As of the writing of this review, Season of Dawn ends in three weeks and so we’ve seen everything this season has to offer it seems like the perfect time to finally review it.
I’m going to try and keep this limited to Season of Dawn entirely, and not go off on a tangent about the current way seasons operate in general. But I’m a passionate, hardcore Destiny player so I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to stick to that.
I’ll start with the positives, the aspects of Season of Dawn that I enjoyed a lot.
More than anything else about the season, what I liked best was the Obelisks and upgrading them. Playing the game, doing Saint 14’s bounties and the Obelisks’ weekly bounties awarded the Fractaline currency which you used to increase the power of the Obelisk’s and acquire the Timelost weapon bounties.
Leveling up an Obelisk unlocked new passive perks related to playing the game and earning stuff, as well as the weapon bounties you could acquire and new Season of Dawn mods that are pretty powerful with the Charge of Light mechanic.
This entire system played out perfectly with the near end of season Empyrean Foundation community event which is still ongoing with the community currently working towards completing Stage 6.
With the Empyrean Foundation launch, players have been able to get Fractaline the equivalent to their Obelisk Resonance Power each week. This led to the system of investing Fractaline into the Obelisk to increase the Resonance Power so that you get even more Fractaline the next week. The end goal here is to have a high Resonance Power to then donate the Fractaline towards the Empyrean Foundation while hunting for “god rolls” on the Timelost weapons.
It takes 10 Fractaline to acquire a Timelost bounty, and you can hold four of them at a time. Each time you donate 400 Fractaline, you complete the Timelost bounties that you have. So in a minute, you can get 8 or 12 weapons.
This allows the people who have been playing the season to easily farm out god rolls for the various Timelost weapons without having to leave the Tower while also getting XP for completing those bounties.
Some people may not like the casual way of acquiring god rolls, but I think this system is just about perfect for these weapons that you won’t be able to acquire (or acquire via this method in the case of something like Black Scorpion). You still had to play the game, via completing bounties or doing strikes, crucible, gambit or the seasonal Sundial activity to get the fractaline. So it’s not exactly as if the players are being rewarded for doing absolutely nothing.
While the above is a quick and easy way to farm these weapons without leaving the Tower, prior to the Foundation we had to complete these bounties by doing whatever the bounty required. Which was still a great targeted way for players to farm the weapons they cared about.
Farming the Timelost weapons isn’t restricted to the bounties though, as we could complete runs of the of the Sundial and get to pick up to five rewards for completing it, and the weapons we got to choose from were associated with the Oblisek’s that we had linked up to the Sundial. Another targeted way to efficiently farm a specific weapon, and it made the Sundial worth doing and it was akin to something like the early Menagerie runs only without having to run back and forth to reopen a chest.
Speaking of the Sundial, I’m indifferent to it. It’s not bad content, and it’s certainly much better than last season’s Vex Offensive. It’s a more involved piece of content with some light mechanics involved and very much like Menagerie. I played a couple of times each week to experience the different bosses, but it’s just not content that I’m going to sink a lot of time into. I will say that the final boss near the end of the season was a much better experience than the embarrassment that was the Undying Mind.
I also like the seasonal armor and the ornaments that you got for leveling up the Season Pass. It looks great, and I loved that they put a full set of mid-60s stat rolls in the upper tiers of the Season Pass.
The three exotic weapons are all fun, even if the quest for Devil’s Ruin and the Bastion were nothing special. The exotic armor was meh for me.
Now onto the dislikes…
I think the fact that you only get 400 Bright Dust from the Season Pass is a joke given how much everything in the Eververse Store costs. I would like to see that increase drastically to 2,500, and for those that would say “that’s too much for Bungie,” I’d say that won’t even buy you an exotic emote or even an exotic ghost shell by itself. I’d also like to see Bungie reward players for going beyond 100 on the pass by giving out useful materials like enhancement cores, prisms, and even more ascendant shards instead of the useless bright engrams.
I don’t like the seasonal quests or the quests for the “ritual weapons.” I grinded Buzzard because I could do that on my own time farming strikes completely solo, and because I like sidearms and have for quite some time. I haven’t grinded out either the crucible or gambit rituals, because I just don’t care for the weapons enough to chase them. These weapons would have to be really good to get me to grind for them, and unfortunately they just aren’t.
I continue to hate the artifact system and specifically the Champion mods that want to force players into using certain weapons in seasonal content and the Ordeal nightfalls. I don’t like using scouts, bows, or pulse rifles in PvE, so this season was terrible for me in that regard. I think the rest of the mods in the artifact continue to be uninspired and certainly nothing like they were originally advertised as being “almost exotic like.”
Crucible has been in a poor spot the entire season, so I’m disappointed that yet another season has gone by and Bungie has done nothing to correct the problems that hinder the crucible. That would be a loot incentive, the ammo economy, and the heavy skill based match-making that makes it take way too long to find a game that is then a laggy mess. Crucible needs some series attention, and just bringing Trials of Osiris back isn’t going to fix issues with the Crucible.
Also, I have to mention the Corridor’s of Time event and why I didn’t care for it. I participated a small bit in it by submitting map pieces and doing some transcribing, but very minor. This event was way to geared to giving big streamers something to do and viewers, whilst offering no real way for the majority of the playerbase to be involved or even know what was going on. Then it went away, and the only reward once it was solved was unlocking the Bastion quest a week early.
How much development time went into it? Because I don’t think it was worth at all for the majority of the player-base. In the future, I’d prefer stuff like this, if it’s going to be made, have rewards be worthy of it and have it take place entirely in game where the entire community can be involved. In fact, instead of making stuff like this that quickly goes away, just make a Whisper like mission that sticks around after the season ends and offers up a fun exotic and a catalyst.
Overall, I’m going to give this season a three out of five and that is entirely because of the Obelisk system and how easy it is to farm out the Timelost weapons (which are all great). I also enjoyed saving Saint-14 in those couple of missions that of course you can’t replay. For $10, it’s pretty good content considering that Bungie charges $15 for a set of armor ornament.
Still, I’m not the biggest fan of the current season pass format overall, though I’ll save those thoughts for a future article as this review is not really the place for it.
Destiny 2: Season of Dawn gets a three out of five: GOOD.