Bungie gave us some new info regarding the New Light experience recently which aims to make the new player experience much smoother once Beyond Light arrives on November 10th. With this new information, we have the introduction of a new character Shaw Han, and there are theories going around the community this could be a returning character hiding behind a mask. The following is a look at the question – Who is Shaw Han, plus new player onboarding improvements coming in Beyond Light.
The new player experience in Destiny 2 has gone through various iterations. When Destiny 2 first came out, we all went through the Red War Campaign and had that experience to orientate us through the game and the systems – teaching us about weapons, armour, sparrows, supers, PVP and PVE. It was a roughly 7-8 hour campaign which taught us the basics.
New Light was introduced with Shadowkeep when Destiny 2 went free-to-play. This made the campaign optional, and you went through a short quest and were then dropped into the tower with a few explainer missions. This attempted to guide you around the tower and the key vendors explaining everything as you went. There has been some feedback that this process was pretty complicated and once new players got to the tower they felt overwhelmed and unsure what to do next.
This is a challenge for anything complicated whether it’s a videogame, mobile app or website. The UI/UX needs to be intuitive and easy to understand, otherwise, players are going to bounce from the game. Probably everyone that’s watching or listening to this successfully got through that onboarding process and we’ve got on to kill thousands in PVP, hundreds of thousands in PVE and one or two raid bosses. I am sure though there are many players out there who’ve been through the New Light (or new player experience), got confused and left the game, without knowing how good it is.
Bungie updated us in their latest update letting us know what they plan to do about it.
New Light improvements
Over the last year, there’s been a lot of great feedback about the new player experience in Destiny 2. Currently, players are given a single mission to become acquainted with some basic gameplay, and then let loose in the Tower without much direction on where to go or what to do next. This led to some confusion, as many players didn’t exactly know where to start. Who’s that robot that’s meticulously cleaning an Auto Rifle? What do I do with these engrams? And what’s a Zavala? The team has been working to restructure the onramp for Destiny 2, and today we’ll be giving a small glimpse into the New Light experience.
Starting November 10, players will start in the same way that most all of us have. A Ghost will be on the hunt for their Guardian, they’ll stumble upon you, and they’ll revive you for the first time. What’s different now is that you won’t immediately find a ship. Rather, you’ll stumble into another Guardian in the wild.
Shaw Han is his name, and he’s on a mission with his fireteam to investigate what the Hive are up to in the Cosmodrome. He’ll show you the ropes, and help you find your way among the gameplay and systems of Destiny 2.
As a new player, you’ll spend your first few missions getting acquainted with the state of the world in Destiny 2. You’ll have opportunity to take a few weapons out for a spin, find engrams to try different armor and see our progression systems, and have some time to learn how to navigate the user interface to understand quests, bounties, collections, and more. All of this will happen before you set foot in the Tower, and our hope is that this refreshed New Light experience will give a much warmer welcome to Guardians as they play Destiny 2 for the first time.
With the Cosmodrome coming out of the Destiny Content Vault (DCV), this gave us the perfect opportunity to overhaul our new player experience. For veteran players out there, this will be a stroll through memory lane. While the Plaguelands are strictly quarantined per Vanguard orders, you’ll still be able to explore much of what you remember from your first days as a Guardian. Running through the Mothyards to collect Spinmetal, heading down the stairs of the Steppes to face off against powerful Hive Knights, and more. There will be occasional moments of discovery, like stumbling upon a Lost Sector that you haven’t seen before. If you’re an existing player and would like to go through the New Light quest, it will also be available to you on November 10.
We’re excited to see how new players react to our revamped New Light experience, and for many of you to get your boots back on the ground in the Cosmodrome.
Eyes up, Guardian.
That’s the update from Bungie. Next, I wanted to focus on and speculate slightly on the identity of Shaw Han… our new mysterious Guardian helping out new players.
Who is Shaw Han?
We don’t have many details at the moment, but he’s a Guardian in the Cosmodrome as Bungie have previously stated. There are currently theories that Shaw Han could in fact be Uldren Sov wearing a mask. Uldren served as an advisor to the Queen during the Hunt for Skolas. He also served as the Master of Crows before his disappearance after the battle at Saturn.
When Oryx arrived in the Solar System, the forces of the Reef assembled to confront him. Uldren led the assault on the Hive fleet. While the Queen’s Harbingers destroyed the majority of the fleet, they were ineffective against the Dreadnaught.
Oryx used the Dreadnaught’s weapon and most of the Reef’s forces were destroyed, causing Uldren to crash land on Mars. He used the Crow drones stationed there to make repairs to his ship and began looking for Mara. Sometime later, Uldren began moving from planet to planet in order to attract the attention of the House of Kings; he was eventually captured and led to their Kell.
His ship was found on Mars.
Following his encounter with the Kell of Kings, Uldren began raiding the Reef alongside the Kings. He also spoke to Riven for the first time, who was masquerading as his sister. Riven led him to the body of an Archon, Fikrul, whom Riven resurrected.22 Uldren and Fikrul then killed the Kell of Kings.
Uldren is mentioned in the Telesto lore entry. Within the lore entry is a hidden message found by reading the first letter of every word: CROW UNTRUSTWORTHY DESIRES POWER. Given this message, some of the Reef leadership were suspicious of Uldren’s actions in the months after the Red War.
Later, Uldren went to the Reef, where he accused Illyn of trapping Mara in the Dreaming City. He then surrendered himself to the Awoken, who jailed him in the Prison of Elders. The Scorned Barons were also imprisoned.
During their imprisonment, Uldren and Fikrul convinced Variks to release those jailed within the Prison. Petra called on Cayde-6 and the Guardian to help contain the riots. The Barons were revealed to have escaped in the chaos; they then attacked Cayde and destroyed his Ghost. Following the fight, Uldren killed Cayde.
After his escape from prison, Uldren began attempting to free who he thought was Mara. He acquired a shard of the Traveler, though he narrowly avoided being killed by Petra. He then went to the Watchtower and used the Shard to open the gate to the Dreaming City; Riven then revealed herself and attempted to kill him.
The Guardian, who had followed Uldren to the Watchtower, then killed the Voice of Riven. Uldren then encountered the Guardian and Petra, and was killed shortly after.
Although we thought this was the end of Uldren he was brought back to life in a rather hidden cutscene during Forsaken. This led to the lore entry from the Dawning last year, which described the current state of Uldren Sov.
For the last three weeks, the Guardian has been camping in a rusted-out shipping container, far off the main pathways that are always buzzing with Sparrows. He stays out of the way of other Guardians, and if he can’t do that, he keeps his helmet on. Always.
All he has to his name is some beat up gear, a ring, and a silk sheet. Those are the things he woke up with. He wears the ring on a chain and keeps the sheet as a comforting reminder of something he can’t remember. Sometimes he wears it draped over his shoulder. The fabric is so fine that it makes him think about the place he must’ve come from before this life, and how much nicer it is than where he is now.
He spends his days alone. Other Guardians are an unpredictable source of pain and confusion, and they see him the same way. Some react to him with outright hostility. Others are overcome by some personal and unexplained grief. He doesn’t know why. That was the most painful lesson of being reborn: It’s better to be alone. So he’s always alone now, except for his Ghost.
One night, he sits with his head against his knees and listens to the distant snaps of gunfire. He hasn’t seen anyone in about a week, but he can hear them. Somehow that makes the loneliness worse. More potent.
“Did you know,” his Ghost says, bright but gentle. The purple glint of his shell reflects the half-light outside the crate. “That in the Last City, they are celebrating? They call it the Dawning. It is a celebration of friendship and hope and warmth.”
The Guardian keeps his eyes closed and forces down his bitterness. The silence lingers between them, heavy and filled with unsaid things, until his Ghost gently bumps his shoulder. “To feel good, they say to each other: Happy Dawning.”
Still, the Guardian says nothing, and his own silence makes him sick with himself. His Ghost has never doubted him. Never doubted anyone, really. He is a well of relentless optimism. And as infuriating as that is, it’s also heartbreaking, and comforting, and a relief. The Guardian is not going to be the one to disappoint him.
There’s been too much disappointment in this life already.
“Happy Dawning,” he says.
Given we have a Guardian roaming the Cosmodrome this is why there’s theories at the moment that Uldren Sov could indeed be Shaw Han. Back in the Destiny 1 development cycle Uldren was called The Crow and was situated in the Cosmodrome, so it’s almost like we’re going full circle with the character.
There’s a couple of things here I’m really excited about. I’m looking forward to the improvements for new players, as New Light at the moment does cause blockers for new players. Second, I’m looking forward to Uldren Sov’s redemption arc. He’s fallen to the depths and now it could be time for him to rise again… especially with the Witch Queen on the horizon and hopefully the re-emergence of Mara Sov, Savathun etc.
Let me know what you think about the new player experience and if you think Uldren is Shaw Han. Or what else do you think Uldren could be doing in Beyond Light?