The Primary Cause of Season of The Haunted’s Failure in Destiny 2

The Primary Cause of Season of The Haunted's Failure in Destiny 2 (1)

Season 18 of Destiny 2 won’t premiere for a few more weeks, and because Bungie has withheld all details until the showcase on August 23rd, I figured I’d just look back on this previous season today.

In the overall scheme of all the Destiny seasons up to this point, I’d say Season of the Haunted hasn’t received the best reviews. Depending on who you ask, definitely in the bottom half, if not the bottom five, or even below. It’s odd because Bungie seemed to be making a big deal out of it beforehand, and the secrecy surrounding it gave the impression that it would really blow us away. However, things didn’t exactly go that way.

One problem is that, technically speaking, the positive aspects of this season were not included in it. That would be similar to Duality, where even if it complemented the season’s theme (and practically shared a loot pool via two Opulence weapons), it is a component of a dungeon pack that is sold separately. Although I enjoyed Solar 3.0, that adjustment was made to the sandbox generally and wasn’t only for Haunted.

That leaves the season’s real content, and I feel confident outlining what I believe to be the fundamental issue with Season of the Haunted: Nightmare Containment.

Nightmare Containment has a lot of problems, though it’s not necessarily a horrible thing to do in isolation. However, the season focused so heavily on it that it overpowered everything else.

Even while Nightmare Containment “rotates” from week to week, only the final boss—not even the final boss’s location—changes. The Leviathan reappeared as a patrol space, which was cool, but the game only takes place in one location, the Castellum. Contrast it with Battlegrounds or Override missions, which feature three to four variations that occur in various locales. There wasn’t much variation; it was just Castellum, Castellum, and Castellum.

The Sever missions, which at least transported you to different areas of the Leviathan, theoretically allowed you to farm some degree of gear, but in order to do so, you needed to obtain an item from the Nightmare Containment, Bound Essence, in order for the run to be worthwhile. It was also a very, very uncommon drop.

The lack of direct drops of Opulence weapons from Nightmare Containment, Sever, or adversaries on the Leviathan was followed by issues with the loot itself. Even still, defeating Containment for three simple chests remained the primary method of obtaining keys to open chests. Despite the fact that those were some of the most sought-after weapons of the season, obtaining them was a huge hassle.

The second season of crafting’s pattern grind was likewise a failure because you had to mill endlessly in Containment for red frames, and five patterns for each weapon proved to be too many. The fact that the HELM upgrades had an entire row devoted to a currency you were never short of as well as the fact that the actual focusing currency for drops and red frame hunting required yet another absurd amount of farming Nightmare Containment revealed that something had gone very, very wrong with the economic planning of this season.

With its unchanging location and slightly different boss rotation, the activity itself was not diversified enough and was constantly pushing gamers into Nightmare Containment. Nightmare Containment felt like a new degree of repetition, which made the entire Leviathan returning seem useless. I suppose it’s inevitable that most seasonal pastimes would eventually feel a little redundant.

There were undoubtedly aspects of the season that I enjoyed. The majority of the new guns, especially those that use incandescent, are good. The Sever missions’ mythology and storytelling, as well as the language from the Containment missions, were all excellent, ranking among Destiny’s best. However, Containment was the gameplay issue, and whatever season 18 brings, I hope we don’t run into a similar activity-based difficulty.

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