This Week at Bungie

This week at Bungie, Lord Saladin returned to host the final 4v4 Iron Banner. New weapons are directly available from Saladin’s stock, or can be earned through Iron Engrams. This isn’t your last chance to earn those Season 2 ornaments, as Iron Banner will return after Destiny Update 1.1.4 is released, featuring 6v6 gameplay.

Speaking of Update 1.1.4…

Gotta Go Fast

Last week, Cozmo asked you fine readers to set an agenda on what we’d talk about in this week’s article. The overwhelming response: Sandbox!

While we’re still in the process of finishing development on 1.1.4, Senior Crucible Designer Kevin Yanes and Design Lead Josh Hamrick are here to get a bit more granular with what’s coming on March 27.

Kevin: Hey everyone, Kevin here from the Crucible team. I’m dropping by to share the details on the rest of our changes heading into Update 1.1.4. As Derek mentioned in last week’s TWAB, Iron Banner, Rumble, and Mayhem are making their triumphant returns to Destiny 2 with a few twists. Iron Banner has become 6v6, Mayhem features 90% fewer nova bombs (fixed this issue found during the Dawning), and Rumble has welcomed two additional players into the fray. There is a lot to get excited about in Update 1.1.4 but something the team really wanted to do was go back and refine the core experience.

Looking at the feedback, it was clear that the community felt there were two key areas for improvement with the Crucible: “Time to Kill” and “Team Shotting”. So we set our sights on re-working systems, mechanics, and values to tackle those two areas.

“Does this mean you’re changing the Time to Kill?”

When we looked at the core feedback on “Time to Kill” in the Crucible, we saw that it mostly stemmed from a lack of excitement or spikes of intensity you all came to expect from a Destiny experience. This came in the form of feedback that stated the game was too slow, or the core loop was too stale. We agree, and have worked with Sandbox to increase the pace of the Crucible as a whole. Josh is going to speak to all of the Sandbox changes here in a bit, and I won’t steal his thunder. So alongside all of the great changes the Sandbox team has made, we’re setting our sights on making the Crucible a faster, more dynamic, and more action-packed experience on the activity side.

Let’s get down to brass tacks on how we’re planning to change the Crucible and the delivery of the goal stated above. Here is an overview of the changes we’re bringing in 1.1.4:

  • Respawn and Revive were tuned in all game modes

  • Player respawn timers for all Quickplay modes have been reduced to 2s.

  • Player respawn timers for Survival have been reduced to 7s

  • Revive lockout time in Countdown has been reduced to 7s

  • Players no longer lose Revive Tokens on death

  • Power Ammo respawn timers were adjusted across the board

  • Power Ammo respawn timers in Iron Banner have been reduced ~50%

  • Power Ammo respawn timers for all Quickplay modes have been reduced ~30%.

  • Power Ammo respawn timers in Survival have been reduced ~40%.

  • Power Ammo respawn timers in Countdown have been reduced ~25%

  • Ammo counts have been adjusted in relation to these timers, and in relation to weapon type.

  • In almost all cases weapons either retained the same ammo count or received a buff. Swords and rockets were brought down to stay in line with the rest of the weapon offering.

  • Enemy players now drop their Power Ammo on death.

  • This brick is now networked to all players regardless of faction. Secure the power ammo to keep it from your foes or steal off your enemy’s ghost, but be quick because these bricks don’t stay in the world forever.

All these changes coalesce to create an experience that relies less on clumping with your team and focuses more on rewarding quick reflexes, thinking, and movement.

“But what about Competitive?”

During development of 1.1.4, we realized that while we’d reduced the “Team Shotting” in Quickplay and Iron Banner effectively, we hadn’t quite done the same to Competitive. Knowing this, we looked for a change that reinforced the following goals: reduce team clumping, reward individual plays, and incentivize flanks. With those goals in mind we looked to take a big step in shifting the gameplay in Competitive and Trials: starting in 1.1.4 we’ve opted to remove the Tracker from all Competitive and Trials game modes.

This means more communication is required to secure victories in Competitive and Trials matches. It also means that a crispy flank with Power Ammo is all the more powerful. Subverting expectations and reading opponents is more potent in matches with no Tracker. In playtests we’ve already seen some clutch underdog comebacks and we can’t wait to see what you all do in Competitive and Trials starting with 1.1.4. That said, we’re always listening and reacting to feedback so please tell us what you think about this change and all of our 1.1.4 changes once they go live.

Thank you so much for your time in reading and playing. We’re proud and excited of the work we’ve done on 1.1.4 and look forward to meeting you on the battlefield. Next up Hamslamrick with some Sandbox goodies.

Hamrick: Hello friends! As I mentioned last time, our goal for this update is to 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, especially in the Crucible. With Update 1.1.4 drawing ever closer, it feels like a good time to swing back by and provide some updates and additional clarity to what this patch will bring.

The first thing you should know: we are VERY excited for this update to go live. After weeks of solid play-testing, some with external participants, we feel like this is really shaping up to be an update you will be happy with. Huge shout out to everyone involved that helped the list of possible changes grow instead of shrink. Also, to those who play-tested and gave us quality actionable feedback.

Now, here’s an updated version of the list of changes first detailed in the February 1 TWAB. New and/or updated entries are highlighted in bold:

  • All three glides plus Catapult and Strafe Lift have been retuned and buffed to make them faster and more unique.

  • The mobility stat range has been expanded and completely retuned as well. In short, everyone gets faster and the high end is higher.

  • The players’ ground speed cap has been increased, allowing for faster total movement speed, regardless of how you may get there.

  • Arcstrider, Sentinel, and Striker all move faster, and at the same speed as one another, while in their Supers.

  • Arcstrider, as a whole, is performing well in PvP but mostly due to its neutral game perks. We’ve made the following changes in an effort to get the Super to be a more competitive option:

  • Faster Attack Animations.

  • Faster Dodge Animations.

  • Increased range of all attacks.

  • The previous Shoulder Charge changes are being reverted, allowing Shoulder Charge to be used as a movement mode once again.

  • Dawnblade has been improved:

  • Reduced cost for throwing swords, allowing for one additional throw

  • Increased super duration extension gained from "Everlasting Fire"

  • Removed all in-air accuracy penalties while "Swift Strike" is active

  • Reduced the Icarus Dash cooldown

  • Increased the Grenade and Melee energy "Heat Rises" gives you per kill

  • Invisibility on Dodge / Smoke Updates:

  • Invisibility on Dodge no longer breaks Aim Assist or Projectile Tracking in PvP (unchanged in PvE)

  • Dodging still breaks both Aim Assist and Projectile Tracking, but only for the duration of the actual dodge

  • Increased the duration of Invisibility on Dodge by 1 second

  • Increased the duration of Smoke Bomb Invisibility by 1 second

  • Supers recharge faster for everyone!

  • Supers now recharge 1:40 faster, a cooldown reduction of 25%.

  • Mods that reduce Grenade, Melee and Class Ability cooldowns have been buffed to allow for up to 2x faster cooldowns.

  • This is NOT replacing Mods 2.0, which was recently delayed. More information is available below.

We’ve buffed several weapon archetypes (including, but not limited to, Hand Cannons, Pulse Rifles, Sniper Rifles, and Shotguns) and a few specific perks, as well. A key goal here is to make Shotguns, Snipers, and Fusion rifles more prevalent in the game.

  • Pulse Rifles

  • Increased PvE damage for all pulses