With less than a week left to go on Season of the Lost, Destiny 2 players are getting ready for the debut of its latest premium expansion, The Witch Queen. There is plenty to be excited for in this new expansion: a brand new campaign in a brand new zone packed with new missions and activities. In addition to a new big bad, there are new enemy types to rage against. Not to mention this is the expansion that will introduce a weapon-crafting system. But while veteran players are more than ready to go, newcomers and lapsed players might be a little lost as to the big shifts that have happened throughout the past year as well as the big deal behind this new content. Thankfully, we are here to help.
Destiny 2: The Road to Witch Queen – What To Do To to Prepare?
First, we will briefly mention what activities to handle since content will be vaulted going forward. If you haven't already, play through the campaign of Forsaken. It should be free right now for all players, and it is a major storyline that has had long-term ramifications for the story going forward.
In addition, the location of The Tangled Shore will be leaving. Aside from a handful of Strikes and the Forsaken campaign itself, there is very little to look here for completionist's sake. The closest thing I can think of are completing Master and Legend Lost Sectors that pop up, but that is closer to endgame content.
As for activities, unfortunately a lot of the rewards packed into some of them have been on a weekly rotation. You could always check out the Presage or Harbinger missions to see how they inform the character of Crow going forward, and perhaps get some clues as to the titular Witch Queen's big plan. In addition, it will be your last chance to get random perk rolls for two exotic weapons: The Hawkmoon and the Dead Man's Tale. However, if you want to get the Exotic Ship, Radiant Occipter, or the Gilgamesh Exotic Ghost Shell, unless you've been playing these activities for a while, you're out of luck.
However, as of right now, all of Season of the Lost's major content is available and can be completed in time for some rewards. The three Shattered Realms have switched from a weekly rotation to a daily rotation, and the seasonal activity, Astral Alignment, is still actively being played by the community. It will be a grind, but it's entirely possible to get the Realmwalker title before everything is said and done.
This is important to get on because once The Witch Queen goes live, these seasonal activities will be getting vaulted as well. In short, play Forsaken's campaign, go through Harbinger and Presage for some neat exotics, and if you want a victory lap, go for the Realmwalker title for Season of the Lost.
Destiny 2: The Road to Witch Queen – What Has Happened So Far?
Simply put, a lot has happened since the major events of Beyond Light. The Hive have been waging a war on two fronts between the Guardians and The Cabal. This resulted in the conquest of the Cabal homeworld and a disruption in their ranks. Thankfully, through the aid of a new Hunter, Crow, we managed to prevent the Hive War God, Xivu Arath from getting a foothold in our backyard with her Wrathborn generals.
This lead to the new Cabal Empress, Caiatl, requesting an alliance with the Guardians of Earth. This resulted in some prolonged weeks of aggressive negotiation and ritual combat, which resulted in two major twists. First, a failed assassination attempt on Commander Zavala revealed that a splinter group of Cabal have been working on special weapons to shut down a Guardian's Light, the powerful space magic that gives them their unique abilities. Second, it has secured Caiatl and her people as allies of Earth.
These rising alliances continued with Saint-14 and Fallen Captain Mithrax. Mithrax and his refugee group of Fallen, The House of Light, seek shelter and protection from the Vanguard in exchange for aid. And after a failed coup attempt led to an attack on the City by the Vex, Mithrax and his people earned their place, with the coup's conspirators being banished from Earth. This is why Fallen are wandering around the Tower and why New Monarchy, Future War Cult, and Dead Orbit have taken off.
Then, there is Osiris. The legendary Warlock that took off before the events of Beyond Light attempting to understand the nature of The Darkness. He returned at the start of the last premium expansion and has helped give counsel to the Vanguard throughout all of the events mentioned above, albeit in a more supporting capacity since his Ghost, the floating robot things that help Guardians respawn, has been destroyed. Except that, as was revealed at the start of Season of the Lost, that actually wasn't Osiris. In fact, it has been the Hive God of Cunning, Savathûn, the Witch Queen herself, controlling his body. This was revealed in a standoff between Savathûn, Queen Mara Sov of The Reef, Osiris' romantic partner Saint-14, and the Vanguard.
Thanks to some powerful ritual magic, Mara Sov was able to seal Savathûn away in a crystal, leading to an intense stand-off of negotiations. What this amounted to was Savathûn wanting Mara to exorcise her Hive Worm, the quasi-parasitic creatures that give the Hive Gods their expansive power and knowledge, in exchange for Osiris. After five months of preparing this ritual, including diving deep into pocket dimensions and darker layers of reality to rescue Mara Sov's assistants, the ritual went underway. While some resistance came from the Hive War God Xivu Arath trying to disrupt this ritual, it's not entirely clear why she's turning against one of her own at this time, things went off mostly as planned. The crystal holding Savathûn broke apart, her Worm having been extracted and in Mara Sov's possession. But before Mara could attempt to kill Savathûn in her weakened state, the Hive God pulled off one last trick, blinking herself away to somewhere unknown and leaving Osiris in her place.
While scans and tests have been done to confirm that this is the real Osiris, the ramifications of what we have done for Savathûn have yet to be revealed. No major world events have triggered, no dramatic lead in to the newest expansion has occurred. The closest players have found is a player emblem yet to be rewarded simply titled "Invitation."
Destiny 2: The Road to Witch Queen – Who is Savathûn?
The biggest reason why Destiny 2 players are excited about this expansion above all is because it marks the very first on-screen appearance of Savathûn. Unlike other major antagonists that have been built up before, this Hive God has been working behind the scenes going back to Destiny 1. She was the mastermind behind at least two of the game's Strikes back in vanilla Destiny 2, helped kick off the events of the Shadowkeep expansion, and through about two degrees of separation was the one pulling the strings behind the scenes in Forsaken. Much like a comic book supervillain, the random chaos has actually been all a part of some convoluted scheme this entire time, all by her design.
In terms of the world, this means that Savathûn has, in no particular order: learned to rip the Light out of Guardians and use it as a power source for Hive magic, manipulated an entire faction of the Hive to erect a tower on the Moon causing an invasion of living Nightmares, spent an entire year turning the Vanguard's leaders against one another right under their noses, and compelled a reality-warping space dragon to manipulate Uldren Sov to kill Cayde-6, kicking off a series of events leading to the Dreaming City being trapped in a perpetual time loop prison. There's a reason why players in the know have been on edge the entire time she was imprisoned during Season of the Lost; they know what she is capable of.
For those who have been playing since the original Destiny may also know that Savathûn is the sister to Oryx, the major antagonist of the 2015 expansion The Taken King. This was a pivotal expansion in the lifecycle of Destiny since it gave players something the original vanilla release sorely lacked: a recognizable central antagonist. In that regard, Oryx delivered with the introduction of the enemy faction of the Taken, deepened the lore with the Hive having arguably the strongest ties to The Darkness, and gave players some of the most iconic Raids and setpiece battles to date. Because of this association, players have high expectations for this more conniving Hive God now taking center stage.
The Witch Queen expansion is framed as the culmination of all of Savathûn's plots and schemes. As the promotional material has shown, she has somehow taken the Light for herself and used it to create her own Hive Guardians, turning the powers and tactics that Guardians have been familiar with for years against them. It's also why the trailers and ViDocs so far have framed the campaign as a fast-paced mystery thriller. Why is she doing this? Is there another layer to this scheme? No one really knows what her endgame is in all of this, but based on what she has done in the past, it will not be small or trivial.
Hopefully, this helps you get a better idea of what you are in for with Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, the current status quo and key players, as well as the key big bad. The latest premium expansion will go live Feb. 22.