On Thursday, a few moments after the Outrider demo went live, Bungie decided to showcase why Destiny 2 cannot be killed.
In an exhaustive blog titled “Destiny 2021 Update: The Road to the Witch Quee” assistant game director for Destiny 2, Joe Blackburn, announced a few changes that are going over well with the community.
There is a lot to get through so let’s start with the next expansion for Destiny 2 – The Witch Queen.
The forthcoming expansion, which was expected in September 2021, is now only going to arrive in early 2022. According to Blackburn this is because of several factors one of which is of course the ongoing pandemic. The other reasons, however, are exciting.
“As we began to scale production on the Witch Queen last year, we made the difficult but important decision to move its release to early 2022; we also realized we needed to add an additional unannounced chapter after Lightfall to fully complete our first saga of Destiny,” wrote Blackburn.
So Destiny appears to have a life beyond Lightfall and perhaps beyond this unannounced chapter of the game.
The more important reason the delay is happening is because Bungie needs to fix its game, starting with sunsetting.
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out
One of the most divisive decisions Bungie has made as regards Destiny 2 is the Sunsetting of weapons and armour.
While Bungie hoped that capping the power of weapons would solve a problem it instead created many more issues. The grind for gear outside of Raids became near pointless and many players simply left the game because their time wasn’t being respected.
In Season 14 (that’s the season after the one we’re currently in) infusion caps will be removed for all gear that hasn’t reached the cap as of the start of Season of the Chosen.
This effectively means that any gear earned from Season of the Worthy onwards will be able to be used going forward without fear that it will no longer be useable in future seasons.
“While we still strongly believe that Destiny needs a method to shift our meta in the game’s most challenging activities, we don’t believe that infusion caps are the right answer. We’re taking time this year to research and validate a plan that creates a fresh and balanceable ecosystem for our most aspirational content, one that doesn’t make our rewards feel like they have an expiration date. We’ve learned a lot this year and don’t want to rush finding the best plan, so don’t expect to hear anything more about this until after The Witch Queen,” wrote the assistant game director.
While this means that the scourge of Felwinter’s Lie in the Crucible is now going to be a permanent fixture, Bungie says that it will still be balancing weapons in upcoming seasons. To that end, Felwinter’s and Warmind Cells could be nerfed soon so keep an eye out for news on that.
Somewhat related to infusion caps is a change to Power caps.
Every Season, Destiny 2 players are tasked with the arduous grind of acquiring 50 Power levels before the season’s end. It’s a chore, and it’s a chore we will no longer have to deal with.
“Starting in Season 14, we will only be raising the Power cap by 10 for each non-expansion season. This means if you reach the maximum Power in Season 13 [1310 Power], when next season rolls around you will be directly in the 10-point Pinnacle band of the Power pursuit. This Power increase should feel familiar to anyone who played Season of Dawn last year, and we’re excited to see how this progression feels alongside our new systems,” Blackburn explained.
Given that Bungie has remained mum on PvP since Beyond Light’s launch there is a lot to discuss here.
With that in mind we’re going to sum up Blackburn’s points.
- Three-peaking (using a sword or emoting) will be disabled in Trials of Osiris and Competitive PvP modes
- Stasis subclasses Behemoth Titan and Revenant Hunter are being nerfed
- Shadebinder Warlock is getting bug fixes, seemingly no nerfs
- Stasis crystal shatter damage is being decreased for all sub-classes
- Weapon changes and new perks that help keep the PvP meta fresh
- Adjust ability use so that PvP is more about guns and gunplay
But all of this means nothing if the game mode isn’t fair. Where once cheaters relegated themselves to Trials of Osiris, cheating is rampant in many parts of the game.
To that end, Bungie will be doubling the size of its security team as well as continue surveying players to try and find the best way to deal with cheaters.
In addition, Bungie will continue aggressive legal action against cheat developers.
The developer didn’t go into much more detail about security for obvious reasons.
Then, Trials of
Sweat Osiris is being addressed.
The pinnacle PvP mode has been struggling of late mainly because of the power creep issue Destiny has always encountered but addressed in other modes.
So, moving forward, Bungie is looking at ways to improve the matchmaking pool and reward structures for Trials of Osiris. This includes investigating how solo players can participate in the mode.
“We believe this will not only make the matchmaking pools healthier, but also will also encourage more players to see what Trials is all about and hopefully form social connections with other PVP-loving Guardians,” writes Blackburn.
Transmog or, the ability to turn any piece of armour into a Universal Ornament, is coming in Season 14.
Our second favourite Exo (Banshee 44 is our favourite), Ada-1, returns to the Tower as the Armor Synthesis vendor. Armor Synthesis is what Bungie is calling transmog.
“Every season Ada will offer players a set of bounties that highlight various activity types. Players can complete these quests and receive the materials they need to power up Ada’s Loom, which can turn any piece of armor in your collection into a permanent universal ornament. Players short on time will also be able to purchase Synthesis tokens for Silver,” explains Blackburn.
“At the beginning of Season 14 we will be including a starting supply of Synthesis materials as reward for completing the Seasonal onboarding quest. We know many of you have been looking forward to Synthesis for a long time and want to frontload your ability to create some of the looks you’ve been looking forward to showing off,” he added.
Along with Armor Synthesis, the appearance menu for characters is changing. These changes include the ability to manage your ornaments, apply shaders to a piece of gear or your armour set and, oh yeah, shaders are now permanent unlocks rather than single-use items.
It only took Bungie five years but at last the shader system is slightly better.
We love the idea of everything above but Armor Synthesis has to be fair and not massively overpriced. If players are forced to pay Silver to transmog items, we think players will read Bungie the Riot Act.
Execution is often where Bungie falls short and when it comes to money, it can’t afford to look greedy, even if the developer is independent these days.
To close we’re just going to run through some other changes coming to the game.
- Crossplay is coming in Season 15
- PC players and console players will not be matched in PvP unless a PC player invites a console player to their team
- Ikora Rey is returning in Season 14. She will play a pivotal role in Witch Queen
- Stasis Legendary (Purple) Energy and Power weapons are coming in Season 15
- Vault of Glass arrives next season, more details on World’s First race closer to the time.
There is a lot to get excited about here but the death of sunsetting is perhaps the biggest change among all of this.
So much so that the community doesn’t seem to be upset with the Witch Queen delay and rightly so.
This blog from Blackburn addresses some of the biggest issues with the game and none of those issues are related to seasonal or expansion content.
Instead, Destiny 2’s problems are largely tied to its systems and those problematic systems are being addressed.
While it’s a bit of a meme, Bungie really is listening to player feedback and to our mind, that’s why many developers will always struggle to make a Destiny killer.
Bungie listens, and that’s why we pour hours into its game.