I’ll be upfront, I liked this season. I really did. Between Gambit Prime and the Reckoning or Revelry and Invitations of the Nine, I think this season was great. Obviously it had its flaws, but let’s talk about why these things were good or bad, and see what Bungie could learn from it.
The first thing to address is Gambit Prime. This is literally the next step in Gambit, it is bigger, faster paced, feels more intense and allows for a better back and forth “tug of war” type of game. When Bungie changed the three rounds down to one for Gambit Prime, I was a little weary of the overall strategy of saving supers or the thrill of the last battle, but this is better. When going back to normal Gambit, it feels like a slog and what I do doesn’t matter much in the beginning. (Side note: the boss-rush/tiebreaker change in Gambit is welcome and fun, but can feel a little cheap at times if the other team has a better boss killing set up). In other words, Gambit Prime is more entertaining, thrilling and the perfect evolution to Gambit.
Added into Gambit Prime is new armor that give perks based on a style of play or role that a player wants to have in Gambit Prime. I have messed around with this a lot, but have yet to see as much use of these armor perks as I would want. I am assuming down the line when the Reckoning is a little easier after the next power increase, Gambit Prime will be full of the different armor sets, making the game better and better.
By the way, armor set perks? YES, PLEASE! Give us more of those! I love the idea of getting extra perks in certain activities if you collect and use their specific armor sets. Also, instead of it being a all or nothing perk, I really like the idea that you could run multiple armor set types and receive small bonuses in that area, that would be wonderfully applied to all armor sets even if is just small amounts of damage in specific activities, planets or movement buffs.
Getting the Gambit Prime armor through Reckoning was for all intensive purposes, good. It was fun to go back and forth through the different game modes with a large incentive to greatly improve your gambit matches by getting certain perks from the armor. I only wish there was also an equally strong incentive to play Gambit Prime to get perks and advantages in Reckoning, like extra defense, longer buffs while in objective rifts, extra time or something like that. Either way the Reckoning is my favorite horde mode out of the three. The progression of stages, the necessity of teamwork that was easily understood and the rewards of weapons and armor is altogether awesome.
The only real problem with Reckoning was that playing though tier one or two would give you tier one or two Gambit Prime armor, which is more or less a waste to get or try and upgrade with the third tier available a few weeks into the season. There was almost no point in getting the first two tiers. It isn’t a terrible thing by any means, and tier three of reckoning is very difficult, but it is something for Bungie to consider.
The next thing to talk about would be the Spring Event, the Revelry. I think this is one the best seasonal events yet. The Verdant Forest was a lot of fun, feels very team based while you are still able to play through it in your own way. The boss rush at the end with stacks of time depending on how many branches were completed is a lot of fun. It would be nice if even bigger awards were given to people who had more time left over, or there would be infinite bosses and you could play until your ran out of time. But overall the activity was a lot of fun.
The tonics, about that, it was a really great idea. Changing up the whole game, all activities INCLUDING Crucible is fine and fun for a set limited time. I do agree that it should not have been active for competitive Crucible and possibly Gambit Prime, but also, everyone could participate and have the same advantages and as I mentioned before, this was a set limited event to have these buffs. So in other words, if you don’t like it, then don’t play those modes for now or just enjoy the chaos for what it is.
The next thing to discuss would be the exotics. As of now, there are three exotic weapons, and three exotic armor pieces (all gauntlets). Each class got a fun gauntlet that allow for more specific play style and more varied gameplay. The Arbalist could be picked up by finishing a number of Revelry triumphs, it is a powerful unique gun, lots of fun and well worth it. The Thorn hand cannon is our returning exotic gun for this season, the quest was tough, and the final quest a little rough, but lots of fun and a good way to bring back an old friend. The last and latest exotic gun is the Outbreak Perfected. A mostly hidden secret quest (found fairly quickly) brought a lot of happiness to a lot of people. With hidden keys to activate the quest, a brutal jumping puzzle, epic last battle and a powerful and fun gun, this is what people wanted. Outbreak Perfected is great addition and little gem/gift for the Destiny community.
Lastly, we need to discuss the Lore and how we obtained it. I think that the Invitations Of the Nine were a fun, fairly simple way to get lore through a fairly quick grind. I think the Drifter lore is great and well delivered. I only wish there was a lot more of it. A longer story, more cut-scenes and a greater impact.
I really enjoyed picking the Vanguard or the Drifter as a group to follow and side of the conflict, but the rewards are underwhelming. Also, there should have been a bigger impact in the lore/story after choosing a side like a few mission and weapons, banners or some kind of cosmetic to show which side was chosen.
Overall, the Season of the Drifter was really good and had a lot of things for everybody. PVE people had the Reckoning and Outbreak Perfected, PVP people had the Recluse and the more intense Gambit (PVE people also could love the beefy Gambit Prime obviously too). Yeah, there was some complaints here and there, but for more or less $10 to get three great exotic guns, exotic armor and a bunch of new modes and ways to play, it’s a great deal and worth the money. I think things are looking up for Destiny 2, Bungie is able to be more free with their content and approach and I am excited to see what is coming up in the Season of Opulence starting June 4th.