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Destiny 2 Shadowkeep roadmap and update 2.5.2.3: new raid, dungeon, and weapon balancing

(Image credit: Bungie)

Perhaps it's related to Bungie's newfound independent status, but this year the Seattle studio has been more communicative than ever with Destiny 2's playerbase. Key to the information flow is the Destiny 2 roadmap, which Bungie just updated to reflect the next three months after Shadowkeep releases October 1.

The DLC will bring new exotics, a fresh raid (called Garden of Salvation, launching 5 October), and the new armor 2.0 system. It also marks the beginning of another year of content, though this time expansions can be bought a la carte. At the same time Bungie will also release Destiny 2 New Light, the free-to-play version of the game which contains all the content released in its first year.

The delay to Shadowkeep from its original September 17 release date means that players will have a little longer to get their guardians (and, crucially, vaults) in order. Here we breakdown what's coming in the intervening week's, and take a look at the patch notes from the most recent update: 2.5.2.3. For older patches, read on to the next page.

Destiny 2 Shadowkeep update roadmap

(Image credit: Bungie)

The new season pass lays out the next three months of new content in Destiny 2 and the new Season of the Undying. Content is divided by what you get for owning Shadowkeep, the Season of the Undying Pass, and updates free to all players.

October 5 marks the launch of the new raid and the Vex Offensive, which appears to be the new equivalent of the forges or Menagerie in terms of being the activity most players will be grinding for gear. Excitingly, a new dungeon hits on October 29—and if it's anywhere near as good as the Shattered Throne, we're in for a treat—alongside a new PvP mode called Momentum Control. 

There will also be two new exotic quests: the Leviathan's Breath (Originally announced for October 8 but now slated for October 22) and Xenophage (October 29). The latter was originally listed as "Divinity" but has since been swapped for "Xenophage" in the latest roadmap.

The latest update to the roadmap also has the Nightmare Hunts split out on three separate dates (Hero and Legend Nightmare Hunts previous shared a date) The new dates, in the roadmap image above are:

  • Hero Nightmare Hunts: October 8th
  • Legend Nightmare Hunts: October 15
  • Master Nightmare Hunts: October 22

You can see all the Shadowkeep exotics leaked so far here

Shadowkeep sandbox patch preview: weapons

(Image credit: Bungie)

Bungie is fine-tuning weapons in preparation for Shadowkeep. While it may appear that almost every weapon is getting a huge buff against minor PvE enemies, the damage increases listed below are somewhat counteracted by a change to precision damage on minor enemies. Nonetheless, scout Rifles, snipers and sidearms will all see enhanced damage post-Shadowkeep in PvE, whilst LMGs, Pulse Rifles and Hand Cannons are having their effective ranges reined in somewhat. Amazingly, the Recluse SMG isn't being touched. It's the pinnacle reward from the current Crucible season, and does absolutely nutty damage. Our guess is that Bungie will make a change after the new stuff goes live but doesn't want to anger the player base in the build-up to the expansion.

Here's a breakdown of all the changes, beginning with that crucial change to how crit damage works:

Combatant - General

  • Minor enemies (Rank-and-File) no longer take more precision damage than other enemies.
  • These enemies previously took twice as much damage to their precision hit locations than enemies of higher ranks.
  • You will still deal precision damage, but this is now entirely dependent on the weapon, as it is for higher ranked enemies.

Weapon changes - General

Weapon mods are now treated as reusable unlocks instead of consumables. Any mods you have in your inventory will be converted to unlocks.

  • This gives players the opportunity to play with different mods more frequently
  • If the only copy of a mod you have is already in a gun, you will need to reacquire one to unlock it

Auto Rifles

  • PvE damage increased between +30% and +25% depending on combatant rank

Bows

  • PvE damage increased by +31% against minor enemies, and +26% against major enemies
  • Fixed an issue where bow draw times were displayed incorrectly in the inspection screen

Hand Cannons

  • PvE damage against minor enemies increased by 30%
  • Lightweight and Adaptive hand cannons use a new firing animation while aiming down sights
  • This change was made to increase weapon accuracy when firing these weapons as fast as possible
  • Ex: Currently, players can shoot faster than the recoil animation of 140/150 archetypes – so while the hand cannon looks to have fully reset from recoil, the following projectile will be shot as if the weapon was still in a recoiled state.
  • Reduced the effect the range stat has on damage range falloff (effective range) for this weapon archetype

Machine Guns

  • PvE damage against minor enemies increased by 25%
  • Increased the effects of damage range falloff on this weapon archetype

Pulse Rifles

  • PvE damage against minor enemies increased by 28%
  • Increased the effects of damage range falloff on this weapon archetype.
  • Archetype specific damage changes (impacts both PvE and PvP gameplay)
  • Rapid-Fire Pulse Rifles now deal 14/23.8 base/precision damage (Previously 13/21.4)
  • High Impact Pulse Rifles now deal 21/33.6 base/precision damage (Previously 20/32)

Scout Rifles

  • PvE damage increased between +36% and +18% depending on combatant rank

Sidearms

  • PvE damage increased to minor and major combatants by 16%

Sniper Rifles

  • PvE damage increased by +47% against minor enemies, +20% for others
  • Exotic sniper rifle perk damage bonuses have been modified to compensate for this change and they will not receive the full benefits as a result

Submachine Guns

  • PvE damage increased by 22.5% against minor/major combatants
  • Aggressive Frame
  • Removed the intrinsic effect of "Deals bonus damage at close range."
  • This bonus was 10%, but was unintentionally always active
  • The bonus damage has been moved to the base damage for 750 RPM Submachineguns, resulting in no damage change
  • As a result, Tarrabah and The Huckleberry gain 10% damage in both PvE and PvP

Exotics

Sweet Business

  • Increased magazine size from 100 to 150.
  • Increased PvE damage by 15%.
  • High Caliber rounds have been replaced with Armor Piercing rounds.
  • Damage changed to 15/21.2 base/precision (Previously 13.21/21.14)
  • This weapon no longer requires you to be firing when you pick up ammo to have it automatically reload.

Graviton Lance

  • PvE damage increased by 30%

Sunshot

  • Increased magazine size to 12

Vigilance Wing

  • PvE damage increased by 25%

Crimson

  • Damage changed to 19/30.5 base/precision (Previously 13.76/24.75)
  • Fixed an issue that was causing this weapon to deal higher flinch than intended

Merciless

  • Fixed the missing aim assist stat for this weapon

Ace of Spades

  • Memento Mori's damage bonus is now affected by range falloff

Lumina

  • Noble Rounds should apply their buff to allies more reliably now

The Colony

  • "Serve the Colony" now functions as Auto Loading Holster does

Perks

Subsistence: Reduced the impact of this perk on total reserves

Ricochet Rounds: Removed the hidden bonus to damage falloff

Swashbuckler: Perk now activates when getting a kill with Ball Lightning

Grave Robber: Perk now activates when getting a kill with ranged melee abilities (ie: Ball Lightning, Explosive Knife)

One-Two Punch: Reduced the effectiveness of stacking One-Two Punch and Cross Counter (Liar's Handshake)
Ex: Players won’t be able to defeat Riven in less than three seconds after Shadowkeep launches using the combo of One-Two Punch and Liar's Handshake, but we know many of you will try other builds… and potentially even succeed. 

Destiny 2 Hotfix 2.5.2.3

General

  • Annual Pass content is now available to all Forsaken players of Destiny 2
  • All negative modifiers have been removed from the Reckoning

The next hotfix patch will address issues players are having with enabling Cross Save and brings yet another quality-of-life update to the Reckoning mode. Negative modifiers are out. Here's what Bungie has to say about the change:

"Starting on September 17, all negative modifiers will be removed from Reckoning. This activity will continue to feature a weekly singe, with a daily rotation of Brawler, Grenadier, and Heavyweight. Our goal in this change is to improve the replay-ability of Reckoning, so players will feel more inclined to hop in to matchmaking for some sweet loot. This should also help to address some feedback items from players that specific modifiers could feel too punishing (We’re looking at you, Blackout Darkblades)."