A lot of information has come out from Bungie over the last few months, and we’re going to pool it all in one easy-to-skim place. TL;DR: When will Destiny 2 be worth playing again?
It is no secret that Destiny 2 players are upset with Bungie. Developing D2 in only 16 months was clearly a mistake, resulting in a lack of content and somewhat unbalanced gameplay. Since the release of Destiny 2 in September, complaints have been shouted, those complaints have been heard, and Bungie is now putting in the elbow grease to address them all. At this point, further complaints of, “They should have fixed it before releasing the game,” are unhelpful and redundant. Now it is time to judge Destiny 2 by what happens next.
So, looking forward, when can we expect Destiny 2 to be “Fixed?”
Well, that depends on your definition of, “Fixed.” Some people are waiting for raids to get better, some people are waiting for the crucible meta to get better, and others are standing by for better loot. We’ll go through each of the various modes and give you an idea of when it will be worthwhile to come back to Destiny 2.
And stay tuned, I will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.
- [Updated 2/9/2018 to include new information regarding Challenge Cards, Auras, Raid Prestige changes, and Lost Sector updates. Info sourced from Bungie’s TWAB]
- [Updated 2/15/2018 to include new information on exotic sandbox changes and Faction Rally changes per Bungie’s TWAB.]
- [Updated 2/23/2018 to include changes to the roadmap and new aura information.]
- [Updated 3/2/2018 to include new information regarding the crucible via TWAB]
- [Updated 3/9/2018 to include details on the upcoming Sandbox changes.]
- [Updated 3/15/2018 with Faction Rally goals from the Seasons Team]
Important Note: All dates given below are based on Bungie’s outlined plans and are subject to change.
Hit ctrl+f and search for TL;DR (pronounced, “Too long; didn’t read.”) if you want to skip to the short version.
But First: Weapon Changes, Sandbox Tweaks, and Other QoL Updates
Some changes will affect every mode across the board, so rather than spelling them out a hundred times, I am going to drop all of that info right here.
Weapon Balancing Changes:
If you still aren’t happy with weapon balancing, there are big changes coming in the March 27th patch. There will be weapon tweaks across the board aimed at making sniper rifles, shotguns, and fusion rifles more prevalent.
Bungie has recently released a small mountain of details on the sandbox changes coming to all weapons, from pulse rifles to shotguns. The overall goal is to give players a faster, more action-packed experience in the crucible. There are too many changes to list here, but if you would like to know the nitty gritty you can take a look at the original announcement here.
Oh yeah, and Bungie has officially fixed the bug with sniper rifle flinch, and that fix will be released in the May patch.
If your issues with the weapon system run deeper than balancing tweaks, Bungie is still assessing whether or not they will mess with the Kinetic/Energy/Power system, so any changes to that system won’t arrive until Fall, if at all.
Weapon TL;DR: Weapons are getting some major rebalancing in the March 27th patch. Full details can be found here. Changes to the overall Kinetic/Energy/Power system are still being considered, but if Bungie does decide to go that route we won’t see any such changes until Fall at the earliest.
Some players have complained that Destiny 2 feels more sluggish compared to Destiny 1, and Bungie is making big changes to address that. The March 27th patch will see increased mobility across the board, an increase in the effectiveness of mobility perks, and a raise to the mobility cap. Bungie has also recently announced buffs to Dawnblade, nerfs to Hunter invisibility, and incoming mod buffs.
Overall, these changes are designed to, “provide individual players with more hero moments by increasing overall speed and mobility, increasing the number of supers you charge to demolish your enemies, and increasing the frequency and impact of our most montage worthy power weapons, especially in the Crucible.” -Bungie
Again, there are too many changes to list here, but if you want the full details, you can go here.
Some highlights include:
- Arcstrider/Dawnblade improvements.
- Mobility buffs
- 25% faster supers in the crucible
- Buffs to ability mods
Oh yeah, and they’re reverting the changes to Shoulder Charge. Bungie admitted that they done goofed on that one.
Sandbox Changes TL;DR: Bungie is making some major sandbox changes to make the crucible feel more fast-paced and exciting. Full details can be found here.
More Loot – And More Room to Store it
Anyone who isn’t happy with the loot in Destiny 2 will have to wait until Season 3 hits in May.
The new season will bring vendor resets and a wave of new loot for all activities. The new DLC and its batch of loot will also be arriving alongside Season 3. These piles of loot could be more of the same, or we may finally get something new and exciting.
If not, we may have to wait until Fall 2018 when more fundamental changes are expected to come to Destiny 2.
If you’re worried about where you’ll put all that loot, fear not. Bungie will be adding 50 slots to players’ vaults in May, although the team has pointed out that they are working to address the vault space issue in a much broader way than simply increasing space caps. No details have been released yet, but it sounds like they are considering a wide variety of options.
Loot TL;DR: More loot will be here in May with the release of Season 3. Changes are coming to the vault and loot ecosystem so you won’t run out of room to store that loot.
There are several exotic changes on the horizon, including:
- Exotic repetition reduction (March 27th)
- Exotic weapon/armor sandbox changes (May)
- Exotic Masterworks (May)
The exotic sandbox changes will focus on increasing the power of exotic gear while preserving their unique identities. While some weapons will get in-depth changes to how they operate, other weapons will get minor updates. For this update, it is easier to list which items won’t be tweaked: Merciless, Telesto, Wardcliff Coil, MIDA Multi-Tool, Colony, Legend of Acrius, and Vigilance Wing. Some weapons, such as Vigilance Wing, will be helped by more general weapon balance changes mentioned above.
For full details on the exotic sandbox changes, go here.
Exotic TL;DR: Bungie is going through and meticulously rebalancing each exotic weapon and armor piece to make them feel unique and powerful. Full details can be found here.
As of patch 1.1.3, auras have been merged into emblems. Players will still have to complete an activity or challenge to activate the auras, but now they will have to equip its corresponding emblem to display it. Some new auras will also grant fireteam bonuses. Pick one up, and everyone will want to run activities with you.
But that’s not the only change to emblems. Emblems will now have variations which can be unlocked through achievements or destination loot chests (Nightfall, etc.) For example, a crucible kill emblem can swap out logos if you’ve killed 1,000 hunters, or 1,000 warlocks, etc. These variations allow players to change up their style and show off their achievements while still being easily recognizable among the wider community.
I think this is neat because in Destiny 1 I often saw people with new emblems I didn’t recognize, and I had no idea what they meant. By the time I earned the emblem for myself and learned their meaning, it didn’t seem very exciting anymore because everyone had one. With the new variants system, I will be able to recognize variants from emblems I’m working on and think, “Holy cow, that gal unlocked it already! So cool!” Which is precisely what Bungie is going for.
Full info on emblem changes can be found here.
Shader changes are also in the works, but Bungie is looking into in-depth changes of the system which will take some time to hammer out, so we don’t have any details yet.
Cosmetic TL;DR: Emblems and auras received a major upgrade in the February 27th patch. New variations and fireteam bonuses will make them worth grabbing. Shader changes are in the works, date TBD.
Other Quality of Life Updates
Players have been waiting for most of these since day one, so I won’t waste any more time:
- The ability to equip multiple emotes (May)
- PC public text chat (Feb 27th)
- Fireteam member indicators on the destination map (Feb 27th)
- Companion app vendor viewing (March 27th)
- Companion app mod/shader interactions (Feb 27th)
- Mods system improvements (TBD)
The companion app has also seen a lot of love, with more love on the way. Players can now modify their mods and shaders from within the app, and while this may not sound exciting, it is indicative of greater underlying changes to the app’s infrastructure that will enable more robust features in the future, such as purchasing items from vendors (like Xur).
Bungie is also working on making a robust API so that third-party app developers can make full use of this new system. Full details can be found here.
QoL TL;DR: Some of the most requested QoL changes are here, and more are coming. The ability to equip multiple emotes is coming in May, PC public chat and fireteam member indicators on the map arrived in February. More changes are coming to the Companion App to give you more power on the fly.
Okay, let’s move on to the game modes.
There are many changes coming to the crucible, but of course, sandbox changes will have a heavy effect on crucible gameplay. See the “Weapons Changes”, and “Sandbox Changes” sections above for full details.
If you don’t want to scroll up, here are the highlights for the crucible:
- Mobility buffs
- Arcstrider/Dawnblade buffs
- Invisibility nerfs
- Weapon buffs/tweaks across the board.
There are a number of crucible-specific changes coming as well.
In March, players will see a number of balancing changes in quickplay, including shorter power ammo timers, power ammo count adjustments, enemies will drop their power ammo upon death, shorter respawn timers, and more.
Competitive will not see these changes, but to make up for that Bungie is removing radars from competitive play in an effort to encourage flanks and reward individual play. Full details can be found here.
March 27th will also bring Mayhem and Rumble to the weekly playlist, along with quitter penalties and greater repeat map protection. Rumble will be a return to the “golden age of video games” with no points for assists, and an 8v8 player count.
Doubles are also planned to come back, but there is no date for the mode’s return yet. While Bungie liked the way Doubles played during Crimson days, they decided to take what they liked and transform it into a new mode entirely.
These modes will be a part of the rotating “Weekly Featured” playlist that will include the Iron Banner. This playlist is designed for those game modes that don’t necessarily belong in quickplay or competitive.
Personally, I can’t wait for the repeat map protection. After running around Distant Shore for the fifth time in a row, I start to lose my mind.
A couple of the most requested features, private matches and a ranked mode, will arrive in May alongside the start of Season 3.
Crucible TL;DR: May is a good time to come back to the Crucible you’re looking for loot, private matches, and ranked mode. But you may want to start playing March 27th if you want to be accustomed to the balancing changes before going into the new ranked seasons.
If you were waiting for the Iron Banner to have some objectives worth grinding for, now may be a good time to jump in. With the introduction of ornaments and the ability to buy weapons directly from Saladin, there is plenty to keep players busy for a week. Or perhaps even a full season if you’re a casual player.
But if a decent hand cannon, long range shotgun, and full auto scout rifle aren’t worth your time, then you will have to wait. See the “More Loot” section above for details on when the next major loot drops will be.
If your issue is with 4v4 gameplay, there will be a 6v6 Iron Banner coming at the end of March. But the post-March 27th Iron Banner won’t just see more players. Here’s the list of changes Bungie will be rolling out for the Iron Banner:
- Match time limit is 12 minutes
- Score limit is 125 points
- Respawn time is 7 seconds
- All control zones start off neutral
- Control zones take slightly longer to capture by default
- Additional Guardians (max of 3) in a zone increases capture speed
- Guardians participating in a capture get more Super energy
It is unclear yet if these control changes will affect all control maps or just Iron Banner. Some players, myself included, suspect that the changes will come to Iron Banner first, and then Bungie will decide whether to roll them out to quickplay based on player feedback.
If you have an issue with weapon balancing or the crucible in general, see the “Weapon Changes”, “Sandbox Changes”, and “Crucible” sections above.
Iron Banner TL;DR: Now is a good time to play the Iron Banner if you’re looking for objectives and ornaments, March 27th is a good time to play if you’re looking for balancing changes, and May is a good time to play if you’re looking for more loot.
The new raid layer is already seen as a fun and challenging mode. Not to mention, the latest patch brought a major wave of improvements:
- Raid exclusive armor mods
- Double loot for prestige mode
- Exotic drop changes (Players can now get ready-to-use exotics instead of engrams.)
- Overall loot drop changes (Every encounter will drop loot, not just some.)
- A new raid-exclusive exotic ghost
- The ability to purchase gear directly from the raid vendor.
Full details can be found here.
The new armor mods have come in a little overpowered, as seen in this video where a team kills Calus in 5 seconds. So if you have a full set of gear and you want a bit more of a challenge, you may want to wait until those mods are nerfed.
Of course, if you have raid gear and you want an easy* run, now is a good time to do it.
*The video above shows a very well coordinated team of veteran players. While it is possible to take advantage of the way various perks stack, a casual team may not find the same level of success.
If you still aren’t happy with weapon balancing or mobility in Destiny 2, there are big changes on the horizon. See the “Weapon Changes” and “Sandbox Changes” sections above.
If the loot still isn’t compelling enough for your liking, see the “More Loot” section above.
And if you’re waiting for the Eater of Worlds Prestige mode, it will arrive with Season 3 in May with some big changes. The new Prestige mode will have a weekly rotating set of modifiers paired with loadout requirements. It is designed to push players to try new styles of play, while still providing a fun and challenging experience. Here are some examples of what the weekly requirements could look like, as provided by Bungie:
Week 1Raid Activity: Eater of WorldsModifier: Marksman. Precision damage is increased. Landing a precision shot grants one ammo directly to the magazine.Required Loadout:Kinetic: Hand CannonEnergy: Scout RiflePower: Linear FusionWeek 2Raid Activity: Expansion 2 Raid LairModifier: Gladiator. Your melee damage is increased and melee kills grant bonus Super.Required Loadout:Kinetic: SidearmEnergy: Submachine gunPower: ShotgunWeek 3Raid Activity: Eater of WorldsModifier: Conduit. Each kill you get before reloading or swapping weapons gives you increasingly more ability energy.Required Loadout:Kinetic: Auto RifleEnergy: RiskrunnerPower: Grenade Launcher
The previous encounter changes in the Leviathan’s Prestige mode will still be active in addition to these loadout requirements, but the Eater of Worlds and future raids will not have the same encounter change treatment.
While these Prestige changes are scheduled for May, they could be pushed out since the work required is major and could introduce unexpected bugs.
It is also worth mentioning that the changes to raid loot have exacerbated a bug where not all raid members spawn in after a wipe. This seems to be a memory issue that will take some time to address. In the meantime, players should be fine if they stick together. Full details can be found here.
Raid TL;DR: Now is an excellent time to raid, unless you need more balancing changes and more loot, in which case wait for March 27th and May respectively. If you are looking for more challenge and variety in your raids, a major overhaul of the Prestige mode is coming in May as well.
There aren’t many changes coming to the strike playlist anytime soon. Most of the major changes will be coming to the Nightfall. But there are a few changes worth noting:
- Exotics are more likely to drop in Heroic Strikes (Already live)
- Heroic Strike modifiers (March 27th)
- Repeat map protection (March 27th)
Of course, there is a possibility that more strike changes will be announced as we approach March, but for now, this is all we know. Stay tuned to this article because we will continue to update it as more information becomes available.
Strikes TL;DR: Not much is changing for strikes anytime soon, but if repeat maps bugged the crap out of you, or if you would like to see modifiers spice up the heroic playlist, then March 27th is a good time to return.
The Nightfall will be getting a plethora of improvements in the upcoming months. Let’s get started:
As of February 27th: the Nightfall received new scoring and high score tracking in a system more akin to Destiny 1’s scoring system. The scoring is team based with a focus on killing tough enemies, although speed is also a factor. After a certain time, a team’s score will start to decay, although exactly when and by how much is still being dialed in. After 15 minutes a team will only earn half points for every kill, and at 18 minutes the players will be unable to earn new points entirely, encouraging the fireteam to close out the fight as quickly as possible. The highest scores will go to teams with both speed and skill, although teams that are only interested in finishing will have more options than, “Run fast, kill oracles.”
The emblem/aura rework came with the Nightfall update as well, with emblems that trigger auras after achieving a certain milestone for the week. Some auras grant perks such as, “a fireteam-wide buff that boosts Vanguard Token drops in that strike by 25%.” So these emblems will grant both bragging rights and tangible rewards.
Full details on the score changes and aura changes can be found here.
Although, it should be clarified that Nightfall emblem variants can’t be unlocked via objectives. They are awarded as drops for completing the Nightfall, with a higher chance to drop the higher a players’ score. Full details can be found here.
The team will also be rolling out new exclusive Nightfall rewards in the March 27th patch. They were originally shooting for February, but Bungie decided to give the artists extra time to ensure that the new loot was worthy of the challenge. An encouraging sentiment!
The February 27th patch also brought the addition of Nightfall Challenge Cards – Version 1. These consumables enable a player to activate their own modifiers in the Nightfall in exchange for a score multiplier. These cards have multiple options for modifiers so players will be able to tune the difficulty to their level. These modifiers can range from a slight increase in solar damage from all sources, to, “If your entire fireteam falls in a Restricted Zone where you cannot respawn, everyone is sent back to orbit.”
Bungie has made it clear that this will be the first version of challenge cards, which means they will be listening closely to feedback and tweaking them going forward. More information on challenge cards can be found here.
Of course, the Nightfall will also be impacted by the upcoming balance changes and loot rollouts, so be sure to check out the “But First” section if you want details on those.
Nightfall TL;DR: February 27th brought the bulk of the Nightfall changes, including new scoring and challenge cards, so it is a good time to play. The exclusive Nightfall loot has been pushed out to the March 27th patch, so if you want to wait for the full experience, come back March 27th.
It’s no secret that the first faction of the season wasn’t much of an improvement over its predecessors. While players did have new ornaments to grind for, new weapons weren’t yet added to the loot pool. Fortunately, next week’s Faction Rally will see six new guns (two for each faction), and the removal of time limits and caps in Lost Sectors. This means players will no longer be hobbled in their attempt to grind for Faction Rally gear. More details can be found here.
Unfortunately, we won’t see any major changes to the Faction Rally until May when Season 3 comes out. And we don’t know what those changes will be. That being said, Bungie’s Seasons Team did stop by to tell players what their key goals are as they go about making the Faction Rally changes:
Pledging to a faction should be a meaningful choice.
Rewards should not be time-gated.
Faction Rallies should provide a unique gameplay experience and not simply be a reward layer on top of the existing game.
The event should grant additional insight into faction lore and goals.
It should build upon player interest in Lost Sectors and armor ornament objectives.
This is a promising list of goals, as it shows that Bungie is listening to players and they have a good idea of what needs to be done. Now all that remians to be seen is how they will go about achieving those goals.
Of course, we will be updating this page as more information becomes available.
Faction Rally TL;DR: No real details on Faction Rally changes yet. Fundamental “Faction Rally Improvements” will be coming in May.
Public Events and Lost Sectors
There isn’t much to say about Public Events since they don’t seem to be the target of any major changes anytime soon.
As far as Lost Sectors, it seems Bungie has finally fixed the speed farming bug and removed the loot throttle entirely. Now, when a player leaves a Lost Sector then immediately comes back the loot chest may still respawn due to a “larger issue with activity tech,” but the player will no longer be able to open it without killing the boss again. In addition, players will no longer have to wait five minutes for the next reward, and those rewards will no longer run out. In Senior Designer Alex Velicky’s own words:
We’ve also completely removed the reward throttle from Lost Sectors as it is no longer necessary and we agree it was a poor player experience.
Alex went on to acknowledge that the team has heard players’ interest in expanding Lost Sector activities, but they aren’t sure how they want to go about doing it yet. It is on their minds, and they will continue to update us as a more solid plan comes together.
Of course, the upcoming balance changes will certainly have an effect on Public Event and Lost Sector gameplay. Better yet, February 27th’s addition of fireteam member indicators to the destination maps helps players keep track of their friends while chasing Public Events and running down Lost Sectors.
See the “But First” section above for more details.
Public Event & Lost Sector TL;DR: Lost Sector loot chest bug is fixed, and loot throttling has been completely removed. Future Lost Sector expansions TBD. Fireteam members show up on the map as of February 27th. Now is a good time if you need tokens or if you’re playing with friends who like to wander off, later is a good time if you want more Lost Sectors.
The Overall Destiny 2 TL;DR:
By the time Season 3 hits in May, the majority of changes and fixes will be live, including weapon balancing changes, Nightfall upgrades, and the introduction of the ranked PvP mode. Season 3 will also bring new loot to vendors across the game, making it a great time to come back to Destiny 2. There will be plenty to do and plenty of rewards for doing it.
That being said, players may want to jump in sooner or later depending on which game mode they are interested in. Details can be found above.
Of course, if you are waiting for deeply fundamental changes aimed at bringing Destiny 2 closer to Destiny 1, you will likely have to wait until Fall 2018.
But that date isn’t necessarily set in stone. The sandbox team at Bungie will be making a series of appearances in upcoming TWAB posts to lay out the details for the many, many changes they are working on. We will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.
In the meantime, you can check out this article in which I explore why Destiny 2 was so broken in the first place.
If you want to keep up to date on all the latest Destiny 2 news, including things outside the scope of this article, keep an eye on this page.