Destiny 2: Beyond Light’s brand new Stasis powers let players freeze one another, but they aren’t too happy about it.
Play through Beyond Light’s main story campaign and you’ll get to command powers that freeze mobs of enemies and then let you shatter them into a million crystalline pieces. Stasis, a new elemental subclass derived from the Darkness, provides a creative and incredibly satisfying new way to play the game. But the things that make it so great while playing against AI-controlled enemies can also make it a frustrating mess when playing against other humans.
Since Stasis is brand new, it’s just about all anyone in Destiny 2’s PVP-based Crucible mode is using at the moment, leading to dozens of times per match when someone gets hit with a grenade or melee ability, frozen in place, and then mowed down while they’re helpless to do anything about it. What can make these moments even more annoying is that you aren’t just out of commission for a handful of seconds (an eternity in a competitive mode): The game also prompts you to actively try to break out of the icy shards locking you in place by holding down the crouch button. It takes forever, is rarely successful, and makes you feel complicit in your own demise.
While Hunters and Warlocks have projectile melee abilities that can freeze opponents from afar, the main offender is coldsnap grenades, which each class has access to. Coldsnap grenades release little waves of Stasis energy wherever they detonate, which seek out and freeze any who’s nearby. Destiny has had grenades with these sorts of homing abilities in the past, but they only did a little bit of damage. Getting frozen in place, meanwhile, more or less ensures a one hit kill. Several hours of Crucible later, I have yet to survive getting frozen, in part because breaking free also damages you, just in case you weren’t salty enough already.
“Stasis imo has to be the most anti-fun thing bungie has ever introduced into pvp,” wrote one player in a thread that blew up on the game’s subreddit. “[B]efore Beyond Light it was a more controlled chaos, shit was happening all over, but it made sense,” wrote another. “Now that Stasis is in the game, an average pub lobby is miserable.”
Popular Destiny 2 streamer Sean “Gladd” Gallagher demonstrated just how broken some of the new abilities can be in a recent set of clips, which shows just how far the shockwave pulses of the Warlock’s super reach and how easy it is to stop some cold with a well-timed Penumbral Blast:
Here's Stasis in a nutshell pic.twitter.com/cN4hCbZAke
— Gladd (@Gladd) November 12, 2020
It’s unclear what Bungie might do going forward, since the powers are a lot of fun in PVE and are one of the paid expansion’s main draws (folks who don’t upgrade can’t access Stasis). Destiny 2 PVP has its dedicated community, but most players only filter in every now and then as needed to finish quests, bounties, and get the week’s pinnacle engram drops. It would be a shame to nerf the game’s most unique addition in years just to fix one of the game’s side activities to the detriment of a long list of others. Another, more targeted option might be to simply ban Stasis powers from certain Crucible modes, or somehow nerf its freezing effect when it’s used against other players.
Meanwhile, players will get a chance to see just how chaotic the game’s competitive Trials of Osiris mode can become when it returns tomorrow with a brand new set of Adept weapons — some of the most powerful and sought after guns in the entire game — as prizes. At least everyone will be adapting to the new meta in real time.