With Bungie now stepping in to fulfill the role of publisher, many are wondering what the future holds for Destiny as a series. The studio’s decision to cut ties with Activision appears to be for the best, as Destiny 2 is now well on its way to becoming the kind of first-person shooter MMO fans have envisioned for year.
Aside from the upcoming Shadowkeep expansion, Bungie has been busy preparing for the release of Destiny 2: New Light, a free-to-play version of the game that includes all Year One content. While the studio hasn’t been shy in sharing details regarding New Light, its unconventional structuring has led to some confusion about what specific content players will be able to access for free.
Here, we’ll be breaking down everything currently known about Destiny 2: New Light and what returning players can expect. Make sure to check back as we’ll be updating this story following any announcements from Bungie.
When is Destiny 2: New Light releasing?
Destiny 2: New Light will release on October 1st, 2019, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC as a Steam exclusive. Bungie has stated that the game will not require a separate download and any previously purchased Destiny 2 content will transfer over to the new version.
New Light was originally scheduled to release on September 17, along with Shadowkeep. Bungie says the delay will give them extra time to optimize both the expansion and New Light before players jump in.
What’s included in New Light?
Players accessing New Light’s content for the first time will be transported to a remastered version of the opening mission from Destiny 1, in which players awaken in the Cosmodrome on Earth before finding a ship and making their way to the Tower.
Once players arrive at the hub area, they’ll be instantly boosted to a starting Power level of 750. Additionally, it’s at this point that players will be able to go off on their own and experience a variety of content, including:
- The Red War main story campaign
- Curse of Osiris expansion
- Warmind expansion
- Leviathan Raid
- Eater of Worlds Raid Lair
- Spire of Stars Raid Lair
- Black Armory Forges
- The Menagerie
- Strikes playlists
- Crucible playlists
- Gambit and Gambit Prime playlists
- Free roam on all destinations (including the Moon featured in Shadowkeep)
- All Year 1 exotics
- Some Year 2 exotics (Thunderlord, Arbalest, Outbreak Perfected, and Bad Juju)
- Ranks and rewards from Seasonal Events
Players will have to purchase Forsaken and/or Shadowkeep if they want to gain access to all of the following Year 2 content:
- Forsaken campaign
- Forsaken subclasses
- Last Wish Raid
- Scourge of the Past Raid
- All Year Two Exotic quests
- Shadowkeep campaign
What are the new features in New Light?
New Light appears to be a great entry point for both fresh players experiencing the game for the first time, as well as anyone who stopped playing before Forsaken. There have been a number of QoL improvements since Year One, with many more planned to coincide with the release of New Light and Shadowkeep.
A new revamped armor system, which Bungie is calling “Armor 2.0”, will allow players to customize their existing armor with useful perks, instead of the current set-up which forces players to pick between aesthetics and functionality. This will make it possible to create Min/Max builds tailored for specific activities such as PvP, raids, etc.
While details are scarce, it appears players will be able to insert different perks into each piece of armor, with an energy cost for equipping perks. It’s unknown whether or not players will be able to upgrade the energy capacity on individual pieces of armor. Additionally, Intellect, Discipline, and Strength stats will be returning to armor alongside Mobility, Resilience, and Recovery.
New Finishing Moves see your character performing flashy executions on enemies who are close to dying. We’ve seen Bungie explore Finishing Moves before in Halo: Reach, so it’ll be interesting to see how the system meshes with Destiny 2’s existing combat. Lastly, each character class will have at least one exclusive Finishing Move, and its likely players will be able to purchase additional Finishers via the Eververse store.
Artifacts, special equipment that grant players additional unique abilities, will be making a return; however, they’ll serve a completely different purpose than they did in The Taken King expansion.
They’re now seasonal items with a skill tree that can be upgraded to unlock more perks, with the benefits only lasting until the end of each Artifact’s respective season. The Artifact for Shadowkeep and the Season of the Undying is the Eye of the Gate Lord, which appears to be the same eye players took from Zydron in Destiny 1. It’s unknown which perks are included and how players will unlock additional slots.
Now that Bungie has parted ways with Activision, they plan on adding a highly-requested feature: cross-saves. Not to be mistaken with cross-play, cross-save allows you to transfer a character’s stats and progress between multiple platforms.
While you won’t be able to play with your Xbox buddies on a PS4, this new feature is a welcome addition for players who play Destiny on multiple devices. If you would like to learn more about cross-save and setting it up, check out our useful Destiny 2 cross-save guide for step-by-step instructions.
The final word on Destiny 2: New Light
I think many would agree that Destiny 2 and Bungie are much better off without Activision, whose added pressure has led to a series of rushed expansions and bad decisions, such as the controversial XP cap discovered by players.
While there’s still a lot of room for improvement, offering players a solid entry point into Destiny 2’s world at zero cost seems like a step in the right direction. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how Bungie handles the transition into a solely independent developer/publisher and keeping you updated as New Light’s October 1 launch date draws closer.