Bungie held a live stream in which they announced upcoming events and content not only for the brand new “Season of Arrivals,” but also the forthcoming fall expansion Beyond Light as well as the expansions which are slated to come out after.
Game Director Luke Smith and General Manager Mark Noseworthy managed to pack in quite a bit of information in an effective half-hour presentation. Some of it will be welcomed, and some will likely stir the community up. It wouldn’t be Destiny otherwise.
The “Season of Arrivals” started today, following Bungie’s first attempt at a Fortnite-style live event, which ended with the wreckage of the Cabal superweapon known as The Almighty crashing into the mountains somewhere behind the Last City was.
As live events go, it was arguably pretty lackluster. It was certainly less exciting than the “Blood Plague” event in World of WarCraft. Sharp-eyed players noticed that the Almighty seemed to be “coming out of the Sun” as it were a week or two back, but the significance was not clear at the time.
“Season of Arrivals” is intended to be the setup for the Beyond Light expansion, which is slated to drop this fall. One of the strange pyramid-shaped vessels teased at the end of Destiny 2‘s “Red War” campaign has been buried on Io, and players will be tasked with discovering why the Darkness seems to be manifesting, as well as why more Pyramid ships are entering the Solar System. A new dungeon, “Prophecy,” will be opening up and giving players the option to hunt down some new gear as well as potentially getting some story clues.
Appendices of Sorrow
This is all prelude to Beyond Light, and the details, while scarce, are intriguing. Players will be getting a new location, Europa, which was a location Bungie wanted to add to the first game. The frozen moon in orbit around Jupiter holds one of the big unexplored mysteries of the series, the Deep Stone Crypt, the birthplace of the game’s Exos, as well as another buried Pyramid ship. And with the teaser trailer bringing three of the game’s dark-and-mysterious characters together in one place, one can feel confident that Bungie is finally going to get down to exploring what the Darkness truly is.
It’s long been speculated that players would, at some point, be getting a subclass based around Darkness powers. Smith confirmed that players would have access to a new “Stasis” energy, though he didn’t specify how each class would be using it. Those details will likely come out closer to Beyond Light‘s release date.
In addition to Beyond Light, Bungie also took the opportunity to tease the two significant expansions slated to come after it. In 2021, The Witch Queen expansion will bring us face-to-face with the second of the Hive’s leaders, Oryx’s sister Savathun. One can only hope that Bungie delivers an experience with the quality of The Taken King, but which doesn’t accurately copy it. And in 2022, Bungie is bringing out Lightfall, a working title for which there have been no details mentioned at all. The only hint is in the logo, which shows a black triangle overlaying a white circle, a potential suggestion to a showdown between the Traveler and the Pyramids.
Shut In Cells
While the reveal of Europa is a big deal, a potentially more upsetting detail was also revealed. When Beyond Light drops, Europa’s entrance will also signal the exit of several areas in the current game. Luke Smith announced the Destiny Content Vault, a system whereby some content is put into storage and rendered inaccessible, and other content is brought “out of retirement.” At present, the areas slated to go into the DCV are Io, Mars, Titan, Mercury, and the Leviathan raid.
This suggests that gear that is specifically associated with those areas, such as Mercury’s “Prophecy Weapons” and the raid armor and weapons from Leviathan, will also be unavailable. However, there may be mechanisms in place to obtain them in other ways. Something will also be coming out of the DCV, the Cosmodrome. Smith and Noseworthy mentioned the Strike mission against Sepiks Prime being one of the iconic moments of the first game, so we might be getting that Strike again, and also possible we could get the “Sepiks Perfected” variant as well. The reason for this seems to be tied up with how Bungie’s engine handles location data. They’re anticipating 115GB of storage space being taken up by Beyond Light, with five locations removed, which suggests a very inefficient model compared to other MMOs like World of Warcraft or Rift.
Smith and Noseworthy also discussed some technical details. Destiny 2 is being carried forward on to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, running at 60 fps on 4K hardware, and there will be no hassles about porting existing content purchases. If you’ve bought the game already, you’re not going to have to repurchase it when the new consoles come out. They also indicated that intergenerational cross-play would be available, so players on PS4 will not be cut off from players on PS5 and vice versa. Actual cross-platform play, where PlayStation players could play with Xbox or PC players, is still a target, but Bungie is hoping to have it in place when The Witch Queen drops next year. Smith has also acknowledged that there will be changes to the season model and mechanics. “We took it in the wrong direction,” he said.
Beyond Light is scheduled for release on September 22.