It finally happened: in The Final Shape, Destiny 2 is nerfing the crap out of Well of Radiance, the most overpowered Super in the MMO's history

Destiny 2 Well of Radiance
(Image credit: Bungie)

Bungie has unloaded the first salvo of the gargantuan Destiny 2: The Final Shape patch notes, focusing on sweeping ability changes coming alongside the expansion's new Prismatic subclass. Like a lot of Warlock mains, I immediately searched the lengthy blog post for the Well of Radiance changes, which Bungie has hinted at and seemed inevitable after the Super's prolonged reign of terror. Folks, the nerf is here, and Bungie did not pull any punches. I don't know if Well of Radiance is totally dead, but if it was wheeled into my emergency room, I'd be worried about its pulse. 

Bungie's taken a sledgehammer to the healing and damage reduction that Well of Radiance enjoys, and slightly boosted its offensive capability to offset this somewhat, in the same way that getting an extra finger on your right hand would somewhat offset having your left hand cut off. My fellow Warlocks, find a stick to bite down on before reading the full numbers:

  • Healing per second reduced from 100 to 50, matching Restoration x2
  • Heal on cast increased from 40 to 300
  • Damage resistance against bosses reduced from 40% to 10%, and from 40% to 20% against non-boss enemies (with no change against players in PvP)
  • Max Orbs of Power generated by defeating targets while in the Well increased from four to five
  • Radiant buff now sticks around for eight seconds after leaving the Well

Was this a necessary change for the health of the game? Probably, yes. Okay, definitely yes. Well has been game-warpingly strong for years. But I still can't shake my inner Godfather: look how they massacred my boy. 

"Well of Radiance’s core fantasy has always been a supercharged healing-empowering rift combo," Bungie says, sprinkling words like dirt over Well's coffin, "offering a rally point for your fireteam during moments of focus. In its current form, its healing and damage resistance offer effective invulnerability, which removes any other defensive option from consideration on top of providing a sizable boost to your fireteam’s offensive output. We’ve chosen to push Well of Radiance further towards that offensive capability by allowing its radiance to persist for a short duration after players leave the well. We're also pulling back on its defensive output (both damage resistance and healing rate) by a significant margin." 

Well's sister survivability Super, Titan's Ward of Dawn, has gotten some changes of its own. Bungie admits that Destiny 2 doesn't "have a lot of opportunities" for Ward's gimmick "to shine, so we’re making a change to allow Ward of Dawn to provide defensive capability while fighting around the dome, not just in it." Here are the much less painful bubble changes:

  • Armor of Light overshield removed. Ward now applies a full Void overshield to the caster and allies in the bubble 
  • Armor of Light instead grants damage resistance to players in the bubble: 30% against players in PvP, and 60% against enemies in PvE (mostly a significant nerf for PvP tankiness)
  • Standing near the Ward of Dawn also applies a Void overshield "similar to the volume" of the Void barricade
  • Weapons of Light buff is now exclusive to the Helm of Saint-14 Exotic
  • Getting melee kills in or near the bubble now generates extra Orbs of Power 

In defense of Well of Radiance, it became dominant not just because it's a massive hands-free buff, but because it often feels necessary in order to eke out a decent damage phase or simply stay alive in high-level content. It's the ultimate comfy Super; my team and I regularly joke about slipping back into a Well like it's a nice hot bath. I'll be mighty interested to see how these changes affect the overall feel of PvE, because in a lot of difficult activities, the difference between a team with a Well and a team without one is a measurable swing in fun factor. 

The important caveat here is that these changes are just part of the massive ability tuning pass coming in The Final Shape, which I simply do not have the space to cover in-depth here. The meta as we know it is going to shift, so I'm reserving judgment until we get a feel for the new abilities, including the new Well, which may still be good enough as AoE Restoration. But just in case, I'm still going to preemptively pick out a nice plot of land for Well's headstone. 

Destiny 2 is un-sunsetting every gun in the MMO with The Final Shape's massive Power changes – but Bungie says "we have no recovery mechanism" for deleted ones.

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.