Significant changes are in store for Destiny 2, and they're not too far away. Coinciding with the upcoming 30th Aniversary event and DLC pack, Destiny 2 will receive a slew of adjustments and updates that will dramatically change how the game is played. From increasing ability cooldown times to finetuning available weapons, it will feel decidedly different playing Destiny 2 after the December 7 update goes live. While many of the tweaks serve to level the playing field in the title's PvP modes, they'll also create an effect that'll ripple throughout the entire game.
As Bungie has outlined in its recent This Week At Bungie (TWAB) posts, Destiny 2's "sandbox" (the weapons, abilities, enemies and general gameplay) will see a major overhaul come Dec. 7. A TWAB posted on Nov. 11 detailed all the upcoming changes for weapons players could expect, and a follow-up on Nov. 18 extensively covered adjustments to abilities and the three Guardian classes. After the update, Destiny 2's gameplay focus will shift away from excessive ability and Super usage and move to emphasize gunplay. Here's what players need to know about Destiny 2's massive changes and how the game will function afterward.
Weapons Are Getting Buffed In Destiny 2
Halfway through a season categorized by melting bosses faces off with fusion rifles and linear fusion rifles, Bungie is about to crank things up a notch. Shotguns, linear fusion rifles, swords, bows, fusion rifles and sidearms are all generally getting buffed in one way or another. Some of these weapons have already proven themselves strong contenders (like linear fusion rifles), but others (like sidearms) always feel a little less potent than they should. Accompanying these more general tweaks, Bungie detailed specific changes coming to a wide assortment of Exotic weapons. Though a few were tuned down, most of the entries described incoming buffs or added effects to the majority of listed Exotics.
Destiny 2's community quickly celebrated the announced changes. None of the weapons nerfed felt uncalled for and, in exchange, players were going to see plenty of other weapons become more powerful, inevitably taking the spotlight. Old favorites like the Whisper of the Worm Exotic sniper rifle and Arbalest linear fusion rifle were back on the menu, having benefitted from generous buffs. However, these changes were just a part of Destiny 2's change in course.
Class Abilities Are Getting Nerfed In Destiny 2
When Bungie posted Nov. 18's TWAB, it made some fans' stomachs drop. In the post, Bungie reaffirmed its desire to better balance the PvP and PvE landscape by introducing sweeping changes to class powers and abilities -- in effect, putting a greater emphasis on weapons. To reach this end, Bungie introduced the Variable Ability Cooldowns system. This backend feature allows the developer to independently alter the cooldowns for every ability available to each class.
As the game stands now, classes share the same cooldown between their respective abilities before stat increases from gear. The Variable Ability Cooldowns system lets Bungie balance ability power potential against now-variable cooldown time. To that end, Bungie has gone through and rebalanced many abilities, mostly dulling their edge or increasing their cooldown. Only a few powers appear to gain from the changes. This type of rebalancing worked with general abilities, but Bungie had to take a more direct approach with Supers. As a result, Guardians will no longer gain super energy primarily through passive regeneration. Instead, it will generate passively at a significantly decreased rate, and dealing or taking damage will become the primary method of producing Super energy.
If that wasn't enough to take the wind out of any super-powered Guardian, Bungie went further by altering and nerfing a number of Exotic armor pieces, perks and mods that assisted in regenerating ability/super energy or added additional powerful effects. Though it's clear a number of these changes serve to balance the Crucible PvP scene in Destiny 2, slowing down ability regeneration and altering how players generate Super energy will have an huge effect on the overall gameplay and meta -- especially in high-end PvE content. At least most of the tuning was accompanied by damage increases to nerfed abilities in PvE settings.
What Will Destiny 2 Be Like After Dec. 7?
Since the original Destiny, players have contended with excessive use of Guardian abilities, Supers popping off every few minutes in Crucible matches and always only being a few minutes away from their most powerful skills. However, that's all about to change on Dec. 7. While Destiny 2 isn't throwing away classes or abilities altogether, they'll be more of a commodity than a constant accessory.
Bungie outlined a few principles for Destiny 2's PvP experience, saying, "Weapons are the primary way players engage with combat," and "Non-Super abilities accentuate or augment the combat but should rarely solve an encounter by themselves." Though these principles serve and guide the development of the PvP sandbox, there's no question the upcoming changes infuse them into all of Destiny 2. Bungie has acknowledged this, saying, "We don't want the PvE experience to suffer for the sake of PvP balance though, so we've tried to compensate where possible." Still, it's tough to say whether making abilities "feel like bigger power moments than they do in today's game" is worth the cost of refocusing the gameplay, though fans will sure make their opinions heard either way once the changes go live.
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