Destiny 2: Warmind is bringing a new end-game activity to the public play space on Mars called Escalation Protocol. Details on how the event works have been covered in the past, but Bungie has now clarified how the reward structure works for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC players.
Escalation Protocol is a new Horde-like event that fits somewhere between the original Destiny‘s Court of Oryx and Archon’s Forge. Destiny 2 players will be able to activate the event in the Hellas Basin area of the Warmind expansion and try to defeat seven ever increasingly difficult waves of Hive enemies topped by a boss in the final wave that rotates every week. Loot chests spawn at the completion of the third, fifth, and seventh waves to provide rewards for Guardians.
The initial explanation of the Escalation Protocol rewards was perhaps not entirely clear, so Destiny 2 Reward Designer Daniel Auchenpaugh took to Reddit to provide further details. The loot pool is divided between vanity items, weapon, plus armor, and there is an important catch for the seventh chest.
Loot And Key
Vanity items have a low chance to spawn in all three chests. The loot pool here is divided between general Vanity items and those exclusive to Escalation Protocol: a Ship, Sparrow, and Ghost.
The three Escalation Protocol-themed weapons will drop from defeating the seventh wave boss. Yes, there are only three event-specific weapons: a Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, and SMG. Two bosses will have a chance to drop any of the three weapons, while the other three will only drop a specific weapon.
Additionally, the weapon rewards have a soft cap at 340 Light and will not drop as Power upgrades for players. Auchenpaugh explained this is because the event can be activated at any time by players and Bungie did not want Escalation Protocol to turn into an event where players grind out defeating bosses to quickly power level their characters.
The Escalation Protocol Armor is where the catch really digs in due to the restrictions on the key. Opening the seventh chest requires players to obtain a key from other Warmind activities. The catch is only one key per week can be earned by each character.
Simply possessing the key is not enough, however, as players will need to “charge” the key by completing certain tasks as well. This is similar to the Court of Oryx in Destiny, where players would have to obtain and then charge runes to start higher tier events.
Additionally, the armor pieces are awarded in a specific order per character to guarantee Destiny 2 players will not see repeats until all are collected. The Class Item will be first, followed by Leg Armor, Gauntlets, Chest Armor, and Helmet.
The good news is the armor pieces are considered to be Powerful rewards and will help characters upgrade their power levels. Unfortunately, Auchenpaugh confirmed the armor will not include any unique perks, as they could not be added in time.
Finally, all players will receive a unique Escalation Protocol Shader from defeating the seventh wave boss.
The Destiny 2: Warmind expansion and update 1.2.0 are scheduled to be released on May 8 to PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Bungie has confirmed all Crucible maps in the expansion will be available to all players in matchmaking activities, whether they have purchased the DLC or not. Additionally, changes to how enemy difficulty scales will be included, and Heroic Strikes will receive rotating modifiers.