Bungie today announced the name and release date of its second Destiny 2 expansion. The expansion, which will likely cost $19.99 like December’s Curse of Osiris, is called Warmind, and it’s expected to revolve around the game’s mystical artificial intelligences that have long been a core part of the franchise’s backstory. It launches on May 8th. The warmind in question is rumored to be a character named Charlemagne or possibly Rasputin, a prominent AI from the original Destiny. Bungie is planning an official live stream on Twitch to reveal more info on April 24th.
A fair chunk of Destiny 2 players likely already paid for Warmind, as part of the game’s collector’s edition sold last year. Everyone else will have to make a determination whether they want to stick with the Destiny universe, which has been plagued by constant controversy since the game’s September 2017 launch. Bungie has made a series of minor and major changes to the game to address criticism — mainly that the game is not as fun, deep, or rewarding as the first — and restore health to its player base, which appears to have dwindled significantly over the past six months.
But the issues facing the game feel more systemic, and Bungie will likely have to make even more drastic changes with the larger, more substantial expansion planned for September. The company acknowledges this, writing in the announcement post, “For now it’s all hands on deck to make sure we deliver on our promise to restore Destiny 2 to the hobby we all love.”
That said, Bungie did reveal more of its developer roadmap today and revealed some positive changes its making with Warmind and future expansions. Most notably, the developer will no longer restrict competitive multiplayer maps to only those who buy the new expansion, a move it made with Curse of Osiris that gated content behind a paywall and resulted in painfully long queue times for certain playlists.
The Warmind launch, which also coincides with the launch of the game’s third season, will also bring private Crucible matches, a vault space increase, seasonal multiplayer rankings, and much-needed boosts in power to the game’s coveted and rare exotic weapon class. All of those are welcome changes and go a long way in repairing some of the game’s biggest issues.
Down the line, Bungie is planning this summer to bring back the daily bounty system, which diehard fans had been calling for to give players tasks to complete if they login every day. In September, with season four and the presumed launch of the still-unannounced third expansion, Bungie is planning to make changes to “weapon slot systems.” We don’t know exactly what that means, but one of the biggest issues the game faces today is how weak and unexciting players feel in the competitive multiplayer modes, primarily because flashy, one-hit-kill weapons like sniper rifles and shotguns were shuffled into a special restricted “power weapon” slot.
How Bungie addresses this with those weapon slot changes, and how those changes impact the speed and fun factor of multiplayer combat, will have a big effect on whether Destiny 2 can reclaim the popularity and longevity of its predecessor.