Loot boxes aren’t dead, but many developers now favor the premium progression pass instead. Destiny 2 is the latest game to adopt one of these digital Skinner boxes. But as Bungie director Luke Smith explains in a blog post, this isn’t going to change how you play the game. Instead, it’s about giving more people a way to feel like they are progressing.
Destiny 2’s first Season Pass is called Season of the Undying. You can get included with the Shadowverse expansion for $35 or you can purchase it separately for $10. In the future, each season will sell for $10. In addition to a variety of rotating activities and challenges, players will earn seasonal experience points that will go toward a season rank. As your rank improves, you unlock loot pre-determined loot.
Bungie is also including a free progression pass, but it won’t include nearly as many items.
Season of the Undying has 100 ranks, and Smith said it took him about an hour of playing to unlock one level. But if playing Destiny 2 for 100 hours (or more) during the three months of a season seems like a lot, you can pay more to catch up. Bungie is going to enable players to buy levels, but it’s only going to open that up in the last two-to-four weeks of Undying.
Destiny 2’s battle pass is for busy players
This progression-pass system isn’t a new idea. It’s something that Valve first brought to prominence with its annual Compendium pack for Dota 2. Since then, games like Fortnite have made blockbuster levels of cash using the same method.
Now that Bungie is no longer working with publisher Activision, having a new way to generate revenue is probably part of the appeal of a battle pass. But Smith says the team is trying to design it for people who have too much going on in their lives.
“The ranks help our friends in the community who have families and/or full time jobs, or who are deep in finals territory at college,” reads the director’s blog. “Sometimes you just want to log in, grab some bounties, shoot some aliens or Guardians, earn XP, and chill with your friends.”
This is the specific reason that you rank up in the season pass by doing anything in Destiny 2. Games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds put a lot of emphasis on finishing challenges to progress in their battle passes. Bungie doesn’t want players to feel like they’re wasting their time if they’re not maximizing their efficiency.
“You’ll make progress by earning XP doing the things you’re already doing in Destiny — defeating monsters and completing bounties and activities,” reads Smith’s blog. “This is about a new additive layer of predictable rewards for just playing the game.”
And if you are one of the most hardcore Destiny 2 players, Bungie doesn’t want you to worry. The season pass isn’t going to negate your efforts. You’re still going to find the best gear in random chests when you defeat the toughest enemies.