After a pretty quiet Season of the Hunt, Season of the Chosen has finally arrived! This season is particularly important with the growing concern about the game due to PvP issues, amount of loot, and sunsetting. So, have Bungie done anything to address these concerns in the time I’ve had to play? Well, I’d say partially, but more on that later.
The main activity of this season is Battlegrounds. As you start the game you will be invited to fight the champions of Caiatl, the empress of the Cabal who has entered the system and tried to get us to bow to her. To accomplish this you have to complete a few tasks. One is defeating Cabal enemies to get keys, which allow you to progress. The other is defeating Cabal to get a bomb that can destroy their shield generators. Only then can you challenge the champion of the activity. This activity is rather fun to play, if not the most challenging activity in the world, and the potential weapon rewards are quite powerful.
Battlegrounds aren’t the only new feature of the season though. A new social area in the tower, called the H.E.L.M, has opened its doors. In there is a war table to organise operations against the cabal and upgrade the Hammer of Proving, a new item that lets you get bonus rewards in battlegrounds. The Hammer of Proving also accumulates charges as you complete battlegrounds which you can use to focus Umbral Engrams, which have returned from Season of the Arrivals. This allows you to reduce the loot pool to only items you want and gives you another source of getting the seasonal gear. Completing optional challenges allows you to unlock further focusing options.
But wait, there’s more. This season boasts three new strikes being added to the game (though only one is playable now). Well, when I say three new strikes, I mean one brand new strike and two returning strikes from Destiny 1, Devil’s Lair, and Fallen SABER. If you’ve been around the community this week you’ll know there’s a bit of controversy around Devil’s Lair, as the strike is unchanged from Destiny 1. It includes the same boss and same lines of dialogue, which is confusing to new players because the enemy of the strike is something we killed many years ago, and the House of Devils who the boss belonged to was also destroyed many years ago. Aside from that though it is fun to play the first strike I ever played again.
For seasonal activities, I’m very impressed with the offerings though. There’s a lot more than some other seasons before have given us, with more on the way as the season progresses.
Loot was one of the biggest concerns in Beyond Light, with many saying that it just didn’t feel like there was enough. Bungie really stepped up in my opinion this season though.
For starters, each playlist activity, that being Crucible, Strikes, and Gambit, have got two new weapons each which can drop at the end of the activity in question. These are surprisingly rare and perhaps could have their drop rate increased a bit, especially since players will be wanting to hunt for god rolls. Though maybe this is a blessing in disguise for the more hardcore players who want more of a grind.
Nightfall strikes get 3 returning weapons from Destiny 1 that rotates which one is available each week. These are the Palindrome hand cannon, the Shadow Price auto rifle, and The Swarm machine gun. Each of these also has an adept version which can be acquired in grandmaster nightfalls when they’re opened up. Adept weapons have a different appearance and an adept mod slot in addition to the regular mod slot, allowing you to slot adept mods.
Similarly, Trials of Osiris gets 3 new weapons. The Messenger, a pulse rifle reprised from Destiny 1, the hand cannon Ingenious Hammer, and the sword Sola’s Scar. These weapons also get adept versions.
Oh, is that not enough for you? Then how about a new exotic bow, 4 seasonal activity weapons, 2 season pass weapons, 4 reprised playlist world pool weapons, 1 new ritual grenade launcher, 4 reprised Dreaming City weapons and 4 reprised Moon weapons?
As for armour, there’s a few new sets. There’s the new seasonal activity set and the season pass universal ornaments. There’s the Eververse armor. There’s 3 new exotic pieces of armour, one for each class, and there’s reprised Moon and Dreaming City armour. So a decent amount to sink your teeth into.
For a season, I think this is a rather astounding amount of loot, and I’m not sure we’ve quite had this much loot in a season before. Sure, some of it’s reprised and some of it’s reskins, but it’s still an impressive number.
Bounties and Challenges
Bounties have always been a point of controversy in Destiny, due to most experience coming from bounties and players not enjoying the checklist of activities they have to do. So, Bungie has made a couple of changes beyond the changes they made in Beyond Light.
The biggest change is the addition of Seasonal Challenges. These are a new tab of challenges found in your quests or in the season pass menu, that get new challenges every week while keeping the old challenges for the rest of the season. This is to reduce the feeling of FOMO that people complain about ingame because even if you miss a couple of weeks you can still come back and complete the challenges for those weeks. These challenges offer a very nice amount of experience, usually enough to give you a level up. The challenges also offer bright dust for Eververse, seasonal gear, and reputation to level up your War Table and acquire new bonuses. This is an excellent system as it gives some direction of what you could do if you’ve not got any quests on you. When you complete the week's challenges though you just feel empty inside.
PvP has been a hot topic for a while now for a multitude of factors. One such factor is Stasis and how the freezing is annoying people. So, what has been Bungie’s answer to this?
Well, there’s been a couple of changes to frozen players. First, frozen players have more health, from 100hp before shattering to 200hp. Also, players now take 50% less damage from primary-ammo weapons when frozen. The tradeoff for this is that players take 50% more damage when frozen from special-ammo weapons, heavy-ammo weapons, and non-stasis abilities. So, has this helped? My opinion is kind of. It’s a bit easier to survive being frozen, but there’s definitely more that can be done. Fortunately, Bungie has confirmed that there’ll later be a more indepth tuning pass for Stasis.
Another issue with PvP that players complain about is the lack of content in PvP. That has somewhat been addressed with the new Crucible weapons, however PvP players are wanting more than that. One thing that hasn’t been added for a long time, for example, is any new PvP maps. Hopefully, this is something Bungie will change in a later season.
You will of course hear online about the cheaters in Trials of Osiris, but that’s something we don’t have to worry about! Though we do have a lower player population…
Overall, for an exclusively PvP player, this may not be enough to bring you back into the game. I’m not so it didn’t particularly affect my experience, but just keep it in mind.
Oh, you sweet naive fool. Sunsetting is still the same.
All the aspects of Season of the Chosen so far have come together in what I think is one of the game’s most impressive seasons. Sure, there are little annoyances that Bungie could address, but I’m very excited to see more content as we advance through the season. If this is a sign of things to come, we are certainly in good hands.
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