Yesterday, an event went live in Destiny 2 that has been built up for the entire duration of Season of the Undying since Shadowkeep launched, the beginning of the “Final Assault” where players would be asked to take on the Undying Mind to end the Vex invasion of the moon.
I would say expectations ranged from moderate (a new mission) to high (a new strike), but the end result seems to have disappointed almost everybody, myself included.
The Final Assault brings barely anything new to the table. There’s some new voicework from Ikora and Ghost about killing copies of the Undying Mind, and yet the actual activity is simply running Vex Offensive again where instead of the giant minotaur boss spawning, it’s the Undying Mind. But it uses the exact same mechanics. You take down its shield with minotaur relics, attack it, it moves plates, repeat.
It does resemble the old Undying Mind from D1, and one “upgrade” it has is that it shoots suicide Harpies at you like the Hydra from Menagerie. My favorite part of this is that not only is it using the same mechanics as the original Minotaur from this activity, it even has the same, tall-shape Minotaur immunity shield that has been left unchanged. And at this point, everyone has learned how to boss burn much more effectively this season, so the Undying Mind is easier than the Minotaur ever was early on in the season. It’s not uncommon to one-phase it, given that even this Final Assault variant of the mode is still only power level 750.
So the activity is barely 2% different from a normal run of Vex Offensive, but the other problem is that there are almost no actual rewards for this new (“new”) event. You can an emblem for killing Undying Mind, you get the Undying title if you kill it three times and have done everything else. But that’s it.
There’s nothing else. No curated rolls for Vex Offensive gear. No high stat armor. No pinnacle drops. No shaders. Just that emblem and the old loot we’ve gotten a zillion times already.
One universal hope among Destiny fans was that the return of the Undying Mind would also bring back the return of the Imago Loop, the Destiny 1 hand cannon that players farmed the Mind for endlessly. That gun alone as a possible drop from the mind would have probably everyone overlook everything else, but it has not arrived. My dream scenario would have paired the return of an Undying Mind strike set in a D2 planet with the introduction of Imago as strike-specific loot for it.
But none of that is true. Instead all we have is what appears to be the beginning of a community event that will probably ask us to kill the Undying Mind X hundred thousand or million times in the next few weeks, though no official demands have been made yet. I suppose it’s possible that doing this could unlock some sort of reward, including even the fabled Imago/strike combo I’m dreaming of (which could stay in the game even if Vex Offensive is leaving), but at this point it seems clear it’s not a good idea to get our hopes up.
I know there’s a fine line between demanding Bungie always give us more, more, more and something that’s more of a reasonable request. But I think if this turns out to be all the Final Assault is, that’s a problem. There’s still time for it to pull a rabbit out of its hat, but at least initially, fans are confused about the anemic arrival of the Mind.