Destiny 2: The Witch Queen
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen
Released Feb. 22nd, 2022
Published by: Bungie
Developed by: Bungie
Series: Destiny 2
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is a major expansion for Destiny 2, a first-person shooter video game by Bungie. Representing the sixth expansion and the fifth year of extended content for Destiny 2, it was originally planned for release in late 2021, but due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the expansion was delayed by three months and was released on February 22, 2022. Prior to release, Bungie reported that The Witch Queen had over 1 million pre-orders, "on track to becoming the most pre-ordered expansion in Destiny 2 history".

The expansion revolves around Savathûn, The Witch Queen, the sister of Oryx, who was the antagonist of the original Destiny's (2014) first major expansion, The Taken King (2015). The expansion adds new content across the game, including new missions, Player versus Environment locations, Player versus Player maps, player gear, weaponry, and a new raid. There are also four planned seasons of content to be released throughout Year 5. The first, Season of the Risen, released simultaneously with the expansion and will run until May 24. The second season, Season of the Haunted, will then release and will run until August 23.


The Witch Queen introduces a new location, Savathûn's Throne World, above Mars within the Ascendant Realm. In addition to world activities, a new raid, "Vow of the Disciple", was released on March 5, 2022. Two additional dungeons will also be added over the course of the expansion. New and existing story content was expanded with a new "Legendary" difficulty, designed to be challenging for single players but with improved rewards for completing. At the same time, some content from the Forsaken (2018) expansion was removed from the game and placed in the Destiny Content Vault; this included the full Forsaken campaign, the Tangled Shore destination and its activities, but not the Dreaming City, the Last Wish raid, the Shattered Throne dungeon, or the strikes. Ahead of this, Forsaken's campaign was made free-to-play for all players on December 7, 2021, with a bundle pack available to purchase to access the endgame content for players who did not already own Forsaken. While the other seasonal activities from Beyond Light (2020) were removed with The Witch Queen, the Battlegrounds activity from Season of the Chosen (Season 13) was merged with the existing strikes under one playlist, named Vanguard Operations.

Savathûn's Lucent Brood, Hive warriors that carry the power of Light, is a new major enemy within The Witch Queen. They have similar Light-focused abilities within the Arc, Solar, and Void classes as the players' Guardian characters as well as their own Ghosts that can resurrect them unless the Guardians can destroy the Ghost within a limited window.

Beyond Light introduced Stasis as a power of Darkness which, unlike the other three powers of Light which each had three subtrees that could be selected, used customizable Aspects and Fragments to give the player more customization of how Stasis could be used. Over the course of The Witch Queen, Bungie will bring similar Aspects and Fragments to the original Light powers, starting with Void at the launch of The Witch Queen, followed by Solar in Season of the Haunted (Season 17). These changes maintain the basic abilities but allow players to modify and mix effects atop these powers. Bungie does plan to introduce additional Darkness powers but does not plan on adding these until after they have completed the Light power conversion within The Witch Queen.

The Witch Queen introduces a new weapon type, the glaive, which has both melee and short-range attacks as well as defensive capabilities. Unlike most other weapon drops which have randomized perks, glaives have abilities that can be customized by the player through a new weapon crafting system, which can also be used to craft other types of weapons. Game director Joe Blackburn stated it would not be similar to weapon crafting in massively multiplayer online games, it would not favor experienced players with numerous existing resources over novice players, and would not have pay to win-style mechanics. Blackburn stated this crafting system would allow players to customize a weapon to their playstyle or to shift a weapon within the game's changing meta without having to "farm" for a new version of the weapon. The new Deepsight ability also plays a role in the new weapon crafting system. Players craft weapons at a new location called The Enclave, located on Mars (accessible from within the Throne World location). To craft weapons, players need to obtain weapon patterns (blueprints) from the world or through in-game activities or quests, as well as find and use special "Deepsight Resonance" weapons to unlock and extract crafting materials. Crafting materials can also be purchased from Master Rahool and obtained from Banshee-44 upon accumulating specific amounts of “gunsmith reputation”, which is gained from dismantling weapons and armor. Once a weapon has been crafted, it can then be further upgraded and modified through use in gameplay, unlocking new and enhanced perks. Players also have the ability to further customize their crafted weapons by obtaining cosmetic "Mementos" from certain activities. A weapon can be crafted and modified indefinitely, so as long as the weapon patterns, crafting materials, weapon perks, and other necessary resources are obtained and unlocked for use. Bungie stated that the initial weapons from The Witch Queen and its raid and seasonal content, including some exotic weapons, would be the only weapons that can be crafted, but plan to include legacy weapons from previous releases in future seasons.

Other significant gameplay changes include:

The seasonal artifact, which provides unique mods and bonus power levels across all characters on a player's account for a season as introduced in Shadowkeep, continues to be used in The Witch Queen, but players are now able to unlock all 25 mods instead of only being able to choose 12, though each mod beyond the 12th has an increasing experience cost to obtain.
The cost to switch element type on armor is significantly reduced to primarily glimmer (the normal in-game currency) and an upgrade module. This change is intended to reduce the need for players to keep a range of armor in their inventory and vaults to cover the different elements.
Orbs of power are no longer generated from performing multikills with a masterworked weapon, but instead are generated by a set of helmet mods that generate orbs when a weapon of the same element or type as the mod is used to create multikills. This is to tie into the new weapon crafting system.
Once the player reaches the "soft limit" power level with The Witch Queen (1500 at the start of the expansion), rare quality (blue) engrams that drop from playlist activities are automatically converted to in-game currency (glimmer), rather than flooding the player's inventory. Rare quality engrams still drop before the soft cap is reached to help with leveling.
Starting with Season 17, Bungie will streamline the weapon crafting system by removing the Ruinous, Mutable, Adroit, Energetic, and Drowned Element crafting materials. Creating and modifying weapons will now only require Neutral Element (renamed as Resonant Element), Drowned Alloys, Resonant Alloys, and Ascendant Alloys.
Starting with Season 17, Bungie will introduce raid and dungeon rotators. While the most recent raid and dungeon will continue to remain a source for pinnacle gear, the rotators will cycle through the older raids and dungeons still in the game on a weekly basis, with the opportunity to earn pinnacle gear from that activity. Furthermore, for the current raid or dungeon in rotation, the normal per-weekly lockouts on gear will be removed to allow these to be farmable.
Also in Season 17, the Iron Banner competitive PvP mode will be reworked, based on narrative changes to Lord Saladin's character from "Season of the Risen', in which he has become part of the Cabal high command and named as Valus Forge, bringing ideas from his time with the Cabal into the event. It will use a reward-based progression system similar to Vanguard Ops, Crucible, Gambit, and Trials of Osiris. Furthermore, Iron Banner will only be featured twice per season, while the base game mode (currently Control) will rotate each season, starting with the capture-the-flag game mode Rift from the original Destiny (which will be put into rotation starting in Season 18). Power level advantages will also be disabled. Zone Control (also from the original game) will also return as part of the Crucible Labs playlist during Season 17.

---- Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destiny_2:_The_Witch_Queen