Bungie recently revealed the next major overhaul to combat in Destiny 2, and while the update mainly focuses on strengthening a number of underutilized Exotics, some of the biggest changes have to do with the overpowered subclass abilities players have been using to rampage through the game. The first is the Strand effect Suspend, which has been decimating champions. The second are the Arc Titan’s Knockout and Thundercrash abilities which have been cleaning up in competitive PVP.
Introduced back in February’s Lightfall expansion, Strand is Destiny 2's latest subclass full of inter-dimensional green magic that immobilizes enemies and shreds them. Suspend quickly became the most powerful Strand ability, letting players levitate foes and stun them for long periods of time, whether they were lowly red bars or shielded champions. Bungie is now calling suspend a “skeleton key that solves combat problems against all combatant types.”
“To address these problems, we’re making a suite of changes across both Suspend and its supporting atoms to better carve out a healthier role for Suspend in the sandbox,” the developers wrote in an August 9 blog post. “The base duration of Suspend is being reduced significantly. We’ve further reduced it against Champion combatants to ensure that they remain a core focus in combat—a problem for the fireteam’s survivability that needs to be addressed with urgency.” Suspend will now last five seconds instead of eight against rank-and-file enemies, and only three seconds against champions. Ability regeneration for Suspend from Thread of Mind and Thread of Generation has also been reduced.
Arc Titans, meanwhile, have been dominating in Trials of Osiris, Destiny 2's premier competetive activity for hardcore players. As the Light.gg database recently pointed out on Twitter, that particular subclass made up over a fourth of all 439,000 Trials loadouts so far this season, with the runner-up, Sentinel Titans, coming in at only 14.7 percent. Bungie speculates that part of this overrepresentation is due to the seasonal artifact favoring Arc, but said abilities like the Thundercrash super and Knockout melee are also to blame.
“Theoretically, Thundercrash is a one-off Super, but in practice its kill potential is closer to that of a roaming Super, so we’re updating its base cooldown to reflect that,” Bungie wrote. “While we want Striker to live up to its fantasy of being a close-quarters powerhouse, Knockout is currently too forgiving in letting players clean up engagements with melee attacks early in a duel, especially when combined with other melee-enhancing atoms.” As a result, Thundercrash’s cooldown will go from 500 seconds to 556 seconds, and Knockout will have its damage bonus against players dropped from 50 to 30.
These changes, including a host of buffs for Exotic armor pieces like Winter’s Guile, ACD/0 Feedback Fence, and Lucky Raspberry, won’t got into effect until season 22 launches on August 22. So you can still breeze your way through a few more dungeons and nightfalls with Suspend and bring some Warlocks and Hunters to tears in Trials of Osiris until then. You can peruse the entire preview of incoming buffs, nerfs, and tweaks below:
Knucklehead Radar: The functionality of the Foetracer Exotic helmet has been completely removed from that Exotic and added to Knucklehead Radar, on top of its existing benefits.
Foetracer: We took some cues from the popular Monochromatic Maestro artifact perk for this one. When you deal damage with one of your abilities, you gain a damage bonus with weapons that have damage types matching your subclass damage type. Additionally, when you defeat an enemy you’ve damaged with one of your abilities (either with another ability or with a weapon with a damage type matching your subclass type), you will spawn one of the collectible objects associated with your subclass, such as Ionic Traces or Firesprites.
Lucky Raspberry: This Exotic was a little too unreliable in its current form, so we’ve taken a crack at streamlining its energy gains, while leaving some of its benefits intact. The Exotic still expands the chaining capabilities of Arc Bolt grenades. But now instead of basing the grenade energy gains on those chains, each time you damage an enemy with the lightning strikes from the jolted condition—as well as each time you pick up an ionic trace—you gain additional grenade energy. We’ve also given this grenade the intrinsic ability to stun Overload Champions. Now you don’t have to jolt them and then trigger the jolt lightning strikes just to stun them, making these grenades a more reliable tool against Overload Champions.
Renewal Grasps: We’ve undone the previous nerf to Duskfield grenade cooldowns when using this Exotic.
Icefall Mantle, Doom Fang Pauldrons, Path of the Burning Steps, and Eternal Warrior: Season 21 included some changes to Eternal Warrior and the Path of the Burning Steps. We added an escalating damage bonus to Arc and Solar weapons, respectively, when you get kills with those damage types. We liked that this gave players another way to get surge-like bonuses, but the Eternal Warrior seemed to to have the most reliable way to get up to the Tier 4 damage bonus. We’ve made some further changes to these perks to make them a little more reliable, while also expanding the functionality to two other Exotics.
- Icefall Mantle: Grants an escalating bonus to Stasis weapon damage when getting rapid Stasis kills. When you activate your class ability, you immediately gain the highest tier bonus.Doom Fang Pauldrons: Grants an escalating bonus to Void weapon damage when getting rapid Void kills. When you get a Void melee kill, you immediately gain the highest tier bonus.Path of the Burning Steps: Getting a Solar Grenade kill now grants the highest tier Solar weapon damage bonus.
- Eternal Warrior: Since the exotic only grants its highest tier damage bonus automatically when your Super ends (which is a rarer occurrence), the duration of the Arc weapon damage bonus when your Fist of Havoc Super ends has been extended to 30 seconds (up from 10 seconds in Season 21).
ACD/0 Feedback Fence: This Exotic got a complete mechanical rework and now ties into the Armor Charge system, increasing its versatility and making it more useful in scenarios where you might not be taking a lot of melee damage. With the new perk (which completely replaces the old), when melee hits give you an Armor Charge, you take reduced melee damage while you have that Armor Charge. Taking melee damage causes you to emit a burst of damaging Arc energy that jolts targets, consuming your Armor Charge and dealing more damage based on the number of stacks consumed. (Note that the damage dealt by the burst of Arc energy should be comparable to its current damage for 0-3 stacks of Armor Charge.)
Hallowfire Heart: This Exotic often stands in the shadow of the more ubiquitous Heart of Inmost Light. To remedy that, we’ve removed its base energy to Solar abilities and replaced it with a perk that will let you build more into Sunspots. We think you’ll be seeing many more Sunspots on the battlefield as a result. As for the perk that greatly increases your ability regen rate when your Super is fully charged, we left that as-is.
Astrocyte Verse: edited on 8/9/23 11:00 AM PT. We’ve added two more pieces of functionality to this Exotic. Enemies near you when you Blink become volatile. Additionally, when you’re using the Nova Warp Super, the Dark Blink ability no longer consumes Super energy.
Geomag Stabilizers: While we’ve often heard calls to restore the perk that let you top off your Super energy by sprinting, the legacy of that incentive still creates some pretty silly play patterns. Instead, we wanted to give players a way to get more Super energy, no matter how charged their Super is. Now picking up an ionic trace while wearing this Exotic will grant Guardians additional Super energy.
Wings of Sacred Dawn: Leaning into the “orbital weapons platform” fantasy, we wanted to help players have a way to stay aloft longer (especially in target-rich PvE environments). Typically, reloading was the main cause for a float to end. This Exotic now automatically reloads Solar weapons (including the weapon you are holding) from reserves each time you get a kill while aiming down sights. Try this one out with Xenophage!
Winter’s Guile: Due to the nature of the Stasis warlock’s melee ability, this Exotic was previously a disappointing choice for that subclass. We’ve added a new perk to this one, specifically for when you are playing your Stasis subclass. Now combatants encased by your Penumbral Blast melee will automatically shatter after a short delay.
Towering Barricade: Base cooldown increased from 48 seconds to 70 seconds.
All Barricades: Maximum health reduced from 600 to 500.Damage resistance vs. PVE combatants increased to compensate.
Thundercrash: Increased base cooldown time from 500 seconds to 556 seconds, matching the majority of our roaming Super roster.
Knockout: Reduced damage bonus vs. players from 50 to 30.
Suspend: Reduced base Suspend duration vs. non-Champion PvE combatants from 8 seconds to 5 seconds.
- Thread of Continuity now extends this duration to 7 seconds, down from 12 seconds.
- Reduced base Suspend duration vs. Champion combatants from 8 seconds to 3 seconds (4 seconds with Thread of Continuity).Increased snap damage dealt to Suspended boss combatants by 67%.
Thread of Mind: Reduced class energy gain, based on the tier of the defeated target:Minor combatants reduced from 15% to 10%.Major combatants and players reduced from 25% to 15%.Bosses, Champions, and minibosses reduced from 50% to 25%.
Thread of Generation: Reduced the overall energy gain per damage event against PvE enemies by about 20%. Rebalanced the energy gain multiplier across primary weapon archetypes. We wanted to bring the energy gains for dealing damage with precision weapons and fully automatic weapons closer together.Overall, we’ve reduced the efficiency of fully automatic primary weapons and increased the efficiency of precision primary weapons to compensate.
Threadlings: Increased Threadling damage vs. PvE combatants by 30%.
Tangles: Reduced Tangle creation cooldown time from 15 seconds to 12 seconds.
Sever: PvE combatants affected by Sever now have their outgoing damage reduced by 40% vs. 30%.
Silkstrike: Increased Silkstrike damage resistance from 40% to 45%.Reduced suppression time between Silkstrike super air attacks.Reduced vertical lift provided by Silkstrike heavy air attack to reduce instances of missing the primary target.
Threaded Specter: Increased Threaded Specter lifetime from 10 to 12 seconds.Increased Threaded Specter health vs. PvE combatants.Threaded Specter now takes longer to detect nearby PvE combatants at the beginning of its lifetime.PvE combatants now more consistently focus on Threaded Specter instead of the Hunter.Allied players no longer have reticle magnetism toward Threaded Specter.
The Wanderer: Destroying a Tangle now creates a delayed Suspending detonation.Increased Suspend detonation radius from 6 to 7 meters against PvE combatants.Increased thrown Wanderer Tangle detonation damage to match standard Tangle detonations.
Grapple: Grapple melee always takes priority while active, regardless of whether or not a target is within range.
Thread of Propagation: Now grants +10 Strength.
Thread of Continuity: No longer grants +10 Strength.
Thread of Wisdom: No longer requires a precision kill to activate.
Thread of Isolation: Reduced the number of precision hits required to activate by an average of about 30% (varies by weapon archetype).
Thread of Rebirth: The number of created Threadlings now increases based on the tier of the defeated target:Minor combatants: 1.Elite combatants or players: 2.Boss, Champion, or miniboss combatants: 3.