by Brian Ekberg, Editorial Lead, Bungie •
This week’s Destiny 2 Showcase event featured a bevy of news for Bungie’s ongoing sci-fi action MMO, from new features coming to the game to the launch of a brand-new Season, as well as an in-depth look at the next expansion, Destiny 2: The Final Shape, arriving in February 2024. If you missed the event but want to check it out for yourself, here’s the replay. In the meantime, here are five exciting ways that Destiny 2 will be changing in the future that every Guardian will want to know about.
The Final Shape
The Witness has arrived and with it, the gears for Guardians’ epic confrontation have been set in motion. Indeed, The Final Shape expansion for Destiny 2 is the concluding chapter in the Light and Darkness saga, which has been ongoing since the launch of the original Destiny in 2014. Years of build-up and foreshadowing have led to this conflict and now, in The Final Shape, Destiny 2 players will take the fight directly to the Witness in a bid to foil its nefarious plans for the universe.
“[The Witness] sees a lack of purpose, no meaning [in the universe],” said Destiny 2 creative director James Tsai, during the Showcase event. “It wants to fix all of that. It’s trying to put the universe in this frozen perfection, where everything’s just exactly how it thinks it’s supposed to be. That is the Final Shape.”
To accomplish this, the Witness plans to use the Traveler’s Light to reshape the universe as it sees fit. In The Final Shape campaign, Guardians will follow the Witness into The Pale Heart—a brand-new destination in Destiny 2—where they will encounter a surreal world that is being reshaped both by the Witness itself and the memories of Guardians’ own experiences as well. Longtime players will notice numerous callbacks to Destiny moments of the past, such as the Tower from the original Destiny.
Alongside longtime Vanguard allies like Ikora Rey, Commander Zavala, and the returning Cayde-6 (once again voiced by actor Nathan Fillion), players will pursue the Witness through the campaign in preparation for the confrontation that will come during the raid that will be launching after The Final Shape’s release. Just how will the story end and the final conflict go down? Well, Guardian, you’ll have to experience that for yourself when The Final Shape unfolds, beginning on February 27, 2024.
All That Power
A Guardian’s Power level has been a long-standing metric for player progression in Destiny 2; a shorthand to help players understand one another’s experience level, as well as a key to accessing high-level challenging content in the game. As part of The Final Shape expansion, the Destiny team is looking to shake things up with Power, to make things easier to understand and to allow players to play together in more activities, regardless of Power levels.
With this revamped Power system, there will be a certain number of activities that will be Power fixed, meaning that players of different Power levels will be able to jump in and play. In addition, a new feature called Fireteam Power will allow players to bring along friends into any dungeon or raid in the game regardless of their Power level. With Fireteam Power, the player with the highest Power level in the event will automatically raise the Power level of their fellow fireteam members, giving access to some of Destiny’s most rewarding (and most challenging) content to more players than ever before. Certain events—such as Nightfall strikes and raids—will still utilize Power level requirements and will be the focus on the traditional Destiny Power climb that many players continue to enjoy.
If the changes to Power are all about letting players of different skill and experience levels enjoy adventures together, the upcoming Fireteam Finder feature, coming in November 2023, will let Guardians find one another, connect, and team up easier than ever before and completely inside the game.
One of the key components to the Fireteam Finder feature, showed off during the Destiny 2 Showcase event, is the new tag system, which will let players assign themselves tags that will describe their play style and general gameplay preferences, as well as inclusion tags such as tags for colorblind or hearing-impaired players.
Once a Fireteam Finder listing goes live, players will be put into a lobby where they can chat with other others who are also looking for a group to play with. “We wanted to make it as convenient and as easy as possible for players to not just sit and stare at a screen for a long time while their listing actually fills up,” said Destiny 2 Social Systems Design Lead May Ling Tan.
Available now for all Destiny 2 players, Timeline Reflections is a new feature that exists to help players catch up with Destiny’s long-running narrative. Timeline Reflections are designed to give a new player (or someone looking for a quick refresher) a rundown of some of the most important moments in recent Destiny history.
Three playable missions make up the core of the Timeline Reflections feature at launch, covering crucial moments from Destiny 2: Forsaken, Destiny 2: Beyond Light, and Destiny 2: The Witch Queen. These missions feature short jolts of gameplay plus cinematic summaries of these pivotal moments, allowing players to grasp the legendary status of Cayde-6, the compelling lure of Stasis, and the deadly ramifications of The Witch Queen’s Light-bearing minions, the Lucent Hive.
“We worked closely with the cinematics team to create a one-minute intro video for each mission to quickly contextualize why you were going there, as well as a one-minute outro video to reinforce the key narrative takeaways,” said Destiny 2 Design Lead Kevin O’Hara. “This meant the player didn’t have to play through the entire mission, just the juicy center to get a good flavor of exciting combat before moving on to the next one.
“Players who play these won’t be able say, ‘Now I know everything that happened over the last ten years,’” O’Hara said. “But they should be able to say, ‘I know who the Witness is, what it has been up to, and I’m ready to take it on!’”
Season of the Witch
If The Final Shape is part of Destiny 2’s near future, and Timeline Reflections are meant to help Guardians catch up with Destiny’s past, Season of the Witch is very much the present. The new Season, now in Destiny 2, finds Guardians fighting alongside and on behalf of their ally Eris Morn as they work to track down the Witness.
To kick off the Season, the Witch Queen’s Ghost, Immaru, presents Eris with a deal: Help Savathûn defeat her sister, the Hive god of war Xivu Arath, and she will provide the key needed to follow the Witness into what waits inside the Traveler. There begins an epic Season full of harnessing mysterious cosmic powers and thrilling adventures against the relentless Hive.
Season of the Witch will feature two new activities. The first, Altars of Summoning, is a three-person activity where players use Hive magic to summon multiple waves of challenging, high-density opponents, conquer them, claim their power, and tithe it to Eris Morn as she prepares for her showdown with Xivu Arath. Savathûn’s Spire is a three-person matchmade activity where players will journey into the Witch Queen’s spired reliquary, the mysterious tower where she conducted experiments when learning to wield the Light.
In both Seasonal activities, players will be able to use the Deck of Whispers, a mysterious deck of cards players can collect over the course of the Season. At the start of each activity, one card will be chosen at random from each player’s assembled deck, offering buffs for all players in the activity. The Deck of Whispers offers an arcane twist to the traditional Guardian progression system in Destiny 2 and will be a crucial part of buildcrafting throughout the Season.
When they aren’t building decks or facing down scores of Hive enemies, Guardians will also be able to take on the next reprised raid—Crota’s End—which will arrive on September 1. In Crota’s End, Guardians will confront the brother of Xivu Arath and Savathûn: the demi-god Crota. To celebrate the launch of this reprised raid, Bungie will be holding a World First race for Destiny players everywhere to compete to be the first fireteam to finish the raid.
A brand-new Season available now, quality of life features arriving in the near future, and a climactic confrontation ten years in the making coming on the horizon. Check out the Destiny 2 Showcase if you missed it live, and we’ll see you online, Guardians!
Destiny 2: The Final Shape + Annual Pass
Pre-order now to instantly unlock the new Tessellation Exotic Fusion Rifle, Exotic Ghost Shell, emblem, and emote.Includes the new campaign, new destination, three new Supers, The Final Shape Dungeon Key, the new and instantly unlocked Tessellation Exotic Fusion Rifle, one Secret Stash delivered during each Episode, an Exotic Sparrow, and all three Episodes in the year of The Final Shape. CampaignThe Final Shape looms—a nightmarish calcification of reality into the Witness's twisted design. Embark on a perilous journey into the heart of the Traveler, rally the Vanguard, and end the War of Light and Darkness.New SupersDefeating the Witness will require untold power. Arc Hunters, Void Titans, and Solar Warlocks; master a new Super within your arsenal and confront oblivion.New DestinationAdventure through an impossible landscape that bends time and space. Follow the Witness and behold what lies within the Traveler. 105 GB hard drive storage space required as of November 10, 2020. Subject to change. Requires broadband internet. After November 10, 2020 see www.destinythegame.com/size-requirements for current requirements prior to purchase. Destiny 2 may contain flashing patterns and images that may produce adverse effects for a small percentage of people sensitive to them.Bungie, Inc. makes no guarantee regarding the availability of online play or features and may modify or discontinue online services with reasonable notice at any time. Using the software constitutes acceptance of the Destiny Software License Agreement available at www.bungie.net/sla. © 2023 Bungie, Inc. All rights reserved. Destiny, the Destiny Logo, Bungie and the Bungie Logo are trademarks of Bungie, Inc. Published and distributed by Bungie, Inc.