Yesterday the new and revised Dawning Holiday started in Destiny 2, but I feel like in order to understand the rest of this post we need to talk a bit about what Dawning was in Destiny 1. This holiday originally ran from December 13th 2016 to January 3rd 2017 and was lumped in with a major update to the game. As a result it is a little hard to separate what is the Dawning and what is the content, but I am going to talk about it anyways. In Destiny 1 we had these things called record books that included a bunch of achievements and completing them unlocked loot. There was one of these specific to the dawning event and featured achievements that involved either the brand new strike scoring system also included with the patch or the triumphant return of the Sparrow Racing League (SRL). SRL is legitimately my favorite part of Destiny 1 and when it came back over the holidays last year… I ground my little face off running endless Sparrow Racing League matches. With this it also introduced a ton of new SRL themed gear and sparrows including these really awesome class items that left a neon streak behind you as you raced on your sparrow. In addition to that three exotics were introduced into the game, as well as a series of presents that were in the tower allowing you to open one each day and get a mixture of good items and complete junk. Needless to say there was a lot of stuff included in the holiday and a good deal of it like Strike Scoring became a permanent part of the game after that.
This year around The Dawning is running from December 19th through January 9th and as much as I hate to be one of those folks… seems to be largely a bunch of new Eververse Trading Company items. You are given one Dawning Engram by logging in and then there are milestones that allow you to earn one each week. When you XP up it appears that you still get a Season Two Engram rather than one of the special event ones, so your ability to actually get items from this event without spending some money seems to be at least somewhat limited. Instead of presents that give you stuff for free… you get to loot a quest item each day that requires you to do some stuff and then turns in at one of the tower NPCs for some dawning loot. The first one is a pattern that goes in your ghost shell slot and requires you to collect 10 phase glass on Io and kill 15 servitors… which largely meant hanging out and farming the Servitor events as they spawned in the EDZ. I turned in and got an exotic ship and a shader, but based on what I am seeing this appears to be essentially the equivalent of opening one of those Dawning Engrams… so wide loot table including full sets of class armor, 4 unique emotes, 10 unique ghost shells including 1 exotic, 10 unique ships including 2 exotics, 11 unique sparrows including 2 exotic, 4 unique shaders, and 6 unique transmat effects. At any given time there are seven of that assortment of forty five items available for purchase with bright dust on the Eververse vendor… pending my math is correct. Essentially this is an Eververse holiday with Eververse rewards… and a minimal method of earning them through normal game play rather than swiping your card.
The biggest problem I have with the event is the complete and total lack of the Sparrow Racing League. Instead we get Mayhem Crucible modes… which admittedly are amazingly fun, but no crazy swoop bike racing action. For the uninitiated Mayhem is a mode of the Crucible where your super regenerates at an insane rate… and grenade and melee are slightly increased as well. It means that it takes what feels like a minute to get your full super bar, and as a result you are running around doing really silly things the entire match. I played quite a bit of it last night and it was enjoyable to run around the map trying to out super all of the other supers. Oddly enough I got plenty of normal weapon kills also as I sat back and picked off weakened targets when two different super saiyans clashed in battle. As fun as Mayhem mode is… unless it sticks around as a new permanent fixture it is going to feel super hollow. The original Dawning added so much new permanent content to the game, that this version feels extremely lacking. Strike scoring is one of those systems that is desperately needed in Destiny 2 and with the bulk of the dawning items coming from cash shop purchases rather than a book of achievements… it just feels cheap. I am as big a backer of Destiny 2 as they come, but even I have to stop and think that this seems more cash grab than content.