Last Updated on February 18, 2022
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen launches on February 22nd, 2022. The goal of this article is to offer advice on how to prepare: either as a casual player, a hardcore player or somewhere in between.
Per the 2/3/22 This Week at Bungie, Destiny 2 will go offline on February 21st at 1900 PST (0300 UTC) and will stay down for 14 hours, 0900 PST 1700UST, leading up to the launch of The Witch Queen. For those of you, like myself, that request off work for major expansion releases, my advice is to request off Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and to go ahead and work on Tuesday. I’ve yet to go into a major expansion without a queue list and/or server issues. Bungie announced via Twitter that The Witch Queen has officially broken 1 million pre-orders, so I imagine it’s safe to assume that the servers will be tested.
I think it’s very important to preface the rest of this article by saying that literally absolutely zero of the following will be necessary. This is actually a great time to start or come back to Destiny. The Power Floor is being raised to a number above the current pinnacle cap, meaning that everybody starts out on the same level. Also, the new weapon crafting system will essentially render most of the Destiny veteran’s current arsenal of weapons much less likely to be used, as it appears that the new system will allow us to upgrade new and returning weapons with the perks/magazines/barrels/sites of our choice.
The following is more aimed towards people who want a head start to be ready to compete in the Day One Raid Race and be ready for when GrandMaster Nightfalls and the Master difficulty version of the raid begins. Without getting too into the proverbial weeds, you typically need to be season pass level 225 and at pinnacle, cap to be acceptable for the above-mentioned content.
Claim Everything in Current Season Pass
First thing I recommend is to go through your current season pass and claim anything in it (be sure to check all 3 characters), prior to Destiny 2 going offline on 2/21/22. This can easily be accomplished on Bungie’s website. You can also go back one season and claim from that season pass from the same website. Keep in mind, Bungie states that any unclaimed items will be lost. Full disclosure, as a player with literally thousands of hours invested into this series, I’m going to take my chances. Bungie has stated this in the past, and I’ve still been able to claim it in the next expansion.
This is beneficial as I can use it to help raise my power level when a particular weapon or armor slot is lagging and my RNG drops are not being kind. Please know that this is a gamble, and don’t be surprised if you’re unable to claim what is in the season pass. Bungie also states that any rewards not claimed from ritual vendors (Zavala, Shaxx, Drifter, and Saint 14) will be removed at the end of the season. I will go ahead and grab these and turn them in, except for the Trials engrams.
My plan is to scatter 5 of the Saint 14 engrams that come from rank-ups to each character and hold them in their inventory in order to have a head start to begin focusing weapons when Trials of Osiris opens on March 11th. This is definitely overkill, but just know that it’s an option. I’ve already acquired my “god roll” of each of the 6 current Trials weapons this season, so have nothing to lose.
Stack Bounties to Claim on Day One
Second recommendation, and one that is controversial if you visit any Destiny forums, is to stack bounties. By this, I’m referring to picking up bounties this season, completing the bounty, but not claiming the bounty in the Quests tab. This allows the bounty to remain in your inventory, completed, and will not expire so that when the new season begins, you’ll be able to cash in these bounties.
It’s very important to do this after you acquire the seasonal artifact, to make sure you’re in a fireteam and have the XP boost mod on your ghost in order to get maximum gains from this. Waiting for the Artifact is important so that you can gain access to the seasonal mods sooner. The best seasonal mods (Oppressive Darkness, Focusing Lens, Breach and Clear, etc) are always near the end of the XP track in the seasonal artifact, so it’s safe to assume that this will continue to remain true. XP accrued prior to attaining the Seasonal Artifact does not count towards these unlocks.
The best bounties to use for this are the Weekly Bounties, followed by the Daily Bounties. I tend to stay away from the repeatable bounties, as they offer the least amount of XP upon completion. Doing this effectively can have you between Season Pass level 20-25 within the first hour to 90 minutes of the season by doing things that you are already doing as the current season winds down.
Last but not least when it comes to bounties, is that you can only stack a total number of 63 COMBINED quests and bounties. Why 63? I’ll explain another time, but be certain to save 5-7 open slots so that you’ll be able to pick up new quests at the start of the season before you acquire the Artifact.
Compete Anything That’s Getting Vaulted
My third recommendation is to complete any of the content entering the Destiny Content Vault (DCV) at the start of The Witch Queen. This includes The Tangled Shore destination and all accompanying content on this destination, Eliksni and Awoken wings of the H.E.L.M, the Forsaken campaign, the previous 4 seasons of narrative content, as well as the previous 4 seasons of seasonal activities and exotic missions. The weapons behind these missions, Hawkmoon and Dead Man’s Tale, will have new random rolls in Xur’s inventory each week once The Witch Queen launches.
We’ve seen very little come back from the DCV once it has entered, so I recommend if any of this seems the slightest bit interesting, to go ahead and do it before it enters the DCV. My personal recommendation is to check out The Presage mission which awards the Dead Man’s Tale exotic upon completion. The mission is one of the most unique things that has ever been released in Destiny, and if you can’t complete it, I recommend at least checking it out on YouTube.
Try Getting Specific God-Rolls Before the Season Drops
My fourth recommendation is to try to acquire any roll on weapons that you’ve yet to acquire, as the current umbral engram system makes targeting specific loot fairly easy in Destiny terms. Umbral Engrams can be focused in the H.E.L.M. using currency this season called Parallax Trajectory you get passively while playing the game normally. To those of you going through the trouble of reading over 1200 words about how to prepare for a videogame expansion, you likely know this. My advice to you is to go after Tier 3 Armor focusing, specifically, discipline stat focused.
You only get a few Tier 3 focuses per week, so make sure you get those in. I really want to reiterate that with the new weapon crafting system coming, it could pretty much make all of this paragraph obsolete. We will have to see how the system works in action, and seeing as how I plan to marathon play this game on release week, you all will get the benefit of me making mistakes and then passing on to you what not to do. You can thank me now.
My fifth and final recommendation is to clean out that vault. Yes, I’m talking directly to you. You’re never going to use the 4th roll of that sidearm that might be good next season if they change the perks around. Be honest with yourself, if you’re saving weapons like this, you play enough that you’ll reacquire another good roll on the slim chance it becomes meta.
I let the cohosts of my podcast determine what to keep/delete of my vault, and after clearing over 150 items, the game is much more enjoyable to not have to juggle a full vault, each character full-on gear/weapons, and the constant fear that my 10 ascendant shards were going to get pushed out of the postmaster.
This has been NotRyanFox, and I am looking forward to delivering more content to make your time with Destiny more enjoyable. If you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out on Twitter. I also co-host a weekly Destiny podcast, Conqueror’s Corner, with two of the coolest guardians you’ll ever hear, even if one is a Titan and the other a Hunter.