Massive new subclass changes, slower Supers and ability nerfs are coming to Destiny 2 when Shadowkeep launches

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Just like every year before it, Bungie has a few BIG changes in store for Destiny 2. Some of these changes are good! With an eye on growing the fanbase by making a large chunk of the base game free and tailoring events to give the series a soft reset for newcomers and veterans alike, the Shadowkeep era will be Bungie’s biggest effort yet at ensuring that Destiny has a future without the lucrative purse of Activision steering the franchise.

Some of those other changes…are not so good. In the latest blog post, Bungie detailed how certain features, buffs and subclasses will be altered all in the name of creating a sandbox which isn’t more broken than late capitalism society. Supers will be getting some hefty changes, as Bungie plans to pretty much nerf the armour attached to those abilities so that players feel less like an unstoppable warrior of light and more like a glass cannon when these ultimate skills are used.

“These changes will reduce the speed with which players are able to earn their super which supports difficulty and reduces the current ability to trivialize certain content through excessively chaining supers,” Bungie explained on their blog.

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Systemically, we want to reduce base sources of supers on a large macro scale without diminishing the feeling that your actions are gaining you a worthwhile energy boost. By reducing the speed at which you gain super we can make mods and perks feel more worthwhile. We still want it to feel like you can make meaningful progress not only through normal play but by augmenting super energy through teamwork, class choices, gear, and skillful play.

There’s a fear that Supers will be reduced to their Destiny 2 year one status before the Go Faster update sped up the progression of earning those world-changing powers, epecially with current sources of power offering much less bang for buckshot:

New Energy Granted by Super Orbs:

  • Super Orb: 7.143% (50% reduction)
  • Masterwork Orb: 2.5% (50% reduction)

Kills: (25% reduction)

  • Minor: 0.6%
  • Elite: 0.96%
  • Mini-boss: 1.8%
  • Boss: 3%
  • Player: 3%

Assists: (25% reduction)

  • Minor: 0.3%
  • Elite: 0.48%
  • Mini-boss: 0.9%
  • Boss: 1.5%
  • Player: 1.5%

Bungie is also planning to outright kill instant reloads, as the reasoning behind this is that the current selection of ammo refillers that operate on an instantaneous level is that it breaks the game. “Reloading is one of those mechanics that are simple, but have wide ranging consequences,” Bungie explained.

Because the effect on gameplay of removing reloading is inversely proportional to the size of your weapon’s magazine and how slow your general reload animations are, weapons like Rocket Launchers and Shotguns can benefit greatly compared to other weapons. This, alongside the increase in general access to damage bonus effects like Well of Radiance left us with the decision to remove this effect from these two sources, as they were causing things to quickly snowball out of control.              

Instead, reload animations will remain but the actual time spent between empty chamber and filling a hand with lead, will increase monumentally to match the perks of certain abilities and Exotic gear. The other BIG with a capitcal BIG changes on the way? Numerous subclass changes aimed at strengthening the most unloved of skills, primarily across the Hunter and Titan skilltrees:

Nightstalker Way of the Pathfinder

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We want to lean into the fantasy of a speedy disruptor. Pathfinders need more tools to scout the battlefield and a skill based way to engage with that gameplay more often. We should reward this scouting and battlefield control gameplay, executed well, with more opportunities to do the same. At the same time shadow shot needed some quality of life improvements for long standing frustrations.

Sentinel Code of the Protector (Top)

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This path is the main support role for Titans and focuses heavily on melee kills while staying near allies. We want to focus more heavily on buffing allies so that players care about the timing of their buff usage. With a loop which allows players to get their melee energy back more quickly this will be a more engaging path to play. Additionally, Ward of Dawn is currently not up to snuff, and needs a buff that ties in to the fantasy of buffing allies.

Lastly, damage to certain buffs and debuffs will also be on the chopping block. Once Shadowkeep is active, only one buff and a single debuff will be active at any given time, with the game favouring the stronger effect. Which also means that the Warlock hack of casting a Ward of Dawn and then multiplying it with with a Well of Radiance won’t work in the future. According to Bungie, you can expect the following damage values from certain effects:

  • Notable exceptions: Vengeance (One Eyed Mask)
  • Frontal Assault – Bonus damage is now +20% (Previously +25%
  • Sun Warrior – Bonus damage is now +20% (Previously +25%)
  • Well of Radiance – Bonus damage is now +25% (Previously +35%)
  • Weapons of Light – Bonus damage is now +35% (Previously +25%)

Enemy Debuffs (Weakened)

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Shadowshot

  • Incoming PvE damage is now +30% (Previously +35%)
  • Incoming PvP damage is now +50% (Previously +55%)
  • This effect no longer excludes power weapons

Tractor Cannon (Repulsor Force)

  • Incoming PvE damage is now +30% for all elements (Previously +33%/50% for Non-Void/Void damage respectively)
  • Incoming PvP damage is now +50% for all elements (Previously +33%/50% for Non-Void/Void damage respectively)

Hammer Strike

  • Incoming PvE damage is now +30% (Previously +50%)
  • Duration increased from 6 to 10 seconds in PvE

Shattering Strike

  • Incoming PvE damage is now +30% (Previously +50%)
  • Duration increased from 6 to 10 seconds in PvE

And that’s the gist of it! What you’re basically looking at here is a complete overhaul of how the DPS meta will function in high-level endgame activity, resulting in more strategy overall as opposed to cheesing the sandbox with as many buffs as possible. Long story short: More class diversity, more tactical play and less reliance on Supers.

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Last Updated: September 9, 2019

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