Destiny 2’s new dungeon, Duality, was absolutely taking names when it launched at the start of the Season of the Haunted, and Bungie says it did intentionally tune the dungeon up a bit to be harder than usual.
During a recent interview with GamesRadar, dungeon and design lead Brian Frank explained that with Duality, the end-game team made a “conscious decision to not pull back too heavily on lowering the challenge.”
“I knew going out the door that we were going to tune more aggressively,” Frank said. “I don’t want raid and dungeon content to be really formulaic. We always try to present novelty. And this content is pinnacle, aspirational, so I think it makes sense to ask a lot of players. They’re becoming more powerful with all the build-crafting elements, so I think we need to provide them with challenges to test their abilities.
“It was a conscious decision to not pull back too heavily on lowering the challenge,” he adds. “We saw a ton of engagement with Grasp of Avarice, and I think that one felt sort of lighter on the tuning end, so this is just the team experimenting with the boundaries of what it feels like to go a little heavier or relax. I don’t think it necessarily is the standard. We’re gonna move along that spectrum.”
Duality’s difficulty spike sparked some discussion among players, and Frank says he “saw a pretty balanced amount of supporters and detractors, and I think that speaks to how we’re hitting a broad spectrum of players.”
Ultimately, he says he and the end game team “want to set a high bar for this content” to make dungeon and raid rewards “satisfying to achieve” and lend them “a certain amount of exclusivity.”
Check out our full Destiny 2 Season of the Haunted interview for a fascinating deep-dive on Duality, horror in Destiny 2, and how Bungie’s investing in end-game content.