Destiny 2: Everyone thinks Season 17 is pure content recycling – but that’s not true!

Destiny 2: Everyone thinks Season 17 is pure content recycling - but that's not true!

Season 17 in Destiny 2 exudes a nostalgic flair. In addition to the Leviathan, a former raid location, the nightmares from the Shadowkeep expansion have also returned in their manifestation. But is it all just pure recycling, as many players think? MeinMMO investigated and asked Bungie directly.

What do players think of Season 17 and Bungie? When it comes to Season of the Haunted, many players think that it contains only “the bare minimum” of content. Already at the start of the “Haunted Season”, there were a few things that just seemed old and worn out, especially for long-time players.

  • The Leviathan, the former raid ship from 2017, is back and has brought Calus with it.
  • The Pyramid of the Moon has brought back the nightmares from 2019’s Shadowkeep DLC.
  • The public event “Nightmare Containment” works like an escalation protocol 2.0.
  • And on top of that, several old menagerie weapons from Season 7 have returned.
In Season 17, the Leviathan returned as an “impure manifestation of darkness.”

In addition, there are always statements that say that Bungie is carrying around a lot of Destiny 1 legacy that nothing has changed in the game for years.

That’s how it is player’s opinion Phyromancer here representative of what many other guardians in the community, the clans and in the MeinMMO comments complain about again and again.

[Bungie] can’t produce enough meaningful content. So let’s run the hamster wheel over and over again with recycled content to prolong our progress. […] Activision left a long time ago, and the game went downhill after that. The progression system has been overhauled so many times since D1 that it really shows they don’t know how this type of game is supposed to work.

MeinMMO wanted to know exactly: We just asked Bungie, the developer and creator of Destiny 2, directly how the game has changed since Destiny 1. Also in relation to the reintroduction of content that is not or no longer in the game. Is this all really just recycling, or are players perhaps missing something here?

Tom Farnsworth, Bungie’s Senior Design Lead, clarifies:

There have been huge changes in the sandbox and huge changes in how we deliver content. […] When you look at things like the abandoned Leviathan, we don’t just take that out of the content vault, we remix it or contextualize it to tie a moment in time to a story and development to support the world.

One thing that games can do is take the world and other things that players have experienced before and re-evolve them with crazy mushrooms and full of nightmares. Content and stuff that we remix and that we develop as part of the larger world.

explains Tom Farnsworth, Bungie’s Senior Design Lead

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Not much is left of Calus – but he has a lot to tell.

There have been big changes in the sandbox and big changes in how Bungie now delivers content. For Tom Farnsworth, as a developer and player, the most exciting part about Destiny is that “we’re always trying to build on what we’ve done and make the game better.”

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And Nicholas Stevens, Bungie’s Senior Narrative Designer, says of the most noticeable changes on the Leviathan:

Of the [Egregor] Mushroom that you see growing all over the ship, that is if you do that [saisonale]Artifact reading the nightmare harvester and some of the armor it kind of goes in, this stuff is like in an impure manifestation of darkness. It’s like a forced manifestation. So it’s almost as if the Leviathan performed some kind of profane ritual.

adds Nicholas Stevens, Senior Narrative Designer

It almost sounds like Calus, the former Emperor of the Cabal, was trying to spasmodically enforce communication with the Voice in Darkness and the Force, resulting in an “impure” manifestation with the Egregor Spores. The spores therefore also seem like something unnatural that came from it and not something that comes from the darkness itself.

The Leviathan is not the first ship infected: Incidentally, Bungie has linked this impure infection directly to Season 13 and continued the content of the exotic mission “Ominous” on the Cabal ship “Glykon Volatus”. The rather dark content in the “Season of the Summoned” was very well received by the players at the time and so they wanted to create a similarly dark and spooky experience.

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Humanly, Season 17 has not been topped so far – but only if you allow emotions.

Tom Farnsworth says this was one of the things that Bungie then knew would be a good idea to continue with in Season 17.

As players said, ‘Oh what if […] we could see more of these things?” we knew we wanted to bring something back and we had the Leviathan as a room to bring back. It wasn’t free. We obviously had to do a lot of work to move it forward. It took a lot of time for storytelling, arts, activities, designers, all disciplines of collaboration to really move it forward.

says Tom Farnsworth, Bungie’s Senior Design Lead

In addition to these obvious changes on the Leviathan, other details may also have caught the attention of observant players in the current season campaign mission “Separation”.

  • Apparently, the Leviathan is not only “infected”, but has also returned up-side-down from the content vault and new areas have also been added.
  • Creepy sound effects underline the dark ambience of the infected Leviathan
  • Bungie has given the old location continuing story beats in many funk messages, expanding the universe of the big story Bungie is telling in Season 17.
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The “separation” missions stand out from the already known game content of the former Leviathan raid. Although she too is set in an old location, but now overgrown by Egregor spores of darkness.

And in other places, too, players may soon notice dark changes in Season 17.

Have the spores of darkness already infected the HELM?

The story should captivate players, like a good TV series

Yes, Destiny 2 has changed over the past few years. Rob Adams tells us that “with the Destiny narrative […] wants to captivate players season after season”. Bungie knows it gets addicting to the Destiny story. Like a soap opera or a good TV series. You want to know what will happen next?

He also says “this is just a huge improvement in our live game that I’ve personally seen over the past 18 months.”

Bungie wants to tell compelling stories and show human destinies: Robert Brookes, Bungie’s senior narrative designer, agrees. He, too, sees “the success of this seasonal narrative largely resting on the shoulders of the type of architecture that Senior Narrative Lead Julia Nardin put together for it.”

The current season contains “some of the most compelling stories that have a deep human connection and a deep, relatable personal story.”

And the reason they’re successful is because they’re often very human and very relatable. [Spieler] can see themselves in it and be able to find the coordinating and the human in oneself. It’s a very massive science fantasy setting that allows you to observe a character.

says Robert Brookes, Bungie’s Senior Narrative Designer

In the last campaign mission of Commander-Zavala, this new emotional side of the game, which some players still can’t get used to, already became very clear:

Destiny 2: Season 17 reveals the most emotional secret of the strongest character – moves many Guardians to tears

Bungie started this concept of “personal dynamics” in Season 11, when Eris Morn called players to the Silverwing Tree each week during Season of Arrivals. Since then, Bungie has worked to further improve these story beats.

That’s where we started to build the momentum that we needed and players started to feel the connection to the characters, the kind of weekly continuity and continuity between all seasons that comes from a big release bound through all the seasons to the next is really great. We’re getting better at planning and better at building them through lines. I’m really looking forward to the future as we continue to develop. When you look at where we’ve been and where we are now, it’s like it’s going to be crazy where we can get to.

Tom Farnsworth explains further.

All the teams are making these tiny changes in the game all the time that, when you’re willing to step back, reveal a lot to the players and continue the story of Destiny 2. He sees that as “the real power of live service games. You keep building towards something better.”

season17-calus-darkness-leviathan-statue-destiny2
Will there even be a reunion with Calus in person soon? What do you think?

Is Bungie planning to return more locations? Quite possible. Tom Farnsworth told us that Bungie plans to continue experimenting with legacy locations in the future, “but if it does, it’ll just be something that’s consistent with the narrative.”

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This means that players can assume that not just any content will be retrieved, but only content that can also be inserted into the current story with a convincing narrative reason.

We don’t talk about it too much but it’s definitely a lot of work and I really appreciate what our team did and how adding the whole layer of dirt and fungus and the feeling that the place changed [der Leviathan] how new and different it feels.

says Tom Farnsworth, Bungie’s Senior Design Lead

So what used to be gilded and opulent is now going in the opposite direction, so to speak.

Aside from the visual changes, there are other incentives that invite players to step on the transformed Leviathan, “the new story is just the cherry on top,” according to Tom Farnsworth. “Destiny is also a live service game, so we can have this ever-evolving world where we want. There were places you knew before and now they came back wrong.”

Adds Rob Adams, “It really gives players the feeling that the universe is changing [in Live-Service-Spiel wie Destiny 2] changes. As things develop, it won’t be the same as it was six months or three months ago.”

That’s why Nikko Stevens, Senior Narrative Designer at Bungie, thinks it’s a shame that players don’t appreciate this as much as they play through the seasons.

What do you think of the current Season 17? Was she able to captivate you afterwards and captivate you with her gloomy setting, which also continues the current story? Or was that still not enough for you and you wish for less story beats and more pure, playable content? Please leave us a comment about it.

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