Season of the Deep

State of the Game Highlights August 2023 in Destiny 2

Today Game Director Joe Blackburn laid out his thoughts on the State of Destiny 2, plus giving us some new information about the near future for the game. I’m going to go through the highlights which include updates to Crucible, Vanguard Ops, Crucible, Quality of Life Updates, Sandbox Updates, the Exotic Mission Rotator, plus new features coming to upcoming seasons in Destiny 2.

First of all, I’m going to be bringing you the highlights today. This is a 6000+ word article, and the whole thing takes about 45 mins to read. If you want to get the whole thing, head on over to and I’ll link the full article down below. Without further delay, lets dive right in.

Ritual Updates

In Season 22, Bungie are updating weekly ritual challenge requirements so players can complete their nine challenges in any ritual playlist they’d like, as opposed to having to complete three each across Vanguard, Crucible, and Gambit playlists. We’ll also be increasing the frequency of ritual engram drops after completing ritual activities, and we’re making the latest ritual loot pool weapons focusable at their respective vendors at the start of the Season for the first time, rather than needing to wait until the following Season to chase those god rolls.

Lots of fresh weapons in Season 22, including the Unending Tempest Stasis Submachine Gun in the Crucible, Luna Regolith III Solar Sniper Rifle in Strikes, Qua Xaphan V Void Machine Gun in Gambit, Cataphract GL3 Strand Grenade Launcher in Trials of Osiris, and more. We’re also bringing some fan-favorites back in our ritual playlists, including the Igneous Hammer Solar Hand Cannon in Trials, and revamping Warden’s Law into a brand-new archetype as a Nightfall reward.

Crucible and Vanguard Ops updates

New Crucible Map: Multiplex

This is a new Vex Network themed asymmetrical map, which is good for multiple game modes. We’re going to see this in action during the Destiny 2 showcase, coming on August 22.

New Crucible modifier: Checkmate

This is a modifier which allows for better primary weapon fights. Player health has been increased, all ability cooldowns are lengthened, and Special ammunition must be earned via gameplay and is not dropped on death. This all results in slightly longer combat encounters that reward skill and consistency. Checkmate will be available in Crucible Labs from Week 5 to Week 10.

New 6v6 mode: Relic

This sounds like a lot of fun. Relic is a 6v6 party mode where players fight with relic weapons. Relics include the Aegis from Vault of Glass, the Synaptic Spear from Season of the Risen, and the Scythe from Season of the Haunted. Each player charges their personal relic energy by defeating opponents with their normal loadout. Upon reaching full charge, players can acquire a relic from a relic depot. Defeating relic holders and using the relics to defeat opponents earns points for the team. Sounds similar to Mayhem, and could be a good party mode.

New Iron Banner Mode in Season 23

There’s a new Iron Banner mode coming in Season 23, along with a brand-new Häkke Aggressive Frame Strand Pulse Rifle as our newest Competitive Division weapon reward. The Mercurial Overreach Adaptive Frame Arc Sniper Rifle will remain available for competitors throughout Season 22. The Citadel map is also returning in Season 23.

Medals added to Vanguard playlists

Vanguard Medals will be available in Vanguard Ops and Nightfalls starting in Season 22. They were part of Guardian Games recently, plus I’m sure they were in Destiny 1. It was a great feature of Guardian Games and it’s good to see this roll out across Vanguard Ops.

Additional Nightfall Battlegrounds

We don’t know which ones but it’s good to see this content being used more.

Quality of Life updates in Season 22:

Favorite up to 100 Shaders, Ornaments, and Emotes


Stasis Aspects and Fragments unlockable at Elsie Bray on Europa

Any character who has completed the Beyond Light campaign will be able to acquire all available Stasis Aspects and Fragments from Elsie Bray on Europa starting next Season. For anyone who’s been through getting all stasis aspects and fragments on all classes, this is a GREAT change.

Transmat Effects are now unlocks rather than consumables

Reworked Iron Banner Challenges

Starting in Season 22, Iron Banner will have two different stacking challenges each day: one for players who just want their reputation multiplier which does not require using specific Seasonal subclasses, and one for players who are going after their Pinnacle rewards, which does require using Seasonal subclasses.

Sandbox Updates in Season 22:

NO Power Cap Raise

We’ve seen a ton of positive feedback on this decision from players who appreciate being able to play at their own pace, rather than feeling compelled to chase Pinnacles each week. Of course, we’ll still have plenty of activities where Power is crucial, including Master raid and dungeon content, Legend and Master Nightfalls, Grandmasters, Legend and Master Solo Lost Sectors, and Trials of Osiris. This will still be the case throughout Season 22, and your Artifact Power will still be as important as ever.

Additional Exotic Armor reworks

Similar to our first wave of Exotic revamps in Season of the Deep, the team is reworking another batch of underused Exotic armor pieces in Season 22 to shake things up and give players a new reason to dive into their Vaults. Watch for a new Developer Insights article going live next week to cover all the changes we’ve got coming.

Weapon tuning preview

Reduce the variance between the optimal engagement ranges of our mid-range weapons (Auto Rifles, Pulse Rifles, and Hand Cannons). Slightly reduce the average engagement range in Crucible by pulling in the maximum damage falloff distances of many weapons.

New Weapon subfamilies

One of the most interesting updates, Bungie will be introducing some entirely new weapon subfamilies with The Final Shape. Tune into the Showcase on August 22nd to get your first look at some of these in action, as well as some other unexpected additions to Destiny 2’s arsenal yet to come.

Strand Aspects in Season 22:

Hunters: Whirling Maelstrom
Titans: Banner of War
Warlocks: Weavewalk

Exotic Mission Rotator launches in Season 22

In just a few weeks, we’re bringing back some of the best Destiny 2 content we’ve ever made with our new Exotic Mission Rotator starting on Day One of Season 22. The rotation will kick off with the return of Presage to offer a new avenue for players to earn Dead Man’s Tale, which will also be craftable for the first time! After that, Vox Obscura and Operation: Seraph’s Shield will join the rotation, offering up their respective craftable Exotic weapons and catalysts as well. We’ll have more details on what else to expect from the Exotic Mission Rotator in an upcoming This Week in Destiny blog as we get closer to launch.

Looking ahead

Fireteam Finder launches in Season 23

Season 22 will include new ways to experience key in-game moments in Destiny 2’s history to help get millions of Guardians caught up for the confrontation with The Witness. In Season 23, our upcoming Fireteam Finder (LFG) feature will be the silver bullet for players who’ve never had a full fireteam to run endgame content before, including raids, dungeons, Master-level activities, and more. And in The Final Shape, we’re making big changes to the progression system that will help to connect even more players and remove barriers keeping friends from taking on the same content together.

Pathfinder system replaces new destination bounties in The Final Shape

We have plans to replace some bounties with a more rewarding and engaging system tentatively called the Pathfinder. This is going to be debuted on the new destination in The Final Shape, and we’re currently nailing down a plan for how we can use this new system to replace core ritual bounties in the new year. For now, here’s a work-in-progress preview of the Pathfinder UI:

Gambit: Cathedral of Scars returns + Shadow Legion and Lucent Hive enemies will be added in the year of The Final Shape
The Final Shape and its raid will provide a climactic conclusion to the Light and Darkness Saga before we look ahead to what comes next in Destiny 2.

Seasonal Structure

Bungie have been working behind the scenes to shake up the Seasonal paradigm this year to subvert player expectations and make each Season feel unique. Players are looking for more variety in repeatable Seasonal activities, and Bungie want to constantly surprise everyone with what comes next in each Season. More info to come in the Destiny 2 Showcase on August 22.

That’s pretty much it. We’re gearing up for a big showcase in August. The Destiny 2 community isn’t in the best place right now, hopefully that showcase is going to deliver and bring the hype. I’m excited, I hope you are too, and it’d be good to know what you think about the State of the Game update in the comments.