Things are going to be different from Destiny and Bungie from here on out. Having parted ways with Activision, the developer now has full control over where the franchise is headed next, creatively or otherwise, and it’s a prospect that’s got a lot of people very excited. The upcoming Shadowkeep expansion is the first piece of Destiny content to come out of Bungie since their split with Activision, and it’s doing some pretty interesting things, which should give us a pretty good idea of the kind of content we can expect to see from this series in the future. In this feature, we’ll be talking about fifteen key talking points about Destiny 2: Shadowkeep that you should know, as its imminent launch draws closer. Without further ado, let’s get started.
RETURNING TO THE MOON
Players visited the Moon in Destiny 1, and the series’ fanbase has been obsessed with the location ever since. In Shadowkeep, the Moon will return once again as a playable locations- and according to Bungie, it’ll be very different from the Moon we all remember from the first game. Several locations that were inaccessible in the first game will be accessible now, while there will also be completely new areas, such as a castle that acts as a stronghold for an enemy faction.
THE MOON’S SIZE
The Moon will have new areas to explore, and the scenery will be changed from the first game’s Moon, but it’s different in one more key way as well- the size. To be more specific, the Moon in Shadowkeep will be twice as big as the Moon from Destiny 1. Meanwhile, there will be more than twice as many locations and structures on the Moon that players will be able to head into to explore.
Just how big is Shadowkeep going to be in terms of scope? According to Bungie, you shouldn’t expect it to be along the same lines as Forsaken. Forsaken was absolutely huge- it was to Destiny 2 what The Taken King was to Destiny 1. It makes sense, then, that as per Bungie, in terms of scope, Shadowkeep will be similar to Rise of Iron, which was the the first game’s follow-up expansion to The Taken King.
One of the biggest changes Shadowkeep is making to Destiny 2 is the all new armour system. Dubbed by Bungie as Armour 2.0, the new armour system is changing many of the fundamentals aspects of the current system, and promises to offer much more depth in terms of customization. Much of that will manifest in armour mods- which, conveniently enough, brings us to our next point.
Each armour piece in Shadowkeep will use an energy system, which will allow players to equip armour mods. Each mod, in turn, will fall under one of two categories- general or elemental. When it comes to the latter, the mod must have the same energy type as that of the armour piece you want to equip it for, with these energy types being Arc, Void, or Solar. Armour pieces will, of course, have an upper energy capacity, which means you ca only equip a certain number of mods, with each mod having different energy requirements based on their function and type. However, players can also upgrade armour pieces to increase their energy caps. Once an armour piece is fully upgraded, it also gives you certain stat boosts.
MORE ARMOUR INFO
Mods won’t be the only way Shadowkeep makes changes to the armour system. There’s one more change incoming, and it’s something Destiny 1 players will be familiar with- Strength, Discipline, and Intellect stats for armour, which will allow players to reduce the cooldowns for things such as supers, melee moves, and grenades. On top of that, there’s also a new cosmetic-only feature. Armour pieces will also have a Universal Ornament slot, which will allow players to change the look of anything Armour 2.0 to look like Eververse armour (given that that Everse armour piece has been purchased or unlocked).
The armour stats we just spoke of and the Moon aren’t the only things returning from Destiny 1. Also returning are artifacts, which will once again add another layer to progression, with these artifacts also being capable of being equipped with mods and being levelled up. Interestingly enough, artifacts in Shadowkeep will be seasonal, which means that at the end of each season, you will lose all your artifacts and their mods. These seasonal artifacts will also yield seasonal mods that you can use on your armour pieces.
Power progression is also in lie for some chages. For starters, the Power level cap will be increased, as you may have expected, going all the way up to 960, with 950 being the soft cap, and endgame activities like Nightfall, Iron Banner, and raids letting you progress further to 960. Additionally, seasonal artifacts will also allow for Power progression even beyond 960. At Shadowkeep’s launch, all players will automatically be brought to 750, which is the current Power cap. Between Power level 750 and 900, players will gather Prime Engram charges, while hitting level 900 will yield Prime Engrams. Any legendary gear that drops will also have higher chances of dropping at your current Power level.
A new gameplay mechanic is also being added in the form of finishing moves, which you can execute when enemies are at low health. Finishing moves can be customized with armour mods (including their animations), and grant various benefits, but can come at a cost themselves, such as requiring super energy.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep will introduce of new faction of enemies to the game. Called Nightmares, these are manifestations of things from your own past that take spectral forms, and exist solely to make your life a living hell. Accidentally unleashed onto the moon by Eris, this faction comprises of a Hive on the moon, as well as several major bosses that we came up against in Destiny 1 and 2.
As you’d expect, Shadowkeep will keep adding to Destiny 2’s endgame activities. In terms of Strikes, this means- well, it means more Strikes, with Shadowkeep bringing two more of them. One of these will be called the Scarlet Keep, and will probably take place in the Hive’s stronghold on the Moon, while the other – which we don’t know too much about right now – will be on Io.
It’s not just the PvE side of things that’s getting new content. Crucible fans also have some stuff to look forward to. To be more specific, there will be three new Crucible maps coming our way with Shadowkeep. These are called Widow’s Court, Twilight Gap, and Fragment. However, four Crucible maps are also being removed. These are Dead Cliffs, Legion’s Gulch, Retribution, and Solitude.
The major endgame activity that most Destiny fans look forward to is raids, of course- and happily, Shadowkeep will bring with it a new raid for players to dive into. The first season – Season of the Undying – will bring the raid on October 5. Called “Garden of Salcation”, the raid will focus on the Vex, the Nightmares, and the Hive.
Seasonal content is also undergoing some significant changes with Shadowkeep. The expansion will have four new seasons, each of them ten weeks long, and Season of the Undying will be packaged with Shadowkeep for no extra cost. Thankfully, the days of Annual Passes are over, and each season can be purchased separately in the form of season passes.
There are more changes being made to seasonal content. Bungie are taking a cues from Fortnite with its battle passes, and introducing seasonal ranks, with challenges spread across both, free and premium categories, and each category granting various rewards. The free and premium tracks will both have 100 tiers each, so player engagement should – at least theoretically – be at an all time high.