Destiny 2 sandbox discipline lead Kevin Yanes made no bones about his hopes for the rework of the Solar subclasses that recently went live alongside Season of the Haunted: "Ideally, it melts your face off," he said last week (opens in new tab). In today's This Week at Bungie (opens in new tab) update, however, Yanes acknowledged that Solar 3.0, as it's known, has not landed with sufficient spice.
"Initial reactions to Solar have not met our 'new thing that melts your face off' bar," Yanes wrote, and he's not wrong. The day that Solar 3.0 dropped, r/DestinyTheGame (opens in new tab) was flooded with threads about how the Dawnblade Warlock's options to play as support medic had been gutted, while Sunbreaker Titan mains bemoaned the changes to the way the Sunspot ability now worked.
Whilst those complaints, inevitably, were a little more shrieky than the situation warranted, Yanes acknowledged today that the rework wasn't sitting well with the sandbox abilities team which he leads at Bungie either.
"As we’ve said in the past through TWABs, socials, and other dev updates, we’d much rather ship something a little too spicy than something bland that makes a bad first impression," he continued. "I think with Solar 3.0, we landed somewhere in the middle, and the team feels very passionately that this is the wrong place to be."
In response, Bungie is making a number of changes and fixes that will go live next week.
- Heat Rises - Added behavior: Consuming your grenade now also releases a burst of Cure x2 around you, healing you and your nearby allies. Consuming a Healing Grenade increases the strength of the burst to Cure x3 and consuming a Touch of Flame Healing Grenade provides Restoration as an additional benefit.
- Icarus Dash - Added behavior: While airborne, rapidly defeating targets with your Super or any weapon Cures you.
- Celestial Fire - Each Celestial Fire projectile now applies 10 Scorch stacks. This is increased to 15 stacks with Ember of Ashes equipped.
- Burning Maul - Buffed damage in PvE by 25%
- Roaring Flames - Added behavior: While Roaring Flames is active, your uncharged melee attack now deals Solar damage and applies 30 Scorch stacks to targets per hit. This is increased to 40 stacks with Ember of Ashes equipped.
- Consecration - Fragment slots increased from 1 to 2, raised the height of the secondary attack’s ground wave by 25% to more easily catch players who jump too late.
"That’s no small list of changes," Yanes wrote. "The team takes feedback seriously—we’re players ourselves, so when things don’t land, we also feel that internally. To say it out loud, a hotfix of this magnitude comes at the cost of other changes, so to set expectations here, the team is unlikely to take another balance pass until much later this Season. It’s important to our team that on top of doing amazing new things, we maintain a healthy work-life balance and this patch necessitates some breathing room."
"Short-term gain for long-term pain" is definitely a choice, but one that Bungie has made previously: In early 2021 it delayed The Witch Queen expansion (opens in new tab) into 2022, "primarily for the health of the team." In December 2021, Bungie CEO Pete Parsons formally apologized (opens in new tab) to "anyone who has ever experienced anything less than a safe, fair, and professional working environment at Bungie," following a report into sexism, toxicity, and a crunch-heavy culture at the studio.
Yanes also noted that next season's Arc 3.0 rework is "still cooking up nicely," but warned that the abilities team will likely "go dark for a little while" once it's live.