Destiny 2 will become harder across the board as the developers experiment with new ways to combat the power creep that made its way into the game’s revamped buildcrafting systems with the introduction of Stasis and the Arc 3.0, Solar 3.0 and Void 3.0 overhauls introduced throughout the past year in the FPS game. According to a lengthy blog post from Joe Blackburn, Bungie’s game director for Destiny 2, players can expect several difficulty changes upon the Destiny 2 Lightfall release date and the launch of Destiny 2 season 20, officially known as the Season of Defiance. These changes will make the game more challenging to players beyond simply increasing the damage dealt by or taken from enemy combatants.
The blog post covers significant ground as an overall ‘state of the game’-type piece that fleshes out what players can expect in the year ahead. In the post, Blackburn lists four core tenets, expressing the team’s desire to expand players’ imaginations, bring challenge back to Destiny, enrich content, and connect Guardians.
Specifically, regarding bringing challenge back to Destiny, Blackburn expands into efforts to combat the inherent strengths of the overhauled subclass systems paired with powerful weapons and gear designed to complement specific class abilities.
The Bungie team had previously shared that it would slow the timing for ability regeneration, which Blackburn reiterates in the post. He also notes that the energy cost of resilience mods will increase from 1 to 2 for minor mods and 2 to 4 for major mods. He also announced an upcoming balancing patch addressing gear-driven buffs.
Bungie also intends to implement several changes to make the game’s content more challenging, regardless of player power level. Blackburn noted that the game aggressively adjusted difficulty settings that dictate how over-levelled a player can be for specific activities in Destiny 2 season 19. He then mentions the team has been happy overall with the results. Therefore, the developers are planning to continue this trend by implementing those difficulty changes in the game’s Vanguard Ops playlist as of Lightfall.
“We aren’t going to set this playlist knob to a level quite as intense as the Battlegrounds playlist, but we do want to use this setting to make Vanguard Ops a lot more engaging to the average Guardian starting in Lightfall.”
Blackburn also notes it will take the same approach to power and difficulty when roaming throughout Neomuna.
“[W]hile we don’t want the entire game to feel like it’s turned up to 11, we think these changes will help the enemy forces patrolling Neomuna feel dangerous and worth your attention,” he says in the post.
He suggests the team will continue to make tweaks and notes that in Destiny 2 season 21, called Season of the Deep, the team won’t make any additional changes to the power or pinnacle cap beyond the levelling present in Lightfall. The change presumably provides more access to all players to experience the game’s “best content,” which likely includes raids and dungeons that typically attract veteran players.
These changes go hand-in-hand with Bungie’s goal to enrich the game’s content. Blackburn also that the game will continue to refine its Crucible matchmaking as it introduces several new modes. Further, the game will reintroduce the Presage, Vox Obscura, and Operation: Seraph’s Shield exotic missions on rotation so New Lights can experience them for the first time, and seasoned players can experience them once again. This is a welcome change, as these are exciting and fun missions that might otherwise be vaulted if not integrated into the gameplay loop in some way.
He also announced that players can look forward to Battlegrounds in Vanguard Ops playlists and as Nightfalls, along with updates to the Lake of Shadows and Arms Dealer strikes designed to make them more engaging.
“In addition, we are also taking strikes that have not been updated recently, such as Exodus Crash and The Inverted Spire, and dramatically reducing their presence in the Vanguard Ops playlist while eliminating them from Nightfall rotations,” Blackburn says.
This is in addition to the previous announcement that, like with The Witch Queen, the Lightfall DLC will have both a normal and a Legendary campaign difficulty. Bungie originally introduced the more difficult campaign difficulty in response to player requests for more challenging content. It appears Bungie wants to continue applying these changes in difficulty to other activities so players who have reached high power levels don’t find the space game‘s content too easy.