The Witch Queen update is one of few expansions in Destiny history that met players’ expectations in practically everything. For the first time in years, the new content did not come to an end during the first week and also did not consist of pure Power Level grind and endless bounties farming. Instead, we got a bunch of really interesting quests and a content, that does not end after you complete the story campaign.
And, of course, there is the new crafting system, that finally ended our eternal struggle to get a god roll for our favorite weapons.
You can check out the Witch Queen’s User Score on Metacritic, which is 8.6, with Metascore hitting 87. This is a phenomenal result to say in the least. We all know how hard it is for a video game to please both critics and players.
But let’s keep to the topic of the article and discuss more closely the game changing features of the new DLC. Hope you find this article useful!
How Void Fragments Have Changed Everything
Void Fragments are what Destiny 2 players have waited for for too long. They are even more useful than Stasis. For example, the Devour ability, which allows you to restore your health with each killed enemy, is now available for all classes, thanks to the Echo of Starvation. Also, there is the Echo of Leeching, which you can heal yourself with, even without the Devour ability, just by attacking your opponents in melee. So now, Guardians can stay alive even with dozens of enemies around them. Also, such mechanics allows developers to make gameplay faster and increase the number of enemies on the map, which already became clear in the new campaign.
But that is not all. Another part of the DLC is the Volatile Rounds phenomena. This ability allows you to eliminate hordes of enemies in seconds. It is like Firefly, but much better. Volatile Rounds explode enemies in a chain without a need of precision kill (usable only with Void Weapon). You can get this ability using Echo of Instability and Witch Queen seasonal mode Volatile Flow, which you can use if you have at least one Elemental Well mode. This includes: Elemental Armaments, Elemental Ordnance, Melee Wellmaker and others. We recommend using it with Echo of Expulsion and Echo of Starvation to achieve maximum efficiency.
Another two Void Fragments worth mentioning are Echo of Harvest and Echo of Undermining. They are a perfect bottom line of the new Void Subclass, which allows you to debuff your enemies with your grenades. Before it was only possible with a seasonal modifier, but now it is here for good.
Other Void Fragments not present in this article are merely additions to those already mentioned.
We can safely say that Void Fragments, as they are now, are a change in core game mechanics. It is a step toward more dynamic and faster gameplay, resembling fast-moving modern arcade shooters like Doom Eternal, which is certainly a good thing. We can not wait to see how this will change the feel in new activities and raids. If the game continues to follow this direction, chances are the Crota’s End raid from Destiny 1 will be no more than a regular dungeon in Destiny 2.
New Gear System "From C to S"
If you spent years waiting for weapons dropped from raids to be better than the guns you can get from regular activities, or for the game to have adequate gear rotation according to activity’s difficulty level, then rejoice, your waiting is over.
Now, you can easily tell the difference between the weapons you get from story campaign and Wellspring activity, and the weapons from seasonal Psiops Battlegrounds activity and raids. All weapons are now organized from Tier C to Tier S:
- Tier C are Throne World weapons, except for a few pieces like Forensic Nightmare.
- Tier S is any weapon from the Vow of the Disciple raid, which we will talk about later in this article.
However, do not forget about random world drop weapons, which includes seasonal guns like:
These weapons can be obtained anytime in any activity.
Such random drop will give a slight chance for good gear for players who do not plan to participate in raids or Grandmaster Nightfalls, but that does not completely nullify the need for them. For example, there is no replacement for the Forbearance Grenade Launcher, because of its unique Ambitious Assassin and Chain Reaction perks synergy. There is also the Deliverance Fusion Rifle with its Kinetic damage, and many others.
Sure, you can, for example, replace Submission with Funnelweb, but often that is not the best option. Why, you ask? The thing is you can craft Submission with any perks, including their enhanced versions, and the Souldrinker unique perk, allowing you to restore health equal to the number of hits you make.
All of this encourages players to fight their way through raids in order to get the best gear. And do so as often as possible, to increase their chances to unlock desired weapon craft receipts and get the god roll they want.
One can say that the Witch Queen release makes Destiny 2 gearing system much more balanced and fairer. Now, to get the best gear, you will need to spend more time, but there are always randomly dropped guns and seasonal weapons. These are good, but not nearly as good as end-game gear.
Vow of the Disciple – New Approach to Raid Encounters
After years of Destiny 2 existence, it became clear it is not the enemies’ HP or bosses’ abilities that determine raid difficulty, but the level of communication required to overcome all obstacles in raid dungeons. The problem with the Vow of the Disciple raid is you will not succeed if you do not have a well-coordinated team. This is not Vault of Glass or Garden of Salvation, which is usually completed without a single word spoken between players. It is more like the Last Wish raid, where players should carefully coordinate their actions on every stage of the raid.
The raid itself takes place in the location many players have anticipated for years: one of the Black Fleet’s pyramids. Among all the bosses we want to point out Rhulk, not because of how he looks or his lore, but because of his encounter. In all the previous raids players had to have Well of Radiance on each stage and bosses did not move much. But Rhulk, in the contrary, moves quickly around the arena, has a range of powerful attacks, and does not appreciate the idea of Well of Radiance – he will just destroy your team inside it. To get your rewards in this encounter you should constantly move and communicate with your team, or just die, time after time, until you make it.
Aside from four guaranteed rewards, during the raid you can collect two Secret Chests and another secret Symbol Chest, which is available on one character per week. There you can find a Deepsight raid weapon, which is required to unlock the weapon crafting receipt.
Remember how it was in older Destiny 2 raids? You always have to decide which weapon to farm, and which to forget about. Well, this is no longer necessary. All new weapons are useable and have a range of unique perks:
- Insidious - Rapid Hit+Rampage/Dragonfly+Rampage;
- Submission - Overflow+Frenzy/Perpetual Motion+Swashbuckler;
- Deliverance - Perpetual Motion+Chill Clip/Sleight of Hand+Successful Warm-Up;
- Lubrae's Ruin - Grave Robber+Vorpal Weapon/Immovable Object+Vorpal Weapon;
- Forbearance - Ambitious Assasin+Chain Reaction/Unrelenting+Chain Reaction;
- Cataclysmic - Fourth Time's the Charm+Focused Fury/ Fourth Time's the Charm+Bait and Switch.
Another important thing is the new Exotic Weapon – Collective Obligation. This weapon has potential, which can only be fully unlocked by one subclass with the correct Void Fragments combination. However, this weapon can greatly increase the damage of your whole team. We are sure that Collective Obligation will be the best choice in the new Grandmaster Nightfalls. It will not only allow you to debuff elite monsters, but also help you to clear waives of enemies from great distance, especially with the Volatile Rounds mode.
Players may have a completely different opinion about this weapon, depending on what activity Collective Obligation is used in, what your build is, and how you perform with this weapon. When compared to, say, Vex Mythoclast, Collective Obligation seems much more difficult to use, but can also give you and your team a significant damage boost.
Considering everything stated above, we can safely say that Vow of the Disciple is a great raid. And here is why:
- All stages are interesting and require excellent teamwork and communication from players;
- Weapons are well balanced and will be useful in every game scenario;
- The location itself is simply overwhelming – finally we can explore every corner of one of the Black Fleet’s pyramids;
- All boss encounters use the new approach and will be more interesting for war-torned raiders like us.
This all is what Destiny 2 has been lacking for years and now it is finally here.
Bungie loves to release tons of new weapons every season, so players have to complete all new activities dozens of times to get a god roll for their chosen Legendary Weapon. Of course, not many players ever get all 5/5 perks (or even 4/5). Most often they get two or three more or less useable perks and forget about the others, because getting them means much more hours of farming. So, with this new crafting system there is less grind in the game. All you need to get all god rolls for your weapon is simply a crafting pattern of the gun.
This, of course, also takes time, since you will need to collect all Deepsight versions of the weapon, but this is no way near as time-consuming and much more effective than before.
Keep in mind when you unlock a crafting pattern of a gun, the perks you get are customizable, meaning you can change them anytime, so you will have god rolls for raids, PVP, or Gambit. Also, you can get an enhanced version of the perks, which makes your god roll much better than the ones randomly dropped for activities.
The new crafting system is a very good addition to our beloved game. Now god rolls are not depends on your luck and how many hours you spend farming the same encounter over and over again. The system is more versatile and fairer now. We are not saying there is no more random, it is still here, but now it has become more adequate.
Legendary Campaign and How It Affects Leveling
After we heard that by simply completing Legendary Campaign you get high enough Power Level to start raiding right away, we thought: is that some kind of joke? Later we found out this is only partially true. Yes, when you finish the Legendary Campaign, you get a great boost for your Power Level (up to 1520, not counting the artifact level). The Legendary Campaign difficulty level is higher than the regular campaign difficulty level, but the rewards are totally worth it! By the way, an average completion time of the Legendary Campaign is about 6-10 hours (2-3 hours for regular campaign) which is not that much, after all.
The difficulty of the Legendary Campaign is mainly in the HP and damage of enemies. If you decide to invite some friends to help you overcome this challenge it will not work, for enemies’ HP will rise proportionally with the number of players in your group, so you will have to adapt to new tactics and find a way out of difficult situations during the campaign completion.
Because of the difficulty of Legendary Campaign, we can see that Power Level farming staidly becoming a more interesting and less routine task. You still have to complete Pinnacle Challenges to increase your artifact level, but now you have a means to save some time on it, if your skills are high enough, of course.
This new system is definitely a good thing for Destiny 2. Now you can be sure that you can rise your Power Level in time for new activity release, without too many random drops, even if your gaming skills are very good. The farming process will be much different for players who know the game well, and those who just started their journey in Destiny 2.
The Witch Queen update is full of innovations and new mechanics, which the entire community longs for. With this update Bungie has manage to find a compromise with everyone. While the Forsaken update brought back the mechanics of Destiny 1 and became popular because of it, the Witch Queen update has created new mechanics from scratch and all of them turn out to be great. Every aspect of the game now encourages players to be better to get better loot. The old tactics will not work anymore and overall gameplay feels fresh and new. The coolest thing of all is that the new content will last much more than a few hours. One can safely say that the Witch Queen update is a start of new era in Destiny 2.