Us Future 2 diehards are used to receiving a weekly missive from Bungie, which in instances of main neighborhood disaster or pre-expansion hype constructing can run into a number of 1000’s of phrases. I am unable to converse for different dwell service video games, however the quantity of communication feels fairly peerless, even when we do not all the time just like the solutions. Nonetheless, I wasn’t anticipating an unscheduled treatise figuring out ache factors from the discharge of the latest Lightfall growth, what the studio is doing to appropriate these points, and a roadmap outlining some main adjustments coming in future seasons. However that is what we simply acquired (opens in new tab).
In our Lightfall overview, Phil Savage echoed the neighborhood consensus that the marketing campaign was a disappointing mess, however that the brand new Strand subclass and options just like the loadout system had been large positives. Bungie’s publish, which is titled “Reflecting on Lightfall: Launch and Past”, begins by noting that for all of the criticism, Lightfall has delivered Future 2’s finest participant concurrency numbers in years, beating 2021’s The Witch Queen for each day customers, and exceeded the studio’s personal gross sales expectations.
Nonetheless, with the mic handed to recreation director Joe Blackburn, he swiftly acknowledges issues have not gone completely easily for the penultimate instalment within the collection’ virtually decade-long saga: “It is clear the preliminary expertise we delivered on day one didn’t present the complete readability we initially deliberate for once we set out creating Lightfall, the workforce has taken the suggestions to coronary heart in each what’s coming this yr, and with how we’re ending the Mild and Darkness Saga in The Last Form.”
From there, the publish particulars adjustments coming to the Guardian Ranks and Commendations programs, each of which had been additionally launched in Lightfall. Guardian Ranks had been supposed to show your mastery over the sport’s numerous actions, whereas Commendations had been a solution to acknowledge nice teammates. Nonetheless, each got here in feeling under-cooked and have seen a number of adjustments post-launch, with explicit frustration across the reality commendations had been tied to Guardian Ranks, resulting in the ridiculous scenario the place gamers had been LFGing to seek out teams keen to kill themselves over and over simply to commend one another afterwards.
Per the weblog, Commendation necessities at the moment are being massively decreased, and ranks will not reset fairly so dramatically between seasons. “Your rank exhibited to everybody will mirror your highest rank earned final season, and when you obtain the next rank than you probably did final season, it is going to be your new displayed quantity”. Which sounds smart to me, and I believe displays that neither system is essentially flawed, they only wanted longer within the oven.
Yeah, about these Threshers…
The weblog publish goes on to element further tweaks being made to issue ranges throughout PvE actions, which once more felt like that they had been over-corrected in response to the reliable criticism that almost all content material was too simple. There’s a whole part devoted to the completely bonkers scenario whereby Threshers—a kind of gunship utilized by the Cabal—had been one-shotting gamers in supposedly entry stage actions. It acquired so unhealthy that many assumed it was all the way down to a bug that ties incoming injury to your framerate. However nope, it was only a design goof.
“Threshers have all the time dealt extra injury than supposed towards Guardians, however below pre-Lightfall fight at decrease Energy ranges, they weren’t deadly sufficient to wish a nerf. As part of our purpose to make the invasion of Neomuna really feel extra threatening, we deployed Threshers extra typically than we ever had earlier than and assigned them issue modifiers beforehand solely seen in Nightfalls. This considerably elevated their brutality.”
You do not say! Anyway, these have already been nerfed. Additionally prone to be of curiosity to a whole lot of gamers is the part on Misplaced Sectors, that are primarily mini-dungeons designed to be accomplished solo for the possibility to earn unique tier gear. Individuals have been complaining that these have develop into method too onerous and the drop charges suck. Bungie pushes again a bit right here, arguing not unreasonably that though these had been onerous firstly of the season, as a result of it is potential to over-level this content material, they need to now really feel way more approachable. And I’d agree that is the case.
Bungie did lately give the drop charges of exotics a modest buff, however would not wish to make them too simple a farm now that we’re at an applicable energy stage. Nonetheless, it does say that it’s going to make the Vex Strike Drive occasion on Neomuna a supply for brand spanking new items of unique gear, and that it’s going to function on a knockout system (ie, objects you have not unlocked will drop earlier than any dupes).
That will not be sufficient to mollify gamers who’ve been asking for a solution to goal farm for particular items of unique armor for a very long time. There’s a resolution coming later down the road, however I am going to warn you that it’ll be eye-bleedingly costly when it comes to supplies. Beginning in Season 21 (which is scheduled to start on Could 23), Bungie will allow gamers to “focus” unique engrams, which may even start dropping from wherever you beforehand would have acquired random unique gear. There are two flavours of focusing:
Superior Decryption: Focuses a bit of unique armor from a specific growth and its related seasons. Prices one unique engram, one Ascendant Shard, and 30,000 Glimmer. Precision Decryption: Focuses a selected piece of unique armor (ie, you are assured the merchandise you need). Prices one unique engram, three Ascendant Shards, 60,000 Glimmer, and one Unique Cipher.
Picture 1 of two
Bungie says it is going to be elevating the Unique Cipher cap to 5 (from one, at current), however that also strikes me as brutally costly. Nonetheless, when you’re sitting on a mountain of Ascendant Shards and actually need a barely higher Gyrfalcon’s Haulberk (which I’m, and I do) then I suppose it is smart. Caveat emptor, although, because the stat roll will nonetheless be random. Goal focusing unique engrams goes to be the very best acquired a part of the Season 21 stuff, however there have been a few different very good quality-of-life adjustments listed:
Work is underway on upgrading greater than 15 items of unloved unique armor. Bungie additionally mentions stability adjustments are coming to others, so Warlocks maintain your Starfire Protocol robes shut tonight. The nerf is definitely within the publish.The brand new Highly effective Attraction mod will see your character vacuum up close by orbs of sunshine everytime you use your class capability. That may assist Armor Cost builds, which depend on choosing up orbs that may typically be stranded in difficult spots. The brand new Elemental Costs mod generate Armor Costs everytime you choose up subclass-specific objects similar to Stasis Shards, Firesprites and Ionic Traces. Once more, that can assist build-crafting really feel extra versatile.The Shoot to Loot perk will allow you to gather orbs by, you guessed it, capturing them. That is along with its present capability to snag ammo bricks. This perk is already superb on weapons that deal AoE injury, similar to Kinetic Tremors or Dragonfly, because the explosion will do the looting. Hold on to any weapons with these perks for now.Three extra Strand Points are inbound: Flechette Storm for Titan, Threaded Specter for Hunter and The Wanderer for Warlock. These will considerably alter the way in which the category could be performed on every character, and provided that Strand is sweet proper now, I am excited to see what will get added.
The one factor lacking from the publish is a candid take a look at what went unsuitable with the storytelling in Lightfall. While Bungie clearly is not going to throw the narrative workforce below the bus, the lurch in high quality from The Witch Queen’s excellently delivered marketing campaign to Lightfall’s morass of unexplained macguffins was famous by everybody who performed. I am positive a serious a part of the reason is that Lightfall was initially supposed to be the ultimate a part of the saga, however Bungie added a fourth growth (subsequent yr’s The Last Form) when it grew to become clear it could not wrap every little thing up whereas sticking with the unique schedule. However I am undecided that explains how Nimbus, who would possibly simply be essentially the most annoying character I’ve encountered in additional than twenty years of writing about video games, got here to be. Think about Poochie from The Simpsons however with a flying surfboard and worse dialogue. They’re legitimately that grating.
Nonetheless, as is nearly all the time the case with Future 2, while you pull again from the type of complaints that to outsiders in all probability seem to be nitpicking, I stay satisfied the sport is in impolite well being. My suspicion is that a whole lot of the extra substantial story materials acquired moved into The Last Form when the aforementioned cut up with Lightfall was made, which inevitably left the latter feeling just a little cobbled collectively. However between systemic enhancements just like the loadout system, and the promise of an in-game LFG finder coming later this yr, the underlying construction has by no means been stronger. Or at the least that is what I will be telling myself later tonight as my raid teammates are flung to their deaths by malfunctioning leap pads. I imply, it will be unreasonable to anticipate these to simply work, proper?