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Destiny 2’s Massive Pirate Update: THE NICE, The Bad, The Broken

A Destiny 2 Guardian holds a shotgun in front of space pirate art for Season of Plunder.

Image: Bungie

Destiny 2s Season of Plunder went go on August 23 and brought with it pirate ships, treasure hunts, and a bevy of new Exotic weapons and armor. The update is among the games biggest since The Witch Queen expansion launched earlier this season, overhauling Arc 3.0 abilities and buffing a lot of existing guns. Not absolutely all of it really is perfect, and theres some stuff Destiny continues to be doing that I must say i hate. Heres all you need to learn about Season 18.

To begin with, I have once more been staying until 2: 00 a.m. running on Destiny 2s treadmill. Thats the testament to Season of Plunder being excellent or to precisely how loot-pilled my brain is becoming. Probably a little bit of both. The brand new missions perhaps you have fighting space pirates, raiding their ships, and searching for their buried treasure.

Its a breezy change of pace from the heavier themes around trauma and betrayal in Witch Queens previous seasons, filled with 17th century-inspired pistols and blunderbusses. It doesnt innovate on the prevailing seasonal formula nearly just as much as it will, but between slick new lightning powers plus some fun new Exotics, Bungies provided plenty of reasons to suck me back to the Destiny 2 vortex.

Whats going on in Season of Plunder?

Season 18 begins with a mission to break right into the old House Salvation Fallen base on Europa, rescue the blackmarket tycoon Spider, and get back his ship. Along the way its revealed that House Salvations former leader, Eramis, broke out of her Stasis prison and is on the loose searching for ancient artifacts. Naturally, the one thing to do would be to uncover her plan and collect the relics before she does.

A Guardian, Drifter, and Eido raise glasses to one another.

Image: Bungie

Among the things I really like most about Season of Plunder may be the hodgepodge crew at the biggest market of it. Its you, the war profiteer Spider, the gambling rogue Drifter, the monkish Mithrax, and his just-happy-to-be-along-for-the-ride daughter Eido vs. a rogue Fallen leader with a blood vendetta and a knack for rallying others to her lost causes. Its similar to a vintage mid-season roadtrip episode between your B-plot characters who hardly ever speak right to one another, therefore far its great.

Ketchcrash may be the name of the overall game

To avoid Eramis you’ll first have to kill roughly 10,000 pirates, give or have a hundred. Season 18 revolves around Treasure Maps, which should be reconstructed from Map Fragments. Those fragments are earned in Ketchcrash, the brand new activity where you join with five other players to board an enemy ship, clear a small number of rooms, and kill its captain in your final showdown on top of the deck.

In the initial section you should stand in another of four zones to aim and fire cannonballs at the enemy ship. Once enough damage is performed, you board and simply kill stuff for another 5-10 minutes, occasionally hacking a zone or taking right out some generators to create down enemies shields. The environments are detailedIm a sucker for the Fallens steampunk techand the skyboxes deliver the sci-fi grandeur Destiny 2 is well known for.

Destiny 2 players raid a Fallen Ketch.

Screenshot: Bungie / Kotaku

Ive completed about 10 runs and Im not fed up with it yet, though I cant help but feel just like Bungie passed, rightly or not, on some opportunities for more creative mechanics. Sea of Thieves this is simply not, even though the Master difficulty could keep players on the toes, theres little to take into account beyond your standard prioritization of add clearing and boss DPS phases (also boss shields in-between damage phases are receiving old). Still, getting help from the crew of Fallen NPCs in raiding the enemy ships is really a nice touch.

Complete Treasure Maps and gain Repute

Now for how all the quests, currencies, and upgrades fit together. Here’s your average week in Season of Plunder:

  1. Go to the Star Chart in the H.E.L.M.
  2. Hear some dialogue and obtain the next quest step
  3. Collect Treasure Coordinates by playing any activity
  4. Earn Map Fragments from Ketchcrash
  5. Create a Treasure Map and load it in to the Captains Atlas
  6. Utilize it to get buried Spoils of Plunder loot within an Expedition Playlist mission.
  7. Complete a Pirate Hideout to obtain a new relic

Look familiar? Its exactly the same basic structure as almost every other recent season, just with several zigs where Bungie previously zagged. These times the upgrade tree can be your Pirate Crew, and each node requires one Repute to activate it. It is possible to gain Repute from completing specific tasks from the Weekly Seasonal Challenge list, and also from Spider during each new weekly story quest chain.

Some nodes unlock special crewmates it is possible to call into battle who offer you special buffs for fighting alongside them. Others unlock new forms of Treasure Maps, higher reward drop rates, along with other bonuses. I opted to start out by hiring Halsiks the Sniper because, along with increasing precision damage during Ketchcrash, he also escalates the rate of which Treasure Coordinates drop. The most obvious node to prioritize later on is Hidden Compartment, because it guarantees a Deep Sight Resonance drop in the beginning of every week.

All-in-all, I like the flavor around hiring crewmates to create pirate raids better and lucrative, but I still wish there have been some actual mechanics around how crewmates and their corresponding buffs are deployed in battle. Since it stands, it still just feels as though youre optimizing an excel spreadsheet.

Not absolutely all of the is working at this time

Much like every new update, Season 18 launched with a good amount of bugs, which range from small annoyances to bigger bummers. First the Icefall Mantle Exotic Titan gauntlets were disabled due to an infinite super glitch. Then virtually all heavy grenade launchers were disabled due to a double damage glitch. Arc Titans and Warlocks may also be dying considerably faster then theyre likely to.

Progress and rewards for many activities arent always processing correctly either. Ketchcrash may not record your completion or offer you Map Fragments in the event that you leave to early after beating the boss. Additionally you have to have room in your inventory (surplus Map Fragments wont visit the Postmaster). Progress on the Delicate Tomb Catalyst quest isnt tracking accurately either right now. There are always a couple of other bugs Bungie happens to be keeping track of too:

Arc 3.0 has been worth the wait

Destiny 2s lightning magic may be the last group of older abilities to obtain overhauled and raised to speed within the more nuanced and customizable framework of Aspects and Fragments. Up to now the overall consensus appears to be that Bungie did an extremely, excellent job. Im certainly having more pleasurable with it than last seasons Solar 3.0 reboot.

Arc is about speed and chain lightning, and the brand new abilities reflect that. Amplified increases weapon handling and sprint speed, and Jolt lets Arc damage leap in one enemy to another. At its core, the philosophy appears to be move fast and break things, and its own working perfectly up to now. Its always an excellent sign when Im having so much fun with the synergy between my regular abilities that I dont even realize my Supers charged.

Grab a free of charge Thunderlord Exotic at the H.E.L.M.

To ensure old and new players alike will get probably the most out of experiencing Arc 3.0, Bungie stocked the H.E.L.M. with something special of the Thunder Gods chest in the beginning of the season. Open it and youll get yourself a free copy of the Exotic Machine Gun Thunderlord, and a complete group of 1540 gear, including an Arc-themed Exotic armor piece. Each armor piece also has a pre-equipped mod that compliments the set. Its basically a free of charge beginner loadout. Its a good idea and Bungie must do more of these.

Think about Season of Plunders weapons?

Im really liking these up to now. As well as the pirate-y aesthetic, theyre also lots of fun and encourage a fairly aggressive playstyle. Listed below are the brand new Spoils of Plunder weapons which have been added and some decent perk rolls they are able to drop with:

  • No Reprieve (Primary Shotgun): Pugilist / Swashbuckler
  • Blood Feud (Stasis Primary SMG): Pugilist / Frenzy
  • Tarnished Metal (Arc Scout Rifle): Rapid Hit / Explosive Payload or Voltshot
  • Brigands Law (Arc Sidearm): Feeding Frenzy or Pugilist / Voltshot
  • Sailspy Pitchglass (Arc Linear Fusion Rifle): Rapid Hit / Vorpal Weapon or Voltshot
  • Plancks Stride (Arc Rapid-Fire Machine Gun): Killing Wind / One FOR SEVERAL or Voltshot

A Guardian points a blunderbuss at her AFK teammate.

Image: Bungie

The brand new Origin Trait this year is Right Hook which increases target acquisition and range once you melee an enemy. Because of this, many of these weapons pair well with Pugilist, a fresh perk this year that provides you melee energy on weapon kills and bonus handling on melee kills. I dont normally run Swashbuckler quite a bit, but if youre already likely to be meleeing quite a bit, you will want to grab the excess weapon damage buff? Voltshot can be new and can send electric sparks flying between enemies once you reload following a kill. Consequently, it pairs perfectly challenging Arc guns and is particularly only a ton of fun.

Of all new Spoils of Plunder weapons up to now, Brigands Law is the best, both because I really like sidearms and in addition due to the diversity of great perk loadouts. Pitchglass is really a decent DPS option with Vorpal, and can clear adds fast with Voltshot. I hate that No Reprieve is really a Pinpoint Slug Frame, despite looking such as a Blunderbuss, but its still a good primary slot shottie. Blood Feud looks cool but is sort of trash.

Crafting continues to be bad

All the Spoils of Plunder weapons are craftable, as will be the Bungie 30th Anniversary weapons from last fall which have now been updated. Both have a fresh origin trait called Hot Swap that increases handling after switching weapons when damaged. Unfortunately, you nevertheless still need to attune five Deep Sight Resonance copies of both sets of weapons before you unlock their pattern and begin crafting them.

Spider dangles loot boxes before the player.

Image: Bungie

This technique remains the single messiest section of The Witch Queen. Destiny 2 is in a continuing state of war with RNG mechanics, and at this time the latter is winning. But because eight years with this particular game has left me a broken and disturbed individual, I’ll pull the slot machine game lever until I get my craftable Brigands Law.

Heres every new Exotic in Season 18

  • Delicate Tomb (Arc Fusion Rifle): fires horizontal spread that generates more Ionic Traces and provides another shot Jolt once you pick one up
  • Touch of Malice (Primary Scout Rifle): drains health to deal extra damage.
  • Fallen Sunstar (Warlock Helmet): Collects Ionic Traces quicker, gets more ability energy from their website, and ability regen to nearby allies
  • Gyrfalcons Hauberk (Hunter Chest): Provides overshield and class ability regen to nearby allies when completing a finisher while invisible
  • Point-Contact Cannon Brace (Titan Gauntlets): Thunderclap restores melee energy and brings lightning down on enemies while attack is charged

Bungie art shows Season of Plunder's new season pass Exotic.

Image: Bungie

Delicate Tomb may be the season pass Exotic also it pairs perfectly challenging new Arc 3.0 abilities. Touch of Malice is seemingly coming within the returning Destiny 1 Kings Fall raid (players adored it back your day). Even though I havent actually obtained the Exotic armor pieces yet, Fallen Sunstar will look amazing on my Warlock. It, Gyrfalcons Hauberk, and Point-Contact Cannon Brace each drop from the daily Legendary and Master difficulty Lost Sector. I ran six yesterday evening and got nada. Lost Sector drop rates remain dismal, especially because the loot pool keeps increasing. At this stage a minumum of one new Exotic per account ought to be guaranteed by way of a quest.

Pre-order Lightfall to obtain the Quicksilver Storm Exotic auto rifle

But wait, theres yet another! In a large departure from days gone by, Bungie has made Lightfalls bonus Exotic available half a year in advance, at the very least for those ready to pay $100 upfront for a Deluxe Edition of another expansion which includes content greater than a year away. Quicksilver Storm can be an auto rifle that fires additional mini-homing missiles and will morph right into a grenade launcher. Tempting! Or possibly Bungie could just charge a subscription for Destiny 2 such as a normal MMO.

Kings Fall goes go on August 26 at 3: 00 p.m. ET

The returning raid is really a fan favorite and most likely the best one Bungie has ever released, despite being seven yrs . old at this stage. For the initial 24 hours after release it’ll be in Contest Mode, limiting every players Power level to 1560 because they race to see which six-person team could possibly be the first to perform it. Like Vault of Glass before it, there are several really spectacular moments, and Im sure Bungie has thrown several new tricks in to the mix.

Whats the energy cap in Season 18?

  • Soft cap: 1520
  • Powerful cap: 1570
  • Pinnacle cap: 1580

For returning players, this implies the Master difficulty recommended Power level is 1600. The Nightfall Grandmaster recommended Power level (beginning October 4) is 1620. For everybody else, this implies activities with Powerful drops will provide you with gear that rises to 1570, while Pinnacle activities will provide you with gear that rises to 1580. As always, leveling up the seasonal Artifact will provide you with another 20 points.

Destiny 2 players look at Spider's Ketch off in the distance on Europa.

Image: Bungie

Eight years into Destiny, Im uncertain who this whole system is for anymore and I am hoping Bungie eliminates it by enough time Lightfall launches in February. All the activities already are calibrated to stay in a particular band of difficulty, regardless of what your actual Power level is. Gating hard difficulty modes behind a couple of dozen hours of toil each season just find yourself burning a lot of players out (yes, I’m one of these).

The others of Season of Plunders Roadmap

  • September 6: First Iron Banner
  • September 16: Trials of Osiris returns
  • October 4: Grandmaster Nightfalls return
  • October 18: Festival of the Lost 2022
  • November 15: Second Banner
  • November 22: Fortnite-themed helmets continue sale for Bright Dust (earned in-game currency)

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