Bungie released their State of the Game today with Joe Blackburn, Assistant Game Director for Destiny 2, updating us all on the current state of the game as well as Bungie’s priorities for 2021 and beyond. There’s a lot of details to cover today including a delay to Witchqueen to 2022, Sunsetting changes, PVP balancing, Vault of Glass returning plus crossplay and transmog details.
I am going to go through the details section by section as Bungie laid out on their update today. Feel free to jump over to the full version and give it a read, I’ll be combining snippets from their update as well as thoughts as I go along.
Witch Queen Delayed to 2022
Witchqueen is being delayed to ‘early 2022’ given Covid-19 restrictions and Bungie needing more time to add some flesh onto the bones of the story. At this time we don’t know what early 2022 means, but more time hopefully means a better quality product at the end of the day.
“The Witch Queen represents an important evolution in the ongoing story of Destiny 2. Beyond Light built the foundation and allowed us to weave the world-building of Destiny and Destiny 2 together, but The Witch Queen will light the fire on a strongly interconnected narrative across Lightfall and beyond, unlike anything we’ve ever attempted before, with characters, arcs, heroes and villains that persist over multiple future releases.”
In 2020 Bungie announced a new trilogy of stories with Beyond Light, Witchqueen and Lightfall – now we’re also getting a new unannounced story after Lightfall which will conclude the ‘Light and Darkness Saga’.
Sunsetting to be sunset
One of the most divisive decisions by Bungie over the past year has been weapon sunsetting. Back in Season 11 infusion caps were added to weapons, which ultimately put a timelimit on weapons.
“We’ve made the decision that any weapon or armor that can currently be infused to max Power will continue to be able to reach max Power permanently. Starting in Season 14 we won’t be capping the infusion on any weapons or armor that have not already reached the cap as of the start of Season 13. This means you’ll be able to take your Trustee, your Falling Guillotine, and all the high-stat armor you’ve earned this year to take on the raid in The Witch Queen.”
One of the reasons sunsetting was put into the game in the first place was so Bungie could shift the meta, however, they feel that their implementation of sunsetting was ‘off the mark’. That means they’re going to have to do the meta shifting in other ways and it’ll be interesting to see how they approach that.
The power climb has become a source of frustration for the community over recent seasons, with the introduction of raising the power cap by 50 each season.
“Starting in Season 14, we will only be raising the Power cap by 10 for each non-expansion season. This means if you reach the maximum Power in Season 13, when next season rolls around you will be directly in the 10-point Pinnacle band of the Power pursuit.”
This means you won’t have to grind out the soft, hard and pinnacle cap each season and if you reach max power in a season then the next season you’ll be able to hop into the most challenging content almost immediately. The power climb of 10 is still going to give you that incentive to raise the power level but it should be less of pain each season with these changes.
PVP has not been in a good place for some time and Bungie have outlined some plans here for 2021.
- In Season 15 they are going to start with “three-peaking” by disabling emotes and you won’t be able to go into 3rd person without any ammo.
- Bungie are going to attempt to balance stasis in PVP to make it more comparable to the Light subclasses. This is going to happen in Season 13 and 14 and changes will happen across all classes
- In Season 15 the Light subclasses are going to receive a buff to the most under used specialisations. The specific goal is to keep Stasis feeling great in PVE but soften it in PVP
- New perks are going to be introduced to help shift the meta in the cruicble.
- In terms of security and cheating Bungie are taking a multi-pronged approach including doubling the size of the security team, surveying players more frequently and taking aggressive legal action against creators of cheating software.
- Trials and Iron Banner will see an overhaul of the rewards structure to help improve the matchmaking pool and investigate opportunities for solo players to go into Trials.
Bungie acknowledges there’s plenty of work to do. However, there’s lots of good stuff here. Stasis has driven away many players, making the crucible simply unplayable for many. Time will tell whether the buffs and nerfs will have the desired outcome, but this list appears to be a good start.
If you are a PVP player I’d love to hear what you think in the comments – do you think this is enough, or do you want to see more?
Vault of Glass Returns
Vault of Glass is going to be coming back in Season 14 (May 2021) and it’s going to have some upgrades compared to Vault of Glass in Destiny 1.
- It’s be both familar but also have some new surprises from the raid design team
- There’s going to be a world first race, but with a curated list of triumphs
- There’s a master difficulty version of the raid coming
Ada-1 Coming Back
Ada was introduced in Season 5 in the Season of the Forge, and now she’s coming back to dress us and help us out with our fashion game. In season 14 Ada is returning to the tower and will help turn any armour piece we have in our collections into a universal ornament. In Destiny 2 Bungie will call this transmog system “Armor Synthesis”.
“Once you’ve acquired some new universal ornaments, you will want to head over to the new appearance screen in the character menu, where you can manage the ornaments on all your gear in one place. You’ll also find that you can apply shaders here individually or on all pieces of your equipped gear with one click. To make it even easier to try out a bunch of new looks in Season 14 we’ve also changed shaders to be permanent unlocks, meaning you no longer will need to hold onto stacks of shaders in your inventory.”
Joe wrapped up the update with a few final points including
- Crossplay is coming in Season 15 and PC and console players won’t be matched inc crucible unless you invite friends
- Ikora Rey is coming back in Season 14 and she’ll play a big part in Witch Queen
- Stasis is going to be expanded to a damage type with Legendary Energy and Power weapons
- Guilded titles will be improved
While I am sad that Witchqueen will be pushed to 2022, it makes sense given the restrictions we’re all working and living under at the moment with a return to normality not really on the cards just yet. I’d much rather there be a delay rather than a half baked DLC, especially when you consider how important Witch Queen is going to be to the story arc of Destiny 2.
Sunsetting being sunset is very interesting. We didn’t think it could happen Bugie going back on their rollout of sunsetting, but perhaps with the change of management the decision was taken. We’ll have to wait and see what this means for the meta and how Bungie plan on shifting things, but that is probably a more positive problem to have rather than the amount of angry and upset players we had with the introduction of sunsetting.
The PVP changes look good, however, I’m not the best person to analyse these improvements as I mainly play PVE and only hop into PVP for events and sometimes weapons like the recent Messenger in Trials of Osiris. As mainly a solo player I am interested in what they plan to do to overhaul Trials and Iron Banner. Stasis has=d to be nerfed in PVP, I only hope it’s not going to affect PVE that much. There’s no mention of a separate sandbox for balancing the two game modes, which seems to be possibly on the cards.
Vault of Glass returning with some changes all makes sense and it’s still one of my favourite gaming memories first going in there blind, so I can’t wait to jump in again next season.
Let me know what you think of Bungie’s plans down in the comments.