Destiny 2 Difficulty Changes Announcement Triggers Outrage


The Witness character from destiny 2 upcoming expansion Lightfall

Bungie’s Destiny 2 dev team has revealed exciting information about an upcoming bump in the difficulty level of various activities in the game. In a recent blog post on the official Bungie Newsroom, titled “Bringing Challenge Back to Destiny,” the team went in-depth on the changes players can expect in the upcoming Lightfall expansion. This update follows Destiny 2 Game Director Joe Blackburn’s blog post “Lightfall and the Year Ahead,” in which he explained how the developers feel that the “baseline challenge in most of [Destiny 2’s] content is just too low.” In addition to the difficulty changes, the post also shares updates on new features and modifiers across different playlist activities, as well as the removal of ‘Match Game’ from Destiny 2.

Some of the key changes outlined in the post include the following:

  • Removal of ‘Adept’ difficulty, replaced by ‘Hero’ as the lowest difficulty level.
  • Introduction of Power Level disadvantages for every difficulty level:
    • -5 for Hero,
    • -15 for Legend,
    • -20 for Master, and
    • -25 for Grandmaster.
  • Removal of the ‘Match Game’ modifier, replaced by a weaker version in the form of 50% less damage to mismatched shields across all activities in the game.
  • Combatants with increased HP that are harder to stagger, apparently to compensate for the new ‘Surge’ and ‘Overcharge’ systems.
  • ‘Elemental Burns’ replaced by ‘Surges’ and ‘Threats’:
    • Surges will increase elemental damage dealt using a particular subclass by 25% and are further divided into two types:
      • Seasonal ‘Featured’ Surge: Strand for Season 20.
      • Weekly ‘Rotating’ Surge: Solar and Void for Season 20.
    • Threats will increase elemental damage received by 25%.
  • Addition of a new ‘Overcharged Weapons’ system for high-level activities that increases the featured weapon’s damage by 25%.

The article also goes in-depth with every imaginable detail about activity-specific difficulty changes. Every PvE activity is becoming more challenging, from Nightfalls to Lost Sectors, Dares of Eternity to Empire Hunts, Raids, Dungeons, and even Campaign Weekly Missions!

Destiny 2 Lightfall Expansion Poster
Image via Bungie

Premature or not, the blog post rapidly sparked concerns, among players and content creators alike, about the future difficulty adjustments that do not appear to be accompanied by better rewards. On Reddit, for example, players comment that while the developers have said that they intend to make Lost Sectors more rewarding, they make no mention of any increase in chances for better drops alongside the difficulty increase.

Some have also criticized Bungie’s apparent “hypocrisy” in introducing ‘Surges.’ Strand will be the featured seasonal Surge during Season of Defiance, with Void and Solar being the weekly rotating Surges. Many believe that this new approach is an indirect nerf to the Arc and Stasis subclasses and that anybody who uses them in higher-difficulty activities is handicapping themselves. “This feels like a step back from their promise to give Guardians complete buildcrafting freedom with Lightfall,” one frustrated fan writes on Twitter.

Only time will tell how things turn out following the launch of Lightfall in Destiny 2, which is now less than five days away. Many questions will be answered automatically after players have firsthand experience with the updates, and Bungie can always revert specific changes if the community reaction remains negative!

Destiny 2: Lightfall releases on February 28 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

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