Hexbyte – Science and Tech
As of yesterday, we have our first look at the kind of activity Bungie considers “seasonal” now, something that will exist for this three month stretch of time only before disappearing. That would be the Vex Offensive activity, which launched at the same time as the raid, which surprised me as I thought it would arrive afterward. But after a brief (though somewhat confusing) quest that has us hunting down Gate Lord in new moon public events, you can hop into the activity. This is my review of that activity, at least for now.
It’s fun. So far I like Vex Offensive more than I do Nightmare Hunts. It’s a six man activity which just dumps Vex ads on you, making the chaos component really significant. It has actual mechanics to some extent, unlike Nightmare Hunts, such as taking out oracles or shooting down the final bosses’ shield with artifacts.
There are those new “barrier” and “overload” enemies milling around, which require special mods to do bigger damage to them, but playing a 750 activity at 920 means these aren’t exactly hard no matter what you’re using (I expect this changes at higher difficulties).
After five or so runs it’s easy to see how Vex Offensive has the potential to get pretty repetitive pretty quickly, more so than even most other activities of this nature. I mean, this is one arena with one enemy race and one boss. Compare that to the four different Black Armory Forges or six different Menagerie sections. It feels more on par with The Reckoning in terms of scale except you know, not terrible. It’s a lot of fun, it’s just clear that seasonal activities going forward are definitely not going to be as big as ones we’ve seen over the last year.
But even if it’s pretty basic, it is fun, and more importantly, it’s rewarding.
Bungie seems to have learned a valuable lesson here about loot generosity. In addition to being the source of at least two powerful drops a week, a single run through Vex Offensive in about 15 minutes will get you at least three drops of Vex Offensive armor or one of the four weapons, plus you can be “forging” the weapons you choose with a new mini quest for each gun. So theoretically you can end a run with 5-6 Vex Offensive drops of some nature. I’ve only played it maybe six times so far, but I already have that many copies of the new scout rifle. Hunting for rolls (and these guns all seem like they can have damn good rolls) seems like it’s going to be easy, easier than the new moon weapon quests, at least.
As for the idea that Vex Offensive will disappear at the end of this season? I still am not wild about that. I get that it’s tied to a specific story development that will “resolve” itself at the end of this season, but it still strikes me as weird to take content away. However, given that this activity is pretty limited in scope, and Bungie will dump its gear into the game later on at some point, I suppose it could be worse. This isn’t going to be like erasing Menagerie, for instance, in terms of scale. And I am guessing I will be pretty sick of it by December or whenever the new season starts and ready to do the next thing.
For now, this seems like a good little grind loop between its loot and bounties and quick, relatively easy runs with six player matchmaking. All in all a solid addition for the game even if it’s only here for a limited time. I can tell I’m going to be grinding it a lot, which was exactly the goal, I suppose.