Bungie finally took the wraps off the upcoming The Witch Queen expansion for its hit game, Destiny 2. Destiny and I go way back. From the House of Wolves in the first game on, I've devoted thousands of hours to Bungie's shared-world first-person shooter.
From epic raids to glorious wins in Trials of Osiris, some of the best moments I've had in gaming belong to Destiny. But something changed, and I'm still not sure if it was with me or with Bungie. I distinctly remember feeling this shift when Shadowkeep launched in 2019 (which also marked Bungie's separation from Activision).
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The expansion was dull and boring, and I found at that point that I couldn't care less about Destiny 2. This was after hundreds of hours put into the game in the year prior thanks to the awesome Forsaken expansion and the Annual Pass. I drifted away from Destiny, feeling guilty and like I'd wasted years of my life.
My backlog had grown larger and larger in the meantime, too — Destiny 2 was all I played since it launched in 2017. So when I stepped away to play other things, I felt a sense of shame. I'd always been a solo player, so it wasn't like I'd left friends behind. I couldn't figure out why I felt this way, until it hit me not too long ago.
Drifting away from Destiny 2
Just like people can grow apart as they age and change, so too can a person move on from something they previously loved. That was what happened with Destiny and me: I'd grown tired of the game's chore-like grind. I didn't care anymore, and my social anxiety kept me from truly finding the sense of community so many love Destiny 2 for.
What really toppled things over for me was the introduction of sunsetting, where Bungie would negate older weapons in high-level activities. That meant my favorite guns, many of which I'd worked incredibly hard for, didn't matter in top-tier activities. This was extremely demoralizing and it discouraged me from chasing those pinnacle weapons, many of which require hours of grinding to obtain. Thankfully, Bungie realized sunsetting wasn't the right direction for the game and reversed the decision.
I came back for Destiny 2's Beyond Light expansion last year, but after seeing the utterly broken state of many components (such as the new ice-based Stasis subclass and the rampant cheaters on PC), I gave up again. In fact, I know a couple of people who did the same thing. But Bungie is finally listening, at least on the cheater front. Destiny 2 now employs the BattleEye anti-cheat system (partially for now as Bungie tests it out), hopefully curbing the problem.
What The Witch Queen promises
So what does the recent reveal of the upcoming The Witch Queen expansion have to do with all of this? I'm glad you asked. The obviously Sauron-inspired, eponymous Witch Queen Savathûn is a major player in the overall story of Destiny, and players will finally face her in the expansion. This really excites me, as I enjoy the lore of Destiny, even if the stories within the games themselves are often lacking.
Beyond just the story, The Witch Queen will introduce weapon crafting to Destiny for the first time. This goes beyond the umbral engram focusing the game had in earlier seasons, where you could spend a special type of currency to get a specific piece of loot.
The weapon crafting system takes that up a notch, allowing you to make your own weapons with their own perks, shaders, and mods. You can then level up the gun you created by using it, allowing players to become truly attached to their weapons beyond just kill trackers.
When Bungie introduced Stasis, the Darkness subclass was set up far different than the Light-based ones. You could customize your build to suit your needs instead of going on the preset paths players had been accustomed to. This felt a bit like how you could do things in the first Destiny, where you could pick different perks from various columns to create a build that fit your play style.
Now Bungie is applying the new system to the Light subclasses, starting with Void. This will open up new opportunities for players who want to remain with the Light.
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen outlook
Destiny and I have a storied history. While my time playing it non-stop is in the past, I do find myself wanting to get back into Destiny 2 from time to time. The sheer amount of things to do combined with the power level grind often discouraged me, though.
The Witch Queen not only appeals to my interest in the Destiny lore, but the weapon crafting system has me curious. In the original Destiny, you unlocked a gun's perks by using it, and the leveling up process with crafted weapons reminds me of that.
Maybe I'll give Destiny 2 another shot in the months leading up to The Witch Queen's launch (slated for February), just to ensure that my Guardian is ready for the challenges ahead. I don't believe that I'll ever play the game compulsively again, but I'm okay with playing it every so often.
After all, you should never feel like you have to play a game — it's important to take a step back, reevaluate, and decide how you'd like to approach it going forward. That's what I had to do, and I think the long break did me some good and helped me get a fresh perspective. Seeing The Witch Queen reveal convinced me, though, and I think I'll give Destiny 2 another shot.