Season of Arrivals is well underway, but Bungie has already laid out plans for another three years of Destiny 2 expansions, the most imminent of which is Destiny 2: Beyond Light. That will be followed in 2021 by The Witch Queen, and then Lightfall (name TBC) will arrive in 2022. Together, those three expansions will trace a story arc that details the climactic fight between The Traveler and The Darkness, with us Guardians stuck in the middle, slinging space magic around.
Here’s everything you need to know about Destiny 2: Beyond Light, including the release date on PC and where you'll be going.
When is Destiny 2: Beyond Light's release date?
Destiny 2: Beyond Light will release at the end of Season of Arrivals on September 22nd 2020.
What is Destiny 2: Beyond Light?
Destiny 2: Beyond Light is Destiny 2’s third major expansion, after Forsaken and Shadowkeep. Unlike the 'seasons' which drop four times a year, and use a battle pass model, expansions offer a far larger serving of content.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light will also mark the start of Year 4 and all the changes that will come with it, including the start of Season 12 and some older content, including several planetary destinations, being removed from the game and placed in the Destiny Content Vault. Catchy!
What’s new in Destiny 2: Beyond Light?
Bungie is notoriously secretive, but there are still plenty of details to be gleaned from what's been released about Beyond Light so far. Eagle-eyed fans have picked apart every millisecond of the trailer, and thanks to a mix or pre-order bonuses, charity stream reveals and developer teases, there's already plenty to look forward to.
The first, and most important part of the expansion, is the introduction of the new explorable location: Europa. This snowy wasteland is one of the moons of Jupiter and is the birthplace of the android 'Exo' race. The location has been teased throughout Destiny lore and concept art. Now we finally get to explore it.
In addition to Europa, Bungie is going to begin cycling in locations from Destiny 1 to replace outgoing content. It was stated that some time in Year 4 both the Vault of Glass raid on Venus and the Cosmodrome area of Old Russia on Earth will be updated and slotted into Destiny 2's Director (ie map of the Solar System). Note that Bungie said that not all of the original Cosmodrome will be explorable initially, but updates will add the missing areas. Perhaps that means we will also get the Siva-infected section known as the Plaguelands, which was included in Destiny 1's Rise of Iron expansion.
Interestingly, dispensing with some planets means that the original Destiny campaign (called The Red War), will no longer function coherently, so is seemingly being dropped. Instead, Bungie plans to use the Cosmodrome area to onboard New Light players—i.e. those picking up the F2P part of the game for the first time.
We also know that the return of the Cosmodrome will mean the reprise of its old Strikes from Destiny 1, starting with The Devil's Lair, but later including Fallen S.A.B.E.R. and The Will of Crota.
Most excitingly, the series is also getting its first new damage element. Stasis joins Solar, Arc and Void as the fourth elemental type, and will appear on weapons and as an entirely new subclass. From what we've glimpsed so far it appears to have a freeze-and-shatter type effect. In keeping with the current storyline, which sees Guardians encountering the Pyramid ships for the first time, Stasis will enable players to wield the power of The Darkness (as opposed to The Light) for the first time. Game Director Luke Smith also told DrLupo that the Stasis subclass tree will be more customisable than current offerings, which will delight players who've felt trapped into certain play styles previously.
As you'd expect from a big Fall expansion, there are a heap of new exotic weapons being added with Destiny 2: Beyond Light. The first of which, No Time to Explain, is a returning pulse rifle for all of those that pre-order Beyond Light.
Next up is Hawkmoon, which was confirmed by Luke Smith in a recent charity stream. If you ever played Destiny, you’ll know the unbelievable stopping power of Hawkmoon and its uniquely unreliable damage output thanks to a perk called Luck in the Chamber, which added additional damage to bullets in the gun’s clip randomly. However, Smith already confirmed that due to the salt that one-shot kills from those RNG bullets caused in PvP, the weapon will be reworked to focus on a different random effect.
There’s also a new, very vibrant red and blue shotgun-like weapon that was showcased during the stream. Not much is known about this new weapon yet, but it was important enough that Bungie decided to give us a sneak peak at its frame, so colour us intrigued. Beyond Light should also mark the moment when Gambit and Gambit Prime are merged into a single mode. You can expect a ton more reveals in the coming weeks and months, and we'll be keeping this page updated with whatever gets confirmed.
What are we losing in Destiny 2: Beyond Light?
With Beyond Light Bungie will start retiring content it feels is no longer relevant or does not see much play. Where is this content going? The Destiny Content Vault. It's a sort of cryosleep where both Destiny and Destiny 2 content resides until it is called upon again. It’s kinda like when Michael Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls for the first time; there will be a great sense of loss followed by countless months of agonising over a possible return. Yes, I have just watched The Last Dance.
What exactly is leaving? Well, all the equipment (excluding exotics and some Raid gear) from Season 9 backwards will have a maximum Power Level imposed—a process known as 'sunsetting', designed to encourage players to chase new gear by making the old stuff no longer viable in endgame content. Also leaving are all the raids other than Last Wish and Garden of Salvation (though we will have a new one on Europa, set inside the Deep Stone Crypt, where the Exos are created). Most substantially, Mars, Mercury, Titan, the Leviathan, and Io (along with their associated quests and activities) will all be vaulted and removed from the Director map. Bungie has said that it will introduce new ways to acquire the exotic weapons, such as Rat King and Sleeper Simulant, which are currently tied to departing destinations.
What does Destiny 2: Beyond Light mean for Destiny 2’s Story?
Uh, this is a difficult one. At the very least we know that Eramis is involved. The last we heard of Eramis was when she failed to capture the Outbreak Perfected pulse rifle. After that, she was believed to have fled to Europa with her house of Fallen supporters to harness the power of the Darkness.
It could be assumed that the main focus of Destiny 2: Beyond Light will be to venture forth to Europa and fight Eramis and her Darkness infused Fallen—not to be confused with Taken Fallen, those are different. During this fight we could ourselves learn of the power held within the Darkness and harness it.
Our predictions for Destiny 2: Beyond Light
Well, you're definitely going to start a quest and then be forced to complete some mundane weekly bounty you’ve played since inception, as is very much the tradition. You’ll also need to wait a few weeks before getting a chance to complete an ambiguous quest for an exotic you absolutely did see in the first trailer. Again, as is tradition. There’s definitely going to be new armour too, in fact we have already seen the latest Titan Helm which is, unfortunately, a console exclusive.
pic.twitter.com/oeP9oNbkU2June 11, 2020
Here's what we can say with some confidence: Destiny 2's fall expansions are usually rock solid (certainly in contrast to the more patchy seasonal model), and by announcing three of these major expansions in one go, Bungie has effectively served noticed that there will be no Destiny 3 in the foreseeable future. The series success depends on how concepts like the content vault and gear sunsetting merge with the multi-year narrative which the dev team is attempting. Based on past experiences, there will be some major bumps along that road in terms of community satisfaction, but the game will continue to be a uniquely compelling grind for those of us who love doming aliens with really cool space guns.