It’s finally here. Bungie said bye-bye to Activision Blizzard and hello to Steam last week when Destiny 2 launched on Steam. Not only did the looter shooter go free to play, but Bungie also dropped their newest expansion, Shadowkeep. Shadowkeep takes new and old players back to a key location in Destiny’s world: the Moon. Not only is there a brand-new expansion, but Bungie made a lot of changes to the game overall. Everything from mechanics and gameplay to modes and monetization were touched in the mechanics, gameplay, modes and monetization practices.
For a new or returning player jumping in, it can be a bit confusing. Here are some things we wish we knew before playing Destiny 2: Shadowkeep.
Every player is going to start on a clean slate. It's part of the Destiny 2: New Light patch. Whether the player is brand new or had an existing account, everyone will start with Power 750. Every single piece of gear in the player’s Vault, Inventory, and the Postmaster.
However, because most players’ gear was boosted to 750, that means enemies’ Power was boosted to accommodate. This includes Raids, Strikes, Heroic Quests, Public Events and everything else that involves a health bar to shoot. That also means players cannot casually stroll onto the European Dead Zone or New Pacific and curbstomp lower-leveled enemies. Players will get over this sweet inconvenience within their first hour or two of playing.
For returning players who’ve completed all the expansions before Shadowkeep, they are hungry to jump right into the Moon and find out what’s happening at the Scarlet Keep. It’s not that simple.
If players just got started on Shadowkeep, and their Power is 750, they need to do some grinding. It won’t take long, however. Completing the new quests, daily bounties and Weekly Challenges will reward player with plenty of experience and items in the first couple hours. The drops will already be over Power 750, as well. The first five tiers of the Season Pass will also offer up to ten Upgrade Modules to upgrade weapons and gear. At least Bungie made a lot of things pretty accessible. You still need to purchase the Season Pass to start playing Shadowkeep, however.
It’s safe to say that Crucible got an overhaul in the Director. The gameplay itself is unaffected save for some buffs and nerfs to some weapon types and Exotics. Several features got replaced, removed or redone.
There is no more Quick Play or Competitive modes in the Director. Bungie added a mode called Classic Mix, which includes Control, Clash, Supremacy and 3v3 Survival. 6v6 Control and Survival Solo Queue are on their own playlists. Eurogamer reports that “there's weekly rotating 6v6 and 4v4 playlists.”
Bungie made several changes to the UI of Destiny 2. First, they added two new tabs: Store and Seasons. The Store tab allows players to access the Eververse store no matter their location. No more having to travel all the way back to the Courtyard! The Seasons tab is for the Season Pass.
Bungie also adjusted the Quests Tab. Bounties and Quests are now in two different columns for easy organization. Considering how much bounties and Quests got muddled before, this is a welcome change. It’s especially important since bounties are more valuable for the Season Pass. The Map also displays an icon for Tracked Quests, Bounties, etc. and a “You Are Here” note if the player is on that planet.
As part of Armor 2.0, certain drops legendary drops players usually get no longer offer armor perks when picked up in this new patch. Previously, armor sets like Tangled Web, Prodigal and Scatterthorn offered three perks when dropped. That's not the case this patch. However, if you have duplicates of these armor sets from the previous patch, hold onto them. Armor sets picked up from the previous patch will keep their perks.
Speaking of perks, Mods have changed a lot with Armor 2.0. The more players upgrade Mods, the more they can equip. Mods now have values now because Armor has Energy. Let’s take a helmet, for example. If the helmet has 4 Energy, then players can equip a level 1 Mod and a level 3, or just equip two level 2 Mods. They also increased the cap for Glimmer to 250,000! Yay!
Here is another big change coming from Armor 2.0 there are six stats players must keep in mind now when customizing their loadout. Along with Mobility, Resilience and Recovery, there is also Discipline, Intellect and Strength. Strength decreases the cooldown time of grenades. Intellect decreases the cooldown of the Super ability. Strength decreases the cooldown of the Melee ability. Overall, these changes allow players to access their abilities more readily in a battle.
Bungie also modified numerical values. Instead of single digits, there are double-digit variables that range from 0 to 100. For example, if a player’s Mobility is 30, then they get a 12 percent base speed increase. If their discipline is 25, then they can launch two grenades before the cooldown refreshes for the first one; the overall cooldown time is reduced as well.
As a free-to-play game, Bungie needed a way to make some money in the long-term. Enter the “new” Season Pass, which is akin to the Battle Pass from Fortnite. Players will still get early access to certain game modes and Raids, but they just also have a battle pass to work on while they’re grinding. Like most Battle Passes, it goes up to 100 tiers and is timed and distributed by seasons. Players have access to the more demure version of the Season Pass if they did not purchase it.
Rewards include Glimmer, Upgrade Modules, and Armor. For the actual Season Pass, rewards include Exotic Engrams, Legendary Shards, Enchantment Cores, Resource Caches, and a Finisher, Exotic Cosmetics and more.
Since the grind for that Battle Pass is intense, Bungie made it more accessible to earn experience on top of daily Bounties. Banshee-44, Zavala, the Drifter, and Whorhol now offer Weekly Challenges that require the player to complete eight Bounties from them to complete it.
While these additions are nice, it should be noted that Bungie did take away Weekly Challenges from the Heroic Quests and Strike Playlist.
Because Bounties offer more experience, they are essential to leveling up the Season Pass. Luckily, Bungie added a new feature to Zavala that no other interactable NPC has. Players can now pick up multiple Bounties from Zavala for 5,000 Glimmer instead of just five. This also helps players fulfill his personal Weekly Challenge within a raid or two.
Remember, it is only Zavala that has this feature. No other NPC that offers Bounties can do this.
No, they didn't change the character. But Bungie made the most changes to how gear is upgraded in this game. To upgrade weapons and armor, players need only one item: The Upgrade Module. Glimmer, legendary shards and resources from planets are no longer needed to upgrade. Players can also earn Upgrade Modules from Banshee-44’s daily bounties. Enchantment Cores are no longer used to infuse and upgrade gear. They are now resource components to craft Upgrade Modules. This also makes fulfilling bounties from The Spider on the Tangled Shore much more appealing. Legendary shards are still needed for crafting Upgrade Modules, too.
There are also new items offered from Banshee, as well: Enchantment Prisms and Ascendant Shards. They are used for forging Masterwork Gear.