*Potential Destiny 2 Season 11 and/or Year 4 spoilers ahead. You've been warned.*
Ever since the release of Shadowkeep, Bungie has maintained that the events of Year 3 would come together in an unprecedented climax for Destiny 2 Season 11, which starts in June. The Season of the Undying, Season of Dawn, and Season of the Worthy all focused on different things - respectively, the Vex, Osiris, and the resurrection of Saint-14 - but supposedly they'll all tie into the Year 3 finale and set up the events of Year 4. And according to newly discovered and datamined information, those events may start with the partial destruction of the Tower and lead into a full-blown Darkness invasion.
What happened to the Tower?
Let's start with the alleged Tower incident, as it was unearthed more recently. In the past few weeks, at least two players (opens in new tab) claim to have loaded into a bugged version of the Tower after attempting to visit the social space. Both players shared images of this bizarre-o world Tower on Reddit (opens in new tab), and they all depict the same thing: for one reason or another, the Tower is torn right up. It's not totally destroyed, so we won't see a repeat of Destiny 2's opener, but it appears to have been heavily damaged by something.
Players only started loading into this bugged Tower after a fairly recent update, so it's entirely possible that it's tied to assets connected to an upcoming update. For now, let's assume that, as many players have suggested, this is a legitimate preview of upcoming changes to the Tower. What's the cause of this damage, and when will it happen? The most popular theory is that the Almighty, the Cabal ship hurtling toward the Last City (AKA the central threat that this Season just sort of forgot about amidst the Trials of Osiris and the Guardian Games), will be destroyed by Rasputin at the end of the Season of the Worthy. However - and this is the important part - by that time, the Almighty will have gotten so close to the Last City that debris from the ship will rain down on the Tower and tear it up. This doesn't explain the significance of the Tower being damaged, assuming it's more than a cosmetic thing, but it's a pretty balanced theory.
Next let's assume this whole Tower thing isn't related to upcoming content at all, and it's just a weird bug of some kind. What would have caused it? Well, apart from potential unknowns regarding Destiny 2's backend, there are two popular explanations. The trouble is that they're both virtually impossible to verify since nobody knows how to manually load into this alternate-universe Tower. First, it's possible that the assets for the Tower damage were somehow spliced in from the Zero Hour mission, which takes place in a wrecked section of the Tower. I'm not entirely sure what could cause this kind of texture or model overlap, and it seems fairly unlikely given the scale of Zero Hour, so I'll just move onto the second, more compelling theory.
Others have floated the idea that an update made with Destiny 2 New Light in mind somehow spliced assets from the opening to the Red War campaign into the main Tower, or at least mixed them up enough to cause occasional bugs. This would make a lot more sense to me since Bungie has been actively working to improve and update the New Light experience, and because New Light still throws new players right into the main Tower while still leaving the Red War accessible. The opening for the first mission of the Red War is also more similar to the Tower social space than the area for Zero Hour. But again, we can't reliably load into the bugged Tower to compare screenshots and like, so we'll just have to pencil this in as a maybe for now.
Now let's assume this mess with the Tower is indicative of upcoming content but isn't tied to the conclusion of the Season of the Worthy or the Almighty. What else - that we know of - could cause large-scale damage to the Tower? That leads us back to the Darkness, which has popped up in a totally different way.
The Darkness is close
For the past few Seasons, several characters in Destiny 2 and many designers at Bungie have teased that the Darkness, the big bad thing that the franchise largely ignored in order to chase unresolved plot threads for five years, is closer than we think. Based on new evidence gathered this season, not to mention a datamined cutscene, the Darkness may be right around the corner.
Ever since it was opened, the Rasputin bunker on Io has displayed a Light Bright-style model of the solar system representing Rasputin's view of space. As the weeks went on, players noticed that red triangles were slowly encroaching on the planets of this model. We can safely assume that these triangles represent the Darkness-adjacent pyramid ships which have appeared throughout Destiny 2's story. It looks like they've finally come a-knockin', and as week-four and week-five posts from Reddit user iiDutchboyy (opens in new tab) show, in the past week alone, the ships have gone from the far reaches of Pluto to the heart of Neptune. It's only a matter of time before they reach us, and according to a cutscene (opens in new tab) uncovered by reputable dataminer Ginsor, they'll pass by Jupiter fairly soon.
So the infamous pyramid ships, and by extension the Darkness itself, are apparently on the way. But when will they arrive, and will they destroy the Tower when they get here? At this point, these pyramid ships will likely arrive at the start of Season 11 - again, said to be a climax bringing together all the elements of Year 3 - or with the next big expansion which is expected to drop this fall. It feels like Bungie wouldn't want to use the pyramid ships on a mere season, and quite frankly I'm not expecting major story beats until fall given the state of Year 3, so even if they do arrive in Season 11, I'm pretty sure these ships will still become a central plot point for Destiny 2 Year 4 and the fall expansion.
As for the Tower, I can easily see it getting torn up by these ships, even if it's just from the crossfire of an attack on the Traveler. Remember that old thing? The Traveler? The big ball of light that gave everyone Guardian powers, was nearly destroyed in the Red War, and inadvertently alerted the pyramid ships through its awakening? It's kind of fallen by the wayside in Destiny 2 ever since Year 1, but I reckon it'll become mighty important in the months ahead.
We know the pyramid ships are getting closer by the week, and we can reasonably assume - but not guarantee - that the Tower is in for a beatdown. Even if both of those events are months away, and even if one of them turns out to be nothing but smoke, they're already ten times more exciting than everything that's happened in the past five months. Something big is coming to Destiny 2, and whatever it is, it can't come soon enough.