Destiny 2 will undergo some major changes in the coming months that include the end of weapon and armor sunsetting, the release of permanent shaders, the return of the Vault of Glass with new difficulty modes, and much more.
Bungie released an absolutely massive blog post today, so let's get straight into it. The team decided to give us a whole host of future updates alongside the announcement of the Destiny 2 Witch Queen Delay - likely to soften the blow that is a 2022 release date for the next expansion.
Firstly, and arguably most importantly, Destiny 2 is killing sunsetting, with Bungie admitting that its "execution was off the mark" when it came to recent attempts to keep Destiny's weapon and armor game fresh.
"While we still strongly believe that Destiny needs a method to shift our meta in the game’s most challenging activities, we don’t believe that infusion caps are the right answer," assistant game director Joe Blackburn writes. "We’re taking time this year to research and validate a plan that creates a fresh and balanceable ecosystem for our most aspirational content, one that doesn’t make our rewards feel like they have an expiration date. We’ve learned a lot this year and don’t want to rush finding the best plan, so don’t expect to hear anything more about this until after The Witch Queen."
Simply put: Destiny 2 will do away with Power caps in Season 14. However, this is only applicable to "any weapon or armor that can currently be infused to max Power," meaning gear that has already been totally sunset will still be left behind, including old pinnacle weapons like Recluse. And with more stuff sticking around for the future, Bungie will be tuning gear like Felwinter's Lie and Warmind Cell mods, as they're some of the biggest outliers in PVP and PVE, so expect nerfs in their future.
Second - and another thing Destiny 2 players will be excited about - is that starting in Season 14, shaders will no longer be consumable, but rather permanent cosmetics that do away with the need to keep stacks of them in your inventory. This is great news for someone like me, who enjoys making Lady Gaga Chromatica-themed looks but hates going back into my inventory to re-add the shader I want to use.
Bungie also announced that the Vault of Glass raid will arrive next season, returning from the Destiny Content Vault with some added amenities. A Contest mode and world first raid race will be available for the first 24 hours, which should be interesting since this is a raid we've seen before. With that in mind, Bungie's added special challenges to the race, so just clearing the Vault first won't be enough. To amp up the challenge further, a Master difficulty for the Vault of Glass is expected to drop in a future season, and Bungie also hopes to bring Master difficulty to all future raids and dungeons to add more challenge (and Adept loot) to the end-game.
The final major announcement involves crossplay, which is set to go live in Season 15. And breathe a sigh of relief: PC and console players won't automatically be pitted against each other in the Crucible - that'll only happen if "PC players specifically invite their console friends to play with them in the PC Crucible pools."
As for the rest of today's announcements, here's a nifty summation of a very lengthy Bungie blog post:
- Seasonal Power increases will be reduced to 10 rather than 50, so if you max your Power in one season, you'll instantly be in the pinnacle loot bracket next season.
- Season 15 will remove three-peeking in competitive PVP modes by disabling emotes and third-person weapons like swords when they have no ammo. Three-peaking, for the uninformed, is the term for using a third-person viewpoint to see around corners or locate where enemies are in lanes - a technique that can make competitive modes like Trials an absolute pain.
- Speaking of Trials, Bungie plans to nearly double its security team, take legal action against cheat developers, and issue more in-depth player surveys in order to combat the still-rampant cheating in the Crucible.
- Light and Stasis subclasses will get yet more balance changes in the seasons ahead, with Stasis getting another nerf almost across the board in Seasons 13 and 14.
- Ada-1 will return to the Tower in Season 14, and she'll now be your one-stop shop for transmog (now called armor synthesis) and shaders. She'll offer seasonal bounties that power the gadget used to turn any armor in your collection into a universal ornament, and while this currency can be earned through gameplay (with a chunk of it given out up front to jump-start customization), players will also be able to buy it with the premium currency Silver.
- An overhaul of Trials of Osiris will arrive by the end of the year, aiming to improve the matchmaking pool by attracting a wider variety of players, encourage those players to play the mode longer, and "investigate" opportunities for solo players to participate. Expect a similar refresh for Iron Banner to follow.
- Ikora Rey will return in Season 14 - well, she's always been around, but now she'll actually be doing something. She'll also play a pivotal role in The Witch Queen, so watch out.
- More gilded titles are coming, and with markers denoting how many times you've gilded them, which will show off all your hard work.
Phew, that was a lot to take in. Head to the official Bungie blog post linked above if you want an even more granular look at the future of Destiny 2, and keep in mind that Bungie has promised more content for "years to come."
Bungie wants to bring Destiny to "additional media," so expect a lot of Guardians in your future.