Thursday evening, Bungie took to their blog to post the weekly “This Week at Bungie” and it was filled with sandbox news. It was met with some excitement and some disappointment from the community at large.
On March 27th, Destiny 2 is getting a pretty substantial update dubbed the “Go Fast” update. In addition to things like heroic strike modifiers, Nightfall unique rewards, and the creation of a weekly crucible playlist that will rotate between Rumble and Mayhem, Destiny 2 is getting its first major sandbox update with 1.1.4.
So let’s break down the exciting parts of this and then go over the somewhat disappointing parts and why I think Crucible will still lack that Destiny 1 excitement despite likely being better than what we have now.
- All three glides plus Catapult and Strafe Lift have been retuned and buffed to make them faster and more unique.
- The mobility stat range has been expanded and completely retuned as well. In short, everyone gets faster and the high end is higher.
- The players’ ground speed cap has been increased, allowing for faster total movement speed, regardless of how you may get there.
This is the “go fast” part of the update. Also here is reverting the nerf to Shoulder Charge, making it a mobility tool once again instead of a purely offensive melee strike.
All of this sounds really good, but without numbers doesn’t mean much at the moment. How much faster is everyone going to be? We’ll have to wait until the 27th to know for sure, but the main thing here is that mobility will actually matter. It seems like mobility has been retuned to affect sprint speed and not just walking speed, at least that’s my hope.
Combined with some of the ammo changes that we’ll get to, this could see the skilled players lean heavily into mobility rather than recovery and bring back a more aggressive fast paced style of play to Destiny PvP. If it’s as fast as I’m hoping, a 10 mobility hunter with Stomp-EE5’s on could be a fast aerial attacker able to close gaps very fast.
- Arcstrider, Sentinel, and Striker all move faster, and at the same speed as one another, while in their Supers.
- Arcstrider, as a whole, is performing well in PvP but mostly due to its neutral game perks. We’ve made the following changes in an effort to get the Super to be a more competitive option:
- Faster Attack Animations.
- Faster Dodge Animations.
- Increased range of all attacks.
This is a nice buff for Sentinel and Striker, and a really nice and needed buff to Arcstrider. I’m a little confused about the speed. Are these classes going to move at some max speed while in their supers? If not, I don’t see how they should move at the same speed as the other if say a Strike has three mobility and an Arcstrider has 10. We’ll see.
I enjoy Arcstrider in PvE content, and these changes should make it even better there as well.
- Dawnblade has been improved:
- Reduced cost for throwing swords, allowing for one additional throw
- Increased super duration extension gained from “Everlasting Fire”
- Removed all in-air accuracy penalties while “Swift Strike” is active
- Reduced the Icarus Dash cooldown
- Increased the Grenade and Melee energy “Heat Rises” gives you per kill
This is a HUGE buff to Dawnblade, and more specifically the Attunement of Sky skill tree.
The removal of all in-air accuracy penalties is huge and will unfortunately give Dawnbladers a big advantage in PvP. It’s not going to be completely OP because it’s only that way when Swift Strike is active, which means you’ll have to slap someone to active Swift Strike and then you’ll have 15 seconds of perfect in-air accuracy.
Basically, Attunement of Sky Dawnblade is going to be the best Warlock in the game, PvE and PvP, for skilled players. Won’t do anything for those who need their hand held and can only play Devour Voidlock, but Dawnblade is about to become a VERY good class entirely because of its neutral game and how well it will synergize together.
You’re a Dawnblade with a hand cannon, side arm, and a sniper rifle. You get a melee kill (eventhough it doesn’t need to be a kill) with your charged melee, and for 15 seconds your shots in the air is only hampered by your ability to aim. So with a faster Warlock glide using either Burst or Balanced, you get around fast. You floof up and out into combat above your enemies. You can ADS with your sniper (while wearing Wings of Sacred Dawn) and get a headshot on a enemy who was anticipating you running through the lane not flying over it. You get in close and either ADS or just hip fire with the hand cannon or sidearm. Tag an enemy first with a Firebolt, and then get these in air kills to trigger the buffed Heat Rises skill (airborne kills recharge grenade and melee energy). If you’re getting in trouble, just icarus dash behind a wall or behind the enemy.
This is going to make the old TrueVanguard Sky Sniper possible again.
Here’s a video from TrueVanguard showing this Attunement of Sky build in the game in currently in PvP (and I’ve been using it some recently in PvE myself). Now look how good it already is when used by a skilled player, and apply these changes to it.
- Invisibility on Dodge / Smoke Updates:
- Invisibility on Dodge no longer breaks Aim Assist or Projectile Tracking in PvP (unchanged in PvE)
- Dodging still breaks both Aim Assist and Projectile Tracking, but only for the duration of the actual dodge
- Increased the duration of Invisibility on Dodge by 1 second
- Increased the duration of Smoke Bomb Invisibility by 1 second
This is all good, both a necessary nerf and buff. As someone who doesn’t play Nightstalker in PvP and only occasionally in PvE, this only slightly buffs the class for me while having no negative impact. It’ll still be good, but now the crutch that so many people in crucible use won’t be nearly as good. I like it.
- Supers recharge faster for everyone!
- Supers now recharge 1:40 faster, a cooldown reduction of 25%.
- Mods that reduce Grenade, Melee and Class Ability cooldowns have been buffed to allow for up to 2x faster cooldowns.
This is a great change. It wasn’t mentioned in the TWAB, but not only will supers recharge 25% faster for everyone in PvE and PvP, but you’ll also be getting more super energy for kills. So we’re going to be getting more frequent supers. It still won’t be on the level of Destiny 1, but this should be a noticeably and enjoyable change across the board.
The mod buff is pretty big, because it allows up to 2x faster cooldowns. With Curse of Osiris, you can stack three mods of a kind. So if you’re playing a solar class, you can have three solar grenade mods. With this new increase, having those three mods stacked will get close to the grenade recharge speed of having T5 discipline in Destiny 1.
I like this change and it should help create some ability based builds more so than what we see now. Combine three solar grenade mods with the Dawnblade build above, and you could be throwing a lot of grenades.
We’ve buffed several weapon archetypes (including, but not limited to, Hand Cannons, Pulse Rifles, Sniper Rifles, and Shotguns) and a few specific perks, as well. A key goal here is to make Shotguns, Snipers, and Fusion rifles more prevalent in the game.
You can click here to read the full list of buffs coming to the various weapon types. It’s mostly PvE damage increases with an average of about 15%. Some weapon archetypes are getting a faster rate of fire, increased aim assist, accuracy, ammo reserve size, precision multipliers, and some base damage increases.
The goal is here to bump up all weapons to be competitive with the current kings of PvP, the 450 RPM auto rifles (Uriel’s Gift) which itself is getting a range and aim assist nerf. The current TTK of a Uriel’s Gift or Positive Outlook is what Bungie sees, at the moment, as the ideal TTK for the rest of the weapons.
I like the buffs across the board. Everything is going to be better. Snipers and Shotguns are getting increased ammo reserves, plus a PvE damage increase that will hopefully make them a good option to use in PvE and PvP. They still don’t belong in the same slot as a rocket launcher, but a change like that was never going to come in an update like this. Hand Cannons are already great in PvE, especially Better Devils, and they’re all about to be much better and will hopefully be used more in PvP on consoles with the increased hip-fire and ADS accuracy. Pulse rifles are also getting a much needed buff and might actually become top choices in the crucible again.
- Respawn and Revive were tuned in all game modes
- Player respawn timers for all Quickplay modes have been reduced to 2s.
- Player respawn timers for Survival have been reduced to 7s
- Revive lockout time in Countdown has been reduced to 7s
- Players no longer lose Revive Tokens on death
- Power Ammo respawn timers were adjusted across the board
- Power Ammo respawn timers in Iron Banner have been reduced ~50%
- Power Ammo respawn timers for all Quickplay modes have been reduced ~30%.
- Power Ammo respawn timers in Survival have been reduced ~40%.
- Power Ammo respawn timers in Countdown have been reduced ~25%
- Ammo counts have been adjusted in relation to these timers, and in relation to weapon type.
- In almost all cases weapons either retained the same ammo count or received a buff. Swords and rockets were brought down to stay in line with the rest of the weapon offering.
- Enemy players now drop their Power Ammo on death.
- This brick is now networked to all players regardless of faction. Secure the power ammo to keep it from your foes or steal off your enemy’s ghost, but be quick because these bricks don’t stay in the world forever.
I’m torn on this. I think the ammo count buff for things like snipers, shotguns, and fusions combined with getting less sword and rocket ammo is a good change. The Colony is staying at four, but there’ll be more frequent power ammo all around in general so who knows. The hope here is that we begin to see more of the old special weapons dominate the power slot because of their potential to rack up more kills. Those are typically skill weapons though, and starving the other team of power ammo by using no skill weapons like rockets or Colony spam could be a viable strategy.
It’s mostly the respawn stuff that I’m iffy on. This whole section is where Bungie is catching grief on, because these are the changes that they tied to the feedback regarding wanting a reduced time to kill.
This is the exact words of Kevin Yanes in the TWAB right before listing those above changes:
When we looked at the core feedback on “Time to Kill” in the Crucible, we saw that it mostly stemmed from a lack of excitement or spikes of intensity you all came to expect from a Destiny experience. This came in the form of feedback that stated the game was too slow, or the core loop was too stale. We agree…
None of the above has anything to do with time to kill and what the community at large wanted. What a lot of us wanted was the time to kill of primary weapons to be reduced from 1.1 to 1.3 seconds down to 0.6 to 0.8 seconds. To make primaries be able to kill someone before they can get to cover or reach their back up for the teamshot, and for primaries to also be capable of defending a player from someone with power ammo.
Basically the skill gap to be widened to like it was in Destiny 1 for its first two years at least. Where it’s possible to go 1v2 with a hand cannon and still come out on top because you landed all your shots.
With the base TTK not changing, we’re going to have even less of an opportunity to push into the team holding hands when you get a pick in quickplay or Iron Banner because the killed player is going to be right back (unless they get a bad spawn, which in this game is incredibly likely).
Making it so you can get back in the fight quicker, while also moving a lot faster isn’t going to help solve a problem, it’s just going to make it worse. If the TTK remains as it is now, and everyone can move faster, the few 1v1’s that you do get into will just end with someone darting away quickly because the TTK is to slow to reliably kill someone. And with faster movement speed, the player trying to use a primary against a fast moving player with a shotgun (especially the Legend of Acrius) is going to have virtually no chance of defending themselves.
In Destiny 1, until all the nerfs that led to the complaints, you could take down that shotgun rusher with a hand cannon in three taps or really fast with a Last Word. By the end of D1, everything had been nerfed into the ground and the lack of special ammo resulted in a very boring game filled with No Land Beyond, Ice Breaker, side arms, and sticky grenades.
Buff the primaries up and let the TTK sink under one second, and let the skill gap widen. Skill should always matter. It still matters of course, but not nearly as much.
With that said, and I agree completely that the TTK needs to be reduced, I think most of the community is ignoring a fundamental difference between D1 crucible and D2 crucible that has resulted in the hand-holding/team-shotting meta of Destiny 2 (which this update isn’t going to resolve).
Reducing the time-to-kill isn’t going to solve the problem that Destiny 2 has. It’ll make it so that if you’re skilled you can kill a guy reliably before he gets away or his back up arrives, sure. And that would be a positive and welcome change, no doubt. But if the TTK is slow right now and it’s practically impossible to win a 1v2, imagine how much worse it will be with those buffed primaries and their reduced TTK. You round a corner and there’s two guys there, and you might as well be playing Call of Duty… you’re dead before you can even begin to react. That 0.8 TTK has just become a 0.4 TTK.
The main problem with Destiny 2 PvP is the hand-holding. Destiny 1 had team-shotting, yes and that’s not so much an issue by itself. Destiny 1 didn’t typically have people holding hands (outside of a control zone) and refusing to move unless the whole team moved as one though, and the reason was simple… everyone had power in Destiny 1.
Look how many people died going to B on Shores of Time because of one guy with a sniper rifle. You could get the angles to make the plays in Destiny 1 that would absolutely punish players for grouping together. Everyone started with the special ammo (I’m talking the good days of Destiny PvP). More importantly than just those special weapons, a group of players stacked up were just asking for a well placed grenade.
Everyone had special ammo and everyone had grenades that could kill in one hit, and you got these grenades back fast. You also had supers that the other team wouldn’t know you had unless they saw the blinking level above your head. For a roaming super, you had to hear the super activate to know when it was popped. It wasn’t like knowing a guy has Golden Gun the moment he gets it, and knowing that it has a pathetically short duration running away the second you see it was cast in the feed.
This video has nothing to do with anything, it’s just an unspectacular full gameplay video from an Iron Banner game I played last night using a blue auto rifle and The Hero’s Burden. It’s here to break up a wall of text.
In Destiny 1 there was always a constant threat that grouping up was going to be a negative for the team. You knew that in one second half the team, or the entire team, could be killed. Two people shooting one person is always going to be more effective if the two doing the shooting are actually hitting their shots. It happened in D1, but the players weren’t usually holding hands to do it.
In Destiny 2, it is not at all uncommon to peak a lane and see four players grouped up in a healing rift all firing down the lane. Why? Because there is no penalty for doing so. You know it is the best option solely because there is no threat to it. Grenades are weak in Destiny 2. You’re not going to lob an incendiary grenade and have it land perfectly and kill everyone. You’re not going to stick a guy in the pack with a tripmine and have it blow everyone up. There isn’t that threat of an instant team wipe from a well placed grenade, or the threat of being sniped by a good sniper. You’ll know when someone picks up power ammo, what the weapon type is and where they got the ammo from.
You can reduce the TTK all day long, but as is Destiny 2 gives all players too much information while also making everyone weaker than they were in Destiny 1. Because of this, grouping together has virtually no downside for the majority of a match while providing a huge upside.
The TTK in Destiny 2 does need to be reduced, no doubt. Primaries need to be buffed all around to kill faster and let more skilled players shine. This is true. In the campaign, Ghaul said that the Guardian has “merely forgotten the fear of death…” well the same is true on the PvP side. They made us all weaker, and as a result everyone groups together because there is no fear of the threat of instant death.
Grenades and melees need to be brought back in line with their Destiny 1 counterparts. Melees should kill in two hits, and I’d say one hit if you hit in the back (and I mean actually hit, not like that stupid Bladedancer glitch where you could proc backstabber with a frontal attack. Well placed grenades should kill in one hit. And yes, I know sticky grenades were no fun in Destiny 1 and I complained about them too, BUT they only became the meta and an issue when everything else had been nerfed into the ground. Remove the magnetism from them, and make tripmines stick again, and they won’t be nearly as much of an issue.
We’ll see how crucible plays on March 27th, and I really hope that 6v6 Iron Banner is the fun we all want Destiny 2’s crucible to be. But I don’t think update 1.1.4 is going to do anything to address the underlying root cause of the boring PvP of Destiny 2 as it relates to the hand-holding epidemic.
The power ammo changes could be good, but the way the weapon slots are now and the way the ammo system has to be, that immediate constant threat still isn’t going to be there. The threat of one hit kill grenades isn’t going to be there either. Outside of a rocket, there’s nothing that’s going to immediately punish the team from huddling up together, and even then they’ll know that someone on the other team has loaded a rocket.
With all that said, this update isn’t meant to be the holy grail of Destiny updates that’s going to bring back everyone who left instantly. It is however a better step in the right direction that should hopefully help get us where we want to be in the future.
The TTK isn’t reducing in this update, it doesn’t mean that it won’t in a future update. Abilities are getting much needed damage buffs in this update, but that doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. The weapon system isn’t changing in this update, but at least they’re trying to give folks a reason to use the old special weapons instead of a rocket or sword. That doesn’t mean that the system won’t change in the future as part of a much larger update, although it would probably be too much of a rework to happen.
Personally, I favor the four weapon slot. And for me, that set up includes a Primary (Hand Cannon, Scout Rifle, Pulse Rifle, and Auto Rifle), a Secondary (Sidearms, SMGS, and Trace Rifles all with unlimited ammo reserves), Special Weapons (Sniper, Shotgun, Fusion, and Grenade Launchers) and finally heavy weapons (Rockets, Linear Fusions, Swords, Heavy Machine Guns, and exotics like Legend of Acrius and The Colony both with increased damage and slightly more ammo in PvP since you’d only get ammo once or twice a game like in D1).
As someone who loved the crucible in Destiny 1, particularly throughout the entirety of year one and the first few months of year two, I hate that I just don’t play crucible in Destiny 2. I played 14 games of Iron Banner last night, and that’s the first crucible I’ve played since playing a few games of IB last month. In the life of D2, I’ve played 170 matches of PVP, spending about 25 hours in the crucible. That’s a far cry from where it would’ve been in the same time frame of Destiny 1’s life.
I want Destiny 2’s crucible to be good, to be great. I don’t think this update by itself is going to get it there, but I do think it will help it along. I’m personally excited for the update; can’t wait. I love just about everything coming with it. We’ll see how it plays, it could be great though I seriously doubt it, and hopefully go from there (and BUNGIE PLEASE don’t wait six months to do stuff if still sucks). Part of my problem with the crucible, outside of hand holding, is I miss the 6v6. I didn’t care for the 3v3 modes in Destiny, and I don’t care for any of this 4v4 crap in Destiny 2.
What do you guys think of update 1.1.4 and the impact it may have on the crucible? What changes would you like to see to make the crucible fun again and stop it from being a hand-holding fest? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.