Almost every week brings something new to Destiny 2, whether it’s story beats, new activities, or interesting new item combinations that allow players to destroy each other in the Crucible. Iron Banter is our weekly look at what’s happening in the world of Destiny and a roundup of what’s catching our attention across the solar system.
Solstice is probably my least favorite of Destiny 2’s annual events. The Summer Celebration originally started alongside Moments of Triumph, marking the end of a year of Destiny and helping players commemorate all the great things they’d done with Solstice. a nice set of shiny armor to boot, but it tended to be very heavy. event that lacked the fun personality of Halloween’s Festival of the Lost or the Christmas season’s Dawn. Solstice also tends to be an intense grind, and if there’s one thing I’m not a fan of in Destiny games, it’s the content grind over and over again.
However, for 2022, Bungie made some significant changes to Solstice. Altered the way your special event armor works, adjusted the special EAZ location and the events that take place there, and introduced a new “Event Card” system, both for marking objectives and getting premium rewards as part of the event. solstice gazes very different in 2022, and now that it’s over, we can take a look back at the three-week Summer Celebration to break down what worked, what didn’t, and what we could expect from additional annual events as Destiny 2 progresses.
Overall, my impression of this year’s Solstice was that Bungie identified some major issues that were holding the event back and addressed them to improve it. The biggest and most important of them: the Solstice armor.
Armor earned during the Solstice event is always special. It has its own unique design and can take on “glows” that give it a unique, incandescent look. However, the thing about Solstice armor is that it takes a lot of work to make. The whole celebration event is usually about working on upgrading your Solstice armor from low-tier common gear to high-tier legendary stuff. Most of the time, that routine is all about the shine in the end, though usually, you have to pay extra to get the coolest look. This year, however, the Solstice armor got a lot better thanks to Bungie’s continued improvements to the gear selection systems.
With the Candescent armor you could earn at this year’s Solstice, you could eventually tweak each piece of gear with the specific stats you wanted. The system allowed you to pick a stat with a “spark” that was guaranteed to have at least 20 points invested in it, a pretty significant number, as a single stat for legendary-type armor maxes out at 30. On top of that, with the Ghost mod system that allows you to generally target armor towards a specific stat, you could further away tunes your Solstice armor in a different direction, with the Ghost mod granting 10 points in a different stat from your spark. That meant he could get a 20 Resilience guarantee, along with a 10 Discipline guarantee, for example, with randomness contributing the rest of his team numbers to a possible total of 68. With a lot of Solstice armor dropping during the event, that meant players had a pretty good chance of making almost exactly the type of armor they wanted during Solstice.
It’s no exaggeration to say that this year’s armor system was a huge improvement for Solstice. He made the entire event worthwhile by providing what is basically the best team tuning opportunity in the game. Even if you weren’t particularly interested in Solstice activities, it was worth taking part in the event for the cool armor. Valuable rewards are always a big plus in Destiny 2, and Solstice dished them out.
It did so in a similar way by adding a new weapon to the game, the Something New Hand Cannon, which had a new special trait called Dream Work that rewards you for working closely with your teammates. The trait was modified a bit, so very special, but even without that addon, Something New feels special (as does Compass Rose, a shotgun that was modded for this Solstice). Bungie is making very good use of the new Origin Trait system, especially as seen here: Something New is a weapon that comes from exactly one source, with a unique element that makes it feel special. It’s another good reason to jump into Solstice.
Bungie has done away with the old EAZ event, in which players would chase down hidden treasure chests after fighting waves of enemies, in favor of a new activity called the Bonfire Bash. In general, I was a fanatic; It’s not especially different from the old EAZ, which still required killing waves of enemies, but at least it freshened things up a bit and didn’t require running around the map to find those treasure chests at the end. Overall, the EAZ still goes quickly out of date (more on that in a bit), but Bonfire feels like a better version of what we’ve played in the space before, if nothing else.
Finally, the Event Card system is pretty decent. It puts all your goals for the event in one place, and if you want to spend a few bucks to upgrade it, it also offers some premium cosmetic rewards, without adjusting how Solstice is played in basically any way. The Event Card system is good for keeping things organized though it would be nice to see better rewards as I’m not sure anyone cares about Ghost projections or transmat effects but maybe it’s just me. It’s a minor addition, but useful nonetheless.
Solstice saw a lot of improvements this year, but its biggest drawback remained: it’s a grind, and not particularly fun. As usual, it takes much of work to upgrade your Solstice armor to its best possible levels. Not only did you have to play a lot of competitive matches and a lot of Bonfire Bash, but you also had to play with a lot of public events and playlist activities. It wasn’t as grindy as in previous years, but it was still a important grind, when Destiny 2, in a general sense, has moved away from lengthy requirements to get the numbers up to a generally more meaningful engagement (though the hellish grind lingers, for sure).
I will say that the work to get your armor up to its best levels wasn’t as much of a hassle as it has been in recent years, which included requirements like completing raids or dungeons, which aren’t a high bar for some players, but can be extremely frustrating for others. The worst thing about this year was probably the requirement of 25 competitive matches played for either Crucible or Gambit. It didn’t help that boosted progress for alternate characters was disrupted for most of the event. Still, though, 25 games is a tall order for anyone, period. I’d like to see Bungie find ways to make these requirements feel more meaningful, perhaps tying them in with some light story elements to make it feel like you’re searching for armor pieces from across the Solar System, or doing something to pay homage. to the triumphs that the Solstice is meant to celebrate. The armor grind is annoying anyway, and once I was done with my Titan character, which took me about half the event, I gave up for the rest of Solstice and abandoned my alternate characters to their fates. bright.
Bonfire Bash also suffers the same fate as previous EAZ events. It’s okay for a moment, but it’s not terribly challenging or interesting. Of course, we have to keep in mind that annual events like these are designed for broad participation amongst the player base and are therefore kept casual, and I think this year’s tweaks made Bonfire Bash less irritating than in the past. iterations. But you still end up playing tonneand it’s basically the same every time.
There’s potential in the EAZ as a space – it’s more vertical than perhaps anywhere else in Destiny 2, and navigating three dimensions to complete the event is a good idea. The new environmental items to throw at you are also really useful. But the event itself doesn’t use the space in a way that adds much to it. For the most part, tall buildings and distant floating islands are just nuisances in your way as you try to run to the next thing to kill, so you can finish the event as quickly as possible. That’s also a function of the grind, actually, because everyone wants to clear Bonfire Bash as fast as they can, since they have a lot of them to complete. It makes the event feel like a chore, but even if you weren’t racing, once you’ve done four or five races, they’re all pretty much the same. And that makes it hard to stay engaged with Solstice for the entire three weeks.
I am all for Solstice 2022, at least in the framework of the other Solstice events. Overall, it was a major improvement. However, issues remain that make Solstice one of the weaker annual events. Although Bungie added some really cool premium cosmetic items to this year’s event, of which I bought several, it still feels like Solstice lacks personality compared to the other events.
The worst element, however, remains the routine. I’m glad the Solstice armor has been buffed to the point where it seemed like it was worth pursuing, but it still required a high degree of effort to earn, and not the fun kind of effort, like accepting a challenge and beating it. but the kind of annoying effort, like running 25 Gambit matches just to make them. For me, I think the answer is either to decrease the grind, which feels like a blanket mandate for Destiny 2 in general these days, or to further upgrade Solstice armor, so that the reward feels proportional to the work involved in earning it. Solstice 2022 definitely moved closer to that balance, but it’s still not enough to elevate Solstice among Destiny’s other annual events.
What did you think of this year’s Solstice? Did you like the changes? What would you like to see Bungie do with it in the future? Am I completely wrong about it? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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