A sneak preview of 'The Witch Queen', the new expansion coming to 'Destiny 2'
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A sneak preview of ‘The Witch Queen’, the new expansion coming to ‘Destiny 2’

In just a few weeks Destiny 2 players will take their first steps onto Savathûn’s Throne World, the setting of the game’s newest expansion – The Witch Queen.

In a media preview event, Bungie were kind enough to dive a little deeper into a few more features coming to Destiny 2 in The Witch Queen, a brand new expansion coming our way on February 22nd.

We learned about the Throne World of Savathûn, the expansion’s chief antagonist, the new weapon crafting system and its star weapon, the glaive, some story beats (which we won’t spoil), and the all-important Void 3.0. Let’s get into it.

A new world and a new throne

In the preview, we were privy to a Bungie employee playing through a Witch Queen story mission based on Savathûn’s Throne World. And really, the first thing that needs to be said is that this place is gorgeous – if a little terrifying.

Now the Destiny 2 art team has never really missed, but the Throne World certainly seems to be as impressive an area as they’ve ever built. Towering structures dominate the above-ground portions of the open area; pendulums the size of buildings, twisted architecture, and the gargantuan fortress of Savathûn herself are all on display.

However, like previous mission locations on the Moon or the Dreaming City, there’s a lot you can’t see at first glance. A huge number of claustrophobic tunnels and cave systems apparently dwell just beneath the surface, ready to be investigated by Guardians both curious and brave.

Deep Sight is a regularly occurring phenomena that players will discover all around the Throne World, a kind of Lovecraftian resource which will reportedly be used to uncover the secrets of the terrain and its inhabitants. I’m hoping this provides a loop akin to Ascendence did in the Dreaming City – a way of giving players extra insight that unlocks unique and interesting challenges, lore, or locations.

Destiny 2 The Witch Queen

An enemy like nothing else… except yourself

The Lucent Brood is the name given to a score of Hive enemies who have been gifted a power once thought impassable: the Light. Yes, in The Witch Queen, guardians will be fighting enemies who can wield the powers of Void, Arc, and Solar for themselves.

These new enemies seem to occur fairly commonly in the Throne World’s public spaces as well as in story missions, providing difficulty spikes and, to be perfectly honest, a massive wow factor.

In the preview we witnessed a guardian being stopped in their tracks by an Arc-infused Hive wizard, one which cast Stormtrance and almost put the Guardian in the dirt very, very quickly. The guardian was forced to desperately respond with their own super, escaping by the skin of their teeth.

Of course, to destroy any of the Lucent Brood once and for all, you must run over to their corpse, grasp their Ghost in the palm of your hand, and brutally crush it.

It’s certainly a powerful gameplay moment, if equal parts confronting and badass. While you’re extinguishing a powerful enemy, it’s definitely an ethical sticking point – you are destroying a Ghost after all. Every Destiny 2 player has one, even you. How would you feel if somebody crushed yours?

According to Bungie, The Witch Queen is very much about dispelling the Light = Good, Dark = Bad dichotomy that has existed since Destiny 1. It’s fertile ground from a storytelling perspective, so I’m definitely excited to see where this expansion takes things.

Destiny 2 The Witch Queen

Tools of the trade

Weapon crafting is here, and it looks fantastic. In our brief preview of the system it became clear that a lot of resources had been poured into making crafting as feature-rich as possible, and I’m already getting excited at the prospect of creating god-ier god rolls than ever before.

Destiny 2 players will be introduced to weapon crafting on Mars through the discovery of a powerful artefact. It’s also where you’ll receive your first glaive – a new special ammo weapon class coming in The Witch Queen – but more on that in a moment.

Crafting seems to factor in every possible part of your weapon, from the shape (auto rifle, pulse rifle, sword, and such) to the barrel, scope, perks, and more. These parts will be acquired from random legendary weapon drops, and from using weapons in order to level them up and unlock better traits.

Upon opening the crafting menu you will be given two choices; Shape (create a new weapon) or Reshape (modify an existing weapon). The materials used are called Resonant Alloy and Neutral Element, and Bungie clarified these wouldn’t take up any more space in your inventory. Phew.

Each weapon frame will also have an intrinsic bonus called its Origin Trait, which will be dependent on the Season they were first released. So Season 16 weapons will have their own Origin Trait, then Season 17’s weapons will have a different one, and so on.

And glaives… glaives are just sweet. They offer up a combo of melee and ranged attacks, plus the option to shield yourself with an effect similar to sword guarding. Ranged attacks will use up your special ammo, and no, they won’t be one-shotting any guardians in PvP.

The shield function is charged up by dealing some damage, meaning it’s a resource to be used sparingly. The amount of shield you have reserved is shown by a small bar under your usual reticule – all around, it looks like a damn fun time.

As a side note: it’s not a new feature, but during the preview we were told by Bungie that changing the elemental affinity of your masterworked armour is going to have its cost significantly reduced. Which is a change everybody should be happy about… especially with some class changes on the way.

Void 3.0

The biggest class change coming to Destiny 2 when The Witch Queen drops is Void 3.0, a suite of updates to the Void subclasses to bring them in line with Stasis in terms of UI, adaptability, and cohesion between Hunters, Titans, and Warlocks.

While we weren’t privy to a great many changes, we were presented with some juicy tidbits. First was a few of the new super options, one being a Titan’s ability to slam their void shield into the ground during their super to create a Barrier-like wall that provides their fireteam with overshields.

Some abilities, such as a Suppression grenade, will be available to all classes, while some will remain independently available to specific classes. While there’s still a lot more to be learned here, you can bet on a much deeper Void experience when the expansion drops.

 

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is out February 22nd, 2022. Pre-order your copy here.