Between all the major Year 3 changes and the Shadowkeep/Season of the Undying content there was a lot to play and process this week. You know what there wasn't a lot of? The Shadowkeep campaign. The new environments and enemy variations are great, but take away the filler and the journey was surprisingly short. Nightmare Hunt is a lot of fun, but if Bungie didn't package the Season Pass with Shadowkeep I might be having some value for money concerns right now, especially considering what New Light players get for free. Still, Destiny 2 as a whole is in a better place than its ever been, so let's accentuate the positive. Here's a round up of some of the more useful information we gleaned from our trip to the moon.
WEEKLY RESET 10/8/19
Consider yourself reset. Year 3, Week 2 here we go.
BARRIER, UNSTOPPABLE AND OVERLOAD CHAMPIONS
This week brings the Hero difficulty setting (920 Power level recommended) to the Shadowkeep Nightmare Hunt activity. This setting, in addition to activating certain difficulty modifiers, adds Barrier, Unstoppable and Overload Champion combatants to the mix. If you haven't already encountered Champions in Nightfall: The Ordeal or the Vex Offensive, these are very powerful enemies with special properties that make them almost impossible to kill without specific mods, mods that can currently only be acquired from the Seasonal Artifact. Champions add a challenging wrinkle to the higher difficulty settings and love 'em or hate 'em, you're going to have to get used to fighting them.
LECTERN OF ENCHANTMENT
As you play through the Shadowkeep campaign Eris Morn will introduce you to the Lectern of Enchantment, an interface where you can acquire Essence Quests to re-earn (and thus re-roll) any of the Shadowkeep Legendary weapons and Dreambane armor pieces. The weapons require the one-time collection of certain items before you can start re-earning them, so if you're having trouble tracking them all down, here's a helping hand.
ARMOR 2.0 ELEMENT AFFINITY ISSUES
There's been a lot of discussion around the Armor 2.0 system limiting weapon-related mods to an armor piece's element. Unfortunately it seems those concerns were well founded. Here's a quick recap of the element/weapon-type groupings:
Arc: Machine Guns, Shotguns, Bows, Pulse Rifles, Swords
Void: Hand Cannons, Grenade Launchers, Scout Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Sidearms
Solar: Auto Rifles, Fusion Rifles, Linear Fusion Rifles, SMGs, Rocket Launchers
First of all, see this list above? Memorize it. It isn't shown anywhere in-game (at least not that I've found) and if you're trying to equip armor/mods to support a preferred weapon load-out, knowing the pairings by heart will save you time.
Second, if you're browsing your available mods for a certain armor slot (say legs), it only shows you the armor mods you have compatible with the element of the armor piece you currently have equipped. The other non-compatible mods aren't blacked out, they don't appear at all. To see them you'll have to equip another piece of armor with a different element. Not the most efficient way to browse mods, particularly early in the Armor 2.0 lifecycle while we're all still building our mod collection.
Third, and this is the big one, if you favor a specific weapon load-out and want your accompanying amor mods to support that load-out, you're going to have to build a collection of individual armor pieces with the matching element/s. Since there is such a large variation in armor stat rolls now, and you pay such a high cost to upgrade a piece of armor to 10 light points (max mod points, essentially) I predict the grind for the 'God Roll' for PvP and PvE armor pieces for each slot for each element is going to be a real chore.
Finally, Exotic armor pieces have a fixed element. So that means each piece of Exotic armor is now locked to certain weapon type mods and thus only supports certain weapon types. It's not the end of the world - it's cetaintly better than it was before - but it seems like such a strange restriction to impose in a system that otherwise offers so much freedom.
SHADOWKEEP/SEASON OF THE UNDYING EXOTICS
There are six new Exotic weapons that we know of so far, three for Shadowkeep, three for Season of the Undying. Two of three from each source can be acquired right now (Deathbringer/Divinity and Eriana's Vow/Monte Carlo) with the third Season of the Undying Exotic (the Leviathan's Breath Bow) set for the October 22nd Exotic Quest. The final Shadowkeep Exotic is expected to be the Machinegun known as 'Xenophage'.
In addition to the Exotic weapons, each class also gets a new piece of Exotic armor for completing the Shadowkeep campaign: Assassin's Cowl (Helmet, Hunter), Phoenix Cradle (Legs, Titan), Stormdancer's Brace (Chest, Warlock).
GARDEN OF SALVATION, RAIDED
The new raid contest came and went. Garden of Salvation was cleared in a mere six hours and ten minutes, launching the Vex invasion on the moon and opening up the Vex Offensive activity to all Season Pass players.
POWER LEVELING, 900-950
Power Leveling has changed in Year 3. Here's a list of all known sources of Powerful Rewards to level up your character beyond the soft cap of 900.
NEW LIGHT PLAYERS
As far as I can gather one of the biggest complaints from newcomers is that they were not pointed in the direction of the legacy content (i.e. the Year One campaigns) soon enough or directly enough. This seems like a pretty big oversight to me as it's logically the first thing most new players should do. If you or anyone you know got lost and/or gave up, or is thinking of giving Destiny 2 a try, please point them in the direction of one of the many newcomer guides which pretty much all suggest they run through the campaign content first.
TIRE ROLLING MINI-GAME
Finally, if you haven't tried it already, there is a tire rolling mini-game near the Sanctuary landing point on the moon. It costs 10 Helium Fillaments per try, and if you achieve the highest possible score, you'll receive a special 'No Pressure' Triumph!