Bungie Combat Livestream Summary

Bungie streamed out a look at changes to Destiny 2’s combat system today. It was a 90-minute stream and had two private PvP matches in it, so it takes a while to go through. You can watch it here:

Of course, you might not want to do that, so I’ll summarize the hits for you right here. I’ll try to split them up in general areas of discussion.

Goals of the Combat Redesign

Josh Hamrick talked a bit about what they are going for with the changes to combat pass:

  • They looked at Year One feedback and player data to see how people were playing already.
  • They want to give players more options to tweak their loadouts for their desired personal playstyle.
  • They want the game to be interesting for longer periods of time for more people, by leveraging special and fun drops via random rolls.
  • The same applies to the meta, which should start shifting over time as various perk combinations float to the top and they want to encourage more counter-play opportunities.
  • They want to bring back more “hero moments” via an increased skill gap. The goal is for high-level PvP play to be more interesting to watch.

Will this work? I don’t know. It has the possibility to do so. It will depend a bit on whether there will be rerolls or other ways to skew the weapon randomness towards a sufficiently-inclined player. Weapon perk randomization was also very opaque in Destiny 1 and is hard to explain to new players.

Supers and Class Abilities

  • There are 9 new supers in Forsaken, to try and give everyone a new way to play their character type.
  • There will be some changes to existing abilities and subclasses. Only some of these changes were detailed in the stream.
  • There have been changes to perks, melee abilities, grenades, and supers.
  • Grenades have been buffed but are not one-hit kills in Crucible. The intention is that they will remain either an opener or a finisher.
  • Titan shoulder charge abilities of all types will one-hit kill in Crucible and will receive a damage buff in PvE as well.
  • The Nightstalker’s tether super has had it’s tracking rate increased and will now acquire targets much faster (you shouldn’t be able to run through the affected area anymore without being tethered).
  • Stormtrance’s lethality has been increased. Stronger jazz hands.
  • Golden Gun’s duration for both trees has been increased by 2 seconds.
  • Throwing Knife has received a damage buff.
  • Healing Rifts and Empowering Rifts have received buffs to their effects. Empowering Rifts will now buff precision damage in Crucible.
  • Ward of Dawn is getting a buff to the amount of damage it can sustain, and players within the Ward will receive greater buffs to overshields and melee damage. It will still require three melee hits to knock an opponent out of a roaming super.

Weapon Slots

  • The weapon slots are still Kinetic, Energy, and Power.
  • The difference is that the ammo type a weapon uses has been separated from the slot it takes up, with the exception of Power/Heavy. The ammo a weapon takes is completely dependent on the weapon’s type. For example, a Kinetic shotgun will take green (Special) ammo.
  • Trace rifles are now Special ammo and will do more damage because they will have less available ammo drops.
  • Single-shot grenade launchers are moving to Special ammo, while other types of grenade launchers will remain Heavy.

Ammo Economy

  • The sandbox team knew they wanted to change up the idea of weapon slots from Destiny 2 launch, but they didn’t want to just roll back to the Destiny 1 system.
  • This meant the ammo model had to change, which also means that other things in the sandbox had to change to match as well.
  • You can run both a Kinetic and an Energy type of a Special weapon at once, but that will mean you will have extremely limited ammo available and will have to play very well to make it work.
  • You respawn with a good amount of Primary ammo, and enough Special ammo for two kills at optimal damage. (So 2 sniper bullets, 2 shotgun shells, they said 24 trace rifle ammo, etc.)
  • You drop Special ammo on death as a pickup for other players, which is the only source in PvP where you can get more than your spawn amount.

Weapon Randomization/Perks

  • Fully random rolls are back from Destiny 1. The entire perk set for a given weapon is randomized.
  • Exotics have fully-fixed rolls.
  • When a weapon drops, it now has its Masterwork bonus stat assigned immediately. It starts as a 1-level increase. It costs resources to level a weapon up to a 10-level increase, at which point it becomes a Masterwork.
  • The materials used to level a weapon in the stream were Glimmer, Legendary Shards, and Masterwork Cores. It will now cost significantly more Masterwork Cores and Shards to level a weapon all the way to Masterwork.
  • When a weapon’s bonus perk is leveled enough, it gains a kill-tracker that is flippable from Crucible to PvE. This is handled as a perk slot.
  • Armor will now have randomly-rolled perks.


  • All non-Exotic weapons will drop with a randomly-rolled mod already slotted.
  • Exotic weapons and armor will not have mod slots.
  • Mods no longer artificially increase the Power level of a weapon and in fact have no effect on that stat anymore at all.
  • Dismantling a gun will take the mod that rolled on that weapon and place it in your inventory. You can then take that mod and slot it into a different weapon as you want.
  • Some of the mods that appeared on the stream: magazine size, recoil reduction, in-air accuracy increase, faster radar return on stopping aim-down-sights, damage boosts for specific enemy classes (red bar, miniboss, boss).
  • Armor has its own class of mods, including effects like super recharge rate improvement and better-stacking ability recharge improvements.

Time-To-Kill and Damage

  • As the team moved some Power weapons back into Special, they found that Primary weapons had a hard time competing.
  • They changed lethality by largely giving a damage boost to precision damage (headshots). Hitting more precision damage will result in an outsized decrease in TTK.
  • Melee is back to a 2-hit kill in Crucible.

Near-Term Forecast

Bungie laid out some expectations:

  • On 28 August as part of patch 2.0, tuning and weapon slot changes well arrive, but not mods.
  • No new weapons will drop until Forsaken launches on 4 September.
  • New mod slots will appear on 28 August, but new mods will not drop until 4 September.
  • What you mod a Year One weapon to in terms of damage element will remain that weapon’s damage type going forward. You will not be able to change it after the tuning changes take place, and Year One mods will cease being available.
  • Bungie will release a list of Year One weapons that are changing and how prior to the launch of Forsaken.


That’s the most important data from the livestream I have in my notes. If you think I missed something, or have a question, hit me with a reply on Twitter.

Later this week, I’ll have an overview of Eververse stuff in Solstice of Heroes—I was waiting for today’s reset to test something—and will also have a summary post of this week’s TWAB towards the end of the week. See you then!