Destiny 2: Sandbox Changes Coming in Season 15

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SANDBOX CHANGES COMING IN SEASON 15

Info below is directly from This Week at Bungie via Bungie.net

Eric Smith at Bungie: Hey, Guardians. We’ve been hard at work on an abilities balance patch for Season 15, but before we get into the balance changes, here’s some info about a quality-of-life change debuting in Season 15:

SEPARATE MELEE ACTIONS 

Have you ever tried to throw a knife at an approaching Screeb, only to instead lunge forward and slap the Screeb in its gross exploding face? Have you ever accidentally wasted your hard-earned melee charge on a sad, lone Dreg? If so, there’s hope. Introducing… separate melee actions!

Starting next Season, you’ll be able to bind your charged melee attack and your uncharged melee attack to separate inputs, giving you greater control of when you use your abilities. This is an opt-in feature, and these new actions will be unbound by default. When you go to customize your controls, you’ll see the following new entries in the action list:

Auto-melee is the new name for the melee action that you’re used to. Your melee is context-sensitive and its behavior will change based on your equipped ability and your proximity to enemies. It usually does its job well but will occasionally betray player intent.

Charged melee is a new action that will always activate your charged melee ability upon button press, regardless of whether an enemy is in lunge range. Pressing the input when your melee ability is not fully charged will perform no action and cause the melee-ability icon to flash red, similar to how the grenade ability works.

Uncharged melee is a new action that will always activate your uncharged melee, even when your charged melee ability is fully charged.

It’s fairly straightforward, but here are some things to note:

  • Melee attacks trigger as soon as the button is pressed, not when it’s released. Melee attacks don’t wait to see if you’re still holding the button before starting. This means you can’t set any of the melee actions to a long-press or double-press input.
  • Game controllers have a limited number of inputs, so you may need to get creative with how you map your controls. Personally, I like to put charged melee on RB/R2 and uncharged melee on right-stick click/R3. This doubles up the Finisher and Uncharged-Melee actions on right-stick click/R3, which will prioritize finishing enemies over melee-ing them if the enemy is in a finish-able state.
  • If you assign charged melee and uncharged melee to the same input, it will always prioritize the charged melee over the uncharged melee, which is the opposite behavior of the auto-melee action.

To use these new actions on keyboard/mouse, open the Settings menu, click on Keyboard/Mouse, scroll down to “Charged Melee” and “Uncharged Melee”, and assign them to an input.

To use these new actions on controller, open the Settings menu, go to Controller -> Button Layout -> Custom, scroll down to “Charged Melee” and “Uncharged Melee”, and assign them to an input.

We hope you enjoy this new functionality, and we hope it saves your bacon from time to time.

LONG-TERM ABILITY PLANS 

Last Season, sandbox lead Kevin Yanes laid out our vision for how we see subclass abilities fitting into the Destiny 2 sandbox moving forward. Our philosophy for ability design is that abilities should complement the core combat of Destiny but not dominate it. It should enhance the game’s gunplay but not replace it. The changes we’re introducing in Season 15 will help set the stage for those larger systemic ability changes. In the coming seasons, we’ll be focusing on adjusting how often abilities can be used in the Crucible specifically. Please stay tuned for more info about that.

SEASON 15 ABILITY BALANCE PASS 

For Season 15, we’ve prepared a slew of balance changes to raise up underperforming subclasses and tone down overperforming subclasses.  Without further ado, here are the ability changes we’ll be making in Season 15:

GENERAL ABILITIES 

STASIS FREEZE 

The goal of these changes is to make being frozen by Stasis less frustrating. Previously, players who were frozen in the air had to wait until they hit the ground to start the breakout process. Additionally, we’ve shortened the window of vulnerability between breaking out of the Stasis encasement (and losing the damage resistance it provides) and getting back to weapon ready so you can fight back.

  • Frozen players can now initiate breakout while airborne.
  • Shortened breakout animation and camera transition.
      • This means that once you decide to break out, you’ll be able to fight back sooner.
  • Differentiated long freeze and short freeze visual treatment to make each status easier to identify.

SLIDE 

The goal of this slide change is to slightly reduce the effectiveness of sliding into engagements to gain the upper hand. Even after the Shotgun changes we made last Season, sliding into every engagement with a Shotgun, or any weapon, is still incredibly effective, and run-and-gun playstyles are very low-risk. This is a change that looks scarier on paper than it feels in practice in our opinion, and we’ll continue to monitor how it plays out.

  • While sliding, players now incur the following weapon penalties:
      •  -20 stability
      • +15% shotgun pellet spread
      • 1.5x flinch

TITAN

RALLY BARRICADE 

This Barricade variant doesn’t see much use, so we’ve made changes to make it a more viable option. It retains the same reload-speed benefits as before, while adding other weapon buffs.

  • Standing behind the Rally Barricade now also provides the following weapon buffs:
      • +30 stability
      • +10% range
      • -50% flinch

ALL BARRICADES 

Currently, certain fast-moving abilities allow you to speed through an enemy barricade while taking minimal damage. The goal of this change is to make players think twice before dashing through a barricade to engage the Titan on the other side. Barricades still can’t cause lethal damage, but dashing through one should now always leave you with a sliver of health.

  • Players moving at high velocity now take more damage when moving through hostile Titan Barricades.
  • Barricades now slightly protrude into the ground to better protect the Titan’s feet on uneven ground.
      • This should reduce instances where explosions and projectiles are able to sneak through the bottom of the Barricade and hit the Titan.

BEHEMOTH 

As you may remember, midway through last Season we released a portion of the Stasis-related changes originally intended for this releasen. We’re pretty happy with the effect those changes have had on the Crucible, but some of the changes we made had a negative effect on the feel of Stasis in PvE content. We’ve made some adjustments that should help these abilities feel better. In this case, the Cryoclasm change we made last Season made it difficult to use Cryoclasm to shatter targets that were close to you. This change enables the Behemoth to shatter nearby targets even if they don’t have enough space to get a running start.

We also believe we overdid the movement-speed nerf to Behemoths last Season, which hurt the viability of Shiver Strike, especially during the Glacial Quake Super. We’ve increased the movement speed to make this feel better.

With this patch, we are also fixing a bug where the Whisper of Rime overshield wasn’t properly scaling precision damage, causing it to be significantly beefier than intended, which primarily impacted Tectonic Harvest Behemoths.

  • Cryoclasm 
      • While equipped, base slide now shatters crystals and frozen enemies.
      • Increased duration of screen FX notifying players that Cryoclasm long slide is ready from 1 second to ~4.5 seconds.
  • Shiver Strike 
      • Increased movement speed by 25%.
  • Whisper of Rime 
      • Fixed a bug where the overshield provided by Whisper of Rime was not scaling precision damage correctly.

MIDDLE-TREE SUNBREAKER 

We are extending the throwing hammer lifespan to allow Titans more time to finish an engagement and still pick up their hammer before it vanishes. We also felt it could deal more damage against orange- and yellow-bar enemies. Also, the new charged melee action allows you to throw your hammer point-blank at an enemy, which is pretty badass.

  • Throwing Hammer 
      • Increased time before hammer explodes after hitting the ground from 6.5s to 10s.
      • Increased damage vs. powerful PvE combatants by ~50%.

TOP-AND-BOTTOM-TREE STRIKER 

Some of the game’s melee-based Supers are at a bit of a disadvantage in today’s sandbox, so we’ve decided to give a few of them some love. In the future, we’ll be looking at ways to reduce the disparity between melee Supers and ranged Supers in a more sustainable way.

  • Fists of Havoc 
      • Increased slam detonation radius by 14%.
      • Reduced slam damage falloff.
      • Reduced slam attack activation cost from 21% to 18%.

MIDDLE-TREE STRIKER 

This change will be balanced out by something we haven’t mentioned yet. We’ll say more about this in a future TWAB.

  • Inertia Override 
      • Increased duration from 4 seconds to 6 seconds.
      • Sliding over an ammo brick now grants 20% melee energy.

TOP-TREE SENTINEL 

The following change refers to the Ward of Dawn bubble itself and not players inside the bubble. Currently, dropping a Ward of Dawn on top of a boss is a no-brainer because it’s so effective. The goal of this change is to reduce the breadth of encounters solved by Ward of Dawn and make burly bubbles a conscious choice by the Titan.

  • Ward of Dawn 
      • Increased damage taken from bosses from 0.25x -> 7x (at 0 Resilience).
      • Damage taken can scale down to 0.25x based on the owner’s Resilience stat.

HUNTER 

REVENANT 

Last Season, we reduced the radius of the Silence freeze. That change has played out well, requiring the Revenant to be more precise with their Silence throws. Even now, Silence feels like the scarier part of the Super, and we want Squall to feel more dangerous. Currently the Squall storm is slow enough that you can kind of ignore it or fight until it gets close and then relocate. With this speed change, we want players to prioritize relocating when they see an approaching Squall. Additionally, Squall will now stop when it touches a boss, which should make it better for single-target boss damage. However, there’s a known issue where the Squall will not start moving again if the boss moves or dies. We hope to further improve this behavior in a future release.

We feel we hit Withering Blade slightly too hard in last Season’s Stasis balancing. The following change should make it slightly easier to land while keeping the damage and slow duration at a reasonable spot.

  • Silence and Squall 
      • Increased Squall movement speed by 20%.
      • Squall storm now stops when it touches a boss.
  • Withering Blade

     

      • Increased projectile speed and tracking by 10%.

MIDDLE-TREE GUNSLINGER 

We’d like to give Hunters a larger window to defeat burning enemies and trigger the Playing with Fire perk. As such, we’re giving the Knife Trick timer a 25% buff.

  • Knife Trick 
      • Increased burning duration from 3s to 4s.

TOP-TREE GUNSLINGER 

This Super has been through a lot. We had intentionally reduced the effective range of Six-Shooter several seasons ago to balance it against bottom-tree Golden Gun. This change was then unintentionally reverted at some point due to an unrelated integration mishap and then later de-reverted. In any case, we’re extending the lethal range of this Super a little to reduce how often it required two shots to kill in the Crucible.

  • Six-Shooter 
      • Damage falloff now starts at 25m instead of 20m

ARCSTRIDER 

As we mentioned previously, melee Supers such as Arc Staff are struggling a bit in today’s sandbox where players move extremely fast, weapons hit extremely hard, and ranged Supers handily win duels. We’ve extended the duration and slam range to help alleviate some of Arc Staff’s shortcomings, but we’ll continue to evaluate Super dynamics and search for a solution that doesn’t cause Power creep. Additionally, Arc Staff needed a little love in high-level PvE content, so we’ve increased its damage output there.

  • Arc Staff 
      • Extended passive Super duration from 16 seconds to 20 seconds.
      • Increased heavy-slam detonation radius from 5m to 6m.
      • Increased damage vs PvE combatants by 33%.
  • Top-Tree Arcstrider 
      • Deadly Reach 
          • Increased duration from 8 seconds to 10 seconds.
  • Middle-Tree Arcstrider 
      • Lightning Weave 
          • Dealing damage with Tempest Strike now triggers Lightning Weave.
          • Timer can now be extended by dealing damage with any weapon.

MIDDLE-TREE NIGHTSTALKER 

Spectral Blades not only allows its user to go invisible and vanish from radar, but also has one of the highest damage-reduction values in the game. As the fantasy of this ability is that of a stealthy assassin and not a stealthy raid boss, we’ve decided to tone down the damage reduction. Looking at the data, middle-tree Nightstalker is among the most successful subclasses in the Crucible, so this change feels warranted.

  • Spectral Blades 
    • Reduced damage reduction during Super from 52% to 47%.
    • Reduced additional DR when invisible from +5% to +3%.

WARLOCK 

SHADEBINDER 

Winter’s Wrath is one of the best dueling Supers in the game, capable of quickly and easily dispatching other Supers. We’re OK with that being a strength of the Shadebinder in PvP, but we felt melee Supers needed more of a fighting chance against the Shadebinder.

  • Winter’s Wrath 
      • Reduced Shatterpulse damage vs. close-range Supers.
          • Warlock must now freeze and shatter twice to defeat players in Burning Maul, Fists of Havoc, Sentinel Shield, Nova Warp, Arc Staff or Spectral Blades (Glacial Quake still only requires one shatter to defeat).

TOP-TREE DAWNBLADE 

Top-tree Dawnblade (TTD) is straight-up dominant in PvP, so we’re taking some measures to make it slightly less so. Celestial Fire will now take a little more accuracy to get full damage. Having access to two back-to-back Icarus Dashes gave this subclass too much positioning flexibility, allowing for quick long-distance flanking and evasion. When playing against a TTD, it’s hard to know if they have an Icarus Dash ready to go, even if you just saw them use one. We’re hoping this change makes playing against a TTD more predictable.

We want the identity of TTD to be found in aerial combat, so we’re doubling down on Heat Rises. We hope this change makes Heat Rises more accessible to players of all skill levels.

  • Celestial Fire 
      • Reduced tracking cone angle.
      • Arming shape (proximity detonation) now shrinks over time.
      • Reduced detonation size by 1m.
      • Damage falloff increased at short distances.
  • Icarus Dash 
      • Now provides one air dodge every 4 seconds.
          • While under the effects of Heat Rises, increased to 2 dodges every 5 seconds.
  • Heat Rises 
      • Increased duration from 10 seconds to 15 seconds.
      • Increased the time extension awarded for air kills while Heat Rises is active. The extension duration differs based on the type of enemy killed.
      • Your location now appears on enemy radar when using Heat Rises.

MIDDLE-TREE DAWNBLADE 

Like Ward of Dawn, dropping a well on certain bosses is a no-brainer because it’s so effective. The goal of the below changes is to reduce the breadth of encounters solved by Well of Radiance and make burly wells a conscious choice by the Warlock.

Additionally, we’d like to make Well of Radiance more effective in the Crucible. You will have more survivability while in the well and you won’t be able to be frozen or slowed by Stasis users, making this tree a solid choice when facing off against Stasis. The well Sword can be frozen and shattered, but it takes multiple freezes and shatters before being destroyed.

  • Well of Radiance 
      • Increased damage taken from bosses from 0.25x → 1.5x (at 0 Resilience).
          • Damage taken can scale down to 0.25x based on the owner’s Resilience stat.
          • Note: This refers to the Well of Radiance itself and not players inside the well.
      • Increased damage resistance buff vs. enemy players from 20% to 40%
          • Players inside Well of Radiance are now immune to Stasis freeze and slow.
          • Well Sword can now be frozen and shattered by Stasis.
  • Guiding Flame 
      • Increased duration from 7 seconds to 10 seconds.
      • Increased damage buff from 20% to 25%.

BOTTOM-TREE DAWNBLADE 

This tree has felt a little lackluster when compared to the Warlock’s other options, so we’ve given it some enhanced functionality. Like the Revenant’s Shatterdive, Phoenix Dive can now dive down diagonally in the direction of your choosing.

Bottom-tree Dawnblade also has one of the weaker melee attacks in the game—you had to defeat an enemy with the melee impact to cause an explosion. With this new rework, any time you defeat an enemy who is burning or defeat an enemy with any of your Solar abilities, they’ll explode and put a burn on nearby enemies. Your charged melee deals 120 damage and puts a burn on the enemy, meaning you can follow up with another lethal attack and still get the explosion. As a side note, this will be even more effective with the Dawn Chorus Exotic helmet.

  • Phoenix Dive 
      • Reduced delay before dive starts.
      • Can now input a direction to dive in that direction.
  • Igniting Touch 
      • Ability Rework: Solar ability kills and kills on burning targets now cause targets to explode and burn other nearby enemies (who will also explode if they die while burning).

MIDDLE-TREE STORMCALLER

These changes should lead to less instances of Chaos Reach dealing damage to enemies on the other side of a wall. Arc Beam sees high use in the Crucible (in part due to Geomag Stabilizers), and is often used as a shutdown Super. In future seasons, we’ll be looking at Arc Beam to make sure it’s not too easy to use in the Crucible.

  • Chaos Reach
      • Increased beam environment-collision size to better match collision size with damage size.
      • Reduced beam damage radius in PvP by 20%.
      • Reduced beam end-point-sphere radius in PvP by 33%.

BOTTOM-TREE STORMCALLER 

Player feedback and data on bottom-tree Stormcaller indicated it could use a little love, so we made Arc Soul last a little longer and slightly shortened the time between bursts.

Landfall felt a little underwhelming, so we increased the spectacle a bit. It will now fire five arc projectiles along the ground in all directions. Cast your Super in the middle of a room to electrocute everything around you.

  • Arc Soul 
      • Increased duration from 12 seconds to 13 seconds.
      • Increased fire rate by 10%.
  • Electrostatic Surge 
      • Now increases sprint speed when allies are near.
  • Landfall 
      • Now fires five arc ground projectiles on cast.

MIDDLE-TREE VOIDWALKER 

Through a mix of player feedback, data, and running through some high-level PvE content, we felt the Nova Warp Super needed some attention. Buffing Nova Warp is a dangerous endeavor though, and we’ll be monitoring to make sure we didn’t overdo it.

In PvE, Handheld Supernova was doing a pitiful amount of damage, so we’ve considerably increased its damage output, especially considering the time and proximity cost you’re paying to charge it up and get within range of an enemy. We’ve also increased the hold time after charging to give you more time to throw it before it vanishes.

  • Nova Warp 
      • Increased damage vs. PvE combatants by 73%.
      • No longer slows movement speed while charging/charged.
      • Now detonates on cast.
  • Handheld Supernova 
      • Increased damage vs. PvE combatants by 100%.
      • Increased hold time from 2.5 seconds to 3.2 seconds.

Phew! We’ve omitted some minor changes and bug fixes from this list to avoid bogging down the TWAB any more than we already have. For the full list of ability changes, be sure to check out the patch notes when Season 15 launches. While this Season’s changes are focused on balancing the power output of specific abilities, we’re hard at work on system-level changes that will enable us to create a healthier balance between abilities and gunplay. We hope to share more about those changes in the future. Later!

Sources and Credits: This Week at Bungie – August 5, 2021


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FINE TUNING

Controller Sensitivity and Traction

Bungie is making some changes to bring controller input closer to parity with keyboard and mouse. Reason by Bungie: The Traction mod felt mandatory for PvP on controller and unnecessary on mouse and keyboard. This felt to be more appropriate as an accessibility option rather than a balance choice. Players (including Bungie) have also long felt that maximum 10 sensitivity wasn’t enough on controller.

  • Added a sprint turn speed scalar option (allowed values 0.3 to 0.8).
    • Removed the Traction mod.
  • Added additional controller sensitivity options (1-10 sensitivity is the same as before, 11-20 increases over that).
  • Added an ADS sensitivity modifier (allowed values 0.5 to 1.5).

Super Regenerating Exotics

The first set of changes, coming in Season 15, have to do with Exotics that refund Super energy. As a group, these Exotics tend to outshine other Exotic choices, especially in high difficulty, endgame activities. In some cases, they can trivialize the content or make it feel like the only reasonable option to equip for your build. Most of our changes here aim to standardize how these Exotics work and to place a cap on how much Super uptime they can grant by themselves. To offset these changes, some of the perks were reworked to be more generous with their refund minimums. There’s also a new member of the family!

  • Shards of Galanor: Increased the amount of Super granted for hits, but total Super regain is now capped at 50%.
  • Ursa Furiosa: Capped the amount of Super energy you can regain once your Super ends at 50%.
  • Skull of Dire Ahamkara: Increased the amount of Super refunded per kill, but total Super gain is capped at 50%.
  • Phoenix Protocol: Capped the amount of Super energy you can regain once your Super ends at 50%.
  • Stormdancer’s Brace: Now also refunds up to 50% of your Super energy after your Super ends, based on the number of kills.
  • Geomag Stabilizers: Removed “sprint to top off your Super.”
    • This part of the perk led to a higher uptime in PvP than was healthy and gave Attunement of Control Warlocks an immediately renewable supply of Super energy for paying for mod costs like Special Finisher in PvE.

Retunes and Reworks

The next batch of changes is focused on injecting some more power and excitement into some less popular choices. There are a few Exotics that missed the boat this time that need some extra special attention (like a certain pair of Hunter boots), and a lot more that could benefit from a nudge or two.

Hunter  

  • The Bombardiers
    • The bomb now has a secondary effect based on your subclass type:
      • Blind for Arc.
      • Burn for Solar.
      • Slow for Stasis.
      • Suppress for Void.
        • Note: The suppression will not affect a Guardian in Super.
  • Graviton Forfeit
    • Increased the bonus invisibility duration.
    • The melee regeneration speed now increases based on the number of enemies near you.
    • While you are invisible, your Recovery is greatly increased, and your weapons reload more quickly.
  • Lucky Pants
    • Added intrinsic Hand Cannon Holster mod, replaced previous functionality with the following:
    • “When you ready a fully-loaded Hand Cannon that deals Kinetic damage or damage matching your subclass energy type, for a short time each hit against a combatant from that Hand Cannon increases the damage of the next shot.”
      • Note: No, Hawkmoon won’t be able to one-shot a raid boss using these legs. Other Hand Cannons will get a fun edge in combat, though!
    • What is a Hand Cannon Holster mod? A new kind of mod that reloads stowed weapons. More on that below…

Titan

  • Precious Scars
    • Will now also create a burst of healing and bonus Recovery around you whenever you kill an enemy with a weapon whose damage type matches your subclass type.
  • Icefall Mantle
    • Removed the slower class ability recharge scalar.

Warlock 

  • Verity’s Brow
    • Changed to trigger when you get a weapon kill that matches your subclass energy type.
    • Increased grenade damage bonus to 20% per stack (up from 10%).
  • The Stag
    • Grants damage reduction to allied Guardians standing in your Rifts.
      • 25% against combatants, 15% against players.
  • Promethium Spur
    • Has additional functionality:
    • While standing in a Rift, Solar weapon kills give you class ability energy.
    • When your class ability energy is full, Solar weapon kills consume that energy and spawn a combination healing/empowering Rift at the target’s location.

Keep your eyes open for other changes to come in the wake of these as well. Bungie’s goal for the next few Seasons, especially following the launch of The Witch Queen, is to increase the variety of fun and powerful choices available to players in PvE and PvP alike.

Finders, Scavengers, and Holsters – Oh My!

Bungie is also rolling out some changes to mods that affect the ammo economy. Running double ammo scavenger mods makes it too easy to have 100% uptime with special weapons in both PvP and PvE. In PvP specifically, Bungie believes this is an important factor in how oppressive certain Special weapons feel. Reducing their effectiveness is a step towards addressing this – they are prepared to revisit this depending on how it plays when it’s out in the wild. Bungie is also looking to improve Ammo Finder to make it a bit easier to earn Special and Heavy ammo in PvE, while introducing a new type of Leg armor mod that reloads stowed weapons.

  • Ammo Finder
    • Now have an increased chance to spawn ammo on kills with primary weapons, and a further increased chance with Exotic Primaries.
  • Scavenger
    • Multiple copies of Scavenger mods of the same type no longer stack.
  • Holster
    • This is a new type of leg armor mod that will gradually reload stowed weapons of the matching type over time.
      • Multiple copies of Holster mods of the same type will increase the rate ammo is reloaded.
    • The following weapon types will have Holster mods: Auto Rifle, Fusion Rifle, Grenade Launcher (Power), Hand Cannon, Linear Fusion Rifle, Machine Gun, Pulse Rifle, Scout Rifle, Shotgun, Sidearm, Submachine Gun, Sniper Rifle, and Trace Rifle.
      • Hand Cannon excludes Eriana’s Vow.
      • Rocket Launchers, Breech-loaded Grenade Launchers, and Bows will not have Holster mods, as we didn’t want to affect any weapon that has a magazine size of 1.

Warmind Cells. Interlinked. 

Bungie’s Reason for Changing: “To be blunt: these are currently too powerful. This isn’t a surprise. Even at their introduction, we knew they were very strong. That was the point! At the time these were created, they were only expected to last for about a year, so we could push the envelope on something cool and flavorful knowing that they wouldn’t be around breaking things forever with the force of Rasputin’s explosive wrath. They would have a time to shine, but eventually leave and make room for the next exciting thing. Now that they are able to remain viable in endgame content indefinitely, we feel it’s necessary to bring them down to be more in line with what the rest of the sandbox is capable of. If we didn’t, it would cause ongoing problems for activity design and weapon rewards.”

  • Base Warmind Cells
    • Reduced radius of the explosion/effect range of Warmind Cells (10 → 6 meters).
    • Reduced damage of the explosion of Warmind Cells (previously 200-400 → now 50-250).
  • Global Reach
    • Increase the mod cost of Global Reach to 3.
    • Reduce the amount of radius increase (20 → 10 meters).
  • Cellular Suppression
    • Reduce the duration of the suppressing effect when using Cellular Suppression (3 seconds → 2 seconds).
  • Wrath of Rasputin
    • Reduce bonus Solar damage (previously 100-200 → now 25-100).

Elemental Wells

Two Elemental Well mods are getting improvements in order to make them a more competitive choice when compared to other Combat Style mods.

  • Elemental Armaments now has an increased chance to spawn an elemental well based on the tier of the enemy defeated.
  • Font of Might’s base duration has been increased to 10 seconds and increased the damage bonus provided from 10% to 25%.

Source: This Week at Bungie – August 12, 2021


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WEAPON TUNING

Definition of Terms 

Some of the recent info on weapons Bungie has put out has been confusing so Bungie has provided some definitions and clarifications to help:

Falloff – Internally we use “falloff min” and “falloff max” to mean start and end, but moving forward we’ll use these externally, using damage as an example (but the same logic applies to aim assist and whatnot):

  • Damage falloff start: The distance at which damage falloff begins, or stops doing maximum damage.
  • Damage falloff end: The distance at which damage falloff ends, or hits the damage floor.

Projectiles – We’ve used various terms to describe these types externally, including borrowing terms from other genres (oops), but have settled on these:

  • Hitscan: A projectile that instantly hits – this applies to most weapons in the game; for example Auto Rifles, Hand Cannons, Fusion Rifles, fully drawn Bows (at most distances).
  • Non-hitscan: A projectile with travel time, sometimes having physics bounces, and often having explosive damage and/or homing; for example Rocket Launchers, Grenade Launchers, partially drawn Bows, Jötunn.

Shotguns 

  • Spread angle: The cone that pellets come out in – not to be confused with one of the other types of cones – this determines the size of the outer ring below.
  • Destiny 2 Shotguns don’t have pure RNG for pellet distribution (though yes, it sure feels like it sometimes), which seems worth diving into…
  • A Shotgun shot contains 12 pellets, spread out across three rings as follows:
    • Center: One pellet right in the middle
    • Inner ring: Four wedges with one pellet each
    • Outer ring: Seven wedges with one pellet each
    • So, aside from the center, which is in a fixed location, each pellet is only randomized inside a defined wedge angle and inner/outer radius.

Global

Season 15 introduces Legendary Stasis weapons, and Bungie has seen some concern about how these are intended to work, particularly in PvP, so here are some details:

  • Stasis Power weapons are in the Power slot, but all other Stasis weapons are in the Kinetic slot. This is to avoid overcrowding the Energy slot, and so that it’s reasonable to use one in match game content. The Kinetic slot won’t be renamed at this time.
  • Stasis weapons don’t intrinsically do anything differently from weapons of other damage types, but they are the only weapons that can roll with Stasis perks.
  • We generally intend Stasis perks with slowing or freezing effects to have a kill trigger, this being easy enough to trigger in PvE and fun to use but not obnoxious to play against in PvP.

Now that Bungie has addressed Quickdraw’s permanent +100 handling buff they see more people using the quickswap glitch. The glitch uses combinations of inputs to animation cancel, allowing near-instant weapon swaps. Bungie wants the Handling stat to continue to have value on weapons, and don’t want – for example – Aggressive Shotguns to lose their key downside (slow swaps) due to an unintentional side effect of the animation system

  • Fixed the quickswap glitch.

Running out of Primary ammo has never been tactically interesting. Running out in hard PvE content or because you were on a tear in PvP was a weird and sometimes frustrating experience that Bungie would like to not subject anyone to in the future.

  • All Primary ammo weapons now have infinite ammo.
  • Inertia Override has been adjusted to account for there being no Primary bricks (see the 8/5/2021 abilities TWAB).
  • Drop Mag’s downside of reducing reserve ammo is now almost meaningless.
    • Reworked to be +reload speed, -magazine size.
  • Compact Arrow Shaft’s upside of increasing reserve ammo likewise.
    • Reworked to be +reload, +handling.
  • Updated some other perks that refer to reserves in a way that’s no longer accurate.
  • See notes on Fighting Lion and Sweet Business in the Exotics section below.

Target farming Trials weapons is much more efficient in Season 15, and Bungie has some cool new perks for players to play with that they wanted to put on Trials weapons.

  • All Trials weapons available in Season 15 now have seven perks in each column (was 5).

When max Power levels on weapons launched, and Bungie reissued several weapons, they saw how frustrated players were at having to regrind their favorite rolls, since the perks pools hadn’t changed. Based on that, our reissue guidelines from Season 13 onwards were to replace most of the perks. Turns out that that was an overcorrection, and that certain perks in the original pools had become part of the identity of a weapon.

Moving forward, the guidelines for reissues will be to remove the least useful 2-3 perks and add 2-3 newer perks that give the weapon some new options and may result in an entirely new top tier rolls without removing the old one.

Bungie has made some small adjustments to the weapons reissued in the 3.2.1 update to move these in the direction of the new reissue guidelines (and if you were wondering why Bungie Community Managers were asking for everyone’s favorite rolls, now you know).

  • Added one or two of the original perks to each column for the Luna weapons reissued in 3.2.1 (i.e. the Lectern weapons only).
    • Since these can be target farmed, we’re ok with increasing the size of the perk pools in this case.
  • Added one of the original perks to one or both columns for the Dreaming City weapons reissued in 3.2.1 (Tigerspite, Twilight Oath, Abide the Return).
    • Since these can’t be target farmed (yet), we didn’t want to increase the size of the pools by more than one.

Archetypes 

Note: Exotics receive these changes as written unless otherwise mentioned in the Exotics section below 

Breech Grenade Launchers are increasing as a pain point in PvP, and with the Shotgun nerf Bungie is seeing a small increase in usage. This change aims to reduce the ease of getting big splash damage for priming or cleaning up targets; Bungie will watch how things change and make further adjustments in a future update if needed. Note that they are fine with how they perform in PvE so have compensated there.

  • Reduced blast radius by 0.4m, e.g. max blast radius decreased from 4.55m to 4.15m, min blast radius decreased from 3.80m to 3.40m.
  • Reduced splash damage by 20, which reduces total damage for a direct hit from 220 to 200 (before taking spike or proximity grenades into account).
  • Increased damage in PvE by 12% (because of the above splash damage change this results in a small overall buff to combined damage).
  • Witherhoard is unaffected.

While Machine Gun usage is surprisingly high, Bungie felt that they weren’t fulfilling their intended role in high difficulty content (ammo efficient add clear and secondary single target sustained damage).

  • Increased damage in PvE by 20%.

Scout Rifles and Hand Cannons have felt weaker than Bungie would like in hard PvE content for quite a while.

  • Increased damage vs. minors by 15%.

Fusion Rifles have benefited indirectly from the mid-Season 14 Shotgun nerf, but Fusion Rifle subfamilies weren’t as different from each other as Bungie wanted, and weren’t all useful in a variety of content. So they looked at all of the options they had for diversifying them and ended up with some substantial changes. This isn’t intended to be a global buff to Fusion Rifles, but they expect some of these to be better counters to other weapons than they were previously

  • Note that Bungie also evaluated some other options, which are worth a bit of discussion:
    • Giving the projectiles travel time: Bungie did like the idea of this behavior in Destiny 1, but on investigation found that there are networking issues with firing rapid bursts of non-hitscan projectiles, and they didn’t play as well as they wanted them to. Bungie may look at this option again in the future.
    • Burst rate of fire: This would have meant touching design data and audio for every Fusion Rifle they have ever shipped; well beyond the scope they wanted for this change and also not that interesting a change.
  • Increased PvE damage bonus such that all subfamilies have a 15% PvE bonus (previously high impact was 0%, precision and adaptive were 10% and rapid-fire was 12.5%).
  • Pushed subfamilies further apart, adjusting charge time, shots fired per burst (was seven for all subfamilies) and damage (note that the “base” below means without battery perks, a charge time masterwork or the Adept Charge Time mod):
    • High Impacts charge slower, and while still strong require more planning to use effectively.
      • Base charge time increased from 0.86s to 1.0s.
      • Shots per burst reduced from seven to five.
      • Reduced total damage per burst.
      • In playtesting, Bungie found that charging these in the open is super risky, but pre-charging around corners or otherwise in safety is very effective.
      • With the reduced shots per burst, these are now less reliant on stability, so can stack a bit more range.
    • Precisions and Adaptives are close to unchanged.
      • Base charge time is unchanged.
      • Shots per burst is unchanged at seven.
      • Very slightly increased total damage per burst.
      • In playtesting, Bungie felt that these are very effective all-around, without stepping on the niches of High Impacts and Rapid Fires.
    • Rapid Fires charge faster, allowing them to be used reactively against charging enemies, or aggressively when pushing forward.
      • Base charge time decreased from 0.54s to 0.46s.
      • Shots per burst increased from seven to nine.
      • Increased total damage per burst.
      • In playtesting, Bungie found that these are very effective against Shotgun-rushers. The combination of them needing to be closer, and you having a shorter charge time work well together, and if you have good enough timing, you can fire two bursts with a rapid fire before a high impact user finishes charging their first.
      • With the increased shots per burst, these are now more reliant on stability, but with the increased damage they’re less reliant on range.
  • Parts of this work required adjusting several Fusion Rifle perks, and one mod:
    • Backup Plan’s implementation was incompatible with the Fusion Rifle changes, and we felt like the perk could use a rework anyway.
      • Removed +100 to charge time stat, adjusted charge time multiplier from 0.85 to 0.7, now scales damage by 0.8.
    • Liquid Coils and Accelerated Coils needed a rework for similar reasons.
      • Both converted to scale charge time and damage instead of modifying the charge time stat.
      • The final effect is much the same as before, but these are now more robust, however they won’t visibly change the charge time stat in the inspection screen.
    • The Adept Charge Time mod felt pointless, and Bungie felt like it would still be balanced against other mods if it didn’t reduce damage.
      • Changed functionality to scale charge time directly instead of changing the charge time stat, without adjusting the damage.
    • A note on the Charge Time Masterwork:
      • A Fusion Rifle’s damage is determined by its charge time stat, similar to how most others weapons’ damage is determined by their rate of fire stat. Masterworks can only increase weapon stats for performance reasons, so it’s not possible to change how charge time maps onto damage without big changes to how the charge time stat works.
      • Bungie investigated doing this by making the Masterwork a perk, but this would cause Fusion Rifles to exceed the perk budget, resulting in Bad Things Happening (as mentioned in a prior TWAB).
      • With the Fusion Rifle rework, Bungie felt that this Masterwork is more viable; it now rarely reduces bolts to kill, so may feel not feel like a downgrade in the same way as before.
      • Bungie will be watching to see how this plays out and have some options to address the issue if that’s still needed.
  • Adjusted the Fusion Rifle stat order so it matches other weapons (stability and handling were out of order).
  • This is a big change to Fusion Rifles, including all Exotic Fusions, so Bungie will be watching for any major issues and will make tweaks as needed.

Exotics

To read the info above, check out this TWAB article.

Perks 

Firing Line – Bungie likes the idea of the perk; it was just giving away a bit too much damage for almost-free.

  • Reduced damage bonus to +20% precision damage for all supported weapon archetypes (was highly variable depending on weapon type).
  • Will roll on some Sniper Rifles, Linear Fusion Rifles and Machine Guns, and maybe some other stuff in the future.

Certain damage perks only affected impact damage on explosive weapons, Bungie has updated these specific perks to also increase detonation damage.

  • Kill Clip
  • Rampage
  • Adrenaline Junkie

Bungie also fixed incorrect rarity on some recently shipped weapon perks.

VFX 

Weapon VFX were all custom and some didn’t meet Bungie’s desired cool factor, so they have rebuilt these to speed up the process of adding new weapons or updating old ones, while updating the visuals at the same time.

  • Updated all Grenade Launcher and Rocket Launcher VFX.
  • Legendary Fusion and Linear Fusion Rifles now have distinct damage type charge VFX.

THE NEAR FUTURE 

Bungie is devoting a lot of energy to The Witch Queen expansion, and there are a ton of things changing in a few weeks, so they want to see how things shake out before deciding on further tuning. They will be watching Season 15 launch closely and are ready to make some small adjustments as needed in the first half of the Season.

THE MORE DISTANT FUTURE (BUT STILL BEFORE THE WITCH QUEEN) 

Linear Fusion Rifles and Caster Frame Swords are still not where Bungie wants them to be, so expect some tweaks.

They are also looking at underused or underpowered Exotics, and will be taking a pass at some of them including Arbalest, Suros Regime, Cryosthesia 77K, Malfeasance, and more.

If you have issues with spamming high rate-of-fire semi-automatic weapons as fast as possible, they got something in the works for you.

Priming a target and quickly swapping for a cleanup is easier than they would like, and they are looking at options for building towards faster swap speeds. They have got a step at hitting both of these points coming.

WITCH QUEEN AND BEYOND 

Bungie talked previously about wanting Legendary weapons to have more identity based on their source and expect to ship a new system for this in or close to The Witch Queen.

In Season 15 Bungie tweaked Exotic Primary weapons to generate ammo faster through ammo finder mods, and we have another change planned to make them more enticing in hard PvE content.

That’s all Bungie has for weapon changes for now. They looking forward to seeing how the PvP and PvE metas shape up once you all have your hands on them next week! -Chris @ Bungie

Source: This Week at Bungie – August 19, 2021

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