Bungie has given Destiny 2's long-awaited Lightfall expansion its first proper reveal, sharing a huge heap of gameplay details - from its Neptune setting to its new grapple-hook-like Strand ability - ahead of its now-confirmed launch date of 28th February next year.
Lightfall, which was initially announced back in June 2020, will be Destiny 2's penultimate expansion, coming between this year's The Witch Queen and the game's finale expansion The Final Shape. As such, Bungie is calling it the "beginning of the end", and it continues an escalating narrative that will bring Destiny's Light and Darkness Saga to a close.
It finally gives a name and a face to Destiny 2's much-teased big bad, The Witness, and will take players to Neptune's capital city. This gleaming metropolis is, thanks to Calus' Shadow Legion, now Cabal-occupied territory, and players will need to deal with their new Pyramid-enhanced tech - including suppression devices, which can diminish Guardians' abilities - plus a new Pyramid unit known as the Tormentor.
These "impossibly huge, unstoppable behemoths" wield scythes, can fight from distance, can bring players in close, and even drain their life-force, serving as an almost boss-like enemy that players will need to deal with during battle.
To help take on the Tormentors - and traverse Neptune's sprawling capital city, Lightfall introduces a new dark power known as the Strand. In combat, this will manifest differently between classes - as a huge barrage of missiles for Warlocks, as devastating claws for Titans, and as a deadly rope dart for Hunters - but also serves as a kind of inter-dimensional grappling hook for all players, latching onto the fabric of reality itself so players can swing around wherever and whenever they choose.
Away from Lightfall, Bungie has also shared details on some of the core changes and additions coming to Destiny as it looks to make the game "easier to come into". These include an overhauled load-out screen and mod manager, plus a new Guardian Rank progression system, intended to give more exposure to the Destiny 2's various systems, and to give a greater sense of direction for those unsure what to do.
Additionally, next year will bring Looking For Group matchmaking, which will be accompanied by a new player rating system known as Guardian Commendations. Essentially, this lets players assign key words to their team mates at the end of an activity - indispensable, selfless, thoughtful, level-headed, and so on - that'll then appear in their Commendation Profile to make it easier to find the kind of match partner you might be looking for.
Before all that, of course, there's today's launch of Destiny 2's latest season, now confirmed as the pirate-themed Season of Plunder. Running until 6th December, this'll see players attempting to stop Eramis' pirate fleets from securing mysterious relics and treasures around the galaxy by assembling their own crew of rogues throughout the season. New activities include a 6-player offensive called Catchcrash, in which teams raid giant pirate fleets and swashbuckle their way between ships, Expeditions (requiring players to fend off hordes while they drill for treasure), and Pirate Hideouts, which can be located by piecing together map fragments.
To celebrate Season of Plunder's arrival (which also brings the Arc 3.0 rework), all Destiny 2 expansions will be free to play for one week on all platforms. As of today, those platforms include the Epic Games Store, and players that download Destiny 2 through Epic will get the 30th Anniversary Pack for free. Additionally, Destiny 2 skins are heading to Fortnite today and to Fall Guys on 17th September.
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