In response to mounting feedback that the difficulty hike in Destiny 2's new expansion was a bit much, Bungie has toned down nearly every activity in the game and plans to improve the damage of several primary weapons to make enemies feel less tanky.
Overtuned enemies and undertuned primaries were two of the biggest issues I called out in my Destiny 2 Lightfall review, so I was also quite encouraged by Bungie's latest blog post, which rolled out alongside a hotfix implementing some early difficulty changes.
To the delight of almost everyone, the infamously brutal Season 20 Exotic mission has been reigned in, particularly for two- and three-player scaling, by up to 33%. Enemy health scaling for Legend and Master difficulty has also been reduced for Nightfalls, Battlegrounds, Lost Sectors, Offensives, Hunts, and campaign missions by 10%. There's been no mention of Neomuna's divisive Patrol tuning, curiously, but almost every other activity should feel a bit less grindy going forward.
"We've been keeping an eye on community feedback on overall difficulty since Lightfall's launch, and we have some changes in today's update and future updates that retune certain experiences," Bungie says. "In today’s update, we’ve reduced Legend and Master enemy HP scalars for non-boss units, which we felt were a little higher than we liked."
As an added bonus, the Commendation score requirements for Guardian Ranks seven through nine were also reduced in the new hotfix. Rank seven is down to 200 (was 460), rank eight is 477 (was 790), and rank nine is 910 (was 1,290). Bungie slashed these requirements more dramatically earlier this month, and I was among the players who were quick to argue it should slash them again, so I'm pleased to see that Bungie has indeed slashed them again. I think we might actually be at a reasonable breakpoint where arbitrary Commendations aren't an exhaustive hurdle for ranking up.
Looking ahead, Bungie's prepping a mid-season update – which shouldn't be far out, as there are 53 days left in the season at the time of writing – to address underwhelming primaries. Auto rifles are getting the biggest boost at 25%; pulse rifles, hand cannons, and sidearms (somehow) are getting a 20% buff; while scout rifles are getting 10% more damage. Bungie says it's watching SMGs and bows, which are arguably the only Legendary primaries that feel good to use right now, and will "continue to keep an eye on the primary weapon balance in PvE and may revisit their tuning as needed."
Here's some more good news: the Exotic primaries Quicksilver Storm and Touch of Malice got some welcome bug fixes in the new hotfix and no longer suffer a 40% damage penalty. Quicksilver Storm is a great Strand option once you get the catalyst, so this is especially beneficial for Strand builds. Now we just need Bungie to fix its sluggish grenade swap animation.
Bungie's confirmed that late Zavala actor Lance Reddick has more performances to come.