We’re less than 2 months into a 6-month D2, the longest so far, and it’s about time that I gave my thoughts about it. The Witch Queen was delayed until 2/22/22, meaning that S15 will last a whole six months. D2 seasons usually last 3 months.
We’re wrapping up the seasonal storytelling component, with about 7 weeks in, and we’ve returned to the Dreaming City. I hope that the 15th Wish and all of the story components left open ended by the Last Wish raid will finally be resolved.
The main seasonal activity is a reworked version of the Blind Well. Not having played it that much means that it’s fairly new for me. I would say that it’s better than Override from last season, but there were better seasonal activities like the Sundial and the Menagerie.
Where this season is exemplary is in the Shattered Realm activity, which can be launched once you’ve done your weekly Astral Alignment. You’re warped into an Ascendent Realm, filled with puzzles and areas to explore. I’ve got to say that this is probably my favorite seasonal activity that they’ve done so far.
There are three different versions of the realm to explore. Each one has different enemies and a different design. They revolve around aligning beacons and then besting a boss. Once you’ve aligned two beacons, you’re free to explore the realm to solve puzzles and discover new caches. I’ve found this very entertaining. I can spend about one hour trying to work out the puzzles. Each week, new abilities of the Wayfarer’s Compass are unlocked, allowing you to explore different regions of each realm. I usually take in a movement exotic (transversive steps, lion rampants, or stompees with a sword) and try to reach areas that I suspect have hidden troves. If you’ve gotten Ager’s Scepter, you should run this as it can shoot some barriers that hide chests or Ascendent anchors.
The main abilities are true sight, breaking barriers, and nullifying fields of strife, which stop you from jumping or running. I was surprised to find hidden bosses associated with Ascendent Mysteries. It’s all very cool, and very well done, compared to last season’s Expunge. Don’t get me wrong, Expunge had it’s own interesting facets, but I couldn’t spend an hour playing them.If you beat 4 champions, you’ll also get a pinnacle reward.
The loot this season is OK. There’s a 360 rpm AR, a 1000 CT fusion rifle, a shotgun which can roll QD/ opening shot that took me actually 7 weeks to get (and I’m missing Accurized rounds, and full choke to make it a god roll), a heavy GL, a 180 rpm stasis HC, and an arc bow.
Except for the shotgun, I haven’t spent time farming these rolls. I have been spending time trying to get a god rolled Cartesian Coordinate, because the PvE sandbox changes have made them extremely good. CC can roll vorpal and it’s solar.
The reissued Trials of the Nine weapons, which can be farmed from Prophecy, are really good. There’s a 140 rpm HC, a shotgun, an amazing 540 rpm pulse, a 600 rpm AR, and a sidearm.
Iron Banner comes with a couple of new weapons, most notable is Peacebond, a stasis sidearm that can roll Headstone, a new stasis perk which will make an area of effect freezing, akin to a dusk field grenade. I think the pulse is average.
Trials of Osiris got a complete rework to the rewards, and it’s been fun playing trials for trials engrams and trying to get good weapons. The only stasis LFR has been added to the loot pool, Reed’s Regret, and there has been an adept version released 3 weeks ago. The god roll is triple tap/vorpal, but it can also roll Headstone.
Let’s talk about exotics. First, the Vex Mythoclast got a complete rework and buff. It’s quickly become one of the best weapons in the game. With the right mods (HEF, elemental armaments, font of might, particle deconstruction) and the right exotic, it melts in both PvP and PvE.
Needless to say, they are top tier. I now run a specialized build on my revenant hunter, which takes advantage of all of this. It’s also made top tier thanks to Ager’s Scepter, a new exotic trace rifle launched this season. Ager’s Scepter isn’t too hard to obtain, and the catalyst drops from Astral Alignment. It’s a stasis trace rifle, which has the capability to freeze and slow. This procs all of your equipped stasis fragments and aspects.
Elemental wells finally got a huge buff. I’m not sure exactly why it happened, it could be the fact that warmind cells got nerfed, CWL got old, and stasis armor pieces were released, with corresponding stasis aligned mods.
The catalyst consumes your super and turns it into a super powered beam. With the right build, you can keep firing until you run out of ammo. it’s one of my favorite weapons in the game right now.
The seasonal exotic is a special ammo LFR, like Arbalest, but it’s a lot more fun than that. It’s called the Lorentz Driver, and a crit will create an implosion sphere, which is a bit like dragonfly, but everything about it is cool. It also works in PvP. There’s a whole part of the weapon that requires you to kill specific enemies to generate targeting data. Once you’ve gathered three, you get a 30-second buff of increased damage.
Both the Vex and the Lorentz sort of talk to you, like smart weapons, which is awesome. The builds this season are really fun as well, thanks to elemental wells. Most of the time, I’m rocking either stasis or solar weapons.