Bungie Reveals What Players Can Expect From Destiny 2's Warmind Expansion
During a livestream, Bungie finally detailed most of the changes coming to Destiny 2 with the Warmind expansion, which includes a new campaign, wave-based mode, and changes to PvP.
Mars, the expansion's new destination, looks similar to how it did in the first Destiny (it is the Red Planet, after all), but Warmind takes players a little further north, near Mars' ice caps. The single-player campaign focuses on the Warmind Rasputin, a hyper-intelligent AI, which has a large role in Destiny's lore. Clovis Bray, the fictional corporation which fueled much of the Golden Age technology early in Destiny's timeline, also plays a large role. Anastasia Bray (a rumored love interest of Rasputin) will act as a companion and vendor for players in Warmind.
Warmind also features a new wave-based activity, Escalation Protocol. It's designed as a challenging endgame activity, as a response to complaints most of Destiny 2's endgame wasn't too challenging. Available only to those who purchase Warmind and similar to public events, Escalation Protocols can be taken on by ad-hoc groups of players wandering around Mars, though players can also activate them manually whenever they want. When activated, waves of enemies will spawn. Each wave has its own bosses, with a final boss capping off the encounters. The final boss will rotate every week, and will offer boss-specific rewards.
The event will also offer new kinds of weapons and gear, including a new shotgun, sniper rifle, and blank with new kinds of perks that help with that activity (similar to raid gear in Destiny). Escalation Protocols also provided some new objectives, such as providing special swords and spears for players to use against their foes. If players manage to complete Escalation Protocol. Waves three and five offer a couple of chests that can spawn vanity items, but defeating the boss will offer the largest reward. Players will have to finish Warmind's single-player campaign to in order to initiate Escalation Protocols, but anyone with Warmind can tag along for the ride. Of course, there will also be a new Raid Lair for players to tackle as well, though Bungie didn't reveal any details about what it would entail.
Also detailed are the two big changes coming to PvP: Crucible ranks and private matches. Ranks are split into valor (based mostly on continuing to play and leveling up and can't go down) and glory (which acts as more competitive ranking that oscillates based on whether you win or lose). Ranks also let you earn new guns, including one unique gun players can earn by ascending to the Fabled glory rank in the Crucible. Other Crucible rewards are also reworked, focusing more on accomplishing specific tasks in multiplayer to gain particular rewards. If a player maxes out their Valor rank, they can reset their rank to earn emblems. Private matches also let you tinker with various map and gameplay settings. Though anyone hopping into a random playlist can play a match in the new Warmind ranks, players will have to own Warmind in private matches.
Bungie also showed off some of the major changes coming to exotic weapons. Fighting Lion is now much stronger, with more ammo and a reliable three-shot burst. Riskrunner now also decreases the amount of damage taken from Arc damage, making it easier to unleash its increased power in PvP. Skyburner's Oath is now a little flashier, with a new explosive rounds and rounds with an arcing path while firing from the hip that seek nearby targets. Hard Light can now swap damage types on the fly when players hold down the reload button, and ricocheting bullets now deal double damage. Graviton Lance now has a two-shot burst that's stronger. Crimson is also more consistent, packs more ammo, and has lower time-to-kill and firing cadence to bring it in line with other hand cannons, with a final shot that deals more damage. Sturm and Drang are now a more powerful duo, with Drang giving Sturn extra-powerful overloaded rounds with each kill. These changes coincide with the balance changes from the "Go Fast" update, giving the overall balance more "hard edges" that could hopefully make for more interesting matches.
Of course, the May 8 also brings some other additions, such as an emote wheel, increased vault space, heroic strike modifiers, and Nightfall challenge cards. Warmind and its accompanying update hit on May 8 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Despite not being too happy the climb to max power now takes longer, I'm pretty happy with these additions. Having a new challenging, repeatable activity to chase is cool, as is having a reason to do well in Crucible (even if I'm pretty sure I'll never get to Fabled). Hopefully the new Raid Lair is cool as well. I was planning to return to Destiny 2 with this update no matter what, but I'm hoping these changes will keep me around for a while.