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Destiny: Rise of Iron - Wrath of the Machine Image: Bungie

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Bungie’s plan to keep Destiny 2 raids fresh is a mix of old and new

Destiny 2 will also see a remaster of another original Destiny raid

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.

In addition to revealing that Destiny 2 players will get a new raid or dungeon every three months starting this December, Bungie recently announced that the legacy raid rotation will return. During its Destiny Showcase last week, the studio talked about the importance of that aspirational, pinnacle content for players. Convincing Destiny’s hardcore players to get together each week is a major priority, according to game director Joe Blackburn and general manager Justin Truman. Those incentives will take the form of the legacy raid rotation and yet another remastered raid from the original Destiny.

“We’re trying to create a situation where our back catalogue of raids and experiences that people love and want to play feel like they get their time in the sun,” said Blackburn. “[But we don’t want it to] feel like, ‘hey, every raid and every dungeon is always on all the time.’ And then your Destiny chore list when you log in for your three characters is ‘Oh my god, how many? How many pinnacle [gear] sources are there for me to grind every week?”

Destiny 2 currently has four raids: Last Wish, Garden of Salvation, Deep Stone Crypt, and Vault of Glass. Only the most recent — the reprised Vault of Glass raid — drops gear at a high enough gear score to level players up. Bungie wants to have a system where both the most recent dungeon and raid will drop high-powered gear, alongside an older, rotating raid that also drops high-powered gear.

Destiny: Rise of Iron - Heroic raid
Guardians enter the Wrath of the Machine raid

In the legacy raid rotation during Destiny’s Age of Triumph event, players could take on the hardest version of the raids and complete challenges. The weekly challenges offered special, Exotic versions of iconic raid weapons, or armor with upgradable cosmetics. We asked Blackburn if players should expect something similar with the legacy rotation return, in addition to the powerful gear players will get to help them level up.

“There’s a lot here that we’re probably excited to talk about more in the future as it gets hardened up. But we are, yeah, you’ve outlined a bunch of cool ways for this to expand,” said Blackburn. Without wanting to give too much away — especially for a system that doesn’t seem completely defined yet internally — it seems players should expect a similar system to the original game. And while not confirmed, glowy raid armor and supped-up versions of raid weapons could potentially return.

In terms of which classic raid might return to Destiny in Year 5 — similar to Vault of Glass’ resurrection earlier this year — Blackburn and Truman were fairly tight-lipped, for good reason. “The big lift for us is just getting to a place where we can reliably deliver a raid or a dungeon every three months,” said Truman. “We’ve been bulking up that team to make sure we’re ready to do that. And we want to give ourselves a little flexibility to see how to attack that when we pull open the door of the content vault and peer inside.”

This suggests that Bungie itself may not be sure which classic raid will hit Destiny 2 sometime next year. In an interview with PC Gamer, Blackburn said, “We want to bring back a banger. So it’s really about the complexity of bringing the raids from D1 to D2. I think by saying it will be one of the big raids, that takes one out of the equation.” The raid Blackburn is likely referencing there is Crota’s End.

Destiny: The Taken King - King’s Fall raid screenshot 1920
Golgoroth in the King’s Fall raid
Image: Bungie

That leaves King’s Fall from The Taken King and Wrath of the Machine from Rise of Iron. With so much Hive-like stuff coming into The Witch Queen expansion, Bungie may already have some Dreadnaught-like assets to re-build King’s Fall.

But Wrath of the Machine also takes place in the Plaguelands, which uses many of the same assets from the Cosmodrome, which is already in Destiny 2. Combined with the snow featured throughout Wrath of the Machine, there are compelling arguments for both. And, of course, there are more challenges involved in porting a raid than just in-game art assets.

Still, as we pointed out in the original announce post, Truman wore a Taken King shirt during the Destiny Showcase. And Joe Blackburn’s own Twitter handle, Joegoroth, is likely a reference to the Golgoroth boss fight in King’s Fall. When you put all of that together with Savathun being Oryx’s sister, we’d bet on King’s Fall coming to Destiny 2 next year.

Regardless of which original Destiny classic comes back, it’ll slot nicely into the upcoming legacy raid rotation alongside the brand-new raid coming in The Witch Queen.