We knew it was coming—Bungie said it was coming—and now we know exactly what form it will take. Since the launch of Lightfall and its Strand subclass earlier this year, one of its abilities has stood head and shoulders above any other effect in the game: Suspend. With it, you can tie enemies up in suspending green threads, leaving them unable to do pretty much anything except get shot and die. In a year where Bungie wanted to bring the challenge back to Destiny 2, Suspend alone went a long way to nullifying any increase in difficulty.
The nerf was inevitable, and now has been detailed in a new sandbox preview ahead of Season 22's launch on August 22. "We played with a variety of Suspend times during Strand development and landed on a long duration to differentiate Suspend from Stasis Freeze, offsetting the lack of a Shatter equivalent with additional disable time," writes Bungie. "Having seen the way it’s played out in the live game, we don’t believe this is the right place for Suspend to live."
Bungie has good reason to believe this. As the studio notes, "Suspend is currently a skeleton key that solves combat problems against all combatant types." This is particularly notable with Champions, the special enemies found in Nightfall, raids and higher difficulty dungeons and Lost Sectors. The three Champion types are supposed to require different loadout options to deal with, but as it currently stands, Suspend just beats them all. This not only renders Stasis—the other crowd control subclass—largely irrelevant, but even diminishes Strand's other keywords. What's the point of building into Sever, which reduces an enemy's outgoing damage by 30%, when you can use Suspend and reduce it by 100% because they literally cannot shoot you?
The primary nerf detailed is to how long Suspend will actually disable an enemy. As noted in Bungie's post:
- Reduced base Suspend duration vs. non-Champion PvE combatants from 8 seconds to 5 seconds.
- Thread of Continuity now extends this duration to 7 seconds, down from 12 seconds.
- Reduced base Suspend duration vs. Champion combatants from 8 seconds to 3 seconds (4 seconds with Thread of Continuity).
- Increased snap damage dealt to Suspended boss combatants by 67%.
In terms of the durations, Suspend will clearly still be useful, just less good at completely locking down the battlefield for extended periods. I think the change that will be most felt here is the reduction in duration against Champions. Where previously you could Suspend a champ and have enough time to resurrect a teammate or just reposition to somewhere safer, now you just get a short window of reprieve before it's back as an active threat. This will likely also counter Suspend's ability to shutdown Barrier Champions specifically—unless your fireteam is incredibly coordinated, it's going to be back on the ground and triggering its shielded health regen before you know it.
Crucially, Bungie is also nerfing two of the regen fragments that were often used in Suspend builds. Thread of Mind is getting the class energy it regenerates for killing Suspended enemies, which feels like a direct nerf to the Titan's Drengr's Lash aspect that created a suspending wave from the barricade class ability. And Thread of Generation is getting its grenade regen reduced by around 20%, ensuring that your Shackle Grenades will be available less often.
But! If one part of Strand's kit is getting hit, the other parts are getting some choice buffs to make them slightly more appealing in the sandbox. Per the post:
- Increased Threadling damage vs. PvE combatants by 30%.
- Reduced Tangle creation cooldown time from 15 seconds to 12 seconds.
- PvE combatants affected by Sever now have their outgoing damage reduced by 40% vs. 30%.
This is all good stuff. Threadlings are fun, but a little underwhelming right now. Tangles are a great, versatile tool, but their spawn rate can feel restrictive. And Sever is very underappreciated right now—largely because of how strong Suspend is—but the combination of Strand's Woven Mail buff and a Severed enemy's reduced damage can be potent. As someone whose main Strand build revolves around Warlock's new Cenotaph helmet and this season's Strand exotic trace rifle, I'm pretty happy with the changes.
I'm also happy with the buffs about to be made to The Wanderer aspect, which honestly you are all sleeping on. It's not big or flashy, sure, but it's a reliable method of Suspend activation that's about to get a whole lot better:
- Destroying a Tangle now creates a delayed Suspending detonation.
- Increased Suspend detonation radius from 6 to 7 meters against PvE combatants.
- Increased thrown Wanderer Tangle detonation damage to match standard Tangle detonations.
This sounds like a stronger version of last season's Untangler mod; one that doesn't require the use of Strand weapons to proc. For an already useful (albeit underappreciated) aspect, I can see this becoming a great option—even with Suspend's nerfs.
Hunters are also getting some key Strand buffs, making Threaded Specter more useful in PvE (helped further by the general Threadline damage increase) and making the Silkstrider super more forgiving. More generally, Bungie have outlined a host of non-Strand changes, too, including a handful of reworks for underperforming exotic armour pieces and a big nerf to Titan's Striker subclass, which has been causing havoc in PvP for some time. These will all go live at the launch of the next season, on August 22, on the same day as the Destiny 2 Showcase that will finally reveal details of The Final Shape expansion.