Whats up! I wrote about the state of Destiny 2 as well as my excitement for Warmind the other week. I’ve had enough playtime to form a decent opinion about Warmind and the Season 3 update. It does feel fantastic to have new items to hunt, lore to discover, and guardians to meet. The expansion itself is similar in scope to Curse of Osiris. Realistically this probably won’t keep me busy until this Fall when the next big expansion for Destiny 2 is due. Alongside Warmind Bungie released a big patch for Destiny 2 that added a bunch of changes for Season 3 of Destiny 2.
This is an impression piece and not a technical one. I really just wanted to give my thoughts on what I’ve had a chance to play since Warmind just launched. My previous article breaks down what we got on May 8th, here is also a link to the official patch notes. To be clear Warmind is locked behind a pay wall, the Season 3 update is available for everyone.
- New Story Missions - What we got was great but extremely brief. The characters they introduced were cool, they gave an amazing voice to a longstanding Destiny character, and we got to explore a new area on Mars. It was over so fast that I wondered out loud if we were actually done yet. They really needed a couple more missions to flesh out the Warmind campaign. Some of the characters may have been wasted on such a short campaign. People have wondered if we were missing a cutscene, and I’d agree there is a very questionable part towards the end (trying to keep this spoiler free). I’m generally not someone to judge any type of content by its length but the campaign here was painfully short, even by Destiny standards. I’m probably only bothered by it because what we got was actually good and made sense until the end. 6/10
- New Strikes - I’ve only played one which also happens to be the PS4 exclusive. It is a really good strike. It’s challenging, requires the perfect amount of teamwork, and the boss requires a good amount of communication. Apparently the other two strikes that were added are remixed story missions from the Warmind campaign, which I’m ok with and have a good idea what missions they are. Having exclusive content locked to one system totally sucks, even as the owner of the exclusive content I’d still rather it be available for everyone. 7/10
- New Patrol Zone - The Hellas Basin on Mars is great, much larger than Mercury with plenty more areas to explore. There are tons of collectibles strewn about the Patrol area on Mars, making exploring it actually worthwhile. There is a scattering of public events as well as a good mix of Hive and Cabal enemies. There are also 4 Adventures to check out. 8/10
- Escalation Protocol - I’ve only had minimal success playing Escalation Protocol, it is a true end game activity locked behind a recommended power level of 370. At the time of this writing my characters are all hovering between 350-355. I would describe it as a mix of Court of Oryx and Archons Forge. There are a ton of enemies and ultras, all capped off with a boss at the end of each round. You have to run to platforms strewn about Mars and activate them to start a round of Escalation Protocol. After the round ends you need to go and find another platform to activate. I’m looking forward to playing this once I’m at the recommended level.
- Spire of Stars Raid Lair - This launches tomorrow at 10am. I’ll be competing for worlds first which you can check out on my stream. I will be reviewing this and the rest of the Raid activities as a whole in a different post. Supposedly this Lair will tie up everything concerning the Leviathan Raid, which actually has a pretty good narrative.
If you bought the season pass you have no reason not to download this expansion. It is certainly better than Curse of Osiris and I can say that without even having played the Lair yet. If you are looking for an excuse to hop back into Destiny 2 and still have friends that are active I would say that it is worth the price of admission, especially if you are someone that enjoys everything Destiny has to offer. If you just want the Campaign or access to the Patrol area it is probably a little too shallow for $20. Destiny 2 still has underlying problems, mainly to do with its current loot system. We will have to wait for the next expansion to have a real reason to fully dive back into Destiny 2.
Season 3 Updates
- Exotic Weapon Masterworks - This might be the best thing to come out of everything on May 8th, I’d easily put it up there with Escalation Protocol and the Lair I have yet to play. They’ve made many Exotic weapons relevant. Ones that stick out initially would be the Graviton Lance and the Risk Runner. They work well, feel powerful, and have earned permanent spots in my characters inventories rather than stuck in the vault. The Masterworks progression system is well thought out, not too easy or ridiculous. I’ve only found one Masterwork catalyst so far, Borealis. I need to get 150 kills (PvE) in each damage type, so 450 kills total. Not too bad, great for times when I’ve only got an hour or so to play and just feel like shooting some stuff. Some of the perks that unlock on other Masterwork Exotics sound godlike, I’m looking forward to the grind. 10/10
- Crucible Updates - It’s so lame to go back to 4v4 Crucible after getting 6v6 Iron Banner. They really need to make a permanent 6v6 bracket. The ranking systems seem alright, not sure how much Crucible I really will be playing. If anything the ranking system will give me more of a reason to play, especially once I start getting bored with Mars and the new Raid activities. I haven’t tried a custom match yet and not sure when I will. I’m sure for those of you want that it will be a welcome addition. Crucible in general still has underlying problems, mainly just not being fun. 6/10
- Heroic Strike Modifiers - These are fucking fantastic! The logic and loot pools are totally fucked right now, but the Heroic Strikes are harder than the Nightfall. The mods change daily offering up a lot of variety and enough of a challenge that really improves the Heroic playlist. The challenge is great, loot not dropping at the recommended power level for the activity is head scratching but I still love the challenge. 9/10
- Miscellaneous - The emote wheel is great, you can equip 4 emotes of your choosing now. More vault space is always welcome but the problem is with most of the items in your vault being useless. The new leveling system is a good change, we won’t be able to hit max level in the next week or so. I think this is good overall for Destiny. They’ve also made it so that you have to play certain activities to reach the max light level, you can’t get there by just doing anything you want. Higher level gear will only drop from end game activities such as The Raid or Trials of Osiris. I’m sure the community will be split over this decision but I will be looking forward to grind while the long wait commences for the next expansion. 8/10
The Season 3 update has improved the base gameplay for Destiny 2. They are not game changing additions but instead more of a course correction for Destiny 2’s future. There are still very deep underlying problems with Destiny 2’s loot economy which has trickled out to affect the core gameplay as well. However I agree and am onboard with every change that was introduced to Destiny 2 in the Season 3 update.
New content or much needed changes? I’m having a hard time deciding if I liked the Season 3 update or Warmind expansion more. I have a feeling that the Warmind expansion has a few more tricks up it’s sleeve that have yet to be realized by the Destiny community at large. The Season 3 changes will have a profound impact on Destiny 2 moving forward. Overall I think everything we got on May 8th is much more positive than negative. I do not think the format Bungie is following for paid expansions is the right one for the Destiny franchise. I really think they should just sell us a $50 season pass that trickles out new content every so often. I don’t think it should follow any specific timeline but it doesn’t need to be dropped on us all at once. The season pass should offer a good variety of content and let players that don’t purchase the pass buy everything individually. I was probably a little overhyped for this expansion but still come away feeling positive. 7/10
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