Maybe a little lost in the E3/Rise of Iron hype was the news that Destiny was getting the next big update this week. It went live on Tuesday, and has been one of, if not the, rockiest patch in ages. Weird new bugs have been popping up, and the actual content of the patch has had players talking all week about the changes to the live game. I wouldn’t be a dedicated Destiny player if I didn’t have my own thoughts about it, and that’s what we’ll hit today.
Let’s start with the bugs that we’ve been seeing pop up this week. There’s been a couple rough ones – especially one that has been killing PvP player. One bug that seems to be impacting a bunch of different aspects of the game has to do with the game not properly downloading your character info, and as a result you are unable to launch any activity. It looks like this one also might be why some players are seeing invisible players across the universe instead of actual player characters. There is a fix in place for that one already, but the PvP bug – which has been limiting players to only dealing 1 or 2 damage per shot, regardless of weapon – still lingers. I know Bungie is working on it, and will hopefully get a fix up today so Trials doesn’t get suspended. I may not play Trials, but it’s a huge part of the Crucible’s lifeblood. This is a relatively rare sight with Destiny – usually the patches that go live don’t really introduce major issues like this. I wonder how much of this is because of the timing with E3.
In terms of the actual patch content though, this was the Hunter patch we all knew was coming. Titans got their balance pass back in December, Warlocks with the April update and now Hunters are coming under the microscope. As a player who mains a Titan, it’s nice to see all of the Hunters complaining about balance changes. Welcome back to the pack. Now, there are a couple changes that maybe I think are overdone – mainly with the Throwing Knife damage and Tripmine sticking change – but overall a lot of the elements that made Hunters overly powerful came back a bit. Blink jump finally got the adjustment that it needed, Blink Strike should hopefully not be one-shotting from the front anymore, Shadestep won’t be as powerful, but still a good option for escaping danger, and Gunslingers and Bladedancers won’t feel like detriments in PvE play anymore. Regardless of whether or not you think Hunters needed the changes, the core design philosophy is still the same – give players more options, and make more options within the subclasses viable.
I still think Hunters are going to be just fine in PvP, with two roaming super abilities – both of which got damage upgrades and Arc Blade in particular got a solid adjustment – mean that they’re able to swing teamfights in a split second. Some of those tried-and-true tactics that have worked since launch will need to be reworked though. The biggest shift probably is the Tripmine behavior – it’s more about area denial now, and using them to set up traps. Still powerful, but not the one-hit that it used to be; although I still think they’re the best option for Gunslingers in the Crucible. It’s the PvE side where I think you could see the biggest changes – Nightstalkers have dominated the PvE landscape since Taken King launched. Bungie wants to try and get Gunslingers and Bladedancers out there more, and this patch certainly makes that seem more likely. They do a really clever thing this week too to try and get them out there – the Nightfall strike this week has solar burn on, while Heroic strikes feature arc burn. Combined with the damage boosts, Golden Gun and Arc Blade this week have been destroying the strike bosses – and apparently the loot has been flowing a bit more so than before. I think it’s all part of Bungie getting the base game into a really solid spot for the September launch of Rise of Iron.