***Spoiler Warning: This text accommodates attainable spoilers for the Future 2 story, in addition to the upcoming Lightfall enlargement. When you aren’t caught up on the present canon, be warned.***
With the discharge of Future 2’s Season of the Plunder, Guardians have been loving the swashbuckling motion and morally questionable piracy in Future’s newest content material providing. Over the primary three weeks, the story has been lighthearted, with the Drifter cracking jokes and even flirting with the aloof Eris Morn, in addition to Spider, getting the quick finish of the stick from virtually everybody.
The one hints of drama appear to be specializing in the previous of Mithrax (or Misraaks, because the Eliksni name him) and his reluctance to open up about it to his daughter. Compared to the dire circumstances and oppressive tone of Season of the Haunted, which reached into three characters’ inside trauma, in addition to foreshadowing the encroaching darkness in Future’s future, Season of the Plunder is a breath of recent air. However does it really feel so totally different proper now, and the way does the tone tie into Future 2’s grander narrative?
By no means has a Future season been so jovial, particularly this near the discharge of a serious enlargement. In actual fact, most Future seasons have been pretty severe affairs, with some having a extra hopeful tone than others.
In just about each earlier occasion, there all the time tends to be some world-ending risk of some sort that wants coping with, character development available, and a few shift within the Future establishment. Within the Season of the Splicer, the Final Metropolis was solid beneath perpetual evening by the Vex, and it was solely via studying to work with our new Eliksni allies and acknowledge how Guardians have handled them that we might save the Final Metropolis and uncover that Osiris (possessed by the Hive Queen Savathun) had been sabotaging it within the background.
Within the Season of the Worthy, the Cabal superweapon the Almighty was being hurled on the Final Metropolis, and in an effort to overcome this grave risk Commander Zavala needed to overcome his doubts concerning the AI Warmind Rasputin to cease the Final Metropolis from being destroyed. The season ended with us studying concerning the impending arrival of the Black Fleet within the following season.
Whereas Season of the Plunder is following a few of the identical patterns, the stakes really feel surprisingly low. Eramis the Shipstealer, having been revived, has been despatched to plunder artifacts of Darkness from Eliksni previous, however Guardians have efficiently beat her at acquiring these artifacts with relative ease whereas additionally having enjoyable with Future’s sillier characters. Not figuring out what’s in these artifacts, the stakes stay quite low, because it appears nobody is in any explicit hazard for the time being, and Eramis has but to show that she’s an precise risk.
To find why the tone of the season is mild, we should look again to Season of the Risen and the prophecy foretold by the darkish Psions within the Vox Obscura mission. Within the unique quest, we study from psionic propaganda of a possible future for the next causes:
“The Leviathan reborn. The Shipstealer revived. The town besieged; your Traveler contaminated by darkness.”
On the time, it was exhausting to inform if this warning was one thing to take heed to or ignore, given its nature as propaganda. Simply as a lot as there was an opportunity of it occurring, there was an equal probability of it being confirmed fallacious. Nonetheless, because the seasons have continued to progress, it has turn out to be clearer that the prophecy is coming to move.
Within the earlier season, Season of the Haunted, the Leviathan had been reborn, drowned in egregore and the nightmares of the moon. This traces up with the order of occasions outlined within the prophecy, seeing as Ermais’ revival occurred this season. What that leaves us is the ultimate piece of the prophecy: A siege on the Final Metropolis and the Traveler contaminated by darkness.
The final time the Final Metropolis was correctly beneath siege was all the way in which again at Future 2’s launch within the Pink Conflict marketing campaign. Whereas the marketing campaign itself was on the simpler facet of issues, the Final Metropolis virtually fell by the hand of the Pink Legion. Whereas the Cabal are sturdy in their very own proper, their energy is dwarfed by that of the Witness and the Black Fleet. If the Black Fleet is to invade, even with the assistance of our Cabal and Eliksni allies, our loss is all assured.
Trying on the seasonal storyline as a complete, this matches with conventional storytelling constructions. When masking a heavy storytelling beat, such because the Season of the Haunted’s deep dive into previous trauma and emotional scarring, it’s good to let these consuming the story take a breather earlier than issues worsen. A direct instance of that is in Future 2’s Forsaken marketing campaign.
Within the opening mission, after a protracted struggle, Cayde-6 dies in a dramatic cutscene, adopted by the remainder of Future’s Vanguard mourning his loss. The mission that follows is a mixture of exploration and light-weight fight, with some worldbuilding blended in for good measure.
The story slows down and lets gamers course of what has occurred and its potential penalties whereas nonetheless transferring ahead. The identical factor has occurred with the transition from Season of the Haunted and Season of the Plunder. The explanation the tone is mild is that Bungie is giving us a second of peace earlier than issues escalate dramatically.
From there, we will additionally predict what would possibly happen in the course of the subsequent season by having a look at what follows Rising Rigidity: Rising Motion. Through the a part of the story often known as Rising Motion, the stakes turn out to be dire, and even at their worst, and the heroes wind up dropping one thing. Whether or not that be a battle, or an individual or object necessary to them, this loss spurs the heroes on to seek out additional victory within the narrative’s Climax.
If the subsequent season is to be the seasonal storyline’s Rising Motion, then what’s to be misplaced? What’s going to spur Guardians ahead into Lightfall? The reply ties straight again to the psionic prophecy: the lack of the Final Metropolis and the Traveller.
It is vital when constructing as much as a villain that you just present their power and solidify their risk to the heroes. The worst factor that occurred to the Final Metropolis was its quick occupation by the Pink Legion, which was handled in a quite quick period of time. To make the Witness and its Black Fleet appear threatening, they might want to do one thing that one-ups that.
The direct conclusion to attract is that quite than merely being pushed out of the Final Metropolis, it will likely be misplaced. And contemplating the road the Witness stated to the Traveller on the finish of the Witch Queen marketing campaign, the place it says that ‘your pale coronary heart holds the important thing,’ we’ll be dropping the Traveler as properly.
With that being stated, utilizing lore clues in addition to an understanding of how Future 2’s seasonal storytelling mannequin works, we will fairly simply decide who would be the ones conquering the Final Metropolis. Beginning off with the lore proof, the Final Metropolis has been misplaced in an alternate timeline often known as the Darkish Future. In it, we study that in an occasion often known as the Bombardment that the forces of the Witness, comprised of the Cabal, Savathun’s Hive, Eramis’s Home Salvation, and the Darkish Guardians.
In it, they besieged town for an undetermined period of time, leaving it in ruins and the Guardians scattered. In our present timeline, a few of the key gamers of the occasion are both lacking or weakened by our personal efforts. The Loyalist Cabal, being led by Calus, have been proven to be the first antagonists of Lightfall and thus would greater than possible find a way and prepared to take part within the siege.
On this timeline, Savathun turned to the sunshine alongside together with her brood, which implies it’s possible that the Hive Goddess of Conflict Xivu Arath will take her place. Eramis has been revived this season, though her Home has been dramatically weakened and thus aren’t prone to play the most important position within the Bombardment.
Whereas the Vex didn’t take part within the Bombardment, contemplating they invaded the Final Metropolis in the course of the Limitless Evening within the Season of the Splicer, they might be coerced into taking part by the Witness. The Taken will most definitely seem, being Future’s direct tie to the Darkness because the Taken King enlargement seven years in the past. Lastly, the Darkish Guardians don’t exist on this timeline and thus will most definitely not be a priority.
The concept of a long-term siege additionally traces up with the seasonal storytelling mannequin, which is designed to be unfold throughout the course of three months. The siege will greater than possible final the whole thing of the season, with the Final Metropolis evacuating throughout its last hours.
The Final Metropolis has a fleet in ready, as does the lacking Useless Orbit faction which may come to help. It will clarify why the helm is a spaceship, as it’d wind up being our everlasting Tower-like base of operations in the long term with the Final Metropolis gone.
The earlier pre-Enlargement seasons have additionally had a giant loss happen on the finish of their cycle, with half of the photo voltaic system disappearing within the Season of Arrivals and Savathun escaping within the Season of the Misplaced. This could moreover clarify why Lightfall takes place on Neomuna, quite than the Final Metropolis: as a result of unbeknownst to us, we will probably be dropping the Traveler subsequent season, and we could also be going to Neomuna to try to discover one thing to assist struggle the Witness.
That being stated, all of that is hypothesis. Bungie could have fully totally different plans for the story that we don’t but have the complete context for, and this could all be taken with a grain of salt. If the Final Metropolis had been to fall, Bungie must spend time and sources on changing the Tower with a brand new social hub, whether or not that be the Helm or one thing else, and that will not be one thing they need to put growth time in for the time being. What we do know is that one thing large is on the horizon and that with Bungie’s current monitor report that it’s going to be a compelling conclusion to the seasonal narrative.