If you’re familiar with battle or season pass features in other games, Destiny 2’s will be pretty simple to wrap your head around.
There are two tracks of rewards, a free and premium version, that players can earn by getting XP, which is earned in Destiny 2 by doing any combat-related activity.
There are a total of 100 ranks, and the premium track will obviously have more lucrative rewards along the way.
Anyone who buys into the Shadowkeep expansion will be set up to receive the premium season pass rank rewards for Season 8 (AKA Season of the Undying) as they are bundled together. In case you’ve lost track, we’re currently in season 7, the Season of Opulence, at the time of this writing.
However, you can purchase access to the premium track separately for $10 which will be the price of all seasonal pass rank rewards going forward. There will be a total of four seasons of Destiny 2 in Year 3.
In addition, at some point towards the end of a season, you will be allowed to just purchase some kind of catch-up, which is still being worked out by Bungie.
What’s driving all this in-game is a philosophy switch by the Destiny 2 development team to highlight limited time content.
In previous comments, Smith lamented that a flaw of Year 2 of Destiny 2 was that piling on more and more content started to overwhelm players and turned checking off all your weekly milestones into a chore.
Now, seasons will usher in new PvE matchmaking activities that will drive the story forward somehow, and then actually come to a close at the end of a season, and will then be replaced by whatever Bungie has in store for the next season.
Content will be removed at the end of a season, however Bungie stated that season-specific rewards will be available at a later time but did not disclose exactly how that will work out just yet.
Here’s how Smith describes how seasons will feel in Year 3:
Everyone who plays Destiny will be able to see how the world is different and changing during the Season. Those with the Season Pass will be able to play a seasonal matchmade activity within the Black Garden for that extra level of sweet gear (this is similar to the old Annual Pass access), but the goal is that everyone will be involved in how the world changes.
And at the end of the Season, your collective actions will have caused the world state to change and the Seasonal Activity connected to those events will also go away.
Doing this allows us to evolve the world—narratively, but potentially physically as well. It is not possible to keep Destiny frozen in place to allow all activities to live forever while also changing the world in meaningful ways. This strategy lets our team be agile and innovative. We believe that Destiny will grow even better when the world state can change, and that the best Destiny stories are the ones where “you had to be there when….”
The removal of content is certain to be a hot button issue and it will be interesting to see how the community reacts to it over the coming days and months as Year 3 plays itself out.
All of this information was thrown at the community today in addition to a further explanation on what is free in Year 3 in Destiny 2, and won’t require you to purchase Shadowkeep or seasonal content.
For example, the new seasonal artifacts are free and will reset every with every season, finishers, two new strikes will accessible to all, and certain exotic weapon quests will be free for everyone although some exotic weapons will be a part of the season pass content.
The patrol area of the Moon and the opening mission will be available to all players regardless of whether or not they purchase Shadowkeep. So you can at least screw around with your friends on the Moon a bit even if you don’t buy Shadowkeep.
Bungie is describing the free stuff that is available as “sampler platters” for both Shadowkeep and the premium Season of Undying content.
That’s the highlights of this most recent blog post summarized and explained to the best of my ability, but the blog itself goes into a lot more detail. Seriously it’s a doozy and I had to read it a few times just make sense of all this information that’s being thrown out right now.
I highly recommend anyone looking for an extremely thorough and long-winded explanation of everything I touched on above to visit Bungie and give it a read for themselves.