Destiny 2 Design Lead Talks About Coming Sandbox Update That Will Make Everything Faster

February 2, 2018Written by Chandler Wood

Destiny 2 sandbox update

Destiny 2 is set to get a whole lot faster in a couple of months. After delivering a development outline on Wednesday that reaches until May, Destiny 2 Design Lead Josh Hamrick stopped by the weekly Bungie blog to to talk about some details the team is working on for the sandbox tuning update set to release at the end of March. The proposed update is going to be a full pass over weapons, abilities, and other various systems in the game, with the team internally calling it the “Go Fast Update.”

One of the biggest things missing from Destiny 2 right now is individual hero moments, where players can feel like superheroes on their own. The Go Fast Update seeks to increase the speed and mobility of Guardians, including super recharge times. There’s a lot of nuance to Destiny 2 where simply speeding things up will accomplish a lot in the way of making each individual player feel like legend. Here are the main areas that Hamrick and the sandbox team are looking at speeding up in the coming update.

  • All three glides plus Catapult and Strafe Lift have been retuned and buffed to make them more unique and faster.
  • The mobility stat has had its range expanded and been completely retuned as well. In short, everyone gets faster and the high end is higher.
  • The players’ ground speed cap has been increased, allowing for faster total movement speed, regardless of how you may get there.
  • Arcstrider, Sentinel, and Striker all move faster, and at the same speed as one another, while in their Supers.
  • Arcstrider, as a whole, is performing well in PvP but mostly due to its neutral game perks. We’ve made the following changes in an effort to get the Super to be a more competitive option:

    -Faster Attack Animations.

    -Faster Dodge Animations.

    -Increased range of all attacks.
  • Supers recharge faster for everyone!
  • We’ve buffed several weapon archetypes (including, but not limited to, Hand Cannons, Pulse Rifles, Sniper Rifles, and Shotguns) and a few specific perks, as well.

    -A key goal here is to make Shotguns, Snipers, and Fusion rifles more prevalent in the game.
  • We’ve also been working side-by-side with our friends on PvP to increase the pace of PvP combat and the frequency of power play. Here’s a sneak peek at their hard work:
  • Player respawn times for all Quickplay modes have been decreased.
  • Power Ammo respawn timers for all Quickplay modes have been reduced ~30%.
  • Power Ammo respawn timers in Survival have been reduced ~40%.
  • Power Ammo respawn timers in Countdown have been reduced ~25%.
  • Ammo counts have been adjusted in relation to these timers, and in relation to weapon type.
  • Enemy players now drop their power ammo on death.

    -The dropped brick is available to anyone until picked up or 30 seconds have passed.

Finally, the Shoulder Charge changes that went in a couple of months ago have been fully reverted. Shoulder Charge’s movement utility was perceived as more valuable than its damage utility, which made it feel bad to actually hit someone with Shoulder Charge. The movement was effectively a “free” dodge.

The goal of the untargeted distance nerf was to discourage using the ability as a movement mode by making it only effective when using it against enemies. In retrospect, we think this change was a mistake and we’ve heard you all say the same. We believe there are a number of gameplay atoms like this that perform or are used differently than we expected but are thoroughly enjoyed nonetheless. In the future, we want to embrace the state of gameplay atoms like that and balance around it, not against it.

One final note that will be important to all the snipers out there. Many of you have rightfully complained that Snipers flinch too hard when you’re taking hits, especially as they are now power weapons. We have dug into this and found that somewhere along the way towards shipping D2, we acquired a bug that is preventing us from being able to successfully tune this to the values that we would all like. While the current batch of changes we are playtesting go a long way to bringing snipers back to where they should be, this bug will still prevent them from feeling perfect. That bug, which we are actively working on fixing, requires some deep changes to the art of each of the individual snipers in the game. That will take us a while to stomp out. We’ll get it fixed and pushed out to you as soon as we possibly can.

As a Destiny player, I get three main takeaways from this Destiny 2 sandbox update:

  1. Guardian mobility is going to feel a lot better. Movement is going to feel less restricted. Destiny 2’s speed has always felt a little slower–more purposeful–than the first, and while I understand the goals of that initial change, it took away a lot of player freedom and power. Hunters in particular are going to be in a great place with this update, but every class will feel faster and more mobile.
  2. More ability up-time! Supers are one of the coolest things about Destiny, and one of the things that most differentiates your class selection. Faster Super recharge time is going to present on opportunity for players to wield their space magic more often, thus making them feel like heroes more often. The themes of Destiny are about channeling and protecting the light, so it makes sense to give players even more opportunities to channel that energy and throw flaming hammers or shoot arrows crafted from the void.
  3. Power weapons will shine again, but it may not be enough. I still don’t think these changes are a full fix for having all of the most powerful weapons in one slot while leaving peashooters in Primary and Energy (though those weapons are getting tuned as well), but it’s a start that should offer more variety to players’ choices of which Power weapon to equip. While I haven’t yet seen the specific changes, I find it hard to believe the the ease and destructive power of cluster rocket launchers will ever be eclipsed by snipers and shotguns. In my mind, the only real fix for this is moving these weapon types back to the secondary slot, and mimicking the weapon system of Destiny 1. Of note, Hamirck did indeed follow up with “We’re also continuing to evaluate Destiny 2’s weapon slot system and how all the different types of weapons in Destiny fit into the game, how they are being played, and what we can do to improve that experience,” so there’s hope there.

As an added bonus takeaway, one of the most important points that Hamrick said was “We believe there are a number of gameplay atoms like [shoulder charge mobility] that perform or are used differently than we expected but are thoroughly enjoyed nonetheless. In the future, we want to embrace the state of gameplay atoms like that and balance around it, not against it.” In Destiny 1, the development team often embraced oddities that would arise, and developed the game around what the players enjoyed, regardless of it it fit with the original design intent. It looks like the team wants to return that flexibility to Destiny 2’s continued development.

Bungie revealed that Destiny 2 Expansion 2 will be launching in May, so these sandbox changes are set to go into effect before then, hopefully drawing players back in and returning the game to a place where players love it again. What are your thoughts on the Go Fast Update? Will speeding up Destiny 2 be the change that the game needs?

[Source: Bungie]