Destiny 2's Season of Plunder is almost over, and ahead of next year's Lightfall expansion, all eyes are on Season 19 and how it'll lead into the next year of content. Unlike Season of the Risen, which ran for a whopping six months, Season 19 is sticking to a breezy three-month period in which to tell its story and introduce a few changes to the Destiny 2 sandbox. While Bungie has yet to spill the beans on what players can expect in the narrative department from the new season, it has lifted the lid on several technical changes that it'll be introducing for the next quarter.
Season 19 start date and end date
Season 19 officially kicks off on December 6, and like previous seasons, you'll be able to dive into the new content following the weekly reset at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET. From there, it's a brisk three months until the beginning of Lightfall and Season 20 on February 28, 2023.
Like previous seasons, Bungie is keeping the story for Season 19 under tight security. Pretty much nothing is known yet about the themes or characters who'll be headlining the next season, but if it follows the same trend as Season of the Lost, expect the next three months to deal with events that'll lead directly into the Lightfall expansion and its first season of content.
What we do know so far, is that next year we'll be fighting against former Cabal emperor Calus, who has graduated from being our number-one frenemy to a disciple of the Witness, and his Shadow Legion troops. Lightfall takes place in the new location of Neomuna, a city previously hidden from the conflict between the Light and the Darkness, so the next couple of months might lay the groundwork for the discovery of that neon metropolis when it comes under siege.
Each of Destiny 2's four seasons this year has been anchored by a seasonal event, and Season 19 will see the holiday-themed Dawning make a return. Essentially Destiny's version of Christmas, this festive fun is usually seen as a break from the more serious side of the game and a chance to flex some merry muscles while engaging in some good-natured fun. Like Festival of the Lost and Solstice, expect the Dawning to have its own rewards system full of unique cosmetics, weapons, and emotes for participating in the event.
New Dungeon activity
While any information on a seasonal activity such as Ketchcrash or Nightmare Containment is being kept under wraps, one thing you can expect is a new dungeon to venture into. Essentially a mini-raid, this new high-level activity will arrive on December 9 at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET, the first Friday of Season 19. As for details, Bungie is once again keeping quiet on the first new dungeon since May's Duality experience.
Subclass overhauls for all Guardians
While Bungie is teasing a major revamp for all four subclasses ahead of the introduction of the Strand set of powers, a small taste of things to come will be felt in Season 19. These are going to be smaller and more granular tweaks to existing subclasses, but there will be a noticeable difference in how several Guardian powers operate after they've been slightly revamped.
Warlocks and Titans appear to be benefitting the most from these planned changes, but the overall direction that Bungie is going in will add more of an identity to each subclass. Expect Solar classes to mostly remain the same while flexing Radiant buff muscles, Void warriors to be masters of dealing debuffs, Arc players to be agile damage-dealers, and Stasis to be on par with the original Destiny elements.
Crucible and PvP is getting an overhaul
PvP activity in Destiny 2 is about to undergo a huge overhaul in Season 19, as Bungie has multiple plans in place. In short, you can expect a new "Glorious" Crucible seal to be added to the chase for glory, Control and Clash game modes are being collapsed into a single Quickplay playlist, and some of the lesser-played modes are being added into weekly rotations. Lord Shaxx will offer engram-focusing from his vendor location in the Tower, and Bungie will start experimenting with a combination of matchmaking options across modes that favor skill, connection, and team sizes.
For Iron Banner, which is now active only twice per season, a new game mode is being introduced. Fortress is being billed as Control with a dangerous spin, as Guardians won't just have to deal with opposing players, but also Empress Caiatl who apparently plays a hand in the tournament. This new mode will be introduced in Iron Banner on January 3. Another good reason to jump into this refreshed Iron Banner will be for a chance to earn some classic cosmetics, as Lord Saladin will be offering fan-requested armor sets from the Taken King era.
Divinity is getting nerfed
One of the more controversial Exotic weapons in Destiny 2, Divinity will be less effective in Season 19 so that fireteams can focus on wielding a more varied arsenal in combat. Addressing the upcoming nerf that will see Divinity's weaken debuff decrease from 30% to 15%, community manager Cozmo said that this tweak to the trace rifle has been in the planning stages for quite a while.
Destination materials are being retired
After years of juggling multiple resources, destination materials are finally being scrapped in Season 19. As part of a move to simply the Destiny 2 economy, Dusklight Shards, Microphasic Datalattice, Helium Filaments, Baryon Boughs, Spinmetal Leaves, and Glacial Starwort are all being retired, but can still be exchanged for Glimmer by Master Rahool. While most players hoard and exchange destination materials as a quick source of in-game currency, you can expect to earn more Glimmer from Public Events.
Without any Ghost mods attached or seasonal perks in play, normal Public Events will pay out between 3,300 and 4,645 Glimmer from Season 19, and Heroic Public Events will boost that reward to between 10,000 and 12,500 Glimmer.
Weapon crafting updates
Ever since it was introduced in The Witch Queen, weapon crafting has slowly been expanded on as Bungie fine-tunes the mechanics behind shaping desirable tools of destruction. Dares of Eternity weapons are already on the crafting block, and in Season 19, Deep Stone Crypt weapons from the Beyond Light raid will be available as well. The raid will have a chance to drop Deepsight weapons, and players may purchase one per week from the final chest after defeating Taniks, Bungie has said.
Bungle also added that when Deep Stone Crypt is the featured raid of the week, encounter drops are uncapped and the odds of multiple Deepsight drops will be greatly increased in a single run.