Bungie’s latest mini-documentary, embedded below for your convenience, mostly covers things that we already knew about Destiny 2‘s rapidly approaching year three expansion, Shadowkeep. Nestled within all those time-tested talking points, however, is the first real look at Shadowkeep‘s as of yet unnamed dungeon, which goes live on October 29.
“The dungeon that we’re shipping in Shadowkeep‘s time-frame is deep within the moon,” says Producer Katherine Walker. “You fight your way down into the depths of this chasm and there’s all kinds of traps on the way.”
“This is an opportunity for people that want the raid experience, in terms of the mystery of the activity, with fireteams of three,” continues Design Lead Brian Frank.
For those unfamiliar, dungeons in Destiny 2 slot comfortably between “Strikes” and raids in terms of story content, difficulty, and time commitment, with Strikes being your average normal quest and raids being massive, multi-hour affairs that require six well-geared people and a lot of patience.
Destiny 2‘s first (and as of right now, only) dungeon, The Shattered Throne, is an end-game activity that can only be accessed during every third real-world week of an in-game time loop caused by the dying wish of an ancient alien dragon and a curse made by the witch-daughter of an immortal Hive matriarch (based on projections calculated by her pet artificial intelligence) that — you know what, never mind.
It’s still unknown whether Shadowkeep‘s dungeon will follow The Shattered Throne’s lead by only being available at certain times, or by continuing the overall Destiny 2 narrative from where Shadowkeep‘s raid will leave off, as The Shattered Throne did with Forsaken‘s raid.
But thanks to this new behind-the-scenes look, we do know that this new dungeon bares no real likeness to the Hellmouth, a moon-based dungeon from the original Destiny that has less to do with Buffy the Vampire Slayer than one might hope. We also know that it’s apparently full of rotating cylinders covered in spikes, and that there’s a bunch of totally sick gothic staircases and archways and stuff that really sell the whole “space hell” vibe.
Elsewhere in the mini-documentary, mention is made of a new type of Nightfall (read: hard-mode Strike) called “The Ordeal,” which contains “Champions,” the new highest level enemies. Based on the footage, we can tell that The Ordeal will incorporate Nightfalls from previous expansions, as well as the new Shadowkeep stuff. “Players can choose how hard they want the difficulty to be,” says Creative Director Chris Opdahl. “The further up you move in difficulty the more likely you are to get the kind of rewards that you’re looking for.”
It’s unclear if The Ordeal itself has different difficulty levels, or if Opdahl is referring to Nightfall difficulty in general, which players can already manipulate by applying various buffs and debuffs before launching the strike. Either way, it sounds like Bungie will be implementing some way for players to narrow down the pool of potential items they might receive at the end of a Nightfall, which is a system that Forsaken‘s latest end-game activity, The Menagerie, has implemented to great success.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep launches on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 1.