We’re a few weeks away from the start of Destiny 2 Season 18, and since we have literally no information from which Bungie has saved everything for the August 23 showcase, I thought I’d just reconsider on this last season rather today.
Season of the Haunted ended up being a not very well regarded season, I would say, in the broad scope of all Destiny seasons so far. Definitely in the bottom half, if not maybe the bottom five, or less, depending on who you ask. That’s odd, considering Bungie seemed really be hyped in advance, and the secrecy surrounding it felt like something would blow your mind. But that’s not exactly how it happened.
One problem is that the good things that were part of this season weren’t… technically a part of this season. It would be something like Duality, where while it thematically fits into the season (and practically shares a loot pool via two Opulence weapons), it’s part of a separately sold dungeon pack. And while I liked Solar 3.0, it’s a permanent sandbox change, not something exclusive to Haunted.
That leaves the actual content of the season, and I’m comfortable laying out what I think is the main issue causing the problem with Season of the Haunted: Nightmare Containment.
There are many issues with Nightmare Containment, which isn’t necessarily a bad activity in a vacuum, but the season leaned on then heavily on her in every aspect that he overwhelmed the whole thing.
Leviathan returned as a patrol space, which was cool, and yet Nightmare Containment only takes place inside a single area, the Castellum, and even when “rotating” from one week to week, the only thing that really changes is the final boss, not Even the location of the final boss. Compare this to Battlegrounds or Override missions which have 3-4 builds that take place in different locations. Here it was just Castellum, Castellum, Castellum, with little variance.
In theory, you could farm a certain level of gear by doing the Sever missions that would at least take you to different parts of Leviathan, but to do that you needed to get an item from… Nightmare Containment, Bound Essence, for the run to be worth it. And it was a very, very rare drop.
Beyond that, there were frustrations with the loot itself, in terms of Opulence weapons not dropping directly from Nightmare Containment or Sever or from enemies on the Leviathan. Although a primary way to get keys to find them in chests was still to beat Containment for three easy chests. These were some of the most wanted weapons of the season, and yet the process of getting them was a huge pain.
Pattern grinding here in the second season of crafting was also a failure, as you had to endlessly grind for red frames in Containment, and five patterns for each weapon turned out to be too many. It also revealed that something went very, very wrong with this season’s economic planning, where HELM upgrades had an entire row dedicated to a currency you never missed, but the focus currency real for the drops and the hunt for the red frame was again necessary. , an absurd amount of Nightmare Containment farming.
Everything drove players into Nightmare Containment, constantly, and the activity itself wasn’t varied enough with its fixed location and barely different boss rotation. I think it’s certain that most seasonal activities will probably end up feeling a bit repetitive, but Nightmare Containment felt like a new level of that, and it kind of made the entire Leviathan Returns pointless.
There are definitely things I liked about the season itself. I like most of the new weapons, including anything with Incandescent. All of the lore and storytelling through the Sever missions and even the containment dialogue was extremely good, some of the best in Destiny. But when it comes to gameplay, containment was the issue, and hopefully we don’t have a similar activity-based issue in Season 18, whatever it is.