Destiny 2 difficulty changes are coming upon the Destiny 2 Lightfall release date, according to several updates from the Bungie team included in a recent post titled “Bringing Challenge Back to Destiny.” While Destiny 2 game director Joe Blackburn outlined some difficulty changes in a previous “Lightfall and the Year Ahead” blog post, the more recent post offers an in-depth look at some of these difficulty changes as they involve Vanguard Ops, Destiny 2 Nightfalls, raids, and dungeons.
Some major changes include the decision to remove Adept-level difficulty, leaving Hero difficulty available at the game’s post-Lightfall soft Power cap of 1750, and Legend and Master difficulties available upon reaching the cap of 1800. (The Power levels for Hero, Legend, and Master will be 1770, 1830, and 1840 respectively.)
The game will also introduce Power level disadvantages: -5 for Hero, -15 for Legend, -20 for Master, and -25 for Grandmaster. Come Lightfall, Bungie will remove Match Game, and shields mismatched to the player element type will take 50% less damage. Surges and Threats now replace Burns in high-level activities. Surges increase outgoing elemental damage by 25%, with a seasonal featured elemental Surge and one of two rotating elemental Surges. With Destiny 2 season 20, the featured Surge is the Destiny 2 Strand subclass and the rotating Surges as Void and Solar. On the other hand, Threats will increase incoming damage from enemies by 25%.
Lightfall will also release Overcharged weapons from various sources, which deal 25% more damage and feature increased damage (25%) if using a Surging subclass. The post also introduces well as scored non-Nightfall strikes, power-disabled activities in the Vanguard Ops playlist, Vanguard challenges that reflect currently surging subclasses, and increased difficulty for Lost Sectors, Dares of Eternity, and The Wellspring.
However, the changes quickly prompted concern from players. For starters, even though the post indicates that Bungie plans to make Lost Sectors more rewarding, it does not mention Lost Sector reward increases, offering improved chances for better rewards upon completion. Currently, due to RNG, players often must run Legendary Lost Sectors numerous times before they can earn a substantial reward.
Others comment that the Surge feature amounts to an overall nerf to elemental classes currently in the rotation. Because the game will not feature Arc and Stasis as Surges throughout the season, some players pointed out that Bungie has effectively nerfed these elemental subclasses. The same goes for Overcharged weapons, which grant buffs to specific weapons and disincentivise any weapons not within those classes.
Players are also speculating that Bungie designed the increased difficulty to encourage players to invest even more time in the game, which they feel is concerning given the game’s attempt to leverage additional playtime to fuel more Destiny 2 monetisation by encouraging them to spend money on microstransactions.
It’s too early to tell whether such concerns are premature before Lightfall in the popular multiplayer game, now just a few days from launch. However, with the new Destiny 2 loadouts system and mod updates, it feels as though Bungie may be giving players more opportunities to choose how they want to play and then unnecessarily restricting them in high-level activities.