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Destiny 2 ends the sunset, but postpones the next expansion

Every year or so, one of Destiny 2’s senior developers will write a large blog post that inspects MMOFPS’s problems and suggests solutions. “It can be good,” I always think, “depending on how they implement it.” But the plans are always vague, and have often been disappointing in reality. I’m quite happy that the latest blog blast contains some very specific changes that are definitely welcome. It also sounds like they can continue Destiny for many, many years yet.

First, the longest news from associate game director Joe Blackburn’s 3600 words post: this fall’s annual expansion, The Witch Queen, is delayed in early 2022. Partly because the pandemic got in the way, and partly because they want to make it good when Destiny̵

7;s story approaches a kind of conclusion. Players had expected that end to come in the Lightfall, 2022 expansion, but apparently not – in two ways.

Concept art for Destiny 2: The Witch Queen armor, apparently called Nova gear.
Concept art for a most curious armor set that comes with The Witch Queen, crowded with alchemical and elemental symbols. Looks like someone let Eris Morn loose in a lab wardrobe with her gel pens.

Blackburn said Bungie realized that “we needed to add an extra unannounced chapter after Lightfall to complete our first Destiny saga.” 1) Oh, so Lightfall will not be the end. 2) Oh! Even the end after Lightfall will only be the end of the “first saga”! Ooh! The current stand is called their “Light and Darkness Saga”, he said, with no hint of what might follow. I want to be happy with more Destiny expansions until Bungie releases its mysterious brand new stuff in 2025 and hell, I’ll take more Destiny after that too.

Witch Queen’s delay may be worrying, as the delay to Beyond Light last year left the final pre-expansion season. They have at least a lot of time to plan it, and the plans for this year’s seasons sound promising.

The biggest news for the next one, season 14, is that Bungie ends the sunset. No longer will non-exotic weapons and armor have a limit too high, you can infect their power level. This has set a timer on how long equipment can be used in playoff activities, caused many beloved weapons to be involved, and led to a lot of grinding of replacements for old favorites. While Bungie does not directly regret the sunset (which would make me grieve so much equipment I disassembled unnecessarily), they end it. If equipment can currently be supplied up to this season’s maximum power level of 1310, congratulations, it will be good next season as well and forever afterwards.

“With season 11, we introduced infusion caps, an iteration of infusion designed to keep Destiny’s equipment game fresh from release to release and to create a healthy ecosystem for our ambition content,” said Blackburn. “While we still believe in these goals, it is clear that our execution was off target.”

Even I was concerned with gentle sunset in theory, if Bungie could demonstrate interesting consequences. They have not done that. It is such a nuisance to paint for new armor, and especially for new rolls of sunset weapons that are re-released. Sunset has also left the current meta with a real shortage of kinetic weapons using special ammunition. Goodbye, bad system.

Looking forward to more changes with the as yet unnamed season 14 …

  • Power grind is reduced, with future caps will only increase by 10 each season. Good. Though at this point, why keep it even?
  • The first Destiny’s Vault Of Glass raid appears from Destiny Content Vault. It will also have a new world first race, with a host of challenging triumphs beaten at the top because people already know how to complete the raid.
  • Ikora will stop moped quietly around the tower and actually be a part of the story again.
  • Transmogrification will finally come. Armor Synthesis, as it is called, will allow players to turn armor into universal ornaments to turn on other equipment (and no, you do not have to hoard in preparation – it will run off your collections). Ada-1 from Black Armory comes back to do this, with the materials needed for transmogged material obtained either by making bounties or paying Silver (real money microtransaction cash). I have so many fashion plans.
  • Shaders will no longer be in stock as well, just unlock that we can easily use through similar ornaments in the new Customize Appearance screen. Hurray.
A look at the new look customization screen coming to Destiny 2 with season 14.
See, I’ll show you …

Bungie also plans to fine-tune Stasis in PvP over this season and the next two. Stasis Hunters and Titans will be nerfed, Warlocks will have bugs fixed, and being frozen will provide extra damage reduction. I still think Stasis is unabashedly bad for PvP because being slowed down or frozen is always unfair in a first person game, but I guess this is something?

Other promising future plans …

  • Ends “3-peeking” in Trials and Competitive PvP, the strategy of whipping out an ammunition sword to get a third-person camera and see round corners. You can only equip them if they have ammunition. Good.
  • Fight cheating by doubling the size of the security team.
  • Buffing underutilized lightweight subclasses, which I think at this point is … most of them?
  • Try to make attempts not so infinitely boring that players would rather jump off cliffs than actually play.
  • Real decent Stasis weapons for your energy and power outlets, not just this one new ice shooter we have at the moment.
  • Platform games come in season 15. PC and console players are not matched in PvP, unless consoles specifically join a PC company.
  • Continues to customize the Crucible by balancing weapons, introducing new weapon benefits, and perhaps making weapons a little more focused than they are currently compared to capabilities.
  • And yes, the melting pot dominating Felwinter’s Lie will be a nuisance. Though bad news for PvE looks: Warmind Cells will probably turn on as well.

Ah, many good things. Yes, some of these plans are the vague statements we have heard before, but enough good plans are concrete for me to be very happy. Swallowing your pride and ending the sunset is a relief. Reducing power paint is long overdue. Destiny’s violence and exploration and raid are so damn good that I would have continued without these changes, but now I’ll growl much less. Although I’m incredibly skeptical of even more vague talk about fixing Crucible, which has been busted and neglected for so long.

I did not summarize everything because ha ha ha so read the blog post myself. How are you doing with it all?

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