Season of Plunder First Impressions in Destiny 2

Season of Plunder has arrived in amongst a load of Destiny 2 news, but Season of Plunder in its own right is a huge announcement. We have new story content, three new activities, loads of new loot, a returning King’s Fall raid, Arc 3.0 plus some enticing new cosmetics. Let’s dive right into the details.

Story

First of all, let’s dive into the story of Season of Plunder. We open up with a cutscene, Eramis narrating, cursing Mithrax for joining the Last City, under the watchful eye of their oppressors and ‘The Great Machine’. The camera pans in on Eramis’ frozen body on Europa, and her hand twitches. She’s thawed, from the frozen prison she’s been in since the end of the Beyond Light Campaign and it sounds as if she’s joining the ranks of The Witness.

Eramis is free and she’s looking for Darkness Relics. The main characters we’re hanging out with this Season are The Drifter, Mithrax and Spider. The Drifter accompanied us through the first mission, where Spider was being smuggled out of the Tangled Shore. Spider is now in the Eliksni Quarter of the Last City, plus we have Edio, Mithrax’s daughter, an Eliksni Scribe who documents history. This season is all about being a Pirate, we’re plundering loot, riding ships, finding hidden underground treasure, and trying to get to these dark relics before Eramis, because if she gets to them first, well, then there is going to be huge trouble!

Season of Plunder certainly has a light-hearted feel to it at the moment, although characters are alluding to potential dark clouds coming in around us all in the Last City. We are officially on the countdown to Lightfall, and with a name like Lightfall, that probably doesn’t mean good things for those living in The Last City. We’re swashbuckling all around the Solar System at the moment, but Mithrax appears to have a dark past, and I think something bad might be about to happen to Eido. Overall, the story has a fun feel to it, but it does feel like the sunshine before the storm, I think we’re in for an action-packed build-up to Lightfall between now and 28th February 2023.

Activities

We have three new activities this season, which is great news and provides a bunch of variety to the season. We have Ketchcrash, Expeditions and Pirate Hideouts. Ketchcrash is the most Swashbuckling of activities where we shoot ourselves like Guardian Cannon Balls from Ship to Ship, plundering and gathering map fragments. Ketchcrash is a mini-menagerie of sorts, with many encounters along the way, culminating in a boss battle, seasonal loot and currency. Expeditions are where we have to pick up engram loot and chuck them into this roaming machine, which we have to escort to a goal, fighting enemies along the way, culminating in a boss battle.

Pirate Hideouts are older Lost Sectors, which appear to have been repurposed, and this is where we pick up our Darkness Relics. All three work together quite well, with a good amount of variety for Ketchcrash and Expeditions. New Expeditions are available each week, and so far we’ve had one on Europa and one on the Cosmodrome, a few more will open up as the weeks go by before we go into a rotation for the season.

There seems to be a small amount of saltiness in the community about Lost Sectors being repurposed, but that makes a lot of sense to me. It looks like some of the legacy Lost Sectors are run backwards. I think if Bungie can squeeze some more value out of these legacy locations, to spend more time on activities like Ketchcrash and Expeditions, then by all means do it. For me, the activities work very well, and we’re seeing variations on older themes. Not something exactly new, but we only have a limited number of actions we can perform, getting to something truly new when we have four seasons oer year is tough. The concept of jumping from ship to ship is very cool, found in Ketchcrash, so more of that please Bungie.

Loot

We have a number of loot updates this season. We have a new world loot pool, which includes some absolute bangers, we have new Nightfall weapons, which include some returning classics, we have seasonal weapons, a ritual weapon that shoots real cannon balls, plus some great new exotics.

The loot this season is good! We have a refreshed world pool, with the very powerful and popular Taipan 4FR Linear Fusion Rifle in there, which is one of the most popular weapons in the game right now. Boudica-C is an excellent Sidearm and the Ammit-AR2 is one of the strongest Auto Rifles we have in the game, so it’s good news on the world loot pool.

As for the seasonal weapons, this season we have Fallen themed set, which is good in its own right. We have a Scout Rifle, Shotgun, Sidearm, SMG, Linear Fusion and Machine Gun. I’m a big fan of the Submachine Gun, Scout Rifle and Linear Fusion Rifle. Many of the weapons are Arc-themed, which are going to work great for builds this season.

There’s a seasonal Exotic weapon too called Delicate Tomb, which is a Fusion Rifle. This helps us create Ionic Traces as Guardians, which in turn tops up our abilities quickly like grenades, charged melees and class abilities like rifts, barricades or dodges. Delicate Tomb is a great Seasonal Exotic weapon that is going to work great with Arc 3.0 builds, which many of us are leaning into this season.

In a first for the franchise we can also get hold of a Lightfall Exotic Weapon this season, two seasons early by pre-ordering Lightfall. Previously we’ve had No Time To Explain for Beyond Light and Osteo Striga for Witch Queen. I don’t know if Bungie we nervous about pre-orders for Lightfall, but they have added in access to Quicksilver Storm, a new Auto Rifle that also shoots micro missiles and turns into a grenade launcher. Although it’s been disabled for much of the season, given the number of bugs we’ve been encountering since the launch of Plunder.

We have three new Exotic armour pieces which are mixed in terms of reviews. Point-Contact Cannon Brace is for the Titans, Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk is for the Hunter and Fallen Sunstar is the Warlock Exotic. I have two out of three at the moment, and unfortunately not the best one. Point-Contact Cannon Brace is seen as underwhelming for Titans, Fallen Sunstar is pretty good, helping generate Ionic Traces, and creating an ability spam Arc warlock build when combined with the new Seasonal Exotic Fusion. Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk is apparently the best, but I don’t have this one just yet.

We have to return Nightfall weapons with Mindbender’s Ambition raising a few eyebrows on its return, although it’s far from the shotgun that terrorised crucible a few years ago, it’s had the shackles applied and is now much more suited for Solar PVE Guardians. There are also new Trials weapons, including a Bow for the first time, plus new Iron Banner weapons with a Sidearm and a Rocket Launcher.

One thing Bungie added this season was a new catch-up mechanic called Gift of the Thunder Gods. This was a collection of Arc weapons and armour, allowing us to jump right into the latest content. This is most likely because of the Destiny 2 showcase and the marketing they had behind that because Destiny 2 has seen a huge influx of new players. It’s a great mechanic and very welcoming for new players, especially ones who want to jump into the latest season without grinding up from Witch Queen.

Arc 3.0

The final subclass rework into the 3.0 version is with us with Arc 3.0, and there’s a focus on speed and agility this time around. We have new keywords with Amplified, Jolt and Blind, with amplified allowing us Guardians to move very quickly, and when combined with aspects and fragments we can chain lighting together much more effectively than before. Hunter’s appear to have come out of Arc 3.0 in the best shape, with their new Gathering Storm Super. Titans have a very strong grenade game and the general consensus is that Warlock drew the short straw. However, my personal experience with the Warlock kit has been positive, especially with the new exotic armour Fallen Sunstar. The light subclasses are all done now, just in time too for a new darkness subclass to be added in Lightfall with Strand.

Raid

The King’s Fall raid has returned and much like Vault of Glass this one has had a lick of paint, plus many of the mechanics have been tweaked to fix encounters back in Destiny 1. Daughters and Oryx have probably changed the most, given we can actually damage Oyrx directly now. Touch of Malice, the exotic raid weapon, has returned but gone is the quest to put together the weapon, it’s now a random drop, which again, has angered some purists. Touch of Malice had quickly become the most desirable weapon in the game once again. I haven’t got it to drop for me just yet, but apparently, it has a higher drop rate than previous raid exotics. I hope it’s higher than Vex in Vault of Glass, as I beat Atheon ~30 times to get that to drop for me. I remember running King’s Fall over and over during 2015 and 2016. Back then we had a Destiny content drought, one of the longest in the 8 years since the game has been released and King’s Fall was one of the only activities we had. I wasn’t really looking forward to it coming back, but now it’s here I actually really like it.

Cruicble & SBMM

Loose SBMM has been implemented in the crucible, and in what otherwise appears to be a strong start to the season, SBMM changes aren’t going down well with more seasoned Crucible players. it seems to work well for low to mid-skill players, but higher-skilled players aren’t happy. One of the main reasons for this appears to be people quitting out of matches and crucible not being backfilled correctly. Players are quitting and simply not being replaced in a timely manner. I haven’t played enough crucible to really have an opinion on this matter, but I would be interested in knowing what you think about it.

That’s pretty much run down of Season of Plunder, we’re off to a strong start this season, although I have a feeling things could start to get dark by the end of this season, as we head into a winter of discontent.