Destiny 2 is headed into its fifth year and the future has never looked brighter. That’s not just due to the freaking Hive suddenly harnessing the Light in The Witch Queen expansion. No, that was only one of the tremendous bombshells unveiled during Bungie’s latest showcase.
Seriously, we haven’t been this excited for Destiny content since The Taken King, and this honestly feels like the long-awaited follow-up to that beloved expansion. If you have the time, it’s worth watching the whole thing just to ride the wave of excitement The Witch Queen reveal brought. If you just want the juicy details, here’s everything you can expect from possibly the biggest content drop in Destiny 2, The Witch Queen.
When Does The Witch Queen Expansion Release?
We all knew that The Witch Queen expansion would be delayed into early 2022 due to development struggles brought on by remote work. Now, we have an official release date, with The Witch Queen slated to release on February 22, 2022. Like any new piece of Destiny 2 content, this will become available during the weekly reset that occurs every Tuesday.
It’s hard to say exactly what time the expansion will go live, but we can likely expect a firm rollout schedule to go live sometime in January. For now, you can preorder The Witch Queen through your favorite platform store or directly from the Bungie Store. Now, let’s dive into exactly what to expect from this expansion.
Savathun’s Arrival Kicks Off a New Chapter
The alluring and devious sister of the Taken King, Savathun, has been hinted at for years now. Over the course of the 2021 seasons, starting with Season of the Hunt, her presence has become all the more tangible. Of course, in the latest seasonal expansion, Season of the Lost, she has been revealed in all of her horrifying crystalized glory.
The teaser trailer only makes our new enemy all the more frightening. Standing at a whopping twenty-one feet tall, with horrifying moth-like wings, Savathun is truly one of the most ghoulish enemies we’ve ever faced. Oh, and we’re helping her out in the current season, which feels like a very bad idea based on what’s been shown so far.
As with every new expansion in Destiny 2, The Witch Queen brings with it a new location. In Beyond Light, we were introduced to Europa, and now we venture into Savathun’s Home World. For those familiar with the story in Destiny 2, this is most likely connected to the planet where the Hive originated from. Basically, it’s a pocket dimension created by Hive gods that make them unkillable in our normal universe (similar to the Awoken). If you kill them within their Throne World, they lose that ability forever.
It’s a place truly like no other we’ve seen in Destiny 2 so far. It’s been described by the development team as an “uncharted wonderland of secrets and lies.” The environment itself is swampy, gaseous, and overgrown with fauna. There’s even a crashed Darkness Pyramid sitting just outside her main castle (new Raid location, anyone?). The castle itself is cavernous and large, featuring looming entryways, platforming sections, and plenty of secrets to uncover.
Speaking of what’s new, there’s also a new Legendary difficulty for campaign missions. This harder difficulty will be available to players from the start or as an option when replaying missions from your map. While no true specific modifiers have been revealed, Bungie mentioned that the Legendary difficulty will feature tougher more powerful enemies, more restrictive respawn points, and scaling difficulty depending on your party size. And like anything difficult in Destiny 2, the leveling boost and exclusive rewards will be worth the challenge.
New Enemies — Hive Guardians
To top off all of the new story elements, we also have a new enemy class. No, it’s not a new race, it’s a serious upgrade to the Hive instead. Introducing, the Light-infused Hive Guardians.
You heard that right, somehow Savathun has been able to harness the Light and create Hive Ghosts to resurrect her minions. These upgraded Hive enemies even stole our look, with archetypes of the Titan, Warlock, and Hunter classes being present. That’s right, now we have to worry about Hive slamming Void shields, summoning Arc lightning storms, and even throwing flaming knives.
Not much else has been revealed about these new twisted versions of Guardians. The good news is, we can successfully kill them by crushing their Ghosts in a truly satisfying fashion.
New Weapon Type
To take down this new threat, we’ll need some killer weapons. In this case, The Witch Queen brings with it a new weapon archetype in the form of a Glaive. This spear-like weapon features a giant blade on the end, making it the second bladed melee weapon in the game. However, unlike Swords, the Glaive is actually an Energy weapon.
That’s right, this won’t take up your Power slot. It also won’t put you in third person when wielding it, opting for the standard first-person view when attacking. And on top of being a great melee option, it also fires energy projectiles to help expand its range and usefulness.
The last thing to know about this new weapon is that you won’t unlock it as a full product. You’ll earn, uncover, and ultimately unlock specific parts that you can use to put it together. In fact, this weapon represents the first example of a new system in Destiny 2.
That’s right, weapon crafting is coming to Destiny 2. This new but familiar system will take the place of Umbral Engrams and make pursuing and landing specific roles more strategic. So, rather than playing and hoping for specific items in randomized Engrams, you can now choose the options yourself.
The new Glaive, any Throne World weapons, and even Season 16 exclusives will all follow this system. You’ll even be able to add specific Mods and Shaders to upgrade your weapons, which you can also level up moving forward. Basically, the more you use the weapon, the better it will be. As of now, we don’t know exactly how this crafting system will work but it’s expected to expand to any new weapons and even old favorites as the seasons progress in 2022.
One thing everyone was expecting with this expansion is a new Darkness Subclass. That’s unfortunately not happening in favor of upgrading the Light Subclasses to fall more in line with Stasis’s Shards and Aspects system. This is honestly a necessary tradeoff that will breathe new life into how you play and customize your Light-based Subclasses.
These updates will be taking place throughout 2022 and will be starting with Void. Just like Stasis, this update will introduce three specific effects that are exclusive to Void — suppression, weaken, and volatile. On top of that, it will introduce a slew of changes, options, and overall updates that will allow you to customize how you decide to play Void.
You can even craft a subclass that falls closely in line with one of the three from the original skill tree. Or, if you’re a Warlock, you can harness a sentient black hole that devours enemy energy. It’s really up to you and how much you want to experiment.
You can expect this first change to launch with The Witch Queen expansion. Arc and Solar subclass changes will be incorporated into future seasonal updates.
Raids and Dungeons
The Witch Queen expansion brings with it a new Raid experience that has you traverse the inside of a Darkness Pyramid. Not much else is known about what we’ll be facing, aside from an ancient evil housed within the ship. What we do know, is that along with the initial Raid, we’ll also be getting a new Raid or Dungeon with each season.
For 2022, that means that we’ll be getting two new Dungeons and a reprised classic Destiny Raid alongside The Witch Queen Raid. On top of that, Bungie is adding in weekly Raid and Dungeon rotations that will feature exclusive challenges and rewards in old and new PvE content.
Lastly, we’ll also be getting a new six-player activity with the expansion called Conflict Eternal. This will likely be something akin to the Override mode from Season of the Splicer or the Battlegrounds activity in Season of the Chosen.
Bungie’s 30th Anniversary Celebration
With The Witch Queen expansion being so far away, Bungie also announced a 30th Anniversary event in December to hold us over. This will be a mix of free and paid content that celebrates their history along with the legacy of games such as Halo, Marathon, Myth, and Destiny. The festivities will kick off with a new and free six-player matchmade activity that will have players unraveling secrets and collecting exclusive gear.
Now, the real exciting part about this is the paid expansion. It includes a new pirate-themed Dungeon designed around the infamous loot cave in the Cosmodrome. This Dungeon will feature new challenging puzzles and the chance to unlock a Thorn-themed set of armor alongside other unknown secrets.
Of course, the biggest reveal was the return of the Gjallarhorn, which can be unlocked by completing an exclusive Quest within the Dungeon. You’ll also be able to earn and arm the new Catalyst for the iconic Rocket Launcher by playing more of the Dungeon’s challenges.
Additionally, you’ll unlock Marathon and Bungie 30th Anniversary streetwear-inspired ornament sets and a collection of Destiny 1 weapons. There will also be additional Exotic ornaments, ships, Sparrows, Shaders, Emotes, and other weapons inspired by previous Bungie titles. While it hasn’t been officially announced, there are rumors of a Halo-inspired level and armor sets as well. We’ll just have to see if that turns out to be true once the expansion releases.
How Much Does the Witch Queen Expansion Cost?
So how much is all of this exciting new Destiny 2 content going to cost you? Well, just like with any new video game release, there are a lot of options to choose from. Pre-ordering any of the following versions will immediately give you the Throne World Exotic Ghost Shell, the Enigma Exotic Emote, and a Legendary Emblem. Here are all of the different versions available and what you get in each.
The standard edition of The Witch Queen expansion is going to cost $39.99 and gives you the following in-game content:
- New Campaign
- Weapon Crafting
- New Glaive Weapon Archetype
- New Raid
- Exotic Gear
- New 6-player Activity
Bungie has also mentioned that upgrades will be available at some point in the future if you decide you want additional content.
The Deluxe Edition of The Witch Queen costs $79.99 and gives you everything in the Standard Edition along with:
- Exotic SMG, Catalyst, and Ornament
- Seasons 16, 17, 18, and 19
- 2 Dungeons
- Throne World Exotic Sparrow
You’re able to purchase the 30th anniversary content on its own for $24.99 and it includes:
- New Dungeon
- Gjallarhorn Exotic Rocket Launcher, Catalyst, and Ornament
- New Weapons Inspired by Past Bungie IP
- Thorn Armor Set
- Bungie Streetwear Ornament Set
- Marathon Themed Ornament Set
- Unique Helmet Ornament
- Exotic Sparrows
- Exotic Ship
- Emblems, Shaders, Emotes, and More
You can purchase the Deluxe Edition of The Witch Queen along with the Bungie 30th Anniversary pack as a bundle for $99.99. That gives you everything in both pieces of content for $5 less than if you bought them separately.
For the hardcore fans out there, you can always go for the $250 Collector’s Edition. This includes everything in the Deluxe Edition + 30th Anniversary Bundle along with:
- Destiny 2: The Witch Queen Digital Soundtrack
- The Psychometer Replica with lights and sounds
- Lucent Hive Ghost Replica with stand
- The Hidden ID Badge
- Lenticular Reveal Card
- The Hidden Dossier
- Plus Exclusive Collector’s Edition Emblems
If you purchase the expansion and decide you want these extra collectibles, you can buy them without the game for just $150 if it’s in stock.
Become a High Grounder
There you have it, that’s everything we know so far about Destiny 2 The Witch Queen. Even without knowing specifics, this seems like a giant step forward for Bungie and Destiny 2, and we couldn’t be any more excited. Be sure to let us know how stoked about the new expansion you are by commenting below and sharing this article on your favorite social platforms. And for up-to-date coverage on everything in Destiny 2, sign up for our newsletter.