Destiny 2’s Seasons Will Work Much Differently This Year

Destiny 2’s Seasons Will Work Much Differently This Year
Image: Bungie
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Destiny 2 is about to get some big changes with its forthcoming Shadowkeep expansion, out October 1. Changes so big that developer Bungie has chosen to slowly tell us about them piecemeal, in lengthy blog posts from the game’s director, Luke Smith.

This week, Smith published a post outlining Destiny’s new approach to its seasonal structure, and its changes are substantial. Here’s how the lay of the land will look once Shadowkeep launches:

  • Seasons will now have a more predictable structure, each with a unique activity that will earn you seasonal loot, and some kind of effect on the game world. In the Season of the Undying that begins October 1, for example, Vex will invade the Moon, presumably for story reasons, and when that season is over, they will be gone, that story wrapped.

  • There are now four seasons per year instead of three, each 10 weeks long. In addition, players can buy into individual seasons for around $15 instead of being forced into buying an annual pass if they want to participate at all.

  • Seasons will now come with Seasonal Ranks that will reward specific loot at given tiers. There’s a free track and a premium one for people who buy the season — naturally, the premium one has more rewards that you can earn faster.

  • Only paid players will get access to each seasonal event, where the season’s best loot will drop — or at least better rolls of that season’s loot.

  • The new Seasonal Artefact (which all players will receive) allows players to unlock seasonal mods that are account-wide, letting players choose from a set of unique buffs that, while currently a mystery, might be a little more experimental than the standard mods that improve cooldowns or buff weapon accuracy. The artefact can also be levelled up to increase the power it adds to your character, and has no level cap. Every season will have a new Artefact, and the old one will become obsolete.

Throughout the post, Smith notes that the nitty-gritty of some of these plans are fluid and subject to change — like, for example, the rate at which free players may earn loot, and how Destiny 2 might offer Seasonal Rank boosts to let you catch up to other players. (Smith says currently the plan may be to offer rank boosts in the final weeks of a season for late adopters.)

There’s a lot to be wary of, but few things about Destiny have ever really sounded good on paper — especially when Smith frustratingly alludes to unnamed new features that can’t yet be revealed because of spoilers.

Image: Bungie

It all might make a little more sense with an example. Here’s how Smith sees it playing out, using the previous year of Destiny 2 content to illustrate the coming changes. It all begins with a countdown timer to a season’s start, culminating in the arrival of Ada-1 and the Season of the Forge.

The Season Pass in the Director is updated, the rewards are revealed, and now Ada and players begin a Season-long experience of refining forges in the world, completing bounties, finding materials, working on Black Armory armour sets, and taking on the new raid, Scourge of the Past. In a twist, Datto and his group are the first to finish.

As players work together to forge weapons early in the track, smithing and building new ones, the room around Ada begins to change. The schematic data from players’ work is resulting in new weapons and mods for players to create. These weapons and mods don’t all require playing the Seasonal activity — some of them are found in new encounters within strikes, some of them are forged in Last Wish (like the Alchemy Lab in Blackwing Lair).

Very late in the Season, players notice Ada’s room looks like it’s being packed up. She’s leaving. The schematics that sat behind her are missing. Over the course of a few weeks, she packs her equipment and, in an event similar to her arrival, she vanishes. Ada, her wares, and her forges are gone.

Banshee-44 reminds players that even though Ada is gone, she left him the schematics for her weapons and armour, and he’ll be rotating them through over time.

We’ve got another full month to go before Shadowkeep. That’s a lot of time to learn even more stuff, like how they’ll fix Strike Playlists so I don’t have to run The Arms Dealer every single time.


  • Actually kind of excited for Shadowkeep. Destiny 2 was a bitter disappointment when it first launched, but now that Bungie are out from Activision’s leash, they seem to have their hearts in the right place and the game is shaping up really well.

  • I (along with the rest of the world) got the base game free on PS4 a while back. Is it worth playing the base? Or is all the good stuff in DLC now?

    • I find the base game to be decent but all the myriad of stuff from higher light levels to new dungeons are locked behind the DLCs. if you have 20 odd hours to spare, I think you’ll enjoy it (that’s really all it takes to complete the SP)

      that said, the base game is going free to play and since I haven’t kept up with Destiny news, I don’t know if they are unlocking other stuff with the retooling, so maybe wait till Oct… or google if they did any blog updates

    • The base game was solid, its a great intro and it only gets better with forsaken.
      Most of my friends that got the base game purchased the expansions after finishing it, ie the base game got them hooked enough for them to hang around

    • For single-player story based gameplay the base game is pretty good. The three following expansions also have pretty good story content. All that is going free to play soon anyway.

      The best way to describe Destiny 2 is that it’s like Halo, but with lots of common areas with people buzzing around – and lots of opportunities for coop. Single player story missions are the exception, not the rule, but there are enough to enjoy.

      I am utterly confused about seasons and whatever the hell that means – but I’m assuming for the rest of the game which is an MMORPG then you need to spend money constantly for the “good stuff”.

      • The three following expansions also have pretty good story content. All that is going free to play soon anyway.

        The first two expansions (Curse of Osiris, Warmind) will be included in the free version (and are already included in the base game), but Forsaken will still be its own purchase, unfortunately.

  • This sounds f*cking sh*t.
    This time limited stuff works fine enough for the seasonal events (not-christmas, not-halloween, iron banner etc), but for the actual main content of a ‘DLC’ this is a terrible idea.
    I pay $15 and get to play it for 2 months then its taken away. That is colossally retarded.

    Previous complaints have been older DLC doesnt feel as relevant when new stuff comes out. So their fix is to basically take away your old DLC? holy moly, everyone that works at bungie are legit mouth breathing mongoloids.
    Especially because this “problem” was barely even accurate. If you hopped in late or didnt spend enough time in it black armory still has a bunch of meta (and just fun) weapons, same goes for even Y1 DLCs and last seasons reckoning weapons.

    • I have Forsaken…and I think I’ve finished it (no credits but a large font “Forsaken” screen appears after you defeat the final boss) but I’m not even sure if I own Black Armory? There’s no obvious part of the map I can’t access and demands for more money (EA style)?

      If the current game is confusing me then a sleight of hand switch to a subscription model means I won’t know what the hell is going on?

      • You have only played half the content of forsaken if you stopped there.
        ‘the spider’ or petra should have a mission for you with a talisman or something.
        This unlocks the dreaming city which is another planet with a bunch of hidden things and missions to do.

        As for black armory, it depends on which pack of DLC you bought. if you bough just forsaken you don’t own it, if you bought forsaken plus annual pass then you do.
        Again with that one i think the spider will give you a card which will make a mission point show up in the tower.

        Yeah i’d say it could make it even more confusing for people not fully in the know.
        Plus you’ll actually miss out on content and never get to play it if you aren’t there at the time.
        So really it doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.
        The people already consistently playing will continue and the people that drop off after a bit normally will still do so.
        Having each season be time limited will just hurt the sales of DLC down the line as you literally wont be able to play it when it is past.

        • Thanks so much for explaining. I went back this morning to an old character I had given up on earlier this year and found that I had the token, and had found the armory and bits of a weapon – and remembered that both these “quests” are simply MMO style “get 30 superkills etc.”. It’s no wonder I stopped playing.

          I cannot believe so much extra content – even maps – is locked behind such grinds. The rest of Destiny 2 right up to that point has sensible, scripted missions like any Halo game of old – in fact early parts of Destiny 2 make you feel like it’s a true Halo sequel. To go from that to “collect X tokens” is so sad… but is the direction they want to or need to go to make money presumably.

          • Yeah some of those ‘open new area’ missions are pretty bad. I’d say focus on the talisman one and get to the dreaming city. You have literally only played half or less of forsaken before getting there.
            Then google about exotic quests you have still to do. Sure they start as “kill X thrall” etc, but a couple of those end with some cool custom missions.

            Also have a look on the map for each planet and play all those little side missions (and especially any that are the big blue marker) they are mostly pretty fun with some interesting bits here and there.

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