Destiny 2 is about to see a huge overhaul with the release of the game’s Year 2 expansion, Destiny 2: Forsaken. Along with the usual doses of new content, the expansion is delivering all kinds of new weapons, a new multiplayer mode, new areas to explore, and a new Raid. It’s reworking a bunch of systems, and it’s changing the story of Destiny 2 pretty significantly by cashing out one of the game’s main non-playable characters, putting players on the path to revenge.
There’s a lot we still don’t know about Forsaken yet, which we previously reported is set to release this fall on September 4, but there’s plenty we do know. Here’s a breakdown of all the info about this upcoming expansion, and what its new content and changes will mean for Destiny 2 players when it finally arrives.
The new story is a western-inspired revenge tale
Destiny 2: Forsaken concerns the Awoken out in the Asteroid Belt, an area known as the Reef, and their prison. Back in the House of Wolves expansion in the original Destiny, Guardians headed out to the Reef to help the Awoken queen, Mara Sov, recapture an escaped Fallen Archon from her Prison of Elders, a spooky jail where she keeps a bunch of alien bad guys. Players could also pop into the Prison of Elders for horde mode multiplayer activity.
In Destiny: The Taken King, Hive supervillain Oryx blew up the queen and her fleet, and since then Mara Sov and her brother, Prince Uldren, have been missing and presumed dead. Hints in Destiny 2 suggested Uldren is still out there somewhere, though, and it seems he’ll pop up in Forsaken.
Forsaken takes players back to the Reef, which is something of a lawless Wild West region beyond the reach of the authority of the Vanguard, the Earth-based organization of Guardians all Destiny 2 players serve. Out here, Vanguard leader Cayde-6 and a group of his Guardians have been working with Petra Venj, an Awoken commander from Destiny, to round up the Scorn, a group of ruthless fallen who have been terrorizing the region in the wake of the Taken War. Cayde and Petra managed to imprison several of the Scorn’s leaders, the Barons, in the Prison of Elders.
Bungie has called Forsaken something of a Western. It starts with a prison break in space — that’s the Scorn — getting out of the Prison of Elders. We know from the teaser trailer for the new expansion that Uldren is working with the Scorn, and he’s responsible for the prison break, during which he kills Cayde-6 (really, actually kills him forever) as Bungie has confirmed. The story then becomes one of revenge as the players hunt down the Barons, and then the prince himself.
It has new bad guys – The Scorn
Rolling out with Forsaken is a new kind of enemies called the Scorn. These are a brand of Fallen enemies who have been raised from the dead repeatedly, which has affected them in strange ways. They are more aggressive than past Destiny enemies. They’re somewhat like Fallen but tend to be bigger in general, and carry weapons stolen from other factions, meaning they’ll have a variety of diverse attack capabilities.
It takes place in the Reef
There are two new areas that players will venture to in Forsaken, both located in the Reef. The Tangled Shore is the first place, and it looks more or less like an asteroid-inspired desert, except with broken, floating rocks and cool space backgrounds. It’s also a lawless place that Bungie says is full of bad guys like pirates and assassins. In the Tangled Shore, players will interact with the Spider, a Fallen crime syndicate boss who’s an ally of the City. He’ll be the dude you get missions from in the Tangled Shore, and he’ll dish out rewards for the local set of tokens.
The other location is the Awoken’s Dreaming City, Forsaken‘s endgame hub area. This is where players will likely spend a lot of time hanging out when they hit the top levels of the expansion. It’ll be where Forsaken‘s new raid is accessed, but there will be other activities here as well. It’s also apparently huge, as Bungie has described it as a combination of the Vault of Glass, Destiny‘s first raid, and the Dreadnaught area from The Taken King.
Bungie says the Dreaming City will change periodically based on player activities, so activities such as the raid will change and shift over time — an aspect that should help make replaying it over and over a little more interesting. The location should also be full of fun secrets to find along the way.
A new raid with a mystery boss
The Dreaming City plays host to a new raid called Last Wish — a welcome addition since Destiny 2 has only had one big raid and two smaller raid lairs so far. There aren’t too many details about it yet, though. Bungie has said that the raid has more bosses than any other in Destiny or Destiny 2, suggesting that in terms of scope, it’ll be the biggest and most involved raid to date.
There’s some speculation as to who the raid’s final boss will be. Uldren feels like a natural choice, but it sounds like Bungie intends to resolve the story with him in Forsaken‘s campaign mode. Mara Sov showing up as the boss would make a lot of sense, too. Mara has been missing since The Taken King, she’s not going to be happy about you blasting her brother, and the raid takes place in the Awoken’s city. Plus, the brief relationship players created with Mara in Destiny could come back into play to make the raid more interesting.
Bungie has said that it wants to make The Dreaming City feel like a big adventure raid to go slay a giant monster, and there’s been some speculation that the end boss could be an actual monster, rather than a big alien person, like in the other raids. One possibility fans are kicking around is that the boss is a spooky Ahamkara — basically, a Destiny space dragon. Their bones can be seen littering Io in Destiny 2, and there are a few pieces of armor that have players wearing Ahamkara bones. Those armor pieces have some of the coolest lore in the game, suggesting that the powerful Ahamkaras were telepathic and that even in death, they seem to retain some of that power. Running up against an Ahamkara in The Dreaming City could make for an epic fight.
Gambit is the new multiplayer mode
There’s a big new multiplayer push in Forsaken called Gambit Mode, which is like this expansion’s Prison of Elders activity from the first Destiny, but with a lot more complexity. It’s a mix of both the player-vs.-environment fighting of Prison of Elders — in which players fight the bad guys scattered throughout Destiny — and the more direct competition of the Crucible, in which players fight each other.
In Gambit, players form two teams that compete against each other in a race to see who can kill enough enemies to reach a boss fight, and complete it, first. The race part comes from beating enemies in an arena, and picking up motes they drop, which players then carry back to a bank at the center of the area. If you’re killed before you bank your motes, you lose them, but there’s an incentive to hold onto them and drop off lots at once. Every time you put in a certain number of motes in a single go, it’ll cause a tougher enemy to spawn at the opposing team’s bank, forcing that team to kill that enemy before they can bank motes of their own.
Every so often, players can also choose to send one of their teammates over to the other team’s arena for a short period to wreak havoc on the opposing team. The idea is to kill everybody you can, messing up their ability to kill enemies and bank motes, before you return to your side and get back to fighting enemies.
Gambit will have four maps to play through, and judging by what we tried at E3 2018, it’ll be a fun change of pace from the usual Destiny 2 activities.
New exotic weapons, including a bow
Destiny and Destiny 2 have slowly been expanding the kinds of weapons available to players: the games now include swords, warhammers, and javelins, in addition to assault rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers and the like. The new weapon type coming in Forsaken is the bow and arrow. Apparently, bows will come in a bunch of different classes — short-range, mid-range and long-range — so they’ll be versatile in a number of situations, and not just a replacement for something like a rocket launcher or sniper rifle. We messed with an Exotic version of a bow at E3 2018, and it was pretty satisfying to bury arrows in heads from across the Gambit playfield.
We know Bungie is bringing other new Exotics to bear in Forsaken, but we don’t know what most of them are yet. A major one, however, is Ace of Spades. That’s Cayde-6’s hand cannon, and it was available to players of the Hunter character class in the first Destiny.
The weapons system is getting reworked
There will be a lot of new content in Forsaken, but many big changes are reworks to Destiny 2 features.
The most notable is the massive change to the game’s weapon slots. Right now, players can equip three guns to their character, which they can switch between in battle, and each one is of a different type. Kinetic weapons fire regular bullets, consist of weapons such as assault rifles, scout rifles, and hand cannons, and are your primary guns. Energy weapons take up the second slot, fire bullets that have a specific energy effect that is good for taking down enemy shields, and tend to be things like sidearms and submachine guns. Power weapons consist of heavy hitters like rocket launchers, shotguns, and sniper rifles, with ammo that’s rarer in the game. You can only have one of each kind of gun at a time, which generally limits the combinations of weapons you can use in battle.
Forsaken upends that system. Now, the top two gun slots will be quick slots and can equip just about anything. That means you can make more loadout combinations, and even double-up weapons. If you want to roll with a mess of shotguns or a couple of sniper rifles, you’re free to try it. It sounds like there still will be a separate heavy weapon designation for the most powerful guns (like rocket launchers) to keep you from only carrying around the most devastating killing machines. For the most part, though, players will have a lot more opportunities to customize their loadout and bring the weapons they want to use to battle.
Random perks are returning, Masterworks is changing
Bungie is reintroducing random perks to loot, something in the original Destiny but removed from Destiny 2. Currently, when you receive a gun in Destiny 2, it’s the same as any other version of that gun — it has all the same stats and capabilities as any other copy that any other player has. In Destiny, however, guns came with some random perks, which could potentially make one version of a gun better than another, and led to a lot of players farming particular missions or activities in hopes of rolling a particular gun with the best possible combination of stats and perks.
Destiny 2 did away with that system, but some vocal players have clamored for its return. The Masterworks system was an answer to that, allowing players to infuse particular loot items with random stat boosts, making those items unique among the sea of copies. But Forsaken will see the return of random guns so that once again, some versions of the same gun or piece of armor will be slightly better than others.
We also know that armor perks, another Destiny element gone from Destiny 2, are returning, and will add more customization and decision-making to players choosing their loadouts.
The Masterwork system is also getting a rework, but details on that are pretty thin as well. We know Bungie is upgrading the system overall to be more robust. It should allow players to do things like add new mods or perks to their guns over time, but just how it will work isn’t clear yet.
Every class is getting new supers
Every character class is getting a whole bunch of alternative super moves that pretty drastically change up some of the most devastating capabilities Guardians have. Right now, players have three different supers for each character; Forsaken will add three more to each class, one for each energy type. There’s also a mess of new perks and abilities added to characters subclass.
The Arcstrider subclass adds a new set of abilities with the Way of the Current class tree and focuses on close-range, melee combat. It includes an electrified uppercut melee attack called Tempest Strike that can juggle enemies in the air; a perk called Ebb and Flow that electrifies anything you use an Arc ability on, then speeds grenade and melee cooldowns when you punch electrified targets; and another perk called Lightning Weave that speeds reloading whenever you punch targets, so you can get back into the fight quicker after a melee strike.
The Arcstrider Super is the same except for the addition of Whirlwind Guard, an ability to turn the electrified Arcstrider staff into a shield that can deflect bullets. Blocking incoming fire with the guard increases the damage of the staff by three times when you use it against enemies.
For the Gunslinger subclass, the new tree is Way of a Thousand Cuts. It focuses on the Throwing Knife ability, adding a handful of burning knives to players’ repertoire with the Knife Trick melee ability. Those flaming knives set enemies on fire, which speeds Gunslinger cooldowns with a perk called The Burning Edge. If you kill enemies while they’re on fire, you’ll activate the Playing With Fire perk, which speeds up Knife Trick cooldown.
The Gunslinger Super is Blade Barrage, which throws a handful of flaming, exploding knives out across the battlefield. It basically exchanges the very concentrated damage of the Golden Gun Super, which can only hit one target at a time, for a blast of damage that can be spread across multiple targets.
The new Nighstalker class tree is called Way of the Wraith, and its perks and abilities focus on debuffing enemies while increasing your stealth capabilities. The new Corrosive Bomb melee ability alters the existing Smoke Bomb by making it explode in a line, which slows down enemies. Melee attacks decrease enemy damage thanks to the Shattering Strike perk, and the Flawless Execution perk gives you a brief blast of invisibility and Truesight, the ability to track players through walls when you score precision kills (by landing shots in enemies’ vulnerable spots, usually their heads) and your health is full.
Nightsaker’s new Super trades out its debuffing Shadowshot bow for the up-close-and-personal Spectral Blades. The attack lets players get in close to tear up enemies with a pair of daggers, similar to the Arcstaff, but with the added benefit that the Super makes your character invisible, so you can sneak up on your targets.
The Stormcaller class’s new tree is mostly about support for your fireteam. The Attunement of Control tree gives you a ranged melee attack in Ball Lightning, a ball of, uh, lightning, that floats around zapping enemies. Bad guys that you kill (regardless of how) can drop Ionic Traces thanks to the perk of the same name, which refill your Super, melee, grenade and Rift energy as well. Finally, the Pulsewave perk gives you and your fireteam speed boosts as you take damage.
Stormcallers also get the Choas Reach Super that fires a blast of powerful arc energy in a straight line.
For the Dawnblade class, the new tree is Attunement of Grace, and it also gives you a lot of ways to help your teammates. The Divine Protection ability turns your grenades into Blessings — health pickups for teammates. Guiding Flame gives you a melee attack that powers up your teammates when you land it. Heal or power up your teammates and you’ll trigger the Benevolent Dawn perk, which speeds up the grenade, melee and Rift cooldowns.
The Dawnblade Super is the Well of Radiance, which throws down a big Rift that heals and increases the damage teammates deal.
Warlock Voidwalkers get the Attunement of Fission class tree. It focuses on mid-range fighting, providing players with an explosion-throwing ranged melee called Atomic Breach, and a new grenade they called Handheld Supernova for use at close ranges. The Dark Matter perk gives players small amounts of help and speeds up the grenade, melee and Rift cooldowns whenever Voidwalkers make kills with either of those two abilities.
The Voidwalker’s Nova Bomb Super is replaced by Nova Warp, which lets players send out shockwaves of Void energy around their bodies instead of throwing one big blast. The trick is that Nova Warp allows Warlocks to teleport short distances, allowing them to send out multiple shockwaves and to cut the distance between themselves and enemies to make sure the attack will be effective.
Titans’ electrified Striker class get the new Code of the Missile skill tree, and in this scenario, the missile is you. It starts with the Ballistic Slam melee ability, which has players running and then leaping into the air to come crashing down into the ground to smash anything beneath you. Using the ability kicks on the Impact Conversion perk — the more enemies you damage with Ballistic Slam, the more Super energy you get. Finally, there’s the Inertia Override perk, which instantly reloads your gun if you slide through ammo dropped by enemies. You also get a brief damage boost to the gun when the perk is active.
Replacing the Striker’s Fist of Havoc super is the missile from Code of the Missile, dubbed Thundercrash. Leaping into the air, you shoot forward, Superman-style, until you slam into the ground and release a devastating Arc shockwave.
The fire-covered, hammer-throwing Sunbreaker subclass gets more hammer-centric abilities in the Code of the Devastator skill tree. First, it provides a new melee that lets players throw their fiery hammers even when they’re not activating their Supers, with the Throwing Hammer ability. The hammer falls to the ground after it hits an enemy, and players can pick it up to instantly refill their melee cooldown, readying another throw. The Tireless Warrior perk starts player health regeneration when they pick up the hammer, incentivizing you to keep throwing. Picking up the hammer after you make kills with it also activates the Roaring Flames perk, which increases the damage output of the hammer up to three times.
Replacing the hammer-throwing Sunbreaker Super is the Burning Maul, which is focused on using the hammer for a close-range melee attack. You can spin the hammer to hit enemies over and over again, or connect with a powerful downward swing that hits even harder, but moves slower.
For the Void-powered Sentinel subclass, there’s the Code of the Commander tree, which is used to lead a fireteam toward victory. It starts with the Controlled Demolition perk, which places a Void detonator on any enemy you hit with a Void ability. A second Void hit will cause the detonator to explode, taking down enemies around the one you planted it on. You can also activate detonators with the Tactical Strike melee ability, which also causes a Void explosion. Taking out enemies with detonators activates the Resupply perk, which gives Sentinels some healing and speeds their grenade and melee cooldowns.
The Sentinel Shield Super, which players can throw like Captain America, is replaced by the Banner Shield in Forsaken. It creates a Void barrier out in front of the Sentinel that moves when they do, and which can vaporize enemies. The idea here is that Sentinels can use the Super to lead the charge for the rest of the team, who can fall in behind for protection and shoot through the barrier, while enemies get chewed up by the ability.
It’s getting three new content drops
The last thing you need to know about Destiny 2: Forsaken is that there are three planned content additions through the second year of Destiny 2 with the focus on increasing the level cap and including more endgame activities to keep players busy, rather than more story campaigns to work through. Those content drops are coming in the form of an Annual Pass, so you’ll have to dish out for them, and Bungie expects to put them out one per season — Black Armory, coming in December 2018; Joker’s Wild, in Spring 2019; and Penumbra, in Summer 2019. If you preorder the Annual Price now, it’ll cost you $34.99 on its own and $59.99 if paired with the Forsaken expansion.
As detailed in the latest development roadmap, the Black Armory content will include access to the titular area as well as additional exotic and legendary gear, and a new raid lair. Joker’s Wild will offer a new version of Gambit, new gear and challenges, and a new open-world activity. Penumbra will also add open-world content, a new raid lair, and gear. These updates won’t be replacing the free content Bungie already puts out, so you can still gain access to new maps, modes, and weapons without buying the pass.
It’s better on PlayStation
Much like the base version of Destiny 2, those playing Destiny 2: Forsaken on the PlayStation 4 will gain access to content not available on either Xbox One or PC. This content will include the exclusive Broodhold strike, which takes place in the Tangled Shore and tasks you with fighting off the Hive en route to the vicious Hive Brood Queen.
Cosmetic items will also available to PS4 players, featuring armor sets for all three classes as well as the exclusive Great Beyond ship. These items will likely stay as exclusives for the foreseeable future, especially since the PlayStation content included with the original Destiny took three years to hit Xbox.
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