Chiri's Blog

Where a fox goes to ramble!

Destiny 2: Witch Queen Review

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is the best expansion so far, mostly by way of the campaign, which was extremely long and leagues above previous entries. The story was good, capping off the best year of Destiny's seasonal content in its entire history. Everything to do with the game has been moving in a great direction, but that doesn't mean Destiny is perfect, however. Many of the issues it used to have are still present. Being past the powerful cap now, and having experienced everything the expansion has to offer (except for the high-difficulty lost sectors and the raid), it's about time I collect my thoughts on the expansion.

This article is a review of every aspect of the expansion; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

(Note: There is not a review of void 3.0 in this article, as I am very hunter main and I don't have anywhere near enough perspective on other classes to provide judgement on them.)

Activities — 7/10

Here's a list of every activity in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen and Season of the Risen, sorted by the way my girlfriend and I ranked them:

The Campaign — 10/10

The Witch Queen allows you to play on normal difficulty or legendary difficulty. Completing the campaign on normal difficulty only rewards you by unlocking things. Completing the campaign on legendary difficulty gives an exotic, tons of upgrade modules, and even gives you a set of armour near the powerful cap. You're rewarded well for playing at a high difficulty, which is great, because that's something the game has been missing for a long, long time. It's not trivial!

The campaign is also extremely long, compared to prior campaigns, and didn't even pad itself out with a bunch of random grindy stuff in the middle as previous campaigns have done, or with a bunch of post-campaign content to unlock everything. They focused solely on the story with a series of what felt like mini-nightfall strikes. It was wonderful.

Parasitic Pilgrimage — 9/10

This is a really fun and silly exotic quest that I don't want to spoil anything about. It's a one-time thing. Enjoy it!

PsiOps Battleground: EDZ — 8/10

The perfect strike. Every encounter is fun, lots of enemies, not too many guardians, a huge boss arena with multiple phases. It's also really, really pretty. I hope to see this enter the strike playlist next year.

Birthplace of the Vile — 7/10

A fun strike. Maybe a bit too much movement required in this one, people get left behind pretty easily.

Resonant Splinter Public Event — 7/10

As far as public events go, this is one of the better ones. There's some public events that encourage guardians seeking heroic to play against guardians that don't know how to make an event heroic (taken blight), and some public events that just become a boring "don't die" after the actual hard part (vex construction, glimmer drill). This event is rather slow because it's a payload, but making it heroic is part of the event and it ends with a whole bunch of bosses which is exciting.

Wellspring: Defend — 6/10

Here we have another Astral Alignment/Override/Sundial/Vex Offensive. This time it's decent, but it's unfortunately falling into the same problem most of these have: There's just too many guardians here. It's not fun to play a thing with a bunch of blueberries because there's no teamwork involved, so there's tons of fighting over kills. It's not harder, it's just boring and annoying. And then to turn off matchmaking, you need to also raise the difficulty, resulting in needing a full fireteam because literally everything has a time limit. Can we please change this formula just a bit? Why not take hints from the campaign and make it automatically change the difficulty for 1-6 guardians, and allow a toggle for whether to enable matchmaking? That sounds way more fun to me.

At the very least, there's a lot of enemies in these events.

Vox Obscura — 6/10

Vehicles in Destiny 2 are annoying. It's annoying to destroy them, it's even more annoying to pilot them. Beyond that, this is just boring, basic cabal stuff. It's pretty disappointing as far as exotic missions go. Also, wtf is up with these ridiculously short time limits? You go into something under-power and expect it to be harder, not literally impossible bcuz there's no way to kill things fast enough. Going into this activity after just replaying Presage and Harbinger a couple weeks ago makes this incredibly disappointing. We'll be using this mission exclusively for the pinnacle.

PsiOps Battleground: Cosmodrome — 6/10

This one would be just as good as the EDZ battleground, but unfortunately there's a payload this time. This means the time it takes to complete this one isn't based on how fast you clear the enemies, but on how long it takes to move the payload. Payloads work for stuff like public events bcuz public events are always boring. This is just not fun. At least the boss section is just as awesome as it is in the EDZ version.

Wellspring: Attack — 5/10

Are you kidding me with these payloads? Please stop. God, and this on top of there being way too many guardians, and it being super simplistic? Ugh.

The Lightblade Strike — 4/10

This time we have a huge ferry section where you can't move and have to wait, and then a huge swamp section where your movement is restricted. I don't think I need to explain why this is annoying.

Altars of Reflection — 3/10

It's just chores.

Lost Sectors

I'll update this article later with these once I've played them all on higher difficulties.

Crafting — 5/10

This expansion came with a crafting system which allows you to craft a small selection of weapons. The gameplay loop is as follows:

  • Collect deepsight weapons (just random-ass weapons that have deepsight)
  • Level them once (by using them or holding them on an activity completion)
    • Unlock new things to craft.
    • Gain resources from them (which have a relatively low cap)
  • Use a lot of those resources to craft the weapon that you want with perks you don't like.
  • Level up that weapon until you can spend a huge amount of the low-capped resources to make it actually be the weapon you want.

On paper this sounds a little grindy, but okay. In practice, there's a lot of problems:

  • Crafting requires huge amounts of "neutral element", which means huge amounts of random-ass un-fun weapons that you have to use until you get the resources you need.
  • The resource caps are way too low, so you're encouraged to throw shitty weapons in your vault just cuz they have deepsight.
  • You're discouraged from switching perks on your crafted weapons bcuz it costs the same amounts every time rather than the perks being permanently unlocked.
  • It takes forever to drop enough deepsights of certain weapons to unlock them.
  • Most craftable weapons don't have very good perk pools.
  • Half of the enhanced perks that are worth it are getting disabled bcuz they're too good or straight-up infinite and getting people banned.

Deepsight weapons that you have to farm for are going to become more common at least, which should help. To fix some of the other issues, I believe they should give a portion of the resources from dismantling them instead of levelling them. This would allow people to choose whether to level a shitty weapon to get more resources or just dismantle it and save some time and vault space. The caps should also be raised by like 3-4x.


The best Destiny campaign and some really good activities lead into some extremely average post-campaign content. Bungie exceeded my expectations in ways I didn't expect, and exactly met my expectations in the ways they always do. Destiny 2 continues, however, to move in a positive direction, and seeing campaigns done right is as good a sign as any that there's much more of this to come.

Thanks for your hard work, Bungie devs and artists and designers etc etc, and thanks to anyone else for reading!