FeaturedSeason of the Witch

Destiny 2 Showcase reaction and thoughts

Bungie held their Destiny 2 showcase yesterday, and I’ve had some time to digest what I saw, and now I want to present my reaction and thoughts to you. Today I’ll be going over everything we saw in the showcase, including The Final Shape reveal, Season of the Witch, Crota’s End, plus future episodes after the Light vs Darkness Saga.

First of all let’s dive into The Final Shape. We’re going into the Traveler, to a location called The Pale Heart, and we’re teaming up with the OG Vanguard of Zavala, Ikora and Cayde-6, who’s returned to be our guide. In the seasons leading up to the Final Shape we’re going to find out how to get through the portal, then on the other side we have a strange land, looks similar to Lord of the Rings, or even Tears of the Kingdom, it certainly gave off that fantasy vibe. This is an environment that is going to shift and change depending on who’s in there. The Witness got there first, so naturally the environment is more twisted and bleak where the Witness is hanging out.

Regarding the story, it’s going to be told throughout the campaign. This is going to be one of the most linear campaigns Destiny 2 has ever seen, which sounds good, given it’s the final chapter in the Light vs Darkness saga. Bungie has a good history of linear campaigns going back to their Halo days. It sounds like we’re going to be fighting alongside Cayde, Ikora and Zavala. Post Campaign the Pale Heart is going to open up, in what sounds similar to The Dreaming City post Forsaken. The end of the campaign will lead into the Raid, with the Witness as the final boss. But even this may not be enough and Bungie wants Guardians to rally together to beat The Witness. It’s not entirely clear what this means at this stage.

The Pale Heart is a location that evolves depending on who is there. When we arrive it starts to change, and there’s going to be a heavy emphasis on nostalgia, with the old tower from Destiny 1 returning, plus we’re going to encounter old locations. While many may call out reused assets, I think this is a fitting end to the saga and a clever way to do it, so I think we can look forward to a nostalgia filled experience. Personally, I cannot wait to step back into the old Tower, as long as they update the vault.

We’ve got 3 new supers coming in The Final Shape; Solar for Warlocks, Void for Titan’s and Arc for Hunters. Given we’re inside the traveler we’re as close to the source of our light as we possibly can be, which amplifies our connection to it. Many we’re hoping and expecting a 3rd darkness subclass, but given they are related to paid expansions and the Light subclasses are free for everyone, it makes sense to get the new features into the most hands as possible, and these 3 new supers look good. The solar one calls back to radiance from the Warlock’s Destiny 1 super, plus enhances all solar abilities of our fireteam around them. Titan’s throw huge Void axes, which teammates can then pick up and throw themselves, and Hunter’s can blink to where they throw their dagger. All these new supers looks pretty cool, plus there’s an emphasis on support mechanics, which is good to see.

There are some new enemy types called Subjugators, which look like mini Rhulks on the battlefield. They wield stasis and strand, plus they have staffs, and they look like they are going to be the captains or supporting the rank and file enemies. The Stasis ones slow and freeze Guardians and the Strand versions have proximity mines, meaning you’re going to be tangled up, plus they have some dangerous looking projectiles.

We have new weapons, including exotics and subfamilies of existing weapons. Tessellation is available for those who preorder the Final Shape, and you can get that today. This allows for a full strand or stasis build for the very first time. Otherwise we have a healing auto rifle. We have special ammo sidearms that shoot rockets and the returning Dragon’s Breath Exotic Rocket Launcher, the customizable Khvostov Exotic Auto Rifle, and the heavy-metal-looking Red Death.

After the Final Shape, Bungie are switching up their seasonal model. Out are the 4 seasons, and in are 3 yearly episodes. Each episode has 3 acts which last 6 weeks long, so episodes are going to be 18 weeks in total. Episodes are also stand alone, meaning they are self contained stories, rather than continuing stories throughout the year. Bungie didn’t mention yearly expansions, but I imagine they are still going to do those, they just aren’t talking about the next steps just yet. Each Episode will have new weapons, new artifact mods, and 200 season pass ranks, given the episodes are longer than seasons. The first 3 episodes are launching with The Final Shape. I am hopeful this is going to give Bungie the room to explore new stories, and I like the fact they are self contained. Bungie did mentione they are going to be cinematic heavy, plus it gives them the room to innovate. Now is the time to innovate on the seasonal model, because it’s become tired, but we’ll have to wait and see if Episodes are the answer to this problem.

Bungie are changing the power levelling system in the game, starting off with small tweaks. Endgame activities will continue to have power requirements; Nightfalls, Dungeons and Raids. But other activities are going to have set levels. They are introducing a concept called Fireteam power, which makes it easier for new players to jump in and experience end game content. Now all you need is one person in the fireteam at the right power level, meaning your new player friends can now instantly jump into endgame content to experience the best Destiny 2 has to offer. This is going to be super useful to reduce the barrier to entry for new players to experience raid and dungeon content. The fireteam finder is launching in Season 23, which is an in-game LFG allowing to find other players in the game for end game content. While this feature has lived outside the game for some time, now it’s in the game and it’s going to be great for squadding up with other players, especially good if you don’t have a clan.

Bungie also talked about Season of the Witch, with Eris Morn taking on a new Hive form. Season of the Witch has kicked off in style, with Savathun willing to help you if you can take care of Xivu Arath, her sister. I wasn’t expecting to finish off the fight against Xivu this season, but it looks like we’re going to be getting a big fight between Eris and Xivu sometime this season, and hopefully Eris will come through it, although I actually expect her to die. We’ve also got a returning Crota’s End raid, with Necrochasm and the fantastic Age of Triumph armor ornaments returning from Destiny 1 too.