Season of the Chosen is nearing it’s end and while Bungie remains tight lipped on any upcoming story elements for Destiny 2 (bar a certain spoiler), players have a few updates on cosmetics, weapon performance and gameplay to chew through.
The most information on hand for the upcoming season is about the cosmetic feature dubbed Armor Synthesis – the Destiny 2 “transmog” system. In Season 14, Ada-1 will return to ask for Synthstrand, to buy bounties that award Synthcord that you turn into Synthweave which can FINALLY make an armour piece a permanent cosmetic unlock. It all sounds like a lot of back and forth with the worst element being a maximum of 20 unlocks are available (10 in every following season) before microtransactions become the only option.
Destiny 2 is a freemium game at it’s core but this slap in the face has resulted in demands for the limit to be lifted for premium pass holders. As part of this cosmetic overhaul, the shader system (changeable armor colour schemes) is being overhauled into a far simpler system. This means the cost of such cosmetics via premium currency (Bright Dust) has been increased from 40 to 300, which is being received as a widely unpopular decision. This is also your friendly reminder to dismantle all your shaders now because come May 11th they’ll be moved into the new interface.
The successful addition of pursuit weapons to the Nightfall Ordeal playlist – with Adept variants in the Grandmaster difficulty – will continue in Season 14 with some caveats. The pursuit weapons of this season will be put on hiatus while three, unannounced weapons will be up for grinding. Unfortunately, if you haven’t already secured a Palindrome hand-cannon, you’ve missed your chance, but there’s still The Swarm machine gun and Shadow Price assault rifle to hunt down in the remaining weeks. Currently there is no update on whether the Destiny 2 ritual playlists (Strikes, Crucible and Gambit) will also receive any dedicated loot in Season 14.
Iron Banner will see a slightly updated loot pool with no new armor but two Year 1 energy weapons returning to the fold. The Finite Impactor (adaptive frame hand-cannon) and Occluded Finality (aggressive frame sniper-rifle) are both Arc damage dealing PVP-orientated weapons. When last available, only static and uninspired rolls were available but come Season 14 and the unique perks available only to Iron Banner weapons, Finite Impactor may be a crispy option now that Palindrome is unavailable. A shotgun and machine gun were also shown to be incoming next season, but no further details have been announced yet.
Destiny 2 Tower vendors will also be a little different next season with Ada-1 taking the role of main mod distributor and Banshee-44 offering a weekly weapon selection. Getting closer to his role from the original Destiny, Banshee-44 will offer two weapons from each category (kinetic, energy, and power) for a total of six that will come with random rolls from the available world loot pool. Ikora Rey, the Warlock Vanguard, will also (finally) become a more active element in season story arcs going forward.
While detailed Destiny 2 weapon notes for Season 14 can be read at the Bungie portal, here’s the TLDR of incoming changes:
- Aggressive (120 rpm) hand cannons will receive a nerf to range, between 2 and 4 meters to reduce the dominance of these weapons in PVP.
- Felwinter’s Lie and Astral Horizon – the dominant PVP shotguns – will have Quickdraw replaced with Surplus on all new and pre-existing versions.
- Falling Guillotine (and any future vortex frame swords) will have the ammo consumption for heavy attacks increased from 4 to 6 – effectively flattening maximum damage output over longer encounters.
- The Lament will receive a 16 percent damage nerf to revved attacks.
- Chip damage (damage that bypasses shields) will be removed entirely on the weapons that allowed such – Bastion and swords.
- Bastion will also now be able to intrinsically stagger Unstoppable Champions but will also suffer an increased shot spread of 13 percent, again to reduce dominance in PVP.
Adjustments to weapon perks include:
- Quickdraw will now only provide the intrinsic +100 to handling for 1 second after swapping to the weapon.
- Frenzy will receive a nerf to bonus damage down from 20 percent to 15.
- Resevoir Burst will also receive a nerf to bonus damage, 33 percent down to 15, but will also increase magazine size in Season 14.
- Bottomless Grief – for Nightfall weapons – will no longer be dependent on being the last surviving member of a fireteam and instead add 30 percent to the weapon magazine.
- Celerity – for Trials of Osiris weapons – will similarly now become a static 20 percent increase to reload and handling, not dependent on teammate death.
While these changes do seem to be pushing away from the hand-cannon/shotgun PVP meta, Felwinter’s Lie will remain an incredibly safe OHKO option. Hopefully the attention given to Resevoir Burst means not only that fan favourite fusion rifle, Loaded Question, is returning, but a return of meta options from fusion rifles overall. Regardless of the changes made to any of the other weapon archetypes, if rocket launchers are free from nerfs, they will remain the standout for Destiny 2 PVE damage.
A reminder to all that Bungie’s endeavor to sunset and cap weapons is well and truly over so all useable weapons and armor in Destiny 2 is safe for the foreseeable future. Season 14 will also enjoy a significantly lower power grind – an increase of 10 rather than 50 – to speed up player engagement with new content. While no date has been set yet, the big draw for next season is the return of the original raid experience, the Vault of Glass. Promised to hold a few surprises, the raid will offer a unique World First Contest, requiring entrants to complete additional objectives as well as clearing the overall ordeal. A Master difficulty of the raid experience is in the works but unlikely to be live in Season 14.
Unfortunately, that seems to be the bulk of good news for Destiny 2 in terms of passive quality updates with expected refreshes and improved security coming to PVP in Season 15 at the earliest. Crossplay will see some early tests during Season 14 but proper rollout will be in later seasons and the Cosmodrome will no longer be brought up to the same playable area size that was available in the original Destiny.
The Last Word:
Well there you have it, a complete breakdown of everything we know (so far) about the upcoming Season 14 of Bungie’s Destiny 2. There’s only a few weeks of Guardian Games left and a mysterious closing ceremony to partake in before we’ll be diving into a new season of gameplay on May 11th!