As we get closer to the release of the next landmark Destiny 2 expansion – Shadowkeep – it becomes increasingly apparent that the game as we know it is changing, like a lot.
Yesterday game director Luke Smith dumped yet another wall of text on players discussing the forthcoming third year of Destiny 2 and how seasons will differ.
One of the larger points within that wall was the introduction of a battle pass feature but before you lose your mind in cries of “monetisation”, the feature is rather different to the battle passes we’ve become acquainted with in recent years.
Firstly, it’s not called a battle pass but rather Season Pass Ranks. These are included with every season as a sort of score card to keep track of your rewards and give players a clear path toward objectives such as weapons and armour. That means it’s not a separate purchase and what’s more is that there will be a free path to select rewards contained within a season.
“Season Ranks are kind of like a build for playing a season of Destiny. Grabbing bounties, doing strikes, completing weekly challenges—these are straightforward ways to unlock Season Pass Ranks when you don’t have the time to arrange a raid group, or check Google for the right strategies to solve a problem, or gamble against RNG (where it feels like the house always wins). The ranks help our friends in the community who have families and/or full time jobs, or who are deep in finals territory at college. Sometimes you just want to log in, grab some bounties, shoot some aliens (or Guardians), earn XP, and chill with your friends,” writes Smith.
There will be 100 ranks to earn each season with rewards for players who haven’t purchased that particular season as well as rewards for players that have purchased the season. However, it should be noted that Bungie wants to create more “You had to have been there moments” such as the Lord of Wolves ruling Iron Banner or Prometheus Lens running rampant in Crucible.
Players will be able to purchase ranks toward the end of a season so that they don’t miss out on content but Bungie will be monitoring this at the outset of this new implementation.
That is an important note because Smith has reiterated that at the advent of Shadowkeep and Season of the Undying, seasonal content will disappear. Gears and items from seasons will be made available at a later stage from other vendors and we suspect flagpole activities such as Raids and new Crucible or Gambit maps will remain in the game.
The one pain point among the community appears to be the fact that folks can now essentially pay to increase their power and earn rewards. The inclusion of an Exotic weapon for simply purchasing the season could spell trouble for Bungie should said weapon be over-powered. While players can earn the weapon the fact that this could separate the player base like Bungie did during the Curse of Osiris days.
The only way to know if this solution helps solve a number of issues including power creep, the steep grind for casual players and the size of Destiny 2 overall is to try this out. Bungie will be listening to the community and given its history we’re sure they’ll be taking well thought out critique seriously.