Many players have claimed that the skills and abilities in Destiny 2 are nerfed in PvE to appease a smaller portion of its PvP playerbase. A common example is how grenades deal significantly less damage against enemies when they’re not being used as weapons.
In a bid to appease the smaller faction of PvP players, guns and abilities are nerfed in PvE. Bungie has long been called upon to build a “wall” between PvP and PvE for separate sandbox balancing. While we may not have an Attack on Titan-sized stone divider, at this point it’s at least a barbed wire fence.
According to the Bungie team, they have been balancing PvP and PvE separately for a while now in minor ways. One example of this is when they buffed shotguns for PvE players but not applying it to PvP matches where it was already dominant. They also say that these tweaks are “things like a shotgun buff.”
But the arrival of Stasis, the game’s new freezing subclass, has required a much broader approach to balancing, and Bungie has just rolled out a massive list of changes to Stasis where almost all of them only apply to PvP, leaving the abilities unchanged for PvE content.
This is the first time in a game that I’ve seen so many changes to Stasis, and it will only affect PvP. They want to reward you for taking down your enemies instead of just spamming one ability over and over again.
It’s very likely that we will never see entirely separate sandboxes for PvP and PvE, given that it would require too much testing with each new addition to the game, as balancing a single sandbox has been hard enough. But this does show that Bungie has realized that the two do need to be separated at key junction points, and I think Stasis has been a watershed moment in that regard. I’m frankly not even sure these extensive Stasis changes will be enough, as they don’t address slowing and freezing, the worst problems with Stasis, as much as they could, but we’ll see what happens when these changes go live in just under two weeks.
It’s long been suspected that The Witch Queen, out early next year now after a recent delay, will likely bring a fifth subclass with it, so we may have to do all this over again. And there’s the ongoing issue of players wanting older subclasses to be buffed to be more in line with Stasis in both PvP and in some instances, PvE. It’s a never-ending dance really, no matter how you divide things up.
The dismantling of sunsetting will require some additional focus on the sandbox. Sunsetting used to easily solve problems like simply deleting weapons like Mountaintop or Revoker from competitive PvP content, but now with that gone, something like say, Felwinter’s won’t just blink out of existence in Trials next season, and it will have to be nerfed instead of just sunset. But fundamentally, PvE players weren’t amused that to solve say, the Mountaintop “problem” that it required sunsetting dozens, if not hundreds of their other, non-problematic weapons. So the reversal of that idea has been a victory for them.
This is a significant move in the right direction. It may not “cure” Stasis in PvP, but it shows a willingness to heavily consider the effects of nerfs that could detract from PvE, more so than we’ve ever seen. And this should continue to be the philosophy going forward.