Destiny 2: Into the Light's Pantheon is an Event Done Right 345343

Destiny 2: Into the Light’s Pantheon is an Event Done Right

Among the various things revealed in Destiny 2: Into the Light, I don’t think any of them beat the speculation Pantheon received. The unexpected raid boss gauntlet boasted desired cosmetics, easy access to raid exotics, and a lot of potential loot. While there were absolutely worthwhile rewards, there were also fears of the mode restricting a lot of players. Given the similarities to Contest mode these concerns are more than understandable. Now that the first one is out, are these fears founded, or is it something else entirely?

First and foremost, Pantheon offers more than enough rewards for the current level of challenge. Each encounter gave an adept weapon for hitting platinum, spoils, one piece of armor, and two weapons. Of the received weapons, three of the four I was didn’t have craftable dropped with Deepsight (Red Border).

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Based off comments this experience sounds fairly typical, though it’s hard to truly gauge it since so many people doing Pantheon have most/all of them craftable. Bungie also went a step further and made this mode farmable. On my second run I received five spoils, along with one weapon, and armor piece. My red border luck wasn’t as good, but still worth the time if you’re efficient.

In addition to all of this, the final chest offered everything you’d find at the end of Deep Stone Crypt. This includes a red border, and armor ornaments. If this still isn’t enough, there is a quest that allows players to select raid exotics. A total of five will be offered via Pantheon, with only two currently available. Time will tell how exactly it works, but players are guaranteed at least two raid exotics, or materials.

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Raid Exotics for All

On top of this the triumphs award adept weapons, and spoils. Based off my first run I got four triumphs. Following this each successful run should give two triumphs. Of these one will have an emblem, with the other containing an adept weapon with spoils.

One of the big selling points of Pantheon was having a wide variety of twists. Reddit user Luke-HW is already trying to catalogue all of them, but the basic gist is enemies are a bit stronger, class ability gives an attack/defense buff (at least this week), Golgoroth has a second unstable light debuff (you explode), Caretaker adds a new negative to getting symbols, and other encounters add a Tormentor.

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Oh, and this

Some players are already saying this is how master raids should be, which is honestly a good way to put it. Overtime feelings might change as the difficulty increases, and bosses expand, but the current form is a lot of fun. Even if some people think this week is “too easy” for the amount of rewards.

While all of this sounds great, I am not entirely sure who Pantheon is ultimately for. Most active raiders are going to have the vast majority of loot. Outside of like three weapons I don’t care about I can craft anything, got every exotic, don’t need any armor, have 240+ spoils (with those weapons/Always on Time), and while I’d love a god roll adept, that is the one thing I can’t actually farm.

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This was largely true of those I played with as well. Most players I spoke to were doing it for the title, Godslayer, with some desire for the emblems as well. It’s newer/less experienced players that benefit the most from everything Pantheon has to offer, yet that is the exact demographic many think shouldn’t participate in Pantheon.

It ultimately subjects new players to what many would call the uglier side of Destiny. Yeah, current Pantheon can be done with more than one person being along for the ride, but that doesn’t mean groups are looking to sherpa. Given this duality I gave Pantheon a go with a still good, but far less experienced team.

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Despite encounters being largely the same, and enough people understanding how to do them to finish it, this group ran into a lot of issues. These issues were typically versatility, build, and options.

Unlike most raids where someone can become proficient in a fairly set range of skills, Pantheon requires knowledge of five (currently four) different raids. There is no guarantee someone will be able to do everything, how well they can do it, and in some cases that can be detrimental.

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This is something I also assume will get better overtime. People will learn the quirks, get a better understanding of the roles, and be able to overcome increasingly difficult challenges. I also think this means, especially with Bungie adding Pantheon to the API for sites like Raid.Report, the aforementioned negatives will increase.

The most common issue this team faced was the time limit. Even if Pantheon currently isn’t much harder than the standard versions, each fight has a time limit that is basically required to hit platinum rank/title. This made a lot of choices, builds, and approaches less than desirable. Not to mention caused a wide variety of issues from teams going about it the wrong way.

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Long term I also think this will be an interesting battle. Since platinum isn’t required for some of the loot, nor is it a requirement for the exotic weapons, there will likely be two level of groups. Those who just want the emblem/exotics, and those chasing after the title.

Naturally, damage/speed leads to the final general barrier, weapon availability. Playing with a wider pool of players is always an interesting experience. Even if I am not chasing every weapon, such as Tusk of the Boar, many are missing far more fundamental options.

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An overwhelming number lacked this seasons craftable linear fusion rifle Doomed Petitioner, staples like Apex Predator (something that has never been easier to craft), or even an easily obtained Edge Transit. All of these little things, coupled with small differences like team composition (Hunters excel with the current Class Warfare modifier), can create a radically different experience at different skill levels.

In the end, I can only evaluate Pantheon based off what Bungie has control over, and in that sense it’s an undeniable winner. It’s engaging, rewards are worthwhile, all without truly having a negative impact on other players.

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I also hope it pushes some players to truly get out of their comfort zone. Even if Pantheon is the wrong place to try to be an add clear extraordinaire, it would be great if people choose to learn how to do each encounter to get these rewards. Nothing currently present in Pantheon is so hard an average player can’t get it. It might require using a meta build, but it can be done. Something a recurring version would likely further encourage.

There is also a lot of room to grow. With leaks suggesting three currently accessible raids will not be present in Pantheon, coupled with the ability to revive another five, there is genuinely a lot of potential. One that will hopefully encourage players to see where Destiny 2 is at its best.

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