During today's livestream, Bungie detailed many of the changes that will be coming to Destiny 2: Warmind, which brings a new campaign, a wave-based combat mode, and changes to the game's PvP offerings.
The expansion takes players back to Mars, which looks relatively unchanged from the first Destiny, however Warmind does take us a bit further north near the planet's ice caps. The campaign focuses on the Warmind Rasputin, who we met back during the base campaign of Destiny. Fictional corporation Clovis Bray will also take a large role in the storyline, with Anastasia Bray (a rumored love interest for our AI Warmind) will act as a companion and vendor for players.
Also coming with the new expansion is a wave-based game mode called Escalation Protocol. The wave mode is designed to work as an endgame activity in response to player complaints that Destiny 2's endgame was too easy. Escalation Protocol will be open to everyone who purchases Warmind, but it will function quite a bit like a few of the public events already in the game, as players can take them on ad-hoc by wandering around Mars. That said, you can also enter one manually if there isn't an Escalation open for you to hop into. The mode spawns waves after waves of enemies, with each wave having its own bosses, and a final boss to top it all off. The final boss will rotate on a weekly basis and offer boss-specific rewards, so you will want to make sure you run this every week. That's some nice upkeep to add into Destiny 2's endgame, which was a little lacking on that side as well.
Waves three and five will offer a few chests that can drop vanity items, though defeating the final boss will drop the biggest reward.
Now, players will need to finish Warmind in order to spawn Escalation Protocols, but as long as they've got Warmind installed and have access to Mars, they'll be able to join regardless of story progression.
Warmind will also bring a new Raid (and eventually Prestige Raid), but Bungie is keeping quite on that for now.
PvP is also getting two big changes to Crucible ranks and private matches.
Crucible ranks are split into two parts: valor which is based on continuing to play and levelling up, and therefore cannot go down; and glory which is more of a competitive ranking that changes depending on your win-loss ratio. Depending on your rank, you'll be able to get new guns including a unique gun earned by ascending to the Fabled glory rank in Crucible matches. Other rewards are also being reworked to focus more on accomplishing specific tasks in multiplayer. And if you max out your valor rank, you'll be able to reset it in order to earn emblems.
Meanwhile, private matches will be getting some light level editing tools to fiddle around with the map and gameplay settings.
In addition, Bungie detailed some exotic weapon balance changes.
- Fighting Lion is now stronger with more ammo and a reliable three-shot burst
- Riskrunner now decreases the amount of damage taken from Arc damage
- Skyburner's Oath now gets explosive round and rounds with an arcing path that will seek out nearby targets
- Hard Light can now swap damage types on the fly when players hold down the reload button, and ricocheting bullets now deal extra damage
- Graviton Lance now has a stronger two-shot burst
- Crimson is more consistent, carries more ammo, and has a lower time-to-kill and firing cadence to make it more like other hand cannons, with a final shot that deals more damage
- Sturm and Drang are now a more powerful duo, with Drang giving Sturm extra overloaded rounds with each kill
The expansion will also bring a new emote wheel, increased space in your vault, some modifiers to heroic strikes, and Nightfall challenge cards.
Destiny 2: Warmind launches on May 8th, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
You can watch the full reveal stream here on Twitch, or check out the new prologue cinematic below.