This Week At Bungie - 02/23/23
Feb 23, 2023 - Bruno Louviers
This week at Bungie, we’re sharing a lot of information with you all! Mostly because we’re as hyped as everyone else, but also because Lightfall is launching in less than five days. That leaves us with about —[checks clock, does the math, checks with Google because I’m bad with numbers]— less than 118 hours by the time this is live. It's enough time to tell you one or two more things, though. Or several.
So, let's start with what's on the menu today:
- Get ready for the new Lightfall trailer.
- Did you read the “Bringing Challenge Back to Destiny”?
- Crucible updates going live with Lightfall.
- New details on Mod Customization, Loadouts, Guardian Ranks, and Commendations.
- A preview of the Season 20 artifact perks.
- An update on the Legendary campaign.
- The Witch Queen free weekend kicks off today!
- Prime Gaming rewards reminder.
- Updates from our beautiful Destiny Support team.
- Some of our community's outstanding creations.
Also, here's what we talked about the previous week that you should totally check if you haven't:
- You read our Lightfall and the Year Ahead article, right?
- Did you watch the ViDoc?
- Crafty changes coming to weapon crafting.
- That Season 19 ending cinematic hit hard.
- New Destiny branded SteelSeries drip.
- Lightfall ritual weapons and ornaments incoming.
With all that clear, the only thing left is to jump in. ¡Vamos! (Let's go!)
New Trailer Coming Today!
We’re not kidding when we say, “Our end begins.” Have you seen how powerful our enemies are? Well, you'll see in just a few hours when the launch trailer for Lightfall premieres during PlayStation’s State of Play.
The livestream begins at 1 PM PST (check your local time here), and a lot of other great games will be a part of it, so put on something nice, will you?
The Hard Way
This week the World Systems team shared an overview of the changes coming to several activities. Long story short: Destiny 2 is getting harder, not only for those of you who love to solo Grandmaster Nightfalls, but also for those who love the kind of challenges that Power level disadvantages bring to the table. Those are here to stay.
Here’s a quick recap:
- We explained Surges, Threats, and Overcharges.
- Strike refreshes and a new Vanguard Ops scoring system.
- Power level disadvantages will make Nightfalls more challenging.
- Lost Sectors, raids, dungeons, and more PvE activities will be more challenging on Legend and Master difficulties.
There were a few things we didn’t make completely clear in the article, so we updated it with some additional info. We saw the feedback and realized that we totally missed some of the reward changes coming to Nightfalls and Lost Sectors as well as some additional info on Burns vs. Threats and Surges.
Rank Up, Guardian
Making your in-game merits more obvious and giving others the opportunity to say nice things about how you played surely must feel nice. That's why Guardian Ranks and Commendations are crucial additions to Destiny 2. We’re also revamping the buildcrafting experience for all players with our new Mod Customization system and giving everyone the ability to create and switch builds on the fly with the addition of in-game Loadouts.
We know you might have some questions around how these new quality-of-life systems work, so we’ve got some more details from the team over on the PlayStation Blog today.
The Crucible Beckons
We know you’re waiting for more news regarding the Crucible. We have a few quick bits to share before launch and then, later in the season, we'll have the bigger article with more details on playlist changes coming with Lightfall and later, adjustments to competitive progression and rewards, and changes to how matchmaking will work in the near future.
Next week, the Competitive Division freelance node is going away, as we believe fireteam matchmaking is solving the problem it was originally intended to solve, in a much healthier way. This will merge the player populations into one larger, healthier pool while still protecting smaller fireteams from getting stomped by larger more coordinated groups.
Competitive Quality-of-life Changes Coming in Season 20
- Placement Changes
- You can now place in Platinum division after your initial placement series matches if you were Adept or Ascendant in the previous Season.
- Mode and Map Weighting
- While we understand not everyone loves Rift and Showdown, we believe that those two modes stress Crucible players in different and important ways, and that a variety of kill and objective modes makes for a healthier ladder. However, we are lowering how common Rift and Showdown come up on in play. While RNG can give any sequence of maps and modes, we expect Survival to show up roughly 2/3 of the time, and Rift and Showdown to split the other 1/3.
- We have also adjusted the individual map weightings for Showdown to eliminate maps the mode does not play well on.
- Overall, we have increased the weight of Javelin-4, Endless Vale, and Altar of Flame in Competitive Division, and removed Disjunction and Cathedral of Dusk from the rotation entirely.
- As of the start of Season 20:
- You can gild the Glorious title by reaching the Adept division as well as a number of other Crucible triumphs.
Exotic armor pieces can be just as critical to your PvP build as your weapons or subclass Aspects or Fragments. A popular move has always been to have a powerful neutral game Exotic on during PvP while your Super is building, then swap to a Super-enhancing Exotic once your Super is full, then swapping back to the neutral game Exotic. This tends to favor players who have higher end PCs (and can get in and out of menus faster), and we generally don't want to encourage a bunch of menu gameplay during action. We also find it an uninteresting way to gain an advantage in PvP. With the prevalence of build swapping that can happen with loadouts, we thought we would squash this issue in high-end PvP.
- In Season 20, we are introducing the Notswap modifier to Trials of Osiris and Competitive Division.
- In activities with Notswap, if you change your Exotic armor during the match, all of your ability energy is removed, just like if you swapped your subclass.
- We will be monitoring gameplay and community discussion around this issue, but we are not currently planning on adding it to Gambit or other Crucible playlists.
- We are also not planning on adding it to any PvE modes — anywhere it might provide a meaningful advantage already has equipment locked.
More details to come in a Crucible blog post next Season! Until then, go make Shaxx proud and get ready to build and save your perfect PvP loadout next week.
Embrace the Passive Artifact
The Seasonal Artifact has been with us for a while now, and we have adjusted its functionalities to better suit how you face some of the most challenging activities in Destiny 2 and to spice up the meta a bit each Season. We’re making several improvements to it in Lightfall, starting with the following:
- Artifact mods are now artifact perks.
- These are passive and you don't have to slot them into armor pieces. Once you unlock an artifact perk, it automatically applies to your Guardian.
- Twelve perks are unlockable per character.
- You can reset the artifact at no cost any number of times.
- The anti-Champion weapons featured on the artifact can also be Overcharged in higher difficulty activities.
- To accommodate these changes, Artifice Armor has now has a unique mod slot that grants three additional points to a character stat of your choice.
- This change is retroactive to all Artifice Armor.
But why tell you when we can show? Here's what the Ascendant Scepter brings to the table for Season 20.
- Anti-Barrier Sidearms - Your equipped Sidearms fire shield-piercing rounds and stun Barrier Champions. Additionally, Sidearms are always Overcharged when that modifier is active.
- Anti-Barrier Pulse Rifles - Your equipped Pulse Rifles fire shield-piercing rounds and stun Barrier Champions. Additionally, Pulse Rifles are always Overcharged when that modifier is active.
- Overload Bows - Damage by fully drawn arrows from your equipped Bows disrupts combatants, stunning the target, delaying ability energy regeneration, and lowering combatant damage output. Strong against Overload Champions. Additionally, Bows are always Overcharged when that modifier is active.
- Unstoppable Scout Rifles - Aiming down the sights of a Scout Rifle for a short time loads a powerful explosive payload that stuns unshielded combatants. Strong against Unstoppable Champions. Additionally, Scout Rifles are always Overcharged when that modifier is active.
- Automatics Overload - Sustained fire from Auto Rifles and Submachine Guns disrupts combatants, stunning them, delaying ability energy regeneration, and lowering combatant damage output. Strong against Overload Champions. Additionally, Auto Rifles and Submachine Guns are always Overcharged when that modifier is active.
- Authorized Mods: Solar - The armor energy costs of all armor mods affecting your Solar weapons are significantly discounted.
- Authorized Mods: Strand - The armor energy costs of all armor mods affecting your Strand weapons are significantly discounted.
- Authorized Mods: Void - The armor energy costs of all armor mods affecting your Void weapons are significantly discounted.
- Authorized Mods: Grenades - The armor energy costs of all armor mods affecting your grenades are significantly discounted.
- Multi-Siphon Mods - Grants access to armor mods in your helmet that combine the effects of the Strand Siphon mod with the Solar Siphon Mod and the Void Siphon mods.
- Shatter Orbs - The first time you break a combatant's shield, you create an Orb of Power if you break the shield with the matching damage type.
- Defiant Armory - Greatly improves the benefits provided by the Noble Deeds, Nanotech Tracer Rockets, Tex Balanced Stock, and Ambush Origin traits.
- Untangler - Destroying a Tangle with a Strand weapon suspends targets damaged by the explosion.
- Solar Surge - Collecting a Firesprite gives you Armor Charge.
- Volatile Flow - Picking up an Orb of Power grants your Void weapons Volatile Rounds.
- Bricks from Beyond - Defeating a powerful combatant with a Void weapon has a chance to generate Heavy ammo for you and your teammates.
- Flare Up - Firebolt Grenades apply more Scorch stacks. Damaging a combatant with a Firebolt Grenade spawns a Firesprite near them.
- Origin Hones - Weapons with the Noble Deeds, Nanotracing Rockets, Tex Balanced Stock, and Ambush Origin traits are always Overcharged when that modifier is active.
- Allied Unraveling - Rapid final blows with a Strand weapon grant your weapon Unraveling Rounds, with a longer duration near allies.
- Counterweave - When you or a member of your fireteam stuns or defeats a Champion, you gain energy for your least-charged Strand ability.
- Stranded Reach - Destroying a Tangle with a Strand weapon creates a larger and more damaging explosion.
- Rain of Firebolts - When you have Firebolt Grenades equipped, gain a second grenade charge.
- Void Weapons Channeling - You gain a temporary bonus to Void weapon damage after you defeat a target with a Void weapon while at least one of your Void abilities is fully charged. This damage bonus increases based on the number of fully charged Void abilities you have.
- Medieval Champion - Glaives you wield fire a powerful explosive payload that stuns unshielded combatants. Strong against Unstoppable Champions. Additionally, Glaives are always Overcharged when that modifier is active. Landing consecutive hits with a Sword disrupts combatants, stunning them, delaying ability energy regeneration, and lowering combatant damage output. Strong against Overload Champions. Additionally, Swords are always Overcharged when that modifier is active.
- Prismatic Transfer - When you cast your Super, each member of your fireteam with a subclass damage type different than yours gains a bonus to weapon damage.
New Ways to Defeat Champions
In our “Buildcrafting Evolved” article, we stated that there will be new ways to counter Champions in Lightfall. After showcasing the Seasonal weapons you'll use to do so, maybe we should also refresh that information and throw in one or two more details, right?
- You can use an Exotic with an anti-Champion intrinsic perk.
- Eriana's Vow, Divinity, or Leviathan's Breath are three examples.
- You can use weapons that have an anti-Champion artifact perk.
- You can use the following subclass verb and status effects:
- Barrier Champions: radiant, volatile rounds, and unraveling rounds.
- Overload Champions: jolt, suppression, and slow.
- Unstoppable Champions: ignite, blind, shatter, and suspend.
- The verbs work no matter how they are triggered. Two examples:
- If you are radiant because a Solar Hunter used an Acrobatic Dodge near you, you will shoot anti-Barrier rounds until radiant wears off.
- If you use a weapon with the Chill Clip perk, the slow effect upon direct hits will stun Overload Champions. And the shatter upon a second hit will stun Unstoppables. While radiant, though, the same weapon would pierce a Barrier Champions, but not stun Overloads.
- Exotics with an anti-Champion status effect won't get the pierce effect when applying radiant.
- One example: Ager's Scepter will slow and stun an Overload Champion, but not pierce a Barrier one even if the player is radiant.
- There's an exception for weapons able to scorch, since ignitions require build-up in order to stun.
Whether you’re a solo player or in a full fireteam, there’s no wrong way to play the Lightfall campaign. We know you all loved the Legendary difficulty that debuted with The Witch Queen, so we wanted to talk a bit about how it will work in Lightfall.
With the goal of balancing challenge and survivability across all fireteam sizes (1, 2, 3), Legendary difficulty scales based on the size of your fireteam. Incoming damage, damage required to stagger an enemy, enemy health, and amount of revives are a few of the things that scale on Legendary for each additional member of your fireteam.
In the Lightfall campaign, we reduced the health scalar on combatants to better balance solo and fireteam play when compared to last year’s Legendary campaign. Enemies will still have more overall health in larger fireteams (and the Cabal in general have higher base health than other combatant factions), but this will help bring solo and fireteam difficulty closer together. Additionally, the damage required to stagger combatants is reduced during the Lightfall campaign.
Make no mistake, the Shadow Legion and their new technology are extremely formidable foes, and we’re not even going to talk about Tormentors... So eyes up, Guardian, because it won't be easy.
Free Throne World Tours
This weekend, we're making all the content included with The Witch Queen Standard Edition available for free. Here’s the exact timing:
- Start: February 23 at 9 AM PST (check your local time here).
For Xbox, players with XBL Gold or Game Pass subscriptions can visit The Witch Queen page on their platform’s store to claim access. For PlayStation, Steam, Epic Games, and MS Store players, all you have to do is log in to the game, and The Witch Queen will be available.
[A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Vox Obscura Exotic mission was included with The Witch Queen Standard Edition.]
If you want to check out its amazing Legendary campaign, get your hands on the Parasite Exotic grenade launcher, jump into a few Wellspring runs, or try the Vow of the Disciple raid, you totally can. All the loot you earn will be yours to keep, by the way, and you don't have to download any additional content. The Witch Queen Standard Edition will just unlock on your installed game.
Similar situation with Beyond Light, since this expansion is still available for free to PlayStation Plus subscribers. Go fight House Salvation and their leader, Eramis, while traveling across Europa's frozen landscapes and get a hold on Stasis, the first Darkness based subclass, just in time before Strand, the second one, launches with Lightfall. Just remember to redeem Beyond Light before March 6.
Prime Gaming Rewards Reminder
This is a gentle reminder for everyone: go redeem any Prime Gaming rewards you have not picked up yet. Those are going away on February 27, just before Lightfall launches. We’re not saying Amanda got tired of all the space those packages were taking or that she is throwing the remaining ones off the Hangar to make room... but she totally is.
Player Support Report
Ready to Pre-Load?
LIGHTFALL 24-HOUR DOWNTIME
To prepare for the launch of Lightfall, Destiny 2 is scheduled for 24-hour downtime. Destiny 2 will be brought offline at 9 AM PST (-8 UTC), February 27, at which time:
- Ongoing activities will end.
- Players will be returned to the title screen.
- Preloading for Lightfall on all platforms will become available.
Players will be able to log back in once downtime concludes at 9 AM PST (-8 UTC), February 28. Check your local time here.
PRE-LOAD STORAGE REQUIREMENTS
Players seeking information on Destiny 2’s updated storage requirements post-Lightfall should view our Destiny Platform Storage Requirements article.
BUNGIE REWARDS DEADLINE
During the 24-hour downtime leading up to Lightfall’s launch, players will be unable to claim and purchase Bungie Rewards. All expiring Season 19 and The Witch Queen Bungie Rewards must be earned and claimed by the beginning of downtime at 9 AM PST (-8 UTC), February 27. Check your local time here.
CLAIM YOUR REWARDS
The Season ends soon — claim your rewards before they’re gone!
- Seasonal Seals and Rewards
- Season Pass Items
- Season Vendor Rewards
- Shaxx, Zavala, Drifter, and Saint-14 Rewards
- Banshee-44 Reputation Items
CROSS SAVE SETUP
Players who plan on playing Lightfall while utilizing the Cross Save system should ensure that their Cross Save setups have been fully linked and activated before they log into Lightfall for the first time. Doing so will help ensure that any purchased Season Passes and Dungeon Keys are applied to the intended player account.
LEGACY COLLECTION UPDATE
Alongside the launch of Lightfall on February 28, we will be making an adjustment to the Legacy Collection. The current Legacy Collection (containing the Forsaken Pack, Shadowkeep, and Beyond Light) will be retired from our platform stores and replaced by the Legacy Collection (2023). This updated collection will contain the Shadowkeep, Beyond Light, and The Witch Queen expansions. The Forsaken Pack will still be available as its own separate content pack.
- Some Xbox players are re-downloading the most recent update on every game launch.
- We are continuing to investigate reports of WEASEL errors occurring for characters on log in.
- Players who receive a leaver penalty in the competitive Crucible playlist may be unable to launch into the playlist once their leaver penalty has expired. This can be resolved by swapping characters and playing another match in the competitive Crucible playlist.
Other Type of Strings
Please keep your amazing creations coming using the (updated) #Destiny2MOTW and #Destiny2AOTW hashtags and don’t forget to include your Bungie profile together with your submission.
Ivan: Timing of this video is great, considering all the events happening in Destiny this Season. I hope this song will manage to warm you during your chilly adventures on Europa. DSC remains my favorite raid, and this lullaby will always be special to me.
Movie of the Week: Deep Stone Lullaby - Destiny 2: Beyond Light (OST) (violin cover by Alexandra Karadmitriyadi)
Timon: Let´s enjoy the views on this cool fly through the galaxy. I’m wondering which places you’ll find on Neomuna!
Movie of the Week: Guardians Fly Free
Shake it, Emperor
Hippy: Ah, Calus. You are a nightmarish, beautiful weirdo. We love you, and, sure, we are a wee bit scared of you—but one thing is for sure: we can’t deny those sweet, sweet dance moves.
Art of the Week: Somehow, Calus became even more of a nightmare
Sam: Okay okay, that Calus is pretty great, not gonna lie. But I think my favorite part about these two picks is how large of a variety of the mediums you all use in your art. Introducing Classic Calus.
Art of the Week: Somehow, Calus also became cute
Hippy: OK, one more because honestly? This submission is a big mood.
B-b-Bonus AOTW: I’m a mess
And that’s it for this week. Big love to all of the teams who come together to make these TWABs happen, no matter how long or short. They all require time, patience, and love, all coming from several teams at Bungie. Teamwork makes the dream work.
We know very well the last days before a new Destiny 2 expansion launches are nerve-wracking. We make the game, after all! But let's try and take it easy. For now, keep working on those Seasonal Challenges you might have left, or consider spending some time catching up on everything else coming to the game on YouTube before the new content drops. Just be ready for what's coming before our end begins.