Destiny 2's Next Balance Update Nerfs Nova Warp And Blade Barrage Supers, Buffs Most Others

by Suriel Vazquez on Jan 12, 2019 at 12:02 PM

Destiny 2's first major update since their announced split with publisher Activision is coming soon, and it's shaking up how we think about the current supers meta.

The big focus of the update, which hits January 29, is supers and subclass abilities. Most notably, the damage of the two most notorious super abilities in Forsaken right now, the Warlock's Nova Warp and the Hunter's Blade Barrage supers, are getting toned down and made harder to use. Nova Warp, which allows Warlocks to make short-distance teleports around the map and cause large, deadly explosions, has had its movement speed slowed down, its damage reduced in the Crucible (it won't be able to kill players during their own supers if that super provides damage resistance), and each explosion uses up more super energy, reducing the super's overall duration. This makes it less of a instant-win option for void Warlocks, as it now has to contend with other supers, and players will have to think more carefully about when to unleash it.

Blade Barrage, meanwhile, which fires off two quick bursts of explosive knives, has had most of its damage shifted over to the explosions its thrown knives cause, rather than the impact of the knives themselves. This makes it easier to score a kill on a player using Blade Barrage, and will mean it takes at bit more time for the super to unleash its full damage (which is relevant in Gambit, where the delayed damage could make the difference when both teams are racing to kill of their primeval). It's less of a fire-and-forget option, too, since the explosions can now deal damage to the user, meaning it'll be trickier to use it at close range.

Meanwhile, most other supers are receiving some neat buffs. The Hunter's six-shooter Golden Gun super now returns another supercharged bullet if you score a kill with it, making it more skill-based and potentially better against grouped up enemies, the Arc Staff and Whirlwind Guard supers have had their damage upped if you use the heavy attack more often, and the Nightstalker's Moebius Quiver has had its area of effect increased, the initial hit buffed, and made easier to fire successive tether shots, if that's the build you're running.

Titan Sunbreakers have had some their skills buffed (Sunspots are deadlier, Sun Warrior buffs last longer), and the Burning Maul super has it its slam radius and tornado tracking improved, the heavy attack for the Sentinel Shield super has been buffed, and Strikers have had their Terminal Velocity and Trample skills buffed (the former now deals more damage overall, and the latter makes the super last much longer).

Warlock Dawnblades now last longer, the Nova Bomb's Cataclysm and Vortex skills have been buffed to make them more consistent and effective against smaller groups, and the Stormstrance super is now more powerful, with an additional chain lightning target added.

"In this specific update, our goal was to look at Supers holistically across the board, bringing up damage where they underperform, fixing some major pain points, and adding new functionality where inspiration struck," said Destiny 2 designer Dan Gnaidy. To do that, they looked at community feedback, their own data, playtested their changes, and adjusted accordingly.

In addition to the January 29 update, another minor update, hitting January 15 (an Iron Banner week), adjusts matchmaking in the Crucible's Competitive playlist to prioritize Glory rank more heavily at the cost of slightly increased matchmaking times.

For a more specific breakdown of all the super changes, head over to Bungie's blog.

As an unrepentant Blade Barrage abuser, I'm saddened by now having to use my brain a bit when firing it off. As an unrepentant Nova Warp hater, I'm glad my opponents will have to think a bit more, too. Overall, this updates makes supers more nuanced and effective when used correctly, which means players will have to invest in learning their super of choice to get the most out of them, which is pretty cool.