6 Big Things Changed with the Destiny 2 Season of the Drifter Patch

Destiny 2’s Season of the Drifter kicked off this morning alongside an all-new patch! Regardless of whether or not you have the Annual Pass, there’s a ton of balance changes, new features, and more for fans to log back in and experience.

What’s the quick take? You might want to pack away some shotguns, Whisper of the Worm, and Sleeper Simulant. Crack open that vault and pull out Wardcliff Coil and a rocket or grenade launcher!

Whisper of the Worm 11

Popular Exotics, Shotguns, Machine Guns Nerfed

Let’s start things off by talking about the nerfs which will likely affect how you play Destiny for the next few months. Shotguns have received a huge overhaul. That Full Auto Trigger System perk that you love so much, say on IKELOS SG, has had a massive rate-of-fire bonus reduction. Previously the fire rate was doubled. Now it gets a measly 10% bonus and it also no longer also increases the pellet spread.

To help make up for this, Bungie has effectively doubled all Shotgun damage in PvE with a damage multiplier, aside from Legend of Acrius. Reserve ammo has been brought down to help make sure the Shotguns don’t get too dominant. Specific rate-of-fire values have been retuned which you can catch in the full patch notes below, but it’s worth noting that The Chaperone and Legend of Acrius did get slight fire rate improvements.

Since being introduced, Machine Guns have been dominant so Bungie made some changes to put them in check. Machine Gun Reserves only provides half of the ammo bonus it did previously and damage to bosses and minibosses has reduced by 21%. Side note, this is a funny reference to the new 21% Delirium Machine Gun, available via the Gambit Pinnacle Triumph for this season.

On a personal note, I didn’t unlock Whisper of the Worm until a month or so ago, and still haven’t finished the Sleeper Simulant quest. Looks like my time may have ran out as Bungie has decided to reel in these very popular Exotic weapons. Both weapons have had their ammo reserves significantly reduced. Sleeper now carries a maximum of nine rounds (without armor perks of Masterwork). Whisper has been more than halved! It now carries a max of nine rounds, or three full clips, without armor perks.

PvE Weapon Buffs

The good news is that Bungie continues to bring up the power level of weapons in PvE while leaving them untouched in Crucible. Rocket Launchers have had their damage increased by 60-65%. To help open up more viable launchers, Cluster Bomb has had 80% of the damage removed from the clusters and put onto the main projectile.

Power alternatives, Grenade Launchers, got their own 25% PvE damage buff with a side of ammo reserve increase. According to Bungie, most grenade launchers have gained three rounds.

Trace Rifles which continue to exist in the game despite going under the radar since the Prometheus Lens glitch, got a 30% damage increase.

On the Exotic front, Two-Tailed Fox and One Thousand Voices got a buff of 25%. Thus far, the biggest buff seems to be to Wardcliff Coil. PvE damage against boss combatants has been increased by 115%. Regular enemies are now damaged by as much as 160% more!

Destiny 2 Season of the Drifter 1

Gambit Updates

Gambit Prime is here! On top of that, the typical Gambit has received a few changes.

There are many more invader spawn points now which should both help the invaders and defenders. Chances of spawning “very near or in direct line of sight” of an enemy has been greatly reduced.

Many players complain about the length of Gambit matches compared to their rewards. To address this, Bungie has switched up the third round by removing the grinding phase. Now a Primeval will summon right away. Supers, grenades, and abilities will all be immediately filled and the regeneration rate increased for the remainder of the match.

Importantly, the Blockers have been swapped out!

  • Small Blocker = Taken Goblin with less health than the previous Phalanx
  • Medium Blocker = Taken Captain with more health than the previous Knight
  • Large Blocker = Taken Knight with more health than the previous Ogre

If you’re still grinding the Ascendant Primeval Servitor, aka the Meatball, it’s now no longer tied to the curse cycle.

Infamy gains have been increased by 25 points and with Gambit Prime bounties, it should be easier to reach multiple resets without the double and triple Infamy weekends.

Power Cap Raised + Quick Leveling

As expected, the Power Cap is now 700, up from 650. Unlike with Black Armory, however, Bungie wants to get everyone up to speed quickly. The Drifter now has Power Surge bounties that offer level 640 gear! The goal of this is to get everyone ready to play Season of the Drifter content within one to two hours.

Destiny 2 Armor

Clan Update

Following complaints, Bungie has removed the run-of-the-mill clan bounties which leveled up your clan. Instead, you’ll once again earn XP by just playing the game and completing activities.

  • Level 2 Perk: Increased public event rewards
  • Level 3 Perk: Completing a weekly Hawthorne bounty awards mod components
  • Level 4 Perk: Completing a clan vendor challenge awards enhancement cores
  • Level 5 Perk: Increases the drop rate of Crucible and strike catalysts when playing with clanmates
  • Level 6 Perk: Unlocks an additional weekly bounty for Hawthorne

QoL Changes: Xur Update, Year 2 Armor Randomized, One Eyed Mask, Titan Skating

Some other small, but important changes include the fact that Xur will finally start selling Forsaken Exotics. A reminder that Xur’s inventory is completely random and it’s entirely possible that we still go many weeks before one is finally available. That is, unless Bungie intervenes, which it has done in the past.

Year 2 armor now has random drops for stat bonuses! Now you can finally get that awesome looking armor that only rolled with Mobility buffs.

One-Eyed Mask, the controversial Exotic Titan helmet has finally been toned down. The mark’s duration has been reduced from 15 to 8 seconds. In addition, health no longer restores automatically. It now slowly comes back alongside the overshield. Oh, and it’s no longer active when your super is.

Finally, for you PC players, Titan skating has finally been patched out of the game. Thank you Bungie!

Destiny Patch 2.20 Full Notes

Tower

  • The Tower Annex Landing Zone is now available to all players
  • The Drifter has relocated to the Annex in the Tower

Clans

  • Daily clan bounties have been removed
  • Once again, clan XP in Season 6 can be earned simply by completing activities
  • Clan weekly bounties have been renamed to “Hawthorne’s Bounties” to differentiate them from the raid challenges that are also in Hawthorne’s inventory
  • These Hawthorne Bounties are organized into 3 fixed categories: PvE, PvP, and raid
  • Raid challenge bounties will continue to be available on Hawthorne for the Last Wish and Scourge of the Past raids
  • Some new clan perks have been added for Season 6, and some old clan perks have returned
      • Level 2 Perk: Increased public event rewards
      • Level 3 Perk: Completing a weekly Hawthorne bounty awards mod components
      • Level 4 Perk: Completing a clan vendor challenge awards enhancement cores
      • Level 5 Perk: Increases the drop rate of Crucible and strike catalysts when playing with clanmates
      • Level 6 Perk: Unlocks an additional weekly bounty for Hawthorne

Sandbox

Weapons
  • Shotguns
      • Full Auto Trigger System rate-of-fire bonus reduced from 100% to 10%
      • Full Auto Trigger System no longer increases Shotgun pellet spread
      • All Shotguns received a damage multiplier in PvE, effectively doubling their damage (with the exception of Legend of Acrius)
      • Reserve ammunition for Shotguns has been reevaluated to compensate for the increased damage
      • Reduced base damage for Shotguns across the board to align with their new rates of fire on a per sub-archetype basis
      • Rate-of-fire values have been tuned
          • Aggressive Frame is now 55 RPM, up from 45 RPM
          • Precision Frame is now 65 RPM, up from 55 RPM
          • Lightweight Frame remains 80 RPM (tooltip erroneously stated 90 RPM previously)
          • Rapid-Fire Frame is 140 RPM (including intrinsic full auto), down from 200 RPM (they were previously 100 RPM, but due to the intrinsic full auto, actually had 200 RPM)
          • The Chaperone is now 70 RPM, up from 60 RPM
          • Tractor Cannon is 80 RPM (tooltip erroneously stated 84 RPM previously)
          • Legend of Acrius is now 55 RPM, up from 45 RPM
  • Submachine Guns
      • Base damage increased slightly
      • Precision damage decreased slightly
  • Machine Guns
      • Reduced the ammo bonus of Machine Gun Reserves perk by half
      • Damage reduced against boss and miniboss combatants by 21%
  • Trace Rifles
      • PvE damage increased by 30%
  • Grenade Launchers
      • PvE damage increased by 25%
      • Reserve ammo increased on most Grenade Launchers
      • In most cases, Grenade Launchers gained three rounds in reserves, but this amount may vary based on the perks you have (Field Prep, etc.)
      • KNOWN ISSUE: Starting ammo in PvE was reduced, this will be fixed in a future patch
      • Magazine perks and mods no longer affect ammo reserves
      • The Quick Access Sling mod can now be applied to any archetype; this change also allows it to be applied to the Mountaintop
          • NOTE: This change also fixes the Militia’s Birthright being able to slot the Backup Mag mod; this mod did not actually increase the magazine size on this weapon and was not intended to be applied to breech loaded Grenade Launchers
  • Rocket Launchers
      • PvE damage increased by 60–65%
      • Cluster Bomb
          • Damage reduced by 80%
          • This lost damage was moved to the Rocket Launcher’s main projectile
  • Linear Fusion Rifles
      • PvE damage increased by 10% (does not affect Sleeper Simulant)
      • Reduced aim assist
      • Removed aim assist bonus from Combat Sights scope
      • Fixed an issue where Queenbreaker had double the amount of aim assist
  • Two-Tailed Fox
      • PvE damage increased by 26%
  • One Thousand Voices
      • PvE damage increased by 25%
  • Wardcliff Coil
      • PvE damage increased by 115% against boss combatants and scaling up to 160% against weaker combatants
  • Black Talon
      • PvE projectile damage increased by 15%
  • Sleeper Simulant
      • Reduced ammo reserves (from max 13 to max 9 without armor perks or Masterwork)
  • Whisper of the Worm
      • Reduced ammo reserves (from max 20 to max 9 without armor perks)
  • Tyranny of Heaven
      • The Tyranny of Heaven Bow can now drop with randomized perks
General Weapon and Perk Fixes
  • Trinity Ghoul
      • Fixed an issue where Trinity Ghoul’s Lightning Rod perk sometimes did not activate on precision kill
      • Fixed an issue where the Arc effects from the Split Electron perk on Trinity Ghoul could be seen floating in third person
  • Improved the resolution for the decals on Two-Tailed Fox’s Cuddly Throwback ornament when seen in third person
  • Fixed an issue where the Last Word’s Laconic ornament did not display properly in third person
  • Cleaned up the animation of rounds cycling in the magazine for the Dreaded Venture’s Over and Done With ornament
  • Rapid Hit
      • Fixed an issue where Rapid Hit would activate twice on a Sniper Rifle precision kill
      • Fixed an issue where the timer for Rapid Hit x5 would not extend after another precision hit
  • Swords
    • Fixed an issue where Whirlwind Blade could not reach 5 stacks with certain perk combinations
    • Fixed an issue where Sword impact Masterwork damage was the same at tier 7 and tier 8
    • Fixed an issue where certain perk, mod, and Masterwork combinations would cause Sword perks to not function on Stryker’s Sure-Hand
  • Bows
      • Fixed an issue where Le Monarque would not always apply poison at longer distances
      • Le Monarque is now correctly on the Energy tab in the Collections screen
      • High Tension String perk description updated to correctly reflect that it “greatly increases accuracy”
  • Jotunn’s Charge Shot perk description updated with instructions for what to hold to charge up the shot
  • Fixed an issue where Dragonfly Spec was not functioning correctly under certain latency conditions
  • Fixed an issue impacting Izanagi’s Burden scope where FX from abilities or invading in Gambit would block visibility while aiming
  • The Long Shadow
      • Fixed an issue where the ATD Raptor scope did not highlight enemies
      • This fix caused another issue where the ATB Long Range scope will highlight enemies as well; this will be fixed in a future update
  • Fixed an issue where the random perk warning was not displayed on the tooltips for the random roll versions of Crimil’s Dagger and the Hero’s Burden
  • Memento Mori
      • Fixed an issue where the Ace of Spades perk Memento Mori did not refresh when using the Hunter’s Marksman Dodge ability
      • Fixed an issue where Memento Mori was cancelled prematurely if the player sprinted
      • Note: These fixes make it so that reloading Ace of Spades no longer wipes Memento Mori on reload, but you can still refresh Memento Mori when reloading after a kill
  • Breech-load Grenade Launchers now have their own icon in the kill feed and obituary to differentiate them from drum Grenade Launchers
  • Trench Barrel will now activate on close range Ball Lightning attacks that cause the biped to lunge
Abilities
  • Titan
      • Reduced Titan’s max speed that can be achieved via use of macros on PC (aka reduced the effectiveness of “Titan Skate”)
      • Tuned the amount of Super gained from Code of the Juggernaut so the Super could not be used indefinitely
      • This now has diminishing returns (100% -> 30% energy back over the course of 15 kills)
  • Warlock
      • Fixed an issue where the Handheld Supernova did not properly render while invading in Gambit
Armor
  • Year 2 armor will now drop with a random stat package
      • Heavy
      • Restorative
      • Mobile
  • One-Eyed Mask
      • Mark duration reduced from 15 seconds to 8 seconds
      • Health no longer restores automatically, but restores alongside overshield
      • Can no longer be triggered while in Super
  • Khepri’s Horn
      • Increased class energy gain from Solar damage kills from 10% to 15% and reduced the cooldown from 2 to 1 second
      • Solar blast groundfollow now returns a second groundfollow back toward the player
      • Damage from groundfollow increased from 80 to 100
      • Damage from groundfollow is doubled in PvE
  • Vesper of Radius
      • Damage increased from 70 to 100
      • Damage is tripled in PvE
  • Sealed Ahamkara’s Grasp
      • Now procs from smoke bomb damage
  • Ursa Furiosa
      • No longer counts self-damage to Void shield when calculating how much Super energy to give back
  • Anteaus Wards
      • Fixed an issue where improved slide was not consistently applying with Anteaus Wards
Accessories Fixes
  • Cloth will now correctly interact with “chopper” Sparrows (examples: Gray Hornet, Warrior’s Steed)
  • Fixed an issue with Burnout Sparrow that would cause the Guardian’s hands to not always grip the handlebars
  • A shader from the Curse of Osiris expansion formerly named “Metallic Sunrise” has been renamed to “Mercurian Sunrise.” This was to resolve a duplicate name issue with a Forsaken shader, the name of which remains “Metallic Sunrise”
  • Fixed lens flare effects on several ship engines

Rewards

General
  • Power cap raised to 700
  • Powerful bounties may give only a maximum possible Power reward from the season in which they were acquired
      • Powerful bounties completed in Season of the Forge may only reach a maximum Power reward of 650
      • Iron Banner bounties from Season of the Forge have expired and been replaced
  • Ethereal Keys from the Last Wish raid now have a maximum stack size of 5
      • All keys above the stack limit of 5 have been removed
Destinations
  • Destination vendors no longer display a waypoint when holding enough materials for a reputation package
  • This was done as players now use destination materials for infusion
Crucible
  • Updated Valor and Glory emblems to track only the current season’s rank accomplishments
  • Previous seasons accomplishments have been added as Triumphs; all seasonal rank accomplishments will be tracked as Triumphs from here on
Vendors
  • Shaxx
      • Reprise seeded roll weapon for players to earn via Valor rank
      • Players who acquired the original version will be able to earn this weapon with random rolls from engram decryption without earning the Valor rank.
      • New emblem for players to earn from Triumph Completion
      • Reprise shader for players to earn from Triumph Completion
      • Players who earned the original will not need to re-earn this shader
      • New pinnacle weapon quest
      • Features Triumph completion step similar to Season 5’s the Mountaintop quest
  • Drifter
      • New seeded roll weapon for players to earn via Infamy rank
      • New emblem for players to earn from Triumph Completion
      • New pinnacle weapon quest
      • Features Triumph completion step similar to Season 5’s the Mountaintop quest
  • Zavala
      • Reprise seeded roll weapon for players to earn from Triumph Completion
      • Players who acquired the original version will be able to earn this weapon with random rolls from engram decryption without completing the Triumph
      • New emblem for players to earn from Triumph Completion
      • Reprise shader for players to earn from Triumph Completion
      • Players who earned the original will not need to re-earn this shader
      • New pinnacle weapon quest
      • Features Triumph completion step similar to Season 5’s the Mountaintop quest
  • Xûr
      • Has the possibility of selling Forsaken Exotics
      • Fated Engram does not have a chance for Forsaken Exotics; will be updated in a future patch
Black Armory
  • Lore items “The Black Armory Papers” are now guaranteed to drop upon successful completion of the Gofannon and Bergusia Forges
  • Fixed an issue where Black Armory Obsidian Accelerator items were not showing up at the postmaster if player inventory was full
  • Fixed an issue where Black Armory Obsidian Accelerator items were not stacking in player’s inventory; max stack size is 5
  • Fixed an issue where the Black Armory Key Mold quest was account bound, allowing only a single character to acquire it from Ada-1
  • Fixed an issue where Dreaming City chests were not providing Glimmering Amethyst for the Black Armory Key Mold quest
  • Fixed a bug where Spider would present an empty Lock and Key dialogue to players who’ve already completed it and obtained Izanagi’s Burden
  • Fixed an issue where the Black Armory Bow “The Spiteful Fang” was not awarding Black Armory Schematics when dismantled
  • Fixed an issue where Black Armory Rare weapon research frames were not counting toward Master Smith Triumph progression
  • Fixed an issue where the Black Armory Devotee bounty was not progressing when using reforged Black Armory weapons
Challenges
  • Fixed an issue where some daily challenges did not properly stagger, which resulted in players sometimes not having a fresh daily challenge at reset
Character Boosts
  • Fixed an issue where boosted characters were not getting their class-specific Swords correctly unlocked and available to pull from their Collection
  • Fixed an issue where boosted characters were not getting their class-specific emblems correctly unlocked and available to pull from their Collection
General
  • Fixed a bug where some players were in a bad state and blocked from obtaining Seeds of Light
  • Fixed a bug where player bipeds in the Tower would appear to stop loading gear (“Tron effect”) if too many players had their Ghosts out
  • Fixed an issue where pulling shaders from the Collection took longer than intended; shaders will now take 1 second to reacquire
  • Updated the Sturm “Relics of the Golden Age” quest step; Exotic engrams that auto-decrypt now count toward this quest step
Collections / Triumphs
  • Fixed an issue where players who completed the Season 4 “Forged in Fire” badge collection were not getting the associated Triumph “Forged in Fire” unlocked
  • Fixed an issue where players who acquired the “Cold Wind Blowin'” Emblem from the Drifter during Season 4 couldn’t reacquire the emblem from their Collection
  • Fixed an issue where “The Eternal Return” emblem wasn’t tracking Shattered Throne completions
  • Fixed an issue with the requirements of the “Relic Rumble” Triumph Nightfall challenge to repair broken functionality
  • The new requirement is: “Complete Nightfall strike ‘The Corrupted’ by defeating Sedia using no more than two Relics.”
  • Fixed an issue where the Dreaming City Triumph “Mint Condition” was not correctly unlocking for completing the Rift Generator public event with the relic never having dropped below 100%
  • Fixed an issue where the Exotic Ghost Star Map shell was not tracking chests in the Dreaming City
  • Fixed an issue where the “Senior Recruiter” Refer-a-Friend emblem was not correctly updating the number of referral completions
  • Fixed an issue where the Collection Badge counter was incorrectly listing the total number of badges available

Activities

Gambit
  • Activities hosted by the Drifter have been moved to their own sub-page on the Director called “Gambit”
  • Added Gambit Private matches for all Forsaken owners
      • Expect Gambit Prime Private matches on April 2, 2019
  • Overhauled how invader spawn points are chosen while also significantly increasing the number of invader spawn points for each map
      • Chances of spawning very near or in direct line of sight of an enemy Guardian has been greatly reduced
  • Changed the third round of Gambit to a Primeval rush sudden death; this will speed up Gambit matches overall and add a change of pace to the final round
      • The Primeval is immediately summoned
      • Player Supers/grenades/ability/melee are immediately filled, so both teams are on an even playing field
      • Super/grenade/ability/melee regen are increased for the remainder of the round
  • The Ascendant Primeval Servitor’s (meatball) spawn rate is no longer tied to the curse cycle and has been greatly increased
  • Idle Protection: Players who remain dormant for too long will not receive end-of-match rewards or Infamy points
  • Made adjustments to Blocker types by deposit tier
      • Small Blocker = Taken Goblin with less health than the previous Phalanx
      • Medium Blocker = Taken Captain with more health than the previous Knight
      • Large Blocker = Taken Knight with more health than the previous Ogre
Gambit Matchmaking
  • Teams are now always broken up when re-entering the matchmaking pool after a match
  • Previously, when a match ended, players who did not return to orbit would be sent back to the matchmaking pool together; this is no longer the case
  • This will greatly reduce the likelihood of re-matching against the same players and will give matchmaking an opportunity to find the best possible match
Infamy
  • Players can now earn Infamy points by completing Gambit Prime matches and bounties
  • Increased the Infamy point rewards for Gambit matches by 25 points
Gambit HUD 
  • The HUD status bars now animate when returning from aim-down-sights
  • The Invader Portal Ready icon and animation on the status bar has been updated to be more pronounced and understandable at a glance
Triumphs and Medals
  • “Light vs. Light” can now be progressed by killing any Guardian (not just invaders) using a Super; this makes attaining Dredgen a less daunting task
  • The “First to Block” medal can now trigger once per round, previously it could fire only once per match
  • The “Fast Fill” Triumph time limit has been increased from 5 seconds to 7.5 seconds
General Fixes
  • Fixed an issue where post-invasion kills during Primeval phase weren’t giving the invader credit for healing the Primeval
  • Fixed an issue where VO lines indicating the high-value target was killed and that the high-value target got away will both play if the player kills the HVT just before it is removed from the arena
  • Fixed an issue where players would get the “Half Banked” medal every time they deposit Motes after they reached 38 Motes deposited
  • Fixed an issue where the “Taking Turns” medal fires when 3 different players invade instead of 4
  • Fixed an issue where a graphical error could be seen on a waterfall in Legion’s Folly
  • Fixed an issue where occasionally Drifter would tell players back-to-back that the other team has summoned their Primeval
  • Fixed an issue where, in a longer match after killing the Primeval, the Drifter reminded us that we needed to spawn our Primeval to win
  • Fixed an issue where the bounty “Block and Key” did not increment when a Large Blocker was sent that would summon the Primeval
  • Updated security policy and functionality so players who have been banned from competitive activities cannot access Gambit playlist
Crucible
  • Fixed an issue where healing during Crucible matches was taking away from a player’s overall damage on the PGCR screen
Last Wish
  • Smashed an issue where players would encounter frequent guitar errors

Eververse

Bright Engram
  • The season 5 Etched Bright Engram has been retired; in its place players can now obtain the new season 6 Notorious Bright Engram
Prismatic Matrix
  • The Prismatic Matrix has been retired; additional information may be found in This Week at Bungie—2/28/2019

UI/UX

General
  • Added a popup dialogue when opening bundles if you have a full inventory, noting that items will go to the postmaster if you proceed through the dialogue
  • Fixed an issue where Masterwork objective progress bars could display 100% when not yet completed
  • Fixed an issue where Legendary Masterwork items were not displayed as Masterworked when inspecting other players
  • Fixed an issue where Masterwork UI did not scale to fill ultra-wide monitors
  • Fixed an issue where the progress bar under Triumphs could sometimes show as complete when the Triumph was still in progress
  • Fixed an issue where transferring items using the Destiny app would consistently re-trigger Triumph notifications

 

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Dillon Skiffington

Content Editor at Fanbyte, Dillon is currently lost in Witcher 3, struggling to stop playing Destiny 2, and wanting to get back into Elder Scrolls Online.

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