Starting with Shadowkeeper Bungie introduces the system of battle pass in the best traditions of Fortnite, where players will earn seasonal XP for completing challenges and earn rewards as a result.
The battle pass analog is called the “Season Rank” system and there is a free track, and a premium track, if you buy that season for $10. Destiny now will be selling seasons individually rather than grouping them all in an annual pass. The first season, Season of the Undying, comes with Shadowkeep if you buy that, and doesn’t cost extra on top of it. The next three will be sold separately. The free track is something any player can get, even if they’re playing the F2P New Light content and haven’t bought a piece of DLC or any season.
But because you buying the season, you are also buying the “premium track” of the Season Rank system, that means Bungie can put in rewards like actual gear, armor sets, legendary weapons and exotics, which they say they’re doing to make sure you’re always making progress toward specific loot, no matter what you’re doing. We don’t know every single thing in the pass, but here’s the latest from Luke Smith:
- Exotic Hand Cannon, Eriana’s Vow, at Rank 35
- Three legendary sets of Vex armor by Rank 25 (these also drop in the season Vex activity)
- Two legendary weapons
- Best of Year 2 bright engrams
- Upgrade modules (something with new gear crafting this season?)
- Exotic Hand Cannon, Eriana’s Vow, at Rank 1
- Three legendary sets of Vex armor at Rank 1
- Four legendary weapons
- Three universal ornaments, one for each class
- Exotic ornament for Eriana’s Vow
- Two legendary weapon ornaments
- Exotic ship
- Exotic emote
- A new finisher
All the other stuff from the free track like glimmer, engrams and upgrade modules, and possible other stuff we don’t know about (not sure on the rank 100 reward, for instance)
So the idea is to give people who buy the season a lot of stuff, but also a bunch of cosmetics, but also free to play players the chance to earn the same stuff, albeit a bit slower with fewer cosmetics. And Bungie says this loot will work its way into the game after the season ends eventually.
There are still some things about the new seasonal system I don’t like (Bungie makes it clear seasonal events like Forges are going away when the season ends in the future, which seems…bad), but I can’t find anything to complain about with this battle pass system, given that it’s not an extra cost on top of the season, it’s simply attached to the purchase of the season as a whole. It’s a better version of what I was suggesting in the first place. We’ll see how it works in practice, but at least in this initial description, I like what I’m hearing.