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Destiny 2 The Witch Queen and everything we know about the upcoming expansion

Destiny 2 Bungie image the witch queen savathun
(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 The Witch Queen, the next major expansion for Destiny 2 is just one month away. When it arrives, you’ll be facing down the cunning Hive goddess Savathun and her newly empowered army of Hive Lightbearers in her Throne World – one of the expansion’s new destinations. Destiny 2 The Witch Queen will add a big campaign, a new Raid within a Pyramid ship, and even more weapons, including the new Glaive special weapon type. The Witch Queen will also introduce a new weapon crafting system and quality-of-life changes, and the launch of Season 16 will revamp the existing Void Subclasses with Aspects and Fragments like Stasis. Let’s have a look at everything we know so far about Destiny 2 The Witch Queen.

Destiny 2 Tracing the Stars 1 | Destiny 2 Tracing the Stars 2 | Destiny 2 Tracing the Stars 3 | Destiny 2 Enigmatic Mysteries Shattered Realm | Destiny 2 Ager’s Scepter 

Hive Guardians are a new Destiny 2 The Witch Queen enemy

Destiny 2 the witch queen expansion bungie press image void hive enemy

(Image credit: Bungie)

In Destiny 2 The Witch Queen, you’ll be facing off against Savathûn’s Lucent Brood of Hive Lightbearers. Presumably we’ll learn about how exactly Savathûn steals the power of Light by the end of Season of the Lost, but for now we know she’s used it to create Hive Ghosts that can resurrect and empower dead Hive with powers similar to the Guardians’.

In the trailers for The Witch Queen, we get brief glimpses of some of these abilities, including a Hive warrior holding and then throwing two Void shields exactly like a Sentinel Titan can. A Wizard-like Hive soldier also creates an Arc lightning storm in a similar way to a Warlock, and another Hive enemy throws a volley of Solar knives like a Hunter. As with normal Guardians and their Ghosts, Lucent Brood Hive can also be resurrected by their Hive Ghosts, which seems like it’s going to make them tough to deal with. You will thankfully be able to find and crush Hive Ghosts to prevent any further resurrections.

Savathun’s Throne World is a new destination for the Destiny 2 The Witch Queen campaign

Destiny 2 the witch queen expansion bungie press image savathuns throne world palace

(Image credit: Bungie)

With a new Destiny 2 expansion, comes a new destination to explore. This time, The Witch Queen isn’t adding a place in our Solar System but is instead bringing in Savathûn’s Throne World. For anyone that doesn’t know, Throne Worlds are small universes created by powerful Hive gods that prevent them from ever truly dying in the normal material universe. However, if they die in their Throne World, that means game over forever.

This new location is described as an “uncharted wonderland of secrets and lies”, and features a grand palace, overgrown swamps, and a lone pyramid ship from the Darkness’ Black Fleet. In The Witch Queen campaign, you’ll be journeying to Savathûn’s Throne World to uncover more about her lies, alone or with friends, and even on a harder difficulty. A Legendary difficulty campaign option will also be available and will reward players for their efforts if they emerge successful. In this mode, enemies hit harder, respawning is heavily restricted, and enemies scale in difficulty depending on how many of you are in the fireteam.

So that everyone can join the fun, all players, regardless of their current Power Level, will have their gear automatically boosted up to 1350 Power when the Witch Queen launches. Through a combination of activities, including the new endgame Raid, players will strive to reach the new 1560 Power cap and can exceed that thanks to the Season 16 Artifact.

There’s a new Destiny 2 Witch Queen Raid 

Destiny 2 Bungie image witch queen darkness pyramid ship throne world

(Image credit: Bungie)

Details on the new Raid coming to Destiny 2 with The Witch Queen are of course very sparse at the moment. What we do know is that it will open its doors on Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 10am PST (1pm ETS / 6pm BST), and that it takes place within the Darkness pyramid ship that lives in the swamps of Savathûn’s Throne World. A brief description of the Raid hints at an “ancient danger imprisoned within” the pyramid, which we’ll likely have to put an end to and get some sweet loot out of it.

Destiny 2 is also getting another six-player, matchmade, offensive-style activity, like Override and Astral Alignment, called Conflict Eternal. Not much is known about this either, but an image does show a team Guardians fighting their way through Lucent Brood Hive towards the palace in Savathûn’s Throne World.

The Witch Queen will add Glaives and a new weapon crafting system to Destiny 2

Destiny 2 Bungie image witch queen glaive weapon

(Image credit: Bungie)

Weapons in Destiny 2 The Witch Queen are getting some major new additions with this expansion. Not only is there going to be an entirely new weapon type, the Glaive, but new weapons will be craftable so that you can get your ideal roll more easily. Glaives are a new type of melee-based energy weapon. They’re Destiny 2’s first ever first-person melee weapon, but they can also fire off ranged projectiles and deploy shields.

Destiny 2 Bungie image weapon crafting witch queen

(Image credit: Bungie)

To get a Glaive, any of the new Throne World destination weapons, and the Season 16 seasonal weapons, you’ll need to craft them. This more deterministic way of getting weapons means players will be able to have greater control over their weapon rolls, and they can add mods and shaders to create unique combinations. You’ll also level up your weapons as you use them, making them better over time.

How Glaives and the new weapon crafting system come into Destiny 2 is a mystery for now, but based on Bungie’s description, it seems like that pyramid ship relic orb from Shadowkeep has something to do with it. The Witch Queen will introduce this new weapon crafting system to Destiny 2, but it will be expanded on with new weapons and even some old ones over time.

The Witch Queen is bringing Stasis-style Void Subclass revamps

Destiny 2 Bungie image Void subclass revamp

(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2 Beyond Light saw the introduction of the first Darkness Subclass in Destiny history, Stasis. It uses an entirely new Subclass customization system involving Aspect and Fragments that is wildly different to the fixed paths of the Light Subclasses, and Bungie is beginning to update the old Light Subclasses with the launch of The Witch Queen, starting with Void.

Like Stasis with its freeze, slow, and shatter keywords, Void will be getting the keyword treatment too. The main three are suppression, weaken, and volatile, the latter of which will causes enemies to explode when they die or take more damage. Other Void keywords, include overshield, devour, and invisibility. Bungie has said that players will be able to craft Subclass builds that mimic the original fixed paths, but there will also be plenty of new abilities from Aspects and Fragments. For example, Warlocks get an Aspect that creates a sentient black hole that can launch itself at a target whenever you place a Rift. The black hole damages enemies and siphons it to the Warlock as ability energy or health.

This decision by Bungie does mean that another Darkness Subclass was skipped in favor of updating what is already in Destiny 2. Solar and Arc will see a revamp with Aspects and Fragments in future seasons in 2022.

New Destiny 2 endgame activities are coming beyond The Witch Queen

Destiny 2 Bungie image witch queen throne world guardian armour

(Image credit: Bungie)

Beyond the Witch Queen, Bungie has confirmed that new PvE Raid or Dungeon activities will be coming to Destiny 2 with every season. Season 16 will launch with The Witch Queen and its new Raid, and we will be treated to two new Dungeons and another reprised version of a classic Destiny 2 Raid throughout 2022. While we know that the reprised Raid will be free for all players, we recently learned that the two Dungeons will be premium add-ons on top of the Season Passes. Destiny 2 players will need to buy the Dungeons separately whenever they become available if they want to play them.

It was also revealed that weekly Raid and Dungeon rotations will be added to Destiny 2 at some point in 2022. These rotations will give players new ways to earn rewards in both old and new PvE endgame activities every week.

Forsaken and Seasonal content is getting vaulted when The Witch Queen launches

Destiny 2 Forsaken

(Image credit: Bungie)

While it would be nice to not see premium content get vaulted, it’s a necessary thing that must be done to keep Destiny 2 from bursting at the seams. Some content from the 2018 Forsaken expansion and seasonal activities that came out after the 2020 Beyond Light expansion are going away to make room for The Witch Queen. Things that are going into the vault include:

  • The Forsaken Expansion campaign.
  • The Tangled Shore Destination, including Spider and all his bounty offerings, Public Events, Lost Sectors, and the Broodhold and The Hollowed Lair Strikes.
  • Exotic Quests from Forsaken and 2020/2021 Seasons – Harbinger quest for Hawkmoon, Presage quest for Dead Man’s Tale, Wish-Ender quest for Wish-Ender, Holliday Family History quest for Chaperone, Tracing the Stars quest for Ager’s Scepter, and more.
  • The Season of the Splicer Eliksni Wing in the HELM and the Eliksni Quarter of the Last City.
  • The Season of the Lost Awoken Wing in the HELM and Queen Mara Sov’s Chambers.
  • Seasonal narrative quests for Season of the Hunt, Splicer, Chosen, and Lost.
  • Seasonal Activities – Wrathborn Hunts, Harbinger Exotic Quest, Presage Exotic Quest, Override, Expunge, Astral Alignment, and Shattered Realm. Note that Season of the Chosen Battlegrounds missions will be integrated into a new Vanguard Operations Playlist with Strikes.

If you already own Forsaken, you’ll retain access to all the Exotic weapons released with the expansion and following Seasons, as well as the two major endgame activities: The Shattered Throne Dungeon, and the Last Wish Raid. If you do not own the Forsaken expansion, you can buy the Destiny 2 Forsaken Pack now or after The Witch Queen’s launch to get access to those two endgame activities and be able to earn all the Forsaken Exotics without having to buy the entire expansion. Furthermore, some of the seasonal content from Beyond Light and later will be distributed to other sources within Destiny 2 which we’ve detailed further down.

Destiny 2 The Witch Queen is adding loads of quality-of-life changes

Destiny 2 Banshee Gunsmith pondering orb

(Image credit: Bungie)

Seasonal Artifacts and mods: Bungie recently revealed that Seasonal Artifacts – one of Destiny 2’s more divisive topics – are getting a slight overhaul to make them more enjoyable. Each one has had 25 unique armor mods, including essential Champion mods, discounted versions of existing mods, and game-breaking-ly powerful ones, but you could only ever unlock up to 12 of them.

With the launch of the Witch Queen and Season 16, players can now unlock all 25 Artifact mods over the course of a season. This will obviously take a long time to do, as XP requirements for mod unlocks seem to increase exponentially, but it will provide players with way more variety and flexibility when it comes to crafting perfect builds. We also know that Season 16’s Artifact will include Anti-Barrier Scout Rifle and Bow mods, Overload SMG and Auto Rifle mods, and some bespoke Glaive mods including Unstoppable Glaive.

Masterworking weapons and armor: Paying resources to fully masterwork your gear is a key part of Destiny 2’s player progression as you’ll enhance your kit in numerous ways. With the Witch Queen’s launch, the masterwork system is changing slightly for both weapons and armor, however. Once a piece of armor has been masterworked, it’s energy type can be switched for much less – just 10,000 Glimmer and one Upgrade Module for Legendary armor and an additional 10,000 Glimmer for Exotics.

Meanwhile, masterworked Legendary weapons or Exotic weapons with a completed Exotic Catalyst will no longer generate Orbs of Power with multikills. This functionality is instead being added to a new set of helmet armor mods which are automatically unlocked for all players. These mods will apply the orb-generating bonus to weapons of the same type. For example, if a player has the appropriate mod slotted into their helmet, every Void weapon they use can generate Orbs of Power on multikills.

Destiny 2 The Witch Queen

(Image credit: Bungie)

Blue Rare Engrams, Gunsmith Reputation, and the Destiny 2 economy: The scourge of overflowing, useless Rare gear drops from activities has been annoying Guardians for years, but The Witch Queen is finally bringing in some changes. Rare gear will no longer drop from playlist activities – that includes Crucible, Gambit, Strikes, and more – once you’ve reached the new soft Power cap of 1500. Instead, players will see an increased chance of getting Legendary gear or Legendary Shard drops, which should really help with gear-hunting and minimizing trips to the postmaster.

The forgetful Tower Gunsmith, Banshee-44, is also getting an overhaul and a new reputation system much like the ones Zavala, Shaxx, and Drifter have for their respective activities. Players will earn Gunsmith Reputation by completing Banshee’s daily bounties and from dismantling Legendary and Exotic weapons and armor. As a result, Gunsmith Materials, Weapon Telemetries, and Mod Components are being removed, so spend them while you can! Furthermore, Banshee and Ada will now sell four mods each, instead of the usual two, for 10,000 Glimmer.

With Spider getting flushed down the Destiny Content Vault along with the Tangled Shore, Master Rahool is kindly taking on his responsibilities as a material exchanger. There won’t be any changes to the exchange rates with Rahool in charge, but it sounds like they will be updated later. Rahool is also taking over Banshee and Ada’s Enhancement Prism and Ascendant Shard-selling duties, and stealing the Umbral Decoder’s job as he’ll also be able to decrypt Umbral Engrams. To focus Umbral Engrams into Seasonal loot, players will instead need to visit the relevant seasonal vendor instead. Rahool is going to be a busy Cryptarch when The Witch Queen arrives.

Finally, Xur has evidently been hoarding Hawkmoon and Dead Man’s Tale weapon rolls as he is now going to be selling a new roll both weapons when he appears each week. Please note to buy either weapon you must own Beyond Light already, even if you have the required resources to pay for them. The Exotic Catalysts for Hawkmoon, Dead Man’s Tale, Ager’s Scepter, Outbreak Perfected, Whisper of the Worm, and The Fourth Horseman are all being added back as playlist activity rewards too.

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Will Sawyer
Guides Writer

Will Sawyer is a freelance guides writer at GamesRadar+ who works with the rest of the guides team to give readers great information and advice on the best items, how to complete a particular challenge, or where to go in some of the biggest video games. Will joined the GameRadar+ team in August 2021 and has written about service titles, including Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Warzone, as well as some of the biggest releases like Halo Infinite, Dying Light 2, and Elden Ring.