Destiny 2 Season of Plunder Feels Like Swashbuckling Filler

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder brought some swashbuckling space pirate antics, an old legacy Raid, and a revamped Arc subclass system. But it also felt anticlimactic.

Published: November 17, 2022 11:00 AM /


The Guardian in Spider's Bar from Destiny 2 Season of Plunder

Looking back on Destiny 2 Season of Plunder, there wasn't a lot that stuck in my mind. The content that propelled this season was exciting, continuing Bungie's push towards fun rewarding PvE seasonal activities. The story even attempts to rehabilitate older members of the supporting cast. But compared to other seasons that have come before, this space pirate outing barely stuck in my mind.

Mithraks and Eido having a tense conversation in Destiny 2 Season of Plunder
This led to a pretty intense standoff.

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder – They Were Called Pirates

Destiny 2 Season of the Plunder starts off with a ton of promise. The first mission opens with Eramis, the Fallen Captain turned cartoonish antagonist from the Beyond Light expansion, breaking free from her icy prison on the moon of Europa. Worse still, it seems she was revived by The Witness and tasked with finding several lost artifacts scattered across the solar system.

Since the Vanguard are too busy focusing on other pressing matters, you are tasked with finding out what Eramis and her new crew of scavengers are after. Aiding you are your own personal crew of Eliksni from the House of Light, last seen in Season of the Splicer, and the returning information broker Spider from the Forsaken expansion.

In other words, it's a race for hidden treasure. The best thing that can be said about the framing story of Season of Plunder is that it is dedicated to being about space pirates. You get your own crew, you raid other ships, you even have to track down buried treasure in the overworld to dig up some of your rewards.

The story also gives some extra texture and dimension to its Eliksni cast. The de facto leads are the head of House of Light, Mithraks, his daughter Eido, and the recently revived Eramis. Mithraks' story is one of redemption and reinvention. Before he became effectively an ambassador for his people, he had committed atrocities just to keep living. This reframes the genuine good he has done as more penitent than altruistic.

Eramis by contrast, became more ruthless, losing trust in any institution or group, preferring the more chaotic freedom of scavenging and violence. When you lose your entire solar system to tragedy and get used to being in survival mode, you tend to stay there. Finally, Eido's story is about what the future will hold for the Eliksni: how will she respond to this generational baggage and confront the future?

While this isn't a bad way to frame a space pirate story in Destiny 2, all of it doesn't really come together. Despite there being intense scenes of diplomacy, parlay, and even a sword duel between Eramis and Mithraks, Season of Plunder trails off rather than end dramatically. You have collected all of the hidden treasure – which has ties to The Darkness and The Witness – and Eramis escapes.

This is in comparison to Season of the Haunted, which managed to give emotional closure to all of their supporting cast. This isn't a bad thing in of itself, but when seasonal stories can charitably be called set-up for the next big expansion, Season of Plunder feels like a step back in comparison.

The Warlock Arc 3.0 Submenu from Destiny 2 Season of Plunder
As someone who mains Stormcaller, this was a kick.

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder – Electrifying Entertainment

As for the gameplay changes, Destiny 2 Season of Plunder did have some surprises. This was the season that introduced Arc 3.0, granting players even more customization options for their subclasses. Overall, it's a solid rework that emphasizes mobility and chaining damage across multiple targets. It is also the final Light subclass to receive the "3.0" treatment. This has greatly increased the power level of the entire community as well as breathed new life into older exotics like Getaway Artist and Dunemarchers.

As for seasonal activities, the biggest feather in Season of Plunder's cap has to be Ketchcrash. This six-player activity completely sells you on the fantasy of being a space pirate raiding another vessel. It starts with you organizing a bombardment, followed by you boarding the vessel, then taking out key systems and personnel room by room.

What is impressive is that each run feels exciting to go through thanks to a healthy mix of activities as well as different boss battles every weekly rotation. You can even summon Eliksni allies to help you out, adding to that feeling of being a space pirate captain.

Furthermore, legacy Destiny players got a blast from the past this season with the return of an older Raid. King's Fall, the Raid first introduced in Destiny's The Taken King expansion – and considered by many the best legacy Raid – returns in Destiny 2. Overall, Bungie did a great job updating this Raid while maintaining what made it work so well before.

The biggest of these quality-of-life changes are how each encounter is properly broken up into phases: clearly defined moments where the Raid team has to engage with certain mechanics or focus on DPS. These changes are subtle, but it helps new players better grasp King's Fall's various elements when compared to other Raids in Destiny 2.

On the PvP side of things, it mostly continues the same trend from last Season. Iron Banner this season introduced a new Crucible mode Eruption, which rewards players who get longer and longer killstreaks. As for the PvP community itself, it has become quite chaotic due to various sandbox changes. The time-to-kill on automatic weapons feels extremely short, which paired disastrously with Arc 3.0's enhanced mobility options.

But as far as brand new content is concerned, that is it for Season of Plunder. Gambit still remains stagnant with no new maps or major quality-of-life updates. Even the Halloween-themed community event, The Festival of the Lost, is basically the same material from last year. There are new updates planned for the future, but none of them went live here.

A fireteam launching arc abilities in Ketchcrash from Destiny  Season of Plunder
You get an Arc Soul! You get an Arc Soul! Everybody gets an Arc Soul!!!

Destiny 2 Season of Plunder Going Forward

These complaints are not meant to dismiss or criticize the team at Bungie for their work in Destiny 2. In fact, the seasonal events for Season of Plunder are utterly addictive thanks to the team's top tier audiovisual presentation and satisfying gunplay. But compared to the character melodrama and clear stakes of Season of the Haunted, Season of Plunder just feels like a distraction. A well-produced thrill ride of a distraction that will help you pass the time, but not necessarily one you will remember once the adrenaline rush wears off.

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| Staff Writer

Ever since he was small, Tyler Chancey has had a deep, abiding love for video games and a tendency to think and overanalyze everything he enjoyed. This… More about Tyler

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