Destiny 2 Strikes and Crucible Will Be Harder But More Rewarding in Lightfall
Every major Destiny 2 expansion brings systemic changes to how the game works on both a functional and gameplay level. Lightfall looks to be doing more than almost any expansion since Forsaken. As laid out in the latest State of the Game blog post, some of the most important sets of updates are to the Strikes and Crucible playlists, a big part of the core of most players' Destiny 2 experience. Here's how it all shakes out.
The Strikes Playlist is Getting Major Updates
Strikes and Vanguard Ops, more generally, are getting a bit of an overhaul in Lightfall. Bungie has been toying with the difficulty and Power level disparity for a few seasons now, and they're finally ready to put some of their learnings into practice.
First, the Vanguard Ops playlist (Strikes and Battlegrounds) will receive both the Season 16 Psi-Ops and Season 19 Heist Battlegrounds activities, adding even more variety to what has long been a stagnating set of activities. It's certainly not preferable to getting brand-new content, but Heists are one of the better seasonal offerings we've had in recent years, so it's a good middle ground.
To drive this point home, the Mars Heist Battleground will be a part of the Nightfall rotation come Lightfall. There will, of course, be a few new Neptune-related activities coming to the playlist as well.
Second, older Strikes — Lake of Shadows and the Arms Dealer — are getting retooled to be more in line with more recently available content from the Witch Queen. Think the Lightblade Strike, for instance. Two other Strikes ripe for updates include Exodus Crash and The Inverted Spire, but until Bungie can take the time to dig into them, they'll receive a much lower appearance rate in the playlist, so their dated design doesn't grate on players quite so much.
Lastly, Vanguard Ops will be slightly more difficult than they were previously to account for increases in Guardian power. Some of that will come from the game limiting character level deltas, and some will come from direct enemy tuning, though don't expect things to be far more difficult than they already are.
PvP Players Get Some Love
The Crucible has long languished, and many players who once loved Destiny 2 PvP have been rightfully complaining about how things have felt for a long time. Some of their complaints are ability spam (addressed in Lightfall), few good maps (hopefully addressed in Lightfall), and general dissatisfaction with the sandbox.
In the blog post, there are three main concerns discussed:
- Modes. Beyond the modes featured in Iron Banner (Eruption, Rift, and Fortress), which will probably make their way into the vanilla Crucible experience, Bungie has at least three additional modes on the way. Countdown, the attack and defend mode from back in the earliest days of Destiny 2, is coming back. Countdown Rush, a respawn variant, and Countdown Control, where weapons, abilities, and ammo are all specifically adjusted, so a single Super isn't enough to win the day.
- Maps. Three new maps will make their way to Crucible: Meltdown is returning in Season of the Deep. A brand new map set in the Vex Network is coming in Season 22, and then Citadel returns in the year's final season.
- Connections and Skill. Bungie isn't yet satisfied with the player experience in PvP. They're continuing investment in ensuring everyone has a good connection and is playing with teammates and enemies around their skill level.
Reward structures are also changing, with both Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris getting potential changes to their reward to encourage more players to engage with the modes. However, details were sparse on these particular updates. We know Iron Banner is getting three weeks in Season 20 rather than just two, but Trials improvements were left ambiguous.
What do you think of these upcoming changes to the ritual activities in Destiny 2? Do they go far enough? Hopefully, Gambit gets some love someday, or maybe just remove it altogether. For more Destiny 2 content from the past and present, check out our guides hub.