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:
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.