The enemies in Destiny 2 are about to get a bit more difficult. Developer Bungie has detailed some ways it is looking to increase the difficulty of enemies in PvE and directly affect how much a player’s power level helps them defeat those enemies. This difficulty tuning pass will launch at the beginning of the game’s Season 3, which coincides with the release of the Warmind expansion on May 8.
According to Bungie, the goal for this tuning pass is “to provide a more challenging experience for players when they take on higher-leveled activities.” As a direct result, that should make level progression and the need to reach the upper echelons of the power cap more meaningful because doing so will have a more noticeable affect on how easily enemies are defeated.
For those who have played Destiny 1 and Destiny 2, there is a noticeable difference regarding how each game handles the difficulty of PvE enemies. In Destiny 1, being within 5-10 points of the Light level cap made enemies easier, while each 10 levels down from the cap would see a pretty significant damage dropoff against enemies. Destiny 2 took that steeper damage difference and flattened out. The result is that enemies tend to feel the same difficulty regardless of what the player’s power level is. But if these changes work, Destiny 2 should feel much more like Destiny 1 again in this regard.
Here are the details from Bungie on how difficulty is increasing in PvE:
Change our outgoing player damage scaling vs. higher-leveled combatants to be steeper (make them more difficult), similar to Destiny. As a result, higher-leveled combatants will take longer to kill than they currently do—but if you’re at or above their level, you can still melt them (like you’ve come to love) with Update 1.1.4.
Extend our outgoing and incoming damage scaling from capping at a 40 power level delta to a 50 power level delta. Currently, in Destiny 2, our scaling only affects the difficulty of combatants up to 40 Power levels above the player before plateauing. Increasing this to 50 Power levels adds a little more room for players to show off how badass they really are.
When combatants are 50 Power levels or higher above the player, they will be immune and display a “??” icon on their nameplate. OG Guardians probably remember the first time they stumbled across the Hive in the depths of Cosmodrome. We wanted to bring back that feeling of mystery and provide challenges for the player to come back to later in their journey.
Change combatant energy shields to fulfill the following: Matching energy element damage to shields is most effective (roughly 3x damage plus the current shield detonation), followed by non-matching energy (roughly 2x damage), and Kinetic damage won’t have any bonus damage multiplier. To further incentivize the matching game, the 3x multiplier for matching damage types is not affected by the damage scaling of higher-leveled combatants until the combatants display the “??” nameplates.
The previous change also allows us to bring back Match Game as an additional Prestige Nightfall modifier for extra points and bragging rights. When this modifier is enabled, all non-matching damage to energy shields is reduced to 10%, so make sure your fireteam is coordinating appropriately. The current plan is for Match Game to launch along with the rest of these difficulty changes.
Like many of the changes Bungie has been making to Destiny 2 this year, this tuning pass is trying to bring back the gameplay feel and experience from Destiny 1. While a difficulty spike isn’t going to fix the game by itself, it is another piece of the puzzle that not only helps the minute-to-minute gameplay of PvE, but it also touches on the investment and progression side of the game, which is a huge underlying issue to everything, and something that hasn’t yet been directly changed by Bungie.
Destiny 2 and its Curse of Osiris expansion are available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The Warmind expansion launches May 8.