Season 21 Abilities Tuning

The Season 21 info cycle begins


Fragment budgets

  • The amount of fragment slots an aspect has is an important balance lever for them to use, however they feel none of the aspects currently limited to one fragment slot are so powerful that they need this limitation.
  • They're not committing to never having an aspect be limited to a single fragment slot, but they are raising all the current single fragment slot aspects to two.
  • Increasing the following Aspects from 1 to 2 fragment slots:
    • Hunter
      • Trapper's Ambush
      • Shatterdive
      • Gunpowder Gamble
    • Titan
      • Bastion
      • Juggernaut
    • Warlock
      • Chaos Accelerant

Super Tuning

  • The new strand roaming supers were an experiment for new PvE roaming super tuning strategies, they're happy with the results so they're taking a pass on other roaming supers to increase their viability.
  • One way they're increasing viability is by increasing their damage resistance in PvE.
    • All Supers will get a +20% damage resistance in PvE.
  • Additionally, they're taking a pass on supers and introducing subclass verb behaviors.


  • Overall they're happy with where Hunter supers are in PvE, there are some that are lagging behind that they want to address though
    • +25% PvE damage to Arc Staff and both Golden Gun variants
  • Spectral blades is historically an underperformer in PvE, so it's getting a larger adjustment
    • Increased PvE damage by 35%
    • Heavy attack now weakens enemies
    • Fixed an issue with some Spectral Blades attacks to miss at maximum attack speed
  • Gathering storm was intentionally built to require higher precision on the initial throw, to differentiate it from Nova Bomb, but currently in Crucible that precision isn't rewarded.
    • Direct impact damage vs players 200 -> 300
    • Delayed lightning strike damage vs players 300 -> 500
    • Lingering lightning tick damage vs players 40 -> 60
    • Now deals increased damage vs Well of Radiance and Ward of Dawn


  • Currently, they feel that Titan supers overall are falling behind in PvE, so they're increasing the PvE damage of several roaming supers
  • Fist of Havoc's PvE damage was buffed in Lightfall, but its performance hasn't meaningfully improved, so they're making the following changes
    • Light attack cost 8.5% -> 6%
    • Heavy attack cost 18% -> 12%
    • Increased heavy attack PvE damage 33%
    • Heavy attack now blinds targets near the center of the slam area
  • Glacial Quake's heavy slam is in a solid place, but the light attack doesn't offer enough reward to feel worth it
    • Increased Shiver Strike thrust speed while in Super by 10%
    • Light attack damage +20%
  • They're happy with the performance of Sentinel Shield, Hammer of Sol, and Burning Maul given their increased utility, but they feel some small damage buffs would be helpful in scenarios where raw damage is needed.
    • Sentinel Shield PvE damage +20%
    • Hammer of Sol PvE damage +10%
    • Burning Maul PvE damage +10%
      • Now also creates a sunspot on cast, like Hammer of Sol
      • The heavy attack cyclone applies scorch over time


  • Warlocks have generally strong neutral game abilities and are doing well within their expectations, but a number of their super options feel below the bar in high-level content.
  • For the Void subclass:
    • Nova Warp PvE damage +15%
      • A fully charged attack now also applies volatile
    • Nova Bomb PvE damage +20%
  • For Arc, they don't feel that either super are excelling at their intended roles
    • Stormtrance
      • PvE damage +25%
      • Damage ramp while attacking now ramps up quicker, in 3 seconds (down from 5).
      • Landfall detonation and seekers now jolt
    • Chaos Reach
      • PvE damage +25%
      • Sustained damage on a single target now creates a jolting lightnind strike at the target's location
      • Increased damage resistance vs players 40% -> 50%
      • Increased maximum strafe speed 3.5 m/s -> 4.5 m/s.
      • Adjusted super camera to avoid the player's body blocking targets from view while strafing
  • They're happy with Winter's Wrath as a tool for crowd-control, but they're giving it a small damage boost in PvE to increase its usability in boss damage situations
    • PvE damage +10%
  • Daybreak camera is being adjusted to let players look down further, and avoid VFX blocking the view of targets when moving quickly.

Strand Updates

  • They're still in the process of evaluating strand's performance, and expect that to shift as more aspects are added over the year. For now, they're adjusting base cooldown times and improving specifit pain points
  • Grapple
    • Reduced base cooldown 105s -> 82s
    • Reduced minimum time between grapple activations 2.5s -> 0.2s
  • Thread of Generation
    • Reduced energy generation provided by some damage over time mechanics
    • Reduced energy generation by Trace Rifles by 36%


  • Threaded Spike
    • Increased projectile travel range before beginning to return to they player by 30%
    • PvE damage +55%-ish
    • Slightly reduce the return speed of the dart, so catching is easier
    • Increased energy gain for catching the dart based on the number of enemies hit
    • Now pierces phalanx shields
    • No longer prioritezes the catch action over grapple melee if an enemy target is in range of grapply melee


  • Frenzied Blade
    • Decreased cooldown based on the number of melee charges stored
    • At 0 charges, cooldown reduced by 15%. At 2, cooldown reduced by 30%
      • NOTE: it's unclear here whether the cooldown reduction at 1 charge will be 15%, 0%, or something else


  • Arcane Needle
    • Decreased cooldown based on how many melee charges the player has stored
    • At 0 charges, cooldown reduced by 15%. At 2, cooldown reduced by 30% (same as Titan)
    • Increased projectile speed based on the projectiles flight time
      • Initial velocity 40 m/s, up from 30
      • Final velocity 70 m/s, up from 60
    • Increased tracking strength by 10%

Stasis Updates

  • With Subclass 3.0 and Strand available, they're revisiting Stasis and its balance changes to bring them up to power with the rest of the subclasses


  • Withering Blade
    • Increased projectile tracking search range on bounce vs players by 20%
    • Increased maximum tracking strength by 12.5%


  • Shiver Strike
    • Maximum thrust while in flight increased by 16%
    • Decreased maximum downward influence of gravity while in flight by 18%
  • Howl of the Storm
    • Increased width of freezing cone vs players by 31%


  • Frostpulse
    • Now provides 2 meters of additional melee lunge range after activation for 1.2 seconds.

Light Subclass Updates


  • In update 3.4.0, shoulder charge abilities rese made significantly easier to use and increased their viability as a movement tool, at the cost of their ability to one-shot players without intentional build crafting
  • After subclass 3.0 changes, it's clear that this extreme mobility of shoulder charge is too high
  • While they're comfortable with players having strong movement abilities at their disposal, they should have a meaningful tradeoff for use, and shouldn't be always on
    • Seismic Strike, Shield Bash, and Hammer Strike now cost 15% melee energy on activation
    • Their base cooldowns are no walse all standardized at 90 seconds (previously they ranged from 101s to 114s)
    • Based on strength stat, the cooldown for using titan melee as a movement tool will be 17 seconds at 0 strength, and 7 seconds at 100.
  • Knockout currently offers a large number of easy, powerful effects, most prominently is the long duration melee lunge range bonus. They're going to nerf this effect, but with another buff to offset it.
    • Reduce Knockout lunge range 6.5m -> 5.5m
    • Knockout uncharged melee PvE damage bonus 60% -> 100%
  • Shield Throw and Throwing Hammer are seeing some usability improvements
    • Increased Shield Throw impact damage 60 -> 70
    • Improved consistency of finding and adjusting initial trajectory to a new target after bounce
    • Throwing Hammer now adjusts its initial flight trajectory based on your aim assist target
  • They nerfed Sunspots last year with Witch Queen as a preempive measure, but it's currently trailing the rest of the Titan subclasses in Crucible
    • Sol Invictus damage dealt by Sunspots to enemy players per tick 17 -> 22


  • They're improving Snare Bomb's effectiveness as a debuffing tool for players with offensive playstyles
    • PvE weaken duration 4s -> 8s
  • For gunslingers, Proximity and Weighted knifes have dominated in performance, while Lightweight struggles to land as an easy-to-use option. To bring these back into intended power bands, they're making proximity and weighted knives harder to use, and lightweight easier
    • Proximity Explosive Knife detonation damage vs players 105 -> 90, impact damage vs players 14 -> 20
    • Weighted Throwing Knife minimum tracking shape size reduced by 25%, maximum reduced by 10% on keyboard and mouse specifically (the tracking shape size grows over 0.5 seconds after the projectile is thrown)
    • Lightweight Knife projectile speed increased 30 m/s -> 40 m/s,, tracking shape size increased by 20%
  • They're also reducing the cooldown of Gunpowder Gamble 12s -> 6s, as it currently is too niche to see widespread usage.


  • They have found and fixed a bug with Incinerator Snap that was making it less consistent. In PvE, this should mean that snap feels more consistent, and in PvP specifically they are bringing the total damage vs players down from 150 -> 135 to compensate (PvE is unchanged)
  • They're buffing Ball Lightning by increasing PvE damage +30%, and making it so enemies are less likely to be flinched by the first damage pulse, so that they can more reliably be hit by the second one (when cast while amplified)
  • In Season 16 they made changes to Scatter Grenades to improve their consistency, but there's still too many instances of submunitions detonating early, so they're increasing their lifetime and tracking ability, as well as buffing the duration that a player can hold a charged magnetic grenade (handheld supernova) to allow for more leeway with timing a counterplay
    • Chaos Accelerant Scatter Grenade
      • Increased tracking consistency of charged Scatter Grenade submunitions
      • Increased submunition arming duration
      • Fixed a bug where some submunitions were detonating on the ground accidentally.
    • Chaos Accelerant Magnetic Grenade (Handheld Supernova)
      • Charged hold time 3.2s -> 4.5s
  • Lightning surge had a bug where it could sometimes one shot a player in Crucible, so they're fixing that and tweaking damage values so it should be generally more consistent and higher damage, but without the ability to one shot players
    • Fix an issue where Lightning Surge could deal more instances of the secondary damage effect than intended, now players are limited to receiving just two damage instances, the primary lightning strike and just one of the secondary strikes
    • Tweaked damage values to compensate for this change.

Subclass Keyword Updates

  • Scorch damage and duration is highly variable depending on the number of stacks. This is intentinal, but the variance is too high right now for their liking
    • Increased time before stacks begin falling off players 1.5s -> 2.3s, and 3s -> 4.5s for PvE combatants
  • Jolt has performed very well since its introduction, but currently its damage is too similar to ignitions with much less cost, so they're giving it a small nerf.
    • Jolt PvE damage -15%, and an additional -20% against major combatants
  • They're giving Speed Booster some quality of life changes, and slightly nerfing the jump height buff
    • Speed Booster jump acceleration buff 1.5x -> 1.25x.
    • Now activates while springing for 2.5s, down from 3s.
    • Now lingers while the player is not sprinting for 2s, up from 1.5s
    • Fixed a bug where if a player was springing while they become amplified, they would not be granted speed booster


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