Destiny 2 Season of the Worthy is still ongoing, but Bungie has pulled back the curtain on the game's upcoming seasonal structure – and it makes some much-needed changes to the loot shooter.
In a new blog post, creative director Evan Nikolich discussed the studio's intentions for Year 4 of the game while taking into account what they've learned from the controversial changes to the game's seasonal model in Year 3.
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"In Year 4, we are going to build a better interconnected narrative and, more importantly, let players be a part of that narrative no matter when they enter the current year," Nikolich explains. "This means if you start playing in March 2021, you could go back and experience the Season 12 and Season 13 narrative content. We want our stories to feel more cohesive, flow with meaningful momentum Season over Season, and lead to an exciting climax each year."
Consider how complex Destiny's lore is, it sounds like a no-brainer to allow players to experience the narrative at their own pace. Many fans have experienced "FOMO" (fear of missing out) in the current seasonal structure as the game has added short-term events that vanish within weeks, or simply don't offer reasons to take part once the season ends.
Looking back to Forsaken, to date Destiny 2's most successful expansion, Nikolich states: "We haven’t preserved enough history for a player who comes in mid-year to have any concept of what came in that year’s prior Seasons."
"As a result, players can feel left behind later in the year and unable to experience the stories or to acquire prior Seasons’ weapons and gear. The Forsaken Season Pass allowed its content to build up over the course of the year, and that’s where we’re heading in Year 4."
Bungie is also looking at streamlining some of the game's quests. The recent Season of Dawn offered a tedious Obelisks stage to activate the Sundial that was the core of the season.
"We would sunset the Obelisks experience to reduce clutter in the quest log and to keep bounty quantity from inflating across the game, and deprecate the Fractaline currency so it could be safely removed from the player’s inventory."
With rumours suggesting some content could be removed, Nikolich reiterates what Bungie has said in the past:
"As we’ve said in the past, we cannot continue to grow the Destiny universe infinitely. There’s lots of reasons for this – technical, resourcing, as well as from an overarching universe design standpoint. Finding the balance of creating and maintaining content in our ongoing narrative is a necessary part of continuing to build on Destiny 2."
Finally, Nikolich confirmed Seasonal Rewards will be returning to the game's loot pool which has felt anaemic at best. Season 11, the game's next scheduled one and the last of Year 3, will offer an Engram with selected weapons from seasons 8, 9 and 10.
"As the Seasons roll on, the rewards will continue to get added to these core activities and, as a player, you can tackle the pursuits at your own pace in your preferred mode of play and feel the world growing in terms of rewards," he explained.
Another blog post, this time focusing on the game's cosmetic store, is scheduled for this week.