We’re about 5 weeks into the Season of Arrivals at the moment and the feedback so far has been pretty positive compared to recent seasons. This season was different from others – we knew nothing going into it and many have been pleasantly surprised. The following is a look at the top 10 reasons why Season of Arrivals is the best in living memory.
I’ve been reading a lot about the positive feedback for the season, particularly on Reddit and it’s notable the number of positive posts praising the season. As we go into new seasons we always hope they will be good – sometimes we get a Season of Opulence (which was great!) and sometimes we get a Season of the Worthy (which was a bit of a dumpster fire). I asked you all which season in recent memory is your favourite and the results were as follows
Season of the worthy 0%
Season of Dawn 0%
Season of Undying 3%
Season of Opulence 25%
Season of Arrivals 72%
Season of Arrivals is far and away the leader so far. I don’t know if thats because we just came out of a bad season and we’re all thankful it’s going well, or something else. But it feels like a few little tweaks here and there have definitely improved the player experience this time round.
I followed up the first poll with another asking whats the best thing about Arrivals and the answers are pretty interesting, so let’s dive into them.
We’ve got some great loot this season including some really unique Exotic weapons like Witherhoard and Ruinous Effigy. There’s some returning weapons like Death Adder, The Forward Path, Fool’s Remedy, Widow’s Bite, Nature of the Beast and the Ikelos weapons. We’ve also had some great new weapons including Falling Guillotine, Temptation’s Hook, False Promises, Cold Denial and Whispering Slab. We also had a range of Iron Banner weapons come back too.
The new Exotic weapons feel Exotic – they’re unique, interesting and make you feel powerful as Exotic Weapons should. The new swords are awesome and are a throwback to the Exotic Swords from taken king, however, this time they’re even better because they’re legendary swords. We can also get the Daito Armour and reprised Trials of the Nine armour through the dungeon.
It’s worth noting the addition of Trinity Ghoul’s catalyst here too. It runs along side the theme of really making exotic weapons feel exotic. The catalyst dropped for me on the first day and it took me a little while to get it done, but it’s put a bow in my hands for more time than ever this season. It’s just so effective at ad clearing and fun too.
4% of the votes
4 Moments of Triumph
Moments of Triumph only launched last week and it’s already proved a huge hit. Here we get to go back through the back catalogue of Raids and there’s an awesome Raid Ring on offer for those who complete them all. This is a really nice goodbye to those old activities whether you agree with them going away or not. One of the best features here is the removal of the weekly reward cap, so you can essentially farm the raids for loot – the main incentive being the exotic weapons.
I had one in my sight and that was Anarchy… it’s still one of the best PVE weapons in the game and I hadn’t managed to get it to drop for me, until I did it the other day. You can now essentially farm Scourge of the Past for Anarchy by saving a checkpoint. There’s plenty of other rewards up for grabs too including IRL prizes, so go and check it out.
7% of the votes
The story content has been particlarly strong this season. Season of the Worthy was pretty rough in terms of gameplay, however, the story was good with The Darkness entering our Solar system towards the end and the countdown timer throughout the season. Now they’re here and they’re trying to speak with us. Eris and Drifter are interested, Zavala’s pretty nervous about the whole thing and Savathun is trying to block us from speaking all together.
Each week we get a message from the Darkness telling us the Traveler is holding us back, we should outgrow the Light nd think about alternatives and realise our destiny. Now they’re giving us gifts. Rasputin has disappeared and we know Eris and Drifter are off to Europa to meet The Stranger in the not-too-distant future. That and the fact the Pyramids have now arrived on Io, Mars, Mercury and Titan (all the planets and moons to go away).
16% of the votes
2 The Prophecy Dungeon
The Propehcy Dungeon was a surprise drop on the first day of the season and its another masterpiece of multiplayer design. The dungeon is themed aroun The Nine and takes us on a weird and wonderful journey through a psychadelic series of encounters. The Light & Dark motes mechanic is very cool, also building on the theme for the season overall.
At first this was reasonably hard to get through as it was a 1060 activity and now Guardians are getting through it solo flawless, and you get a nice emblem too. The rewards are good with reprised weapons and old Trials of the Nine armour plus you can farm the dungeon over and over.
22% of the votes
1 The Umbral Engram System
Far and away the most popular feature from Season of Arrivals is the Umbral Engram system. It’s so popular, this season’s Iron Banner highlighted the frailities of the current engram system with it’s large loot pool and the lack of Forward Path and Fools Remedy Drops.
The Umbral Engram system allows us to focus the loot we get. The loot pool started out relatively wide with Pyramid Weapons, Armour then legacy weapons from Shadowkeep and finally a separate batch for Reckoning Loot. As the season has progressed we’ve got more Umbral Engram focusing options. This feels like an interation on the various systems we’ve had over the past 12 months taking all the best bits from the Chalice of Opulence, The Sundial from Dawn and the Warmind Bunkers from Worthy.
It’s a good mixture of choice and the regular drop rate of the Umbral Engrams allows players to gather seasonal loot from all activities in the game. One of the biggest complaints from Worthy was the requirement to do the Bunker activities to get the seasonal loot, and when this is combined with a less than satusfactory seasonal activity like the Seraph Towers – it all added up to frustration.
51% of the votes
Thanks to everyone who voted, and keep an eye out on the channel for more votes coming soon! I’m a bit surprised the loot didn’t come higher, but it might just be my wording of the options in the poll, perhaps you all think of the loot together with the Umbral Engram system. Definitely something for me to keep in mind in the future. We had a clear winner though and hopefully Bungie will carry forward this system in the future. One of the benefits of the shorter seasons is iteration over time, if something doesn’t work then drop it and if something starts to work then make it better in short iterations until we get to a solution where a majority of the community is happy.
As well as the previous five things there’s been others success too. I think the surprise reveal of the season helped. We were all feeling a little fatigued after Season of the Worthy with the bounty heavy mega-grind related to Guardian Games and Felwinter’s Lie. I prefer not knowing too much going into a season and especially everything not being laid out on the roadmap – it’s good to keep a few things back. It was a gamble, especially in a climate of many free-to-play games and not knowing what you’re going to get could have been a big risk… but Bungie delivered.
Another improvement this season (personally) has been the removal of SBMM in some of the crucible modes. I’m definitely not a PVP master, in fact I suck at PVP but I’ve had more fun in PVP this season than other seasons and I think Iron Banner Highlighted that pretty well.
The seasonal activity this time is pretty good fun. I don’t mind spending time in Contact each week to get through the Interference mission, or even grinding it out for XP bonuses through bounties. It’s also moving on a regular cadence and I’m kind of looking forward to it getting to Mercury.
The mods this season have been fun. Combining Lucent Blade with Falling Guillotine has been deadly, plus Surprise Attack with Sidearms. Rockets have even become better this season, which is an added bonus. The final thing I wanted to bring up are the new perks. Iron Grip, Iron Gaze, Killing Wind and Unrelenting. All really good perks.
Let me know down in the comments what you think of Season of Arrivals. How does it stack up for you against other seasons and what’s your best (or worst) feature of the season. I’ve likely missed a whole bunch of stuff here, so let me know!