Diaries From The Witch Queen: Week 1

Spoilers for the Witch Queen story.

Destiny 2’s latest expansion is here, and I kept my promise of providing weekly updates. At least for week one. Let’s talk about Destiny 2.

1. The Witch Queen Expansion

I guess you can’t really talk about the Witch Queen without discussing the expansion itself. As with most prior Destiny 2 expansions the actual story part of the Witch Queen is incredibly short. I don’t have an exact timer, but the expansion came out on Tuesday and I was already finished with it by Wednesday afternoon. There are eight missions in total, and I’ve seen estimates of roughly ten hours to complete the campaign. That seems accurate.

But if you’re familiar with Destiny 2, you’re already aware of the fact that the expansion campaign is like the appetizer with the meat of the content being the repeatable missions that come next as well as the weekly content drops, the exotics, grinding reputation, and more, that continue the story inch by inch as the seasons go on. I do think that the Witch Queen story is more fulfilling than we’ve seen in prior iterations however it does feel like Destiny undermines its own villains by having the player knock them out of the picture early on. Imagine if Vaas was supposed to be the main villain of Far Cry 3, but you still kill him at the halfway point.

Of course Savathûn isn’t truly gone, as while we have possession of her body her ghost disappeared into the ether. This gives Bungie carte blanch to decide what they want to do with the character over the next couple of years. Will Savathûn come back the same way Uldren Sov did as Crow? Only time will tell.

2. Gutting Content

I was somewhat surprised to see the extent of content that got gutted with Witch Queen. With the addition of Mars, or more specifically Savathûn’s Throne World, the gods at Bungie removed The Tangled Shore and everything related to it. The HELM is much quieter now that the prior rooms have been sealed off, the table is gone, and once again we’re back to just the war table being of note.

It’s also a little disappointing to have the Europa weeklies disappear. Receiving that little boost for killing 100 enemies with stasis each week wasn’t a major benefit but it did become part of my unconscious routine. Every so often I check the map to see what my progress is only to realize it’s gone.

But the list of shelved activities includes baron hunts, wrathborn hunts, override, astral alignments, shattered realm, and more. Something like 30 currencies got dissolved as well. Vanguard operations now encapsulate more activities including battleground missions. Odd.

3. The Osteo Striga

Fair to say that the Osteo Striga is my new favorite gun in Destiny 2 and this is where bastard Bungie will come in for some of you. Right now you can only get the Osteo Striga by owning the deluxe edition of the Witch Queen expansion, as right after you complete the campaign you’ll have access to the gun’s blueprint and then it’s just a matter of crafting the damned thing.

The Osteo Striga is a submachine gun that shoots toxic pellets that track enemies and deals an explosion of poison damage upon death. Level the gun up to 10 and buy the catalyst upgrade and you’ll get your ammo back on a poison kill as well. If you don’t have the deluxe edition, you’ll have the unfortunate wait of at least a few months before it becomes available in the general loot pool.

4. Of Queens and Worms

Parasite is an interesting new gun, perhaps less for its presence as the way you obtain it. Through a 17-odd part quest you end up finding the surviving worm that was exorcised from Savathûn. All along the way in this quest series you are led to believe that Mara Sov is planning on allowing the worm to merge with her, only for both you and the worm to be bamboozled by the end. Mara Sov infuses the worm with the grenade launcher, creating the Parasite exotic weapon.

It’s an interesting weapon, as the gun increases in explosion radius and damage depending on how many enemies you’ve killed prior to firing it. Given that the game expands heavily on hive and scorn, two species that specialize in coming in waves, it’s a handy tool. Unfortunately since players can only wield one exotic weapon at a time, I can’t see this replacing my love of the Osteo Striga.

5. All You Need Is Glaive

The Enigma is here, and depending on who you ask this weapon is either big sexy or a boring gimmick. Personally I love it; an energy weapon slot sword that can put up a shield and fires pulse shots? Sign me up. The Enigma has a great perk in that sustained damage lowers the target’s damage output for a period of time. With the expansion just a week out, there’s going to be some experimentation required before the community settles on what it considers the god roll combinations.

6. Currying Favor With Fynch

A ghost you are convinced to not send into the great beyond, Fynch is the primary new source of reputation grind for this season as well as the source of bounties for Throne World. You’ll also need to grind Fynch to unlock Deepsight tier 2 and 3, which gives access to crap and stuff. You’ll find various points on the map that require higher tier Deepsight to access, and those in turn offer collectibles and hidden chests. It’s something to consider if you want to 100% the region.

Endgame Fynch unlocks better rewards at rank 30 from Throne World engrams, while at level 18 you get access to higher difficulty versions of the Wellspring activity. And speaking of Wellspring.

7. Wellspring But It’s Winter

Wellspring is the new six player clustertruck activity with Destiny 2. The Wellspring activity cycles daily between attack and defend, but really it’s a lot of the same deal. You blow through with your group of kitted out sweaty teammates who figured out how to match mods to let them kill the boss without breaking a nail. Shoot stuff, go to the next place, shoot more stuff.

Running missions is apparently the best way to get deepsight weapons, another of Witch Queen’s grindier elements. To get more weapons to craft you have to find those guns out in the wild with deepsight, which unlocks by getting kills with those guns, but may take several guns to actually unlock the pattern. Apparently this isn’t happening nearly as often as Bungie would like, and is going to get updated in the near future.

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