Destiny 2 Gamescom reveal shows difficulty modifiers, new Exotics, Nightmare Hunts, Artifact mods, and more

With Destiny 2 director Luke Smith's exhaustive Director's Cut blog posts still in our rear-view mirrors, today Bungie took the stage at the Xbox Gamescom show to share more new features and activities coming in Destiny 2 Shadowkeep. We got our first good look at the Artifacts connected to the Destiny 2 Armor 2.0 system, some more Finisher details, and some tantalizing screenshots of the new Moon. You can see some of that in action in the new trailer above. 

Let's start with Artifact mods. As we recently learned, future seasons of Destiny 2 will feature seasonal Artifacts which award limited-time armor mods. Once you unlock these on your Artifact, you'll be able to apply them to your armor during that season - as long as you've got the energy to spare. We saw several wild Artifact mods in today's Gamescom teaser: 

  • Thunder Coil - grants bonus damage for all arc melee abilities and refunds super energy on finisher final blows. Class Item mod, costs six energy. 
  • Arc Battery - grants overshield and reduced cooldown during activation for all arc class abilities. Class Item mod, costs five energy. 
  • Oppressive Darkness - causing damage with a void grenade adds a weaken effect to enemies. Class Item mod, costs six energy. 
  • Heavy Finisher - Finisher blows generate heavy ammo for all allies. Requires one-half of your Super energy (normal Finishers seem to cost one-eighth of your Super energy). Class Item mod, costs seven energy.
  • Anti-barrier Rounds - only usable on auto rifles and submachine guns. shield-piercing rounds designed to bypass combatant defenses. Strong against barrier champions. 
  • Anti-barrier Hand Cannon - shield-piercing rounds designed to bypass combatant defenses. Strong against barrier champions. 
  • Overload Rounds - only usable on auto rifles and submachine guns. Uninterrupted fire grants bullets that cause disruption, delaying ability energy regeneration and lowering combatant damage output. Strong against Overload Champions. Weapon mod, seemingly costs one energy. 

And here's a look at what those mods look like in the armor screen. Note that this cloak supports four mods, with the fourth slot showing a Vex icon. This suggests that this slot is reserved for mods that drop from the new Black Garden Vex raid coming in Shadowkeep.

(Image credit: Bungie)

Speaking of revealing screenshots, check out this look at the character screen. This confirms that the Monte Carlo Exotic auto rifle is returning, and it also bears the Vex symbol seen above. These symbols are usually used to denote which season an item came from, but the same symbol is attached to Shadowkeep armor, and I doubt Bungie would have shown us Monte Carlo unless it's coming in Shadowkeep. Perhaps these symbols indicate how items are acquired? 

(Image credit: Bungie)

Next, here's a limited look at the map of the new Moon destination coming in Shadowkeep. Bungie says the Moon is twice as big as it was in the original Destiny, and it sure looks the part.

(Image credit: Bungie)

On top of the Scarlet Keep Strike, we also spotted a new activity on the Moon called Nightmare Hunts. There are two Nightmare Hunts visible on the map, and the one shown specifies Zydron, Gate Lord as the boss. Nightmare Hunts are for one to three players, so it's possible they're analogous to the Shattered Throne in Forsaken. However, the objectives attached to them make Nightmare Hunts seem like more Baron hunts crossed with Strikes. Interestingly, the Nightmare Hunt icon is a dead ringer for some of the Armor 2.0 mods teased earlier this month.  

(Image credit: Bungie)

On top of that, we saw some new and returning difficulty settings attached to Nightmare Hunts. As you ratchet up the difficulty from Adept to Hero to Legend, the Power requirement increases and more mission modifiers are tacked on. Destiny 1 featured similar modifiers, so hopefully these difficulty options will be available for other activities like Strikes in Shadowkeep and beyond.  

(Image credit: Bungie)

Finally, here's a look at a new Hunter Exotic called the Assassin's Cowl:  

(Image credit: Bungie)

Phew! That was a lot of new stuff to cram into a short Gamescom segment. Artifacts are looking more and more exciting, and some of those mods could be total game-changers for end-game content. A Recluse with shield-piercing rounds? Whew.  

Here's everything you need to know about Destiny 2 cross save and the upcoming Destiny 2 Steam transfer.  

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.