If you’re a fan of Destiny 2, then it’s probably feeling like the night before Christmas. We’ve had countless TWABs full of exciting information, blog posts going into great detail about how the sandbox and mechanics are changing, and some phenomenal videos to pore over including an exhilarating launch trailer. There’s a lot to talk about in this week’s 7 Tower Thoughts, so let’s stop fussin’ and jump straight in.
Lightfall launch trailer
Lightfall is releasing on February 28, 2023 and Bungie has revealed the official Lightfall launch trailer. Take a look at it below.
What an incredible launch trailer. If this is what Bungie is willing to show, imagine what it’s keeping secret? We get a great look at the Witness, the Traveler, the fleet of Pyramid ships, and some more insight into Neomuna and Strand.
First thing’s first: the Traveler has a laser beam. It charged up and fired its laser directly at a Pyramid ship. It looks as though the beam is creating red flowers, which would match the scene where the Witness walks toward trees and flowers and a glowing white aura.
What appears to happen next is the Witness giving zero concerns as it proceeds to walk through the middle of the beam, directly at the Traveler. At some point during its walk, the Witness – with a flick of its finger – segments a Ghost and Titan, presumably killing them instantly. The beam ends and we see the Witness face-to-face with the Traveler before its fleet of Pyramid ships surround it. The Witness also seems to have a vision of Neptune, which contains something that Savathun hid from it.
This is well and truly the beginning of the end. It looks like Light is really going to fall. The sentiment has been said online but I’ll echo it: I hope this is our Infinity War. Unlike how immediate our victory was against Ghaul, I hope that Guardians are actually put in a spot of bother. Of course there were other things to enjoy from the trailer, but the big takeaway is this long overdue showdown between the Traveler and the Witness.
Preparation has officially finished
It’s been a long road, but I have finished preparing for Lightfall. I have everything I need to tackle the expansion when it releases and have all the preliminary work done for a Day One raid. As I mentioned last week, I’m not entirely sure if the pre-expansion hoarding of bounties is the best way to experience a new release but I do think it’s better than having to spend hours farming when you could be enjoying new content.
While all the official prep has concluded, there are some bits and pieces I’m doing for added flavor. Grandmaster Nightfalls are outrageously easy, which means I’m spending a lot of time farming Warden of Nothing for some nice Wendigo god rolls. There’s no telling if it will be the go-to for boss DPS, but it’s better to have and not need.
Remember that Destiny 2 will be offline 24 hours before release, so you’ll need to get everything squared away before then. It’s a good idea to remove any mods from your armor, as everything is getting a major shakeup and you don’t want to lose slots like the old Artifice armor problem.
Day One raiding
My crew have been doing Day One raids since Destiny first launched, but we’ve started livestreaming our attempts here at Shacknews. It’s an exciting time for anyone that loves raiding in Destiny 2. Little comes close to the thrill of diving into a new raid, solving new puzzles, and facing down nearly insurmountable odds. Part of me is sad knowing that there will come a day when there will be no new Destiny raid experiences.
But until that day comes, there’s more to enjoy. You can expect to see my mates and I taking on the latest raid on March 10, 2023 starting at 9:00 a.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET. We’ll probably kick the stream off a little earlier as we get our builds ready and mentally prepare. Here's what the last one looked like:
The reason we need to mentally prepare is that we have 24 hours to clear the raid under the Contest Mode conditions in order to earn an emblem. Contest Mode means our Power level is capped, making the whole thing more difficult. The King’s Fall raid took us about 22 hours, but that required one clear followed by the Challenge Mode run. We’re hoping to be much faster this time. Regardless, we're streaming until we finish.
The Seasonal model
Since the release of Shadowkeep back in 2019, we’ve had the same seasonal model. We get four seasons, four artifacts, and four vendors each with three lines of nodes to unlock. I’ve referred to this as a Three Tier Object in the past and I’m well and truly over them.
These are, as I said, three lines containing about seven blocks. Unlocking a block and its associated perk requires getting some doodad from a seasonal challenge. You can only unlock a couple a week. It’s a way of gating advancement while allowing players to make their own decisions on what perks they would like to acquire next.
I would never suggest that designing video games is easy. What I would love though, is for Bungie to ditch this type of leveling system and come up with something else. Players need a fresh way to engage with the content, even if this fresh way sticks around for a year. The Three Tier Object has simply become too predictable. Now, predictability is important, as much for players learning the literacy of a game as for the time it takes to design and develop something. However, we need a change.
Bungie has said that changes are coming, but not to expect them for another couple of seasons, so I’m willing to wait. But if we get to Season 22 and I’m seeing another three lines and seven blocks, I will be displeased.
Subclass to use in Lightfall
As we lead into another expansion with a focus on a certain subclass, I always wonder whether it will be enough to shift me off of Solar. The introduction of Stasis was neat and the damage output hilarious, but the benefit of a Well of Radiance outweighed the new ice-based abilities.
Similarly, the boost with Void 3.0 saw me using Voidwalker for the beginning of Vow of the Disciple, but by the end I was back to my Well of Radiance for the survivability and damage output. The same held true for when Arc 3.0 released.
With Strand arriving shortly, I’m again wondering whether it will be enough to become my primary elemental choice, knocking Solar off of its pedestal. It will no doubt be fun to use, especially the grapple, but Well of Radiance is just such a necessary tool that it’s feeling like the good ol’ days of Destiny where Warlocks had to use Fireborn to self-revive.
Titans feel this a bit less. While Ward of Dawn is a powerful Super, having to step in and out of it makes it slightly more inconvenient. Plus, the Thundercrash Super does an astronomical amount of damage, making it a worthwhile option for most Fireteams to forgo the dome in favor of the boom.
The question now then is what subclass will you opt to use in Lightfall? Will you try out Strand for a bit while playing through the Legendary campaign before switching back to an old faithful? Or will you stick it out?
For those who have been hoarding bounties for Artifact XP, the time is almost here to reap the rewards of your hard work. You’ll be rocketing through the Artifact levels, unlocking the new Artifact perks – no longer called mods. Players will get to have 12 of these perks active, which become passive perks that no longer require a mod slot. This means your Artifice armor is changing too. Say goodbye to the extra slot and hello to three free points in any attribute.
Additionally, Artifacts can be reset for free as many times as you please. This should make it far easier to craft builds without the crazy exponential increase to Glimmer costs. Bungie has already given us a preview of the Season 20 Artifact perks, so start picking out which ones you want. The only thing is, there’s no telling how many you need to spend to move up a column.
The Witch Queen in review
As Year 5 and The Witch Queen come to an end, it’s a good time to look back on what we did and gather our thoughts on the expansion. Was it a good expansion? It most certainly was. The Witch Queen was one of the main nominees for the Shacknews Best Expansion of 2022 award. During our deliberations, we touched on what made the expansion so important including the Legendary campaign that brought challenge back to the game, weapon craft, and of course the incredible story.
Since the events of Witch Queen, we had four seasons that strengthened our alliances and deepened our understanding of the many people around us. A lot of work was done to make us care for these people. We saw them struggle and overcome their own challenges. We even said goodbye to a long-time friend who had been with us since the beginning.
While it did have its problems, and though Crucible is still in a tough place, I think everyone can agree that it was a stellar year of Destiny 2. There were several quality of life changes to help alleviate some of the struggle, including nerfing blue engrams.
With the dramatic elements of Lightfall before us, I think a year from now we’ll be looking back on Witch Queen with a lot of fondness. It set in motion several positive mechanics that are going to be built upon with Lightfall and The Final Shape.
It’s an exciting time to be a Destiny 2 player. The hype for Lightfall has been ratcheted up to 11, and players are ready to face the Witness, see what happens when it arrives, and ultimately fight for the fate of humanity and the universe. We’ll be sure to bring you more thoughts on Lightfall in the coming days and especially once the expansion releases. Let us know in the Chatty thread how you’re going with your own Destiny 2 journey!
Sam Chandler posted a new article, 7 Tower Thoughts: The last weekend before Lightfall