On paper, Destiny 2’s Season of the Haunted should be excellent. It’s the first season to bring something out of the content vault, the Leviathan, transform it in a totally unique way, and add it as a patrol space. It has fantastic writing exploring depths of long-running characters we’ve never seen before. It has great reprised and new weapons, and a cool dungeon.
Why then, does the Destiny 2 community mood feel…not great right now? I know, I know, Destiny players are always complaining, but people have certainly loved many recent seasons. Why is Haunted not receiving the same kind of appreciation?
I have some theories.
Too Much Nightmare Containment – I think this is the main one. This entire season revolves almost solely around Nightmare Containment, and unlike say, Risen, which had three distinct battlegrounds, Nightmare Containment only has three different bosses, but the core activity remains the same every single run, you just rotate around the Castellum.
And you have to do it a lot. It’s the place that will give you the most Haunted weapons for farming. It’s where you get Bound Essence which is the only way you can run Sever missions for any good amount of loot, albeit you’re running probably 10 Containments for every 1 Sever mission you actually do. It’s the best place to find keys for Opulent chests. So you just run it over and over and over again whether you’re looking for rolls or crafting patterns for weapons, and it’s just not diverse enough to break the monotony.
The Leviathan is Underutilized– Again, this is all contained to the Castellum. The rest of Leviathan is used for bits and pieces of Sever missions, and the two areas you can explore the Royal Pools and the Pleasure Gardens, are jam packed with Nightmares that do little but complete bounties and triumphs. Killing those Nightmares isn’t getting you Haunted or Opulent drops directly. It just seems odd to bring back this entire space and have 95% of playtime jammed into the Castellum alone.
Crafting Versus Farming – I know there are a good amount of people like me who have felt frustrated by the red pattern grind, even if they’ve completed it. It’s exhausting, with exceedingly low drop rates and I think many people preferred the pre-crafting era of seasons like Opulence or Dawn that meant you could choose loot rewards better and get things like double perks. While crafting is meant to be an endpoint for RNG, getting there can still feel exhausting in the current system.
Economy Issues – I wrote a whole article about this before, but the economy of Season of the Haunted was poorly mapped out. Bizarre things include an entire row of HELM upgrades for a currency you will always have too much of, while Opulent Umbral energy is absurdly sparse outside of, you guessed it, Nightmare Containment. Meanwhile, playlist activities are still giving Risen Umbral energy. Something is broken here.
PvP – If you’re a dedicated PvP player, you are likely not thrilled with the changes that have been made to Airborne Effectiveness, which feel like they’ve created more problems than they’ve solved. Iron Banner Rift sort of landed with a thud, given all the technical problems and the fact that there’s no good new loot to chase. Trials continues to be endlessly controversial with no end to those debates in sight between freelance, the flawless pool and everything else.
There are two things about Haunted I would consider very positive:
Solar 3.0 – I think people got a bad first impression of this, but now that everyone is figuring out builds, people have warmed to the changes. Some issues remain (Dawnblade, Golden Gun), but in general, I think this was done very well despite initial pushback and I’m having a blast with it.
Duality – It’s a great dungeon with even better loot and infinitely farmable, which is a treat. The problem? It doesn’t really count here, because it’s not part of the season, and it’s sold separately, even though the Opulent weapon list is split between the Leviathan and the dungeon, somehow.
So, those are my thoughts on the lack of passion about Haunted, but I welcome your own theories on Twitter.
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