Destiny 2 Season of Arrivals is finally here, in many ways, I don't care.
That's not to say I won't dip into Bungie's loot-shooter RPG, particularly to try out the new dungeon, but I've been so burned out by the last few seasons of content that I just couldn't muster any enthusiasm for this one.
But just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in.
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Destiny 2 launched in 2017, and was well-regarded for the most part until players hit the shallow endgame. Two weak expansions continued to dull that early sparkle, and it really wasn't until the Forsaken expansion (a year later) that things got rolling again.
Unfortunately, the next year was full of short diversions with little to keep players engaged, and 2019's Shadowkeep expansion felt in many ways like Bungie going through the motions before embarking on a disappointing run of seasonal content that felt shallow if you played it and downright impossible to catch up on if you missed it.
Things came to a head in the Season of the Worthy, with the headline addition being the return of Trials of Osiris (a multiplayer mode from the first Destiny) and a quest that required the community to clear nine million (that's nine MILLION) public events. What's worse was a glitch that prevented players from pushing on anyway.
So where does Destiny 2 go from here?
A New Golden Age
Thankfully, all is not lost. In their reveal of the next season of Destiny 2 this week, Bungie also announced Beyond Light as this year's expansion. While I'm thankful to be able to explore a new zone, it's the new Stasis abilities that speaks to me. You see, ever since Destiny 1 launched there have been three types of damage based on the elements of Solar (Fire), Arc (Lightning) and Void (er, Space I guess?). Each weapon and ability falls into one of those categories.
With Beyond Light, Bungie is finally opening up a fourth option, Stasis, that looks to have been bestowed to us by something not quite as wholesome as The Traveler. It's a fun twist, one that fans have speculated about for years, but finally being able to play around with a whole new set of abilities is exciting for longterm fans like myself.
Then there's the story, something Destiny has consistently tripped over itself to tell since 2014. Since Forsaken, the game has taken baby steps to a more cohesive narrative that players can feel part of, but the seasonal content felt like it was dragging things out.
Take the Season of the Worthy, for example. The Cabal's huge ship The Almighty is barrelling towards the Tower, humanity's last city. It's a great setup for a climactic event (one that was indeed very cool to be a part of), but the fact it took three months of completing incredibly dull public events certainly makes it feel less epic.
In an unprecedented move for the franchise, Bungie has mapped out three years of expansions, beginning with Beyond Light. The trio is tied together in a way a lot of the game's add-on content simply hasn't been, meaning while Beyond Light will undoubtedly be epic, its story should carry through to The Witch Queen in 2021 and Lightfall in 2022. For anyone catching up on the game's lore, that's huge.
Vault of Class
Many Destiny 2 fans no doubt yearn for the "glory days" of the first game, grinding for hours for their Gjallarhorn or Vex Mythoclast. The kind of evening with friends that feels two weeks long, in the best way.
Thankfully, Bungie has finally acknowledged this. After sneakily dropping the Cosmodrome into the game as part of a quest, the original game's starting area then became the new tutorial for the New Light free-to-play version. Later this year, the entire area, along with all of its Strike missions, are being imported into Destiny 2. That's a huge deal, not just for the nostalgia, but for what it means for the future.
Sure it's coming at the cost of some content being rotated into the new Destiny Content Vault, but the prospect of trading the tedious Black Armory Forges for something like the Vault of Glass raid is a tradeoff many fans will be happy to make.
The last couple of years have been tough on Destiny, but the next couple could be the franchise's best yet.