Destiny’s full sequel, unofficially dubbed Destiny 2, releases this Fall, likely September but possibly November (hopefully not). We don’t know anything about the sequel yet other than our guardians class and appearance will carry over, so long as the character has reached level 20 and beaten the Black Garden story mission, but our power and possessions will not transfer to Destiny 2.
That means for all intents and purposes, Destiny 2 is a clean slate for Bungie and that is a great thing for the players of Destiny.
We don’t know what sort of changes are coming to how systems work. Maybe our current power structure with armor and weapons is completely different than what we have now, and would thus be incompatible as different code.
Whatever the reasoning, Bungie has freed themselves from the balancing burden of guns from the first year of Destiny that are, and always have been, game breaking. Guns like Icebreaker, Universal Remote, No Land Beyond, Invective, and others. Icebreaker was the go to cheese weapon for Nightfalls in Destiny’s first year. It negated the juggler modifier, and allowed Guardians to camp in the back of a strike and slowly pick off the boss completely safe from harm.
In the current Destiny crucible, Icebreaker, No Land Beyond, Invective, and Universal Remote are all used to get around the special ammo change. They’re either special weapons that are primary weapons, and so you always spawn with ammo, or they’re special weapons that regenerate ammo.
A year ago, Bungie tried to fix the special ammo problem in the crucible to create more primary fights. Their method was to make it so players spawned with zero special ammo in 3v3 playlists. Players got around this by equipping Icebreaker (though it was low light at the time) or sidearms, and then switching to their main special weapon while dead to spawn in with ammo. They reverted the changes, only to try again this year a couple of weeks ago, now making it so that you lose your special ammo when you die. Sidearms and regenerating ammo weapons have thus become the new norm. Clearly there’s no getting around these weapons from a balancing perspective in line with what Bungie has been trying to accomplish.
So when looking at our Class and Crucible Balance Wishlist, we have to start off with Special Weapons and Special Weapon Ammo Economy, and then we’ll move into general Class and Crucible balance changes.
- No More Weapons That Regenerate Ammo – Look, I LOVED Icebreaker throughout year one. I used it to easily solo cheese Nightfall’s all the time. It made the game super easy. I use it now occasionally in crucible not because of regenerating ammo (although that’s nice) but because I find it to be a really great PVP sniper rifle. But no gun like it should ever exist in Destiny 2, and that includes Invective. There are ways to make exotics feel exotic and powerful in both PVP and PVE, without having the gun be a balancing nightmare that will plague the game for years. Regenerating ammo weapons should never be a thing in any form in Destiny 2. They learned their lesson with Black Hammer, which was completely broken and overpowered in PVE, so lets hope that we never see a weapon like Icebreaker and Invective, or Black Hammer, Jade Rabbit, No Time To Explain, etc. in Destiny 2.
- No More Special Weapons as Primary Weapons – Yes, Vex Mythoclast was a lot of fun to use, and hopefully we get to use it again soon before Destiny 2, but at least it operated differently than traditional fusion rifles. Doesn’t mean we should see anything like it going forward in the next Destiny though. More importantly, that includes nothing else like No Land Beyond or Universal Remote. No Land Beyond takes skill to use, and will soon require much more so when they add flinch to it, but you should never be able to rock a sniper rifle, shotgun, or fusion rifle as a primary weapon. It completely negates any changes you want to make to special ammo in crucible, and no one uses No Land Beyond or Universal Remote in PVE content outside of the novelty of using it in Patrol. These weapons do not need to exist, they just cause problems.
- Special Ammo Changes in the Crucible – I’m fine with what Bungie did in the most recent hotfix. Yes it forces a primary meta, for the most part, but I like that because I’ve always been a primary first player. I like not dying to shotguns all the time because I had a primary weapon out. I’m fine with losing my ammo on death. But in Destiny 2, there’s a change I’d like to see that I think would be better than what we have now. So my wishlist change would be to spawn into the game with two magazines worth of special ammo. You die, you lose one special ammo. You kill someone, that one special they lose is possibly (i.e. it’d be random, not guaranteed) dropped for you to pick up (you’d have until you die to get it). But there’d be no special ammo boxes spawning in. Instead, at two points in the game, all players would get a magazine and a half worth of special ammo. This makes special ammo special. If you have a shotgun and you trade with someone, you essentially lost two ammo on that exchange. If your shotty only holds four, then that means you only had eight shots to start with. This would make it so that everyone gets special ammo guaranteed at two points in the game, but would also limit it enough to where you’d never be able to use your special weapon as basically a primary. I think it’d be fair and balanced, and would encourage players to use special at opportune times and not be reckless nor camping.
- No More Sticky Grenades or One Hit Kill Grenades At Full Health – The current meta in Destiny is seeing a huge overuse of sticky grenades. Fusion Grenades (Sunbreakers and Sunsingers), Magnetic Grenades (Defender’s), and Flux Grenades (Bladedancers) are the current kings of grenades and in many cases the popular builds include ways to ensure you get two of these. These grenades have high aim assist and will magnetize to a player they should not have hit just because the player was “close enough,” and it’s a easy kill. I don’t know a single player that doesn’t hate being stuck. If every subclass doesn’t have one, no subclass should, and I’d say either way these shouldn’t exist going forward. Nor should any grenade kill a guardian at full health. Why? Because again if every grenade can’t do it, no grenade should. They should be used to clean up a kill, zone off an area, or prime a player.
- No More Regenerating Health Perks or Overshields – The Destiny community at large pitched a huge fit when hotfix 188.8.131.52 came out because Bungie unintentionally broke all of the health regenerating perks when they nerfed the Bladedancer’s Hungering Blade perk. I main a Gunslinger, so I was unaffected because I don’t get to have a cheap way to regain my health or a way to get an overshield. These shouldn’t be things anyway, and this is actually the number one class change I want to see in the next Destiny. You can make classes different without needing to resort to the cheapness of regenerating health and shield perks. You can use The Ram on a Voidwalker in PVE and you should never die because it gives all of your melees Life Steal, not just your energy drain melee ability. I should never be shooting someone, only for them to kill someone else and then undo all the damage I did to them or get some magical overshield. I’ve never liked these perks (Hungering Blade, Flame Shield, Transfusion, Life Steal, Force Barrier, and so on). Please let them die with Destiny 1. There can be no balance when some subclasses have these cheap survival methods and others don’t. I would toss in invisibility here too (Crota lamps would have been so much better without invisibility cheese), but then that’d mean reworking the entire Bladedancer subclass, which I kinda hope subclasses change a lot anyway.
- No More Orbs in Crucible – If there’s one thing I hate in Destiny PVP, it’s Supers. And I hate them because they’re largely cheap kills, and because I have terrible luck and will many times die three or four times in a row to supers. They’re part of Destiny though and that’s fine. But I don’t think super kills should drop orbs of light in crucible. We shouldn’t get progress towards our supers just because someone else got a kill with theirs. Orbs should be a strictly PVE thing. It would eliminate super trains, which we’ve all seen, and of course the bubble parties with golden gunners that we’ve all seen too. Orbs are terrible.
- Supers As Kill Rewards – I think in Crucible, the only way you should get any super energy is by getting kills. Not even a killstreak, just get kills and a small anount for assists. I know, I know… “you want to remove parts of the game that makes Destiny Destiny.” I’ve got over 2,500 hours invested in Destiny, clearly I love the game. I just don’t like supers and never have. I don’t like using them (in PVP) and I don’t like being killed by them. I don’t think they should go away completely, although I’d totally be down for a skill based ranked playlist that removes supers and abilities, but they can be reworked so that they aren’t going off nonstop. And before anyone says anything about not getting super energy because you’re going up against a full team pubstomping and thus can’t get enough kills, I can only say getting your super once every four plus minutes isn’t going to change the outcome of that game. You’re going to get slaughtered regardless. At least this way the other team will all have to be racking up kills to kill you again with the super, and with no orbs it wouldn’t be an endless train of supers that results in a Mercy. You’d have more of a chance to fight back when you’re being killed by a super, then killed by another one, and another one, and another one because they’re gathering orbs.
- Eliminate Stat Rolls on Armor for PVP – Min/Maxing stats I think should be a largely PVE thing where it doesn’t really matter to most but does to those who want to be as effective as possible. Even then, if you max one stat, I don’t think you should be able to max the other. For PVP though, the stats should have zero use. A balanced game would see grenades recharging once a minute after being thrown for everyone, same with melees. Intellect was discussed above and was gained on basis of kills, not time. Of course, I hate seeing orange and yellow when I look at Destiny Item Manager and will thus delete anything that isn’t green or better. There are other perks and things that can make armor worth grinding for or to want certain rolls, but min/maxing stats shouldn’t be one of them. Mainly though, I think grenades and melee abilities should just be on a set cooldown that’s the same for everyone in PVP. There are people right now who can play a game of PVP and do nothing but rack up kills via grenades (typically stickies). I think they should be a little less frequent and hopefully used a little smarter as a result. Plus I like my Guardian to look good without having to worry about some numbers that can put me the slightest of disadvantages.
These are just a few of my ideas and wishlist for Destiny 2 as it relates to balance within the crucible to make for a more competitive skill based game. I think the first two on the list are pretty much a guarantee to happen, and Bungie would be foolish to not learn from the mistakes of Destiny as it relates to those two items. The rest are admittedly catered towards me and wouldn’t have much of a chance of happening and likely cause a bit of an uproar within the community (although new game, new rules, and so you can’t really get too upset). I think they’d solve some problems that I currently think exist in the crucible.
Obviously as far as a wishlist goes I’d want dedicated servers, map voting, customization options, a ranked playlist, and so forth. This wasn’t really that kind of a wishlist though as its focused on exclusively on balance.
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments and let me know what you think. Give me some of your ideas on how crucible in the next Destiny could be better balanced than the crucible we have now.