This week at Bungie, we’ve got a lot going on.
So, with that said, what else is going on? Well, it’s February for starters. We’re less than three weeks away from the launch of The Witch Queen. Did you see that we hit one million pre-orders? Did you hear that, Savathûn? One million Guardians would like a word…
Thank you to the more than ONE MILLION Destiny players who have pre-ordered Destiny 2: The Witch Queen.
With your incredible support, it’s on track to be the most pre-ordered expansion in Destiny 2 history.
We also had a kickass gear trailer go live on Tuesday. Have you seen it yet? Well, even if you have, we’re going to embed the video right here for you to go through the carnage frame by frame, hunting for new info.
You may have noticed there was a quick little glimpse into weapon crafting at the top of that video. Well, let’s take a moment to walk through it. No, not just the video, but crafting as a feature. After, we’ll follow the TWAB tradition of digging into the nitty-gritty of sandbox balance patch notes in a quick preview. (Just kidding, this TWAB is already over 6,000 words. Nothing about it is quick.)
Let’s dig in.
Welcome to the Enclave
Savathûn is building an army of Hive. These aren’t just ordinary Hive, mind you. They’ve become the Lucent Brood. How could this happen? What will the Vanguard do as we begin to question the line between Light and Dark? As you begin to unravel the mystery and battle the Witch Queen’s brood, you’ll discover the Enclave. This will be your destination for weapon crafting.
Crafting a Legendary weapon from scratch isn’t a simple matter. Finding Patterns (think weapon blueprints), collecting materials, and building your weapon is the starting point. After crafting your tool of destruction, you’ll begin to unlock its full potential through combat.
Beginning your Quest (to Craft)
Early in The Witch Queen campaign, you’ll be given an introductory quest that runs you through the ins and outs of crafting. In the first and second missions of The Witch Queen, free to all players, Guardians will uncover the Deepsight ability and be introduced to the Enclave.
This is where you’ll begin to shape your first Glaive, a brand new weapon archetype being introduced in The Witch Queen. All of the necessary materials will be provided for your first crafted weapon, but you’ll also be given a short tutorial on how to find those materials for future crafting. A subset of weapons and archetypes will be craftable from the start, but more will be added in the future.
In order to shape your future tools of destruction, you’ll need to do a little bit of research first. Patterns are your first requirement. Some will be acquired through quest completions, while others can be earned by completing various gameplay objectives. Once you’ve earned your desired Pattern, it can be crafted at any time with the required materials. Now, it’s all about the mixings.
After reaching the enclave and crafting your first Glaive, randomly rolled weapons throughout the game have a chance to drop with a new ability: Deepsight Resonance. This will be used as you begin to target specific traits to craft. As an example, if you find a Deepsight Resonance Legendary Auto Rifle with the Rampage perk, you can complete an objective and extract the essence of the perk to then craft a weapon with Rampage or another perk that increases damage.
Pictured: A Guardian holding Deepsight Resonance weaponry, noted by red weapon borders.
Pictured: A Deepsight Resonance Weapon with no progress, essence ready to be attuned through combat.
Pictured: A Deepsight Resonance Weapon with full progress, essence ready to be extracted.
Like current weapons, not every weapon Pattern will be compatible with every trait, but you’ll have a good list of traits to mix and match as you customize a given weapon to your desired specifications. It doesn’t stop there, though. Through the Enclave, you’ll also be able to kick things up a notch and enhance your traits to strengthen their flavor.
Leveling Your Weapon & Enhanced Traits
Once a weapon is crafted, Guardians may begin to increase its level by using it in activities and by defeating enemies. This is where the bulk of your crafting playtime will be. The more you use your weapon, the faster you’ll unlock its full potential.
Enhanced stats and traits can be unlocked when reaching higher levels, granting slight bonuses to your weapons capabilities. Our goal through this system is to give players a reason to invest in their weapons, far beyond what Masterworking could offer in the past. Each weapon can now act as a longtail pursuit as you look to make your freshly crafted weapon the best it can be.
It can be intimidating to start making decisions on how to build your weapon so we are also giving you the ability to reshape your crafted weapons in the Enclave if you want to mix up the components of your weapons after you finish crafting them. You can switch up what barrel, mags, or traits you choose so you don’t feel like you got locked down one path forever.
As Guardians begin to embrace this new system, you’ll begin to see new legends rise. Some will prefer Häkke and other foundries. Others may dabble in new weapons from [REDACTED]. We’re excited to see which weapons you embrace.
While the majority of your crafting experience will be dedicated to mixing, matching, and enhancing traits, there is also an opportunity for a bit of customization when it comes to appearances and activity-specific trackers. At launch, one weapon memento will become available for players to earn through Gambit, unlocking a Gambit-themed appearance and tracker. Rank up your weapon to max level, head back to the Enclave, and apply your freshly earned memento for some sweet flair.
More of these will come online through Trials of Osiris and Grandmaster Nightfalls. We have more plans for mementos down the line, and are excited to introduce a new endgame rarity cosmetic item for players to chase as they build out their new arsenal of weaponry.
Legendary weapons aren’t the only thing that you’ll be able to craft. The upcoming Osteo Striga Exotic SMG and three class-unique Exotic Glaives can also be crafted through the Enclave, once you find their respective Patterns, of course.
While Legendary weapons can be crafted from the ground up, Exotic crafting is more about fine-tuning something with a defined identity. You may have the opportunity to customize things like barrels or stocks, while preserving the Exotic look and feel. Looking for a longer-range profile for the weapon, or opting to shred through your enemies up close and personal? Through the Enclave, you can do just that.
Alright, folks. We’re at the end of our weapon crafting preview. Will you have questions? Undoubtedly. Launch day of The Witch Queen is just around the corner, and we’re excited to see what weapons you create. Don’t worry, we aren’t done with the TWAB just yet. We still have some exciting news regarding weapons to cover. Let’s talk tuning.
Crafting is going to introduce an entirely new way to invest in a given weapon. When hunting for your new favorites, it’s not just about the looks, but about the feels. Weapons Feature Lead Chris Proctor is on deck to walk through some changes coming to weapons, perks, and archetypes in The Witch Queen. The team has been hard at work over the last few months to bring this to life, and we’ve got a lot to cover.
If you’re new to the Destiny sandbox, or aren’t too deep in the terminology and know-how, this can be a lot to process at first glance. While we know a few of our sandbox-minded community members will break this down through YouTube videos and write-ups, there’s no shame in skimming this. Sandbox is about the feel, and you’ll be getting your hands on these changes when The Witch Queen launches. If you’re brave enough to take on the challenge of reading this in full, take it slow. Grab some water, maybe a little snack too!
Alright. Let’s get to it. Take it away, Proctor.
From Pinnacle to Pursuit Weapons
When pinnacle weapons were introduced, they were tuned and presented as being best-in-class weapons to act as rewards for players dedicated to a particular activity. They excited and motivated players, but they were expensive to build for Legendary weapons, and had some undesirable side-effects, such as PvP pinnacle weapons becoming mandatory in PvE (Recluse, Mountaintop), or becoming incredibly unpleasant to play against or so strong that no other weapons in the class could compete in PvP (Mountaintop, Not Forgotten).
When we moved away from pinnacle weapons we didn’t go into much detail, so we’d like to take a moment to clarify the move, and also introduce the Pursuit weapon for next season.
The intent as of Season 12 is that a Pursuit weapon should be a solid weapon, roughly 70 percent of a “god roll” in its archetype, with perk options that work well in PvP and PvE, and which can be reliably obtained without a huge grind. These should act as good starter weapons for both PvP and PvE, while leaving space for weapons from pinnacle activities like Trials, raids, and Nightfalls to exceed this potential. We generally ship a similar weapon with higher potential in the same Season.
(Note: Salvager’s Salvo basically ignores this guideline (oops) but we really wanted to put Chain Reaction on a Special ammo weapon, and don’t currently see a reason to touch it. Chain Reaction is going to be rare on Special weapons, though.)
Here’s a quick breakdown of how each Pursuit weapon since Season 12 compares to the random-rolled options currently in the game:
- Adored is a good Sniper Rifle, but better Sniper Rifles shipped alongside it or since.
- The Salvager’s Salvo breech Grenade Launcher is a great room-clearing weapon, but doesn’t have the utility of blinding grenades or Auto-Loading Holster, so other Legendary Grenade Launchers (such as Truthteller or Ignition Code) often take its place in the hardest content.
- Null Composure is an excellent Fusion Rifle (and even moreso in the Season after it shipped), and brought back the Reservoir Burst perk but PLUG ONE.1 and Glacioclasm can also get Reservoir Burst, and Cartesian Coordinate has better options for DPS.
- The Ascendancy Rocket Launcher brought back the Explosive Light perk, but Hothead can also get this and it has other good perk options.
And with that, let’s look at The Reckless Endangerment Pursuit Shotgun. This weapon is coming in Season 16, and introduces the new Steady Hands perk for a massive handling boost after a kill, plus Snapshot. There are several other Shotguns in the release with more sought-after PvP and PvE perks.
We’ve been talking about the difficulty of making different weapons of the same type feel unique for years at this point, and in The Witch Queen we’re doing something about it.
Every weapon that’s new or returning in The Witch Queen will have an Origin Trait determined by its source in a third trait column, including all new Legendary weapons and all returning Trials, Iron Banner, and Nightfall weapons. Origin Traits will only appear on new drops of a weapon, they won’t be retroactively added to old drops.
These traits vary in effect, but the guideline is that they either have high uptime and medium power effects or low uptime and high power.
There are 14 Origin Traits in total shipping in The Witch Queen and Season 16, and we expect to ship around three new ones each Season after Season 16 (for example, one for Season 17, one for the raid or dungeon, and one for the Seasonal event until we have one for each event).
When we refresh old weapons from a given source (for example, an existing raid or old pool of Seasonal weapons) we may create a new Origin Trait at the same time.
Here are some examples:
- Trials of Osiris: Alacrity: Gain increased reload, stability, aim assist, and range when you are the last living member of your fireteam or running solo.
- +20 reload, +20 stability, +10 aim assist, +10 range.
- “Solo” includes solo Lost Sectors and Rumble, for example.
- Nightfall Strikes: Stunning Recovery: Stunning a Champion partially refills your magazine, triggers health regeneration, and improves recovery for a short duration.
- Grants 60 health instantly, and +40 recovery for 3s.
- Crucible: One Quiet Moment: Grants increased reload speed when out of combat.
- +40 reload stat when out of combat (haven’t dealt or received damage in 4s).
- Strikes: Vanguard’s Vindication: Final blows with this weapon grant a small amount of health.
- “Small” = 7 health
- Any time it makes sense (due to the source activity), a weapon will have multiple Origin Traits selectable, for example:
- Nightfall weapons can select between Nightfall and Vanguard traits.
- Trials of Osiris weapons can select between Trials and Crucible traits.
- The Pursuit weapon can select between the Gambit, Vanguard, and Crucible traits (since it can be acquired from any of these activities).
One other case, see below.
“Guardian, there was something I wanted to tell you. What was it?” Banshee scratches his forehead. “Oh yeah, guns.”
“I was cleaning out that locker back there.” Banshee motions to a dust-caked storage container. “Found a couple things you might be interested in.”
The Exo reaches into a crate next to him and pulls out a glistening Fugue-55 Sniper Rifle. “A stack of shiny, new Suros weapons. Manufactured for the Red War by the looks of ‘em.” He peers down the sights of the rifle. “Been years since I held a new Suros. Good balance, solid craftsmanship, this is damn fine work.”
Banshee stares off wistfully, seeming to forget you’re there. His eyes snap back to you.
“What was I gonna tell you? Ah right, guns.” Banshee uncrates more weapons in mint condition. “These were earmarked for Zavala, Drifter, and Shaxx. Maybe if you’re lucky, they’ll let you play with ‘em.”
“There’s a lot more where that came from.” Banshee gestures to a whole stack of crates, swimming in a cloud of dust.
“Hand Cannons, Pulse Rifles, Omolon, Häkke, Veist: you’re gonna have a ball.”
In Season 16, we’re replacing the old World Loot Pool with 12 new weapons in the style of the Destiny 2 Year-1 foundry weapon sets, three weapons each from the Suros, Omolon, Häkke, and Veist foundries, plus one foundry weapon each for Vanguard, Gambit, and Crucible.
Pictured: A handful of weapons you’ll find in Legendary Engrams on Feb 22. Not all are pictured, mind you…
Each weapon will come with a Foundry Origin Trait themed around that foundry’s personality:
- Suros: Suros Synergy: Reloading grants this weapon bonus handling and reduces incoming flinch for a short time.
- +40 handling, 20% flinch resistance for 6s after reloading.
- Häkke: Häkke Breach Armaments: This weapon deals increased damage against vehicles, turrets, barricades, and Stasis crystals.
- “Turrets” includes Stasis Turrets. +15% to vehicles, +30% to structures and turrets.
- Omolon: Omolon Fluid Dynamics: This weapon has increased reload speed and stability for the top half of the magazine.
- Stability: max +20, reload: max +30, reduces as the magazine gets lower.
- Veist: Veist Stinger: Chance on damage to partially refill this weapon’s magazine.
In addition to the Foundry Origin Trait, each foundry weapon’s perk pools lean into that foundry’s identity – big damage for Häkke, consistency for Suros, abilities tie-ins and weird stuff for Omolon, never-stop-firing for Veist.
Pictured: Upcoming Vanguard Shotgun, Crucible Handcannon, and Gambit Auto Rifle.
Foundry weapons that drop from a source aside from the world pool can switch between the foundry trait and that source’s trait (this doesn’t imply that foundry weapons will be common outside the world pool).
For example, a roll on the new Gambit Häkke High-Impact Auto Rifle (Herod-C) might look like this:
- Corkscrew Rifling / Polygonal Rifling
- Armor-Piercing Rounds / Flared Magwell
- Perpetual Motion
- Focus Fire
- Invader Tracker (Gambit Origin Trait) / Häkke Breach Armaments (Häkke Origin Trait)
- Kill Tracker (see below)
- Range Masterwork
We know we haven’t brought back all of your favorite foundry weapon types, but don’t worry! You can expect to see weapon foundries receive new additions each season for the year following The Witch Queen, with some fun surprises thrown in later in the year.
Alright, this is where some fun begins. The rest of this section will be more of a patch notes preview feel. Lots of bullets. Not a lot of pictures. Still have that snack and water handy? Feel free to take a moment and get a refill.
- Kill Trackers were once one reason to Masterwork a weapon, but we now see no reason to gate these behind Masterworking. They’ll be present by default on all weapons that shipped in Forsaken and later (Exotic weapons prior to Forsaken will be updated in a later release).
- Yes, this means Masterworking should no longer be seen as mandatory, and we expect the +10 to a weapon stat (or +10 to primary stat, +3 to other stats for Adepts) to only matter to dedicated PvP players.
- We have no specific plans for changes to Masterworking at this stage but will revisit it later. (Note that we did discuss gating the Origin Trait behind Masterworking, but ultimately this wouldn’t have achieved the goal of weapon differentiation for non-Masterworked weapons.)
- Following in the Armor Team’s footsteps, weapon mods for Legendary weapons are now free and instant to insert.
- We believe that many pain points around Special weapons in Crucible are exacerbated by how easy it currently is to acquire Special ammo, and while we’ve touched this in the past, we’re making a further adjustment now:
- Players now only drop one Special ammo on death (or equivalent), no matter how much they were carrying (as long they weren’t completely empty).
- The maximum you can pick up off a Special brick is one for a Shotgun, Fusion Rifle, or Sniper Rifle, or equivalent for other weapons. Scavenger mods add to this as normal, but we’ll be evaluating their place in Crucible in the future.
- Players quickly found another way to execute the quickswap glitch, so we’ve fixed another animation cancel.
- The Season 15 Fusion Rifle rework had a lot of moving parts – rapid-fire, precision, and adaptive Fusions came out of this different but all quite strong, but high-impact Fusions are hurting. We’ve definitely seen all Fusion Rifle subfamilies occupy different roles and want to maintain the large differences in charge time to keep these distinct for now. So, we’re nudging damage up to make it easier for these to land kills at range in PvP and we are bumping the PvE damage scalar. That said, we’ll keep an eye on how they’re doing and may adjust charge time down a smidge in a future release.
- Increased High-Impact Fusion Rifle damage per bolt from 62 to 64 (this doesn’t seem like a lot, but it allows more rolls to cross bolts-to-kill thresholds).
- Increased High-Impact Fusion Rifle PvE damage bonus from 15 percent to 20 percent.
- We like that the crowd control capabilities of Breech Grenade Launchers in PvE have taken off, but as it stands there isn’t a meaningful tradeoff for the added utility that blinding or concussion grenades give you, and it’s unreasonable that a way to really annoy other players in PvP can also one-shot them.
- Reduced Blinding and Concussion Grenade damage by 25 percent.
- Rocket Launcher subfamilies have lacked meaningful differences for a while now, and their free tracking Precisions are flat-out better, so we’re pushing them further apart by adjusting damage. We may take a deeper look at Rocket Launchers later.
- Damage adjustment by subfamily:
- Precision: 0.95x
- High Impact: 1.0x
- Adaptive: 1.05x
- Aggressive: 1.05x
- We took a big swing at Sniper Rifle aim assist based on zoom in Beyond Light and having seen this play out are revisiting the tuning on the zoom-based AA scaling. Low-zoom snipers got more of an Aim Assist (AA) reduction than they needed, and high-zoom Snipers are getting some pretty silly headshots right now.
- Reduced variance in AA scaling between low (35 zoom) and high-zoom (60 zoom) Sniper Rifles.
- Cone angle scalar increased by ~25 percent on low zoom, reduced by ~9 percent on high zoom.
- Pulse Rifles take slightly too long to kill red bar enemies in PvE. We’re buffing their damage vs. minors by 10 percent (but if you want Exotic Pulse Rifles to feel better at this – oh boy, keep reading).
- Exotic Primary weapons and Trace Rifles aren’t sufficiently stronger than Legendaries for them to be worth bringing into hard PvE content, particularly against minors. Note that this change applies to all Exotics that use Primary ammo, and includes most secondary effects (e.g., perk-triggered explosions).
- Increased damage vs minors in PvE by 40 percent.
- Chaperone is a terror in PvP, particularly with the nerf to pellet Shotguns and the reduced frequency of grenade and melee abilities, and it outperforms some weapons that ought to be good counters to it, for example Sidearms and Submachine Guns.
- Reduced passive range buff from 2m to 0.5m.
- Duality is in a similar place to Chaperone, but it’s not quite as rangy. On the other hand, its Exotic trait shipped with the constraint that it would wipe on reload, to make it harder to chain. Having seen it in action for a while now, we don’t think that limitation needs to be there.
- Reduced passive range buff in slug mode (i.e., when aiming down sights) from 1.25m to 0.5m (pellet mode is unaffected).
- The On Black Wings damage buff no longer clears on reload.
- Tarrabah is extremely strong as it is, but it currently demands complete commitment, with no weapon switching. This constraint is a bit harsher than it needs to be, so we’ve loosened it without removing it entirely. Also, while the duration extension when damaging players did actually function in PvP, it was so subtle that players kept reporting that it was bugged, so we bumped them up.
- Now reduces perk progress by half instead of clearing it on weapon stow.
- Increased Ravenous Beast duration increases for damaging a player slightly.
- Ruinous Effigy has been overdue for a look at its Beyond Light nerf (the nerf to damage dealt while guarding), so we’re rolling that back. Note that the other part of that nerf was to the airborne standard melee attack, and this hasn’t been touched.
- Increased the damage dealt by guarding with a transmutation sphere by 66 percent (30percent against players).
- Note: Transmutation Sphere multikills now count for Orb generation armor mods (previously only kills with the beam would trigger this).
- Lumina’s stats just don’t compare with other 140 RPM Adaptive Hand Cannons, and its usage reflects that, so we’re updating these alongside some of the Legendary Hand Cannons that also used to be 150 RPM (see below).
- Increased range stat from 44 to 59.
- Increased base stability stat from 46 to 56.
- Sorry Thorn fans, Thorn is already strong and popular, and a similar buff would turn it into a monster in PvP.
- Ager’s Scepter’s initial implementation used Super regeneration scalars, which had very weird effects in activities that also had scalars, so we’ve rebuilt it to turn off regeneration while active and have implemented a slower drain using a different method.
- Fixed being able to activate or continue using empowered mode while suppressed or Stasis encased.
- Rebuilt the perk — used to modify Super charge rate, now freezes Super recharge and deducts Super directly, fixing several issues with activities that change charge rate and outliers for recharge based on Intellect stat.
- Super should now drain more slowly while empowered.
- Dead Man’s Tale feels good to use on both mouse and keyboard and controller now, and we don’t want to go back to it feeling unreliable, but it’s far too good at spamming hip-fire shots at long range as it stands.
- Reduced the catalyst’s hip-fire rate of fire from 150 RPM to 130 RPM.
- Lorentz Driver and Arbalest remain fairly hard to counter in PvP; one common complaint is how easily they can shoot through flinch. We’ll be keeping an eye on these moving forward and have another change planned if needed.
- Increased flinch received.
- Forerunner’s ammo economy was fairly conservative when we shipped 30th Anniversary but having seen how it’s used in PvP we believe it would benefit from gaining a little more ammo per Special brick.
- Increased ammo picked up from a Special ammo brick from two to three (and from four to five with a scavenger mod).
- Several Legendary weapons have out-of-band stats, either to their benefit, detriment, or a bit of both. When infusion caps were still around, this was ok because they’d cycle out eventually. But now the weapons remain viable in all activities indefinitely and the solution is to adjust outliers to be in-band (as mentioned in the Feb 2021 State of the Game).
- Hand Cannons: The band for Legendary 140 RPM Hand Cannon Aim Assist ends at 84 (and this extreme should be for a Hand Cannon from a pinnacle activity, like a raid or Trials), but when 150s were converted to 140s, many of their stats were either too low or too high. We’re adjusting the stats of these to be within the standard ranges (up or down), as follows (an overall buff in most cases):
- Dire Promise: +4 range, +3 stability, -4 aim assist.
- Waking Vigil: +6 range, +5 stability, -3 aim assist.
- Jack Queen King 3: +3 range, +3 stability, -8 aim assist.
- Spare Rations: +4 range, +4 stability, -9 aim assist.
- Felwinter’s Lie’s intrinsic perk makes it far too consistent and lethal compared to similar Shotguns, and it’s had plenty of time to shine.
- +15 percent spread angle.
- Most of Ikelos SMG’s stats are wildly out of band for an aggressive SMG, but it does suffer from having a low zoom compared to other popular options.
- +1 zoom, -5 range, -7 stability, -8 handling, -5 aim assist.
- Typically, we don’t adjust base stats on specific weapons at all post-ship, so we don’t intend to do this regularly.
- We want players to be able to choose to build into hip-firing more easily, so we’re adjusting the Hip-fire Grip perk to support this.
- Now increases damage falloff start and end distances by 20 percent (except on Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, and Fusion Rifle).
- Adagio often felt like it changed a weapon’s subfamily to the next slowest rate of fire — but worse, particularly when comparing damage falloff.
- Increased duration from 5s to 7s.
- Increased damage bonus (except on Bows and Fusion Rifles) from 25 percent to 30 percent.
- Now adds +10 range stat.
- Added a timer to the buff text to make it easier to tell when it’s going to expire.
- Dual Loader is okay on paper, but in practice that reload speed is pretty painful.
- Reduced reload stat penalty from -50 to -35.
- Danger Zone felt pretty risky to use in some cases, resulting in a lot of self-damage.
- Reduced self-damage scalar for Grenade Launchers, combined with the other scalars, this is ends up reducing self-damage from 1.25x to 0.75x.
- Tap the Trigger is the meta-breaking perk on a particular Fusion Rifle. When stacked with other elements of this roll, it makes Fusion Rifles much too stable. So much so that we stopped putting it on Fusion Rifles, and then squidface sold it a few times. With this change we believe it’s still quite a strong perk without being overpowered, so it’s likely to appear on future Fusion Rifles (note: we did try reducing stability from +40 to +20, but in playtests the difference wasn’t perceptible).
- On Fusion Rifles only:
- Reduced stability bonus from +40 to +10.
- Changed max recoil angle scale from 0.5 to 0.875.
- Changed error angle scale from 0.9 to 0.975.
- Unchanged on all other weapons.
- Headseeker didn’t work as intended on Aggressive Burst Pulse Rifles, because the buff’s duration was too short. Sacred Provenance is the only viable Pulse Rifle that benefits from this in Season 16 (although there IS such a Pulse in the Season, it doesn’t roll with Headseeker), but expect to see more in future Seasons.
- Extended buff duration from 0.17 to 0.3s
- Let’s talk about Eager Edge. It’s a lot of fun to use, but it can be used to do some mind-blowing, environment-breaking things if used in particular ways while airborne. While the tuning below isn’t meant to remove the fun factor, we have a fresh raid (and other fun content) coming with The Witch Queen and want to ensure we retain challenge behind our upcoming rewards. Breaking out of maps can be fun, indeed, but can easily remove the prestige and value of a given item or experience.
- Reduced lunge distance benefit while airborne by 25 percent.
- Now caps maximum player airborne velocity (to a fairly high value) while active.
- Occasionally we’ll shelve perks, because they’re not working for some reason (too strong or too weak). This means we won’t put them on weapons in the future unless we change the perk. In many cases we’d rather put design work into new perks than old ones, but there’s a whole “Perks” section here. Anyway, these perks are shelved (some have been shelved a while):
- Bottomless Grief and Celerity (Both were attempts to inject some uniqueness into Trials of Osiris and Nightfall weapons, which we’re now doing with Origin Traits.)
- Shield Disorient
- Air Assault (though note that this may get a redesign in a future Season)
The Near Future
- In Season 17 we’ll have a set of PvP-focused weapon changes, including:
- New ways for players to build for flinch resistance.
- Balance tuning for primary weapons (looking at you, Pulse Rifles; Lightweights in particular).
- Special weapon tuning (Snapshot feeling mandatory on Sniper Rifles in PvP, other balance changes).
- Another PvP Special ammo economy change, if needed.
- Adjusting how zoom outliers (both low and high) affect the performance of a subset of weapons (i.e., the Scope column shouldn’t be the most important thing on a weapon). This could take various forms but the intent is to bring both high and low outliers towards the average (to the overall benefit of the weapon archetype).
- We’re also adjusting several much-requested Exotics, along with Legendary perks.
Cheers to Proctor and the team for that massive info-dump. We’ll have a full roundup of patch notes on February 22 when The Witch Queen goes live. Stay tuned!
Year of the Tiger
So, we’ve covered what’s coming to Destiny with The Witch Queen and Season 16 (and beyond). What’s going on right now? Well, we have a celebration of the Lunar New Year! Some of you may have already noticed, but Eververse has been filled with some wonderful new items.
These items will be available through next Tuesday reset (February 8, 10:00 AM Pacific), so snag them if they’ve caught your eye! We also have a few items from last year available for Bright Dust if you’d like to join in on the celebration.
Prepare to Launch (A Worm)
This TWAB is long, but this train isn’t stopping yet. Our Destiny Player Support team has some important information for you, so keep on reading!
This is their report.
PRE-LAUNCH DOWNTIME AND PRE-LOAD
To prepare for the launch of The Witch Queen on February 22, Destiny 2 will undergo scheduled downtime from 7:00 PM PST (0300 UTC) on February 21 to 9:00 AM PST (1700 UTC) on February 22.
dmg04’s note: As this TWAB is running pretty long, we’ll do the math for you. That’s Fourteen hours of downtime. We hope you can use this time to get some sleep, prep some tasty food, or do whatever your heart desires before diving into The Witch Queen. With the announcement of one million Guardians already having pre-ordered, we’re also expecting a bit of a queue as things open up. Please stay tuned for additional details.
Pre-load for The Witch Queen is planned to become available on all platforms beginning at 9:00 PM PST (0500 UTC) on February 21. Stay tuned for further updates as we get closer to launch.
With the end of the Season approaching, the Shattered Realm seasonal activity has been updated to a daily rotation from a weekly rotation.
Players who wish to complete Triumphs, Seasonal Challenges, or Seals associated with the Shattered Realm should make sure to do so prior to its removal with the launch of The Witch Queen on February 22.
GM NIGHTFALL CATCHUP NODE CLARIFICATION
This past week the Next Week In Destiny login message incorrectly indicated that the Grandmaster Nightfall catchup node had just become active. The Grandmaster Nightfall catchup node has been live and is currently available for players who completed the Conqueror Seal to be able to gild their Seal.
YEAR 4 CONTENT VAULTING
With the launch of The Witch Queen on February 22, certain activities, quests, destinations, and items from Seasons 12-15 and Forsaken will become unavailable to access. For full lists of vaulted and deprecated content please see our guides below.
The following weapons will be leaving the Ritual Rewards pools with the launch of The Witch Queen on February 22:
- Trials of Osiris
- Igneous Hammer
- Sola’s Scar
- THE SWARM
- Shadow Price
- Uzume RR4
- Hung Jury SR4
- Iron Banner
- Multimach CCX
- Timeworn Spire
- Guiding Sight
- Steady Hand
Players should make sure to claim all engrams and other rewards before the new season begins. Any rewards not claimed from ritual vendors (Zavala, Shaxx, Drifter, and Saint 14) will be removed at the end of the season.
KNOWN ISSUESWhile we continue investigating various known issues, here is a list of the latest issues that were reported to us in our #Help Forum:
Weapons do not successfully attach to Phoenix Protocol when stowed.
Sam: Happy Thursday Guardians! The days are flying by but also taking forever on this road up to The Witch Queen, so this week we are staying short and sweet with our MOTW winners! First up we are sharing a precious celebration of the Chinese New Year as well as then Saint acting, well, exactly as we would expect.
Movie of the Week: Happy Chinese New Year 2022 (Tiger)
Movie of the Week: Saint has had enough.
Please don’t forget to tag us on twitter and use the hashtags #MOTW and #Destiny2Art!
Carved In Tone
Hippy: Less than a month to go, you can feel the excitement in the air – and no, that’s not just the four cups of coffee this morning. We’ve got some more art goodness from the community, this time with a wittle adorable wormie to celebrate one of our newest exotics, a cosplay that would make Crow both scared and intrigued, and – another worm, because come on. That’s just cool.
Let’s dive in!
Art of the Week: Sad Woomie
Art of the Week: Venj, Petra Venja
Art of the Week: Witch Queen PvP in a Nutshell:
Well, you’ve made it. Once again, a mega-TWAB has landed, and you’ve read every word of it. Maybe almost every word. I know some of you skip the outros.
Between now and launch, we have a few more little things to cover in TWABs but we aren’t expecting anything as long as this edition. These next few weeks will be your opportunity to rest up before the launch of our next expansion. Get some sleep, eat well, maybe even soak in some sunlight if the weather permits.
Of course, you’re going to maintain a healthy lifestyle after February 22, right? There won’t be any moments where you think I’ll do the dishes later or eh, I guess I can take the trash out next week while leveling up your brand new, freshly crafted weapons.
On a Final, Somber Note…
Before we go, we’d like to take a moment to honor one of our moderators. We received tragic news over the weekend that Seraphim Crypto, one of our German community volunteers, passed away.
Words are incredibly difficult to find here. Seraphim has been among the Destiny community since the start, pitching in to help anyone who needed an assist, or simply sitting back and relaxing among our forums to pass the time. We’d met him in person on his own home turf when visiting Germany for gamescom, and even had him come out to Seattle to help us with a Community Summit. Every exchange was positive, inspiring, and heartfelt. His love for this community was immeasurable. You could tell with every exchange how wonderful, unique, and passionate he was – and how much of an inspiration he could be, not only to us at Bungie, but to players of our worldwide community.
Thank you for everything, Seraphim. You are loved. You are missed. We hope you are able to rest well, and we are sending our love to your family.
Xiaomi 12S debuts Leica partnership and 1-inch camera sensor, but won’t launch outside of China – 9to5Google
Xiaomi today launched its latest flagship Android smartphone in the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, but this one is exclusive to the Chinese market.
The Xiaomi 12S lineup consists of three devices, the Xiaomi 12S, 12S Pro, and 12S Ultra.
All three devices share a camera partnership with Leica, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, and a high-end package overall. But each device is a bit different.
Looking at the base model, Xiaomi 12S has a 6.28-inch FHD+ display, 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and 128/256/512GB of storage. The phone is powered by a 4,500 mAh battery with wired fast-charging up to 67W and wirelessly up to 50W. The camera array consists of a 50MP primary sensor backed up by a 13MP ultrawide and 5MP telephoto lens.
Moving over to the “Pro” model, there’s a slightly larger 6.73-inch display and 4,600 mAh battery (120W wired, 50W wireless), and also includes a camera upgrade. There are three 50MP sensors for standard, ultrawide, and telephoto focal lengths. Both phones also have a 32MP selfie camera.
Both also carry co-branding from Leica, an established camera brand that previously lent its name to Huawei. Xiaomi says the cameras on these phones were “co-engineered” with Leica.
The display also jumps up to an LPTO AMOLED panel at 120Hz, in contrast to the standard 120Hz AMOLED on the lower model.
But the real point of attraction here is with the flagship Xiaomi 12S Ultra. This top-tier smartphone is focused primarily on being the ultimate piece of mobile camera hardware.
Alongside the core specs – Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, 8/12GB RAM, 256/512GB storage, 6.73-inch QHD+ AMOLED display, 67W charging, IP68 water-resistant – Xiaomi is using Sony’s IMX989 50.3MP camera sensor which is a huge 1-inch sensor. Sony just announced the IMX989 last month, and it’s one of the biggest camera sensors for mobile devices ever produced. Of course, it’s not the first either, as we’ve seen 1-inch sensors in a few previous devices. The big benefit to such a large physical sensor is better bokeh and light capture. Results will typically look closer to what a traditional point-and-shoot camera is capable of – Sony itself uses a 1-inch sensor in its RX100 series.
Lecia steps in to bolster the sensor with the 8P element lens and its coating. There are also special “Leica Authentic Look” and “Leica Vibrant Look” options in the software.
Beyond that primary sensor, though, Xiaomi 12S Ultra also packs a 48MP periscope telephoto lens and a 48MP sensor used for ultrawide shots.
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is also the first Android phone to support Dolby Vision HDR recording with 10-bit h.265 videos that can be captured in HLG.
All three devices ship with Android 12 and Xiaomi’s MIUI 13.
The real catch here for folks outside of China, though, is that Xiaomi has no plans to launch the phone globally. Xiaomi usually launches an international version of its flagship smartphones for Europe and other parts of Asia, but that won’t be the case this time around, as Richard Lei of Engadget China reports.
Pricing for the Xiaomi 12S family starts at CNY 4,000 for the 12S, CNY 4,700 for the Pro, and CNY 5,999 for the Ultra.
More on Xiaomi:
Asus ROG Phone 6, 6 Pro Gaming Phones Take Samsung's OLED to a 165Hz Refresh Rate – CNET
Asus debuted two new gaming phones Tuesday, the ROG Phone 6 and ROG Phone 6 Pro, which feature the newest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor and a Samsung AMOLED display capable of running at a 165Hz refresh rate. Alongside the phones, the AeroActive Cooling 6 accessory that clips onto the line claims to both reduce temperatures by up to 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees F) from the back of the phone while including tactile shoulder buttons.
Both phones also include a 6,000-mAh battery with 65-watt charging, and additional sensors that add gaming controls through the phone’s gyroscope as well as along the phone’s corners. They also each include a 50-megapixel main camera, 13-megapixel ultrawide camera and 5-megapixel macro camera. Both phones also include a 12-megapixel front camera.
The main differences between the standard 6 and the 6 Pro come with its storage and memory options: The 6 starts with 256GB of storage with models that include 8GB and 12GB of RAM, while the 6 Pro includes 512GB of storage and 18GB of RAM. The Pro also has a second display on the back that can show notifications, system information and animations. The 6 instead gets a LED logo that can be customized to light up for different situations.
These are all specs that — like other gaming phones — are meant to prioritize power and performance in order to get the most out of Android games. The battery in particular is especially notable and its 6,000mAH capacity matches last year’s. That phone has one of the longest battery lives that we’ve seen on an Android phone, according to CNET reviewer Patrick Holland, and was accomplished through two 3,000-mAh batteries. Last year’s phone also had a very fast 144Hz screen though, and this year’s even faster 165Hz screen might affect how quickly it burns through a charge.
Having that 165Hz screen should also make animations extremely smooth, especially for games that are capable of supporting that threshold. I found during my review of the, which also has a 165Hz refresh rate, that only some Android games support that right now since most phones cap out at a 120Hz refresh rate. For most people, 120Hz is plenty smooth enough, but for the gaming crowd this phone is targeted toward, 165Hz does bring out a bit more precision in what you can see.
Release dates aren’t yet available, but both phones are set to first arrive in Europe at 999 euros (roughly $1,024; £858; AU$1,510) for the 6 and 1,299 euros for the Pro. This puts them well into flagship territory in terms of pricing, and an uptick over last year’s ROG Phone 5, which started at 799 euros.
While we would need to wait for a hands-on with the phone in order to check out the Snapdragon chip in the phone, this latest chip along with the higher refresh-rate display on a Samsung-made display are intriguing as they both could eventually end up in more mainstream phones down the line.
The Morning After: Xiaomi's flagship phone has a Leica camera with a massive one-inch sensor – Yahoo Canada Finance
Just six months after its last flagship launch, Xiaomi has announced another one. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra packs a massive one-inch, 50.3-megapixel Sony IMX989 main sensor. And unlike the , the Xiaomi 12S Ultra apparently uses the entirety of its one-inch sensor. And the camera unit itself? Well, it looks gigantic.
Inside, there’s a Leica Summicron 1:1.9-4.1 / 13-120 ASPH camera system that combines three rear cameras: a 50.3-megapixel main camera (23mm, f/1.9), along with the 48-megapixel ultra-wide camera (13mm, f/2.2) and the 48-megapixel periscopic camera (120mm, f/4.1). Both 48-megapixel cameras use a half-inch Sony IMX586 sensor. The circular camera island (continent?) has a special coating to mitigate lens glare and improve image consistency. Oh, and there’s a 23K gold rim as well. Because excess.
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is now available for pre-ordering in China, ahead of retail launch on July 6th. The 12S Ultra starts at 5,999 yuan (around $900).
Leica has spread its bets over the years in mobile imaging partnerships. It has previously collaborated with , and — Chinese phone makers are quick to pal up with renowned photography brands. In late 2020, Vivo joined forces with Zeiss, while Oppo and OnePlus released handsets jointly developed with Hasselblad.
The result has, broadly, meant better smartphone cameras from these companies looking to go toe-to-toe with the iPhones and Galaxy Ss of this world.
— Mat Smith
The biggest stories you might have missed
A sample of the data included crime reports going back to 1995.
A hacker (or group of hackers) claims to have stolen data on a billion Chinese citizens from a Shanghai police database. The hacker is attempting to sell 23 terabytes of data for 10 bitcoin, worth just over $198,000 at the time of writing. The data includes names, addresses, birthplaces, national IDs and phone numbers. The Wall Street Journal reports the hacker provided a sample of the data, which included crime reports dating as far back as 1995.
Amazon starts making deliveries by e-bike and on foot in London
It’s opening several hubs across the UK to replace some van trips.
Amazon UK is now delivering packages by cargo e-bike and on foot as it progresses toward its climate goals. The company has opened a micro mobility hub in Hackney, central London, and says the walkers and e-bike riders will make more than a million deliveries a year. It claims those trips will replace thousands of van deliveries. The e-bikes and on-foot couriers will deliver across more than a tenth of the city’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ).
HBO Max halts original productions across large parts of Europe
Part of cost-cutting measures following its split from AT&T.
HBO Max is halting original productions across much of Europe, according to Variety. The streaming service confirmed it’ll no longer produce originals in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Central Europe, the Netherlands and Turkey, leaving only Spain and France untouched. The step is part of a plan from parent Warner Bros. Discovery to cut some $3 billion in costs following its .
The CubeSat is critical to the first Artemis mission.
NASA’s grand plan to take humans back to the Moon for the first time in over half a century has taken another step forward. The 55-pound CAPSTONE (Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment) CubeSat has broken free of Earth’s orbit and is on its way to the Moon. Rocket Lab launched CAPSTONE on an Electron rocket last week. Following six days of orbit-raising burns to build up enough speed, the pathfinding satellite set out toward the Moon. It’s a slow trip. It won’t reach the Moon until November.
NASA: Contact lost with spacecraft on way to test moon orbit – Hamilton Spectator
Investing 101: What's the best strategy for investing? – The Globe and Mail
Boris Johnson Is in Trouble But the British Economy Will Do Better Than Most. – Bloomberg
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
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