Before we get into today’s topic, I want to give major kudos to Bungie and the work they’ve been doing over the past few weeks to be transparent and open about the current state of the game. Destiny 2 has a lot of issues at the moment and it’s great to know that not only is Bungie aware of it, they’re detailing ways that they plan to fix them.
Having been with the franchise since the Destiny 2 beta days, I’ve seen all of the ups and downs. Believe me, there’s been a lot. However, this current phase feels like the most open and communicative the studio has ever been, which is really nice to see.
All that said, many of the game’s current issues have been significantly highlighted in its current season. The lackluster Season of the Worthy has been an absolute grind for players and not in a good way. Here’s why.
Bounties and their importance in the game have slowly been creeping up over the years but this season has really made them ultra important as a way to grind XP. In fact, the recent Guardian Games doubled down on that by adding special bounties and Medals, which were basically bounties in disguise. Players needed to complete these to contribute to finishing Triumphs and increasing their class’ total points to ultimately win. Breaking it down, Guardian Games was basically an event that asked players which class could turn in the most bounties over a three week period. Spoiler: Titans.
The other major pain point this season has been the new Seraph Tower public event. Players are required to work together to keep constant waves of enemies from standing on three spaces while being timed to complete the event.
The first three weeks were doable as only one tower plate activated at a time, making it a bit easier to keep tabs on enemies attempting to disrupt them. However, the event has increased in difficulty by activating multiple towers at a time and forcing players to really work at keeping these spaces clear. Success rates have dropped as it became much easier to fail without a significant reward for time lost.
Part of the major issue with these events is that they’re public events in the open world. Gathering the necessary people is solely reliant on instancing which almost never works out. Each of the three spaces, especially Io, have been fairly vacant. With the harder difficulty active, zones need at least 5 or so people to really stand a chance and that’s really hard to do when you can’t actively use matchmaking.
It’s especially frustrating because this isn’t a new problem and has existed all the way back into the first Destiny. Most activities that have been added to both games over time seem to rely solely on instancing. Court of Oryx, Archon’s Forge, Blind Well, Escalation Protocol, etc etc.
Now, the real kicker is that the highly anticipated Felwinter’s Lie exotic quest activated this week to the delight of many. However, that excitement turned to disappointment when the first stage of the quest revealed a community challenge centered on completing these heroic Seraph Tower public events. The timing of this considering players just finished coming off a three week bounty grind strikes me as very interesting if not a little tone deaf. I know most things are planned in advance and can’t change on a dime but still.
Now keep in mind that everything I mentioned before is still true. There’s no matchmaking and most people aren’t bothering with them. Basically, in order to progress the quest, 9 million Seraph Tower events need to be completed. 9. Million. After the first day, the pace is extremely slow especially with the season coming to an end on June 9.
As of right now, we’re on track to massively fail this quest. Hopefully this changes but with more and more people complaining about this, I’m more curious to see how Bungie reacts if this thing doesn’t go to plan.
(UPDATE!) Well, it didn’t take long but Bungie actually made adjustments to the quest as they didn’t intend for it to take this long. They reduced champion health, reduced event progression effectively giving more progression on a cycle, and increased how much each completion counts towards the overall goal. While this has helped the output on the EDZ, the Moon and Io locations still seem a bit slow. While the balance is nice, you could make the argument that players just don’t want to do these events anymore.
It’s not all doom and gloom however as this season has had some really interesting storytelling going on, even if most of it has been quite easy to miss.
As the season has progressed, the worldscapes of the Moon, EDZ, and Io have slowly evolved each week. Have you seen it? Look to the skyline and you’ll see new Rasputin towers in the background with more and more having risen up over the course of the season.
The biggest development during Season of the Worthy isn’t actually the Almighty threatening to destroy to Tower. It’s the Pyramid Ships and their arrival in our solar system. This threat has been a long time coming, originally hinted at all the way back in the original Destiny as the manifestation of The Darkness.
With each passing week, Resputin’s Bunkers in the EDZ, on the Moon, and on Io have updated to show how close they’re getting. They’re quickly approaching some of our current Destiny 2 zones such as Saturn’s moon Titan, Nessus, and even Io itself. Speculation from the community indicates that the Fall expansion could see one of these zones removed entirely or perhaps reconfigured due to the Darkness and its influence. Rumors also indicate that one of Jupiter’s other moons, Europa, could be a brand new explorable zone which makes sense considering the location of the pyramid ships as well as old Bungie concept art for Europa.
While this worldbuilding may be a bit more subtle when compared to the big Vex gate that was being built behind Ikora or rescuing Saint-14 and have him permanently join the Tower, I still appreciate what’s going on. It’s another way that Bungie helps make the game feel alive. I hope this is something they continue to double down on and maybe push harder on as the game heads towards its fourth year.