Destiny 2: Season Of The Drifter DLC release
Destiny 2's next season kicks off Tuesday, March 5, and with it comes new activities as part of the game's Annual Pass offering. The Joker's Wild DLC that corresponds with Season 6, the Season of the Drifter, is adding a new version of the Gambit competitive mode called Gambit Prime, which ups the stakes on the mode first introduced with the Forsaken expansion.
Bungie ran down some of the details in a new blog post and vidoc that showcase some of what players can expect in Season 6. The story of the next season is focused on The Drifter, the mysterious character who runs Gambit, and the giant strange artifact he's been towing behind his ship since he showed up in Destiny 2. According to the vidoc, you might think of Gambit up to now as training for a heist. Gambit Prime is the heist, according to Bungie, and it feeds into another high-level activity called The Reckoning.
The Reckoning will be a tiered event that drops special loot, with the idea that you'll be collecting armor and weapons in The Reckoning, taking them back to Gambit Prime to earn better stuff there, and then using that stuff to head back to The Reckoning. The first tier of The Reckoning will be available at the start of the season on March 5, along with Gambit Prime's first new map, a Mars location called New Arcadia. According to Bungie's Destiny 2 roadmap, the second tier of The Reckoning unlocks on March 8, and the third and final tier will be available to players on March 15.
Although the vidoc wasn't very specific on how Gambit Prime will differ from regular Gambit, or what exactly The Reckoning will be, one interesting element of The Reckoning is that it's tied to The Nine. That's the strange, shadowy group mostly only hinted at in Destiny lore up until now, primarily through visits from the weekly Exotic weapons vendor and Emissary of the Nine, Xur. Previous info about Season 6 mentioned that Xur will soon offer bounties for players to complete. Those are now called Invitations of the Nine and will pop up on March 15 with The Reckoning's third tier. These are weekly bounties that offer Powerful rewards, but you can only complete one on each character per week, for nine weeks. There aren't many details as to what they'll entail, though.
As for new Gambit Prime maps, after New Arcadia, a Titan location called Deep Six will get added on March 12. There will also be three new Gambit weapons to earn in the activity, as well as new armor sets through Gambit Prime and The Reckoning.
As the vidoc notes, Bungie took a note from the first DLC release of its new Annual Pass, The Black Armory. When that season started, it came with a Power increase that required players to grind old activities in order to become strong enough to play the newly released content, something nobody playing Destiny 2 was very happy about. That won't happen in Joker's Wild--Bungie says top-level players will be able to jump right into the new Gambit Prime mode. A new set of bounties available from The Drifter, called Power Surge bounties, will also help anybody who's below 640 Power boost themselves up to close to last season's max level within an hour or two, Bungie says.
There's one more big event coming in Joker's Wild that Destiny 2 fans are likely to be waiting for: the quest to get Thorn, one of the best-loved (and most-hated) guns in Destiny 1. That starts on March 12, but sounds like it'll be lengthy and include time gates the way previous Exotic weapons quests have. It sounds like that quest will also require you to pick sides between the Drifter and the Guardian-governing group called the Vanguard. Once you make that choice for a specific character, you're stuck with it, apparently.
Bungie also noted on Reddit another change that's coming with its March 5 update: new Exotics for sale from Xur. Up to now, Xur has only sold Year One Exotic armor and weapons, but starting in Season 6, he'll also sell Forsaken Exotics. They'll be added to his current batch, which means there's no guarantee they'll pop up in his bag every week, though. You also won't be able to get them from Fated Engrams. But at least there will be a chance to nab some of those Year Two Exotics without having to rely on random drops.
While the Gambit-related content in Season of the Drifter is locked behind the Annual Pass, there are a few new bits of content for those who haven't ponied up for the DLC. Season 6 will see new high-level Pinnacle weapons to earn in the Crucible and from Vanguard strikes. There are also two new events coming: a spring event called The Revelry, which sounds to be similar to the Valentine's Day-themed Crimson Days, holiday-themed event The Dawning, and Halloween-themed Festival of the Lost events. Another weeklong event, called Arc Week, will also be free to all players. Those events will start in April and bleed into May.