Bounties will be less of a focus in Destiny 2 Year 4, both in Seasonal and event cycles, and in everyday play.
Design lead Tyson Green discussed the role of bounties in a recent blog post, echoing many players - myself included - who believe that bounties have become "mandatory chores rather than opportunities to optimize." Going forward, Bungie will work to return bounties to their role of a sub-goal so that other activities can take center stage once again.
Bounties will receive several changes over the next three Seasons. Next Season - Season 11, if you've lost count - will relax the expiration times of several bounties in order to give players time to complete them over multiple days. Some inordinately time-consuming bounties will also be toned down to make them quicker to complete. Together, these changes should reduce the pressure to complete bounties as soon as possible, giving players more room to do whatever they want in-game.
Looking further ahead, Season 12 - the first season of Destiny 2 Year 4 - will replace weekly bounties with a "mechanism that provides players with a set of non-expiring and account-scoped objectives each week that grant lots of Season Rank progress (more than the weeklies they replace)." The goal here, Green says, is to make weekly progress more available for single-Guardian players who can't play a lot, and less repetitive for triple-Guardian players who play all the time.
Season 12 will also steer Destiny 2 away from bounty-focused events and activities. "Bounties should focus on being an optional way to optimize for more or faster core progressions, like XP or Powerful gear by way of Challenges," Green says. "When it comes to optimization, we recognize that there is a very blurry line between 'optional' and 'mandatory', and there's no perfect balance that works for everyone. But we think the balance is tilted too far towards feeling like you need to do bounties to unlock Seasonal content, so we're going to take this step to tilting back."
In a similar vein, future events will be less bounty-dependent. The ongoing Guardian Games 2020 event, for example, is entirely driven by bounties. It's too late for changes to the Guardian Games, sadly, but Green says Bungie is " already looking at plans to adjust the role bounties will play in future events."
Finally, with Season 13, Bungie plans to make bounties less of a headache by adding a proper bounty manager into the game's interface. "We don't like that every play session starts with 10-15 minutes of loading up on bounties," Green says. "We want to make it easier to grab bounties when you want to do them. To that end, we are looking at mechanisms like allowing bounties to be accessed directly from the Destination Map." Picture an Eververse menu, but for claiming and turning in bounties.
This is the second in a series of blog posts which will unveil Bungie's long-term plans for Destiny 2. On Reddit, community manager Cozmo confirmed that next week's post will delve into the Eververse, Destiny 2's premium store, which many players feel has grown more intrusive in recent seasons.
Bungie also detailed plans to make Destiny 2's Seasonal model more of a year-long event.