We’re just a few weeks away from the debut of Destiny 2 Season 18, and since we literally have no information to begin with with Bungie saving everything for the August 23 showcase, I thought I’d give it some thought. in this past season instead today.
Season of the Haunted has ended up not being a highly regarded season, I’d say, in the sheer scope of all Destiny seasons thus far. Certainly in the bottom half, if not the bottom five, or less, depending on who you ask. It’s strange, given that Bungie seemed Really be advertising it ahead of time, and the secrecy surrounding it made it seem like something that would blow our minds. But that was not exactly how it happened.
One problem is that the good things that were part of this season weren’t…technically part of this season. That would be something like Duality, where while it fits thematically with the season (and pretty much shared loot through two Opulence weapons), it’s part of a dungeon pack that’s sold separately. And while I liked Solar 3.0, it’s a permanent sandbox change, not something unique to Haunted.
That leaves the actual content of the season, and I feel comfortable laying out what I think was the main problem at the root of the problem with Season of the Haunted: Nightmare Containment.
There are a lot of issues with Nightmare Containment, which isn’t necessarily a bad activity in a void, but instead is based on the season. so heavily on him in every way that overwhelmed the whole thing.
The Leviathan returned as a patrol slot, which was great, and yet Nightmare Containment only takes place within a single area, the Castellum, and even when it “rotates” from week to week, the only thing that really changes is the boss. end, and not even the Location of the final boss. Compare that to Battlegrounds or Override missions which have 3-4 versions that take place in different locations. Here, it was just Castellum, Castellum, Castellum, with little variation.
In theory, you could farm some level of gear by doing the Sever quests that would at least take you to different parts of the Leviathan, but to do so you needed to get an item from… Nightmare Containment, Bound Essence, for the run to make it worthwhile. And it was a very, very rare drop.
Beyond that, there were frustrations about the loot itself, in terms of the fact that Opulence weapons didn’t drop directly from Nightmare Containment or Sever or enemies on the Leviathan. Although a primary way to get keys to find them in chests was still beating Containment for three easy chests. Those were some of the most sought-after weapons of the season, and yet the process of obtaining them was a massive pain.
The pattern grinding here in the second crafting season was also a mistake, as you had to endlessly buff to get red frames in Contention, and five patterns for each weapon turned out to be too many. This also revealed that something had gone very, very wrong with this season’s economic planning, where HELM upgrades had an entire row dedicated to a currency that you never lacked, but the real focus currency for drops and hunting red frames required again, an absurd amount of Nightmare Containment farming.
Everything was leading players into Nightmare Containment, constantly, and the activity itself wasn’t varied enough with its fixed location and slightly different boss rotation. I think for a fact that most of the seasonal activities will probably end up feeling a bit repetitive eventually, but Nightmare Containment felt like a new level of that, and somehow brought the entirety of Leviathan back to meaningless.
There are definitely things that I liked in the season itself. I like most new weapons, including anything with Incandescent. All of the lore and storytelling through the Sever quests and even the Containment dialogue was extremely good, some of the best in Destiny. But gameplay-wise, containment was the problem, and I hope we don’t have a similar problem based on activity in Season 18, whatever that is.
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