It is not secret that a large portion of the Destiny 2 community is against the idea of sunsetting but will admit that it is needed to sustain the game’s overall health and balance.
Since sunsetting was announced earlier in the year many concerns have been raised about how Bungie will implement these changes and whether they can deliver on them in a manner that will satisfy the community.
A recent tweet by Bungie Community Manager Dylan ‘dmg04’ Gaffner has raised some further concerns amongst the community about the purpose for sunsetting and how Bungie is planning to implement it with the release of Beyond Light.
The tweet is as follows: “Definitely hear the feedback on looks of Adored, passing it along as necessary. Note: Might look like Beloved, but it has its own personality. There might even be some juicy tuning on the way for Mountaintop. Not to kill, but to balance. Sandbox preview next month. Stay tuned.”
There are two key things to take away from this tweet. The first is that with the release of Beyond Light it seems that The Mountaintop will be seeing a further balance pass to bring it in line with the rest of the sandbox but this rebalancing raises some issues.
It has been stated by Bungie themselves that the purpose of sunsetting is to slowly phase out weapons to avoid power creep and so that Bungie does not have to devote time and resources to continually balance the sandbox. So the idea that Mountaintop will be receiving a nerf, even though it will soon be sunset, raises the following question: If Bungie is still willing/capable of balancing certain weapons, why exactly does the concept of sunsetting need to exist?
The second key thing to take from Gaffner’s tweet is that it is actually in reply to a joke by @JaywalkingGames regarding the new Pursuit weapon coming in Season 12 named ‘Adored’. For those of you who have not yet seen Adored, here it is:
Yes this weapon is basically a full on reskin of the Season of Opulence Sniper Rifle Beloved with the only difference being a bit of extra cloth. The two weapons even shared a common theme across their names.
The tweet by Jaywalking Games contains the following text and image: “Y'all I found another Pursuit weapon in Beyond Light! It's called BigCliffTop. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Spread the word!”
The tweet is obviously satire but it serves to poke fun at a real problem that could take place regarding sunsetting. Are old weapons that have been sunset going to be continually given back to us but with a slightly new coat of paint?
Gaffner states that Adored will have its own personality compared to Beloved, so we can assume it won't be the same archetype or have the same perks, but this is still terrible timing considering we are losing Beloved at the same time we are getting Adored.
The problem here is that the above issue has already taken place, before sunsetting has even properly kicked in. The current Season of Arrival has seen several weapons being reintroduced into the loot pool with higher power caps such as the Gnawing Hunger which has been dominating the Crucible as of late.
This new Gnawing Hunger is almost the exact same as the older version from Season of the Drifter and can roll with many of the same perks. Bungie is choosing to take the player’s old Gnawing Hunger from them, which may have taken them many hours to get, and forcing them to grind more hours to get another copy of it.
A simple fact is that sunsetting will quickly become a massive failure to the community if Bungie is not able to consistently release new weapons and new perks that are able to replace sunset weapons without being direct copies of these weapons.
To play devil’s advocate it is also entirely possible that Adored will be a completely new archetype with new perks to play around with. It’s entirely possible that Beyond Light will release with a large swathe of new perks and unique weapons for players to grind for.
At the moment though, Bungie is not doing themselves any favours with the type of news they are deciding to release and are only causing players to become more sceptical of the companies ability to deliver on a worthwhile form of sunsetting.