After going free to play last year, Bungie is prepping for more sweeping changes to Destiny 2 with the launch of Beyond Light. This is in addition to new content, as players delve further into the dynamic between Light and Darkness. The expansion is out on November 10th for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox Series X, PS5, Google Stadia and PC so let’s take a look at 14 things you should know before buying.
Following the arrival of the Pyramids of Darkness, players will be heading to Europa to rendezvous with the Exo Stranger. Yes, the same Exo Stranger from Destiny 1 who said the thing about not having time to yada yada. Your mission actually involves battling the new House of Darkness, a contingent of Fallen houses that have forsaken the Traveler and rally under a new Kell named Eramis. Eris Morn and The Drifter, who played prominent roles in Season of Arrivals, also figure in the story. Also, Variks returns so cue up all your “Dismantle mines” jokes now.
Covered in snow and shrouded in desolation, Europa is a unique location. A Braytech facility devoted to Exoscience lays in Cadmus Ridge while the remains of a once-bustling colony can be found in the Eventide Ruins. Venturing to the Asterion Abyss in the East will expose players to various Vex buildings, which seem to run deeper underground. And then there’s “Beyond”, a location that overlooks an ancient Pyramid of Darkness and where “an old friend” (who’s likely the Exo Stranger) awaits. Bungie has been fairly coy on all of the activities we can expect on Europa but one new Strike has been confirmed at the very least.
One aspect that will help make Europa feel different from similar snowy locations like the Plaguelands is a dynamic weather system. Bungie describes this as “script-controlled and fully networked,” and can result in effects like a mild storm covering the sun and stars while a big storm obscures the sky and nearby buildings completely. You can expect reduced visibility to go with the heavy winds, which should make weapons with thermal scopes more useful.
Representing the power of Darkness is the first new element to grace the Destiny series since launch – Stasis. Stasis manifests as ice and allows for freezing and shattering foes at will. We’ve seen Fallen enemies on Europa also capable of using Stasis though how this will affect the Guardians and their allegiance to the Light remains to be seen. Stasis is used differently by each subclass, namely…
Shadebinder, Behemoth and Revenant
Each class uses Stasis in its own chilling way. The Warlock becomes the Shadebinder, armed with a Stasis staff that fires freezing projectiles and can send out a shockwave to shatter frozen enemies. The Titan is the Behemoth, slamming the ground to create waves of Stasis to freeze foes. The Hunter’s Revenant subclass allows for bouncing Stasis shurikens off of walls and enemies to slow them; its Super will send a Stasis Kama to freeze foes while a second Kama detonates them and creates a Stasis storm. Each subclass has access to three types of Stasis grenades – Glacier Grenades can create ice walls meant for cover or platforms to access higher spots. Coldsnap Grenades will send Stasis waves to nearby foes and freeze them on contact. The Duskfield Grenade creates a vortex field that will slow any targets inside and eventually freeze them.
Aspects and Fragments
Since the launch of Destiny 2, players have been asking for deeper subclass customization. Aspects and Fragments are the answer, though they’ll apply only to Stasis subclasses when Beyond Light releases. Aspects are items that modify different abilities, like creating a freezing wave when casting a Rift as the Shadebinder or creating a shard that grants melee energy when shattering a Stasis crystal as the Behemoth. Fragments offer passive perks and can be equipped on different Aspects. These will reduce a stat or two in exchange for, say, bonus weapon damage after a target has been frozen. Both Aspects and Fragments are obtained in the world and while each subclass will have unique Aspects, Fragments can be equipped regardless of one’s class.
New Weapons and Armor
As with any new expansion, new weapons and armor sets can be expected. Some of them have popped up in screenshots, with the armor having an aesthetic akin to polar expedition clothing. Details on weapons have yet to be revealed but we know that two past Exotics will be returning in Hawkmoon and No Time to Explain. The former will see its major perk changed (so no random bullets that one-shot in Crucible) while the latter is obtainable through other means. More on that in a bit.
Deep Stone Crypt
Of course, once players blitz through the story, they’ll have the new raid to contend with. Deep Stone Crypt is better known as the subroutine that created the first Exo consciousness. Various teases of the raid have seen Exo shells along with Vex units in containment. Exactly what lies beneath the surface of Europa and what is the “final plan” to be set in motion? If Beyond Light follows the same routine as Shadowkeep and the seasons following it, expect the story to continue well into next year.
Destiny Content Vault
Perhaps most important with the launch of Beyond Light is the arrival of the Destiny Content Vault. This sees a lot of the current content being “vaulted” (read: removed) from the game with the intent of reintroducing it later. Said content includes destinations like Mercury, Mars, Io, Titan and even the Leviathan; strikes like the Pyramidion, The Festering Core, Savathun’s Song; PvP maps like Eternity, Equinox, Firebase Echo, Meltdown; Exotic Quests and Catalysts; and entire raids. Even missions like The Whisper and Zero Hour along with Whisper of the Worm and Outbreak Perfected are going away, though Bungie will look into introducing the weapons along with Catalysts at a latter date. Long story short, say goodbye to a lot of the content that defined the past few years of Destiny 2.
Of course, the other function of the Destiny Content Vault is to cycle content into the current game. To that end, the Cosmodrome from Destiny 1 will be making a comeback when Beyond Light launches. This version is incomplete though and only includes the Will of Crota Strike. Subsequent updates will flesh out the rest of the region and add Strikes like Devil’s Lair and Fallen S.A.B.E.R. to the mix. The Vault of Glass raid is also making a return, though it’s expected sometime after the expansion launches.
Reduced Install Size
With the Destiny Content Vault, optimizations and removal of unused content, Destiny 2‘s overall install size will be reduced by 30 to 40 percent. Depending on one’s platform, that means an installation size ranging from 59 to 71 GB. Considering Destiny 2‘s current size can go up to 120 GB on PS4 at most, this is good news. Unfortunately, the game must be re-downloaded as a result. It can be pre-loaded on November 9th, 10 hours before Beyond Light releases so there’s that at least.
In its reveal stream for Beyond Light, it was confirmed that cross-play would be coming. This is only for consoles of the same family, meaning that Xbox One and PS4 players can only match with Xbox Series X and PS5 players respectively. Full cross-play across all platforms is expected next year. Free upgrades for Beyond Light owners were also confirmed, with Xbox One players making use of Smart Delivery for Xbox Series X and PS4 players receiving a free PS5 upgrade.
60 FPS/4K on Xbox Series X and PS5
Destiny 2 will finally run in 60 FPS on consoles, along with supporting 4K resolution on the Xbox Series X and PS5. However, Bungie – as usual – has yet to provide finer details. Will ray-tracing be supported? Will there be an FOV slider? What resolution and frame rate will the Xbox Series S version run at? Regardless, console players can finally bask in higher frame rates and better loading times (thanks to the power of SSDs) like their PC brethren.
Pre-Order Bonuses and Deluxe Edition
Destiny 2 is free but Beyond Light will cost you. The Standard Edition is $40 and comes with the expansion. Pay $50 and you get the expansion, the Season 12 pass, No Time to Explain and its Catalyst. Spending $70 for the Deluxe Edition nets you the expansion, passes for Seasons 12 to 15, No Time to Explain along with its Catalyst and Exotic Ornament, the Any Other Sky Sparrow and the Freeze Tag emote. Regardless of which edition is pre-ordered, you’ll receive a Legendary Emblem and Exotic Rimed ghost shell. Whether you can earn No Time to Explain in-game or not is currently unknown at this point.