Destiny 2 – Season of the Splicer First Impressions
Bungie released Season of the Spicer this week. It follows on from a very successful Season of the Chosen, which had widespread praise from the Destiny community. Season of the Splicer is the next step on the journey to the next major expansion, Witch Queen, currently expected in early 2022, so today I am going to go over some first impressions plus good things so far and improvements I’d like to see in the future.
Let’s start with the story aspect of the season, and we’re finding out much more about the Fallen. The season kicks off with the Vex blocking out the sun somehow through a simulation, meaning the Last City is in perpetual twilight. Ikora’s back and tells us to meet Mithrax, a Fallen Slicer on Europa to find out more about their mastery of machines.
After meeting Mithrax and running through the Vex network for the first time, Ikora offers Mithrax and his group of Eliksni under the banner of House Light, safety on the outskirts of the Last City. Mithrax questions whether Ikora has the authority to do this, but gladly accepts the offer all the same.
Not everyone is happy with the Eliksni turning up at the Last City. Lakshmi-2, leading of the Future War Cult, tells you she’s seen visions of the Fallen recently arrived, standing the ruins of the Last City with smoke billowing. Future War Cult’s visions have been dismissed before in the build-up to the Red War and Lakshmi-2 is determined for the Last City not to make the same mistake again. For the first time, we have Fallen in the Last City. It’s clear that there’s a fracture in the Last City, and hints and indications at trouble brewing, stoked by Future War Cult.
One great thing Bungie has done this season gives personality and depth to the Fallen, primarily through in-game mechanics, but also in the lore cards on weapons and armor too as they have always done. Over the past few seasons, the storytelling is much more apparent in the game, with cut scenes that go on for many minutes, acted out with the characters in the game in front of you. For example, we had Mithrax coming to the edges of the last city and a conversation with Osiris and Lakshmi-2. Previously something like that would only appear on a lore card or blog post, and it’s a welcome addition to see these in the game. The animated shorts are another good way to flesh out the story and probably more cost-effective for Bungie, removing the need for 3D modeling. I’m enjoying this step forward in the narrative delivery so far, and look forward to more as the season progresses.
It appears that Zavala, Crow, and Lord Saladin have taken a step back in the story and this season we’re going to be focusing more on Ikora, Osiris, Eliksni, and the Vex. It’s another strong step in the narrative direction as we move towards Witch Queen in Early 2022.
The H.E.L.M has seen a significant upgrade with a new lower floor section added. The upper floor of the H.E.L.M still exists, as it has to support Battlegrounds given the seasonal activities are sticking around until the next big DLC expansion. On the lower floor, we have a Splicer Servitor, which acts as the new War Table, or something to upgrade. Here we can buy new Elemental Well mods also, as well as get various upgrades for the seasonal activity. There’s also a terminal where we communicate with Lakshmi-2.
Override Seasonal Activity
There’s a new 6-person activity for this season called Override, which is pretty good so far. It’s slightly different to Battlegrounds, in there we were killing and then moving onto a new phase, and then finally a boss. There are a few more light mechanics here in Override, including a Vex Oracle Puzzle and climbing the spire before we jump into the Vex network. The whole second phase of the activity is about platforming through the Vex network, trying to reach the boss. The design of this phase of the encounter is great, synth-wave style.
The activity doesn’t feel quite as dense as the Battlegrounds activity, and they were a little more open. This feels a little cramped and could be because we have 6 players in there. It’s certainly not difficult either and the loot is pretty rewarding. Once again we have to farm some materials in core playlists like strikes, the crucible, and gambit (ether) and then we spend that ether on the loot chests at the end of the activity. It’s entertaining now in the first few weeks of the season, but I am unsure whether it’s going to sustain throughout the season. However, I won’t pass judgment until we’ve seen the other two on the Moon and Tangled Shore.
We haven’t got the weekly pinnacle mission just yet, these look scheduled to start on May 25th at reset time. It could be something that happens in the Vault of Glass, given the timing, as normally the weekly pinnacle missions start at the beginning of the season. This is likely to be a drip-feed of story content, much like we saw with the tree in Arrivals, or in the Glykon with the Presage quest. I doubt we’re going to get something as in dept as the Presage mission again, that was a work of art and one of the jewels in the crown of the Beyond Light update.
Once again the loot is pretty good this season. Bungie is adding 45 new and reprised weapons, including the new Override weapons and some highlights include Chroma Rush (auto Rifle), Ignition Code (Grenade Launcher), and Gridkipper (Pulse Rifle). We have a load of new playlist weapons to chase, a new Trials SMG and two new Iron Banner weapons coming.
There’s plenty of new exotics too with Cyrosthesia 77k, a new exotic Sidearm that freezes enemies. We have the Vex Mythoclast returning as part of the Vault of Glass, the exotic Fusion rifle and one of the most memorable weapons from Destiny 1. The new weapons are good, but we have returning weapons too. Hung Jury, Fate Bringer, Vision of Confluence to name just a few.
We have three new exotic armor pieces too available from Lost Sectors. Plus there are new perks. This is a big step in the right direction. Bungie’s got rid of sunsetting, now the weapons are going to be viable for a while until they get nerfed. When Beyond Light launched there simply wasn’t enough, and now we’re getting back to where we were and together with Season of the Chosen, we have a lot of good weapons to choose from now. We haven’t got our hands on the raid weapons yet, and I look forward to jumping back into the Vault and getting as many as possible. All in all, it’s a thumbs up from me regarding the loot this season, building on the momentum from last.
This is probably one of the negatives for the season. Once you have the materials for Armour Synthesis, it’s all good, and we do get some for free. However, the grind for Armour Synthesis materials is quite shocking, and you have the paid-for alternative in the Eververse store, which feels a little off. I understand Bungie has to make money, but this doesn’t really feel like a transmog system. For me, this is one of the biggest negative points of the season so far, in an otherwise positive experience.
Vault of Glass
One of the best raids in Destiny’s history is coming back to Destiny 2, and the last time we saw this was 2016 in Destiny 1. It’s going to be interesting to see what Bungie does with it. Hopefully not too much and it’s going to come back as it was. I imagine we’re going to get champions and some changes, but hopefully, it’ll be very similar to that first raid we saw in 2014.
I still remember killing the Templar for the first time, heading through that tiny hole and down into the Gorgon maze. It was incredible. I’m looking forward to the loot returning, even though we don’t quite have everything coming back.
I really hope Bungie pulls it off and people aren’t disappointed. Destiny has changed a lot since its release in 2014, and expectations and hype levels are high. We’ll have to wait and see what happens when the raid is released just under a week from today.
PVP has not seen any love this season, in fact, you could argue it’s seen the complete opposite. Stasis has somehow leveled itself up with new aspects and fragments, which seems crazy given the series of nerfs it’s been given over the past few months. Bungie seems to be nerfing and balancing slowing, but stasis is once again out of control and making the PVP experience pretty rough for those who use to enjoy the playlist.
The hashtag #nerfstasis was trending on Thursday and so far Bungie is keeping fairly quiet about it. It’s an interesting time for Destiny PVP. We haven’t seen any new maps for a long time, we lost maps with the vaulting process in Beyond Light.
Looking at the positives this season we are getting plenty of Iron Banner, there are some new weapons in there and Team Scorched plus Momentum Control are coming back into the weekly rotation. We have a new Trials SMG too, which is very good.
I’d like to see the Crucible Labs mode introduced again and then see some rapid testing and feedback from the audience. At this point, so many players have packed up and left. We also have Apex Legends and their new Arenas mode, which has been described as a ‘good’ version of Trials of Osiris, and as a Destiny fan that kind of makes me feel sad.
It’s probably a good time to reflect on the seasonal model itself and where we are with it. I am enjoying the new emphasis on the story, and the way Bungie is delivering the lore via characters and cutscenes. This is being done better than ever. I’m also enjoying the 6-person model and the loot. Over the last two seasons, the loot and the activity have been great.
Saying that I think there are a few issues we’re facing. Although good, this season does feel like pretty much a carbon copy of last season. The core playlist activities like Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit are in desperate need of a refresh. PVP itself needs a lot of love, and it feels like Destiny 2 now is moving to just focus on PVP. Whether this is related to the PVP game Bungie is developing or not, PVP in Destiny 2 is stale. There’s only so much new loot can do, if the player base would rather jump off the edge of the map than play the game mode to get the new loot then that says something pretty strong.
Eververse is another point. There’s so much good stuff in Eververse now, which could be chaseable in the game as rewards. Yes, there’s plenty more bright dust in the game and we can buy things using that, however, Eververse and its items are much more of an issue than they ever have been. There’s talk of Vault of Glass items being in there too later in the season when they promised not to do this a few seasons ago since the Iron Banner emote complaints.
Let me know what you think of the Season of the Splicer in the comments.
That’s it for my first impressions of Season of the Splicer in Destiny 2. For more Destiny 2 content like this subscribe on YouTube and check out more daily content there.