Destiny 2

Destiny 2 is making huge PvP Sandbox changes in the upcoming update

Bungie is gearing up for majors adjustments to Destiny 2’s PvP sandbox in an upcoming update scheduled for March 5th.

In their latest post (TWID),Bungie has pinpointed several issues in Destiny 2 that they plan to change:Improve player understanding of their death sequence for easier learning and skill enhancement. Adjust the weapon sandbox to address higher player skill levels by minimizing high-reward low-risk options and promote the mastery of primary weapons as an aspiration for players.

To tackle these issues, Bungie is implementing several changes. They plan to increase the health in the base Crucible by 30 HP, increase base Super damage with 31%, increase melee damage by 16% and apply the same percentage boost to the Arc Flux Grenade.

Destiny 2

Bungie is also making changes to the primary weapon, boosting critical hit damage for all Primary weapons except Bows. Additionally, Hand Cannons’ flinch will be reduced, addressing their outlier status compared to other high-damage Primaries like Scout Rifles and Bows.

Special armor will now ensures you start with two kills’ worth of ammo upon respawn. Additionally, as you fill up the special ammo meter by scoring points through kills, assists, or completing objectives, you can earn even more ammo. Achieving 100 points grants you an extra two kills’ worth of special ammo for your chosen weapon.

Special, heavy, and exotic weapons are undergoing adjustments, including a 20% increase in base damage for weapons like Trace Rifles, Shotguns, and Fusion Rifles.

Make sure to read the blogpost below:

This Week In Destiny - (source)

Hey folks, the PvP Strike Team has a lot to talk about in the coming weeks—in this section we’re covering the changes to PvP-specific tuning for weapon types, Exotic weapons, abilities, and Special ammo generation.

Note: These changes are not applied to Mayhem, Momentum, and Checkmate. They retain their own custom modifiers. Checkmate has been retuned to be more representative of its original intended form, and there will be more info on that from the PvP Strike Team next week.

Our base Crucible sandbox currently faces a number of issues. What we’ll talk about here today represents a large, macro pass designed to begin to address several of these concerns, and it will be followed by additional micro-tuning in the future. The symptoms of these issues affect players across the skill spectrum, from 2,000-hour veterans to New Lights, so it’s important that we begin to address them as best we can. Let’s identify our goals, what the symptoms are in terms of how our gameplay is affected, and then we can discuss the root causes and the corresponding changes.


  1. Help players to more clearly understand the sequence of events that led to their death, so that they can more easily learn how to improve
  2. Alter the weapon sandbox to account for the increased average skill of our player base by reducing the amount of high-reward low-risk options.
  3. Encourage primary weapon mastery to be an aspirational pursuit for players

As we’ve increased the prevalence and strength of some sandbox elements, the ability to clearly understand what is happening from a target’s perspective has suffered. It is increasingly common to be defeated instantly (or so quickly that there is no time to react), and often so many different things are happening that it’s nearly impossible to determine the sequence of events that killed you.

When a defeated player has difficulty recognizing and reacting to how they were defeated, it creates a situation where it feels like there was nothing they could have done, making it hard to learn what to do better next time. It also places a strong focus on being the one to deliver as many of these types of unreadable kills as possible, while utilizing buildcrafting to avoid becoming the recipient. Then sandbox elements that do not benefit either of those paths fall out of favor.

Additionally, while the average skill of our players has crept up over the years, the weapons’ sandbox has not grown alongside it. For example, a much higher percentage of our players can hit optimal time-to-kill with SMGs, peek-shoot with Hand Cannons, or “blint” (look it up) with Wish-Ender today than could several years ago.

In large part, this is because a certain amount of forgiveness was baked into many Primary weapons to allow more players to utilize them at their full potential. For example, high-reward weapons like Precision SMGs or Aggressive Hand Cannons only requiring 67% critical hits to achieve optimal time-to-kill, and Wish-Ender allowing you to follow up the Bow swap with a body shot from a Hand Cannon. This leniency allows players to make mistakes and still benefit from the full strength of the playstyle.

That made sense when the average player skill was lower, but in the current ecosystem, a far larger number of players can take advantage of those benefits. This is manifesting itself in multiple places, but it’s most noticeable in the significant compression of the skill gap at high levels of play. An additional byproduct is an increase in difficulty for new players finding their footing in a game where many veteran players have near-mastery of these existing playstyles, which increases the friction of refreshing the pool of players in Crucible.

Finally, at high levels of play, things like high body shot damage, generous aim assist, Primary weapon flinch, and low critical hit requirements all contribute to the feeling that putting in the time to improve your skill with Primary weapons is generally not worth the effort.

With many meta Primary weapons, hitting optimal or near optimal time-to-kill is less representative of mastery of the weapon and is instead merely an expectation of standard play. Similarly, at lower levels of play, players can still lose relatively quickly to an inaccurate opponent, which minimizes the time they have to figure out the sandbox and learn, often making them feel like they are playing higher skilled players than they really are.

These symptoms are all generated by a handful of root causes, each generally linked to the others in a cycle of balance that encourages us to touch all of them at once if we’re making big changes, or in smaller increments if we are modifying things individually:

  • We have certain ability builds with either higher uptime or higher potency than we believe is healthy.

To help keep those builds in check:

  • We’ve provided a near-constant availability of Special ammo, which means there is always a surplus of one-shot-kill weapons on the field.

And to keep Primary weapons competitive:

  • We have made Primary weapons highly lethal, fast-killing, and in general also very forgiving.

All that leads to:

  • A high percentage of deaths in our sandbox where, from the target’s perspective, it feels like there was nothing they could’ve done differently.

Simply put, we have a risk vs. reward problem. Over time, we pushed some of our sandbox elements to have higher rewards without offsetting them with the risk of punishing sub-optimal play. Some elements take it a step further. Instead of just rewarding the attacker, they punish the target (e.g., the Explosive Payload Hand Cannon’s flinch and Wish-Ender’s True Sight).

To begin to address these issues, the following changes will be applied to the Crucible starting with Update 7.3.5. on March 5.

Player Health

We have two goals with the following increase to player health: It gives us far more granularity to balance our current and future sandbox elements and it lets us decrease the relative lethality of multiple sandbox elements (e.g., grenades and body shot damage) all at once and universally.

  • Player health will be increased by 30 HP in base Crucible, so players have 100 health (up from 70) and 116-130 shield, depending on the player’s Resilience values.

Ability Cooldowns

These values, combined with the changes to the mod economy earlier this Season, will move us to a place where ability uptime is healthier for the Crucible.

  • Melee, Grenade, and class ability cooldowns now have a 15% penalty applied to them in Crucible only.
  • Super cooldowns now have a 20% penalty applied to them in Crucible only.

Ability Damage

To account for the increased player health and the reduced uptime, we have made some general changes to melee and Super damage (and one grenade) to make sure that we maintain moment-to-moment muscle memory and retain our current general rules of most Supers killing in one-shot and most melees killing in two.

  • Supers
    • Increased base Super damage by 31%.
  • Melee
    • Increased base melee damage by 16%.
  • Grenades
    • Increased Arc Flux Grenade damage by 16%.

Primary Weapon Archetypes

To maintain the same optimal time-to-kill rates as the current sandbox with the new HP values and to place an increased emphasis on precision, all Primary weapons except Bows will have their critical hit damage increased. We will also reduce the flinch dealt by Hand Cannons, as they were a consistent outlier, even compared to other high-damage Primary weapons like Scout Rifles and Bows.

  • Pulse Rifles, Auto Rifles, Sidearms, and Scout Rifles
    • Increased critical hit damage by 14%.
  • Hand Cannons
    • Increased critical hit damage by 10%.
    • Reduced body shot damage by 5%.
    • Reduced flinch dealt to players by projectile impact by 12.5% and by Explosive Payload by 10%.
  • Submachine Guns
    • Increased critical hit damage by 12.5%.
    • Reduced body shot damage by 3%.
  • Bows
    • Reduced base damage by 15%.

Special Ammo Acquisition

After a lengthy test period in Crucible Labs, we are ready to move the Special ammo meter system into the wider Crucible. We have made several changes between the initial version and this one, so here are the details on how it will work now:

  • You will start every game (all game types, including round-based modes like Dominion) with two kills worth of Special ammo for your chosen weapon.
  • Instead of two kills worth of Special ammo being granted every time you respawn, you will earn more ammo by filling up a Special ammo meter, with points given for getting kills, assists, or completing objectives. Getting 100 points grants you two kills worth of Special ammo for your chosen weapon.
    • Base Point Values
      • Kills: 23
      • Assists: 10
      • Deaths: 10
      • Control zone capture: 14
      • Heavy ammo pulls: 8
    • Elimination/Dominion Point Values
      • Kills: 38
      • Assists: 16
      • Deaths: 16
      • Heavy ammo pulls: 10
    • 3v3 Respawn Modes (Survival, 3v3 Clash, and Countdown Rush)
      • Kills: 26
      • Assists: 12
      • Deaths: 11
    • Rumble
      • Kills: 30
    • Countdown
      • Charge armed: 20
      • Charge defused: 40
      • Charge detonated: 70
  • General Notes
    • Kills from Special ammo weapons and Heavy ammo weapons do not grant any points toward Special ammo meter progress.
    • Jumping off the map will subtract progress from the Special ammo meter.
    • Ammo is not dropped on death, and you will not lose the Special ammo you have earned when you are defeated or are revived.
    • Earned Special ammo will carry over between rounds.
    • Swapping from double Primary weapons to a Special ammo weapon will reset your Special ammo meter progress.

Special Weapon Archetypes

To offset the increased health and partially make up for the reduced uptime, we have increased the base damage of several Special ammo weapons.

  • Trace Rifles, Shotguns, and Fusion Rifles
    • Increased base damage by 20%.
  • Glaives
    • Increased projectile damage by 20%.
    • Increased melee damage by 16%.

Heavy Weapon Archetypes

Heavy ammo Grenade Launchers have been the meta pick for PvP for a long time, and we wanted to make sure that they did not get any better with the PvE changes outlined above. (In fact, due to the increased health, it will be a little more difficult for them to kill high-resilience Guardians when using Proximity Nades.) Machine Guns have long been in the shadow of other Heavy weapons, so we wanted to give them a little boost upward as well.

  • Heavy Grenade Launchers
    • Reduced detonation damage by 5%.
  • Machine Guns
    • Increased base damage by 20%.

Exotic Weapons

Some Exotic weapons partially bypass the Special ammo economy changes, and in a world with reduced Breech-Loaded Grenade Launchers and Fusion Rifles, they quickly rose to the top of the list of annoyances. Crimson, like other Hand Cannons, has long been dealing extreme amounts of flinch to other players, and this was exacerbated by the fact that it fires in a burst. It has been custom tuned to deal slightly less flinch than other Hand Cannons. There were also a couple of Exotic weapons that we felt deserved to come up a bit, so that they were not punished by the changes.

  • Fighting Lion
    • Decreased damage versus players in Crucible by 20%.
  • Devil’s Ruin
    • Decreased charged beam damage against players by 15%.
  • Crimson
    • Reduced flinch dealt to players by projectile impact by 17.5%
  • Forerunner
    • Increased damage versus players in Crucible by 20%
  • Symmetry
    • Increased Revolution damage versus players in Crucible by 16%

Whew! That’s a lot to cover, and there’s even more coming next week from the PvP Strike Team, including info on new rewards, game modes, matchmaking details, spawn tuning changes, Trials updates, and more.