The second Season of Lightfall, Season of the Deep, has begun in Destiny 2. Following Lightfall and Season of Defiance, Deep aims to continue the story of the Witness and what its plans are. By returning to Titan, one of Santurn’s moons previously stolen away by the Darkness, you’ll reunite with an ally once thought lost. With Commander Sloane by your side, you aim to dive deep into Titan’s methane seas and plunder anything which can help you unravel the origins of the Witness, with a little help from a mysterious, ancient being. There’s a lot to look forward to in Season of the Deep, between multiple seasonal activities, new gear and finally some answers on the Veil.
Season of the Deep is where broad changes to the seasonal model are likely to start blooming. While a complete overhaul isn’t going to become apparent until Seasons 22 or 23, this season already looks to have a more interesting and engaging loop than what we’ve previously played. Between a suite of sick new Taken armaments, the return of Titan, underwater exploration and, of course, fishing, there’s plenty for Guardians to dig their teeth into with this seasonal update.
Here’s how Season of the Deep works in Destiny 2.
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How to Start
To start the Season of the Deep main story, you must first complete The Descent mission which will start automatically when loading up Destiny 2. This mission takes you back to a familiar Saturn moon, Titan, where a distress signal from a lost comrade has been received. The mission will introduce a lot of the main story pieces for the season and you’ll even brush up against the formidable big baddie we’ll be facing. The main faces of the season appear to be Zavala, Drifter, Sloane, Saladin, Saint and our new friend from the briny deep.
Finish the quest and you’ll be brought to the new H.E.L.M area and given the NPA Repulsion Regulator, Season of the Deep’s artifact. You’ll also be given a Deepsight version of the new Targeted Redaction, one of the new seasonal weapons that feature funky new Taken VFX.
From here on out, follow the weekly Into the Depths quest chain which will take you through all of the essential elements of the season.
Salvage is the main seasonal activity in Season of the Deep. It’s a 6-man matchmade activity where you venture deep into Titan’s methane ocean to secure old Golden Age tech. You begin somewhere on Titan and are given a series of randomized jobs to complete. These range from picking up parts for repairing a crane while fending off hoards of Hive to stopping Thralls from sacrificing themselves to an altar. As you complete objectives, you’ll earn time. Fail objectives, though, and time will be deducted.
Complete enough objectives and you’ll be teleported beneath the methane ocean of Titan itself. You’ll wade through a small underwater section, complete with Sonic-esque air bubbles, before coming onto a big arena for a final boss fight. Beat this final challenge and you’ll be met with a Salvage Chest and the end of the activity.
Salvage can be entered from a node in the H.E.L.M and it will award Powerful gear when you complete a certain amount of runs. To get the most out of Salvage, you’ll want to bring in another currency called a Salvage Key to obtain additional rewards from the final chest. Salvage can drop seasonal gear including the new Deep weapon set, so it will be one of your main sources of rewards.
The other new seasonal activity in Destiny 2 is Deep Dives. Unlocked after completing the Operation Thunderbolt story mission, Deep Dives are 3-man activities which have an interesting take on Destiny 2’s usual formula by adding in things like character buffs and tier systems.
One of the most interesting things about Deep Dives is that they seem, at least partially, inspired by roguelikes. At the beginning of each run, you will select one of two buffs such as bonus Kinetic or precision damage. This buff is active for the whole mission, giving you a unique edge over your foes. Complete the listed objectives, beat the unique boss at the end and you can claim some seasonal loot from one of the Deep Dive chests.
As of week 1, Deep Dives only contain one or two encounters, but certain triumphs hint that later weeks may expand Deep Dives into much longer affairs. There are mentions of different depths – Twilight, Midnight and Abyss – each with their own boss. We currently can only do the Twilight depth, pointing to more areas being added in later weeks. These longer Deep Dives will likely have the opportunity to gain more buffs and fight more bosses the longer you’re able to survive.
Like with Salvage, you’ll want to bring in a special type of key to gain additional loot. This time, you need to bring in Deep Dive Keys which will let you unlock a special second Deep Dive chest for some additional loot.
Salvage Keys and Deep Keys
As we previously alluded to, there are two new currency types in Season of Deep. These are Salvage Keys and Defiant Keys, are each of them is tied to one of the two new seasonal activities.
Salvage Keys are used for gaining additional rewards at the end of Salvage activities. They are automatically consumed when you open the final Salvage chest. Meanwhile, Deep Keys are used at the end of a Deep Dive to open an additional chest, instead. While you can undertake both of these mission types on their own and still gain rewards from them, going in with at least one key is recommended so that you can double up on your winnings upon completion.
Both types of Keys can be found by completing various activities around the system. This includes regular playlist activities like Crucible or Strikes, Neomuna’s Terminal Overload activity or Public Events and even Dungeons and Raids. There is a maximum amount of Keys you can hold, though, so be sure to check your inventory often so you can use them up and not waste any opportunities to earn more.
If you want to take a bit of a break and want some peaceful time to yourself, you’re in luck. One of the other major new activities in Season of the Deep is fishing, a staple of any MMO. Upon completing your first batch of weekly missions, you’ll receive a mysterious bit of fishing tackle alongside the quest Goin’ Fishing. Speaking to Hawthorne will give you the Fishing Tackle container which stores bait you collect for fishing.
You collect bait for fishing by completing Salvage, Deep Dive, playlist activities, public events, patrols or by collecting planetary materials. Essentially, just play whatever part of the game you like and, eventually, you’ll amass a nice collection. In total, you can hold up to 500 bits of bait.
Once you have enough bait, head to one of the three fishing spots in the Solar System. There’s one in the EDZ, one on Nessus and one in Savathun’s Throne World. Then, you simply fish. You’ll throw out your line into the water and you need to watch the lure. When it goes under the water, recall the rod and you’ll (hopefully) have a new fish. Fish come in 4 different rarities – Uncommon, Rare, Legendary and even Exotic – with higher-rarity fish earning you more rewards when you eventually turn them in at the H.E.L.M.
There is also a mechanic at fishing spots known as Focused Fishing. When you, or any other angler at the same spot, catch Legendary or above rarity fish, the Focused Fishing meter will fill. As it does, more fish will spawn in and the chance to get higher rarity fish increases dramatically. You’ll want to get this bar as high as you can, especially if you’re hunting for some of the more elusive creatures lurking in the water.
One thing to note with fishing is Public Events. When a Public Event spawns in the same location as a Fishing Spot, it will disappear until it is completed. This will also, annoyingly, get rid of your Focused Fishing bar. As a result, you’ll want to try and cram in as much fishing as you can before your progress is reset. Aside from that, there are many different types of fish to collect and a bunch of triumphs dedicated to it, so get reach to become a fishing expert.
So, what’s the Season of the Deep loop looking like?
- Enter the Salvage and Deep Dive activities each week to earn seasonal loot.
- Collect Salvage and Deep Dive Keys by completing activities throughout the system.
- Return to the seasonal activities with Salvage Keys and Deep Dive Keys to earn bonus loot and Deep Engrams.
- Acquire bait by playing activities and then go fishing when you need a break. Put any fish you successfully catch in the aquarium to earn loot, including the reprised Reckoning weapons.
- Rinse and repeat.
Alongside this, Guardians will be progressing the Into the Depths quest bit by bit each week. This will unlock new story missions like Operation Thunderbolt as well as new rewards to earn. A new Dungeon will also launch on the Friday following Season of the Deep’s launch (May 26th), giving players another avenue of sweet loot to chase.
One of the small, but meaningful, changes to the season is where the Seasonal Upgrades are located. Instead of being on the seasonal vendor, they’re under a new tab called Seasonal Bonuses in the Seasonal Challenges section.
In total, there are 10 Bonuses that Guardians can unlock by completing certain objectives and challenges. Unlike previous seasons, you don’t have to spend a special currency to unlock each upgrade: you simply need to complete the associated challenge and the bonus is yours. While some challenges are time-gated behind future content, at least 7 are available to earn in week 1 (with the right amount of grind, of course).
Like with previous seasonal upgrades, these bonuses serve to help you in various parts of seasonal content. Deep Weapon Focusing and Deep Armor Focusing give you more choice and flexibility when decoding Deep Engrams. Others, such as Deep Challenger and Deep Attraction work to give you increased amounts of Deep Engrams, whereas Deepsight Salvaging is here to help you earn crafted weapons. There’s even a bonus dedicated to helping you fish better.
Sonar Station Reputation
The Sonar Station is the main vendor in Season of the Deep. As you complete Seasonal Challenges or participate in Salvage and Deep Dive activities, you’ll earn Sonar Station reputation. The more reputation you earn, the more rewards are unlocked at the Sonar Station.
Every time you rank up with Sonar Station, you get one Deep Engram. Meanwhile, each major rank of reputation (Brave, Heroic, Fabled, etc.) will award you a Deep Weapon engram, guaranteeing you one of the 6 new Deep Seasonal weapons. Alongside that, there are many rewards that you will earn as you hit certain ranks. These include extra Salvage and Deep Keys, Ascendant Alloys, Ascendant Shards and even a new Exotic ship, the Akashic Revelation.
Check back here often to decode your stacks of Deep Engrams, pick up new bounties for the seasonal activity and collect any rank rewards you earn.
Deep Engram Focusing
As you play through the D2 in Season of the Deep, you’ll steadily accumulate Deep Engrams. Instead of appearing in your inventory, these Engrams stay on the Sonar Station and you can check how many Engrams you currently have using the Engram Tracker in your inventory.
Deep Engrams can be decoded into loot at the Sonar Station. In total, there are four different types of decoding:
- Deep Engram Decoding: contains one random piece of Season of the Deep gear.
- Deep Weapon Focusing: contains one random Season of the Deep weapon.
- Reckoning Armour Focusing: contains one random reprised Season of the Drifter weapon.
- Deep Armor Focusing: contains one random piece of Season of the Deep armour.
For many, the most important decoding options are the two weapons bonuses. In Deep, weapons from Season of the Drifter have made their return, reuniting Guardians with some fan favourites. That’s not all, though, as the current slate of seasonal weapons feature Taken versions of the Reckoning weapons with new stats and archetypes. If you want to decode your Deep Engrams into a specific weapon, you’ll need to unlock the Deep Weapon Focusing Seasonal Bonus. This will also cost more Engrams, increasing from 2 Engrams to 4 Engrams.
The list of seasonal weapons are:
- Rapacious Appetite Stasis Submachine Gun (Aggressive Frame)
- Different Times Strand Pulse Rifle (Rapid-Fire Frame)
- A Distant Pull Stasis Sniper Rifle (Rapid-Fire Frame)
- Until Its Return Strand Shotgun (Rapid-Fire Frame)
- Targeted Redaction Void Hand Cannon (Aggressive Frame)
- Thin Precipice Strand Sword (Vortex Frame)
Meanwhile, the reprised Reckoning weapons include:
- Spare Rations Kinetic Hand Cannon (Adaptive Frame)
- Bug-Out Bag Solar Submachine Gun (Adaptive Frame)
- Outlast Solar Pulse Rifle (Rapid-Fire Frame)
- Last Man Standing Solar Shotgun (Aggressive Frame)
- Sole Survivor Arc Sniper Rifle (Adaptive Frame)
- Just In Case Solar Sword (Adaptive Frame)
To finish up, you should notice a rather large fish tank built into the walls of the H.E.L.M. This is where you’ll put all the fish you dredge up.
To actually get some fish in there, you need to interact with a releasing device after catching some. Depending on the rarity of the fish, you’ll even get rewards from depositing your fish into the aquarium. Uncommon and Rare fish have a low chance to give rewards. Meanwhile, Legendary fish are guaranteed to give you some gear, including the reprised Reckoning weapons. You can even get Exotics to drop, which seems to be guaranteed if you bring back any Exotic-tier fish. Other rewards include upgrade materials and even a few world drops.
The best part, though, is watching all your fishy friends swim about in the aquarium. This feature is actually a fantastic way to earn rewards and gear, so be sure to bring back as many fish as you can.
That was everything you needed to know about Season of the Deep in Destiny 2.