Destiny 2: A Glossary for Guardians and Terminology for the Tower

Destiny 2 A Glossary for Guardians and Terminology for the Tower

Like most Games Destiny 2 uses a variety of terms that some players may not fully understand and this is further exacerbated by the fact that several of these terms have been reused in other contexts or had their meaning evolve since the game was first teased in Halo 3: ODST back in 2009.

The purpose of this guide is to explain some of these terms, explain the difference between similar terms and where appropriate provide the history of how these terms have evolved over time in order to explain why some players often use them incorrectly. What this guide isn’t meant to provide is a detailed explanation of any of the mechanics that it may touch upon.

This guide will be a continuous work-in-progress, if there are other terms that you feel would be a good fit for this guide or if you have any other suggestions let me know in the comments and I’ll take them into consideration.

Glossary for Guardians and Terminology for the Tower

Lightbearers, Risen and Guardians

These three terms are often used interchangeably and whilst in most cases, all three terms will apply to a given individual they all have slightly different meanings.

Risen are those individuals who have been resurrected by one of the Traveler’s Ghosts and Lightbearers are those who can wield the para causal forces of Light. Guardians are less clear cut as the term initially applied specifically to Risen/Lightbearers serving under the Vanguard in defense of The Last City but have since been expanded to include anybody in that position.

Following are some examples of how different combinations of these terms can apply to different characters.

  • Eris Morn, Osiris, and Saint-14 were all resurrected by a Ghost meaning they are Risen but having lost their connection to the light are no longer Lightbearers. All three of them are still Guardians serving under the Vanguard.
  • Ghaul stole his light from the Traveler so whilst he was briefly a Lightbearer he hasn’t Risen and he certainly wasn’t a Guardian
  • Savathûn was both a Risen and a Lightbearer but not a Guardian.
  • Devrim Kay, Suraya Hawthorne, and Amanda Holliday to name a few examples are all Guardians who are neither Risen nor Lightbearers.

Weapon Slots and Ammo Types

In Destiny, weapons were equipped to one of three slots – Primary, Special, and Heavy. Auto Rifles, Hand Cannons, Pulse Rifles, and Scout Rifles were Primary; Fusion Rifles, Shotguns, Sniper Rifles, and Sidearms were Special; and Machine Guns, Rocket Launchers, and Swords were Heavy.

Due (at least partly) to community feedback about the oppressive nature of Special weapons (primarily within the PVP Sandbox) Bungie reworked this system for the launch of Destiny 2. This was done by differentiating between the weapon slot and the ammo type. The weapon slots became KineticEnergy, and Power whilst the ammo types inherited some of the previous weapon slot names (Primary and Heavy). Under this system, all weapons in the Kinetic and Energy slots used primary ammo whilst all weapons in the Power slot used heavy ammo. Sidearms were converted to use primary ammo whilst Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, and Fusion Rifles were converted to use heavy ammo.

The system was again reworked for the launch of the Forsaken expansion with the (re)introduction of Special Ammo. With this change Fusion Rifles, Sniper Rifles, and Shotguns were converted to use special ammo and as such are no longer placed in the Power weapon slot with the exception of a few exotic variants. Weapons using primary or special ammo can now be found in both the Kinetic and Energy slots dependent on their damage type whilst all weapons using heavy ammo are tied to the Power slot.

So currently we have three weapon types Kinetic (top), Energy (middle), and Power (bottom), and three ammo types Primary (white), Special (green), and Heavy (Purple). The only change that has been made since Forsaken is that Stasis and Strand weapons whilst classified as Energy are placed in the Kinetic slot.

These changes have led to some confusion as returning Destiny (or Destiny 2 Year 1) players will often refer to Kinetic weapons as Primary even though this usage may no longer be accurate. These players will often also refer to Energy weapons as “Secondary” even though this is a term that has never been used in either game.

Sunsetting and Vaulting

This is another pair of terms that are often used interchangeably (including by Bungie to really confuse matters) but that actually refer to different aspects of the game. Sunsetting relates to gear and Vaulting refers to content.

Sunsetting is a system that limits the maximum power level that certain older gear can reach through infusion. This system was introduced as a means to limit the long-term effectiveness of certain items/perks, as the developers didn’t have to worry as much about long-term viability it would have allowed them to be less conservative in their designs as any problematic items would eventually be cycled out of common usage. It also immediately limited the effective use of certain older items that were proving problematic due to how powerful they were. Sunsetting was originally introduced alongside the Beyond Light expansion but discontinued in the following season due to community backlash, however, any items that had already been sunset remained sunset. There are currently no gear sources in the game that provide sunset gear.

Bungie’s explanation of vaulting is as follows:

Originally posted by Bungie:

The Destiny Content Vault (DCV) is a content model that was implemented in Year 4 of Destiny 2. To create a sustainable ecosystem where the world can continue to evolve in exciting ways, and where we can update the game more quickly, each year we will cycle some destination and activity content out of the game (and into the DCV) to make room for new experiences. The DCV contains all destinations and activities from both Destiny 1 and Destiny 2, with the potential for vaulted content to return to the game in the future.

In August 2022, it was announced that Destiny 2 expansions would no longer be vaulted. Seasonal content will continue to stay throughout the current expansion Year and then move to the Destiny Content Vault when a new Expansion launches.

For a more detailed explanation of why this was necessary see this article[] posted by the then Community Manager DeeJ.

Level, Light and Power

Light and Power are both terms relating to the player’s overall power level which is determined by combining the average level of their gear and the bonus provided by the seasonal artifact. In Destiny, this was referred to as Light but for Destiny 2 it was changed to the more neutral Power which is applicable across the board now that we have access to both the Light and the Dark.

The level is a more traditional experience-based progression system and whilst still present in Destiny the system has been completely deprecated in Destiny 2 with the only reference to it being the Long and Winding Road achievement that will now unlock for all players upon loading into the game with any character.

Solar Healing: Cure and Restoration

Cure and Restoration are the two Solar healing effects currently available within the game. The in-game descriptions of these effects are as follows:

  • Cure – You are healed in a burst of mending Solar Light.
  • Restoration – You regenerate health and shields over time. Cannot be interrupted by taking damage.

The cure is an instant heal effect that restores a fixed amount of health based on the number of stacks. Cure has three tiers with the third tier only currently being available to Warlocks. The effects of Cure are diminished within the PVP sandbox.

Restoration is a heal-over-time effect that persists when taking damage and cannot be interrupted by suppression or overload effects. Restoration has two tiers and stacking multiple sources of a tier won’t increase the tier but will reset the effect timer. As with Cure, the effects of Restoration are diminished within the PVP sandbox. Restoration cannot be stacked with other heal-over-time effects such as a Warlock’s Healing Rift, the strongest effect will always be prioritized.

So that is it for today. You guys can bookmark our page for more crazy and amazing guides. Officially written and produced by DakotaThrice’s. I hope it helped you guys and made your day.

If I’ve made any errors please comment to let me know and I’ll fix them as soon as possible. If there are any other guides you’d like to see then let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

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