With its seasonal model for rolling out content, Bungie has been getting gradually more adept at springing cool surprises that maintain player interest. Not that everyone likes the drip-feed approach, but I'm glad to say my crippling addiction has remained nicely engaged. Following the weekly reset on Tuesday, we were able to save Saint-14, a legendary Titan thought lost to the Vex, by going back and manipulating the timeline.
That kind of retconning can often feel ridiculous, but for lore aficionados (ie., me) seeing Saint in action was great fun, particularly as the voice actor gave it such gusto. But then he was gone. We were told Saint needed a little time to get his head together after spending thousands of years trapped in time fighting robots bent on extinguishing all life in the universe.
Turns out he only needed a small rest, because now he's back again. After today's daily reset a pop-up message announced that Saint could be found in the hangar, where he has three new quest lines waiting for us. I'll get to those in a moment though, because more interesting—especially for the hardcore PvP community—is the rug in front of Saint's new lodgings (see below).
That Egyptian eye is the logo previously used for the Trials of Osiris mode. In Destiny 1, Trials was a 3v3 elimination mode that saw players competing to make it to 'The Lighthouse', an exclusive destination on Mercury which could only be reached by racking up seven wins. Three losses and your team was out and needed to pick up a new Trials card in order to try again. With unique (and very cool) Egyptian-themed armour and weapons on offer for those skilled enough to make it, Trials fast became the stomping ground for elite PvP players to show off their prowess. The fact the mode was only available on weekends also gave it an exclusive feel. As a result, Trials proved popular as a spectator sport on Twitch, too.
In Destiny 2, Trial of Osiris was remodeled as Trials of the Nine, with easier to earn rewards, but it never had quite the same cachet. Combined with the fact that Destiny 2's early PvP was terrible thanks to the double-primary weapon system leading to players travelling around butt-to-nut in order to get team shots, interest in the mode dropped off hard, eventually leading to Bungie putting the whole shebang on indefinite hiatus back in August of 2018.
A year later, game director Luke Smith had this to say in his Director's Cut post: "Trials of the Nine wasn’t the hero we wanted it to be. We made too many changes to a formula that—while it had begun to decline in Destiny 1—wasn’t as flawed as we thought. When we were making Destiny 2, we talked a lot about making sure it felt like a sequel, bringing in new players, and simplifying the game—and Trials of the Nine created another casualty there." At the time Smith reiterated that Trials of the Nine was on indefinite hiatus, but his use of italics heavily hinted that Trials of Osiris might not be.
More recently, there have been clear signs that Trials' exile was drawing to a close. Last season, Bungie began testing out various forms of elimination mode in its Crucible Labs system. A little over a week ago, multiple players also began noticing a bug that appeared to show what looked like a placeholder Trials card in the current build of the game. As to when we'll actually get an announcement of Trials' return, your guess is as good as mine. Bungie likes a slow burn build up, and with the holidays imminent I wouldn't expect anything for a while, possibly not until next season starts in March.
Could Saint even be the new Trials vendor, rather than Osiris? It's possible. For now the quests he has for us involve building some sort of beacon to rally humanity to the tower. Here are the three missions he gave me:
A Guardian's Duty: Complete 8 Bounties (Crucible, Gambit, or Vanguard).
Cornerstone: Gather 10 components from Fallen, Vex, and Cabal.
Tribute to the Colonies: Defeat 100 enemies on Titan.
No doubt that won't be the end of any of these quests, and I foresee quite a bit of busywork in my future building whatever monument Saint has in mind. Which is exactly as I like it. I'm slightly less hyped about Trials largely because I'm appalling at PvP, but for those who've been desperately hoping for its return, I am happy that your are happy. Now please stop shoulder-charging me in the face.