Bungie revealed its plans for the first Destiny 2 seasonal content update since the studio announced its split from Activision earlier this year. The Season of the Drifter will focus on Gambit’s proprietor, The Drifter, deepening his lore and giving players plenty of new things to do and earn. There will be a whole new version of Gambit called Gambit Prime, new endgame activities that feature The Nine, and gear sets that offer perks which lean into specific roles within Gambit.
Get a look at what Bungie is doing with the Season of the Drifter in the latest ViDoc.
There’s a lot to parse through here, so let’s look at it piece by piece.
The Free Content
So you didn’t buy the Annual Pass? No big deal, there’s still a lot to love about the Season of the Drifter for players that haven’t jumped on board yet.
Gambit Private Matches – Load into private Gambit matches with your friends or all alone, and customize the experience. Want to 1v1 someone? Go for it. How about exploration of the maps solo? You can do that to. You can even turn off the invader’s ability to see opposing Guardians through walls!
Thorn Exotic Quest – There’s an Exotic Quest coming for everyone’s favorite hated gun from Destiny 1. It starts on March 12.
The Revelry Spring Event – The Revelry is a new seasonal spring event like Festival of the Lost or The Dawning that we know nothing about yet. It will kick off April 16 and last until May 6.
Arc Week – Another event that we know nothing about. It kicks off on April 9, ahead of The Revelry.
Power Increase to 700 – For some people, the endgame grind is to reach the top power level. That will be Power level 700 with Season of the Drifter, an increase of 50 levels.
Pinnacle Weapons – There are three new Pinnacle weapons to earn: The Vanguard’s Oxygen SR3—Precision Scout Rifle, the Crucible’s The Recluse—Lightweight Submachine Gun, and Gambit’s 21% Delirium—Rapid-Fire Machinegun (the first rapid-fire machinegun in Destiny 2).
- The Vanguard’s Oxygen SR3—Precision Scout Rifle “Meganeura: Dragonfly deals more damage based on the number of precision hits made beforehand.”
- The Crucible’s The Recluse—Lightweight Submachine Gun “Master of Arms: Kills with any weapon improve this weapon’s damage for a short time.”
- Gambit’s 21% Delirium—Rapid-Fire Machinegun “Killing Tally: Kills increase this weapon’s damage until it is stowed or reloaded.”
Sandbox Update 2.2.0 – Destiny 2’s sandbox is about to change in a big way, including changes to how Gambit is played, and weapon changes that will drastically shift the meta. We’ll have full patch notes when the new Season drops on March 5, but the previews we’ve gotten have been pretty promising so far.
New Triumphs, Lore, Gear, Iron Banner – Kind of the expected stuff with each seasonal reset.
Annual Pass Content
Formerly known as Joker’s Wild, the second content expansion in the Annual Pass has been rolled into the Season of the Drifter theme instead of explicitly naming the content. In many ways this helps communicate that what you get with the Annual Pass isn’t a traditional expansion, but rather an ongoing update of the game in general. It’s a big lesson learned after Black Armory failed to impress a lot of people long term.
Gambit Prime – Here’s the headliner. Gambit Prime is a new form of Gambit that is a single round, but is far more high intensity than traditional Gambit. Requiring 100 motes banked and specialized Raid-like mechanics to defeat the bosses, it’s going to redefine the meaning of teamwork. It will be interesting to see how well it still works as a matchmade activity. It will also bring two new Gambit maps into rotation.
Gambit Roles/Armor Sets – Reaper. Invader. Collector. Sentry. Leaning far more into specific roles, you’ll be able to earn gear that allows you to unlock perks specific to the roles you choose. In the latest Fireteam Chat by IGN, Bungie talked a lot more about these roles and just how much they can drastically shift the balance of the game. Not only do they adjust your specific play style, but they all look really cool with glowing snake logos of different colors.
The Reckoning – The Reckoning is a matchmade activity that sits somewhere between a Raid and public events. It’s inherently linked with Gambit Prime and is the mode in which you will actually earn Gambit Prime’s exclusive armor sets. There are three different tiers of difficulties. There are synths you’ll earn in Gambit Prime to bring into The Reckoning to earn the armor, creating a really interesting loop between these two modes.
Power Surge Bounties – Quickly power up to the Power level that you need to be to start jumping into the Season of the Drifter’s new content. There are four bounties that each drop two specific pieces of gear at Power level 640, so if you do them all, you’ll have your character at 640 within an hour or two. This again was a lesson learned after the start of Black Armory was out of reach for many players.
Allegiance Quest – This weekly quest has you picking between the Vanguard and the Drifter and progressing the quest from one perspective or the other. You can only pick one side per character, so if you want to see both sides of the story, you’ll need to run two characters. This will open up on March 12.
Invitations of the Nine – These missions begin as bounties that you can obtain from Xur each weekend, and over the course of nine weeks, players can earn lore about the Nine and exclusive rewards. These won’t begin until Friday, March 15.
Evolving Over Time – Furthering Bungie’s goals of a constantly shifting and ever-evolving game world, all of this content will be rolling out over time, so Gambit Prime will become available on new maps week over week, The Reckoning’s more difficult tiers will unlock over the course of three weeks, and the Invitations of the Nine and Allegiance missions will culminate in some pretty crazy stuff, if Bungie’s teases are to be believed.
Exotic Quest – Interestingly, there’s an Exotic quest in addition to Thorn that is exclusive to Annual Pass holders. Bungie is remaining coy on this one, but it could very well be tied into either the Allegiance quests or the Invitations of the Nine. Of course, it could also just stand on its own.
The whole experience is centered around exploring The Drifter’s character more and what he’s been up to. He’s got a shady alliance with The Nine, a confrontation with a mysterious character known as The Shadow, and is obviously stepping up his devious game as we’re asked to ally ourselves with either him or the Vanguard. The storytelling happening through in-game activities and mechanics is a brilliant way to expand the world we know. You can get a quick early narrative preview of Gambit Prime and how it’s roles function on Bungie’s site.
The ViDoc also features Luke Smith, now the Franchise Director of Destiny, talking about how this is really the first steps into what a Bungie controlled Destiny looks like. We’re starting to see them leaning into more of the RPG mechanics and specific roles and play styles. We’re beginning to see an endgame loop that really interweaves various game modes in and out of each other. It lends a lot of credence to that leak last year regarding the direction that the studio is taking with a rumored Destiny 3. If this is what they can do with the existing game, imagine what they could do with a whole new game built from the ground up.
As a self-professed (and accused) Destiny nut with more than 1,500 hours of playtime in Destiny 2 alone, even I found myself straying from the path and playing the game less and less in the last couple of months. The stream of content wasn’t quite enough to engage me, especially after I had obtained basically everything up for grabs. Season of the Drifter seems like it will shift the focus to more of a focus on specific play styles. I specifically avoided Gambit for this last season in order to not burn out on the PvEvP game mode before it became the central focus for Season 6, and I’m glad I made that choice. Destiny 2 Season of the Drifter is changing the game for the better and really reshaping the game’s destiny.