Major Changes Are Coming to Destiny 2 PvP in Season 15, Here’s a Preview of the Ability Changes

Destiny 2 pvp changes

Those looking for the season of Destiny 2, Bungie has more than just new content planned, as the studio has outlined the major changes coming to Destiny 2 PvP in the next season!

Bungie Assistant Game Director Joe Blackburn has outlined the biggest changes coming to Destiny 2 PvP and separated it by class! The PvP changes are being discussed in three parts, with the first one being the abilities, the next one (out next week) talking about armor and mods, with the last one discussing the weapons.

Destiny 2 PvP Changes in Season 15:

SEPARATE MELEE ACTIONS

Have you ever tried to throw a knife at an approaching Screeb, only to instead lunge forward and slap the Screeb in its gross exploding face? Have you ever accidentally wasted your hard-earned melee charge on a sad, lone Dreg? If so, there’s hope. Introducing… separate melee actions!
Starting next Season, you’ll be able to bind your charged melee attack and your uncharged melee attack to separate inputs, giving you greater control of when you use your abilities. This is an opt-in feature, and these new actions will be unbound by default. When you go to customize your controls, you’ll see the following new entries in the action list:
Auto-melee is the new name for the melee action that you’re used to. Your melee is context-sensitive and its behavior will change based on your equipped ability and your proximity to enemies. It usually does its job well but will occasionally betray player intent.
Charged melee is a new action that will always activate your charged melee ability upon button press, regardless of whether an enemy is in lunge range. Pressing the input when your melee ability is not fully charged will perform no action and cause the melee-ability icon to flash red, similar to how the grenade ability works.
Uncharged melee is a new action that will always activate your uncharged melee, even when your charged melee ability is fully charged.
It’s fairly straightforward, but here are some things to note:
  • Melee attacks trigger as soon as the button is pressed, not when it’s released. Melee attacks don’t wait to see if you’re still holding the button before starting. This means you can’t set any of the melee actions to a long-press or double-press input.
  • Game controllers have a limited number of inputs, so you may need to get creative with how you map your controls. Personally, I like to put charged melee on RB/R2 and uncharged melee on right-stick click/R3. This doubles up the Finisher and Uncharged-Melee actions on right-stick click/R3, which will prioritize finishing enemies over melee-ing them if the enemy is in a finish-able state.
  • If you assign charged melee and uncharged melee to the same input, it will always prioritize the charged melee over the uncharged melee, which is the opposite behavior of the auto-melee action.
To use these new actions on keyboard/mouse, open the Settings menu, click on Keyboard/Mouse, scroll down to “Charged Melee” and “Uncharged Melee”, and assign them to an input.
To use these new actions on controller, open the Settings menu, go to Controller -> Button Layout -> Custom, scroll down to “Charged Melee” and “Uncharged Melee”, and assign them to an input.
We hope you enjoy this new functionality, and we hope it saves your bacon from time to time.

LONG-TERM ABILITY PLANS

Last Season, sandbox lead Kevin Yanes laid out our vision for how we see subclass abilities fitting into the Destiny 2 sandbox moving forward. Our philosophy for ability design is that abilities should complement the core combat of Destiny but not dominate it. It should enhance the game’s gunplay but not replace it. The changes we’re introducing in Season 15 will help set the stage for those larger systemic ability changes. In the coming seasons, we’ll be focusing on adjusting how often abilities can be used in the Crucible specifically. Please stay tuned for more info about that.

SEASON 15 ABILITY BALANCE PASS

For Season 15, we’ve prepared a slew of balance changes to raise up underperforming subclasses and tone down overperforming subclasses.  Without further ado, here are the ability changes we’ll be making in Season 15:

GENERAL ABILITIES

STASIS FREEZE

The goal of these changes is to make being frozen by Stasis less frustrating. Previously, players who were frozen in the air had to wait until they hit the ground to start the breakout process. Additionally, we’ve shortened the window of vulnerability between breaking out of the Stasis encasement (and losing the damage resistance it provides) and getting back to weapon ready so you can fight back.
  • Frozen players can now initiate breakout while airborne.
  • Shortened breakout animation and camera transition.
      • This means that once you decide to break out, you’ll be able to fight back sooner.
  • Differentiated long freeze and short freeze visual treatment to make each status easier to identify.

SLIDE

The goal of this slide change is to slightly reduce the effectiveness of sliding into engagements to gain the upper hand. Even after the Shotgun changes we made last Season, sliding into every engagement with a Shotgun, or any weapon, is still incredibly effective, and run-and-gun playstyles are very low-risk. This is a change that looks scarier on paper than it feels in practice in our opinion, and we’ll continue to monitor how it plays out.
  • While sliding, players now incur the following weapon penalties:
      •  -20 stability
      • +15% shotgun pellet spread
      • 1.5x flinch

TITAN

RALLY BARRICADE

This Barricade variant doesn’t see much use, so we’ve made changes to make it a more viable option. It retains the same reload-speed benefits as before, while adding other weapon buffs.
  • Standing behind the Rally Barricade now also provides the following weapon buffs:
      • +30 stability
      • +10% range
      • -50% flinch

ALL BARRICADES

 Currently, certain fast-moving abilities allow you to speed through an enemy barricade while taking minimal damage. The goal of this change is to make players think twice before dashing through a barricade to engage the Titan on the other side. Barricades still can’t cause lethal damage, but dashing through one should now always leave you with a sliver of health.
  • Players moving at high velocity now take more damage when moving through hostile Titan Barricades.
  • Barricades now slightly protrude into the ground to better protect the Titan’s feet on uneven ground.
  • This should reduce instances where explosions and projectiles are able to sneak through the bottom of the Barricade and hit the Titan.

BEHEMOTH

As you may remember, midway through last Season we released a portion of the Stasis-related changes originally intended for this releasen. We’re pretty happy with the effect those changes have had on the Crucible, but some of the changes we made had a negative effect on the feel of Stasis in PvE content. We’ve made some adjustments that should help these abilities feel better. In this case, the Cryoclasm change we made last Season made it difficult to use Cryoclasm to shatter targets that were close to you. This change enables the Behemoth to shatter nearby targets even if they don’t have enough space to get a running start.
We also believe we overdid the movement-speed nerf to Behemoths last Season, which hurt the viability of Shiver Strike, especially during the Glacial Quake Super. We’ve increased the movement speed to make this feel better.
With this patch, we are also fixing a bug where the Whisper of Rime overshield wasn’t properly scaling precision damage, causing it to be significantly beefier than intended, which primarily impacted Tectonic Harvest Behemoths.
  • Cryoclasm 
      • While equipped, base slide now shatters crystals and frozen enemies.
      • Increased duration of screen FX notifying players that Cryoclasm long slide is ready from 1 second to ~4.5 seconds.
  • Shiver Strike 
      • Increased movement speed by 25%.
  • Whisper of Rime 
  • Fixed a bug where the overshield provided by Whisper of Rime was not scaling precision damage correctly.

MIDDLE-TREE SUNBREAKER

We are extending the throwing hammer lifespan to allow Titans more time to finish an engagement and still pick up their hammer before it vanishes. We also felt it could deal more damage against orange- and yellow-bar enemies. Also, the new charged melee action allows you to throw your hammer point-blank at an enemy, which is pretty badass.
  • Throwing Hammer 
      • Increased time before hammer explodes after hitting the ground from 6.5s to 10s.
      • Increased damage vs. powerful PvE combatants by ~50%.

TOP-AND-BOTTOM-TREE STRIKER

Some of the game’s melee-based Supers are at a bit of a disadvantage in today’s sandbox, so we’ve decided to give a few of them some love. In the future, we’ll be looking at ways to reduce the disparity between melee Supers and ranged Supers in a more sustainable way.
  • Fists of Havoc 
      • Increased slam detonation radius by 14%.
      • Reduced slam damage falloff.
      • Reduced slam attack activation cost from 21% to 18%.

MIDDLE-TREE STRIKER

This change will be balanced out by something we haven’t mentioned yet. We’ll say more about this in a future TWAB.
  • Inertia Override 
      • Increased duration from 4 seconds to 6 seconds.
      • Sliding over an ammo brick now grants 20% melee energy.

TOP-TREE SENTINEL

The following change refers to the Ward of Dawn bubble itself and not players inside the bubble. Currently, dropping a Ward of Dawn on top of a boss is a no-brainer because it’s so effective. The goal of this change is to reduce the breadth of encounters solved by Ward of Dawn and make burly bubbles a conscious choice by the Titan.
  • Ward of Dawn 
      • Increased damage taken from bosses from 0.25x -> 7x (at 0 Resilience).
      • Damage taken can scale down to 0.25x based on the owner’s Resilience stat.

HUNTER

REVENANT

Last Season, we reduced the radius of the Silence freeze. That change has played out well, requiring the Revenant to be more precise with their Silence throws. Even now, Silence feels like the scarier part of the Super, and we want Squall to feel more dangerous. Currently the Squall storm is slow enough that you can kind of ignore it or fight until it gets close and then relocate. With this speed change, we want players to prioritize relocating when they see an approaching Squall. Additionally, Squall will now stop when it touches a boss, which should make it better for single-target boss damage. However, there’s a known issue where the Squall will not start moving again if the boss moves or dies. We hope to further improve this behavior in a future release.
We feel we hit Withering Blade slightly too hard in last Season’s Stasis balancing. The following change should make it slightly easier to land while keeping the damage and slow duration at a reasonable spot.
  • Silence and Squall 
      • Increased Squall movement speed by 20%.
      • Squall storm now stops when it touches a boss.
  • Withering Blade
  • Increased projectile speed and tracking by 10%.

MIDDLE-TREE GUNSLINGER

We’d like to give Hunters a larger window to defeat burning enemies and trigger the Playing with Fire perk. As such, we’re giving the Knife Trick timer a 25% buff.
  • Knife Trick 
      • Increased burning duration from 3s to 4s.

TOP-TREE GUNSLINGER

This Super has been through a lot. We had intentionally reduced the effective range of Six-Shooter several seasons ago to balance it against bottom-tree Golden Gun. This change was then unintentionally reverted at some point due to an unrelated integration mishap and then later de-reverted. In any case, we’re extending the lethal range of this Super a little to reduce how often it required two shots to kill in the Crucible.
  • Six-Shooter 
      • Damage falloff now starts at 25m instead of 20m

ARCSTRIDER

As we mentioned previously, melee Supers such as Arc Staff are struggling a bit in today’s sandbox where players move extremely fast, weapons hit extremely hard, and ranged Supers handily win duels. We’ve extended the duration and slam range to help alleviate some of Arc Staff’s shortcomings, but we’ll continue to evaluate Super dynamics and search for a solution that doesn’t cause Power creep. Additionally, Arc Staff needed a little love in high-level PvE content, so we’ve increased its damage output there.
  • Arc Staff 
      • Extended passive Super duration from 16 seconds to 20 seconds.
      • Increased heavy-slam detonation radius from 5m to 6m.
      • Increased damage vs PvE combatants by 33%.
  • Top-Tree Arcstrider 
      • Deadly Reach 
          • Increased duration from 8 seconds to 10 seconds.
  • Middle-Tree Arcstrider 
      • Lightning Weave 
          • Dealing damage with Tempest Strike now triggers Lightning Weave.
          • Timer can now be extended by dealing damage with any weapon.

MIDDLE-TREE NIGHTSTALKER

Spectral Blades not only allows its user to go invisible and vanish from radar, but also has one of the highest damage-reduction values in the game. As the fantasy of this ability is that of a stealthy assassin and not a stealthy raid boss, we’ve decided to tone down the damage reduction. Looking at the data, middle-tree Nightstalker is among the most successful subclasses in the Crucible, so this change feels warranted.
  • Spectral Blades 
    • Reduced damage reduction during Super from 52% to 47%.
    • Reduced additional DR when invisible from +5% to +3%.

WARLOCK

SHADEBINDER

Winter’s Wrath is one of the best dueling Supers in the game, capable of quickly and easily dispatching other Supers. We’re OK with that being a strength of the Shadebinder in PvP, but we felt melee Supers needed more of a fighting chance against the Shadebinder.
  • Winter’s Wrath 
      • Reduced Shatterpulse damage vs. close-range Supers.
          • Warlock must now freeze and shatter twice to defeat players in Burning Maul, Fists of Havoc, Sentinel Shield, Nova Warp, Arc Staff or Spectral Blades (Glacial Quake still only requires one shatter to defeat).

TOP-TREE DAWNBLADE

Top-tree Dawnblade (TTD) is straight-up dominant in PvP, so we’re taking some measures to make it slightly less so. Celestial Fire will now take a little more accuracy to get full damage. Having access to two back-to-back Icarus Dashes gave this subclass too much positioning flexibility, allowing for quick long-distance flanking and evasion. When playing against a TTD, it’s hard to know if they have an Icarus Dash ready to go, even if you just saw them use one. We’re hoping this change makes playing against a TTD more predictable.
We want the identity of TTD to be found in aerial combat, so we’re doubling down on Heat Rises. We hope this change makes Heat Rises more accessible to players of all skill levels.
  • Celestial Fire 
      • Reduced tracking cone angle.
      • Arming shape (proximity detonation) now shrinks over time.
      • Reduced detonation size by 1m.
      • Damage falloff increased at short distances.
  • Icarus Dash 
      • Now provides one air dodge every 4 seconds.
          • While under the effects of Heat Rises, increased to 2 dodges every 5 seconds.
  • Heat Rises 
      • Increased duration from 10 seconds to 15 seconds.
      • Increased the time extension awarded for air kills while Heat Rises is active. The extension duration differs based on the type of enemy killed.
      • Your location now appears on enemy radar when using Heat Rises.

MIDDLE-TREE DAWNBLADE

Like Ward of Dawn, dropping a well on certain bosses is a no-brainer because it’s so effective. The goal of the below changes is to reduce the breadth of encounters solved by Well of Radiance and make burly wells a conscious choice by the Warlock.
Additionally, we’d like to make Well of Radiance more effective in the Crucible. You will have more survivability while in the well and you won’t be able to be frozen or slowed by Stasis users, making this tree a solid choice when facing off against Stasis. The well Sword can be frozen and shattered, but it takes multiple freezes and shatters before being destroyed.
  • Well of Radiance 
      • Increased damage taken from bosses from 0.25x → 1.5x (at 0 Resilience).
          • Damage taken can scale down to 0.25x based on the owner’s Resilience stat.
          • Note: This refers to the Well of Radiance itself and not players inside the well.
      • Increased damage resistance buff vs. enemy players from 20% to 40%
          • Players inside Well of Radiance are now immune to Stasis freeze and slow.
          • Well Sword can now be frozen and shattered by Stasis.
  • Guiding Flame 
      • Increased duration from 7 seconds to 10 seconds.
      • Increased damage buff from 20% to 25%.

BOTTOM-TREE DAWNBLADE

This tree has felt a little lackluster when compared to the Warlock’s other options, so we’ve given it some enhanced functionality. Like the Revenant’s Shatterdive, Phoenix Dive can now dive down diagonally in the direction of your choosing.
Bottom-tree Dawnblade also has one of the weaker melee attacks in the game—you had to defeat an enemy with the melee impact to cause an explosion. With this new rework, any time you defeat an enemy who is burning or defeat an enemy with any of your Solar abilities, they’ll explode and put a burn on nearby enemies. Your charged melee deals 120 damage and puts a burn on the enemy, meaning you can follow up with another lethal attack and still get the explosion. As a side note, this will be even more effective with the Dawn Chorus Exotic helmet.
  • Phoenix Dive 
      • Reduced delay before dive starts.
      • Can now input a direction to dive in that direction.
  • Igniting Touch 
  • Ability Rework: Solar ability kills and kills on burning targets now cause targets to explode and burn other nearby enemies (who will also explode if they die while burning).

MIDDLE-TREE STORMCALLER

These changes should lead to less instances of Chaos Reach dealing damage to enemies on the other side of a wall. Arc Beam sees high use in the Crucible (in part due to Geomag Stabilizers), and is often used as a shutdown Super. In future seasons, we’ll be looking at Arc Beam to make sure it’s not too easy to use in the Crucible.
  • Chaos Reach
      • Increased beam environment-collision size to better match collision size with damage size.
      • Reduced beam damage radius in PvP by 20%.
      • Reduced beam end-point-sphere radius in PvP by 33%.

BOTTOM-TREE STORMCALLER

Player feedback and data on bottom-tree Stormcaller indicated it could use a little love, so we made Arc Soul last a little longer and slightly shortened the time between bursts.
Landfall felt a little underwhelming, so we increased the spectacle a bit. It will now fire five arc projectiles along the ground in all directions. Cast your Super in the middle of a room to electrocute everything around you.
  • Arc Soul 
      • Increased duration from 12 seconds to 13 seconds.
      • Increased fire rate by 10%.
  • Electrostatic Surge 
      • Now increases sprint speed when allies are near.
  • Landfall 
  • Now fires five arc ground projectiles on cast.

MIDDLE-TREE VOIDWALKER

Through a mix of player feedback, data, and running through some high-level PvE content, we felt the Nova Warp Super needed some attention. Buffing Nova Warp is a dangerous endeavor though, and we’ll be monitoring to make sure we didn’t overdo it.
In PvE, Handheld Supernova was doing a pitiful amount of damage, so we’ve considerably increased its damage output, especially considering the time and proximity cost you’re paying to charge it up and get within range of an enemy. We’ve also increased the hold time after charging to give you more time to throw it before it vanishes.
  • Nova Warp 
      • Increased damage vs. PvE combatants by 73%.
      • No longer slows movement speed while charging/charged.
      • Now detonates on cast.
  • Handheld Supernova 
      • Increased damage vs. PvE combatants by 100%.
      • Increased hold time from 2.5 seconds to 3.2 seconds.

Besides the abilities, Bungie also teases improving the stasis experience in the new season as well.

IMPROVING THE “POWERING-UP STASIS” EXPERIENCE

With Beyond Light, Guardians received their first taste of wielding the powers of Darkness, as well as a new way to power-up sub-classes with Aspects and Fragments! These sub-class mods introduced a new way of evolving and growing a sub-class, which drastically impacts how the Stasis sub-class felt. Guardians who used Aspects and Fragments experience the true power of Stasis, whereas those who have not may feel a bit cold toward it. Even worse, many Guardians may not even know of the extended power offered by Aspects and Fragments—and we wanted to improve that!
Starting in Season 15, our Darkness guide on Europa, the Exo Stranger, will now reveal more information on how to complete the tasks required for earning more Stasis power. Guardians who have finished the Beyond Light campaign and visit the Exo Stranger on Europa will see the entire path for unlocking Aspects and Fragments. Additionally, many of the pre-requirements for obtaining and completing the “Born in Darkness” quest chain will be reduced or removed. Previously, Guardians needed to complete several quest chains and unlock Salvation’s Grip before Stasis would grant them additional power.
Guardians that completed the Beyond Light campaign will have immediate access to the Born in Darkness quest chain from the Exo Stranger on Europa. The Exo Stranger also reveals every unowned Fragment, regardless of progression through the “Born in Darkness” questline, giving a preview of the many powers to unlock. With these improvements to messaging, aimed at removing a lot of the mystery around powering-up Stasis, we’re excited to see more Guardians unlock Stasis’s chilling power.

And that’s just a taste of things to come for Season 15.

Once this patch is out for the Destiny 2 PvP changes, we’ll be sure to let our readers know.

Source: Bungie

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