Bungie will continue to re-release old weapons in future Destiny 2 seasons, but creative director Luke Smith says returning weapons will feel newer than they did in the Season of Arrivals.
"I think the team had a good bit of learning in Season 11 with some of those guns coming back with just new numbers," Smith says. "Going forward, when we re-issue a weapon – because we've made a ton of weapon art that's awesome – we want to make sure that we're updating the talent grids and the stat packages to the latest and greatest as well, so it doesn't feel like going out and getting the exact same version of it.
"Perks and the meta fluctuate, so it's possible that Gun X comes back in Year Y and the same best perks are still the same best perks because that's what the meta is, but we want to bring stuff back and make sure it has a bit more optionality," he adds. "It's never as simple as copy and paste, I know that's how our players would describe it, but I can assure you it's not just that. So I think there's a good bit of learning there."
The Umbral Engram system in the Season of Arrivals saw the return of many fan-favorite weapons, the most famous being the Gnawing Hunter auto rifle, but many players were disappointed that the season essentially asked them to re-acquire higher-Power versions of guns they'd already obtained. As Smith said, it was strictly "the exact same version of it" but with a new seasonal symbol attached. However, if Bungie is able to revitalize returning weapons and present them in a cool way that doesn't feel like a point-for-point redo, this sort of system may work in favor of new seasonal content. It might be cool to revisit the Moon weapons from Shadowkeep in a Hive-themed season, for instance, since they didn't get much time to shine.
In the same Destiny 2: Beyond Light interview, Smith suggested that the players themselves are the true danger in this expansion.