The next season of Destiny 2 begins on December 10th, and developer Bungie has yet to give players a full look at what exactly Season of Dawn will bring. A full reveal is set for December 4th, but there have been a number of hints and glimpses that have set fans speculating what exactly Destiny 2's mysterious Season 9 will contain, where it will move the narrative, and where it will take players.
Bungie previously talked about how it has a bold vision for how seasons transition moving forward in Destiny 2, as the in-game narrative and events of one have momentum and change the world itself and giving players a sense of progression through the seasonal content.
That happened this season most notably with Ikora Rey building the portal in the Tower that ushered in the Final Assault version of Vex Offensive. The building of the portal started weeks prior to Final Assault going live as a small construction near Ikora and increased in size each week that passed. Fans were ultimately underwhelmed, for the most part, by Final Assault. However, Bungie said that fans have not seen the end of that progression, most likely hinting towards the transition from Season of the Undying to Season of Dawn:
"The impact of your victory has not been made clear just yet, but in time, you will learn more about how this will further evolve the world as we transition into the next Season."
The release of the Shadowkeep expansion brought back the Moon destination and put the focus on the Hive. But, very quickly, the Vex also played a major part in Shadowkeep and the accompanying Season of the Undying. It is a little hard to uncouple the Shadowkeep expansion from Season of the Undying, as they very much worked in tandem; however, the seasonal content from Season 8 very much centered around the Vex. And it looks like the Vex may also be the focus of Season 9.
In the ViDoc that Bungie released ahead of Shadowkeep, talking about the future of Destiny 2, a shot was shown of a whiteboard containing the seasons to come. Under Season of Dawn, the words "Fix the timeline" can be seen. The narrative of the Vex Offensive and especially Final Assault is to destroy the Undying Mind in every single timeline so that it can be defeated for good. This whole reference to the timeline and the narrative progression that Bungie promised may signal that the Vex's story is continuing into Season 9 as players have to fix the timeline after opening the portal to the Undying Mind.
In the same ViDoc, one of the developers says "The story we are telling is about the impact the Vex can have on the whole solar system if we leave them unchecked." It is hard to tell if this is a reference to only Season 8 or if that applies to the narrative arc of Year 3 as a whole, but this idea could easily carry through to multiple seasons, seeing the Vex's impact increase and change through the year.
Also in that ViDoc, an unnamed weapon can be seen on a developer's screen, that looks very Vex themed, which fits into this theory of Season 9 being centered around the Vex.
This linear fusion rifle did not appear anywhere in Season 8 and it has the placeholder name of "SUNDIAL LINEAR_FUSION_RIFLE0 NAME". It looks very similar to the weapon that the Vex themselves wield. While the weapon is not labeled to Season 9, the "Sundial" reference and its linguistic connection to the words sun and dawn have many speculating that it will come with Season of Dawn.
Players have also pointed out this structure seen on another screen in the ViDoc, even speculating that this is perhaps the Sundial referenced by the linear fusion rifle and theories have gone as far to suggest that maybe this is a mechanic similar to Shadowkeep's Lectern of Enchantment that could be the place where players turn in bounties to get those Sundial weapons to drop. But that is all pure speculation at this point.
If this structure is connected to Season 9, it is hard to tell what planet it may be located on, but because of the Vex focus and the planet's proximity to the sun itself, there is a theory that Mercury will be the featured destination. Mercury remains a rather unpopular location among fans, causing frustration for players due to its smaller size and the inability to use Sparrows. But, if Mercury is the focus of next season, and Bungie is able to do some extra work on the destination, perhaps Mercury could be redeemed in the eyes of players.
There is very little concrete information to go on right now, while speculation and fan theory runs rampant, but that will all change in just a few days when Bungie officially reveals Season of Dawn on stream on December 4.
Destiny 2 is available now for PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One. Season of Dawn begins December 10, 2019.