Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is Axing the Damage Stacking

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is Axing the Damage Stacking

No more stacking up those auras.

Shadowkeep and New Light, Bungie's one-two punch Destiny 2 update coming in October, is looking to address a lot. Over the last week, the studio has discussed armor, game balance, Power levels, and even cheese. Today, a new Director's Cut update is centered directly on damage: how you deal it, and how much you can do.

In the third and presumably last of Destiny 2 director Luke Smith's Director's Cut blogs, the Bungie head broke down the changes coming to damage. A common trend in current PvE is to stack damage buffs, with all Guardians huddling on top of auras like Well of Radiance. The way these buffs skyrocketed your team's damage, multiplicatively and exponentially, led to a system that Smith simply refers to as "busted."

To that effect, it sounds like numbers are being retooled a bit, "refactoring the displayed numbers game wide." It makes sense; once you've hit the proverbial 999,999, where do you go from there?

But the greater change will be in how buffs and debuffs work. In response to the endless stacking, Destiny 2 will start to only count one buff and one debuff per unit. Essentially, each buff has been assigned a ranking, and the highest, most powerful buff will be the only one counted. So if you're under the effect of a Well of Radiance and a more powerful damage boost, you'd get the healing from the former but not the damage, rather than both stacked on top. The same looks to apply to debuffs on enemies. This doesn't include individual weapon buffs, though. Here's the TL;DR from Smith: "Buffs that apply to a single weapon (Rampage, Kill Clip, Exotics) can still stack. But buffs that affect all your weapons no longer stack. The most powerful of those buffs will be applied to your damage."

Supers will also be getting tuned down to make them less all-powerful, especially in PvP modes, and Heavy ammo will become communal. Matchmaking is also getting a rework, shifting around modes and adding more skill rank matchmaking adjustments to better facilitate good multiplayer sessions.

It's hard to look at the news that's rolled out this week and not feel like Destiny 2, as a whole, is changing. But it's also Bungie's first major effort since leaving Activision, and frankly, it's got strong Newly Single energy. Shadowkeep and New Light are retooling the core of Destiny 2 to make it a sleek new experience for everyone, and even taking the time it needs to do so. Whether it ends up cohesive or not, it's certainly exciting to see how eager an unshackled Bungie is to reinvent itself.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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