Bungie Explains How Destiny 2 ‘Seasons’ Will Work


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 “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.

The panelists.

The panelists.

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.

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.

More concept art, this time of faction guns.

The microtranscation-based Bright Engrams will also be refreshed between seasons. They say they will be changing “most of the content” contained in Bright Engrams, with new emotes and new ships and sparrows…

OK, that is a cool ship.

OK, 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 will 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 will 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?


  • Sounds good. But seriously my only concern is how the lack of random rolls really lessons the end game. There is so much to do there, way more that D1 but if all we ever get is copies of the same things over and over. It’s not as satisfying when you get something unique that works for you.

    It’s a shame, that is aongle downer I have so far, and I want more ‘checklist’ aims. Like their old record books and meaty things like weekly bounties that take time

      • You’re lucky, I can edit, but every edit gets a post sent to the moderation queue so no one sees that pithy remark for 3 weeks, if ever.

        • I usually just delete and repost my comment. I wish they would implement something like if you reach a certain post count you are expempt from the auto moderation when editing. I have a 3k post count for kotaku and gizmodo combined so im obviously not a spam bot 🙂

          • It’s linked to how many downvotes you receive. I got stuck in moderation hell again after that big debate on the Wolfenstein thing (I think we were disagreeing on there at some point actually). Some dude went through and literally downvoted every single comment of mine without adding anything to the conversation. The system is broken.

            There should be a whitelist of commenters who have been auto-moderated but found to be innocent repeatedly. I left Polygon’s comment sections because of moderator overreach. I really don’t want to say “What’s the point if it’s going to take over a day for this comment to even show up?” here on Kotaku.

          • I’m not certain it works that way for edits – it seems like all edits get sent into moderation these days. I don’t think I’ve had 50 downvotes total across nearly 7 years and 3900 comments – in fact I’d be surprised if I topped 30 – but fixing a typo puts the comment in moderation immediately.

          • I distinctly remember a time when edits didn’t get auto-moderated though. Have they changed things?

          • I remember those times, too. There was a point, I believe around the time the site got revamped around a year ago, when I started noticing edits getting auto-moderated, and I remember people reporting it in the TAY comments in the following months as well.

          • Reviewing comments, looks like there was an issue with the moderation system during the revamp, but the automoderation-on-edit didn’t happen until early this year – the first evidence I can find of someone explicitly separating their comments to avoid moderation was early March, so… it must’ve happened sometime between the revamp completion in December and the end of February/early March.

    • You prefer it wax released early and be buggy and troublesome?

      You are being plopped in midseason. By the reading of this, every season is three months and will contain two iron banners and faction rallies, given guilds are already max level, it means that pc this season just gets half a season and still time to reap rewards of guild upgrades and those two events

        • If you buy an Xbox you’ll get to complain twice!

          Seriously though, PC is a troublesome platform. The community is toxic as all hell, so safeguarding against a PR nightmare and making sure it’s as stable as possible would be far higher on their list of concerns than ensuring you don’t miss out on the season one content.

          Second would be trying to safeguard against the PC community’s inevitable self-sabotaging cheating and breaking of their game for short term gain. It will happen, and the PC gamers will ask in 6 months time why all the triple A games are console first, genuinely perplexed.

  • sounds exactly like Diablo 3 seasons only instead of leveling a new class each season, you just relevel the clan

  • So, by the sound of ‘new expansion’, that means season 2 will be starting in December.

    …god that feels so far away when the only things left to do in D2 are weekly reset milestones, the raid, trials, and prestige events. Repetition sucks.

    • yet it the very foundation and style of the game itself. Sadly so many dont realise that. For those of us from an MMO background are used to it, is why we play it.

    • I actually love this. Especially with the removal of gear rolls. Now I can finish my weeklies (well, except for the Raid) in a few hours and get on with playing Assassin’s Creed for the rest of the week.

  • I’m just a filthy casual gamer as I’m yet to hit 300, but I’ve finally gotten into the milestone loop. For a while I was just tinkering and wondering why my gear wasn’t increasing, now I just log in, push a milestone, and log off. Rewards still seem to be coming in at an ok pace.

    I raise this here because, even though I’ve just gotten into this groove, I can see it has a limited shelf life for me in it’s current form. And that’s kind of sad because Destiny 2 is a good game that has a lot of content, just it doesn’t incentivise you to do most of it.

    Just sticking to milestones, I won’t touch the patrols or adventures, will only do strikes as a last resort and only grind enough PVP to hit the milestone, not enough to really gain proficiency. So it feels like the game is only wanting me to actually do a very narrow band of things even though it offers me heaps.

    • Yeah. I get irrationally irritated any time I see the focus on PVP. It shits me because I’m never going to do it, and resent all the unique rewards they tie to it and how much time/content is spent on that that could be spent on something I’m actually going to do.

    • That’s kinda my experience as well. I have three toons, one of each class, with my main (titan) sitting on 296 or so power, and the other two alts sitting on 300. Yes, the alts have ended up higher…

      But each of those toons gets roughly one night a week, mainly to do the flashpoint and clan milestones, and little else for the most part. I don’t rush it, so that’s a couple of hours each, but outside of that I get on over the weekend to check Xur, and maybe test a build or two.

      I’d suggest doing patrols though, if only when waiting for PQ’s to refresh. Most of the time they’re a couple of minutes, if that, and add 5% to the clan milestone.

      Strikes and PvP are just things I cant get into. Strikes are just a means to an end, and will get repetitive fast, especially as other more experienced people rush through, and PvP hasn’t been my thing for 15 years. Bad eyes and slower reflexes work against me these days.

    • That’s basically my main gripe with the game. Flashpoint? Done in an half an hour to an hour. Nightfall? Another half hour. Raid? Good luck getting everyone on at once. Clan XP? Completed during the other milestones. PvP? Don’t enjoy it, so can’t be bothered.

      Each character has about an hour and a half of things that are both available to do and worth doing each week.

      • I’ve been keeping an ear to the ground and the go-to suggestion by fans at the moment seems to be making patrols and PQs more worthwhile once you’re maxed.

        EXTREME CYNICISM:Of course, this is Bungie, so they’re probably waiting for that particular request to quieten down long enough for them to claim they came up with the idea themselves and be too little, too late.

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