Destiny 2's Nightfall Is Getting An Overhaul

Yesterday, Bungie announced plans to overhaul Nightfall activities in Destiny 2, a video game in which players travel through space, shooting aliens and receiving apologies from developers.

The weekly Nightfall strike, a high-level activity that has gone through various iterations over the course of Destiny 1 and now Destiny 2, will no longer kick you out once the timer expired, Bungie said. Instead, you'll compete to get as many points as possible, accumulating extra points based on your speed. No matter how slow you are in the Nightfall, you'll still be able to finish.

Here's Bungie explaining the new system:

Nightfall Scoring

We are repositioning strike scoring in Destiny 2 to enable you to achieve something prestigious in the weekly Nightfall and as a way to amplify difficulty. The new scoring rules are intended to be better at a few specific things:

  • Reward you for engaging and defeating enemies instead of running past them.
  • Avoid over-emphasising specific mechanics like precision kills that highlight certain areas of the sandbox (and/or punish other areas), so that players are the ones who determine the most effective Meta.
  • Reward you for taking on greater challenges up to the limits of your own capabilities.
  • Reward you for doing the above quickly and over the course of a short run versus long slogs over several hours.

The updated mechanics look like this:

  • Scoring is team-based and the sum of individual performances. A team should be able to focus on what works best, not feeling put out by who stole whose kill.
  • Scoring is primarily driven by kills and secondarily by orb generation. We want you to find what works best for clearing strikes instead of telling you which weapons to use, but we want coordinated use of Supers and other team support mechanics to contribute to high scores. We're interested in restoring special point awards based on medals, but we want your input to understand the basic meta first.
  • Score bleeds over time. We are watching this closely - score decay can feel bad, but all else being equal, a team that clears faster than another team should score higher. Score decay achieves this in the most transparent fashion.
  • Scoring cuts off after time thresholds. At 15 minutes, new points earned are reduced by 50%. At 18 minutes, you stop earning new points and it's a race to finish the run and post your score. We want time to matter (see above), but we also want to avoid some of the problems we saw with Prison of Elders, where a "high score" might involve punishing respawning combatants (and yourself) for a few hours until the novelty wore off. A good Nightfall clear shouldn't feel like a slog.

You'll also be able to use challenge cards to handicap yourself in exchange for a point multiplier, and if your score is high enough, you'll get to impress your friends with a slick new aura that gives your head a blue glow.

It all sounds great, but the road ahead of Destiny 2 is long and challenging, as Bungie attempts to win back player sentiment following a series of missteps. Yesterday on Activision's quarterly earnings call, CEO Eric Hirshberg admitted that "player engagement" had dropped off after launch - in other words, Destiny 2 players burnt out. Will these new changes and the upcoming May expansion be enough to bring them back? Stay tuned.


    Cool. The only change I need. We finally get matchmaking for nightfalls.
    err, no...

      Trust for bungie = 0

    One thing I don’t think Bungie always get’s is that sometimes people just wanna play and have fun, not having to over think everything. The reason why developing is so slow is because they try to incorporate too much unnessary bullshit. Aren’t FPS all about just kicking arse and getting rewards or is that too simplified. The last time I really enjoyed D2 was the warlock glitch, I know this would probably wear thin after awhile but I enjoyed it. I kept coming back for more and all it was was combat, no mechanics and hardly any thinking, go figure.

    Hey, how about implementing a decent matchmaking system for it? I've tried for weeks waiting in queue for two people nice enough to 'lead me through it' and just sit there for hours.

      That’s because no one really plays this POS game anymore because bungie has taken every step possible to alienate their fans and make the game progressively worse than the original. Kudos for trying to stick it out though.

        Funny enough I think it's better than Destiny 1. That game was a real chore to get through and by the end I had no interest in raiding. At least Destiny 2 made it a little bit more interesting to get through the game, even if it still had the same problems.

          I think the reason for the game scoring relatively high on the reviews is for this reason. The "start-game" is pretty easy to progress through and is engaging for most of the time. Games journalists typically deliver their reviews long before they can get a sense of how the end game will hold up in the mid to long term.

          If you're a more casual player of the game, I could see how you might think it's better than Destiny 1, because for a lot of your points of contact, it arguably is. But the hardcore community has been left high and dry by a lot of these changes for the sequel, many of which don't have readily obvious explanations.

          The "chore" of the first game is better known as grind (repeating content such as raids, seeking "god-rolls" of weapon and armour perks, etc), and that's what hardcore players really enjoy diving into. It's not for everyone, but it can be the reason to play the game for many. Without a proper end-game and a healthy grind element to the game, everyone's been leaving it in droves.

            I disagree, I find grinding to be terrible. Add onto the fact that the game just wasn't interesting to play and the enemy types are bone basic and I don't see any reason to rush through a dungeon, kill the same guy I've killed 10 times, roll for a 1% chance to get an item that's 1 point higher than I'm currently equipped with, then do it again 10 more times until my power number is high enough to be allowed into a clan, just so that we can all do the same thing over and over again.

            I'm reading the 10 years in Azeroth blog and it's so interesting how different raiding is. Yeah, there is a loot system to it, but raiding is more focused on skill and planning then raw numbers. I want to do those raids so that I can beat them, not so that I can repeat them for a year.

            They also need to make the enemies more interesting, also make your character more interesting, there's more to an MMORPG than just loot.

              But that's my point, each person wants and gets something different out of the experience. The longest and most steadfast fans enjoyed that balance of fun, exciting gameplay and tough to find loot gained through the repetition of activities.

              I personally don't enjoy Trials or any of the sort of end-game esque PVP experience of Destiny 1 or 2 but those were literally the only things some people played, and their experience with the game is just as valid as my own (to a reasonable extent).

              Beating the raid the first time is an awesome experience, but the first time is a messy, stressful affair.

              Because so much of Destiny's leveling and power system meant that enemy damage output and health was basically rubber-banded to your own (as in, a level 10 enemy can still kill you at level 30 rather than being completely ineffectual), a big part of the power fantasy was repeating these tasks until you could flawlessly complete them.

              The first time you clear a raid might take you 3 hours, and pushing that number gradually down to something like 45mins with your friends each week is a really appealing journey for some.

                Then how come I see so many people avoiding the gameplay by just running past everything? If they want to beat their previous time that's fine. But I'd prefer it if the gameplay was good enough that I can enjoy it on repeat playthroughs.

                I can pretty much repeat any Halo game and get a different experience each time, but in Destiny I was doing the same thing at hour 1 that I was doing at hour 30.

                  I'm not saying Destiny 1 is perfect, and I think people running past everything in the game is a huge problem and a symptom that something's gone very wrong. I would say that Destiny 2 is far more guilty of this than Destiny 1 though, which is in part what this Nightfall update it trying to address. Even in the raid, the game actually encourages you to run past enemies in a pretty front and centre sort of moment of it.

                  But speaking of raids, they were typically the parts of Destiny 1 where you saw the most variance in gameplay. If you never played them that's a real shame because they frequently introduced brand new mechanics and unique set-pieces that highlighted the best of what Destiny can be.

                  Ultimately, your game needs to be fun to play. I think Destiny as a franchise has this half right. Destiny 1 made it very fun to be you, a superpowered guardian who can create explosions and leap across the map. But most of the time, it boiled down to a two dimensional shooting gallery when it came to the enemies you faced. I agree that Halo had this special mix of feeling powerful as a character but also facing powerful adversaries. I can't quantify what it is that made the Covenant more enjoyable to fight than, say, the Fallen, but I think if they could improve that, Destiny would have a lot more going for it.

                  Do you play Destiny alone? I know for me personally the repetition was a lot more fun when playing with my friends. We'd look forward to every tuesday night weekly reset and all help each other out completing the various repeatable tasks. It was just as much a social hangout as it was a gaming session.

                People always say that. "Oh, the start of the game is terrible, but 40 hours in it picks up". Why can't it be good now!? Why can't I have all that 'variety' that's promised at the end of the game within the actual journey? Why do I have to slog through hours of repetitive nonsense, to get to a part of the game that I'm not even sure if I'll enjoy once I reach it? There was nothing in the core game of Destiny to suggest that I might enjoy the game after the ending. FF14 managed to make it work, they had smaller raids alongside the main questline.

                and Halo works because each enemy is designed differently, not just in terms of shape, but weaponry and A.I. behaviours. If the game presents you 4 grunts, 2 jackals and an elite and all you have is a grenade and 1 clip for your Assault Rifle, you can find 10 different answers. In Destiny the only difference between the enemies are the shape. There's only two types, those that shoot and those that punch. All you can do is aim down the sights and shoot, until you get bored and switch to purple ammo to make it end faster.

                  People always say that. "Oh, the start of the game is terrible, but 40 hours in it picks up". Why can't it be good now!? Why can't I have all that 'variety' that's promised at the end of the game within the actual journey?

                  Many things in life are like this though, especially life itself. "Why can't I drive a car now??" asks the child. Well, because you have other things to come to grips with first.

                  The raid experience is brutal and it asks a lot of you, especially the first time, you're often responsible for not only individual success but the success of your team. Many of the mechanics involve callouts, multi step processes that you can't complete alone and having good enough equipment to deal the damage you need to when it gets to the damage phase. This is all without mentioning the skill you need to stay alive and fight off waves of enemies while trying to perform these complex tasks. You can't just throw people in the deep end, you can't have the end at the start, part of the appeal of the journey is reaching that endgame and feeling powerful and competent and accomplished.

                  I agree that you need to handle your basic stuff first before even worrying about the more complicated stuff. But I think where we disagree is how much Destiny 1 succeeded at the basic stuff, the way it feels to jump and shoot and use your abilities. For me and many other people who loved Destiny 1, the sequel only serves to highlight by comparison how many basic elements of the game Destiny 1 excelled at. Elements that were needlessly changed possibly for those who wanted their endgame at the start.

                  I think if you're 40 hours in and not enjoying yourself, you've given a game enough of a chance, and you can say "I didn't like it" without feeling guilty or ignorant. You didn't like Destiny 1, that's totally fine. But just be careful about calling for something to be changed that by your own admission wasn't for you in the first place.

                I Work in IT and the one thing I find is any form of change is resisted until people get use to it.

                People complained about Destiny 1 so Bungie tried something different with Destiny 2.

                Looks like they are taking the best systems from destiny 1 and making destiny 2 better.

                Remember this took 2-3 years with Destiny in development after they finished the last Halo before they launched Destiny 1. Bungie then made continuous changes to keep the fan base and publisher happy until we got to the end of Destiny 1.

                As people are just a pack of whingers today, change will continue if they like it or not.

                If you don't like destiny shut up and bugger off to COD and let happy destiny fans give positive feedback to Bungie not the constant whinging. (I have a clan of over 40 happy destiny 1 and 2 players).

                  The reason people are upset with destiny 2 isn’t because it is different. It is because bungie is actively shifting on their fans and discarding feedback and pushing out shit that is so ass backwards and then say ‘we will do better’. They had all the time in the world before the game was launched to do better and the fact that there are patches that break everything or have hidden elements that shit on their player base says in fact that they won’t do better and are doomed to fail over and over again. Not just because it is different.

      hey neo add sharkpac63 my clan always runs the nightfall each each we often also do guided nightfalls

    It's a bit late. The Game is just a massive fuck up. If only we could get our money back.

    Proper matchmaking for all events includeimg all raids. Impossible for me to get timing with mates yo do raids when I've got 2 kids.

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