Destiny 2 Season of the Witch: Release date, reprised raid, PvP map & more

Destiny 2 Season of the Witch: Release date, reprised raid, PvP map & more
Images via Bungie

Written by 

Dave McAdam

Published 

22nd Aug 2023 19:01

Contents

Destiny 2 Season of the Deep has ended, and while it took a while to get going, its seasonal story culminated in a big reveal of what lies ahead.

Destiny Season of the Witch is the game's next step on the road to The Final Shape, the game's next expansion - and the culmination of the 'Light and Dark' saga which started with Destiny 1 all the way back in 2014 (although we'd argue it only really got going from Shadowkeep onwards).

Now that Solstice 2023 is over, the next season will take the game through to the Winter, and if the last chapter is anything to go by, there are revelations in store for our Guardians. Here is everything we know about Destiny 2 Season of the Witch, including the release date, start time, Raid and story possibilities, and more.

SPOILER WARNING: This guide contains story spoilers for Season of the Deep, so be sure to proceed at your own risk.

Destiny 2 Season of the Witch release date

Eris Morn in Season of the Witch in Destiny 2
Click to enlarge

Destiny 2 Season of the Witch kicked off on August 22 2023. This was the same day as the Destiny showcase, during which we learned much about what's to come in The Final Shape.

This is quite reminiscent of what happened last year. The Destiny Showcase of 2022 was an event in which we learned significant details about Lightfall, but also where we learned about the Season of Plunder, the season that began the very same day.

Expect some maintenance as Destiny 2 patch 7.2.0 rolls out, but we've got our Destiny 2 Server Status page to keep you informed.

What do we know about Destiny 2 Season of the Witch content?

Gameplay screenshot of several Guardians fighting some Taken
Click to enlarge

Season of the Witch continues the story after the end of Season of the Deep, in which we learned that Savathun is the key to following the Witness into the Traveller. As such, we will be spending Season of the Witch dealing with Savathun, Xivu Arath, and the Hive.

Eris Morn has taken on a new Hive-y form, and we have begun to use Hive magic to our own advantage. This includes the new seasonal activities, Altars of Summoning and Savathun's Spire. Throughout these modes, we will use the new Deck of Whispers mechanic to expand our power.

If you've been enjoying Veil Containment in Season of the Deep, there's good news - Veil Containment will continue to offer new story and lore through to Season 23 (seemingly going away with The Final Shape).

In a big boost for PvE players, Vanguard Medals are back, with Bungie saying the active medals will rotate alongside current Surge modifiers so you'll get to constantly show off your best elemental builds.

Additional Battlegrounds will join the Nightfall and Grandmaster Nightfall rotations for both Season of the Witch and Season 23, too.

Gambit players, rejoice (sort of) - you're getting the Cathedral of Scars ported into Destiny 2, and we'll see Shadow Legion and Lucent Hive added to the PvPvE mode, too.

Destiny 2 Season 22 Cathedral of Scars Gambit Map
Click to enlarge

Destiny 2 Season of the Witch Exotic Rotator

Destiny 2 Dead Man's Tale Exotic Scout Rifle
Click to enlarge

Guardians can also expect an Exotic Mission Rotator, giving them the chance to earn some of the game's best exotic weapons.

Players can unlock Dead Man's Tale in the Presage mission, finish Vox Obscura for Dead Messenger, or attempt Operation: Seraph Shield to get the customisable Revision Zero.

Bungie has also revealed that Presage will kick off the rotator. Further, exotic weapons earned in an exotic mission will be craftable.

Destiny 2 Season of the Witch Raid

As confirmed during the Destiny 2 showcase 2023, the reprised raid coming in Season of the Witch is Crota's End. This raid from the Dark Below expansion in the original Destiny will return, allowing players to make a fool of Crota's favourite son yet again.

As was confirmed in Bungie's blog on July 27, Crota's End will go live on September 1, with Contest Mode enabled for 48 hours.

In case you weren't counting, that means Destiny 2 will offer 9 raids, as Crota's End joins the following:

  • Deep Stone Crypt
  • Garden of Salvation
  • King's Fall
  • Last Wish
  • Root of Nightmares
  • Vault of Glass
  • Vow of the Disciple

Destiny 2 Season of the Witch PvP additions

New map: Multiplex

Destiny 2 Season 22 Vex Network Map Multiplex
Click to enlarge

Bungie's "State of the Game" post for August 2023 explained that PvP development is dedicated more to overarching systems, as opposed to specific new maps. While noting that bandwidth needs to be taken from elsewhere to develop maps, players can expect a brand new Vex-network-themed PvP map in Destiny 2 Season of the Witch.

'Multiplex' is described by Bungie as an asymmetrical map which can cater to multiple modes.

New modifier: Checkmate

Checkmate is a new modifier that will focus on primary weapons, with Special ammo needing to be earned. Player health is increased, and Primary weapon damage is tuned for longer encounters.

The modifier will be available in Crucible Labs from Week 5 to Week 10. It'll start with Control, then Survival, then Rumble in two-week intervals.

New mode: Relic

If you've been missing the Synaptic Spear, the Scythe, and the Aegis, Bungie is bringing them back for a 6v6 mode called Relic where players can charge up to earn a relic.

Expect it in Crucible Labs from Week 1 through 4, then back in Week 11.

New Trials of Osiris armour

Destiny 2 Season 22 Trials of Osiris armor
Click to enlarge

Bungie has only revealed a tease of fresh armour, but players can expect the Titan Armor above for Season of the Witch of Trials of Osiris.

Matchmaking Improvements

Good news - Bungie is working on matchmaking again in Season of the Witch. 

"We’re modifying our loose skill-based matchmaking settings for Control and Iron Banner," the team explains.

"These new settings will look to improve matchmaking times and experiences for players who find themselves at the upper or lower ends of the skill spectrum, and for those playing in low-population regions or times."

Destiny 2 Season of the Witch weapons and gear

Good news, Guardians - we're getting some more new toys to play with - as well as the returning hand cannon, Warden's Law. It'll be a Nightfall reward, and will form a new archetype.

Bungie has also revealed that the following will drop from activities, and they'll be focusable as soon as the season begins:

  • Crucible
    • Unending Tempest - Stasis Submachine Gun
  • Strikes
    • Luna Regolith III - Solar Sniper Rifle
  • Gambit
    • Qua Xaphan V - Void Machine Gun
  • Nightfall
    • Warden's Law – Kinetic Hand Cannon
    • Pre Astyanax IV – Solar Precision Bow
  • Iron Banner
    • The Guiding Sight – Strand Scout Rifle
    • Point of the Stag – Arc Bow
  • Trials of Osiris
    • Igneous Hammer – Solar Hand Cannon
    • Cataphract GL3 - Strand Heavy Grenade Launcher

The Mercurial Overreach Sniper Rifle will stick around, while Competitive Division players can expect an Aggressive Frame Strand Pulse Rifle.

Bungie has also revealed that Ascendant Shards and Ascendant Alloys will be capped at 30, instead of 10, and Enhancement Prisms will be capped at 100 instead of 50.

The team says this is to remove the risk of losing them at the Postmaster, but as part of the move, they'll no longer go to the Postmaster. That means you'll need to use them or lose them. Bungie says any you've already accrued will still be found in the Postmaster until they're claimed.

Destiny 2 Season of the Witch weapons preview patch notes

The following changes are being made to the weapons sandbox in Season of the Witch:

General

  • Fixed bug where using two special weapons granted more heavy ammo than intended
  • Changed zoom and damage falloff to reduce massive variance between weapons of the same range, removed damage falloff scaling from zoom and added new ADS scalar to replace it

Weapons

  • Hand cannons buff - increased damage 20% to minors (red bars) and 75% to majors (orange bars), increased reload speed across the board, added Heavy Burst and added Warden's Law
  • Bows buff - increased projectile velocity at full draw for longer distance shots, reduced minimum time for reload animation to allow for higher reload speeds
  • Sidearms nerf - reduced base damage for aggressive frames from 32 to 30
  • Pulse Rifles buff - BxR Battler zoom returning to 20
  • Swords buff - energy recharges on a short delay after using guard, huge increase to damage resistance when guarding, guard no longer loses energy when taking damage, full power heavy attacks no longer require full energy

Exotics

  • Monte Carlo catalyst - adds bayonet melee attack to Markov Chain, massive melee damage that can be chained into further attacks
  • Verglas Curve buff - Whisper of Fissures now generates Hail Barrage stacks
  • Le Monarque PvP nerf - reduced damage profile to that of a lightweight bow, reduced damage over time effect but increased poison damage by 50% in PvE
  • Vex Mythoclast PvP nerf - reduced RPM from 390 to 360, increased PvE damage to minors and majors by 25%
  • Tommy's Matchbook buff - changed Scorch to 15 + 5
  • Touch of Malice buff - increased final shot damage in PvE by 25%, reduced self-damage from 10 to 7, will no longer kill the user but keep them at 1HP if they continue firing, improved Touch of Mercy, Ball of Darkness now deals arc damage and stuns unstoppable champions
  • Cloudstrike nerf - reduced lethal distance of lightning strike against other players
  • Wicket Implement buff - Creeping Attrition timing window increased from 3.5 to 4.5 seconds, can activate Tithing Harvest by destroying Stasis crystals, catalyst now includes Headstone perk

Perks

  • Bipod - reduced damage penalty from 40% to 25%
  • Envious Assassin - removed time limit for activation
  • Under-Over - bonus body damage against players using Woven Mail, increased damage against shields, significantly increased damage against enemies shielded by Dark Cabal overshields or Lucent Moths
  • Under Pressure - reduced maximum accuracy scalar from 0.5 to 0.75
  • Shoot to Loot - now activates with explosive damage, removed unintended interaction where the perk would grant ammo to overflowed magazines without consuming the ammo brick
  • Valiant Charge - deactivates after single swing
  • Ambush - fixed issue where the perk deactivated after healing, taking fall damage or being shot by allies
  • Explosive Light - fixed a bug where the enhanced perk would grant two stacks on initial orb pickup
  • Chill Clip - reduced slow stacks from 60 to 40, Wolfpack Rounds no longer trigger the perk

Crafting

  • Increased weapon progression from activity completions and PvP kills, weapon progression that exceeds current level will rollover to next level, can use Glimmer and Enhancement Cores to increase weapon level
  • Resonant and Harmonic Alloys will be depreciated, and can be traded in with Rahool for Glimmer
  • First Neomuna weekly pinnacle story mission completion will grant guaranteed Neomuna weapon progress, both Neomuna and Throne World vendor engram upgrades will increase drop chance of Deepsight weapons from those locations

Destiny 2 Season of the Witch Strand Aspects

If you've been zipping around the green ziplines of the Strand subclass, good news - you're about to get more tools to play with.

Bungie is adding three new Aspects in Season of the Witch, with the following arriving:

  • Hunter: Whirling Maelstrom
  • Titans: Banner of War
  • Warlocks: Weavewalk

We'll find out more as we get closer, but be sure to check out our rundown of the early Destiny 2 Season of the Witch patch notes.

Destiny 2 Quality of Life upgrades in Season of the Witch

Destiny 2 Lightfall Tormentor encounter
Click to enlarge

Here's a quick rundown of additional features coming in Season of the Witch:

  • All Stasis Aspects and Fragments will be available from Elsie Bray if you've beaten Beyond Light.
  • Players can pin 100 of their favourite cosmetic options, including shaders, ornaments, and emotes.
  • Transmats will be unlockable, as opposed to consumable.
  • Wish-Ender is getting a more straightforward quest.
  • Currencies will be moved to Collections.
  • Iron Banner challenges will be doubled up for Pinnacle and Reputation modifiers.
  • You can rank up in Ritual Activities within matches, so you don't have to wait to get to orbit. Finally!

That is everything we currently know about Destiny 2 Season of the Witch. For more, check out our Destiny homepage, or the best weapons for PvP in the game.

Dave is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon, after several years of freelancing across the industry. He covers a wide range of games, with particular focus on shooters like Destiny 2, RPGs like Baldur's Gate 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, and fighting games like Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8.

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