In Bungie’s weekly blog post for Thursday, Sept. 12, the studio revealed the upcoming calendar for Destiny 2: Shadowkeep. The schedule starts on Oct. 1 — the release date for Shadowkeep — with the final offering slated for the middle of November, before the holiday season.
Bungie also revealed some upcoming weapon changes for Shadowkeep, and officially listed out what free players will gain access to in early October.
On Oct. 1, Bungie will launch Shadowkeep and the free version of Destiny 2: New Light. With New Light’s launch, all Destiny players can access:
- The Moon
- The Seasonal Artifact
- Finishing Moves
- The Armor 2.0 system
- Two new Strikes
- Crucible updates
- Two reprised Crucible maps from the original Destiny
- A new PvP map
- The Elimination mode in Crucible Labs
- Free Seasonal Rank rewards
- And more
On Oct. 5, the Saturday after Shadowkeep, Bungie will launch the Garden of Salvation raid, and the seasonal Vex Offensive event. Players don’t know much about about either of these activities, although narratively speaking it seems the Vex from the Black Garden have come to invade the moon. It’s likely players will begin to understand why that is through the Shadowkeep campaign.
It’s worth noting that the raid is purely for Shadowkeep players, while the Vex Offensive requires the Season of the Undying Pass (included with Shadowkeep, but also purchasable on its own).
On the following Tuesday, Oct. 8, Shadowkeep players can activate the Hero or Legend difficulties for the mysterious Nightmare Hunts mode. On Oct. 15, a week later, Bungie will launch the Master difficulty for Nightmare Hunts. The first Iron Banner of Season 8 will also start Tuesday, Oct. 15, free for all Destiny 2 players.
On Oct. 22, Bungie will reveal a new Exotic quest for players to track down. The weapon is Leviathan’s Breath, the series first ever Heavy bow. This quest is part of Season of the Undying, not Shadowkeep.
Oct. 29 is the biggest date post-launch, with four different activities launching simultaneously. Shadowkeep’s new dungeon hits that Tuesday, alongside a new Exotic quest for an Arc trace rifle, Divinity. Players who don’t own Shadowkeep or Season of the Undying can check out the Festival of the Lost Halloween event and the new Momentum Control PvP mode.
Finally, on Nov. 5, players can tackle the first raid challenge for the Garden of Salvation. Later in the month, Bungie will launch the final Vex Offensive on Nov. 19. The final offensive is the last event listed on the calendar, although Bungie could reveal more at a later date.
Bungie listed the Shadowkeep calendar as October to December, despite there being no December dates. It’s unclear if Shadowkeep’s delay pushed the release for Season 9 into 2020, or if players should expect it in December like Destiny 2: Black Armory last year.
In terms of weapon changes, Bungie offered a preview of the upcoming patch notes.
The biggest change is actually to enemy combatant health. Minor enemies currently take double the precision hit damage as other enemy types. With Shadowkeep, Bungie will remove this bonus, making it harder to one-shot enemies with a single headshot.
To compensate, Bungie is increasing the base damage of several weapon types:
- Auto rifles
- Hand cannons
- Machine guns
- Pulse rifles
- Scout rifles
- Sniper rifles
- Submachine guns
These changes should impact weapons with high precision damage more than others, like bows and scout rifles. It’s unclear if these kinds of weapons can still one-shot-kill a Minor enemy, but the reduced precision damage for other weapons should improve their viability.
Bungie will also alter a few Exotics on Oct. 1, including:
- Sweet Business (damage, magazine capacity, perk improvements)
- Graviton Lance (damage)
- Sunshot (magazine capacity)
- Vigilance Wing (damage)
- Crimson (damage, bug fix)
- Merciless (bug fix)
- Ace of Spades (nerfed perk)
- Lumina (quality of life)
- The Colony (perk improvement)