Destiny's Winter Update Is Slim, But Fun

Illustration for article titled iDestiny/is Winter Update Is Slim, But Fun

Destiny, a video game in which players travel through the galaxy waiting for Destiny 2, got a new event today called The Dawning. Like so many live events before it, The Dawning is insubstantial, but fun.

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In addition to a bunch of new quality-of-life changes (like green engrams auto-dismantling, finally) that you can read in the patch notes, there are three main features in The Dawning. One is the return of Sparrow Racing League, which I continue to be terrible at. There are a couple of new tracks and a bunch of bounties attached to the SRL for its second year in Destiny.

The second major feature is strike scoring, which will let you rack up points and earn medals, Prison of Elders-style, as you play through nightfalls and strike playlists. Zavala now has weekly bounties for hitting different point and medal goals, and it’s a neat new way of keeping strikes interesting even when you’ve done them each a few hundred times.

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They’ve also updated three old strikes—The Nexus, The Shadow Thief, and Will of Crota—with some fun new dialogue and mechanics. I’ve only done The Nexus so far, but they’ve added a couple of twists and some Very Good Cayde-6 banter.

The third feature is a free new record book that lets you collect achievements in strikes and the Sparrow Racing League, then use those achievements to unlock various pieces of loot. And gifts!

Illustration for article titled iDestiny/is Winter Update Is Slim, But Fun

Just look at those big fucking present boxes. They’re just sitting there in the Tower, waiting to be opened. To unwrap them, you have to fill out the new record book and get three different items (Amanda’s Tag, Xur’s Tag, Saladin’s Tag), each of which opens one of the gifts.

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There may be some other secrets that players haven’t found yet—intrepid Redditors have already found a hidden Sparrow and maybe more—so I’m looking forward to poking around a bit. And yeah, there’s also lots of new Eververse stuff if you feel like giving Bungie more money.

Strike scoring is a smart move, but there isn’t enough new content here to bring most lapsed Destiny players back. It’s likely we won’t see much more from Destiny 1—other than maybe some old raid refreshes in the spring?—so for those of us who are craving more from Bungie’s shooter-MMO hybrid, the wait for Destiny 2 is on.

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DISCUSSION

Some great new QoL changes to Xur as well: he finally sells exotic shards again, and also now sells heavy ammo synths in stacks of 10! Many of the QoL changes are of the “finally” variety, but at least they got addressed. Bungie may take a while to take action, but no one can say they don’t have their ears to the community for feedback.