We expected the full 2.1.0 patch to come out this week for Destiny, and after the announcement of the Sparrow Racing League event, I thought it was a given that it would come out today. Sure enough, Patch 2.1.0 is live for all users, and with it we get our first big rebalance since The Taken King came out. There was also a couple reports out today – from Eurogamer and Kotaku – talking about the future of Destiny moving forward that I want to touch on quickly.
We’ll start with those articles first. The big takeaway is that moving forward we probably won’t see much in the way of DLC for Destiny. Instead we’ll be getting these timed events, like the Festival of the Lost and the Sparrow Racing League; and those events will be supported with new sets of microtransactions. This seems like a pretty simple statement by Bungie and Activision, but if you read between the lines a little bit, it really says a lot. First, thanks to some extra reporting from Kotaku, we know that the original Year One style of DLC just wasn’t sustainable; both economically and physically for the developers. That I think really explains why Activision put High Moon Studios on the project. They could see that Bungie just needed more bodies on the project in order to even deliver on the DLC. Offering these smaller events, and supporting them with microtransactions, really just makes sense. Sure I would love to see bigger additions to the game, but if this helps out Bungie develop the game more according to their vision, I’m okay with it. It also takes the pressure off to be constantly playing Destiny – you can take a break, play the other awesome games out there, and come back for the events. One last thing I think this kinda spells out, is that I think it’s fairly obvious that Bungie is starting to really commit resources to the actual full sequel – which right now we’re expecting next fall.
On to the new patch, let’s talk a little about the big points. The first thing that matters is the weapon rebalance. I talked a little last week about it – expect auto rifles to show up in Crucible play a bit more, and pulse rifles to come back to the pack a bit. It’s still a little early to really say for sure if this is the balance that we’ve been waiting for, but looking at the notes I think this might be the closest we’ve ever been. Bungie has really started to focus on the different archetypes for the weapons, and balance them individually. Doing that first is important, because once those archetypes are settled, that’s when outliers and exotics can be looked at closer. Weapon-wise, I really think this patch is just what we’ve been saying the game needed since The Taken King came out.
The next big part is a pretty sizable retooling of the Titan subclasses. I’ve been a Titan player since the beta, so I like to think I’m pretty educated on the class. Overall, the changes make a lot of sense. Sunbreakers needed to come down a little – Hammer of Sol was just too strong, especially compared with the other similar Supers. I think the changes will work fine – especially in Crucible play, which is really where it needed it. What I think is a nice addition to the patch is that the old subclasses – Striker and Defender – are also getting some attention. It’s been a running joke pretty much since Day One that Titans have little T-Rex arms. So the melee range has been extended a bit. Strikers have had a completely useless charged melee attack since launch – it got a pretty sizable damage buff, along with the upgrade nodes getting tweaked. Defenders even better fit the role of mobile fortress – recharging their grenades and melee on Ward of Dawn activation. Those are all awesome changes for both PvP and PvE, I think just what the Titan needed. What this patch really does to me is show that Hunters and Warlocks are going to be getting similar passes – and I think both could use it. I would bet on seeing that come next month.
Overall, the 2.1.0 patch looks like it’s exactly what Destiny needed right before the holiday. Every Christmas brings in a brand new set of players, with The Taken King out this year, I would expect to see that trend continue with this year. It’s a good time to get into Destiny. I’ll have my thoughts on the Sparrow Racing League up this week, after I’ve had some time to play some races.