‘Destiny’ 2.0 Update Brings New Level System, Nerfs Bladedancers, And The Ram

Bungie released the highly anticipated Destiny 2.0 update Tuesday to PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and it can only be described as massive. There is little in the shooter that is not touched in the update — that is before The Taken King launches next week — and it’s not even the final patch. Destiny Year Two is here, Guardians. Let’s have a look at the changes to characters and classes.

As expected, the character level cap for all players, whether they’ve purchased The Dark Below and House of Wolves or not, has been raised to 34. The bump to level 40 is coming with The Taken King next week and will require the purchase of the expansion.

The new Light level system is now in place that splits off the once onerous stat from the character’s overall level. Light level is now used to determine a character’s overall damage output and defense. The Attack and Defense values for all weapons and armor have been changed to reflect the new levels.

Interestingly, Bungie clarified that weapon damage is determined by a character’s Light level plus the Attack value of the weapon. It will require some testing to see the effect.

The individual character sub-classes were all tweaked in minor and major ways. The Bladedancer was perhaps the most touched with Blink now, giving a better indication of where the player is jumping to and the delay between Blink jumps increased slightly. Grenades for the class have been nerfed, but Arc Blade users will at least be able to generate more orbs now.

Crucible players will be happy to know that the Warlock’s Ram Exotic helmet has received a significant nerf that should make the class less tank-y.

Here are the changes confirmed for characters in Destiny with the 2.0 update.

Player Character

  • Character Level Cap raised to 34 for all players
    • Your Character Level will be grandfathered into your highest possible Light Level from all gear in your inventory and vault
    • Character Level Cap will be increased to 40 on 9/15 (requires The Taken King)
  • Character Level and Light are now separate stats
    • Light is now calculated by the average of the Attack and Defense scores of all your gear
    • Weapons, Ghosts, Class Items, and Artifacts now all contribute to Light
    • Grimoire Score has been moved from the Character Nameplate and now displays in the Character Screen
  • Attack Power values on weapons and gear have been renormalized in preparation for the Taken King
    • Year 1 Attack and Defense values caps have been renormalized for Year 2 (previously 365 Attack is now 170 Attack)
    • All Defense values are now on the same scale as Attack
    • Weapon damage numbers and combatants have been scaled against renormalized Attack and Defense values
  • Outgoing and Incoming damage has been changed to reflect new Light system
    • Ability Damage is directly computed from your Light Score
    • Player Health is directly computed from your Light Score
    • Weapon Damage is heavily weighted by both your Light score and the Attack value of the weapon



  • Intellect, Strength, and Discipline now only change their effect in fixed tiers
  • Intellect, Strength, and Discipline stats now display their tier and the exact duration of the effect on the tooltip in the Character Screen
  • Orb generation is now capped to a maximum of 8 orbs at once when wearing exotic armor items that increase orb spawning rates
  • Increased Recovery stat time at low end by 1 second and Reduced high end reduced timer by 2 seconds. These were re-normalized Recovery stat effects to make a more compelling character stats choice
  • Pulse Grenades secondary effect distance are now globally 8 meters (Thermal and Void: 7 -> 8 meters, Arc: 9 -> 8 meters). Detonation distance still unchanged at 7 meters
  • Pulse Grenade fuse times have been reduced
  • Thermal Pulse (Incendiary Grenade) base detonation and damage have been increased to unify stats with other Pulse Grenades
  • Fixed an issue where perks that grant additional super energy for grenade kills did not work correctly in the Crucible



  • Line attacks (Fist of Havoc Shockwave and Arc Blade Razor’s Edge) can now no longer penetrate Ward of Dawn



  • Golden Gun Damage increased (350 -> 360) to ensure it consistently killed opponents in the Crucible


  • Arc Blade can now generate up to 6 Orbs when geared with exotic armor that increase orb spawning rates
  • Blink movement ability activation delay increased by 0.07 seconds (0.26 seconds to 0.33 seconds)
  • Blink movement ability visuals now changed to better telegraphing direction: clearer activation FX and trail FX
  • Blink Strike now does Arc Damage
  • Arc Bolt grenades (Thermal and Arc) damage reduced by 25 percent to 75 damage
  • Arc Bolt Range reduced by 11 percent to 8 meters
  • Flux Grenade tracking shape volume has been changed to reduce tracking aggressiveness



  • Armor Bonus perk “Strength of the Ram” (found on exotic helmet, The Ram) has been reduced (5->3)


  • Fixed an issue where Sunsingers who self-resurrected from Fireborn were given a free orb upon respawn
  • Fireborn Sunsingers must now successfully kill to spawn orbs

[Images via Bungie]