New places to go, new gear to hoard, a heavy focus on the PvPvE Gambit mode and the return of the universe's most hated pistol - Thorn - are at the heart of Destiny 2's next season of updates. The first parts of Season Of The Drifter kick off next Tuesday, March 5th, with the introduction of Gambit Prime, a more focused, single-round variant of the hybrid play-mode for annual pass holders. There's also some new Gambit maps coming for everyone who owns the Forsaken expansion, and the option to host custom matches. See Bungie break it down in the video below.
One of the most interesting things coming in this season are the new Power Surge bounties, which will let players skip the grind and get straight into 'the good stuff'. These new bounties have relatively humble objectives like 'Kill 50 enemies and complete a strike' but pay out level 640 gear, rocketing players straight into endgame. That new endgame loop sounds like it's going to be alternating between Gambit Prime and the new PvE area, Reckoning. Repeating this will gradually earn players role-themed suits of glowy armour, representing the four player roles in Gambit.
Reckoning - another Annual Pass perk - is set inside the bubble-world(?) towed behind the Drifter's ship. Bungie reckon it's one of the hardest things in the game, and that's just the first tier of it. Reckoning will be expanded to Tier 2 on March 8th, and fully accessible on March 15th, alongside the (also Annual Pass-only) Invitations Of The Nine. The Invitations are weekly missions tied to mysterious space-trader Xûr and the Nine - the group he represents, and promise big rewards and more story tidbits.
For regular players without the Annual Pass there's a bunch of smaller updates due to roll out through March and into April and May, including new Gambit maps and a power cap increase. There's going to be a week dedicated to all things Arc-element, a new festival event called The Revelry, and the return of the Iron Banner. In the original Destiny this was a no-holds-barred PvP mode where your Light (now Power) determined your strength. It seems like a fine test-bed for the return of one of PvP's meanest weapons, Thorn.
I'm not surprised to see that Thorn is coming back. For those lucky enough to not have to deal with it in the original Destiny, it was a nightmare in PvP. While not the most inherently powerful of hand-cannons, its painful needle-like bullets deal a chunk of its damage over time, preventing your shield recharge cycle from starting. A couple lucky shots from some sassy git with Thorn could hobble your entire team in a Crucible match, although I gather they did nerf it a little bit. Thorn will be available to all, undoubtedly via a complex, multi-stage quest starting on March 12th.
Season Of The Drifter begins on March 5th. The last season of the year - The Season of Opulence - has been named, and begins in June. You can see more of Bungie's plans (including a timeline) on their ViDoc page here and the season info-dump here.