Destiny 2 just revealed Season of the Chosen and a full roadmap through May

    
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Well, okay.
As promised, Bungie’s brought the goods for Destiny 2 today by way of Season of the Chosen, launching next week on February 9th and running through mid-May with the requisite new content and loot, though of course the best stuff is reserved for season pass holders.

“In Season 13, Guardians will jump into the Battlegrounds, a three-player matchmade activity where they will engage in ritual combat against Caiatl’s chosen warriors. At the start of Season 13, the Devil’s Lair and Fallen S.A.B.E.R. Strikes will return from the original Destiny. Later in the season the new Proving Grounds strike will unlock, pitting humanity’s champions against the Cabal’s best to determine the fate of the Last City. New gear abounds in Season 13! Season Pass owners instantly unlock the new Seasonal Praefectus Armor Set and Exotic bow, Ticuu’s Divination, which charges multiple Solar arrows that can track several targets at once. Additionally, over 25 Exotic, Legendary, and ritual weapons will be available to collect.”

Worth noting is that Bungie’s also updated its roadmap so you can see exactly what’s rolling out when. The roadmap and splashy new trailer are below.

Source: Official site, press release
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Kevin Smith

I think at this point my biggest problem with the way the Destiny team thinks is forcing players to play a part of the game they don’t like to upgrade something they got doing something else. I mean you can get this awesome weapon thru say strikes, the thing you enjoy doing, but to get that upgrade now you have to go get headshots in pvp, the thing you enjoy the least of all. That’s just bad design choice. Making people play the part of the game they enjoy the least just to upgrade something is just bad. If you get something thru pvp then yeah get that upgrade doing pvp. If you get something doing the pve side then upgrade it thru pve activities. Not to hard to understand that.

The other thing is they put a good portion of the best weapons and armor behind content that only the smallest percent of players actually do, raids. I get you need something to reward those players but there has to be better ways of doing it than saying here only you can get this. Make it a 100% drop for raiders but give others a small chance of it dropping in other activities for those that don’t enjoy raiding for instance. This is a problem for a lot of games that use raids as their top tier stuff.

Overall the removing content that people paid for was a dumb move an they lost countless people over it. A good portion of those I played with stopped playing after that. This is a problem with online games as a whole though. In reality you never own anything you purchase you are just leasing it till they decide to stop leasing it to you.

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Brian Johnson

I love the way wow is starting to handle this, giving you a choice of three very different things to do in some cases, to accomplish a quest. I would love to see this in Destiny.

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Arktouros

They do this in Destiny 2 as well.

For example last season there was the Adored sniper rifle, which was basically a modified Beloved reissued to us. To unlock Adored you could do your choice of 3 activities (Strikes, Crucible or Gambit). Once you completed it, you then could earn specific skins for it by doing each activity which each had it’s own respective skin.

So what the person above was complaining about was just a PvP specific weapon skin and they’re complaining they had to PvP to get it. Even though there was a PvE specific weapon skin and PvEvP weapon skin as well they aren’t happy with that they want to be able to get them all without having to do the related activity for it.

I’ve found this is a very common theme in Destiny 2 (and most games in general). Whether you’re a PvP crucible trials player who demands they should be able to get all the stuff that comes from PvE in PvP or a general PvE player who complains they gotta jump into Crucible here and there to unlock or do a quest everyone is perpetually unhappy they can’t just do it all the way they want. Really this just speaks to the unappreciative nature of people/players. Instead of being appreciative of the fact they created a activity specific skin for each of it’s player types people instead complain about what they couldn’t or wouldn’t get and how they’re being oppressed into playing content they don’t like. It’s such a weird and twisted view of things.

Imagine if they had just created one additional skin instead of three then made it available to be earned by each mode, they would have been cheered as heroes who cater to all play styles even though they created less over all content. Instead they created three one for all game modes and they’re villains who are gating rewards behind PvP to feed victims to the bloodthirsty killers!!!!!!!11

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Danny Smith

Last time we saw the numbers only 15% of players touched PVP which perfectly explains why nearly every exotic has a step to farm kills in PVP to pad the pool of players who otherwise would never touch it at all.

and of course the weapons all get balanced for the pvp too.

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Arktouros

I dunno if you can realistically compare D2’s raids to other games. They’re 6 player activities that outside of their additional mechanics on encounters have more in common with high end dungeons in most MMOs than really raids.

What has me far more concerned with your line of thinking is the new weapons that are locked behind Grandmaster Nightfalls which are extremely niche. Like I’ve done all the raids in the game pretty easy but never done a Grandmaster Nightfall because of how completely unforgiving they are.

You’re the first person I’ve heard that’s said they actually had people quit over removing content. Literally no one I’ve ever met actually playing the game in 2020 was upset they were removing dead planets/destinations that no one ever went to unless a seasonal mechanic forced them there.

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Danny Smith

I finally tapped out and uninstalled and i’ve played on and off since the PS3 beta way back when. They have no idea where to take the game at this point. The core gameplay is fine but the core gameplay was set in stone from the beginning. Its everything after thats been in constant flux but never been so outright passive aggressive as it is now.

Its a game where all gear now has an expiration date, and a fomo battlepass, and nothing to chase longterm bar increasing your power number in a game where enemies scale to you with paid seasons and a cash shop all while removing things like planets and campaigns people paid full price for.

All to try and make you grind the same “Kill 20 X” or “Use your super 5 times” bounties, “stand back as a bullet sponge with a knockback stomp spams gunfire and adds” strikes or whatever seasonal gimmick. For gear that depending on when it drops for you could be good for 10 months, could be good for 10 minutes.

It doesn’t respect your time, your money or your intelligence. All while trying to recycle the same enemies again because the pyramid ships turned out to be a big dickteasing lemon.

They are out of ideas and have nothing left to intrigue. Only a mad, directionless dash to patch all the leaks in a game that industry rumours suggest is heammoraghing players while the engine is once again reaching a point it can’t cope hence the iffy planet removals to shrink it down again. All without the Activision money security net and two more stable and competent teams solving all the issues they cause on the backend.

I’m done because i think Bungie is done. They ran out of gas.

Which is ironic for a GaaS.

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Arktouros

The biggest issue with sunsetting is they’re just not keeping up their end of the bargain. They made very good arguments why they needed to sunset. The power creep just kept climbing and there’s only so many versions of God rolled weapons we need when they last forever before there’s nothing worth chasing. The issue is they’re taking away all our Godly guns and not giving us any in return. Bad bases with bad perks is unacceptable if they’re only going to last a year. New guns need to be amazing and knock our socks off so I don’t care they took my fun toys away. So they can go “blah blah 25 new weapons blah blah” but it doesn’t matter if they’re all trash or buried in bullshit high end modes that 1% of the game population plays.

As for Season 13, not sure about this one. I’m going to give it a shot but a lot of the sandbox changes are really off putting to me. The gunplay in Destiny 2 feels really good and having it change to match the console version which is extra jumpy because of aim assist really makes me leery how that’s going to play out. Battlegrounds is hopefully a horde mode and thankfully is match made. Destiny 2 is at it’s best when it’s making you feel powerful as you use your abilities and gun to slaughter swarms of enemies.

Story wise this is really interesting and I certainly didn’t expect the cabal back so fast. Maybe this will explain what happened to the Leviathan and why it disappeared…

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Greaterdivinity

Yeah, but what’s their sunset roadmap? I tried coming back late last year and the changes were…too much. Haven’t played since Shadowwhatever (second expansion?) and was completely lost and had no clue what I should do other than ruin strikes and grind and shit, but losing access to a bunch of stuff I used to do was a gut-punch.

It really feels like keeping Destiny 2 alive for this long was never a part of the plan at this point, and is a different plan they’re struggling to make work.

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Loopy

I’m in the same boat. I tried going back to it last year and it was just so overwhelming and all over the place. I had no idea where to start, what my next step was, what the natural progression of expansions was… i can’t imagine being a brand new player and trying to find the right path forward.

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Greaterdivinity

Apparently, according to a few recent pieces I read on the topic, it’s way, way, way worse than the original lackluster onboarding experience. Since most of the older content is legit gone, and plenty of it requires you to go back and buy it, you’re basically starting as a new player like…halfway through season 3 of a show that makes no efforts to bring you up to speed about what the heck happened previously.

Storytelling, and delivering that story in-game in a coherent manner that’s not just a bunch of menu screens, has always seemed to be a weak spot for Bungie when it comes to Destiny. That trait seems to continue to follow them as they transition Destiny 2 into the longterm project it has turned out to be.

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Arktouros

Not really.

The most egregious thing they were doing there for a while was selling older seasonal content (Forsaken and Shadowkeep) but all the rewards are basically dead cause they were sunset. So they had all this content and it was all rewarding but they were selling it to you. So there was no you “had to go back and buy it” because no one wanted it basically.

Storytelling they’ve been knocking it out of the fucking park, but really only if you’re there playing the game. If you decide to take a year off and miss a whole year of story narrative, character development and plot twists then yea you’re going to be pretty lost. This precisely because it is not buried in menus and actually happening in game these days. Like there’s tons of people who probably missed out on the fact that Mara Sov contacted the tower and made an announcement because it was only in game if you went and listened to the messages from Osirus in Zavala’s Office.

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Greaterdivinity

Storytelling they’ve been knocking it out of the fucking park, but really only if you’re there playing the game.

That’s my problem. If you miss the storytelling while it’s “live”, you miss out on huge narrative beats and context for the game afterwards.

The fact that they completely remove that narrative content without a mechanism to catch players up on who’s who and what happened is my problem. It makes a persistent-world game like Destiny, with a narrative, impossible to keep up with unless you’re constantly actively playing.

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Arktouros

Sounded like most of your criticism was that the story telling was not coherent unless it was “just a bunch of menu screens.” Which it’s perfectly coherent, if you’re there.

This should be less of an issue now that they’re keeping most content in the game in between expansions, but at some point personal choices come into play. If you care about the story, play it. If want more content to do, buy it. If you don’t want to play or don’t want to pay how much time should Bungie really dedicate towards that kind of player? As a paying customer who actively plays, hopefully not much.

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Greaterdivinity

As a paying customer who actively plays, hopefully not much.

As a previously paying customer who is absolutely a potential returning paying customer, it seems that you’re correct and they’re not spending much time on anything that would attract back lapsed players.

Don’t get me wrong, I got no problems paying for content and shit. I love throwing money at games, actually. Even though I’ve fallen off, I picked up a supporter pack for the latest POE league because it’s a pretty solid league. But the game has to make me WANT to spend money on it, and my return to Destiny 2 sure as hell didn’t.

Likely largely a personal issue of taste, but it’s just disappointing to me because I’ve tried so hard over the years to really like and get into Destiny 2 but the design decisions Bungie makes keep pushing me away. Clearly that’s not the case for TONS of other folks and that’s cool, that’s just me.

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Arktouros

That’s true, but I’d argue that’s true for most expansion based games. I mean if I went to go play WOW right now and refused to buy Shadowlands what kind of experience do I seriously expect to have? I certainly could equally make the argument there that WOW minus Shadowlands doesn’t compel me to buy Shadowlands either.

Business model wise POE and D2 are entirely different. POE’s business model they give away all the base game content, then make up for it by selling vastly overpriced cosmetics ($42 min for a set of armor in almost all cases) while a token amount of cosmetics are available if you play the game (I did get my fabulous 36 challenge hideout this league). D2 by comparison charges for it’s content upfront but then most cosmetics can be unlocked entirely by just playing the game via bright dust in the store (last season I earned 3+ suits of armor and multiple exotic weapon skins for free). Lets not even compare loot boxes which I got an additional 26 for free (rank 232) in D2 unlocking many cosmetics meanwhile I’m sitting on a pile of duplicate Misery/Suffering duplicates in POE.

Now we could argue one is better than the other, but ultimately both are pretty reasonable. I’m easily going to get my $80 worth for the expansion and season packs in D2. I’m also going to get my $240 (got me that Harvest pack) over the course of the year in POE.

Not liking something is totally understandable and I’m not arguing to say you can’t not like D2. However many of the things you’re criticizing the game for are present in every game and it’s just the fact you aren’t feeling D2 is why you’re noticing them is where I’m coming from. As with most things, if you’re happy and enjoying yourself you can kinda overlook the absence of value and meaning and if not you can see nothing else.

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Arktouros

Essentially the game plays like a seasonal game at this time. Probably the most apt comparison would be Path of Exile’s seasonal content but it’s not 1:1.

First part of any year after an expansion drops is leveling up to the new base cap. So currently that’s 1200. You can pretty much do this on anything in the game be it lost sectors, public events, “ritual activities” (strikes, gambit, crucible), etc. Think of this like grinding acts 1-10 in POE except you only gotta do it once a year.

Second part is there’s a seasonal soft power cap that you need to hit. The most common way to do this now is pick a ritual activity and just play. For example last season I just grinded strikes non-stop and kept getting +1 improvements even after I had exhausted all my powerfuls for the week. There’s also new seasonal stuff that will add powerfuls here as well, such as last season it was the Wrathborn hunts. While you’re doing this you’re also advancing your seasonal rank for more rewards, which kinda just goes up as you play. This is like POE’s map system where you repeat the same content over and over for gains usually with some seasonal content mixed in.

Third part is there’s the hard cap chasing pinnacle based activities. Usually this isn’t required unless you’re going for some end game content which is mostly what rewards pinnacles. This is where raids, dungeons, trials (PvP), ironbanner (PvP), and other similar such high end content come from and you get other pinnacle rewards as well from other more casual content such as ritual activities and seasonal activities.

Then at the end of the season, all this more or less “resets” and you gotta repeat steps 2 and 3 again with same base game but new seasonal flavor mixed in. Some seasons are great, some seasons are bad, such is the natural of seasonal model games. People often criticize the “same content” over and over, but really you see that in any game such as POE criticizing running the same maps each league but that’s the nature of things.

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Greaterdivinity

POE’s approach is MILES different, and the fact that characters reset every league speaks to this.

POE doesn’t leave me confused and lost for direction. I know what to do and where to go, and the league/atlas changes are usually pretty up-front.

Destiny 2? I logged in and…well I could grind weapons and gear. But for what? I don’t have the latest expansion and there’s nothing pointing me towards what to do for the current “end game”.

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Arktouros

However characters essentially reset each season with Destiny 2. Next week my 1283 power will go back to 1260 and the new cap to reach will be 1330.

Having recently sheparded people back through POE after them not playing it for a year or so 1000% leaves people lost and confused for direction. Trying to explain complex new systems like betrayal, heist, harvest, blight (and the list goes on and on) is crazy. Conquerers and now Mvaen on top of that is a huge difference from chasing Shaper/Elder influence before.

Destiny 2 is pretty clear what you’re supposed to do just like any RPG game. Build out your arsenal (equipment) while raising your ranks (experience) and take on challenging content for even better arsenal. Your complain is the equivalent of beating Act 10 Kitava and staring at your maps and being all like “What are all these, why would I want to run maps, but for what?

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Greaterdivinity

I get that, but like…it’s different. In PoE your dude moves to standard with everything, nothing is invalidated, no cool old loot is removed, legacy items still exist with their legacy stats.

Destiny 2 requires you to dump all your shit and start the grind again. For me, the difference between totally new characters and constantly resetting a character that persists but has to constantly re-grind is annoying as hell.

All those league mechanics? Those are the mechanics that are more complex, the story that accompanied them remains as-is in the game for anyone interested, even if you’re late. Missed Heist league but want the story? No worries, you get guaranteed mission drops and can speed through the story without missing anything from Heist league.

I don’t disagree that, especially after well over a decade, the already complex game has gotten more complex. But that’s a totally different ball of wax. Once you learn the endgame, everything else is just adding on top of it, not fundamentally changing it as appears to happen in Destiny 2 (especially with sunsetting actual content, which doesn’t really exist in POE outside of like, not making Synthesis core because everyone hated it).

Like, I get that it’s the traditional skinnerbox endgame, but being that alone without anything in the game nudging me in that direction is pretty boring for me. I’m not a huge lore guy, but I like having a reason to do something, or some goal to aim for. I spent some time when I returned last year trying to find that, and outside of, “Just grind gear to get to the new power cap or buy the expansion.” I came up with nothin. And seeing as I’m not invested enough to drop more money on it, it was realistically “grind gear for the sake of grinding gear” which like…I like the gameplay, but not enough to just mindlessly grind gear. I can do that in games where I’m already more invested in them than Destiny 2, and I don’t even bother in those games.

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Arktouros

You don’t have to dump anything in Destiny 2. I leveled using all my same armor last season as I did in Season of Arrivals periodically infusing it up. After a year it gets retired and I’ll need a new set.

If anything the soft reset makes the whole process much easier than starting from scratch. You don’t need to regrind the same exotics or getting that same perfect item again for your build. You already have it in most cases, or if it’s planning to go away, hopefully a replacement.

Some league mechanics are like that with POE, others aren’t. For example Harvest League vs the Harvest we got is very different because you can’t grow your own grove. Enjoy your 30 minute crafting session you randomly encountered and fuck whatever you were doing.

Both games have experienced a shift at end game multiple times. For example POE before had no real end game enemy, then it was the Shaper, then the Elder, then the war. Then Conquerers, now Conquerers and Maven. Each is radically different in the way you play the game. Just the same with Destiny 2 which before you had a story and played the acts, now you just get “dumped to maps” if we’re keeping the analogy going.

All games have zero purpose or point. Looking for purpose in a video game beyond the enjoyment of playing said video game is a fool’s errand. I enjoy the gameplay of Destiny 2 whether that’s grinding out 4 year old strikes or conquering some new seasonal content. I enjoy building out my arsenal of weaponry and taking down a task be that finishing a seal or completing out an exotic quest to expand my arsenal even further. The cyclical nature of “grinding gear to grind gear” is found in just about all online games. If you set that as the litmus test for whether or not a game is worth playing you might as well just go find a new hobby or genre of game to play.

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Danny Smith

I think at this point its safe to say Bungie is not suited to a persistent ongoing product. When i played Beyond Light and i was running through the fallen ship tileset as a big bad i’ve never heard of before but was told was the biggest threat the cities faced heckled me while i chased down their fallen generals “deja’vu” didn’t do what i felt justice. I think they have actually ran out of ideas and are struggling to find a hook to keep Destiny 2 alive while lacking the money and resources to make a full sequel that would split the audience again and probably at this point isn’t going to offer returns on investment.

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Arktouros

This is my big criticism of the narrative over all. So much just recycling of the same enemies over and over. POE’s recent talk about the Maven and her story talked a lot about how when there’s a “do or die” style threat the players will always win (IE: with the Elder in that game). You just know we’re going to win. Unfortunately D2 always just seems to be coming out with “do or die” level threats which again we know unerringly we’re always going to win.

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Danny Smith

It was a problem from the off really. The moment they revealed the opening with the tower being destroyed there was a hard feeling of “you only get to pull this once and you just spent it” so everything afterwards can only happen elsewhere which cages the narrative into a world of warcraft esque “no THIS is the world ending bad guy that will never effect the world because deathwing did it already, they are waiting in an instance for you and be quick 38th times the charm its a real threat now!”

Like remember when the hook of the series was “theres a world of golden age human ruins out there, go find them again” and the last time we really got that in a way that felt it changed the world was SIVA and the snowy cosmodrome? it was still an enemy reskin, even a map reskin technically. But it wasn’t “this is the biggest bad ever” it was “heres the consequences of your actions and some human made thing thats threatening the enviroment itself” and those little changes make such a difference compared to “you liked forsaken? what if we did it in the snow with a third the villains and locations?”