Iron Banter: This Week In Destiny 2 - A Review Of Solstice 2022

Bungie made changes to its annual summertime event, making some marked improvements, but the grind persists.

Just about every week brings something new to Destiny 2, whether it’s story beats, new activities, or interesting new combinations of elements that let players devastate each other in the Crucible. Iron Banter is our weekly look at what’s going on in the world of Destiny and a rundown of what’s drawing our attention across the solar system.

Solstice is probably my least favorite of Destiny 2’s annual events. The summertime celebration originally kicked off alongside the Moments of Triumph, marking the end of a Destiny year and helping players commemorate all the cool stuff they’d done with a nice set of glowing armor to boot–but it tended to be a heavily grindy event that lacked the fun personality of Halloween’s Festival of the Lost or The Dawning of the holiday season. Solstice also tends to be an intense grind, and if there’s one thing I’m not a fan of in the Destiny games, it’s grinding content over and over.

For 2022, Bungie made some significant changes to Solstice, however. It altered the way its special event armor works, adjusted the special EAZ location and the events that take place there, and introduced a new “Event Card” system, both for ticking off objectives and for earning premium rewards as part of the event. Solstice looks very different in 2022, and now that it’s over, we can take a look at the three-week summertime celebration to run down what worked, what didn’t, and what we might expect from additional annual events as Destiny 2 goes forward.

The improvements

Overall, my impression of this year’s Solstice was that Bungie identified some significant problems that hold the event back and addressed them to make it better. The biggest and most important of them: Solstice armor.

Armor earned during the Solstice event is always special. It has its own unique design and can take on “glows” that give it a unique, incandescent look. The thing about Solstice armor, however, is that it takes a lot of work to make. The entire celebration event is usually about putting in the work to upgrade your Solstice armor from low-level, common gear to high-level Legendary stuff. Most of the time, that grind is about the glow at the end–although generally, you have to pay extra to achieve the coolest looks. This year, however, Solstice armor was made a lot better through Bungie’s continued improvements to gear-targeting systems.

Iron Banter: This Week In Destiny 2 - A Review Of Solstice 2022

The ability to tune your Solstice armor to your personal specifications almost makes the grind worth it.

With the Candescent armor you could earn in this year’s Solstice, eventually, you could tune each gear piece with the specific stats you wanted. The system allowed you to pick one stat with a “spark” that guaranteed it to have at least 20 points invested in it–a pretty significant number, since a single stat for legendary-type armor tops out at 30. In addition to that, with the Ghost mod system that allows you to generally target armor toward a specific stat, you could further tune your Solstice armor in a different direction, with the Ghost mod guaranteeing 10 points in a different stat from your spark. That meant you could get a guarantee of 20 Resilience, along with a guarantee of 10 Discipline, for instance, with randomness contributing the rest of your gear’s numbers to a possible total of 68. With lots of Solstice armor dropping throughout the event, that meant players had pretty good chances of making pretty close to exactly the kind of armor they wanted during Solstice.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the armor system this year was a major improvement for Solstice. It made the whole event feel very worthwhile by providing what is basically the best gear-tuning opportunity in the game. Even if you weren’t particularly keen on Solstice’s activities, it was worth it to engage with the event for the cool armor. Worthwhile rewards are always a big plus in Destiny 2, and Solstice dished them out.

It did so similarly by adding a new weapon to the game, the hand cannon Something New, which carried a new special trait called Dream Work that rewards you for working closely with teammates. The trait was bugged for a bit, making it very special, but even without that add-on, Something New feels special (as does Compass Rose, a shotgun that was reworked for this Solstice). Bungie is making very good use of the new Origin Trait system, especially as seen here: Something New is a gun that comes from exactly one source, with a unique element that makes it feel special. It’s another good reason to jump into Solstice.

Bungie did away with the old EAZ event, which had players chasing down hidden treasure chests after fighting waves of enemies, in favor of a new activity called Bonfire Bash. Generally, I was a fan; it’s not especially different from the old EAZ, still requiring killing waves of enemies, but at least it freshened things up a bit and didn’t require running around the map to find those treasure chests at the end. Overall, the EAZ still gets stale in a hurry (more on that in a bit), but Bonfire feels like a better version of what we’ve played in the space before, at the very least.

Iron Banter: This Week In Destiny 2 - A Review Of Solstice 2022

Adjustments to the EAZ make it more fun than in the past, but it still gets stale in a hurry.

Finally, the Event Card system is a pretty decent one. It puts all your objectives for the event in one place, and if you want to spend a few bucks to upgrade it, it dishes out some premium cosmetic rewards as well–without adjusting how Solstice plays in basically any way. The Event Card system is a good one for keeping things organized, although it’d be nice to see some better rewards, as I’m not sure anyone really cares about Ghost projections or transmat effects, but maybe that’s just me. It’s a minor addition, but a useful one, in any case.

The drawbacks

Solstice saw a lot of improvements this year, but its major drawback remained: it’s a grind, and not an especially fun one. As usual, it takes a lot of work to improve your Solstice armor to its best possible levels. Not only did you have to play a large number of competitive matches and a whole lot of Bonfire Bash, but you had to mess around with a lot of public events and playlist activities. It wasn’t as grindy as in past years, but it was still a significant grind, when Destiny 2 has, in a general sense, moved away from lengthy requirements for making numbers go up to generally more meaningful engagement (although the infernal grind persists, for sure).

I’ll say that the work to get your armor up to its best levels wasn’t nearly as annoying as in last years, which included requirements like raid or dungeon completions–which aren’t a high bar for some players, but which can be extremely frustrating for others. The worst of it this year was probably the 25 competitive matches played requirement for either Crucible or Gambit. It didn’t help that boosted progress for alternate characters was broken for most of the event. Still, though, 25 matches is a lot to ask of anyone, period. I’d like to see Bungie find ways of making these requirements feel more meaningful, maybe by tying some light story elements to them so it feels like you’re seeking out pieces of armor from around the Solar System, or doing something to pay homage to the triumphs Solstice is meant to celebrate. Regardless, the armor grind is an annoying one, and once I’d finished on my Titan character, which took me about half the event to complete, I gave up for the rest of Solstice and abandoned my alts to their non-glowy fates.

Bonfire Bash, too, suffers the same fate as previous EAZ events. It’s fine for a bit, but not terribly challenging or interesting. Of course, we have to take into account that annual events like these are designed for wide engagement among the player base, and are therefore kept casual, and I think the adjustments this year made Bonfire Bash less of an irritation than it had been in past iterations. But you still end up playing it a ton, and it’s basically the same every time.

Iron Banter: This Week In Destiny 2 - A Review Of Solstice 2022
Iron Banter: This Week In Destiny 2 - A Review Of Solstice 2022

The Event Card system is useful for keeping the event organized, but it could stand some better rewards.

There’s potential in the EAZ as a space–it’s more vertical than maybe anywhere else in Destiny 2, and navigating in three dimensions to complete the event is a cool idea. New environmental items to launch you around are also really useful. But the event itself doesn’t use the space in a way that adds much to it. Mostly, the tall buildings and distant floating islands are just annoyances in your way as you try to race to the next thing to kill, so you can finish the event as quickly as possible. That’s also a function of the grind, really, because everyone wants to knock out Bonfire Bash as fast as they can, since they have to complete so many of them. It makes the event feel like a chore, but even if you weren’t sprinting through it, once you’ve done four or five runs, they’re all pretty much the same. And that makes it tough to stay engaged with Solstice for the entire three weeks.

The verdict

I’m pro-Solstice 2022, at least in the frame of the other Solstice events. Generally, it was a major improvement. The issues that make Solstice one of the weaker annual events persist, however. Though Bungie added some really great premium cosmetic items to the event this year, of which I bought several, it still feels like Solstice lacks personality compared to the other events.

The worst element, however, remains the grind. I’m glad Solstice armor was improved to the point that it felt like it was worth chasing, but it still required a high degree of effort to earn–and not the fun kind of effort, like taking on a challenge and defeating it, but the annoying kind of effort, like running 25 Gambit matches just to get them done. For me, I think the answer is either to decrease the grind, which feels like a general mandate for Destiny 2 overall these days, or to enhance Solstice armor even more, so that the reward feels commensurate to the work involved in earning it. Solstice 2022 definitely got closer to that balance, but it’s still not enough to elevate Solstice among Destiny’s other annual events.

What’d you think of Solstice this year? Did you like the changes? What would you like to see Bungie do with it in the future? Am I completely wrong about it? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Destiny 2 Xur Inventory – Vigilance Wing, Raiden Flux, Lunafaction Boots, and More

The Agent of the Nine's inventory isn't the best this week, but there are two weapons for generating Warmind Cells and a decent Gnawing Hunger. Read more »

MSI Details NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 Series Models

MSI is proud to share its take on NVIDIA®’s exciting new GeForce RTX® 4090 and RTX® 4080 series GPUs, with graphics cards that unite the latest in graphics technology, high-performance ... Read more »

Blazblue Creator Toshimichi Mori Leaves Arc System Works

Blazblue series creator Toshimichi Mori has left Arc System Works, following speculation from fans over the past week. ご報告です。 pic.twitter.com/wACWEOfxVh — 森P (@zatuyoP) September 25, 2022 In a tweet, Mori ... Read more »

Destiny 2 – Hotfix 6.2.0.6 Fixes Missing 120Hz Mode on PS5 and Xbox Series X

Various issues with the King's Fall raid, seasonal mods stacking with each other, Touch of Malice, and more have also been fixed. Read more »

OnePlus Nord Watch Full Specifications Leaked Ahead of India Launch: All You Need to Know

The OnePlus Nord Watch is expected to be launched on September 28th. Read more »

Why I Am Buying a Google Pixel 6a During Flipkart Big Billion Days Sale, Despite Its Flaws

Sometimes, it’s okay to buy phones just because they are fun Read more »

Top 10 200cc To 500cc Motorcycles Jul 2022 – Classic, Bullet, Pulsar, Dominar

Motorcycles in 200-500cc range posted a 6.87 percent YoY growth in July 2022 while MoM sales dipped 7.04 percent with Royal Enfield 350 cc models taking top spots New Bajaj ... Read more »

NASA's DART Mission to Slam Into Asteroid on Sept. 26: How to Watch

It is a big day for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Monday, September 26, as it is the day when its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission ... Read more »

Oxenfree II For Nintendo Switch Has Been Delayed Until 2023

"Thank you for your patience" Read more »

Nothing Ear Stick case design revealed, it’s not square-shaped

The awe-inspiring Nothing Ear Stick earbuds’ charging case design has been revealed at the London Fashion Week. Nothing is sparing no effort to create hype around its upcoming earbuds. In ... Read more »

‘Wordle’ today, September 25: Answer, hints, and help for word of the day (#463)

Trying to solve Wordle #463 for September 25, 2022, and need some help? Contents How Wordle works Hints for today’s Wordle What’s the answer to Wordle #463 on September 25? ... Read more »

Xiaomi 12T 5G series tipped to get a new Lunar Silver color option

The Xiaomi 12T and Xiaomi 12T Pro smartphones’ Lunar Silver color variant has surfaced online ahead of an official unveiling. The Xiaomi 12T 5G series will arrive in the global ... Read more »

The RPGs of 2023: Every RPG and their release dates

If you are looking for the 2022 RPG list, click here. Some games tentatively scheduled for 2022 will inevitably actually see release in 2023. Here we list the upcoming RPGs we ... Read more »

Arknights Anime Adaptation Wears Mobile RPG Origin Proudly in New Trailer

The anime adaptation of the Arknights mobile RPG has gotten a new trailer today that shows off the colorful characters that inhabit the world. If you were shown this trailer ... Read more »

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Exclusive Clip Teases the Plot’s Deadly Puzzle

Glass Onion, the sequel to 2019’s whodunnit mystery Knives Out, has just gotten an exclusive clip released online after being originally showcased during Netflix’s TUDUM presentation. The clip looks to ... Read more »

Square Enix Reveals Opening Cutscene of Engage Kill, New Game Set in the World of Engage Kiss Anime

The Engage Kiss anime has wrapped up, but fans of its world will have a new experience to explore thanks to Square Enix’s Engage Kill. Engage Kill is a new ... Read more »

Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals Delayed to 2023

"We owe it to our amazing community to make Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals the best game it can possibly be," says Night School Studio. Read more »

Citizen Sleeper Episode Two: REFUGE Releases on October 27th

Following the events of Episode: FLUX, a "strange event" causes a disturbance in the Eye, and it's up to the Sleeper to investigate. Read more »

Netflix's Creepy New Series The Watcher Gets First Trailer

Netflix is bringing the true story of a nightmare home from Ryan Murphy. Read more »

Vivo X Fold+ 5G spotted on Wireless Power Consortium website

The Vivo X Fold+ 5G foldable smartphone has been spotted on the Wireless Power Consortium with an image that reveals key details. The 5G-ready foldable phone will launch in China ... Read more »

Guillermo Del Toro Gives First Behind The Scenes Look At Netflix's Pinocchio

The Oscar-winning director gives fans a first look at the different types of puppets that were used to bring the classic to life. Read more »

Xbox Announces Project Amplify, a Scheme to Support Black Youth in the Gaming Industry

This new video series aims to educate and inspire Black youth. Read more »

8 Best Live TV Apps for Android TV 2022: Disney+Hotstar, YuppTV, Voot, and More

Check out the list of the best apps for live TV on Android TV. Read more »

Elemental Fighting Simulator Codes (September 2022) – Dungeons Update!

We've got a list of all the new and working Roblox Elemental Fighting Simulator codes that will get you a ton of great rewards! Read more »

Anime Evolution Simulator Codes (September 2022)

We've got a list of all the new and working Roblox Anime Evolution Simulator codes that will get you a ton of great rewards! Read more »

Infinity Sea 2 Codes Wiki (September 2022) – Unban Update!

Our Roblox Infinity Sea 2 codes list features all of the available OP codes for the game. You can use these to get a bunch of free rewards! Read more »

Resident Evil 4 Remake – Xbox One Listing Discovered on Amazon UK

Recently announced for PS4, Capcom's remake of the classic survival horror may also launch for Xbox One, as per a new listing. Read more »

Netflix Drops Hints at Future Outer Banks Drama In New Season 3 Teaser

In the most recent Netflix Tudum showcase, a new teaser trailer was released for the upcoming third season of the Outer Banks series. Outer Banks first premiered in April 2020, ... Read more »

How to complete all deeds in Sea of Thieves: The Siren’s Prize

Screenshot by Gamepur Earning both rewards from The Siren’s Prize in Sea of Thieves requires you to complete not only the Adventure but also all eight of its Deeds as ... Read more »

Arachnids move lightsaber duelling with SpiderHeck

It may be very tough to sum up one thing so complicated as a online game in a single sentence. That being mentioned, have you ever ever sought after to ... Read more »

Oxenfree 2 has been delayed

We'll have to wait until next year to tune in. Read more »

All Tablet locations in Sea of Thieves: The Siren’s Prize

Image via Xbox The Siren’s Prize Adventure in Sea of Thieves takes you across the waves to three of the Sunken Kingdom Shrines surrounding Plunder Valley. Hidden in each are ... Read more »

What is Gadget mode in Slime Rancher 2 and how to use it

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides While Slime Rancher 2 explains how to place slime corrals and chicken coops, it doesn’t clarify how to use Gadget Mode. Gadget Mode is a ... Read more »

How to unlock the Bruen .45 Handgun in Modern Warfare 2 Beta

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Beta only offers a small selection of weapons to play with, however, there is a glitch using which you ... Read more »

Where to find the Storage Cell in Slime Rancher 2

Image by Monomi Park There are a lot of things to collect in Slime Rancher 2 from the different Slimes to fruits and gadget parts. Gadget parts are used to ... Read more »

5 Most Intriguing Open World Games Coming to Xbox Series X & PlayStation 5

The Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are pushing the boundaries of big AAA games to offer more quantity and quality in their games than ever before. And for open-world ... Read more »

Wordle Hint September 25 2022 for 463 (9/25/22) – Spoiler free clues!

Here are some hints for today's Wordle without giving away specifics, so no spoilers in the post! Read more »

Today’s Wordle Answer (September 25th, 2022): Puzzle 463 Hints, Clues, and Solution

Whether it likes it or not, the Wordle answer today for September 25th, 2022, has a confession to make. But even with that acknowledgement, Puzzle 463 wouldn’t do the decent ... Read more »

You're the emergent AI who destroys, or saves, humanity in this sandbox strategy game

Heart of the Machine wants to let you be good, evil, or something in between. Read more »

This cheery, Hexen-like FPS declares war on goblins

I did a lot of horrible things to goblins in the Wizordum demo. Read more »
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network