Destiny 2 Season of Arrivals : Hands-On First Impressions

Yesterday we had a wonderful event by Bungie going over the next expansion for Destiny 2, as well as their plans through 2022. We also got the start of the next major event called “Season of the Arrival.” As with every other previous season, you can expect several things, new weapons, armor, and a cooperative public event. But unlike any other season, this one opens up with quite a bang.

As Luke Smith said, this season is acting as the prologue to the next expansion, Beyond Light, where our powers will grow beyond the trifecta of elements we currently have.  Season of the Arrival really hits the nail on the head right away and picks up right after last weekend’s Almighty explosion. So what happens?


We open up with Ana inside Rasputin back on Mars. She stands there and witnesses the power of the Darkness first hand as Rasputin’s orange glowing membrane fades away.  The entire defense system is now gone, and the dark reality washes over Ana as the flood lights illuminate our now inoperable ally.  Rasputin was a super weapon and deemed humanity’s last real major defense, and has been with us since the days of the first Destiny. Rasputin has always been seen as this unstoppable, and somewhat tumultuous  force. Now that we have lost Rasputin, things look ever so grim. 

Season of the Arrival is all about the Pyramid ships appearing right on our doorstep as they are… arriving.This has been perhaps the most impactful event that Bungie has been teasing for at least three years now. When you boot up your game and pick your character, you are immediately thrown into the event. You appear on IO, where you get not only a first glimpse of one of these ships, but a truly breathtaking one. You are told to step into an ignited area, and start to hover in the air. A voice calls out to you, and it doesn’t seem that devious. It seems to be The Darkness speaking to you via your ghost, and I always imagined it to be more aggressive and dark.  Perhaps The Darkness isn’t necessarily an enemy? We will discover more as we continue to play. I’ll digress.

You are then thrown into an alternate dimension where you see several large ultra shriekers, similar to the one you fought in the Savathun’s Song strike on Titan. You are also told “You don’t need weapons here.” That is clearly a lie that you realize as you dispatch a ton of Taken enemies.  The voice, which is the essence of The Darkness, is speaking to you through your ghost.  


After fighting off the onslaught of Taken, and making your way through IO, you appear before a grand silver tree. The ornate silver bark wraps around itself, becoming intertwined as the top sprouts out into thin metal-like strands creating what looks like a web of leafless branches. After fighting the enemies around the area, you are welcomed to venture forth into what lies beneath it. You are then thrown into a hive infested area, surrounded by dormant ultra shriekers, and a ton of active Hive units.

You fight off the Hive, and upon their defeat you then see the arrival of more units, specifically two Hive Wizards categorized as “Savanthun’s Envoy.”  These are not entirely unique but it is good to keep in the back of your mind. After they are defeated you are then instantly met with an onslaught of these now active ultra shriekers, blasting you with immense amounts of void energy, causing Eris Morn to pull you out and bring you back to the silver tree. She then tells you that the tree holds something dark, and the Hive are drawn to it. This is where you obtain the seasonal artifact: The Seed of Silver Wings.

We then see another cut-scene between Zavala and Eris, where she briefly discusses Savanthun who we can only assume is The Witch Queen. If that seems familiar, it’s the title of the 2021 expansion. Savathun is a pretty important character as she was the sibling of Oryx, The Taken King. If that doesn’t send a little shiver down your spine, I don’t know what will.

The next mission would be for you to bring the seasonal artifact to the Drifter, who will then tell you to bring it to the new public event.  If you are not the appropriate light level for it then you will be doing other things to catch up, similar to myself at the moment.  Luckily, there are some things to keep in mind as you start your adventure down this winding path.


If you took a break from the game for a while and you are looking to jump back in before the next major expansion, here are some things to know:

  •  You can buy the season pass before you start down this journey.  Doing so will reward you with some powerful gear as you reach level 1 on the battle pass tracker. This first mission should give you enough experience to hit that first level. This will give you some additional powerful gear possibly catching you up a little bit. Plus, it looks very cool.
  •  Legendary (purple) gear is some of the best around because they have increased modification slots. Rare (blue) gear is alright but the legendary gear is what you really wanna strive to keep. The great thing is that each set isn’t incredibly unique so you can actually own different pieces and create sets based on certain circumstances such as a PVP set or a Raid set that you can swap out.
  •  Legendary gear can be upgraded via infusing. You can take a higher level item of the same type and infuse it into another. You can also keep your legendary gear and upgrade it over time instead of swapping out to blue (rare) items. This has been a system in place for a while now, but obtaining the proper materials to upgrade gear is rare. It is rewarded in the battle pass and other means, but you don’t want to always upgrade gear on a regular basis. Instead, find something that is deemed a large step up, and upgrade your favorite gear then.
  •  There is a secondary upgrade system titled “Masterwork” which is the modification system. The higher the masterwork ranking the more modifications your gear can have. Legendary gear holds the most modifications slots so you want to focus on those rather than rare items. Masterworking the gear also costs materials. The higher the upgrade, the more the cost. The more you masterwork a piece of gear, the rarer of items you need. So make sure you find something you like and you stick to it until you are fine with the concept of throwing out the rare materials and time you spent.
  •  Getting to max light level takes time. It’s not going to happen right away. Don’t try to rush through the content even though you may feel compelled to do so. The season evolves over time and it is very easy to burn out. I mean, you can power level if you want, who am I to tell you what to do? Everyone plays differently and as long as you enjoy it, who am I to judge?  Just don’t get to max level within three weeks and claim there is nothing left to do.
  •  The new retirement system is now active with a few caveats. The new Light Level has a cap of 1360. Anything earned in previous seasons (1 through 8) is capped at 1060. These caps can be seen in game, so you know when  you have something worth upgrading and what is not worth upgrading. It is important to know that all exotics have a cap of 1360 and will remain relevant.


As time goes by, this season will pick up and a lot of things may change during our build up into a new era of Destiny.  I will personally deliver updates as I venture through this season and dive into the more intense systems that Bungie has implemented. So far Bungie has set a rather high bar when it comes to this season’s first impression. I found it welcoming and it gave me a sense of urgency. I didn’t have to talk to anyone and I didn’t have to go load into the tower or anything; the game took control and went “Things are getting serious and you need to see it.”.

The future of our Guardians seems rather foreboding as the titles of future expansions set a dour tone within my mind. We know more about Beyond Light; how we will traverse through the Deep Stone Crypt which is where the Exo’s were born. We will most likely face off against Savathun in The Witch Queen. By the title of Lightfall, one can only assume the drastic fate that may become of the Traveler and Guardians alike. Destiny has a very bright future, and it’s wonderful to see these exciting moments come to fruition.  The famous Walt Disney once said, “Disneyland will never be complete as long as there is imagination left in the world.”  This fine quote really encompasses the concept of growth, and I feel like this very much applies to the experience that Bungie wishes to deliver.

By Steve Esposito

Steve Esposito is a dedicated content creator with a focus on his love for technology, video games, and the very industry that oversees it all. He also takes part in organizing the Long Island Retro and Tabletop Gaming Expo as well as a Dungeons and Dragons podcast: Copper Piece. You can find him on twitter @AgitatedStove

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