Today at TwitchCon, a trio of Bungie developers hosted a panel about the future of Destiny 2. It wasn’t all that exciting, but they did share some new information about how the game’s new “seasons” system will work.
The panel was hosted by Destiny community manager David “DeeJ” Dague, who was joined by two designers from Bungie’s live team. As in Destiny 1, the live team is responsible for implementing the game’s limited-time events like Iron Banner and Faction Rally. Destiny 2 has been struggling to keep its most hardcore players engaged, so players have been hungry for more information about where the game will go from here.
Here’s what I came away with after watching the panel:
There’ll be four seasons in the first year of Destiny 2. We’re currently in season one. They didn’t say exactly when season 2 will begin, but there’ll be at least one more Iron Banner and Faction Rally before then. Both of those will take place after the PC version launches next week, after which the PC version will be on the same schedule as the console versions.
Seasons will reset your Clan progress, so everyone starts from zero. They said that was to make it so that new clans could keep pace with more established, high-level clans. The perks you get from levelling up your clan will change depending on the season and what that season is focusing on. The first season focused on the Cabal; the next season likely won’t.
Season turnovers will also be where Bungie makes larger tweaks to weapon balance and introduces other new content. There were very few specifics on what that content might look like, naturally. They said they’re still planning to push out weapon balance tweaks as needed during seasons, but the start of the season sounds like where the biggest meta changes will take place.
In Season 2, they’re adding ornaments to Trials, Iron Banner, and Faction Rally gear. You get the gear itself through the regular process of turning in tokens, but the ornaments work slightly differently. To unlock an ornament, you’ll have to complete some sort of challenge tracked by the gear itself. Not the biggest deal in the world, but definitely a step in the right direction.
They showed some concept art of what some of the ornamented faction armour might look like:
The Future War Cult armour went last, and everyone laughed. As a FWC follower, I gotta say… ugh.
Weapons will change from season to season as well. It sounds as though there’ll be some shuffling of kinetic/energy archetypes, as well as perks, to make the weapon pool start to feel bigger and more varied. The example they gave was the Iron Banner hand cannon, which is currently a kinetic weapon but may return in season 2 as an energy weapon with different perks.
More concept art, this time of faction guns.
The microtranscation-based Bright Engrams will also be refreshed between seasons. They say they’ll be changing “most of the content” contained in Bright Engrams, with new emotes and new ships and sparrows…
Okay, that is a cool ship.
...and some very cute season 2 ghost shells:
You can only get season-specific cosmetic items during that season. If you get a cool ship in season 2, you won’t be able to get it in season 3. Same with emotes, gear ornaments, and Eververse armour sets. Shaders are the one exception; they stay the same from season to season. There’ll be new shaders with each season, but they won’t take any away.
They also briefly talked about “Clarion Calls,” which will be limited-time global events that give XP bonuses if you meet certain criteria. The example they gave offered a 2x XP buff to anyone doing any event in a fireteam with a clan member. They said other Clarion Calls won’t necessarily require a clan.
There’ll also be at least one new Crucible map in Season 2, and it’ll work similarly to the maps from Trials of the Nine, Iron Banner, and the Leviathan raid. Something will trigger the map to unlock, after which it’ll be available to everyone.
The panel ended on a down note, with some vague business about how exciting it is that our clan banners will look different each season. No talk of ranked mode, gun mods, private matches, or any specific balance tweaks. It seems likely Bungie is also working on those sorts of more substantial tweaks in addition to these smaller, cosmetic ones, but we won’t know for sure until they start talking about it. In the meantime... how ‘bout those ghost shells, eh?