Destiny 2 Season 13 will replace weekly bounties with new seasonal challenges, significantly increase weapon recoil on PC "in preparation for crossplay," increase the amount of free Bright Dust players receive, and rebalance a whole mess of weapon archetypes.
In an effort to "not only remove FOMO, but give fresh ways to earn XP and alternate rewards," Bungie's dropping weekly bounties from vendors and replacing them with seasonal challenges. For the first 10 weeks of each season, three to 10 challenges will be released via the quest log. Completing these challenges will get you XP, Bright Dust, seasonal currency, cosmetics and other items.
Weekly challenges can be completed at any point during a season, though "most of the challenges disappear after the season they were introduced." This is arguably a new form of FOMO, but it's one Bungie hopes to offset by giving players a few weeks at the end of each season to clean up remaining challenges. Seasonal challenges were apparently designed to make it less punishing to miss a week or two of a season, and to make Destiny 2 easier to come back to. Compared to weekly bounties, Bungie says they'll also offer more interesting and complex objectives, with high-level ones including activities like Grandmaster Nightfalls or Trials of Osiris.
Seasonal challenges will replace weekly bounties, but daily and repeatable bounties will stick around as an extra source of XP and Bright Dust. With seasonal challenges themselves offering up to 10,000 Bright Dust per season, including a 4,000 lump sum for majority completion, players will be able to earn over 30,000 Bright Dust per season going forward. That's with 7,500 from the free season pass, 3,000 from the premium pass, and just over 14,000 for completing vendor rituals on all characters every week. This is the second major revision to the Bright Dust economy and it will definitely increase the total Bright Dust per season. Unless you cleared every bounty on all your characters in the old system, you'll wind up earning more than you did several seasons ago too.
Season 13 will also lay the groundwork for cross-platform PvP through platform-based weapon balancing. Simply put, Bungie's increasing the recoil of several weapon types on PC to bring the platform more in line with console weapon performance, in part so PC players can't just ignore the stability stat on a weapon (guilty as charged). Auto rifles, scout rifles, pulse rifles, SMGs, hand cannons, and machine guns will have their built-in recoil reduction lowered from 40% to 20%.
This PC recoil increase will be dampened by some of the broader weapon changes coming next season, including:
- Pulse rifles: reduced camera movement from firing by 7%
- SMGs: reduced camera movement from firing by 24%
- Machine guns: reduced camera movement from firing by 9.5%
- Fusion rifles: damage falloff range extended, reduced camera movement from firing by 9.5%
- Rockets: 30% damage increase, with Exotic rockets receiving varying bonus
- Swords: 15% damage decrease
- Breech grenade launchers: shots now explode on contact even with trigger held
- Borealis and Hard Light: faster animation for switching elements added
- Duality: damage falloff range extended, buff stacks compressed for more damage per stack
- Sturm: will again reload any equipped special weapon on kill
With February fast approaching, Bungie also confirmed that Destiny 2's usual Valentine's Day PvP event, Crimson Days, has been cancelled this year. Relatedly, the Crimson Doubles PvP mode is being vaulted for the foreseeable future. The Crucible has done nothing but hemorrhage maps and modes for several seasons, so many players are hoping to see Bungie reinvigorate the mode in the near future.
Destiny 2 Season 13 will also reintroduce one of the game's best loot systems: Umbral Engrams.