This week, uh at Bungie, we got a very decent TWAB that had Destiny 2 weapons sandbox designer Mercules revealing a whole lot of big changes that are coming in Season 18, with hints about further changes coming later.
Well, Mercules, like many Bungie hires, used to be a part of the community itself, and he returned to his old podcast, Destiny Massive Breakdowns, to talk more about those sandbox changes for three hours.
While he went over a lot of existing information, there’s a whole lot more detail he fleshed out including some hints about some potentially major changes coming down the line. While the podcast itself is great, I figured it would be good to summarize the key points. I have connected on Kujay and Fading Shadow here who did great work pulling out items of interest, which helped with this summary.
- The changes coming to High Impact Auto Rifle stability are going to be “very noticeable.”
- More glaive exotic armor interaction is coming, but no specifics like Wormgods or Winter’s Guile were promised.
- When perk pools are reworked, the concept is now to let the most popular perks and combos stay, and remove the 3-4 worst perks from each column and replace them with something new.
- Lord of Wolves will get another rework and the current changes are just part one, with the PvE damage increase to compensate.
- In general, Bungie is trying to talk more about changes they are extremely confident will make it into the game, rather than things that end up getting shelved later (can see why they’re doing this as people will quote years-old TWAB promises to this day).
- A future goal is apparently to remove shotgun spread randomness altogether, but that may not be definite.
- The full auto setting (instead of a mod) is coming in season 19. It may get more granularity in the future.
- Bungie spends hours a day playtesting changes, but the entire community playing the live game for 15 minutes is more time than an entire year of Bungie playtests, which is why some big bugs can show up “instantly,” even after loads of testing.
- Rampage, Surrounded and Dragonfly spec mods will go away and their bonuses will be folded into buffing the base perks.
- Air Assault is still terrible and will probably be getting another change.
- Lorentz Driver is known as the “problem child” in the sandbox, but there are greater problems with the linear fusion rifle class as a whole.
- SMGs may be due for a nerf in the future due to their “out of band” performance.
- Arbalest will not get further PvE nerfs, and instead, Bungie is trying to buff other stuff to compete with it in endgame PvE.
- They are adding “many” more weapons that interact with subclass 3.0 keywords, both exotics and weapon perks.
- Riskrunner is not getting changes with Arc 3.0. Not sure on if this means no subclass interactions like Sunshot with Solar. Or whether that means it may need a nerf if it’s too strong with Arc 3.0.
- Kinetic weapons are falling behind because of a lack of elemental interactions and are being looked at in the future.
- When asked about Monte Carlo getting a glaive bayonet melee animation, Mercules winks.
- Weapons team works two seasons in advance which is a lot shorter than other teams.
- Old raid and dungeon pools will get new perks and their own Origin Traits.
- Multiple perks in columns for crafted weapons is being investigated, but it’s difficult, so no promises.
- Changes are coming to combat mods like Warmind Cells, Charged With Light, Elemental Wells in Lightfall.
I think some of the most significant reveals are at the end there, where if all non-sunset raids and dungeons are getting reworked perk pools and their own origin traits, that’s a pretty big deal, and would give a ton of replay ability to those activities. It also implies to me that if Bungie bothers doing this for a raid or dungeon, chances are it would probably not get content vaulted any time soon after that.
I am also extremely curious to know what the changes to combat mods will be. One recent thing that’s come up is how hard it is for new players to catch up by just trying to find old mods sold at Ada-1 daily, some of which do not show up for months at a time. I am wondering if that’s what’s changing, or if there is a more core change to how they work in general here. My other complaint is that so much of your build is usually taken up by combat mods you often have zero room for other mods, so I am curious if maybe they could be getting their own system outside of the 10 energy armor slots itself.
Lot to dissect here. Appreciate Mercules speaking so openly here.
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