DESTINY 2: The WARMIND Rasputin Awakens - Here's Everything You Need To Know

The first DLC for Destiny 2 was deemed a franchise killer by many YouTube hot take videos and online Twitch streams. Will the second DLC (Warmind) fare better? All will be revealed at 2 PM est!

Features Opinion
(Note: This guide is designed for seasoned Destiny players.)

It's May 8th Guardians!  Time to rejoin the fight against the Darkness. 

If you were a long time Destiny 2 gamer, it's likely that you found yourself with very little to do once the game's campaign against the Red Legion ended.  Combine that with the incredibly short and mundane DLC, Curse of Osiris, and the Destiny 2 online community was ready to cannibalize itself.  In the days, weeks and months since, Bungie has provided a roadmap to address some of the quality of life issues in Destiny 2 along with additional steps to address the lack of end-game content. 

That's right, even if you don't plan on purchasing Warmind or are waiting on the fence for critic and fan reactions, Update 1.2 will be provided for free and it contains a bevy of changes.  In the list below, we'll quickly recap what's being implemented across both the update and the DLC before diving into a deep analysis of what each change means.

OVERVIEW

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Ok, Gamefragger's going to jump right into this and provide a quick rundown of what changes are being rolled out at 11 AM PST/2 PM EST (subject to change).  If these updates and modifications don't interest you then you won't have to bother scrolling through the remaining pages to see what exactly these improvements mean for the game.

-Warmind will introduce 45 Collectibles/Symbols across Mars for Guardians to find
-Two New Strikes include a showdown with Nokris- a high ranking Hive prince that's called Strange Terrain and a second strike called Will of the Thousands that involves high gameplay mechanics beyond just pointing and shooting
- There's a Third Strike that's exclusive to PS4 players (sorry PC and Xbox One gamers). It's called Insight Terminus and returns players to Nessus for a Strike commissioned by Zavala
-Exotic Weapon Masterworks with insane perks
-Season Crucible Rankings for 2 tiers aimed to satisfy casuals and the 'try-hards'
-New Ship models
-Vault Space Increase and Interface Changes
-Emote Wheel
-New Raid Lair
-Escalation Protocol
 

COLLECTIBLES/SYMBOL HUNT

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It seems Bungie is introducing a scavenger hunt of sorts with the launch of Warmind.  The symbol above will be scattered across Mars and players will have to shoot them to unlock prizes and gear from the Golden Age Vault. Some of these enigmatic symbols will be quite far away so keep a Sniper Rifle handy. 

It's widely speculated that hitting all 45 symbols will provide access to the Golden Age Vault. What's inside it is anyone's guess. There'll likely be a prize or reward of sorts but the question then becomes whether it's cosmetic or actually useful.  Seeing Gjallarhorn return would certainly make a (seemingly) mundane quest such as this one worth it.

STRIKES

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Remember the Taken King expansion from Destiny 1? At some point, players foraged deep into the heart of the Dreadnaught where they encountered statues of the Hive court before entering the Altar of Oryx.  There were statues for Oryx himself, Crota and a mysterious being named Nokris.  It turns out Nokris is the son of Oryx who was abandoned for reasons unknown.  When your Ghost scanned Nokris it stated that it had no records on him.  Well, the Warmind DLC has revealed that Nokris has been frozen beneath the ice on Mars and that he's a herald of the Hive Worm God Xul. 

The Insight Terminus seeks Guardians attempt to thwart the remnant of the Red Legion who have broken into a Vex tomb on Nessus in search of a powerful weapon.  The strike is a timed-exclusive for PS4 console owners. The boss is a powerful Scion Commander who's attempting to take over the Vex Gateway Network.  Along with the time-exclusive Strike, PS4 owners will also get a timed-exclusive armor set for each Guardian class.

Not much is known about the remaining Strike, Will of the Thousands.  The secrecy surrounding the activity has some believing that it might contain some hints for Destiny 2's Fall expansion, which will be revealed at E3 in June.
 

EXOTIC WEAPON MASTERWORKS

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The previous Update for Destiny 2 saw Masterwork upgrades rolled out for Legendary Weapons.  This allowed players to customize and re-roll their Legendary Weapons provided they'd grinded enough Masterwork cores.  Masterwork Legendary weapons also provided Light Orbs on precision kills which allowed you to recharge your Super quicker and also upgraded one random stat on the weapon, such as its magazine or reload speed.

Upgrading Exotic Weapons to Masterwork status will take thins to the next level.  To create an Exotic Weapon Masterwork, you'll need to grind a specific activity instead of just collecting and supplying Masterwork cores.  A Catalyst slot on each Exotic Weapon will provide a clue as to what Guardians need to do to upgrade the weapon to Masterwork status but they won't be completely opaque.  When you acquire the necessary Catalyst, your Exotic Weapon will now generate an Orb on precision kills, just like your Legendary Masterwork weapon. 

Now here's where things get ramped up to the next level.  A second objective will then need to be completed to fully upgrade your Exotic weapon to Masterwork status.  Doing so will unlock an additional perk, such as making Vigilance Wing (the current Crucible meta) Full Auto or maxing out the range on the Crimson hand cannon so that there's no damage drop off.  Expect community activity in Destiny 2 to be immediately focused on trying to suss out how to quickly upgrade Exotic Weapons to Masterwork status.  It should be noted that Bungie has already confirmed that NOT EVERY Exotic will be available to be upgraded to Mastwerwork status at the launch of Warmind but that they'll be adding new Exotic Weapons as the weeks pass.
 

SEASONAL CRUCIBLE RANKINGS

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Warmind will see Season 2 of the Destiny sequel end and Season 3 begin.  With its start, Bungie will be implementing a long-requested feature for the franchise, Rankings for Crucible victories and defeats.  Though Bungie has stated that they don't have any designs to make the Crucible aspect of Destiny 2 into a competitive eSport, this sure seems like a giant step in that direction.

There will be two ranks - Valor and Glory.  Each Ranking will contain 6 sub-tiers (from least to greatest): Guardian, Brave, Heroic, Fabled, Mythic and Legend.  Progressing through the ranks will award players with (rotating) exclusive gear and items that will only be around for a short time. Bungie has stated that once this gear is gone, it won't be back for a long time.

To level up your Valor ranking, you'll need to play and win on the Quickplay Playlist or the Weekly Rotating Playlist (Iron Banner, Mayhem, etc.).  You'll gain points and progress through the rankings just your completing matches. Winning them will award you additional points.  You also won't be penalized for losing matches, i.e. you won't drop rank.  Going on a win streak will multiply the bonus awarded for winning a match. Once you reach Legend in Valor, you can reset your level and start over from Guardian.  Certain gear will only be made available after a Guardian has reached the rank of Legend a specific number of times.

To level up your Glory ranking, you'll need to play and win on the Competitive Playlist and Trials of the Nine.  This is for the 'sweaty palm' PvPers who treat every Crucible match as a matter of life and death.  You only gain points for wins and you lose them if you well, lose.  To compound this further, going on a losing stream will multiply the penalty for losing matches.  Expect to see lots of gamers abandoning matches when it's clear their team has no shot at victory.  There's no official word on whether there will be a penalty for quitting matches but such a mechanism surely has to be in place, right? Otherwise, the Competitive Playlist will quickly devolve into a nightmarish landscape.  One additional note is the fact that Guardians have to play at least 3 Competitive matches a week or their Glory ranking will decay- that means you can't simply obtain a rank and then stop playing for fear of losing and dropping back down.

NEW SHIPS

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Not much to explain here.  For cosmetic enthusiasts, seeing the same ships simply re-skinned was something of an eyesore so the confirmation of all new models will certainly make that small contingent happy.  Now, if only Bungie could make ships actually have a useful perk or ability.  Bungie is teasing an "all-new" mode for their Fall Expansion and one of the prevailing rumors is that there will be a PVP mode for spaceship battles.  We'll find out this June at E3 whether this is true. 

VAULT SPACE And INTERFACE CHANGES


Simply put, Vault Space is increasing from 200 to 250.  Players will also be able to delete items directly from the Vault and the Postmaster.  In addition, you'll also be able to delete your entire quantity of a specific shader in one go instead of having to manually delete each one.  Praise, RNGesus. 

EMOTE WHEEL

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It's only taken 4 years but players will now be able to assign specific emotes to all 4 D-pad arrows.  You also won't need to visit the Vault to load up any stored emotes, you'll be able to swap them on the fly.  Conversely, this also means you won't need to have an emote taking up the valuable real estate in the vault. 

NEW RAID LAIR

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Unsurprisingly, there won't be a new Raid included with the second DLC.  Instead, another Raid Lair will be unlocked on Calus' ship called The Spire of Stars.  As the name suggests, it takes place within the Tower on the top of the ship. 
There will be a new boss to face at the end of the Raid Lair but details on it have been kept under wraps. What has been revealed is that this is the final Raid Lair for the Leviathan. Destiny 2's big Fall Expansion will likely see a new Raid introduced.

ESCALATION PROTOCOL

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This is arguably the most exciting new element being added with the new DLC.  Similar to the Archon's Forge, the Court of Oryx and Prison of Elders, guardians will have to survive wave after wave of enemies in order to claim prizes and rewards after victory.  It's a public event where the enemies will be at or ABOVE the new max light level of 385.

A total of 9 Guardians can participate in an Escalation Protocol event and there will be 2 locations on Mars where this activity can take place.  Each week, the final Boss for Escalation Protocol will be rotated. Gear and other rewards for completing the public event will be rotated.

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