To Abilities and Beyond

Past, Present, and Future of 3.0 subclasses


Ability uptime and stats

  • The amount of ability regeneration that discipline, strength, and class ability stats provide hasn't been touched since Shadowkeep. Since then, many mechanics have allowed those abilities to maintain a very high uptime. This results in some PvE activities losing tension and difficulty, as well as additional issues in Crucible.
  • They want to get ability uptime in both PvE and PvP back to roughly where it was when the 30th Anniversary Pack was launched.
  • In Lightfall, discipline, strength, and class ability stats will have their ability regeneration rates changed.
    • Generally, in the new system, a tier 10 will be equivalent to a tier 8 in the current (Season of the Seraph) system
    • Each stat tier has a more consistent gain, rather than spiking heavily at lower tiers.
  • They're hoping the buildcrafting changes in Lightfall will make up for these nerfs.
  • They point out additionally that, thanks to the buildcrafting changes, various mods can be run and stacked at the same time that couldn't before (due to armor element affinity being removed), as well as being stacked up to 3 times (as compared to the current 2). These mods are:
    • Bomber
    • Outreach
    • Impact Induction
    • Utility Kickstart
    • Melee Kickstart
    • Grenade Kickstart
    • Invigoration
    • Insulation
    • Innervation
    • Hands On
    • Ashes to Assets
    • Dynamo
  • In Lightfall they'll also be adjusting the base cooldowns of some grenade, melee, and class abilities. More detailed info on this will be found in the Lightfall patch notes.
  • As a preview, they are reverting the dodge cooldown nerfs, as under the new system they feel the original values put them in a good place:
    • Marksman's Dodge base cooldown reduced from 34s to 29s
    • Gambler's Dodge base cooldown reduced from 46s to 38s

Roaming Supers

  • They recognize that roaming supers take a back seat in PvE content, in part due to their longer cooldowns compared to one-off supers, especially at higher difficulties where neutral game options are more capable of clearing groups of enemies.
  • They're working to fix this problem, but not all of the changes are ready yet.
  • Lightfall has these first steps:
    • Increased the maximum number of Orbs of Power that can be created by defeating targets with Roaming Supers from 5 to 7
    • Decreased the maximum number of Orbs of Power that can be created by defeating targets with One-Off Supers from 7 to 5.
      • Well of Radiance, Ward of Dawn, and both Shadowshot variants are unchanged
    • Hammer of Sol, Daybreak, and Spectral Blades cooldown reduced from 10:25 to 9:16

Ability Changes

  • There are some ability-specific changes coming in Lightfall. All of the changes will be outlined in the Lightfall patch notes, but some are previewed below:

Ward of Dawn

  • Maximum health reduced from 13500 to 8000
    • Damage dealt to ward by PvE combatants has been reduced, its effective health in PvE should be unchanged
  • Standardized the damage dealt by each type of Kinetic and Energy weapon against the Ward. Previously, Energy weapons did 2.5x, Kinetic did 1x. Now, all weapons will do 1.5x damage to Ward.
  • Armor of Light changes
    • Maximum health reduced from 425 to 300.
    • Inherits Void Overshield's 50% PvE damage resistance
    • No longer negates precision damage.


  • Too difficult to counter or escape in high-level crucible modes, too strong at both pseudo-roaming and as a shutdown.
  • Reduced maximum flight time from 5s to 4.5s
  • Reduced size of the damage volume (NOTE: kind of a hitbox) by 20% while in flight, pushed it further forward in front of the player to make fly-by disintigrations more intentional.
  • Descent now begins earlier in flight.
  • Reduced landing detonation size vs players by 20%
  • Size is unchanged vs PvE combatants

Fists of Havoc

  • Increased PvE damage by 20%

Spark of Resistance (arc fragment)

  • Too easy to roll through an entire PvE encounter or Crucible skirmish safely currently.
  • Increased nearby enemy count requirement for activation from 2 to 3.
  • Reduced linger time after you're no longer surrounded from 4s to 2s.


  • The increased Daybreak duration provided by Attunement of Flame from subclass 2.0 was removed, leaving Daybreak in a lackluster place. It got a cooldown reduction, as mentioned above. Additionally:
  • Super energy cost reduced from 10% to 6.5% per swing
  • Increased PvE damage by 25%

Phoenix Dive

  • Struggled to find a solid role in most gameplay styles, and is too difficult to justify picking over Healing or Empowering Rift. Making changes to increase viability across game modes.
  • Base cooldown reduced from 82s to 55s
  • While Heat Rises is active, Phoenix Dive's Restoration duration increased from 1s to 3s.
  • While Daybreak is active, Phoenix Dive's cooldown is significantly reduced, allowing for rapid reactivations.
  • While Daybreak is active, Phoenix Dive's detonation maximum damage increased from 80 to 220 (NOTE: this is a one shot most of the time)

Crash Test Guardians (physics changes)

  • Starting in Lightfall, physics collision damage will no longer be lethal to guardians.
  • Fall damage will be lethal when Lightfall launches, but this will also be made nonlethal in a mid-season update.
  • You will still take damage from physics collisions, but it will generally leave you at 1HP instead of outright killing you.

New Subclass Tools

  • They're adding new Fragments to Light subclasses, and updating a handful of Fragments on Solar and Void to tie into the new subclass pickups: Void Breaches and Firesprites.
  • Some of the added fragments are intended as "spiritual successors" to combat style modes that aren't being brought over to Lightfall, as well as some brand new additions intended to allow more classes access to subclass verbs they didn't really have before.


  • Spark of Instinct (New!): When critically wounded, taking damage from nearby enemies emits a burst of damaging Arc energy that Jolts targets.
  • Spark of Haste (New!): You have greatly increased resilience, recovery, and mobility while sprinting.


  • Firesprite (New!): Firesprites are created by a suite of new and existing Solar Fragments, and grant grenade energy on pickup.
  • Ember of Mercy (New!): When you revive an ally, you and other nearby allies gain Restoration. Picking up a Firesprite grants Restoration.
  • Ember of Resolve (New!): Solar grenade final blows Cure you.
  • Ember of Tempering: Now creates a Firesprite on Solar weapon kills while active, in addition to its original effects.
  • Ember of Combustion: Now creates a Firesprite on Solar Super defeats, in addition to its original effects.
  • Ember of Searing: Now creates a Firesprite when defeating Scorched targets, in addition to its original effects.


  • Void Breach (New!): Void Breaches are created by a selection of new and existing Void Fragments, and grant class ability energy on pickup.
  • Echo of Cessation (New!): Finisher final blows create a burst of Void damage that causes nearby enemies to become Volatile. Defeating Volatile targets creates a Void Breach.
  • Echo of Vigilance (New!): Defeating a target when your shields are depleted grants you a temporary Void Overshield.
  • Echo of Domineering: Now creates a Void Breach when defeating Suppressed targets, in addition to its original effects.
  • Echo of Harvest: Now creates a Void Breach when defeating Weakened targets with precision damage, in addition to its original effects.
  • Echo of Starvation: Now grants Devour on picking up a Void Breach, in addition to its original effects.

Our Speculation

  • From these fragment changes/additions, and the mention that some of these fragments are "succeeding" existing combat style mods, we can make pretty informed guesses as to which of those mods will be removed come Lightfall.
  • Some obvious candidates are:
    • Reactive Pulse (replaced by Spark of Instinct)
    • Kindling the Flame (replaced by Ember of Mercy)
    • Heal Thyself (replaced by Ember of Resolve)


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