Bungie is nearly ready to launch Warmind, Destiny 2's second DLC expansion pack. It packs in a variety of new content, including new weapons, armor, locations, Escalation Protocol mode, Spire of Stars Raid Lair, and more for players to check out on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. With its release coming this week, we've rounded up all of the key details to know what it includes and when you can start playing.

Take note that you don't actually have to purchase Warmind in order to have reason to check in on Destiny 2. The expansion releases alongside a major update, version 1.2.0, that will make a wide variety of changes. This will kick off Season 3 of Destiny 2 and brings features like private matches in Crucible, an emote wheel, a new Ranked Crucible setup, changes to numerous Exotic weapons, and the long-awaited expansion to Vault space.

It also brings new playable content in Crucible: Bungie is ditching the DLC ownership requirement for all maps in matchmaking. In other words, even if you only own the base game, you'll suddenly be able to play all of the Warmind and Curse of Osiris Crucible maps when playing in public games. You will, however, have to own the DLC if you intend to play the maps in private matches.

When Is Warmind's Release Date?

Destiny 2's Warmind DLC releases on Tuesday, May 8. It launches alongside the 1.2.0 update, although the bulk of Warmind's new content will only be accessible to those who purchase it (or already own the game's expansion pass).

What Time Does Warmind Unlock?

This is a slightly more complicated question, as Bungie can't guarantee an exact release time. That's because, prior to its release, servers will be going down for maintenance to prepare for both the DLC and 1.2.0 update. As detailed on Bungie's support site, the maintenance process begins at 6 AM PT / 9 AM ET / 2 PM BST (12 AM AET on May 9). Anyone who isn't already playing will be unable to log in starting at that point; everyone who is playing will be booted offline an hour later. Bungie estimates that maintenance will conclude by 11 AM PT.

Maintenance ends (and DLC goes live):
  • 11 AM PT
  • 2 PM ET
  • 7 PM BST
  • 5 AM AET (May 9)
When Can I Start Pre-Loading?

You unfortunately won't be able to start downloading Warmind far in advance of its actual launch. Bungie says that when players are booted out of Destiny 2 at 7 AM PT, that's when both update 1.2.0 and Warmind will be available to download and install. Assuming its schedule proves to be accurate, that gives you about four hours to get ready if you're hoping to be among the first to play.

Pre-loading begins:
  • 7 AM PT
  • 10 AM ET
  • 3 PM BST
  • 1 AM AET (May 9)
What's Included In The Patch Notes?

Full patch notes won't be shared on Bungie's website until closer to release. We know much of what update 1.2.0 will do, but that will be accompanied by another, smaller hotfix patch, bringing the game to version

How Much Does It Cost?

Warmind will be available for $20 (£17.19 / AU$30) on its own, much like Curse of Osiris before it. If you're interested in both expansions, you can pick up the expansion pass for $35 / £30 / AU$50. This simply includes both DLC releases at a discount, so there's really no reason to opt for individual purchases if you're planning on playing everything.

What Is Escalation Protocol?

Escalation Protocol is a new horde mode-style activity for players to take part in during the endgame stages of Warmind. Unlike other Public Events, which start on their own schedule, Escalation Protocol can be started manually by players--but doing so first requires you to finish the Warmind campaign. That said, you can join one that's in-progress before seeing the end credits roll. There's new gear up for grabs by taking part--and an opportunity to use some new weapon types, as well as the returning Hive sword from the original Destiny.

What Is Spire Of Stars?

Spire of Stars is the game's new Raid Lair, which again takes players back to the Leviathan. This is the last Lair to be added for Leviathan, and as before, it introduces new scenarios, bosses, and gear.

Source: GameSpot