We’ve had about a week and a half now to get to grips with what Destiny 2’s seventh Season, the Season of Opulence, has to offer. So let’s go through everything we’ve seen, and everything we’ve yet to see.
Season of Opulence brings with it the Penumbra DLC, which promised a host of new content with a raid and an original six-player matchmade activity at its core. The Crown of Sorrow raid is more of a Raid Lair in actuality, being about the same length as Eater of Worlds and Spire of Stars, but it’s every bit as awesome too. The new raid sees Emperor Calus once again invite our Guardians to board the Leviathan in order to complete a task for him. The Hive have infested a deck of the great vessel and it’s up to us to clear them out. Check out the teaser trailer below:
There’s some really interesting lore behind the raid and the raid boss. I shan’t go into too much detail but here’s a taste: At some point in his long exile Calus found a powerful Hive artefact known as the Crown of Sorrow. A Loyalist Cabal named Gahlran was created by Emperor Calus for the sole purpose of bearing the crown and using its power to command the Hive. He failed, and it now controls him instead. Twisted by the power of the crown he became Gahlran, the Sorrow-Bearer.
As good as the new raid is, The Menagerie is where Season of Opulence really shines. The Menagerie is a new six-player matchmade activity that pits Guardians against a mix of simple puzzles and intense battles. The game mode plays like a miniature raid and the puzzles are straightforward enough that a matchmade team of strangers can best them without the aid of a chat group. The challenges take place in a series of interconnecting chambers and are selected at random, so no two playthroughs will be the same. As your team gains points for completing objectives within each chamber, you fill up a gauge. When the gauge is full it’s boss time. The boss creature changes each week and though it is currently unknown how many there are in total, it can be said with confidence that these boss monsters will continue to rotate indefinitely.
In order to gain access to Crown of Sorrow and The Menagerie, Guardians will need to complete Season of Opulence’s introductory questline. The questline begins with Imperial Summons, and can be started by talking to Benedict 99-40 in the Tower Annex – the hacked frame’s new home. During the course of this questline you will travel to the Nessus Barge, a new location in the Watcher’s Grave on Nessus, where Emperor Calus has another frame by the name of Werner 99-40. Werner and Benedict largely fulfil the same role as vendor NPCs but for the purpose of this questline Werner will be your primary point of contact. Midway through the quest you will be gifted an item called the Chalice of Opulence, which is the key to obtaining sweet new loot from The Menagerie.
The Chalice of Opulence introduces Guardians to two new items: Runes and Imperials. The former being consumables that you slot into your chalice and the latter being a new currency used to upgrade it. It’s a rather involved process that will probably take the average Destiny player a while to complete. Imperials are primarily obtained from turning in the four weekly treasure hunt bounties available from Werner and from completing Season-specific Triumphs. You will find additional sources of Imperials as you progress but the amount gained these sources will be paltry in comparison. Runes on the other hand are easier to farm, as they can be obtained from a variety of sources. There are several different types and classes of Runes however, and most of them won’t be available right away. Purple Runes are the only Runes available initially, but Red, Green, and Blue Runes will begin to drop in the game after you’ve begun upgrading your chalice.
The chalice has up to three slots for holding Runes, and inserting the right combination of Runes before completing a run of The Menagerie is the key to obtaining specific pieces of new loot from the chest at the end. Below is a series of incredibly helpful Rune combination loot tables designed by windzer408 on Reddit.
As with every new Season of Destiny we’re getting three new pinnacle weapons to grind for. This Season’s offerings are the Revoker sniper rifle (Crucible), the Wendigo GL3 grenade launcher (Vanguard), and the Hush bow (Gambit). As always these weapons have unique perks that make them worth grinding for. The Wendigo in particular is an absolute beast in PvE at the moment.
Season of Opulence has also brought with it a bunch of sandbox changes, some of which have proved controversial. Chief amongst them the decision to nerf several popular Exotic weapons commonly used in both PvE and PvP. Whisper of the Worm, Sleeper Simulant, and the Ace of Spades will all be affected in one way or another. Whisper will keep all of its current damage but the White Nail perk will now draw from reserve ammo instead of generating rounds out of thin air, meaning that users will be limited to Whisper’s 18 round reserve ammo capacity. Sleeper is receiving a nerf to the bounce damage it does against boss creatures, but as a trade-off regular body shots will do slightly more damage. Lastly, the Ace of Spades has lost the ability to two-tap in the Crucible when paired with the One Eyed Mask’s Vengeance perk. And triggering Memento Mori will now add six special rounds to the magazine, but the perk now deactivates if the weapon is stowed.
In an effort to switch things up and provide players with more weapon options, Fusion Rifles and Swords are seeing some much-needed love. Fusion Rifles saw damage buffs across the board, whilst Sword ammo has been increased for all Swords and all Swords in the Lightweight Frame category have also received a hefty damage buff. Both weapons have fallen out of favour with players in recent Seasons, so it’s nice to see Bungie making them relevant again. Might be time to dust of that old Merciless that’s been rotting in your vault since Warmind.
As for stuff that we’ve yet to see, Bungie have provided a content roadmap as always. The Truth Exotic quest dropped this week, and you can start that by defeating this week’s Menagerie boss. Next week we can expect the Iron Banner to return with a twist, this Season there will be a quest attached to it that will reward Guardians with a reprised set of Iron Banner armour. There’s plenty more heading our way after that too, check out the roadmap below for more details.