After suffering a significant delay, Destiny 2’s next expansion The Witch Queen releases on February 22nd for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC and Google Stadia. All of the teases, twists and turns that have been happening thus far will finally play out. Let’s take a look at 15 things you should know before jumping in.
Savathun has been impacting events in the Destiny universe for quite a while now, not the least of which includes impersonating Osiris. Though she was captured by Mara Sov, the Awoken Queen, in Season of the Lost, she’s somehow eventually freed and returns to her Throne World with the power to wield the Light (which is very much a bad thing for the Vanguard). Together with Ikora Rey, the Guardians must infiltrate her world, take back the Light and defeat Savathun. But what is the “truth” that the Witch Queen wants Guardians to learn and how will it affect the story going forward?
The High Coven is Savathun’s Throne World and the newest location that players will explore. Existing within the Ascendant Plane, it’s a place where the Witch Queen has unbridled control and power. Areas range from swamps to a massive imposing palace. There are also certain places with invisible platforms which players will need to “expose” to progress and various foes like Hive and Scorn that await.
However, the biggest threat that one will face are the Lucent Brood which are Hive with the power of the Light. This means they can wield Guardian Supers like Stormtrance, Blade Barrage and Sentinel Shield against players. Defeating them isn’t the end either – if their Hive Ghosts aren’t destroyed, the Lucent Brood will keep reviving, like a Guardian would.
New weapon types have been sorely lacking in Destiny 2 but The Witch Queen will add the Glaive to one’s arsenal. It can be used in a multitude of ways from meleeing enemies and firing projectiles from mid-range to blocking attacks with an energy shield. It’s a nice all-in-one solution to one’s needs (and may be a better melee option than Swords given their upcoming nerf).
In a series’ first, The Witch Queen will add weapon crafting. One can create their own weapon with their choice of stats, perks and even shaders. Bungie hasn’t exactly outlined how it will work as much as how it won’t though. In an interview with Polygon, game director Joe Blackburn confirmed that you won’t be creating the hypothetical MMO equivalent of “1,000 of this bad pickaxe, and then I make one thing that I care about.”
You also won’t be gathering planetary resources and turning them into weapons either. Those with more Legendary Shards and other currency also won’t have a distinct advantage – Blackburn stated that, “This is a pretty new system, from the ground up.”
Legendary Campaign Difficulty
For those who find the campaign a little too easy, Legendary difficulty will be available. Along with enemies dealing more damage and scaling in difficulty depending on the number of Fireteam members, it will also restrict respawning. So if you’re looking to test your mettle or revisit The Witch Queen’s story, this is a compelling option.
New Exotics and Loot
New weapons and armor are a given in each expansion with images of the same being released. But the Exotics are still under wraps with only one – an SMG called Osteo Striga – being revealed. This will be unlocked immediately for owners of The Witch Queen Deluxe Edition but other players should be able to earn it naturally in-game. One can also expect new raid armor and weapons along with a brand new raid Exotic.
After introducing Stasis Aspects and Fragments with Beyond Light, Bungie is looking to update the old Light subclasses with the same system. The Void subclasses will be the first to receive this and utilize effects like Suppression for blinding enemies and disabling their abilities; Weaken to deal more damage to them; and Volatile to make foes explode on death.
Some of the new Aspects include Stylish Executioner for Nightstalkers which grants invisibility and Truesight after killing an enemy affected with a Void debuff; Shield Toss for Sentinels that lets them throw the Void shield outside of their Super, ricocheting off enemies and gaining some Overshield; and Pocket Singularity for Voidwalkers which tracks enemies and turns them Volatile on exploding. So if you’ve been bored of the same old classes and perk pools, then the new system looks to offer a much wider range of choice.
As a new six player activity, the exact nature of Conflict Eternal is unknown. The description on Bungie’s website says that it takes place “at the heart of the ongoing struggle for the Throne World” and that “The balance must be maintained.” Whether it will be similar to six player activities like Override or Astral Alignment is unknown but at least there’s matchmaking.
Players can also expect a brand new raid that takes place in a “sunken Pyramid” in Savathun’s Throne World. Again, not much is known save for an “ancient danger” that lays within. Bungie has confirmed its release date though – March 5th at 10 AM PST which is less than two weeks after the expansion’s launch. Contest Mode is also coming back, allowing players to compete for the title of World’s First.
New Power Cap
Following The Witch Queen’s release, the new starting Power for all players (including new characters) will be 1350. The new Soft Cap is 1500 and it’s possible to reach this from Rare and Legendary loot that drops from completing activities, opening chests and so on. Going beyond that to the Power Cap, which is now 1550, requires completing Pinnacle activities. Finally, to hit 1560, the new Hard Cap, you’ll need to partake in Trials of Osiris, Iron Banner, raids and other major endgame activities.
Much like the Vanguard and Crucible, Banshee-44 is adopting a reputation-based system. Gunsmith Materials and Weapon Telemetries are being phased out (so turn them in now while you can). How do you go about earning reputation? By dismantling Legendary and Exotic weapons and armor or by completing daily bounties. Mod Components are also being removed and will no longer be required to purchase mods from Banshee-44 and Ada-1. Mods will now cost 10,000 Glimmer each and vendors will offer four instead of two options in their inventory at a time.
Destiny Content Vault Additions
If you’ve never played Forsaken’s campaign, then bad news – it’s being sent into the Destiny Content Vault once The Witch Queen releases. The Tangled Shore will be gone along with missions like Presage and Harbinger, though Dead Man’s Tale and Hawkmoon can be purchased from Xur each week. Each roll will be unique as well so that’s neat. The Shattered Throne dungeon and Last Wish raid will still be available for current expansion owners and sold separately as part of the $20 Forsaken Pack.
Two New Dungeons
Two new dungeons are confirmed to be releasing in the year following The Witch Queen’s launch. However, in a change from previous expansions and seasonal passes, these will require a separate purchase on top of owning The Witch Queen. They’re included with The Witch Queen Deluxe Edition for $80 which also features Seasons 16 to 19, the Oseto Striga with its catalyst and ornament, and an Exotic Sparrow.
Returning Crucible Maps and Reprised Raid
Crucible content has been rather wanting in Destiny 2 since the DCV’s introduction. With the launch of the expansion and Season 16, two old maps updated for the current engine will be returning. There will also be a new map coming in Season 17 and two new modes releasing sometime this year. Also, after Vault of Glass, another reprised Destiny 1 raid is making its return. All of this content will be free for all players.