Destiny 2 is nerfing ability spam in Lightfall, but it's not all bad news

Destiny 2
(Image credit: Bungie)

What you need to know

  • Destiny 2 developer Bungie has announced its plan to nerf ability uptimes when the Lightfall expansion arrives.
  • Specifically, the studio is reducing the effectiveness of ability regen stats, including discipline, strength, and class ability-related stats (mobility, resilience, and recovery).
  • However, players will be able to offset the effects of these nerfs somewhat with Firesprites, Void Breaches, Ionic Traces, and Stasis Crystals, which are replacing Elemental Wells in Lightfall and will return ability energy when picked up.
  • Players will be able to generate these objects when using subclass Fragments, many of which are being updated for Lightfall.

Ability spam has dominated Destiny 2's metagame in both PvE and PvP for much of Year 5 and The Witch Queen DLC. However, when the Lightfall expansion drops later this month, developer Bungie is taking some steps to tone abilities down a bit. In a new blog post on the game's sandbox, the studio confirmed its plan to address constant ability uptime and spam potential, while still ensuring that abilities feel like a powerful and useful part of a Guardian's kit. 

"Moving forward, our goal with ability uptime in both PvE and PvP is to get back to roughly where we were when the 30th Anniversary Pack launched in December 2021," wrote the developers. "We’re making some changes to the ability energy economy in Lightfall and subsequent Seasons to correct ability uptime, while still rewarding players for investing in buildcrafting and fine-tuning their Guardian into the perfect monster-slaying machine."

Specifically, Bungie is targeting the efficacy of the discipline, strength, and class ability stats (mobility, resilience, and recovery), reducing how much these stats improve the regeneration rate of grenades, melees, and class abilities respectively. Players can generally expect tier 10 of these stats to provide the same benefits that a tier 8 does in the current Destiny 2 patch.

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

Overall, it's a sizable nerf to ability-heavy playstyles, and I expect that the importance of using your weapons effectively will rise as a result. However, players will be able to mitigate the effects of this change with Destiny 2: Lightfall's overhauled buildcrafting.  In the post, Bungie noted that Solar Firesprites and Void Breaches — some of Lightfall's replacements for the soon-to-be-removed Elemental Well mods — will grant Guardians grenade and class ability energy, respectively. These, alongside Ionic Traces and Stasis Crystals for Arc and Stasis subclasses that return energy evenly across the board, will help offset the effects of the ability uptime nerf.

When Destiny 2: Lightfall launches, several Fragments in each subclass will be expanded with ways for players to create Firesprites and Void Breaches (Arc and Stasis subclasses can already make Ionic Traces and Stasis Crystals). New Fragments are also being added, too, which we've listed below:

  • Spark of Instinct (Arc)
    • When critically wounded, taking damage from nearby enemies emits a burst of damaging Arc energy that Jolts targets.
  • Spark of Haste (Arc)
    • You have greatly increased resilience, recovery, and mobility while sprinting.
  • Ember of Mercy (Solar)
    • When you revive an ally, you and other nearby allies gain Restoration. Picking up a Firesprite grants Restoration.
  • Ember of Resolve (Solar)
    • Solar grenade final blows Cure you.
  • Echo of Cessation (Void)
    • Finisher final blows create a burst of Void damage that causes nearby enemies to become Volatile. Defeating Volatile targets creates a Void Breach.
  • Echo of Vigilance (Void)
    • Defeating a target when your shields are depleted grants you a temporary Void Overshield.

Make sure to read the full blog post, as it includes additional details on some other changes coming with Lightfall. These include buffs to the underperforming Daybreak Warlock subclass, PvP nerfs for the Titan Ward of Dawn and Thundercrash supers, and cooldown reductions for the Hammer of Sol, Daybreak, and Spectral Blades supers. Bungie is also making players immune to physics collision deaths, which will finally put a stop to the rise of Eager Edge trolls.


Destiny 2: Lightfall

The upcoming Lightfall expansion takes players to the neon-soaked city of Neomuna on Neptune and pits them against the fearsome Shadow Legion — all while the threat of Darkness pyramids, The Witness, and his new disciple Emperor Calus looms overhead.

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Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.