In Bungie's weekly update (opens in new tab), Senior Crucible Designer Kevin Yanes and Design Lead Josh Hamrick discussed changes coming to the sandbox portion of Destiny 2 on March 27 as part of the 1.1.4 update. The gist: less popular weapons—mostly power weapons—are getting buffed to make them more useful, the Crucible is getting faster respawn and power ammo timers, competitive mode is doing away with the radar, Warlocks are getting a Dawnblade buff, Hunters' invisibility powers are getting nerfed, and the mods rework is still a work in progress. OK, now let's dig in.
First up, Crucible changes.
Iron Banner (6v6), Rumble, and Mayhem modes are returning in full soon, and with them comes a busier Crucible. Time-to-kill isn't changing though, Yanes stating that criticisms of the 4v4 teamwiping format stemmed more from "a lack of excitement or spikes of intensity" than how quickly bullets dissolve a guardian. To compensate, respawn timers and power ammo timers have been reduced across the board. And if you're killed carrying that purple gold, it'll drop, making it available to anyone that sprints over your dead body. Take a look at the complete list of changes below.
The changes are a step towards the Crucible of old, a more hectic, busy game that will ideally discourage teammates from roaming as a pack the entire match, stomping anyone that they catch on their lonesome. Quicker respawn timers and more frequent access to power ammo should give anyone on the losing side more frequent opportunities to respond with the big guns, or to at least return to a skirmish and support their team before everyone eats it.
The final big change for Crucible is restricted to Competitive modes. Kiss the tracker goodbye. Yanes explains its removal is meant to reward communicative team play: "Subverting expectations and reading opponents is more potent in matches with no tracker." A good decision. I spent way too many matches with my eye trained on the corner rather than on the action up front.
Hamrick goes on to detail changes affecting the whole of Destiny 2, starting with changes coming to guardian subclasses that are meant to, as he states, "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..." A good chunk of the changes have been mentioned before, so check out the blog if you're behind.
Buffs to the Warlock's Dawnblade subclass stand out here, removing in-air accuracy penalties, energy costs for throwing swords, and more. Supers will also recharge faster for everyone, with a 25% cooldown reduction that saves 1 minute and 40 seconds of kicking around empty soup cans. Cooldowns for mods that reduce grenade, melee, and class abilities will be more generous too, doubling their cooldown reduction bonuses.
The cherry on the buff cake are the changes coming to the least popular weapon archetypes with the goal being to make the lonely power weapons more viable and powerful in regular play. It takes a minute to scroll through all the changes, so read the post if you want the details, but the basic idea is this: more damage, buffs to a few perks, and better accuracy for (almost) all.
Phew, it's a lot to digest, I know. And while the sandbox updates don't fix the endgame grind or delete the Eververse, I'm happy that Destiny 2 is at least on track to be faster, louder, and more fun to play at its most basic level before the second expansion drops sometime this spring.