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Destiny 2 is getting a complete weapon overhaul in The Witch Queen

Weapon crafting and Origin perks are some of the biggest changes in years

Three Guardians holding their new Exotic Glaives in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen Image: Bungie
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Bungie released one of the biggest and best blog posts we’ve seen for Destiny 2 in years on Thursday. It details some major weapon changes coming to Destiny 2 with The Witch Queen expansion on Feb. 22, including weapon crafting and a new kind of perk called an Origin. The studio also went into some smaller, patch note preview-like changes coming later this month.

Players will be able to craft weapons from scratch in The Witch Queen thanks to the new Enclave location. Guardians will gain access to this new place within the first two missions of The Witch Queen (free to all players), and learn how the system works. Destiny 2 will start players out crafting their first Glaive, the new weapon type included in the new expansion. Then the Enclave will set Guardians loose on the galaxy, allowing them to start building their own weapons.

Crafting requires materials and a new item called a Pattern, which Bungie described as a blueprint. Once players have collected a Pattern for a weapon, they can craft it over and over again, or simply modify one they’ve already created. These Patterns will come from all manner of places, including activities and quests.

To unlock new perks and traits to craft into weapons, players will need to find Deepsight Resonance weapons. These are weapons with a unique, red border around them that come with their own quests. By using them in activities or to get kills, Guardians will be able to extract their essence and infuse it into their own creations.

Players will be able to further customize these weapons with a new cosmetic type called Mementos. The first Memento will appear in Gambit before eventually showing up in Trials of Osiris and Grandmaster Nightfalls. Bungie has plans to add these cosmetics to other late-game activities to allow players to further customize the look of their weapons. The blog post didn’t mention if Bungie will monetize Mementos through the Eververse store or not.

But why would Guardians craft these new weapons when they have a Vault full of powerful ones already? That’s a problem Bungie tried to solve with sunsetting in Beyond Light — a practice it quickly abandoned. But with the new Origin perk system, Bungie may have found a much better solution.

Every weapon starting in The Witch Queen — new or reissued — will drop with a third perk called an Origin. This is a situational perk that’s useful in specific activities or under certain circumstances. Some weapons might come with multiple Origin perks, but players can only have one active at a time.

Bungie gave a few examples of the 14 incoming Origins (more are on the way), including special perks for weapon manufacturers:

  • Alacrity (Trials of Osiris): Gain increased reload, stability, aim assist, and range when you are the last living member of your fireteam or running solo
  • Stunning Recovery (Nightfalls): Stunning a Champion partially refills your magazine, triggers health regeneration, and improves recovery for a short duration
  • One Quiet Moment (Crucible): Grants increased reload speed when out of combat
  • Vanguard’s Vindication (Strikes): Final blows with this weapon grant a small amount of health
  • Suros Synergy (Suros foundry): Reloading grants this weapon bonus handling and reduces incoming flinch for a short time
  • Häkke Breach Armaments (Häkke foundry): This weapon deals increased damage against vehicles, turrets, barricades, and Stasis crystals
  • Omolon Fluid Dynamics (Omolon foundry): This weapon has increased reload speed and stability for the top half of the magazine
  • Veist Stinger (Veist foundry): Chance on damage to partially refill this weapon’s magazine

Because these perks are in addition to the other two damage/utility perks, weapons in The Witch Queen and beyond will be inarguably superior to existing weapons. However, unlike with sunsetting in 2020, players will still be able to use their non-Origin weapons without penalty — even if it will technically be suboptimal.

The rest of the blog post serves as a patch note preview, and Bungie is changing a wide variety of weapon archetypes and Exotics. The biggest change is to Exotic primary weapons, which will deal 40% additional damage to minor level enemies. For more of the weapon balance changes, check out Bungie’s blog post.

The Witch Queen looks to be shaking up Destiny more than we’ve seen since the Forsaken expansion in 2018. How successful these changes will be remains to be seen, but weapon crafting and Origin perks alone should be quite exciting for diehard Guardians out there.