We thought we knew it all, but then Bungie dropped the ultimate TWAB article in what will likely serve as their final info-dump before the release of Destiny 2’s newest DLC, Shadowkeep on the 1st October. So, where does that leave us? There has been an unprecedented amount information dished out over the past few months, and I’ve done my best to outline key points below that I believe will be useful to remember before we depart for the Moon on Tuesday.
Max Power, Soft Caps & Efficient Ways to Level Up
Bungie have confirmed that the max power level will be 960 (with the soft cap being 900), plus another cap at 950. Every day sources will get you to 900, with powerful rewards pushing you further toward 950. You will then need to complete “Pinnacle Activities” in order to make that final leap to 960. I imagine these activities will include Raids, Iron Banner, the new iteration of Nightfalls, and potentially some other sources. This is a return to the original Destiny style of power progression, at least with the very end of the power grind.
How should you approach leveling up? Here is the method I will personally be using. Use all of your tokens (if you’ve been saving them) with Zavala, Shaxx and Banshee. Then, turn in any bounties you still have and this alone should give you a decent boost without needing to do anything else. Remember: Vanguard, Gambit and Crucible bounties will be reset after Shadowkeep lands, so turn in any that you have accumulated before then.
Once that’s done, my suggestion is to start the Shadowkeep story and play the game as you usually would, while also utilizing a Ghost Shell with the Guiding Light perk for +10% experience. This should see you level up at a good rate, all the while contributing a little extra to your Artifact and season pass. Then once you’ve hit 900, go on to complete Powerful Reward activities, and try to get your Power Level as high as possible.
For those taking part in the World’s First raid race, you won’t need to worry about the pinnacle power sources. With Challenge Mode enabled, the max power you need to hit is 920 for the final boss. If you are not taking part in the race, then you can continue to simply play the game at your own pace and enjoy it!
Goodbye Pinnacle Weapons, Hello Ritual Weapons
With Shadowkeep, we will be seeing many massive changes. Recent news informs us that Pinnacle weapons will no longer be a “thing” in the Destiny universe. We will instead be given quests for Ritual Weapons, which will not come with unique perks, but instead a curated roll for a weapon, that we presume you can acquire outside of the quest. This is a huge departure from former seasons, and community reactions are mixed, to say the least. Bungie has mentioned that the quests will not be as strenuous as the ones we previously had to complete to obtain Pinnacle Weapons, so this may balance out the fact that we aren’t going to be receiving such unique weapons.
The Vanguard weapon is a LMG called Edgewise, the Crucible weapon is a Scout Rifle called Randy’s Throwing Knife, and the Gambit weapon is an SMG called Exit Strategy. What the curated rolls are and how well the weapons perform remains to be seen, so we should reserve judgement on that for now, but it will be interesting to see how Bungie incentivize the work necessary to obtain these weapons, and what will make them actually stand out from the alternatives.
Armor 2.0 & Mod Changes
We all know about Armor 2.0 by now, as it was first announced at the start of Season of Opulence. But with its implementation less than a week away, I thought it could be useful to remind you of what Armor 2.0 actually entails, while providing details regarding other related changes.
Now, instead of armor that comes with random perks, you will receive upgradable armor with slots to deposit new mods into. You collect the mods by playing the game, with the better mods coming from more challenging activities. Each piece of armor comes with a level (the max level being 10), similar to master working armor in Year 2. Once completely upgraded, you can make full use of the armor. Each mod has an individual level, as well, and you can only enter mods that amount to a maximum of 10 levels, e.g., two mods at level 5 each, or three mods, with two at level 4 and one at level 2. You will also be given a “starter pack” of mods to begin using with Armor 2.0 sets, so you won’t have to worry about collecting the more basic ones. All of the new armor mods are re-usable, so when you earn them once, they are forever in your inventory. This means that you can have fun and play with your builds as much as you like without worrying about using mods and subsequently losing them.
Your current set of armor mods are not going to be usable with any armor set that is Armor 2.0. However, this does not mean they are useless, as you can still use them with any armor from Year 2 that you may wish to use, so don’t dismantle them just yet!
What’s more, weapon mods are seeing some changes, too. They are following the path of the new armor mods, and will also be re-usable. Any mods you currently have in your inventory will automatically be made into re-usable mods. With this being the case, it’s only really useful to keep one of each mod, so take a little time and dismantle any extra mods you have.
Eververse Evolution & Season Passes
The way Eververse exists in the game now is fundamentally changing with Shadowkeep. Bungie, now functioning as an independent studio, will rely more heavily on Eververse to produce the extra content we have been craving for more of. The Whisper and Outbreak missions, we are told, were completely funded by Eververse. With this in mind, Bungie are making making it easier to access the store by adding it as a tab on the director screen. They will also follow on from the changes made in Season of Opulence by allowing you to directly purchase specific items from the store using Silver.
There is now a Season Pass for Guardians to progress through. This season pass has a free track for New Light players, and a premium track for those who have purchased the current Season, being anyone with Shadowkeep. The format is very similar to what we have seen with titles such as Fortnite, so it is not an unfamiliar form of progression. Every time you level up, you will not only level up your Artifact, but also go up a level in the season pass, with each level giving you a reward on the premium track. These rewards range from simple materials, exotic engrams, armor sets, ornaments, and so on.
One of the bigger changes will be seeing is that when you get enough XP to level up the pass, you will no longer obtain a Bright Engram. The new Nostalgic Engrams will only be obtainable via the specific levels in the Season Pass. The name suggests that it will contain older Eververse items, but there have been no official details regarding this information so far.
New Light is Amazing
Bungie made a decision to make Destiny as accessible as possible for new players once Year 3 begin. From that decision came Destiny 2: New Light, a free-to-play version of the game that will give Guardians access to all Year 1 content and world locations. This means that new players can enter the Destiny universe and experience some of the content free of cost. If they like it, there is everything else for purchase.
We have recently received confirmation of everything that is actually available in New Light, which seems like basically everything! It’s easier to list the stuff that isn’t included than the stuff that is at this point.
Here are the features that will not be available:
- Year 2 Raids
- Shattered Throne
- Year 2 Exotics (sans the aforementioned free ones!)
- Forsaken Subclasses
I think that’s it! Players can obtain all of the “free” exotics such as Thunderlord, Arbalest, Outbreak Perfected and Bad Juju. Players will also have access to activities including Black Armory Forges, Gambit Prime, Reckoning, Menagerie, as well as their rewards, barring corresponding exotics. You can level up to max power, experience all of the seasonal events that happen across the year, and also have access to the free track from the season pass. Bungie are making New Light incredibly generous to new players, as well as existing players who haven’t purchased Forsaken, but still want to fully utilize Cross Save!
Changes to the Meta
There are so many changes coming to our favorite (and not so favourite) weapons and subclasses. We are going to see an entirely new meta arise in Shadowkeep, but we won’t know what it entails until we actually get to play it. The most significant changes, in my opinion, are easily the removal of auto reloading from Lunafaction Boots and Rally Barricade, with this being replaced by a feature of increased reload speed. We don’t know how fast that increase in reload speed will be at the moment, so we can’t say if these will remain in the meta or not. If they don’t provide a significant boost, then the way we attempt to move forward changes dramatically.
So far, community experts have pin pointed Izanagi’s Burden as a weapon with the potential to become the new meta for raids and other activities that requires heavy DPS. With increased reload speeds, you can activate its exotic perk (merge four bullets into one for increased damage) at a much quicker speed than we are currently capable of. Pair that with its catalyst that was recently implemented for even more damage output, and this weapon has the possibility to be a go-to weapon in Shadowkeep.
Izanagi’s and its recent changes exemplify how a weapon that’s been in the game for nine months can become extremely relevant again. Bungie have fine-tuned each weapon archetype and bufferd or nerfed where appropriate to allow us to not feel less restricted to a certain play style. The list of changes to weapons and subclasses are far too extensive to list, but the main point I want to convey is this: Forget about what you think you know, and embrace the new meta as it’s discovered.
Let us know what you’re most excited for with the release Shadowkeep. We’ll see you on the Moon, Guardians!