Destiny 2‘s Forsaken expansion refreshed the game in myriad ways, fixing up a lot of little annoyances, but most importantly, providing lots of rotating things to do. Those new things kept Destiny 2 fresh throughout the entire fourth season, as players grappled with a new Raid, the ever-changing Dreaming City, and special events such as the Iron Banner and the Festival of the Lost.
The fifth season of Destiny 2, the Season of the Forge, is marked by the first of three expansions that are part of the new Destiny 2 Annual Pass: The Black Armory. It’s Bungie’s attempt at continuing to provide more constantly changing and rotating content to the game, along with new challenges to keep players interested.
As Bungie has said before, The Black Armory isn’t a new story campaign. Instead, it’s access to new locations–four special forges, in particular–where the game can put Guardians through their paces and give them new special weapons and armor to chase. Like most expansions, it comes with a bunch of new loot, as well as three new Exotic weapons, you can add to your collection. But rather than try to provide a new dose of story, which usually turns out short and unsatisfying in these smaller Destiny expansions, it seems Bungie is instead focusing on the challenges and live content that made the late-game stages of Forsaken successful.
First, The Black Armory will let players take their character Power levels up to 650 from the current cap of 600, so there should be plenty of loot to grind through in weekly activities. The main new activity of the expansion is to be finding the four lost forges, where players can fight waves of enemies of different types–from the looks of photos Bungie provided of The Black Armory, it seems each forge belongs to a different enemy faction. The activity, which includes matchmaking, sounds like the Blind Well in the Dreaming City, where players fight through a bunch of baddies and claim rewards when they’re done. Those rewards and the quests you complete to earn them will come from Ada-1, a new story vendor who joins the game.
While The Black Armory doesn’t add a new story campaign, it does include a full new Raid called “Scourge of the Past,” which takes place on Earth in “the ruins of the Last City.” Players hang out in the City all the time, but have never really had a chance to actually explore it before, so it’s likely the Raid will be illuminating from a Destiny lore standpoint.
The start of Season 5 means that The Black Armory will also come with new Triumphs and Collections to complete, to encourage players to push themselves and find all the secrets hidden within the new expansion. There will also be quests and adventures to complete, so while there won’t be a ton of new story in the expansion, it sounds like there will be at least some narrative to hold players over.
And in keeping with the idea that The Black Armory is more about challenges and loot than about story, Season 5 will also introduce three new Pinnacle Weapons that’ll require some serious investment to obtain. Where Forsaken previously had two Pinnacle Weapons for Crucible players, Luna’s Howl and Redrix’s Claymore, that required them to show serious skill, Season 5 introduces three more to other activities: one for Gambit, one for Vanguard strikes, and a third one for Crucible.
Destiny’s problem for years has been finding ways to keep the game engaging long-term, but Bungie seemed to crack that issue with Forsaken, its end game activities, and its rotating content that kept things fresh week after week. The Black Armory seems to be focusing on those same ideas and initiatives, but it’ll be the test of whether Bungie has finally found a way to its game engaging through its second year between big expansions.
The Black Armory expansion drops on December 4.