The release of the Shadowkeep expansion is a watershed event for Destiny 2 for a variety of reasons. It’s the first big expansion to be released since Bungie’s split with Activision, it marks the official start of Destiny 2‘s free-to-play venture, and it also introduces a Season Pass that offers players new ways of getting loot and enjoying the overall grind.
When the Season Pass was first announced, I was initially skeptical, especially since Destiny 2 had gone free-to-play. While Bungie has never shown any indication of compromising the quality of its game, making a game free-to-play and offering tiered rewards didn’t really inspire a lot of confidence either.
How would the Season Pass work? Would you be able to pay real money in return for XP boosters that let you rise through the ranks quickly? Would that mean that players who forked over the cash could get loot quicker than the rest?
Thankfully, that’s not how the Season Pass works at all. Microtransactions are still limited to the Eververse cosmetics, which you can ignore for the entirety of your time with Destiny 2. And on top of that, your progress with the Season Pass always feels consistent, never devolving into a painful grind with no end in sight.
For the past week and a half, I’ve found myself constantly tabbing over to the Season tab in my menu just to see how much progress I’ve made. Every tier gives you some reward, whether it’s a new armor piece, new weapon, a resource package and some currency, or just a small XP booster to make things go a little faster.
Gaining a new level in the Season Pass is always exciting, because the game keeps rewarding you with stuff that will help with your grind in one way or another. And what makes it so fun to level is the fact that every tier in the Season Pass requires the same, set amount of experience.
Because of that, you’ll never feel like your progress has been stalled, or like the next tier in the Pass is impossible to reach because you need like, a million experience points or something.
That kind of a grind can be appealing in its own way as well, and it’s present in Destiny 2 in the form of the Seasonal Artifact. But with the Season Pass, Bungie is essentially making sure that you’re well-rewarded in simple ways just for playing the game naturally and turning in your Bounties.
With this, there’s a whole lot of different grind types available for different players in Destiny 2. The hardcore players will continue having fun chasing down Triumphs, Exotic quests, and Seasonal Artifact levels, but even the most casual players can find enjoyment as well in the simpler grinds.
Despite not having touched Destiny 2 in months since Forsaken’s release, it feels good to be able to jump back into the game and not be completely lost, or feel like there’s so much to catch up on. Destiny 2 continues to be a really fun game you can just jump into, mess around in a few events, and feel like you actually made a little bit of progress.