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Bringing Challenge Back to Destiny

Reworking difficulty levels, adding back strike scoring, and changing how modifiers work across the board.

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Andy
Andy
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High Difficulty Activity Changes

  • Adept difficulty is being removed
  • Hero difficulty will now only be available once a player is at at 1750 Power (soft cap)
  • Legend and Master difficulties can be entered once you hit 1800 (hard/powerful cap)
  • Activity levels for Season 20
    • Hero: 1770
    • Legend: 1830
    • Master: 1840
  • They are implementing power level disadvantages to provide a better challenge curve (NOTE: these work the same as Heist Battleground's power disadvantage)
    • Hero: -5 Power Levels
    • Legend: -15 Power Levels
    • Master: -20 Power Levels
    • Grandmaster Nightfalls: -25 Power Levels
  • Match Game is being removed
    • Mismatching damage type with shield type now penalizes damage to shields by 50% across the whole game.
  • Burns in high-level activities are split into Surges and Threats
    • Surges increase outgoing damage
      • Increases elemental damage dealt by 25%
      • Surges for high-difficulty activities change every Season based around featured damage types.
        • Featured Surge for Season of Defiance will be Strand
        • Weekly rotating Surges will be Solar and Void.
    • Threats increase elemental damage coming from enemies by 25%
  • High-level activities now also feature Overcharged weapons
    • An Overcharged weapon deals 25% more damage
    • Kinetic damage is also increased by 25% if using a Surging subclass.
    • Overcharged weapons can come from several sources. Currently:
      • Weapons set per activity
      • Weapons featured as Champion counters on the Seasonal Artifact
    • Overcharges and Surges do not stack.
      • Overcharged weapons do not get extra damage if they are also Surging.
      • Only need one for a given damage source.
  • Combatants are harder to stagger, and their health has been increased across the board.
    • This is to compensate for Surge and Overcharge.
    • The effect is strongest on powerful enemies, and weakest on rank-and-file.
  • What is not changing:
    • Equipment is still locked on Legend and Master difficulties, as well as Grandmaster Nightfalls
    • Matchmaking is still available on Hero, but closed on Legend, Master, and Grandmaster Nightfalls
    • Modifiers that affect enemy types (ex: Fire Pit), or fireteam coordination (ex: Chaff, Togetherness)
    • Champion availability remains the same
    • Grandmaster Nightfall revive limitations, wipe conditions, and schedule.

Burns vs Surge/Threat/Overcharge

  • Acute Burns are being replaced by the new surge, threat, and overcharge system
  • Where an acute burn is being used now, in Lightfall it will be replaced by two Surges, one Threat, and Overcharges (one to two per activity, as well as any selectable anti-champion weapons from the artifact).

Strikes and Strike Scoring

Strike Refreshes

  • Lake of Shadows and Arms Dealer are being updated with new enemies, new encounters, new mechanics, and new objectives.
    • Will be much tougher than before, and much less sparrow-friendly.
  • Working on adjusting other strikes, like Exodus Crash and The Inverted Spire
    • They will show up less in the Vanguard Ops playlist for now
    • They won't be part of Nightfall rotations until they are reworked

Vanguard Ops Playlist

  • PsiOps Battlegrounds and Heist Battlegrounds will become part of the Vanguard Ops playlist.
  • The playlist is now Power Disabled, like Gambit and Crucible
    • There will be no damage advantage or disadvantage to enemies from Power Level.
      • NOTE: think of this like a +0 power differential.
  • Daily rotators and weekly Singes have been removed and replaced with:
    • One random weekly Surge
    • One random daily Threat
    • One daily random modifier from their "best of" collection, including Subtle Foes, Lightning Crystals, and more.

Vanguard Ops Scoring

  • Adding scoring to the Vanguard Ops playlist
    • Accumulation of score works just like in Nightfalls
  • The higher the score, the larger the Vanguard Rank multiplier will be for completing the strike
    • 1x multiplier for getting below 30,000 points
    • The multiplier increases every 5,000 points after the initial 30,000
    • Largest possible multiplier is 7x, for scoring over 250,000
    • Applies to all Vanguard modes, including Nightfalls

Vanguard Challenges

  • To complete the weekly Vanguard challenge, you will now need to:
    • Complete Vanguard activities with a Surging subclass.
      • Can either be the Seasonal Surges for Nightfalls, or the Vanguard Ops weekly Surge
    • Complete five activities
      • Increased progress for harder difficulties
        • Grandmaster Nightfall instantly completes this challenge

Nightfalls

  • Battlegrounds will slowly become part of the Nightfall playlist, starting with the Mars Heist battleground
    • Others will be included in the following seasons
  • Two Surges available
  • Threats dependent on the featured Nightfall
  • One featured Overcharged weapon
  • Combatants are harder to stagger and have more health
  • Nightfall activity levels for Season 20:
    • Hero: 1770
    • Legend: 1830
    • Master: 1840
    • Grandmaster: 1840
  • Power delta disadvantages (as mentioned above):
    • Hero: -5 Power Levels
    • Legend: -15 Power Levels
    • Master: -20 Power levels
    • Grandmaster: -25 Power levels
  • Maximum effective power level target
    • Hero: 1765
    • Legend: 1815
    • Master: 1820
    • Grandmaster: 1815
  • The Nightfall weekly challenge requires attaining 200,000 points across multiple Nightfall runs, instead of 100,000 points in a single run.

Raids and Dungeons

  • One Overcharged weapon
  • Two Surges
  • No Threat modifier
  • Combatants won't have increased health or increased stagger resistance
    • Want to bring them in line with other Master experiences, without the need to buildcraft toward Surges or Overcharges.

  • NOTE: After an update to the blog post, they still don't explicitly say that master raids will have a -20 differential like other Master mode content, but they mention that not utilizing surges/overcharges at all will result in a "day one raid-like combat difficulty", and contest mode is a -20 power differential, so it's very likely Master Raids will have that applied.

The Rest

  • They hear the feedback from community on Lost Sectors, weekly campaign missions, Dares of Eternity, and Wellspring being not rewarding enough, and they agree.

Lost Sectors

  • One Overcharged weapon
  • Two Surges
  • Threats depend on the featured Lost Sector
  • Combatants are harder to stagger and have more health
  • Available in Legend and Master difficulties
    • Lost Sectors feature +20 combat delta (rather than -15 or -20).
    • NOTE: it's unclear exactly what this means, whether the player will be 20 levels above the enemy, whether the enemy will be 20 levels above the player, or whether this is a typo.
  • They will monitor completion rates and times during Season 20 to see if Exotic engram drop rates need to be adjusted

Nightmare, Empire Hunts, and Campaign Weekly Missions

  • One Overcharged weapon
  • Two weekly rotating Surges
  • Threats depend on the type of activity
  • Combatants are harder to stagger and have more health
  • Three difficulty settings available:
    • Hero: -5 Power Levels
    • Legend: -15 Power Levels
    • Master: -20 Power Levels

Dares of Eternity and Wellspring

  • Two rotating Overcharged weapons
  • Weekly rotating Surges
  • One Threat
  • Combatants are harder to stagger and have more health
  • Available in Legend difficult on Dares of Eternity, and Master difficulty on Wellspring
    • Extinguish activated on master
  • Teams can wipe on a time limit if an objective is failed.

Seasonal Battleground Playlists

  • Shared the difficulty settings for Season 19's Heist Battlegrounds
    • Hero difficulty: -5 Power Level
  • Weekly rotating Surge (same as Vanguard Ops playlist)
  • Rotating Threats
  • No Overcharged Weapons
  • Combatants have reduced health scaling and regular stagger resistance

Nightfall Rewards

  • Hero:
    • Old
      • Small change of up to two Enhancement Prisms
      • One Enhancement Core and a small chance of up to two more.
    • New
      • One Enhancement Prism and a medium chance at one more
      • Two Enhancement Cores a medium chance of one more.
  • Legend:
    • Old
      • One Enhancement Prism and a small chance at up to two more.
    • New
      • Small chance of one Ascendant Shard
      • Two Enhancement Prisms and a medium chance of up to two more.
  • Master:
    • Old
      • Medium chance of one Ascendant Shard
      • Two prisms and a small chance of up to two more.
    • New
      • One Ascendant Shard and a small chance of one more
      • Two Enhancement Prisms and a **medium **chance of up to two more.
  • Grandmaster:
    • Old
      • One Ascendant Shard and a medium chance of one more
      • Four Enhancement Prisms and a medium chance of up to two more
    • New
      • One ascendant Shard and a high chance of one more
      • Four Enhancement Prisms and a medium chance of up to two more

Lost Sector Rewards

  • Legend
    • Old
      • Small chance of one Enhancement Core
    • New
      • Two Enhancement Cores and a medium chance of one more
      • One Enhancement Prism and a small chance of one more
  • Master
    • Old
      • Small chance of one Enhancement Core.
    • New
      • Two Enhancement Cores and a medium chance of one more.
      • One Enhancement Prism and a small chance of one more.

 

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