Destiny 2 The Witch Queen: Everything We Know

Oh Guardian mine, here's everything you need to know before diving into The Witch Queen DLC.

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The next major DLC expansion for Destiny 2, The Witch Queen, launches very soon. Excitingly, Destiny Universe vice president Mark Noseworthy has compared it to Destiny's The Taken King, which is widely regarded as that game's best content. Destiny 2: The Witch Queen follows the ongoing Season of the Lost, where Savathun--who has been lurking in the background of Destiny for years--has arrived and requested help from players. Of course, it appears she isn't an ally, and after Bungie teased Savathun's name for so long, Guardians will go head to head with the Hive God of Cunning in the new DLC. Accompanying the intriguing story, Year 5 of Destiny 2 brings an array of new features and gameplay changes. Here's everything we know about The Witch Queen.

What's new?

The upcoming expansion will take place in Savathun's Throne World, which is an untamable wilderness and a majestic queendom. Mars reappears in the Solar system and Savathun's ship presents itself. Players will venture into her Throne World to decipher how Savathun and her Hive became Lightbearers. Ikora and her intelligence group, the Hidden, are in charge of leading Guardians into Savathun's Throne World based on information she's gathered, which is presented on the evidence board we've seen in trailers. Following Ikora’s orders, Guardians will start the first mission on Mars.

Mars Evidence Board
Mars Evidence Board

Alongside The Witch Queen expansion itself, Season 16--known as Season of the Risen--will also kick off on February 22. It will center on Guardians and the Vanguard teaming up with Cabal Empress Caiatl's forces to take down the Hive Guardians, using Caiatl's Light-suppressing technology. Clips from the ViDoc and trailers show Cabal-inspired seasonal armor and weapons for players to earn along the way.

The Witch Queen campaign

The Witch Queen campaign will be a string of story missions like usual, but Bungie is implementing a Legendary difficulty for Guardians looking for more challenges. Game director Joe Blackburn told GameSpot that players will take on a sort of detective role as they uncover information about Hive Guardians and unravel Savathun's trickery in her Throne World. Keep in mind that the difficulty will scale based on how many people are on the fireteam in the Legendary mode and the mission launch screen will list all difficulty modifiers used in a given mission.

The Witch Queen Legendary campaign selection on the map
The Witch Queen Legendary campaign selection on the map

Players can select the Legendary campaign from the start, and it might be worth it for the extra rewards. The Legendary campaign, according to the ViDoc, starts at Power level 1360. These missions will slightly differ from the regular campaign, enemies will be tougher to defeat, and players will need to adhere to the mission modifiers. Areas with major boss fights will also have free rally banners. Bungie has said that the Legendary campaign is balanced for both solo players and Fireteams. Each mission will include somewhere between one and three extra reward drops, and completing the entire Legendary campaign gives players a full set of Power level 1520 Rare gear.

All players logging into The Witch Queen expansion will start at Power level 1350 without the seasonal artifact bonus. The Soft gear cap is set at 1500, the Powerful gear cap is 1550, and the highest players can go without the artifact bonus is the Hard cap of 1560.

New enemies

Guardians will go against the biggest threat they've faced yet: Savathun's army of Hive Guardians called the Lucent Brood. These Hive are resurrected by Hive Ghosts, which gives them the same Arc, Solar, and Void Light abilities that players enjoy--they can even be resurrected by their Ghosts after dying.

Hive Guardians using Light abilities in The Witch Queen
Hive Guardians using Light abilities in The Witch Queen

Guardians will need to permanently kill Hive Guardians by destroying their Ghosts with a Finisher move. The Scorn still pose a threat to Guardians in Savathun's Throne World, too.

Weapons, crafting, and exotics

The Glaive, an all-new first-person melee weapon type, is a versatile option, as it can also shoot projectiles for ranged attacks and be used as a shield. Class-specific Exotic versions will be available as well. The Titan Glaive: Edge of Action lets players launch a bubble shield onto the battlefield. The Warlock Glaive: Edge of Intent sends out a turret that heals nearby allies. The Hunter Glaive: Edge of Concurrence unleashes a chain lightning that tracks and defeats enemies. Bungie also shared more Exotic weapons--the Osteo Striga submachine gun, Grand Overture slug launcher, and the Parasite worm grenade launcher--arriving in The Witch Queen.

The Glaive will first need to be crafted in the DLC's Enclave social space. Weapon-crafting is new to the Destiny world, but Bungie has provided some in-depth information on what to expect. Players will need to find weapon schematics called Patterns, along with necessary materials to craft the weapon with compatible traits that suit the player's needs. Patterns and crafting materials come from special random drop versions of weapons with a trait called Deepsight Resonance, and using them allows players to complete objectives that unlock crafting components. A lengthy part of weapon crafting is a new weapon progression system, which has players completing objectives with a weapon to upgrade it.

The weapon-crafting Enclave social space
The weapon-crafting Enclave social space

Further enhancing its weapons system, Bungie is introducing 14 new weapon traits called Origin Traits that will add abilities exclusive to weapons earned from activities. For example, the Trials of Osiris trait is called Alacrity and grants increased stability, aim assist, range, and reload speed. Other activities like Nightfall Strikes, Vanguard Strikes, Crucible, Gambit, and more have their own Origin Trait. Foundry weapons Häkke, Omolon, Suros, and Veist will have their own Foundry Origin Traits.

The crafting system seems like it wants to nurture a long-term relationship with weapons--making it adaptable to future needs. It seems like it's the opposite of "gunsetting," which for a period of time deprecated older weapons by not allowing them to be leveled up to current standards.

The Witch Queen will also have six new Exotic armor pieces total. There will be one Stasis and one non-Stasis armor piece per class.

  • Hunter: Blight Ranger Helm helmet and Renewal Grasps gauntlets
  • Warlock: Secant Filaments leg armor, and the Osmiomancy Gloves
  • Titan: Loreley Splendor Helm helmet and Hoarfrost-Z chest armor

Void subclass rework

Void subclasses are getting a setup like Stasis where players can choose Fragments and Aspects to have greater control over how they play. The Hunter Nightstalker, Warlock Voidwalker, and Titan Sentinel Void subclasses are each receiving class-specific Aspects--while Fragments are applicable be all classes. Bungie showed additional changes to Void Supers and abilities in the ViDoc.

New raid, dungeon, and six-player activity

The Witch Queen will feature a new raid that will take place inside the sunken Pyramid ship in Savathun’s Throne World; it's set to launch on March 5.

The Pyramid ship inside Savathun's Throne World
The Pyramid ship inside Savathun's Throne World

Bungie has also hinted at a matchmade six-player activity in Savathun's Throne World called Wellspring and two new dungeons arriving in Year 5.

Destiny Content Vault

The Forsaken campaign, Tangled Shore, and Year 4 seasons will leave Destiny 2 and enter the DCV when The Witch Queen launches. The Last Wish raid and the Shattered Throne dungeon will stay in the game as well as Year 4 activities like Battlegrounds and the Proving Grounds strike. That's just the start, GameSpot has a list of everything that's leaving Destiny 2 when Year 5 begins and things to do before jumping into The Witch Queen.

However, Bungie plans to bring back content from the DCV in Year 5 which includes a classic raid, two Crucible maps previously vaulted in Destiny 2, and one Crucible map from Destiny 1.

Release date

Destiny 2 The Witch Queen and Season of the Risen are set for release on February 22, 2022, for PC, Stadia, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Preorder editions

Preorders are now available for The Witch Queen expansion and they come with three in-game items: Throne World Exotic Ghost shell, The Enigma exotic emote, and a Legendary emblem. The standard edition is $40. The Deluxe edition costs $80 and also comes with seasons 16-19, two Year 5 dungeons, the Osteo Striga Exotic submachine gun, and the Throne World Exotic Sparrow. The Deluxe edition 30th Anniversary Bundle includes the Bungie 30th Anniversary event, which started in December. The Collector's edition comes with the Deluxe edition bundle and the Collector's edition without the game, but both are currently sold out.

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