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Bungie nerfs Destiny's magical loot farming Treasure Cave

Big changes coming to voice communication, loot and weapons.

Bungie has nerfed Destiny's infamous loot farming Treasure Cave.

A hotfix issued to the game today lengthened the respawn timers for monster caves across the game world, so enemies appear less frequently.

"The Hive of the holy Treasure Cave have realized the futility of their endless assault on Skywatch and have retired to lick their wounds and plan their next attack," reads the patch notes for hotfix five published to Bungie.net.

Here's how it goes down:

  • Respawn timers for monster caves in Skywatch have been normalized to 40 seconds (increased from 6)
  • Respawn timers for monster caves in Forgotten Shore have been normalized to 40 seconds (increased from 10)
  • Respawn timers for monster caves in Ember Caves have been normalized to 40 seconds (increased from 10)
  • Respawn timers for monster caves in the Shattered Coast have been normalized to 40 seconds (increased from 10)
  • Respawn timers for monster caves in the Barrens have been normalized to 40 seconds (increased from 20)

"The social experience of a cave farming run is amazing: the herding to get a team of Guardians all behind the line and firing in the right direction, the rush to grab the loot, the scramble when the panic wave starts, the beckoning glow from inside the cave," wrote David "Deej" Dague.

"The speed at which the community organised around this activity was inspiring and humbling to us.

"But shooting at a black hole for hours on end isn't our dream for how Destiny is played. Our hope is that social engagement in public spaces is only one part of the Destiny experience. Expect changes soon which decrease the efficiency of cave farming and correspondingly increase engram drops from completing activities."

So there you have it. The party's over, people.

Cover image for YouTube videoHow to find Destiny Skywatch loot farming location - Eurogamer

Meanwhile, Bungie reduced the drop rate of engrams following a hard wipe. There are also changes to the ongoing Queen's Wrath event. Material rewards for dismantling Queen's Wrath gear will no longer provide ascendant materials, but missions will continue to drop Legendary items.

In another post on Bungie.net, the developer assessed the game now it's been out a couple of weeks - and it's clear a lot is set to change.

There's a note on loot that's of particular interest. It sounds like the randomness of the decrypting process - which some players have complained about - will be changed.

"Long ago during development, the Cryptarch decoded engrams of a given colour into gear of that same colour," Deej explained.

"Early in 2014 we added randomness, both for better and worse, to the decrypting process. The result was that end-of-session engram decoding got a lot more exciting and the Cryptarch himself suddenly acquired a personality. Both of these experiences were positive additions to the game.

"But we didn't adequately communicate the potential random outcomes of decryption. Players see what looks like the familiar metaphor of item identification, while the Cryptarch thinks he's opening a grab bag of loot. Rage sharding of blues ensues. Expect to see changes to address this soon."

And voice communication, another subject of player complain, will be improved. Near-term, players will be able to opt-in to voice communication during matchmade activities.

"Our vision for Destiny is that all players, even matchmade players in the Crucible, Strikes, the Tower or public spaces, be able to communicate with one another in a way that promotes positive socialisation," Deej said.

"Voice communication is the easy answer, but existing voice paradigms, including those in our own Halo games, have not done enough to protect players from abusive griefing from a minority of players.

"Destiny's near-term solution will be to allow players to opt-in to voice communication during matchmade activities. Work on this feature was underway at launch and should be rolled out this year in Strikes and the Crucible."

There are changes coming to weapons, too. Bungie admitted exotic weapons - what are supposed to be the game's most powerful - are not working as well as hoped. So they will be buffed.

"In particular those weapons received from completing exotic bounties including Thorn and Bad Juju have disappointed many of us who have gone through the great effort to obtain them because, despite looking and sounding amazing, they feel underpowered. We're here to offer some advice: don't shard those guns. Their time will come."

More specifically, changes are being made to the main weapons. Bungie will nerf the effectiveness of Auto Rifles at long range. "Expect stability and/or damage adjustments to the Auto Rifle to address this in the weeks ahead."

Scout Rifles will be buffed: "Scouts just aren't hitting hard enough today when compared to other precision weapons. We'll be addressing this soon."

And, finally, shotguns will be nerfed. "Today shotguns are effective beyond their intended range, especially when upgraded with that intention. Expect changes soon to address shotguns which push the envelope of what it means to be close quarters."