Destiny 2 – Master Vault of Glass (and Timelost Weapons) And Sandbox Updates

Bungie was back this week with their weekly news dump for This Week At Bungie where we got some more details about Solstice of Heroes 2021, Master Mode, and Time lost weapons coming to Vault of Glass next week, plus some big updates coming to the Sandbox which is going to mix up the meta very nicely.

Bungie kicked off their update by saying:

This week at Bungie, we prepare for Solstice of Heroes 2021!

It’s almost time for a celebration. Earlier this week, Guardians pushed back against the Endless Night. Through relentless Overrides and adventures to Expunge the Vex network, Quria was found and deleted. While larger threats to humanity remain, one can take a moment to breathe and rest easy knowing that the people of the Last City are safer. In the wise words of Saint-14, it is time for celebration. Solstice of Heroes is the perfect moment for that.

A big party in the Tower isn’t the only thing that’s going on. Eva Levante returns, bringing new armor for Hunters, Titans, and Warlocks to earn. As you upgrade your sets, you’ll once again be able to earn some magnificent white glows to adorn your armor with. If you have a taste for the elements, Eververse will also offer Universal Ornament Bundles for purchase which will shine brightly with glows that reflect your equipped subclass.

For a full rundown of Solstice and everything coming, make sure to check out our Seasonal Event page on Bungie.net. I’m personally getting excited for a fun new shotgun that will be available during the event…

Next week has quite a bit going on: a larger than usual mid-season sandbox update, Vault of Glass Master difficulty, and more! Let’s dig in.

FATEBREAKERS

Raids fall squarely into the endgame space of Destiny, providing aspirational content for fireteams of six to conquer. Once you’ve climbed the mountain and planted your flag, you may find yourself asking, “What’s next?”

Well, I’m here today to let you know that you haven’t summited the mountain just yet. If you truly wish to call yourself a master of the Vault of Glass, you’ll be challenged to earn that respect.

BEGINNING TUESDAY, JULY 6, VAULT OF GLASS MASTER DIFFICULTY WILL BECOME AVAILABLE TO ALL PLAYERS.

How do you enter?
When signing in next Tuesday, Vault of Glass will offer a Master difficulty option to launch for you and your fireteam. While there is no minimum Power requirement to enter, enemies will be at 1350 Power, so you will want to earn some Pinnacle Power and raise your Artifact levels before attempting a run.

What can you earn?
First up, Master Vault of Glass unlocks the final Triumphs required for the Fatebreaker raid Seal and title. Once completed, players may equip their in-game title and purchase the Bungie Rewards pin if they so desire.

Second, Master Vault of Glass will also introduce Timelost weapons to Destiny 2. Timelost weapons can be comparable to Adept weaponry from Grandmaster Nightfalls or Flawless Trials Passages, but offer an additional perk in columns three and four for slightly more customization.

Complete Vault of Glass Challenges in the Master difficulty of the activity, and you will be rewarded. Each week will feature a specific Timelost weapon for you to hunt, rotating alongside the available challenge. Once you’ve earned a Timelost weapon, you may also purchase additional rolls from the chest at the end of the raid (on Master difficulty) using Spoils of Conquest. Note that these will be at a higher price than normal versions of these weapons.

Please note – Weekly reward lockouts are shared between both Normal and Master difficulties of Vault of Glass. That means encounters, challenges, and hidden chests will only award gear the first time you complete them in either activity each week. They must be completed at Master difficulty first to earn Timelost weapons and stat-focused armor.

Lastly, armor from the Master difficulty of Vault of Glass will focus on specific stats, rotating weekly. If you’ve been hunting a Prime Zealot Helm with a high spike in the Intellect stat, Master difficulty will give you greater chances for the distribution you’re looking for.

Get ready for a fight.
This won’t be a walk in the park if you haven’t dipped your toes into the Destiny 2 endgame before. Enemies will be tougher. They’ll be looking to put you down with more aggression. A few more Champions will be appearing to defend the Vault. More modifiers will be active, forcing you to think on your feet and come prepared. If you’re looking to increase your Power, make sure to complete your weekly milestones for Pinnacle rewards. One way to do that is in the Iron Banner. It’s active right now, so make sure to complete those bounties for additional Pinnacle rewards as you prepare for the raid!

Atheon will be seeing you next week. Good luck to all fireteams as they attempt their first Master difficulty raid.

SHIFTING SANDS – MID-SEASON SANDBOX UPDATE

Over the last few Seasons, we’ve seen some pretty big changes to the Destiny 2 sandbox. Aggressive Hand Cannons jumped into the spotlight of PvP, Rocket Launchers became an awesome option for PvE content, Dead Man’s Tale started whistling in the wind, and much more. Over the last few months, the team has been working to prepare a mid-Season sandbox pass, much larger than ones we’ve shipped in the past. To give you all of the details, Weapons Feature Lead Chris Proctor has once again agreed to lend some time to the TWAB.

Chris: Hey all, Chris here. I’d first like to set some expectations. Normally we wouldn’t make large changes in a mid-Season patch, but with a handful of weapons sucking all the air out of the room, we decided to bring some changes originally planned for Season 15 into next week’s update. We’ll follow this up with a big set of changes in Season 15. Moving these changes up to Season of the Splicer also gives us the option of doing some reactive tuning in Season 15’s mid-Season patch. All in all, we’ll continue to make changes outside of Seasonal updates when we can, but they won’t typically be this large or numerous.

So, without further ado, the big-ticket items for PvP are (no surprises) Shotguns, 120 RPM Aggressive Hand Cannons and Dead Man’s Tale. Combined, these dominate all forms of PvP, particularly Trials. We’ve also been getting large amounts of feedback about Special weapon usage in the Crucible, and this will be a first step towards addressing these player concerns.

Ok, we can’t forget about Sleeper Simulant in PvE too.

INTENDED SPECIAL WEAPON ROLES IN PVP

Most Special weapons should have one situation where they’re a dominant choice – if caught outside of this you should be at a disadvantage.

Moving towards these roles is a work in progress, some weapons are not where we want them to be, and we’ve made some changes in Season of the Splicer that we expect to need more adjustments later on.

Note that Special ammo abundance in PvP distorts these roles, allowing play that wouldn’t be possible otherwise, and is something we’re looking to address.

Here are the roles we intend each Special weapon to fill:

  • Sniper Rifles – Engaging at long range, with aiming skill, when not already under fire.
  • Shotguns – Engaging at point blank range, using skill at movement or positioning to get close enough to get a one- or two-hit elimination.
  • Fusion Rifles – Engaging at mid-range, but with careful positioning and pre-charging around cover required for success.
  • Trace Rifles – Strong at close to mid-ranges, at the cost of not being a one-hit elimination, making it possible to be outplayed by skillful Primary users.
  • Grenade Launchers – Useful for weakening an opponent, getting damage around corners with bounces, or getting a one-hit elimination with a direct impact, at the cost of projectile travel time and being in a bad place if you miss your shot with the single-round magazine.

LET’S TALK ABOUT SOME WEAPONS…

Shotguns are very dominant in PvP by any measure, and don’t allow much counterplay with Primary weapons, particularly close-range Primaries like Sidearms and SMGs. We see frequent player feedback about their prevalence in PvP activities and how they make it difficult to use various weapon archetypes that otherwise feel good against players without Shotguns. We want them to excel in a narrower niche then they do currently, so this change aims to retain the reliable one-hit elimination, but at closer range, and push them to be slightly rangier than currently at getting two-hit eliminations. As with our intent for all Special weapons, if a player is caught out of position with a Shotgun, they should be at a clear disadvantage.

With the ability to quickly follow up rising in importance, we expect faster-firing Shotguns to eat into Aggressive Shotguns dominance, and other Special weapons to be more viable.

  • Increased Aggressive Frame Shotgun cone angle from 4.0 to 4.25 degrees.
  • Reduced Shotgun damage falloff min by 2m.
  • Increased Shotgun damage falloff max by 2m.
    Note: Slug Shotguns are unaffected by this change.

Aggressive (120 RPM) Hand Cannons were adjusted in Season of the Splicer, but this didn’t make enough of a difference. We believe that they’re still too rangy, and benefit way too much from a small damage buff (two-tapping). It’s tricky because they’re now not much different from their pre-Beyond Light form (they already had better range and a two-tap with Rampage), but people have latched onto their ease of two and two-tapping potential since the buff in Beyond Light and new 120s in Season of the Chosen encouraged people to try them out. With this change, we expect other Primaries to become viable where previously 120s ate their lunch, including Adaptive Hand Cannons, Pulse Rifles, Scout Rifles, and Auto Rifles, while allowing 120s to keep the advantage of hard-hitting peek shooting at range.

  • Reduced precision damage multiplier from 1.8 to 1.6, preventing a 10% damage bonus from allowing two-tapping in PvP.
  • Reduced aim assist minimum falloff distance by 1-2m depending on the Range stat.
  • Reduced damage minimum falloff distance by 1m (this reduces their damage falloff advantage over other Hand Cannons to 1m (as usual, this is 1m before the zoom scalar).

WE ALSO HAVE A FEW CHANGES TO PERKS…

Drop Mag
Can no longer roll on new drops of weapons, will have functionality changed later.
There’s a change coming next Season that requires adjusting this, and some perks with similar functionality – more on that later…

Pulse Monitor
Fixed an issue where the Handling bonus was no longer applying.

Rewind Rounds
Fixed an issue where the perk would not trigger if the last shot in a magazine missed, or if the player reloaded another weapon before firing the final shot.

Reservoir Burst
We’ve seen the complaints that the detonation on kills doesn’t feel that reliable or impactful, so this has been updated with the same consistency and speed fix as Dragonfly.

TWO EXOTICS WILL GET SOME TUNING…

Dead Man’s Tale is dominant on mouse and keyboard, receives frequent critical feedback from players in the Crucible, and is strong but not worryingly so on controller. We’re keeping the fast-firing in hip, which we believe is key to the feel of the weapon, but with this change it will no longer have ADS levels of damage falloff while hip-firing, and so will be subject to falloff much closer. It will also require better aim to land hits while hip-firing. We’re deliberately only lightly touching ease of use in this change with the goal of not making it harder to use on controller.

Removed hip-fire damage falloff scalar (was 1.8x to match zoom).
Aim Assist cone angle hip scalar reduced from 1.5 to 1.2.

Sleeper Simulant didn’t receive any custom tuning when we updated Linear Fusion Rifles (LFR), but because it has much higher body damage than other LFRs it didn’t benefit as much as intended from the global buff to precision damage scalar. Sleeper will now be the clear winner for single shot LFR damage, edge out other LFRs for burst damage, and largely match others for total damage for reserves. Also note that Sleeper’s penalty for hitting the body rather than the head is much lower, giving it an edge in real world damage.

Fixed an issue where Sleeper Simulant was benefiting less than other LFRs from the Season of the Splicer LFR precision damage buff.
Total buff is now 16.5%, compared to the 15% buff other LFRs received.

THE NEAR FUTURE…

We have more changes than usual for a Season coming in Season 15, some as follow-ups to the above, and others that were too large for mid-Season. Here’s a preview of some of the changes (of course, also expect a new batch of weapons and perks).

Fusion Rifles: We’ve been wanting to tackle subfamily differentiation for a while, so we’re planning on a large rework of Fusion Rifles, changes to Fusion Rifle perks/mods, and custom tuning to most Exotic Fusion Rifles (is Vex Mythoclast a fusion rifle? Let’s say yes).

Breech Grenade Launchers: With the above Shotgun changes, we expect other Special weapons to increase in usage, and believe that Grenade Launchers have the potential to become more frustrating to play against as they become even slightly more common. So, we’re planning a small change that specifically touches priming and cleaning up targets.

Scout Rifles and Hand Cannons in PvE: Players have wanted these weapons to be a bit more efficient in PvE for some time. We’ve found that minor enemies in high-end content take too many shots to kill with these weapons.

Machine Guns in PvE: Through playtesting and player feedback, we’ve found they’re not doing their intended job well enough, so we’re planning a noticeable change for Season 15.

Special ammo economy, particularly in PvP: While the above changes to Shotguns should help tone down Aggressive frames a bit, we’ve got a couple of small changes planned that should reduce the amount of Special ammo floating around to a degree, and have further changes in mind in case they’re needed.

Anarchy has done too much too well for too many years (without even counting the boost it’s gotten this Season, which is due to the sweet Grenade Launcher artifact mods), so we’re making changes that make it great at a couple roles rather than being the jack of all Grenade Launchers.

Exotic Primaries: We want to give players more reasons to use Exotic Primary weapons in high-end PvE content, and have changes coming to help with this.

AND THE MORE DISTANT FUTURE…

We’ll keep a close eye on Special weapons and will make adjustments once we see how they perform in the wild, particularly Fusion Rifles and Grenade Launchers.

We have an idea of what may need more adjustments as these changes shake out, but will wait to discuss them as our plans solidify.

We also keep a close eye on feedback on Exotic weapons and which weapons are under/overperforming. We have some tweaks planned next week, in Season 15, and beyond which should shake things up. Note that we specifically look at catalysts as a way to buff underused Exotics (for example, this is why we made catalysts for Trinity Ghoul and Deathbringer, so expect similar reasoning moving forward).

At the risk of being vague, we also have long-term plans to address the issues of Exotic Orb generation and kill trackers without making a catalyst for every Exotic in the game.

And there you have it! As Chris mentioned, this is a bit of a meaty mid-Season update. While the patch note list isn’t the longest you’ve seen, the impact of these changes is expected to be higher than the usual mid-Season patch. Don’t expect changes of this scale in the middle of every Season, but the team worked hard to get these together and out the door. Trying some of these changes out in playtests has been fun, and we’re expecting a bit of a shakeup to the meta, at least in terms of Shotgun usage. Some Shotguns will still be fairly lethal, but will require closer range for those sweet one-hit eliminations. As always, we’ll be watching your feedback as these changes go live, and planning changes as necessary.

ANOTHER PATCH NOTE PREVIEW

Alongside the sandbox update, we have a slew of bug fixes going out with Destiny 2 Update 3.2.1. Here’s a quick list of some high-priority changes to expect next Tuesday when the patch hits your hard drive.

Expunge
Styx
Fixed an issue where the Codestrider platform over the boss would fail to have collision in certain circumstances.
Tartarus
Fixed an issue where a Codestrider platform would fail to have collision in certain circumstances.
Fixed an issue where defeating the boss before the second immunity phase would block mission completion.

Strikes
The Inverted Spire
Fixed an issue where players who died in the drill area could have their Ghosts appear far back in the strike. The Ghosts now appear at set safe locations in the drill area.

Momentum Control
Decreased Trace Rifle damage in Momentum Control
Dev Note: While we know Trace Rifles are too hot, we are also aware that some players are greatly enjoying “laser tag” in Momentum right now. With that in mind, we’re starting out with a small change to see how that feels before taking another pass.

Gameplay

  • Fixed an issue in which Slow duration from Withering Blade did not increase with Whisper of Durance Fragment equipped.
  • Fixed an issue in which Stormcaller Warlocks were unable to use Ionic Blink while slowed by Stasis.
  • Fixed an issue in which Diamond Lance could be generated by throwing a Glacier Grenade into a pile of Telesto projectiles.
  • Fixed a few bugs in which abilities were not properly costing Sentinel Shield energy when guarding (Celestial Fire, Withering Blade, Shiver Strike, Glacial Quake, Silence & Squall).

Stay tuned to Bungie.net for the full list of patch notes, expected to go live around 10 AM PST on Tuesday.