Destiny 2’s Witch Queen Solstice Event Got Massively Overhauled


A Destiny 2 Guardian gets a hot dog-eating contest emote.

One of the paid rewards is a hot dog-eating contest emote. It turns out Guardians love binging on nitrates too. They’re just like us!
Image: Bungie

Destiny 2’s summer “Solstice” seasonal event is right around the corner, and ahead of this year’s loot celebration Bungie has outlined some big changes. A few of them I love. Others not so much. The proof will be in how the event’s overall grind is balanced, but for now I’m intrigued in a way I haven’t been in years.

In times past, the Destiny 2 Solstice was just an overly familiar grindfest plagued by annoying wrinkles. Bungie is trying to shake things up this time around, and here’s how. As previously teased, the Solstice festivities will now be organized around a single Event Card to make everything easier to track. Like the current weekly challenges tab, it will help you stay on top of all your long-term objectives. It’s also being monetized.

Throughout the Solstice event you’ll earn tickets, and if you pay $10 to unlock the premium tier of the Event Card, you can start trading those tickets in 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 Card. This is supposed to save players money, with the total earnable rewards exceeding $30 in value if they were sold in the shop. It’s effectively a new mini season pass.

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

  • Earn Kindling by completing Solstice Event Challenges
  • Spend Kindling to upgrade your armor stat roll potential
  • Earn Silver Leaves by completing activities throughout the game
  • Transform Silver Leaves into Silver Ash by completing the new activity: Bonfire Bash
  • Spend Silver Ash to reroll armor stats from the armor mod screen

A screenshot shows the new stat roll system for Solstice armor.

Image: 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. Season of the Haunted has been a real disappointment for me so far, especially coming off the high that was The Witch Queen.

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

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