Newer Destiny 2 players may not even be aware at this point, but some time ago Bungie made the decision to implement “sunsetting” in the game. Under this scheme, weapons and armor would essentially have a lifespan — one year out from their introduction, they would no longer be able to hit the maximum power cap, and thus need to be replaced. It was an immensely unpopular choice, and Bungie changed their minds on the subject not long after. But the weapons that were sunset during that brief window? They’re still out to pasture. You can use them, sure, but they’re branded with an ugly grey icon and outside of Quickplay Crucible, they’re going to bring your Power level way down.
Now, some of the sunset weapons have been reissued since. (A cynical person might see Bungie’s willingness to reissue old weapons without having un-sunset their originals as a bit of a “have your cake and eat it too” situation.) But many of them languish in obscurity, perhaps a few copies still extant in Vaults and inventories, but mostly forgotten. In particular, the gear from Destiny 2 Season of the Dawn, the second season after Shadowkeep, is still absent.
That’s a shame, because the Season of Dawn gear is excellent. The season told the story of the rescue of Saint-14 from a Vex temporal labyrinth, and as such, the armor and most of the weapons were themed around the legendary Titan. You had the Patron of Lost Causes, a 200 RPM scout rifle that could roll Rapid Hit/Explosive Rounds and was the only Lightweight Scout to ever rival Night Watch for me. You had Breachlight, a burst-firing sidearm with a whole mess of great perks. There was Destiny 2‘s first Wave Frame Grenade Launcher, Martyr’s Retribution. And the Arc Linear Fusion Rifle Line in the Sand, with Rapid Hit and Firing Line, sadly never really got a chance to shine because LFRs were in such a bad place back then.
All of the gear had this elegant silver sheen to it that made you feel like you were wielding truly Legendary weapons. They were perfectly tied into the season’s narrative, and they almost uniformly felt great to use. (I know a lot of people didn’t care for Steelfeather Repeater or Perfect Paradox, but I loved them too.) The Exotics that season weren’t much to write home about, but it almost didn’t matter because of how great the more mundane gear was.
And yet, none of the Season of the Dawn gear has come back since. We’ve had reissues of gear from the followup Season of the Worthy. That season was much more poorly received, but you could argue that reissuing the Worthy gear was necessary to keep Warmind Cells as a viable mechanic in Destiny 2. Dawn weapons aren’t tied to any particular mechanic, so they were less of a priority.
Here’s my theory — Bungie’s holding back the Season of the Dawn gear to coincide with another narrative involving Saint-14. For the last little while, everybody’s favorite Exo Titan has been caring for his comatose lover Osiris. Given that there was an entire season about rescuing Saint-14 in which he originally received his gear, I could easily see a similar situation where we’re venturing into Osiris’s mind or perhaps returning to Mercury somehow to rouse him from his slumber. And what better weapons could we be running when we do that than Saint’s legendary gear?
We’ll have to wait and see, but hey, maybe I’ll be way off on my predictions for next season and it’ll be about this instead.