Destiny 2 is fixing a bunch of stuff for the month and change ahead of February’s massive Lightfall expansion. Players won’t have to grind so much to get into Grandmaster Nightfall missions. Iron Banner will be much more generous with armor drops in the weeks ahead. And armor mods, one of the most fun but esoteric parts of Bungie’s loot shooter, are finally getting unlocked for everyone.
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Destiny 2sucks for new players. You can have plenty of fun, but some of the most interesting parts of the game are locked behind dozens of hours or more of grinding, unlocks, and luck. One of the things that new players have difficulty accessing is armor mods, which drastically change the ways you can play the game, but which are only sold on a rotating basis by a single in-game vendor named ADA-1 who is hidden in the far corner of the main social hub. While longtime players have access to all of them, new players can get stuck with huge holes in their arsenal when it comes to crafting fun builds. No longer.
Yesterday, Bungie unlocked all standard armor mods for all players. While raid mods and artifact mods will still need to be earned, Warmind, Well, and Charged with Light and other powerful mods no longer need to be found. Even if you just started playing Destiny 2, you can start experimenting with different synergies or, more likely, copy the best builds making the rounds online.
“With big changes coming to buildcrafting in Lightfall, we want to give everyone a chance to enjoy all of the standard mods in their current state for the rest of the Season,” Bungie wrote in Thursday’s This Week At Bungie (TWAB) blog post. The studio will outline how mods will work differently in next week’s preview. In the meantime, however, players can enjoy some other quality of life improvements.
Grandmaster Nightfalls now unlock at 1580 power and only require you to hit 1595 to reach the difficulty ceiling. Focusing costs for Trials of Osiris, Crucible, and Gambit weapons and armor have also all been reduced to 25 Legendary Shards. And most importantly, the remaining Iron Banner events this season will make it almost twice as easy to hit the rank reset and earn a full set of the hot new vintage Iron Banner armor.
Things have been extremely touch-and-go in Destiny 2 recently. While Season 19 has been applauded as one of the more fun and less grindy updates in some time, there have also been plenty of technical bugs and multiplayer complaints getting in the way. Last week’s Iron Banner session had all sorts of issues, not the least of which was players grinding tons of matches without managing to complete a set of armor. The upcoming changes should help earn some good will back ahead of Lightfall when Destiny 2 will likely once again start to feel like a completely new game again.
Two days ago, Bungie turned off the Destiny 2 servers while the studio looked into a problem that had players apparently losing progress on in-game challenges. This outage lasted a bit longer than everyone expected, with the free-to-play loot shooter remaining offline for nearly 20 hours. So what happened? Today Bungie pulled back the curtain and explained exactly what went wrong and why it had to roll back the game, erasing a few hours of folks’ quest progress in the process.
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On January 24 at around 2:00 p.m., Bungie tweeted that it was taking Destiny 2 offline while it investigated an “ongoing issue causing certain Triumphs, Seals, and Catalysts to lose progress for players.” A few hours later, at 5:51 p.m., Bungie tweeted that it had possibly found a fix for the issue and was testing it, but was unable to specify when or if Destiny 2’s servers would come back online. Nearly four hours later, Bungie tweeted for the last time that night, announcing that Destiny 2 would not be playable that evening. Nearly 12 hours later, at around 9:55 a.m, Bungie announced it had finally solved the problem and servers would be coming back online following a hotfix. The nearly 20 hours of downtime had some players worried about the game’s health, and its future. After years of bugs and broken updates, it was really starting to feel like the seven-year-old shooter was being held together with duct tape.
So what happened during those 20 hours and why was the game down for so long, seemingly with little warning? Bungie has explained what broke, why, and how it was fixed in its latest blog post. And surprisingly, the developer is more transparent than you might think, going into technical details of the issue.
According to Bungie, shortly after releasing a previous update for the game (Hotfix 22.214.171.124) players began reporting that many Triumphs, Seals, and catalysts had vanished. Bungie realized that this was being caused after it moved some “currently incompletable” challenges into a different area of the game’s data. To do this, Bungie used a “very powerful” tool that lets the studio tinker with a player’s game state and account. Apparently, due to a configuration error, Bungie accidentally “re-ran an older state migration process” used in a past update. Because of this error, the tool copied old data from this past update into the current version of the game, which basically undid some players’ recent in-game accomplishments
“Once we identified that the issue resulted in a loss of player state,” wrote Bungie, “we took the game down and rolled back the player database while we investigated how to remove the dangerous change from the build.”
After creating a new patch that removed the mistaken change the issue was fixed, and following some testing, Bugnie deployed the update. However, as a result of this patch, all player accounts had to be rolled back a few hours before the troublesome update went live. This means any player progress made between 8:20 and 11 a.m. on January 24 was lost. Any purchases made during this time got refunded, too.
While it sucks that the game was down for so long and that the team was forced to spend what sounds like many late hours trying to fix their mistake, it’s refreshing to see a developer be so open and honest about what happened and how it was fixed. In a time when games feel buggier than ever and players are fed up with delays, outages, and broken updates, it’s smart to pull back the curtain and show everyone just how hard it is to make, maintain, and sustain video games as complex as Destiny 2.
Hopefully, next month’s new Destiny 2 expansion, Lightfall, and the upcoming Season 20 rollout will go a little smoother than this recent 20-hour hiccup.
Destiny 2: Lightfall is just a few weeks away and Bungie finally pulled back the curtain on what players can expect from the expansion’s growing Exotic arsenal. A new trailer revealed three pieces of armor, three weapons, and a new catalyst for the Deluxe Edition exclusive, Quicksilver Storm.
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Out February 28, Lightfall will take players to the neon-lit city Neomuna on Neptune where they’ll face down an assault by newly minted Witness disciple Callus and his Shadow Legion army. In addition to a new subclass power called Strand, a new set of Exotics will also give Guardians a leg up in the cyberpunk-themed showdown.
Bungie gave us our first look at what they are and how they’ll work in Destiny 2’s latest trailer:
Here are the ones we know about so far:
Final Warning (Strand sidearm): has “charged tracking rounds” that automatically target nearby enemies
Deterministic Chaos (Void machine gun): uses “rhythmic debuffs” to weaken enemies on the 4th shot and grant volatile rounds on the 16th shot.
Winterbite (Stasis glaive): “freezes enemies with frost orbs” that appear to be able to spawn both turrets and bombs.
Quicksilver Storm (kinetic auto rifle): catalyst makes grenades create Strand “tangles on kills” and also seems to add Strand elemental affinity to normal shots.
Abeyant Leap (Titan legs): Strand “barricade spawns additional lashes” that tie up enemies.
Swarmers (Warlock legs): “destroying tangles spawns threadlings” that seem to target enemies like little magic spiders.
Cyrtararchne’s Façade (Hunter helmet): “grapple gives woven mail”, a defensive buff that grants flinch resistance.
If that all sounds a little weird, it’s because each Exotic outside of the Stasis glaive and Void machine gun is based around the Strand, the new subclass arriving in Lightfall. If you caught any of the previous trailers, this is the glowy green power that lets Guardians effectively grapple around new environments like Master Chief’s latest outing in Halo Infinite. It’s basically space spiderwebs and it looks like it will open up a ton of interesting combat possibilities.
Counting Quicksilver Storm, the Exotic which has already gone live for anyone who preordered the $100 Deluxe Edition of Lightfall, that’s seven total Exotics shown off in the trailer, a fair few less than last year’s The Witch Queen which included 14. Then again, that expansion didn’t have a whole new subclass. Hopefully Bungie has a few more hiding up its sleeve, either tucked away in secret questlines farther down the road or waiting to be shown off separately as part of the upcoming Season 20 reveal.
Destiny 2 is going to get a whole lot better. Bungie announced a slew of changes coming to the loot shooter over the next few expansions and seasons. The studio plans to make content more difficult starting with the launch of Lightfall later this month, while the existing power grind seems like it could get ditched entirely by the time the next expansion, The Final Shape, arrives sometime in 2024.
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Game director Joe Blackburn laid this and more out in a sprawling 5,000 word blog post. It previewed both upcoming changes meant to simplify many of Destiny 2’s tedious and unwieldy systems as well as an aspirational philosophy for the sci-fi MMO moving forward. Bungie has lofty goals of reigniting players’ imaginations and making Destiny more social, and wants to combat some of the recent player feelings of burnout by making the game more streamlined and less predictable. And also more difficult.
Starting with Lightfall, ability cooldowns will take longer and enemies will hit harder. “While we don’t want the entire game to feel like it’s turned up to 11, we think these changes will help the enemy forces patrolling Neomuna feel dangerous and worth your attention,” Blackburn wrote. In addition, it sounds like Destiny 2 will move away from the power grind that’s been at its center since the original game launched back in 2014.
The cycle of making your overall power slowly tick up by getting endless copies of loot you already have will still be in place at the start of Lightfall, but the power cap won’t be increased in the following Season of the Deep. And by 2024, it could be gone altogether. “We think that there are some major issues with power in Destiny 2 and how it prevents players from seeing some of our best content, so we’d like to make a big change to the system in The Final Shape,” Blackburn wrote. Relief is in sight, but still a long way off.
What to expect from Destiny 2 Lightfall and beyond
In the nearer term, players have a bunch of smaller changes to look forward to. Here’s some of what’s coming in Season of Defiance when it goes live alongside Lightfall on February 28:
No more Umbrals and Umbral Energies to focus seasonal engrams
Seasonal chests will unlock with a single key farmed from the seasonal activity
Fewer but better seasonal vendor upgrades
Deepsight weapons only drop for patterns you don’t have yet
More challenging Vanguard Ops playlist
New Crucible modes Countdown, Countdown Rush, and Checkmate Control
Lake of Shadows and Arms Dealer strikes upgraded
Battlegrounds missions added to Nightfall rotation
Coming in Season 21 (Season of the Deep) and later:
A new Looking for Group (LFG) tool
Exotic armor added back into main activity loot pools
Exotic mission rotator to bring back Presage and other favorites
Random weapon rolls can be enhanced just like crafted weapons
All of these improvements and additions open the year of Lightfall up to being much better than The Witch Queen, at least when it comes to reducing bloat and reskinned seasonal progressions. At the same time, there are major questions around where big systems like crafting and modes like Gambit, will fit into the future of Destiny. Still, a lot of what Bungie laid out goes to the heart of addressing recent player criticisms about the game feeling too easy and repetitive this past year.
“We want any player to read the name of something and immediately understand what it does; in short, to spend more time playing and less time trying to understand what they are supposed to do,” Blackburn wrote. Anyone who’s ever played Destiny 2, or tried to get a friend too, knows exactly what he’s talking about. As the last eight years have shown, however, that’s easier said than done.
You can joke about fingers all you want, but the reason AI-generated imagery is perceived as a threat and not just an idle curiosity is its ability to pass for actual, human-created artwork. On the extreme end of the scale that’s a threat to accurate news reporting, and on the more harmless end it’s making life difficult for the community managers of popular video games.
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Like Destiny, a game that, thanks to its huge and devoted playerbase, regularly shouts out the creators among that crowd by highlighting their movies and artwork. Sadly last week one of those artworks turned out to be an AI-generated image:
Upon being showcased and instantly called out as an AI-generated image by fans, the person uploading it (“hebb”) is quoted as saying “Woah, I just thought the picture was really neat so I posted on the creations page. I’ll take the post down”. At time of posting the image has not been taken down, and can still be viewed here.
It’s not the most alarming example of this, I know, but Bungie’s response is interesting because it highlights the struggles that people involved in curating and using artwork are currently facing the world over, whether they work for a video games studio or in an international newsroom. In a blog post called “There’s Nothing Artificial About This Week’s Picks”, Bungie say:
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) Art
Last week, an A.I. art submission was mistakenly featured in our blog. The process of choosing these involves a team effort and with this technology being so new, we don’t have a foolproof way of knowing what submissions are A.I. art.
We want to keep this celebration of our community for those that work hard to bring their creative selves to the forefront when creating works that the Traveler would find joy in. Because of this, we will not knowingly ever feature A.I. art submissions as a potential #Destiny2AOTW or #Destiny2MOTW winner. That being said, this is still new. We ask for grace if we mistakenly feature a submission generated by A.I., and a respectful heads up should it ever happen again in the future. Appreciate the assist!
While there’s no definitive guide—especially in cases where the vast majority of a piece is conjured by AI then touched by in PhotoShop—there are already plenty of tips out there for spotting AI-generated imagery that go beyond the obvious, like (as in this image’s case) “counting fingers”. As this Wired guide points out, some other key tells—for now, at least!—are dead, lifeless eyes, misshaped ears, a lack of composition and general acts of weirdness, like someone’s hair extending out of their collarbone, or jewellery/accessories that smoosh into each other.
Bungie’s two-year legal battleagainst a Destiny 2cheat makerfinally concluded last week. The judge agreed that cheat maker AimJunkies had violated Bungie’s copyright and ordered it to pay over $3.6 million in damages and $700,000 in legal expenses.
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AimJunkies is a website owned by Phoenix Digital Group, which creates aimbots for Destiny 2 and other FPS games. The first lawsuit started in 2021, and the courts initially favored AimJunkies, with a judge dismissing some of Bungie’s claims after finding that making cheats wasn’t an inherent infringement of copyright. Bungie re-filed its lawsuit in May, and the cheat maker took on a more aggressive strategy to defend itself from Bungie’s other lawsuits. AimJunkies even tried to claim that the developer had violated its copyright by reverse engineering the code for its cheat software.
According to the documents found by Torrent Freak, the courts found that AimJunkies violated Bungie’s copyright on Destiny 2. One of the cheat’s engineers reverse-engineered the game code in order to create and sell the aimbots, often circumventing bans to do so. This was a direct violation of the software licensing agreement that he had to accept in order to download the game.
The judge thought that Phoenix Digital Group had not been particularly cooperative with the developer’s legal requests. After Bungie sent the company a cease-and-desist order, AimJunkies’ owner falsely claimed that he had already sold the website. The court also found that Phoenix Digital Group had “deleted records of cheat software and destroyed financial records related to the sales of the cheats.”
The company’s willingness to “conceal” its cheat sales contributed to a heavier punishment than it otherwise might have received. The judge awarded Bungie $2,500 for each of the 1,361 violations. The damages came to a total of $3,657,500. The court also awarded Bungie $738,722 in legal fees.
While the previous lawsuit from 2021 found that making Destiny 2 cheats did not violate Bungie’s copyright, the current judge believed that the software had violated Washington’s consumer protection laws. The court decided that players who use cheats have an unfair and deceptive advantage over players who don’t.
So there you have it: A combination of copyright laws, destruction of evidence, and gamer rights helped Bungie’s lawyers secure over four million dollars in fees and damages.
Expansions have a way of making Destiny 2feel like an entirely new game, and Lightfall appears to be no exception. Now less than a week away, the massive update will add lots of new content as well as overhaul the loot shooter in some pretty big ways. Here’s a roundup of everything to expect from Destiny 2: Lightfall when it releases on February 28.
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Cyberpunk-infused story campaign
First and foremost, a new expansion means an entirely new set of story missions. Given the benchmark set by The Witch Queen, I hope Lightfall can deliver. In search of a powerful artifact, Guardians will head to Neptune where they’ll encounter new allies called Cloud Striders who protect a human colony that’s been cut off from the rest of the solar system since the Golden Age. Unfortunately, players won’t be the only ones to greet them, with Calus’ Shadow Legion army building up for an assault.
Special enemies called Tormentors
The Shadow Legion will be aided by a new type of enemy that looks like it ranks just below The Witness’ disciples. Sporting big scythes and seemingly no heads, Tormentors hail from Destiny 2’s mysterious black pyramid ships and will likely provide a whole new type of threat for players to deal with.
Cityscape patrol zone on Neptune
A lot of this action will be taking place in Neomuna, a neon-lit city on Neptune where players will be able to explore the city rooftops. Going off the existing trailers, it feels like a cross between “city pop” vibes and neo-noir intrigue. Based on previous patrol zones, it will have its own quest vendor, rank-up rewards, and secrets to uncover.
Space magic grappling hooks
Unlike previous zones, which players traversed on foot or via their sparrow hoverbikes, Neomuna’s rooftops are pitched as a playground to show off Lightfall’s new grappling hook ability. Locked behind the new Strand subclasses, the new maneuver is supposed to add a lot more verticality to the game. And honestly, what game hasn’t been improved recently by the addition of a grappling hook?
Lethal fall damage is going away
In anticipation of players bouncing around the Neomuna skyline, Bungie announced that player collision physics are getting a shakeup. Lethal fall damage will become less common when Lightfall goes live, and disappear altogether at some point in a mid-season patch. That’s music to the ears of anyone who’s ever wiped in a raid or had a nail-biting boss fight cut short because they forgot to use their thrusters before landing.
Difficulty is going way up
While lethal fall damage may soon be a thing of the past, the rest of Destiny 2 is getting harder. Going forward, even basic activities like the Vanguard strike playlist will put you at a slight Power disadvantage, no matter how over-leveled up you are. Here’s a quick rundown:
Hero: -5 Power levels.
Legend: -15 Power levels.
Master: -20 Power levels.
Grandmaster Nightfalls: -25 Power levels.
It seems like a clear evolution of the Legendary campaign difficulty first introduced in 2022’s The Witch Queen. One concern is that Bungie hasn’t yet mentioned how activity rewards will be re-scaled to take this added challenge into account. In all likelihood, the balance will continue to get fine-tuned across the upcoming season and beyond.
Three Strand-based subclasses
For the first time in two years, Destiny 2 is getting a new set of superpowers. Strand, a thread-based space magic about tethering to things, will give Warlocks, Titans, and Hunters a completely different way to play. In addition to the grappling hooks, they’ll also have access to status effects like Suspend (stuns enemy), Unravel (triggers area-of-effect damage), Sever (decreases enemy damage output), and Woven Mail (cobweb armor). Here are some more highlights:
Warlock Broodweaver: summon and wield threadling spiders and send spikes flying with the Needlestorm super.
Titan Berserker: carves through enemies with dual-wielding fist blades, granting allies extra armor in the process. Bladefury super grants longer access to the weapons.
Hunter Threadrunner: flings a rope dart to debuff enemies and create extra grapple points for allies while the Silkstrike lets them go full Ninja Gaiden.
Guardian Ranks progression system
A new challenge-based ranking system is coming to Destiny 2 in Lightfall in an effort to onboard players better. Ranks 1-5 will cover the basics, while 6-10 will be season-specific and reset afterward. Rank 11, meanwhile, will be based on getting commendations from other players. “When you see a Rank 11 player in the Tower, you know that is a person who is accomplished as a player and accomplished as a leader,” creative director Tyson Green said during a recent media preview. Experienced players will start at rank 6, and unlock new mods and perks as they progress.
Tons more exotic weapons and armor
Lightfall will start with six new exotics, in addition to the Quicksilver Storm auto rifle that’s been available for months now by pre-ordering the expansion:
Final Warning (Strand sidearm)
Deterministic Chaos (Void machine gun)
Winterbite (Stasis glaive)
Abeyant Leap (Titan legs)
Swarmers (Warlock legs)
Cyrtararchne’s Façade (Hunter helmet)
Bungie says more will be revealed throughout the first season, including likely secret ones that will start out locked behind hidden questlines. Most will still be found in re-worked Lost Sectors to start with, but Bungie has said it plans to move exotics back into the regular loot pool later in the year.
Ability cooldowns are going up
The last 12 months of Destiny 2 have been a power trip thanks to the 3.0 re-works for the existing Solar, Arc, and Void subclasses. Bungie plans to dial that back a bit with Lightfall, in part by reducing the uptime for abilities. While certain supers will see lower cooldown times, on average you won’t be constantly throwing out grenades and charged melee abilities in the new expansion (as had been the case in recent seasons). That’s potentially a good thing considering how often players have recently complained about “power creep” in Destiny 2 making them feel too strong.
Guns are getting rebalanced
In tandem with higher cooldowns, Bungie is aiming to make guns a cornerstone of the action again in Lightfall. Rather than something to fire to trigger your abilities, the idea seems to be that you’ll be relying on inherit strengths and perks of your primary and secondary weapons a lot more. To this end, a bunch of them are also getting re-balanced. Most notably, heavy machine guns are getting more powerful while linear fusion rifles are getting weaker. Kinetic guns will also do more damage against unshielded enemies.
In-game economy is changing
The seasonal grind will be simpler. Instead of farming a bunch of new currencies to open up a chest with loot inside, you’ll just earn keys instead. Umbrals and Umbral Energies are going away too. Focusing will just require seasonal engrams and glimmer. Crafting is also getting refined. Shaping weapon perks won’t require resonant elements and alloys, and deepsight weapons will now only drop for patterns you haven’t already unlocked. TL;DR: fewer currencies and less RNG.
Mods are getting overhauled
Long one of the most indecipherable aspects of Destiny 2, mods are finally getting streamlined. Mods will now be easier to get for new players, they’ll no longer have specific elemental alignments, and you’ll have more room to play around with the most interesting ones thanks to champion artifact mods moving someplace else. Unfortunately, you’ll still have to make sense of Destiny’s esoteric buildcrafting language.
Loadout manager will make buildcrafting a cinch
Not only are mods getting overhauled, they’re also getting a handy-dandy manager just like the existing fashion loadout manager. You’ll be able to see and swap mods for all your armor on a single menu screen, while also being able to save entire loadouts of guns and armor on the fly. Obtaining higher Guardian Ranks will unlock more loadout slots. Players, especially on PC, have relied on third-party tools to essentially do the same thing for years. Now, everyone can enjoy tinkering with Destiny buildcrafting in a way that’s quick and easy and (almost) painless.
A “looking for group” tool…eventually
Back when Bungie first revealed Lightfall, it showed off a new in-game “looking for group” (LFG) tool that would make Destiny 2 more social. Instead of going into an app or third-party website to find people to play with, all of it could be done from the main menu. Unfortunately, while the LFG feature is still on the way, it’s been delayed until the last season of Lightfall. That’s a big bummer, especially since many activities are getting harder and still don’t support in-game matchmaking. But better later than never, though.
Bungie announced on Thursday that Destiny 2’s Witch Queen expansion will be free to access for all players through the weekend. With a flashy new expansion, Lightfall, coming in hot on February 28, it’s a perfect time to give one of the best sci-fi shooters around a second chance. Or a third, or a fourth. Wait. Where are you going? Come back!
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It’s a hype time to be playing Destiny 2. Season of the Seraph just concluded with one of the top missions and cinematic cutscenes of the past year, and a new trailer just revealed a huge showdown and some new mysteries coming in Lightfall next week. And while there’s always plenty of good excuses not to dive back into Bungie’s loot shooter, the studio is trying to remove one of those many barriers by making the normally $40 Witch Queen campaign briefly free on Xbox Series X/S, PS4/PS5, and PC.
Destiny 2 Witch Queen free weekend
Here’s the exact timing:
February 23 at 9 AM PST (check your local time here).
Xbox: February 26 at 11:59 PM PST (check your local time here).
PlayStation, Steam, MS Store, and Epic Games Store: February 27 at 9 AM PST PT (check your local time here).
The Witch Queen is the most Destiny 2 has ever felt like a traditional shooter campaign, by which I mean one with a sort of self-contained story you can play through to a satisfying conclusion while hardly engaging at all with the rest of the live service loot grind. The levels take you through eerie alien pyramids and giant gothic cathedrals, and a Legendary difficulty option means the challenge has been precisely calibrated to make you feel like you’re just getting through by the skin of your teeth.
Bungie has also confirmed that anything you complete and collect during your time with the free version of The Witch Queen will follow you back to the standard free-to-play version of the game. So in theory, you could get through the 6-8 hour campaign this weekend and come out the other side with a decent arsenal all ready to tackle Lightfall (if you’re prepared to spend $50 to unlock it).
I have no idea why Xbox players will lose access to the campaign almost a full day earlier (Bungie did not immediately respond to a request for comment), but those on PC and PlayStation will be able to play up until servers go down for maintenance ahead of Lightfall’s launch. Haven’t touched Destiny since the first game came out in 2014? No problem! The giant white space ball only just woke up eight years later, so you didn’t really miss anything.
Lance Reddick has passed away. TMZ reports that police found him in his Studio City, Los Angeles home on Thursday. He was 60 years old.
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The cause of death remains unclear, though police told TMZ it appears to have been from natural causes. The veteran actor most recently starred in John Wick 4, and was apparently missing from the premiere earlier this week. On Wednesday he posted a selfie video of himself in which he appeared to be at home.
Prior to co-starring in the hit Hollywood assassin series alongside Keanu Reeves, Reddick became famous for his roles in The Wire and Fringe, and also played characters in several notable video games, including Destiny 2‘s Commander Zavala whom he voiced for nearly a decade.
Reddick was also a pivotal actor in the Horizon Zero Dawn games, where both his voice and likeness were captured for the antagonist Sylens. The character appeared poised to continue being a focal point of the PS5 sci-fi series. Prior to that he made his video game debut as Martin Hatch in Remedy Entertainment’s Quantum Break for the Xbox One.
Reddick was a particularly big presence in Destiny 2, where in addition to voicing the game’s stoic moral compass, he frequently interacted with fans, and recorded videos of himself voicing memes and other community jokes as the beloved in-game character. Straddling the divide between Hollywood and gaming, Reddick was also played Albert Wesker in the Netflix adaptation of Resident Evil.
Originally born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1962, his first breakout role was as Cedric Daniels in The Wire. He later appeared in other cult hits like Lost and Oz, and frequently made internet history with comedic bits like “I wish I was LeVar Burton” from The Eric Andre Show. He’s survived by his wife, Stephanie Reddick, and his two children.
Lance Reddick, the actor who’s been lending his voice to games ranging from the Horizon series to Quantum Break, passed away Friday. He was 60 years old. While he’s been in films and TV shows such as John Wick and The Wire, Destiny players know him best as the commander of The Last City, the Awoken Guardian Zavala. Now, folks who’ve heard the news of Reddick’s death are flocking to his in-game character to honor him as their forever commander in a wholesome display of gamer solidarity.
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Zavala is a mainstay in the Destiny universe. One of the first characters you meet after waking up in the original game and blasting your way through an alien-infested planet, Zavala could be found in the Tower’s war room alongside Cayde-6 and Ikora Rey. A kind of stoic blank slate in the beginning, he would primarily sling a variety of Titan armor in silence. However, he’s been given a lot of emotional backstory in the years since, with the character evolving in significant ways—he’s more talkative when you see him in the Tower now, standing alone and looking out at the Traveler, pontificating on the state of the world and his role in it in Reddick’s dulcet tones.
In last year’s Witch Queen expansion, he grappled with his faith as cosmic forces challenged it, which gave Reddick even more room to flex into Zavala’s character and personality. Subsequent seasons revealed a familiar tragedy from his past that still haunted him. Infamous lines memed into oblivion like, “We’ve stepped into a war with the Cabal on Mars,” also gave way to intimate personal tales of grief and struggle.
So, with the news that Reddick has suddenly passed away due to what police are saying is natural causes, many Guardians are now paying their respects to the beloved Titan Commander, heading to the Tower to pay tribute to him as best they can. Games journalist Saniya Ahmed shared a picture of gatherers at the Tower, writing that some players were giving each other emote hugs.
Kotaku senior editor Alyssa Mercante jumped into the game and confirmed there were folks gathered around Zavala. Several players deployed the Peaceful Rest emote, which surrounds them in neon-colored tower candles. Another held a shield and sword made of light. A few just sat.
Folks are heartbroken over this loss, including many Bungie employees, who shared their immediate reactions to the shocking news on Twitter. Artwork of Zavala has already been drawn up and sent out. Content creator Uhmaayyze shared an older image of Reddick holding a Destiny gun, beaming. Zavala quotes are circulating online, their meaning holding even more weight in light of this loss. Some players are even planning a “community-wide silent sit-down event” in front of Zavala to pay tribute to Reddick’s stellar performance, while others are trying to organize a shared color scheme to honor him. Reddick’s impact on the Destiny community cannot be understated, especially since the last tweet he liked was about the game.
Kotaku reached out to Bungie for comment.
Read More: As Destiny 2‘s Commander Zavala, Lance Reddick Finally Gets To Be The Good Cop
It’s never a good feeling when a beloved figure passes, especially someone as influential and prolific as Lance Reddick. But thanks to the community’s adoration and his immortalization across mediums, Reddick will live on forever. So, eyes up, Guardians, Commander Zavala is forever watching over you.