idea being that, going forward, all weapons and gear will have a 12 months lifespan on them before they his this hard cap.
Based on the ideal situation, I don’t have an issue with this. As the game stood, Destiny was looking at a future with two outcomes: stagnation or power creep. With there being so many incredibly powerful weapons out there from three years of content, it’s difficult now for the developers to introduce new weapons that won’t simply become the new “best in class”, the optimal thing that ends up being the only thing anyone uses.
Doing this will promote diversity from season to season as new and interesting builds come to the forefront, which wouldn’t have had the opportunity before due to the game’s overpowered pinnacle weapons dominating all game modes. It’s something I’ve seen the more obnoxious corner of the fanbase rally against.
Several of the bigger Destiny YouTubers having a right cry about it. Doing that throwing their toys out of the pram thing and asking the point of collecting any weapon when “they’re going to be useless in five minutes.” Hang on there chief, a year is a long time, you’ve made love to guns in your videos and then forgotten them in half that time. And maybe it’s about time you do retire that Mountaintop you’ve already had several years of use out of.
Snide remarks aside, there are still some good points these professional Destiny critics bring up, even if they’re being cry babies about it. With Bungie penchent for recycling content, I worry that the relatively normal guns we have now will expire, only to be reintroduced six months down the line, forcing me to re-farm that Hazard of the Cast again to get the same roll I had on my previous one.
At which point, what was the point in retiring that gun? If Bungie want to make the playerbase feel less salty about this expiring weapons thing, they need to make it so that weapons that do expire never come back, or if they do, they need to change change them somewhat to really make them seem like separate weapons.
I think the move is a good one, one that will be good for the longevity of the game. They just need to be smart about how they make their recycling of content or else risk bringing up a whole bunch of unnecessary ill-will.
speaking of which, I’m note sure I actually understand the choice to have armour expire in the same way weapons do.
Bungie have committed to three more years of Destiny two, thus 12 more seasons of content. Starting with Beyond Light in September, at the expense of Io, Titan, Mercury, Mars and the Leviathan we’re getting the return of the Cosmodrome from Destiny 1 and a new location in Europa. That does seem like a significant loss based on what we’re getting in return, but like I said before, I scarcely visit those locations these days anyway.
Beyond that, we’re getting The Witch Queen in 2021 and then Lightfall in 2022. At this point, the most enticing aspect to this whole thing for me is the prospect of how the lore will develop going forward. With Beyond Light, players will gain access to a new subclass; Stasis, a power born from Darkness instead of Light.
It’s continuing down the path I’ve felt the game has been heading towards for a while now, one in which the Darkness will begin to entice Guardians away from the Traveler and we’ll get a true faction split at some point. Destiny describes itself as a first person shooter MMO, and every other MMO I’ve ever played has factions to pit player against player.
With all the story that’s been surrounding the return of the Darkness, accompanied with the Drifter’s dabbling with the Darkness, I think there is going to be a point where players are going to be forced to make a choice between Light and Darkness. How much that’ll affect the game itself remains to be seen, it seems like a lot of work.
In the end, I like playing Destiny still because it’s familiar, it mediative and it’s still a really nice looking, great feeling shooter. And I am invested in the lore and the community at this point, borne from years of playing the game for the past six years. The game has grown and changed dramatically from the days of the first year of the original Destiny, but I feel like the people behind the game are doing what they thing is best for their game and its future.
Whether it works out for them remains to be seen.