The Witch Queen: A Destiny 2 Expansion that Transformed My Gaming Experience

I used to be what some might call a Destiny fanatic. During the mid-2010s, I was fully immersed in the first Destiny game, playing it religiously. I had a dedicated group of friends with whom I ventured into raids, relentlessly pursued the most powerful gear, and treated the Crucible like a full-time job. Over the course of a few years, I poured more than 400 hours into the game. When Destiny 2 was released in 2017, I naturally embarked on that same path.

However, as life progressed, my free time dwindled, and the idea of devoting myself solely to one game became unrealistic. I had other games I wanted to play, and it no longer made sense to invest so much time into an MMO where the grind seemed never-ending. While I still kept up with major expansions, playing through new story content, I started feeling unfulfilled if I neglected the grind.

Enter The Witch Queen, the first Destiny expansion that truly accommodates my changing habits. It introduces more live-service elements for dedicated Guardians but also delivers a self-contained story campaign that stands on its own, separate from the grind.

A Shift Towards Healthy Gaming Habits

When The Witch Queen was released in February, I hesitated to buy it. Previous expansions like Beyond Light were not tailored for players who simply wanted to dive in, continue the grand Destiny narrative, and move on. Beyond Light’s story primarily served as a tutorial for the new stasis class, while Shadowkeep felt more like an introduction to the Moon than a captivating storyline. I didn’t want to invest in something that wouldn’t have an immediate payoff.

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After months of contemplation, I finally purchased the expansion in April. I made a decision to only buy the base DLC and resist the temptation of content-filled special editions or this season’s battle pass. I aimed for minimal commitment this time around.

Guardians fighting against the Lucent Brood in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Fortunately, The Witch Queen shines when approached with this mindset, which can’t be said for most, if any, other Destiny expansions. This is primarily due to its exceptional story campaign, which showcases Bungie’s storytelling prowess reminiscent of their Halo days. The tale of Savathûn is genuinely captivating, filled with unexpected plot twists that deepen the lore and challenge players’ understanding of the established rules within the Destiny universe. It concludes with a jaw-dropping revelation that instantly sold me on the next planned expansion, Lightfall.

Upon completing the story missions, which took approximately eight hours, I experienced something I had never felt before while playing Destiny: I didn’t feel compelled to keep holding the controller. In the past, the grind had been the game’s main allure. Disjointed narratives left me feeling like I needed to extract my money’s worth in some other way. I would find myself replaying the same strikes or joining public events for the umpteenth time, turning the game into a series of chores.

After playing The Witch Queen, I no longer feel that same pull. There are still activities and quests I want to explore, but not out of a sense of obligation. Rather, I am genuinely invested in the unfolding story of the world and eager to learn more about the Hive and the Traveler. The fact that I can obtain better gear while doing so is simply icing on the cake, rather than the entire focus.

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A Guardian shoots a void weapon in Destiny 2.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Remaining a Part of the Destiny Universe

For the longest time, I yearned for Bungie to abandon the live-service aspect of Destiny altogether and provide strong story updates only once or twice a year. However, that desire wasn’t what I truly wanted. What I longed for was a game that could adapt to varying levels of commitment. I appreciate being able to dive deep into lore discussions with friends who regularly engage in raids. Even if I don’t log back in until the release of the next expansion, I still feel like an active participant in the ever-expanding world of Destiny.

The Witch Queen has brought a refreshing change of pace to Destiny 2. It renews the focus on its imaginative sci-fi setting and the intricate politics between space-faring races (and worms). As a long-time player, this is ultimately what matters to me after spending so much time in this universe. I want to see my Guardian’s journey continue, even if I don’t surpass rank 10 on this season’s battle pass.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Ghostrunner 2 is already giving me more of what I loved about the original
  • Frostpunk 2 will force players to quell humanity’s ambition in 2024
  • With PVE mode canceled, Overwatch 2 just isn’t the game for me
  • Destiny 2: Lightfall fails to deliver its Avengers: Infinity War moment
  • Warzone 2.0 players are getting shadowbanned for earning too many kills

Note: This article was written for OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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