The single most exciting and competitive game mode in the history of Destiny might finally return in Destiny 2's upcoming Season of the Worthy, if new leaks from a recent data mine of Tuesday's update are any indication. Should the leaks prove accurate, this could usher in an exciting new era for the franchise.
Bungie rolled out the version 2.71 update for Destiny 2 on Tuesday afternoon, albeit with a catastrophic bug that led to extended downtime. When the dust settled and data-miners did their thing, they found confirmation that Trials of Osiris might return to the game very soon. The miners found evidence to suggest a new event called Empyrean Foundation will launch next week, begining with an activity called "Worthy." The leaked description of "Worthy" asks players to "provide tremendous support toward the Restoration effort and rekindle the Lighthouse to usher in a new age of Guardians."
For those who remember the Lighthouse in the first Destiny, this reads like an obvious sign that Trials of Osiris will return. Reigniting the mystical Lighthouse on Mercury is a necessary step.
Trials of Osiris was an intense player-versus-player mode that began in Destiny in August 2017 and ran every weekend, until Bungie switched over to Destiny 2. The round-based 3v3 competition didn't allow for matchmaking and enabled power advantages. This meant players would have to manually assemble a fireteam and enter a series of Elimination matches where under-leveled characters were at a severe disadvantage. The first team to eliminate their opponent won the round, and the first to five rounds won the match.
Each individual player also had a Trials Passage ticket that tracked their progress. If a player lost three matches, they'd have to buy a new ticket. Winning nine matches without a single loss granted access to the Lighthouse — then the only way to visit Mercury. There, they could claim some of the best loot in the entire game. "Going Flawless" became the pinnacle Destiny achievement. (The one time I managed it was a hallmark video game experience for me.)
"It was true endgame," one player wrote when a blueberry (Destiny term for a newbie) asked why everyone loved it on Reddit. "It was not easy and it was very frustrating. But it was fun. And getting to the lighthouse was a great feeling."
In other words, Trials of Osiris is one of the best things Destiny has ever done.
Destiny 2 did have a less-loved Trials of the Nine game mode, which was similar but less intense. It was removed at the end of Year One, with the launch of Destiny 2: Forsaken. That was more than two years ago. Here in Year Three, midway through Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, the best thing that PVP-inclined players have is the big-battle bombast of Iron Banner — but that's larger teams, less enticing rewards, and virtually nothing that could earn exclusive bragging rights.
Destiny 2 has never had the equivalent of a Lighthouse to strive towards, the literal and figurative light at the end of the grindy tunnel that finally makes you feel like you accomplished something truly significant.
Since the resurrection of the legendary Titan Saint-14 late last year, Destiny 2 has hinted at the construction of something significant in-game, leading many to hope it might be the Lighthouse. Older bugs over the last few months also hinted at the game mode's return. One player encountered a bug that revealed a win/loss card, similar to the Trials of the Nine format. Other leaks from December straight-up referenced Trials of Osiris, so it seems unlikely that it'll be "Trials of Saint-14" or something else that's new.
We'll know more as Destiny 2 moves closer to the new season over the next six weeks or so, but something big and bright burns just over the horizon.
Season of the Worthy should launch sometime in Destiny 2 in March, and there's no telling how quickly Trials of Osiris might begin after.