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Destiny 2: The Final Shape Will Make One Of The Most Impactful Balance Changes In Years

One of the most-used and essential player abilities in high-end Destiny 2 is getting nerfed so players rely on it less, among lots of other adjustments in the game's next expansion.

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The Final Shape is bringing a whole lot of adjustments to Destiny 2 when it drops on June 4--so many, in fact, that Bungie is detailing them over thousands of words and multiple blog posts. One of the biggest is an overhaul of the Well of Radiance super ability for Warlocks: one that players have relied on in Destiny 2's toughest content for years on end.

Bungie detailed a whole lot of changes to various subclass abilities in an extensive blog post, mirroring another big one it dropped last week focused on weapon adjustments. Well of Radiance is likely to have the biggest effect on the game, though. It drops a round location that a whole team of up to six players can stand in, boosting their weapons, healing them, and providing major defensive bonuses. That means that at least one Warlock character running Well of Radiance has been essential to basically every team playing high-level content since the super ability's introduction in the Forsaken expansion in 2017.

In The Final Shape, Bungie is looking to reduce the reliance on Well of Radiance so that it's an option in high-level content, but not a requirement--and therefore, players will have more options for how to approach tough fights, without some players being stuck filling a certain role. But that means that Well of Radiance is getting some adjustments and some nerfs; Bungie is altering the well so you don't have to stand right inside it quite so much, and making it less powerful, so that it doesn't effectively render players invulnerable, the way it does right now. The changes are amplifying Well as an offensive option but downgrading it as a defensive one.

Here's how Well is changing, as Bungie put it in its blog post:

Well of Radiance

  • Now grants radiant for 8 seconds when players exit the Well of Radiance area.
  • Reduced player survivability while standing in the Well of Radiance aura.
    • Reduced healing per second from 100 to 50 health points, matching restoration x2.
    • Increased heal on cast from 40 to 300 health points.
    • Reduced damage resistance vs. non-boss combatants from 40% to 20%.
    • Reduced damage resistance vs. boss combatants from 40% to 10%.
      • Note: damage resistance vs. enemy players is unchanged.
    • Increased maximum Orbs of Power from defeating targets while in your Well of Radiance aura from 4 to 5.

On the other hand, Bungie is also making adjustments to Ward of Dawn, the "Titan bubble" super ability. Right now, Ward doesn't see a ton of action because Well is usually a better option. It provides a ton of protection to anyone inside the bubble, as well as an overshield and a weapon buff called Weapons of Light to anyone who passes through it, but its applications are still a little limited--especially because you can't enjoy Ward's protection and still shoot at enemies, like you can with Well.

Bungie is amping up the defensive usefulness of Ward of Dawn to make it a more viable option, but scaling back its offensive side somewhat, according to the blog post. You'll now gain a Void overshield slowly even if you're close to the dome but not inside it, and the caster of Ward of Dawn can create more Orbs of Power for teammates by killing nearby enemies with melee attacks. But Bungie is removing the Weapons of Light buff from the super--to get that, you'll need to use the Helm of Saint-14 Exotic helmet along with your Titan bubble.

Here's the complete rundown on Ward of Dawn changes.

Ward of Dawn

  • Armor of Light:
    • Removed Armor of Light overshield. Ward of Dawn now immediately applies a full Void Overshield to the caster and allies that enter its dome.
    • Armor of Light now instead grants additional damage resistance to players inside the Ward of Dawn:30% vs. enemy players and 60% vs. enemy combatants.
      • Effective health of players inside the Ward of Dawn dome remains roughly the same as it was before vs. PvE combatants.
      • Effective health of players inside the Ward of Dawn is significantly lower than it was before vs other players in PvP, and cannot be further increased by stacking Bastion Barricades inside the Ward to gain additional Overshield layers.
    • Allies near the Ward of Dawn dome now have Void Overshield trickled on over time, similar to the volume behind a Bastion barricade.
    • No longer provides Weapons of Light by default. This behavior has been moved to the benefits of Helm of Saint-14.
    • The Ward of Dawn caster can now generate additional Orbs of Power by defeating enemies with melee attacks in or near their Ward of Dawn dome.

Bungie's blog post covers a ton more changes to supers and abilities that go well beyond Well of Radiance and Ward of Dawn, though. Adjustments are being made to make some Arc subclasses a little more viable than they currently are, specifically for Hunters, while Bungie is applying some significant nerfs to others. Some of the most-used Strand abilities, like Titans' Banner of War, are seeing some nerfs, and Bungie is rebalancing other stuff all over the board. Check out the full blog post for all the details--just make sure you clear a little time, because you're going to be reading for a while.

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