In only a few days, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep will be released, and hype has been steadily building for the passed few months thanks to the constant stream of new information that we are seeing about the game. One of the biggest changes is coming to how Bungie monetizes the content and its Season Pass.
What Is The Season Pass?
Bungie describes the new Season Pass as coinciding with the evolution of the in-game world. Players will have access to seasonal activity within the Black Garden for, “that extra level of sweet gear”, similar to the old Annual Pass access. At the end of the season, the actions of your Guardians will have had a direct impact in the world, and that will bring the season to a close.
The new Season Pass will look familiar for anyone who plays Fortnite, Apex Legends, or any number of games that have adopted the model for themselves. As shown in the armor stream on August 14, there are 100 tiers of rewards that players will work towards in each season.
At a fundamental level, this shifts how players can expect to progress in the game compared to before. The old style of progression and loot with endgame content was heavily based on luck when it came time to loot a boss. Gradually this has shifted towards providing players with more control, as seen with the Chalice of Opulence and now the Rune Table in Shadowkeep.
Bungie describes the unlocks in the Season Pass ranks as “complementary reward sources, because we all play Destiny differently, and we want to be able to customize our Guardians the way we want to.” RNG will continue to be a factor for endgame loot, and the Season Pass will provide a different way to still acquire rewards through progression. For most players, the two will go hand in hand, but will especially benefit the type of players who are too busy to form organized raid groups on a regular basis.
As the goal of the Season Pass is to provide a manner of complementary progression, players can advance through the ranks by doing virtually any activity. Anything that awards experiences, such as bounties, strikes, or completing weekly challenges will all move a character forward.
A Premium And A Free Season Pass
Like most Battle Pass systems, there is a free version and a paid version. The paid version will cost about $10 each season, but the first will be free in the Season of the Undying. Here is what players can acquire throughout the ranks:
Season Pass owners get access to a new seasonal activity, the Vex Offensive, which includes:
- Four Legendary Weapon drops
- Additional weekly and daily bounties
- Additional weekly challenges with powerful rewards
- A new weapon quest for an Exotic Bow, Leviathan’s Breath
And the content exclusive to Season Pass owners includes:
- A new Exotic Hand Cannon, Eriana’s Vow
- Awarded on Rank 35 of the free track
- Awarded on Rank 1 of the premium track
- Three seasonal Legendary armor sets (one for each class)
- Collect a complete set during the first 25 ranks of the free track (Note: This is a change from the Annual Pass, where you were required to purchase gear from the Season)
- On the premium track you get all three sets on Rank 1
- These also drop within the Vex Offensive seasonal activity (If you want versions with higher stat tiers, you’ll need to play Vex Offensive to earn them)
There are also some additional premium track rewards:
- Three universal ornament armor sets (one for each class)
- An Exotic weapon ornament for Eriana’s Vow
- Two Legendary weapon ornaments
- A new finisher
- An Exotic emote
- An Exotic ship
A quick glance sees even the free version of the pass offers rewards for players, but there is a fairly large difference when one pays for the Premium Track. Following the first season, players will be able to gauge for themselves if they new format for the Season Pass is something they find value in, and whether or not to purchase the next season’s track.
Each season is planned to last ten weeks, giving players a decent amount of time to climb through the Season Pass ranks. Like Battle Pass systems in other games, players will also be able to directly purchase missing ranks if there is a reward level they wish to reach before the end of the season, but this will not be available until the final weeks to keep players on equal footing.
Although the concept of a Battle Pass seems to be making its way into a number of games today, the way in which Bungie has incorporated their model seems like a great way to open up progression for players who may simply be too busy to devout too much time to the game. Time will tell how successful it is, but so far it seems promising.