Last week, Destiny 2‘s developer Bungie explained that the design philosophy behind Escalation Protocol, the new endgame horde mode added to the game in the Warmind DLC, was that it should be able to be completed by a three-player fireteam at a high Power level. They were responding to fans’ calls for large group matchmaking for the mode, because players have been resorting to tricking the game to match up to nine players into the same instance.
As predicted, Bungie is not adding large group matchmaking but has nerfed the difficulty of Destiny 2‘s Escalation Protocol in order to bring it more in line with the design goals for the mode, primarily as being a three-player mode. As of Thursday afternoon, the enemies in Escalation Protocol’s upper waves have been brought down. Here’s a breakdown of what the Power level of each wave used to look like, paired with the newly nerfed waves:
Bungie says it was seeing data showing that players were not attempting the upper waves of Escalation Protocol due to the sharp difficulty spikes into Waves 6 and 7, with some players even avoiding the entire activity altogether. Bungie is not doing anything to hinder players into forming nine-player groups, but the developer says it hopes the new changes won’t make it as necessary anymore.
And for those worried that Escalation Protocol, one of the game’s hardest endgame activities, is being dumbed down, Bungie says these changes shouldn’t make too drastic of a change in that direction:
“If anyone is worried that we’re nerfing this activity into the ground, rest assured that it will still be a highly difficult end-game experience. All the mechanics, timers, and enemy behaviors will remain unchanged, so you should still plan to bring your best team, gear, and strategies to succeed.”
The changes have been met with mixed reactions by fans, with many saying they have finally been able to complete Escalation Protocol for the first time while some hardcore players are against dumbing down this activity in any way.
If you need help clearing this week’s Escalation Protocol (and get a chance to have any of the mode’s weapons drop), check out Game Rant’s weekly Escalation Protocol guide.
Destiny 2 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.