Destiny 2’s Witch Queen Solstice event has had a massive overhaul

A Destiny 2 Guardian gets an emote for a Hot Dog Eating Contest.

One of the paid rewards is an emote for a hot dog eating contest. It turns out Wardens also love consuming nitrates. You are just like us!
picture: Bungie

destiny 2The Summer Solstice seasonal event is upon us, and even before this year’s Bounty Celebration Bungie has outlined some major changes. I love a few of them. Others not so much. The proof will be in how balanced the event is overall, but right now I’m more intrigued than I’ve been in years.

In past timest, the destiny 2 Solstice was an all-too-familiar grindfest plagued by pesky wrinkles. Bungie is trying Shake things up this timeand here’s how. As previously teased, the Solstice celebrations are now organized around a single event card for easier tracking. Like the Current Weekly Challenges tab, it will help you keep track of all your long-term goals. It is also monetized.

During the Solstice event, you’ll earn tickets, and if you pay $10 to unlock the Event Card’s premium tier, you can exchange those tickets for exclusive new rewards. Some Solstice cosmetics will also be sold through the regular Eververse microtransaction shop, but others will be locked behind the event map. This is intended to save players money, with the total achievable rewards exceeding $30+ in value when sold in the shop. It is effective a new mini season ticket.

But the real meat of Solstice is armor, and the changes there are far more intriguing. There’s a slick new currency economy, and it’s all geared towards upgrading gear so you can re-roll it for higher custom stats. It’s extremely confusing and also incredibly brand specific destiny 2. Here’s how Bungie breaks it down:

  • Earn Kindling by completing Solstice Event challenges
  • Spend Kindling to increase your armor stat potential
  • Earn Silver Leaves by completing activities throughout the game
  • Turn Silver Leaves into Silver Ashes by completing the new Bonfire Bash activity
  • Spend Silver Ashes to reroll armor stats from the armor mod screen

A screenshot shows the new Solstice armor stat roll system.

picture: Bungie

There are three upgrade tiers for armor. Every time a new tier is unlocked, it applies to every piece of that armor. Once you unlock all tiers, you can start choosing which stats to maximize when re-rolling (the armor will also start to glow, though the best glows will still be locked behind a microtransaction). The idea is to let you chase armor with a certain build in mind, whether for Trials, Grandmaster Nightfalls, or any other end-game activity. It sounds great, in theory at least.

In practice there are some ways it could really suck. The most obvious way is if this new system runs into bottlenecks and makes it hard to go at your own pace. There is effectively no reason to reroll armor before you’ve maxed out the upgrades, but those upgrades are predicated on completing Event Card Challenges, leading to the possibility you reach the cap on Leaves or Ash before you can do anything meaningful with them. Hopefully that doesn’t happen, and hopefully the activities are generous in awarding the new currencies.

I say hopefully because I’m actually looking forward to Solstice this year. It’s been a while since the last time I wrote about Destiny 2. Things are a bit love/hate right now, which is saying something considering Bungie’s loot shooter has been inspiring mixed emotions for almost eight years. Haunted Season has been a real disappointment for me so far, especially taking it off the high that was The Witch Queen.

Traditionally I have burned out very quickly at the annual Solstice event, but after some longer than usual hiatus from the game this year, I’m genuinely eager to get back in and have something to do aside from another dreaded run through Nightmare Containment. The summer release calendar is barren (with a few notable exceptions) and I need something to fill in the gaps. I also desperately need more chill. Grinding three different currencies and another paid pass to maximize rewards might not sound like it, but when determination right, that can be pure bliss.

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