Easily the most alluring feature of Destiny 2‘s Beyond Light expansion is the introduction of a new element called “Stasis.” This is the first new damage type (joining Solar, Arc, and Void) to be added to the series since launch, and as such it will also bring whole new subclasses. Today, as part of the Gamescom opening night jamboree, Bungie released a new trailer delving further into how Stasis works. And yes, it’s a lot like ice, and no, I don’t know why it isn’t just called ‘Frost’.
What I do know is that it looks very, ahem, cool. The new subclasses also have names: Warlock gets Shadebinder, which wields an icy staff that emits shattering bolts of energy. Hunter has Revenant, which uses twin ice-pick axes, again thrown to shatter pre-frozen enemies. Last, and from my perspective least, Titans get Behemoth, which is able to freeze a swathe of ground in front of them and then release an explosive flying punch.
Bungie has talked previously about how these Stasis subclasses will be more customisable than the existing trees, but has yet to reveal how. (My assumption is that you’ll have more nodes to toggle on and off to fit your play style.) We also understand that Stasis will appear on weapons, though I’d need to go through the trailer frame-by-frame to spot any sign of those. The core theme of Stasis seems to be pre-freezing targets and then blasting them to smithereens, which looks fun, and dare I say that kind of combo was one of the things Anthem actually got right.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light will launch on 10 November, bringing an entirely new destination (the frozen tundra of Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter) and reprising a destination from Destiny 1 (Earth’s abandoned Cosmodrome in Old Russia). You can read more about what to expect on the expansion’s official page, including a tease for the next raid, but it should be noted that a bunch of old content—multiple whole planets, in fact—is simultaneously being removed and placed in something called the Destiny Content Vault.
Phil wrote about exactly what’s leaving earlier this week, and it really is a lot (RIP weapon testing and chill in the Tribute Hall). Interestingly, one of the content creators invited to last year’s Destiny Summit at Bungie HQ in Seattle has shed potential light on the reason for vaulting so much of this legacy content. In a video titled ‘Why Beyond Light is essentially Destiny 3‘, Aztecross describes how, during an eight-hour meeting, game director Luke Smith told the attendees, “We have to take some of these planets off the map. Re-do them, re-code them, re-issue them.”
The idea that Destiny’s core code has substantial issues that require cleanup has been floating around for a while, so given that Bungie has chosen to keep iterating on Destiny 2, rather than create a Destiny 3, removing destinations to be ‘fixed’ makes some sense. At the time of the Content Vault’s announcement, Bungie said, “Content that goes into the Destiny Content Vault may return in the future, altered (if necessary) to fit the new state of the universe.”
The explanation was that the game’s install size had ballooned—don’t forget it’s still supported on current-gen consoles—and the sheer amount of stuff was making testing problematic. Obviously it should also be noted that a lot will have changed since the Summit. For one thing, the current overarching plot involves an invasion of the planets that are being vaulted by the mysterious pyramidal ships of The Darkness, which at least provides a narrative reason for them going away.
I imagine that if and when those destinations return in the future, much will have changed on the surface—and likely not for the better.
I’ve asked Bungie for clarification regarding Aztecross’ claim, but as the video remains live I have to assume the studio isn’t too fussed about whatever NDA he may have fractured.