The future of Destiny 2: The Season of Arrivals, Beyond Light expansion, and everything else revealed
Despite an underwhelming live in-game event debut this past weekend, Destiny 2 developer Bungie was primed to fire its hype cannons at full blast during its June 9 content reveal livestream. Not only did Bungie officially announce Destiny 2’s next content season, Season of Arrivals, it also unveiled this fall’s ‘Beyond Light’ expansion and even offered glimpses at future expansions coming in 2021 and 2022.
Below we go through all the details regarding the Season of Arrivals, Beyond Light, and everything else Bungie discussed during the June 9 livestream.
To its credit, Bungie and its staff have been giving both the Covid-19 pandemic and the more recent Black Lives Matter protests the serious and constant attention they deserve. The beginning of the June 9 broadcast took a few moments to highlight both of those developing situations and how Bungie has been stepping up.
First, a heartfelt pre-recorded video showed how Bungie was able to drastically restructure its day-to-day work culture in the wake of Covid-19 to ensure minimal disruptions for staff and their families. The video also touched on Bungie’s partnership with various relief agencies to help provide resources like food and medical supplies to those who need them most as the pandemic rages on.
Once the livestream actually began, Bungie set aside the first eight minutes and 45 seconds for a moment of silence in honor of George Floyd, the black man who was killed while in custody of Minneapolis police officers on May 25. During the moment of silence (whose duration matched the amount of time it took for George Floyd to die), Bungie also put up a text-based call to arms, saying “e need to do more than just talk about racism in America.” The moment of silence concluded with a list of organizations viewers can look into if they want to help push back against the systemic racism that has long affected this country.
Those organizations and their associated websites are as follows:
Looking Towards the Future
After the moment of silence, the livestream transitioned over to a pre-recorded interview with Bungie’s General Manager Mark Noseworthy and Lead Designer Luke Smith (the two were together in person, but were sitting six feet apart in compliance of good social distancing).
The bulk of the livestream presentation was dedicated to Noseworthy and Smith discussing Destiny 2’s exciting future, a future that will actually transition the game into what Smith called “the beginning of a brand new era.” That brand new era will officially begin on September 22, 2020 when Destiny 2’s next major expansion, Beyond Light, launches in full.
As previous rumors and leaks already revealed, Beyond Light will take players to a brand new location, Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. There, they’ll meet a few familiar faces such as The Drifter, Eris Morn, and the Exo Stranger (a character who hasn’t been seen since the ending of the original Destiny’s story campaign). Europa is apparently the birthplace of the Exo race, so it’s fitting that Beyond Light’s main antagonist will be a sinister Exo/Fallen hybrid named Eramis who has crowned herself the Kell of Darkness.
As for gameplay, Beyond Light will also introduce a brand new time-manipulating element type called Stasis which will join the existing Arc, Solar, and Void element types. To properly channel Stasis, players will need to “embrace the darkness” so they can unlock a series of three new Stasis-themed sub-classes. There will also be Stasis weapons for players to wield and Stasis-based enemies for them to fight across Europa’s frigid landscape and within a brand new raid experience called the Deep Stone Crypt.
Along with the Beyond Light expansion, Noseworthy and Smith also offered a glimpse into Destiny 2’s far future by teasing the game’s next two major expansions which are currently slated for 2021 and 2022 respectively. In 2021, players will take the fight to Savathun, sister of the slain Taken King Oryx, in the aptly named ‘The Witch Queen’ expansion. Then, in 2022, the climactic battle between light and darkness will come to a head in the ‘Lightfall’ expansion.
In case it wasn’t already clear from the not one but three major expansion announcements, Noseworthy and Smith didn’t mince words; Bungie is committed to Destiny 2 for the long haul. Smith didn’t shy away from the fact that Bungie has made its share of mistakes, but he also reiterated that the studio is always incorporating feedback and taking measures to ensure that Destiny as a shared MMO-esque world feels like a single unified experience.
To that measure, Smith said that Bungie has plans to rework the seasonal content model and that Destiny 2 is the studio’s one and only focus for the foreseeable future. Without specifically naming it, Smith also put the fears of a potential Destiny 3 further fragmenting the community to rest by saying that Bungie’s staff “don’t want to put another number on the box.”
To further illustrate their commitment to Destiny 2 over the next few years, Smith and Noseworthy also confirmed that the game is being ported over to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles. Even better, existing players will be able to transfer their current progress and content purchases over to the newer consoles entirely for free, and there will be cross-play support across console generations in case one player decides to upgrade but their friends don’t.
How Destiny 2 will look and play on the newer consoles remains a mystery for now, but Smith and Noseworthy did at least confirm that the newer versions will support 60 frames per second refresh rates and 4k native resolution.
The Destiny Content Vault
Destiny 2’s lackluster seasonal model and the portent of a potential Destiny 3 weren’t the only elephants in the room that Noseworthy and Smith were ready to address. The two also acknowledged that Destiny 2’s content library (and, consequently, its total install size) is getting rather bloated, so much so that it’s actually becoming harder to efficiently patch the game. To solve this (both figuratively and literally) growing problem, Bungie is introducing a new feature called the Destiny Content Vault (or ‘DCV’ for short).
Through the DCV, Bungie will remove certain pieces of Destiny 2 content with each major expansion release. In the case of this fall’s Beyond Light expansion, four entire planets will actually be taken out according to an interview Smith conducted with Polygon: Titan, Io, Mars, and Mercury.
While they’re vaulted, players won’t be able to visit these planets or participate in any of their planet-specific activities such as strikes and story missions. However, Smith and Noseworthy were also quick to clarify that the DCV isn’t just about taking stuff out of Destiny 2 to ensure the game runs more efficiently; it’s also about making room for brand new stuff. Case and point, the Cosmodrome, a beloved location from the original Destiny, will be coming to Destiny 2 as part of Beyond Light’s rollout.
Smith and Noseworthy talked about how, through the DCV, Bungie will actually be able to bring back some of the best parts of the original Destiny and repurpose them for Destiny 2. Along with the Cosmodrome and its various activities and strikes (including the iconic Devil’s Lair strike), Smith also confirmed that the Vault of Glass, the very first proper Destiny raid, will also be coming to Destiny 2.
Also, just because a piece of content is vaulted doesn’t mean it can never come back. If Bungie ever felt it would benefit the game’s story, planets like Mercury and Titan could absolutely make a return, perhaps in a redesigned form similar to how the studio handled the Moon’s reintroduction for Destiny 2’s Shadowkeep expansion.
More information on the Destiny Content Vault can be found over at Bungie’s official website.
Season of Arrivals and Prophecy Dungeon
Destiny 2’s Season of Arrivals officially began shortly after the June 9 livestream’s conclusion, and it serves as a sort of prelude to the Beyond Light expansion’s story developments.
The Season of Arrivals tasks players with venturing to Io so they can complete a new series of ‘Contact’ PvE public events and uncover new lore about the encroaching darkness. Players can also earn new Umbral Engrams which can be focused into specific types of loot, and power up the new ‘Seed of Silver Wings’ seasonal artifact during the season’s duration.
As with previous seasons, a $10 season pass is on offer, unlocking the premium rewards track of seasonal ranks and granting instant access to the new ‘Witherhoard’ Exotic Grenade Launcher upon purchase. According to the Season of Arrivals’ Bungie.net page, players can also look forward to the return of the Moments of Triumph event in July and the Solstice of Heroes event in August.
Lastly, a unique new dungeon experience called ‘Prophecy’ will be freely available to all players once it unlocks at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST on June 9. Those who survive the Prophecy dungeon’s bizarre new challenges can earn a series of unique armor sets for their efforts and also unlock additional lore concerning the darkness.
Destiny 2’s Season of Arrivals is live right now. The Beyond Light expansion arrives on September 22 and is currently available for pre-order.