Destiny 2 would very much like you to stop using Warmind Cells. These handy, glowing orange orbs of pain have dominated the game since their arrival in Season of the Worthy back in March of 2020. Using mods tied to certain pieces of armor, players could generate the little angry balls when killing foes with certain weapons or damage types. Warmind Cells then generated defensive shields, damage buffs, or just outright exploded — vaporizing everything from Earth to Io and back again. Now developer Bungie would like you to trade cells for wells. Lots and lots and lots of wells.
The team dropped a showcase for its February 2022 expansion, Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, earlier today. To continue the hype we’re also entering the “Season of the Lost,” which runs from now until that pricier update. And with each new season also come new mods. Many of these are semi-permanent, giving any player with access to them new ways to play. Others are “seasonal” and expire at the end of a given content cycle (in this case early next year). The latter are meant to encourage a certain sort of playstyle for a certain chunk of time — something to make you try a weapon or Exotic or subclass you might otherwise ignore.
In Season of the Lost, Elemental Wells are the focus. These kinda-sorta work like Warmind Cells, only not as good. Elemental Wells drop from fallen foes or when you perform certain actions, yes, but lack the ‘splodey finale. You also need to physically collect them off the ground to see almost any benefit, unlike the cells that largely work instantly or trigger when you shoot them from a distance… or both.
Wells have always been largely fine, but rarely the best option. Especially since there’s a third type of mod mechanic, Charged With Light, that also bypasses the “lick some glowing goo up off the ground” step.
Bungie hasn’t given up on the idea just yet, however. Season of the Lost is chock full of new mods focused on Elemental Well focused mods. One seasonal upgrade, for instance, grants you more Super energy every time you pick up a well that matches your subclass type. That’s not bad! Another option spawns Solar and Stasis wells any time you kill a Champion (enhanced versions of normal enemies that all but require certain mod loadouts to defeat at higher levels of play). Warmind Cells, meanwhile, were nerfed into the ground.
None of this is terribly strange. It’s all part of the ebb and flow of live games, which need to shake the dust off trusty strategies sometimes to keep from growing stale. Warmind Cells also suffered from larger issues with how stingy Destiny is with mods. If you play during a particular season, they’re not hard to get. If you miss those few months of content, they’re only available inconsistently from vendors and might be gone before you can log in and add them to your collection.
No, what’s funny to me about Elemental Wells is the name. Destiny is absolutely rotten with wells of every kind at the moment. So much so that I can’t stop laughing any time I think about it. Fanbyte Podcast Managing Editor merritt k recently wrote about how you simply cannot escape certain words across nearly all video game fiction. “Rift” was her example (which also features prominently in Bungie’s game). But Destiny 2 has become a microcosm of the phenomenon in and of itself.
For the first time in years, Season of the Lost also sends players back to The Dreaming City — where one of the landmark cooperative activities is called the “Blind Well.” Inside you can generate more Elemental Wells with your new mods. If you’re a Warlock, you can even use those wells inside The Blind Well to charge your Super move: Well of Radiance. Of course, once you clear enough waves of enemies, you can use your wells to charge your well inside the well to fight Inomia, Plague of the Well (just one of several “well-themed” bosses).
That’s just one location, though. If you get bored you can leave for more exotic areas: places like the Well of Infinitude, Well of Flame, Well of Echoes, Well of Giants, Well of Stars, Well of Dust, or Templar’s Well. You could even make it all the way to Quitter’s Well, but might feel the urge to stop there. If you’re not too tired, though, you could really stretch the definition by pointing out that many Destiny weapons use the phrase “well-balanced” in their lore descriptions.
There are wells on top of wells on top of wells. Often literally. Well, I can only imagine we’ll be welcoming more well into the future.