In the latest This Week at Bungie blog post by the studio, not only did we get an update on the on-going Guardian Games and which class is winning, but the studio also talked about the upcoming Destiny 2 Season changes planned.
Creative Director Evan Nikolich goes in-depth on how the season model will evolve in Destiny 2, and what to expect in Destiny 2, Year 4.
THE STORY CONTINUESWe have been making progress carrying the overarching narrative Season over Season in Destiny 2. Saint-14 and Osiris led to the Warmind which leads to… [REDACTED]It’s not perfect yet. The bridges between Seasons can definitely be improved, and we could do a better job of recognizing prior Seasons’ narrative threads in the active Season.In Year 4, we are going to build a better interconnected narrative and, more importantly, let players be a part of that narrative no matter when they enter the current year. This means if you start playing in March 2021, you could go back and experience the Season 12 and Season 13 narrative content. We want our stories to feel more cohesive, flow with meaningful momentum Season over Season, and lead to an exciting climax each year.That said, for a narrative to have weight, there needs to not only be meaningful change but also a meaningful way to experience the history of the world.We haven’t preserved enough history for a player who comes in mid-year to have any concept of what came in that year’s prior Seasons. As a result, players can feel left behind later in the year and unable to experience the stories or to acquire prior Seasons’ weapons and gear. The Forsaken Season Pass allowed its content to build up over the course of the year, and that’s where we’re heading in Year 4.
As for activities, Bungie mentions that beginning in Season 12, the core parts of the activity experience will live on after the Season has ended. This means that later players joining in future Seasons, you’ll be able to jump into the older activity experiences without all of the season-specific requirements being a burden.
Let me give an example of how this might work in the future using Season of Dawn to illustrate. With our new approach, when Season of Dawn concluded we would have left behind the “Saving Saint-14” quest, the Exotic quests to acquire Devil’s Ruin and Bastion, and the Sundial activity. We would sunset the Obelisks experience to reduce clutter in the quest log and to keep bounty quantity from inflating across the game, and deprecate the Fractaline currency so it could be safely removed from the player’s inventory. The Obelisks were time intensive and we do not want to overload a player’s choices in engaging in the current Seasonal ritual versus the past Seasonal ritual. This is our current plan for Year 4 but, like everything else, these plans and exactly how content persists will change and evolve as we work.
Long term, we want to make sure that the rewards we release each Season are available to players throughout the year. Continuing with our Season of Dawn example, the rewards that came out of Sundial would continue to drop from Sundial. How the drops will occur will change (as, narratively, Osiris has left and we have removed the Obelisks), but weapons and gear would still be present. This is the obvious solution, but it suffers from a design perspective in creating a narrow pursuit focus. Having the rewards in just one location oversimplifies the pursuit game and has the same effect of limiting the ways you can play Destiny.Our focus is to broaden and provide multiple ways for you to earn past Seasons’ rewards. In addition to the rewards coming from the Seasonal activity, we are thinking of having the Seasonal rewards be available to earn in the core modes of play as well (Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit). If you’re getting tired of playing Sundial, you’ll have the opportunity to jump into Crucible or Strikes and pick up a couple of the Season of Dawn weapons we’ve handpicked. As the Seasons roll on, the rewards will continue to get added to these core activities and, as a player, you can tackle the pursuits at your own pace in your preferred mode of play and feel the world growing in terms of rewards.
In short: Bungie wants to make seasons in Destiny 2 something that can be experienced all year round.
There are also changes coming to Weekly Bounties which you should read up here.