How Bungie Has Directly And Indirectly Nerfed Bladedancers

How Bungie Has Directly And Indirectly Nerfed Bladedancers

Written by: King DX on December 27, 2015.
Let me first start out by saying that this is not an article to start some please save this sub-class donation drive. This is simply a list of changes made to Bladedancer since year one that has made the class completely irrelevant.

Bladedancer has had some serious flaws since it first arrived during the games launch. The problem was these flaws were overlooked because of the overpowered ability to blink shotgun an enemy and the outcries of players claiming that the Arc Blade super was too good.

Let's set the record straight, Arc Blade was never overpowered. People simply were unwilling to use their super on the user and attack the target intelligently. Most of the people I heard saying the class was OP immediately changed their minds after using the class themselves. AB had a specific playstyle and was only good in those situations. Once the population caught on to the audio cues and learned more about the class then the arguments slowed.

"Quickdraw seems like a gun ability, not a sub-class"

One thing that always struck me as odd about the class were some of its perks. Fleet-Footed and Quickdraw. For some reason those perks never seemed like they belonged woven into a sub-class and they felt more like abilities that should be seen on guns. Well those perks are actually found on guns. Fleet-Footed can be found in a lesser extent if you look at Kneepads and any ability that gives you a speed boost such as Mida. While you may have year 1 Dragon's Breath that gave every class a sudo solar grenade, I would argue that it does not make having a solar grenade irrelevant. The above perks actually render two of the subclass perks as null and void.

Now let's take a look at some of the direct and indirect nerfs that have been applied to the class since the games launch. Some of these have an effect on PvP and some are more PvE focused.

The following list are direct nerfs made by Bungie.

  • At some point of the launch of Destiny blade dancers made significantly more orbs. I went through all the patch notes to figure out when it was first reduced but couldn’t find it. As someone who abandoned Gunslinger after I unlocked Bladedancer you will just have to take my words for it. BD used to create far more orbs when the game first came out.
  • Blink - Yes blink shotgun was OP but it was the only reason Hunters were much more mobile than other sub-classes at the time. If hunters are meant to be the most agile class then you may understand why this nerf hurt hunters more than warlocks.
  • Flux grenades tracking was reduced which seemed odd as magnetic and fusion grenades stuck far more consistently. Fusion grenades being the best IMO.
  • Arc bolt grenades had a reduction in damage. This was one of those nerfs I just never understood. Hunters in general have some of the worst recovery and lowest armor. With low armor and recovery, sometimes you need to run from a gun fight to find cover. The ideal time to use an arc bolt is around a corner when running into a room or defensively from behind cover. With this nerf arc bolt almost never finishes off a damaged opponent. I believe this nerf originally came because of people using Thorn from across the map and then tossing over the grenade for the easy kill but honestly thorn was the problem and not the damage of the grenade.

Unintentional nerfs…

  • Blink takes a hunter out of invisibility. The best mobility option for the BD subclass ruins one of the signature abilities.
  • Patience and time - Yes this sounds odd but this gun gave every class access to the best option BD’s had for PvE. This meant that any class could use invisibility. While it was obviously limited from a normal stalker activation, it still was giving away a signature trait of a class. Show me another exotic that gives people a shoulder charge or a way to rise from the dead.
  • Year 2 exotics - By the end of year 1 there were only really two viable BD PvP exotics. Khepri’s Sting and Lucky Raspberry. Currently neither of these have been brought over to Y2 and there are no other exotics that fill their roles as great PvP exotics. While Mask of the third and Don’t touch me are great for PvE, there just seems to be nothing compelling in the competitive space.
  • Swords - Swords basically mimic having arc blade active. They allow you to dodge in the air. Can block incoming damage and they do not limit you to only close range encounters as you can go back to your primary at anytime. They also have better striking range and hit detection seems more reliable. Please note that recently it was even stated that there is a melee delay in PvP that Bungie isn't really able to remove. The Arc blade super is treated like a melee which means you miss out on valuable time waiting for an enemy to die and horrible trades due to lag.
  • Storm caller, Sunbreaker and Nightstalker were all nerfs. Simply put we were given two better roaming supers with armor and Nightstalker is a better alternative in every way.
  • Nightstalker is just as fast as blade dancer, generates more orbs, has a far stronger neutral game and the ability to shut down supers. Nightstalker also has a far better version of stalker as it can benefit the whole team instead of just the caster. It is also ranged so it can provide support from a distance.

Simply put NS is a PvE beast and BD just can not compete with it. I suspect that the lack of orb production and the BD's lack of offensive power and defensive options are the reason. So if NS is the PvE monster then what about BD in PvP? Lets look at the match ups in PvP when it is super vs super.

Arc blade losses to Fist of Havoc, Hammer of Sol, Nova Bomb, Stormtrance, Shadowshot, Golden Gun. That is 6 of the 9 possible sub-classes.

It ties with another Arc blade and while razors edge used to be able to penetrate a Ward of Dawn, now the match up between the WoD and AB is pretty even depending on the titans setup. Yes it still chops down Radiance but that isn’t meant to be a PvP thing anyway.

If you disagree with my layout of what it loses to then I suggest playing a match of Mayhem. Play 10 matches and count the Bladedancers you see. If you saw more than 4 I would be truly shocked. The same goes for strikes as well.

I don’t think Bungie is trying to hurt the sub-class but they keep ruining the options the player has. They nerf the things that make it good and give other sub-classes better options which makes its remaining strengths less appealing.

In order to fix this I would suggest Bungie looks into the failing talents and think about replacing some perks completely or making their abilities much better.

Showstopper and Razors edge need to be either tweaked to take less energy on use or changed so that their roles are better emphasized.

Blink should not take you out of invisibility.

Increase the damage of an Arc Blade swipe at least for PvE and allow the super to generate its full 8 orbs like the rest of the supers.

All grenades for BD should be looked at being adjusted or simply put Arc bolt back to what it was.

I would look at perhaps combining the stalker and shadowjack perk. I would say remove quick draw and fleet footed. That opens up a way for the class to be given 3 new perks that can better define the role of the class. As of right now Bladedancer is bad at both PvE and PvP, it’s really hard to figure out what new perks should be added when it doesn’t seem clear what role BD is meant to play.

As I stated this is not a Bungie please post and its more of a look at what they did and how they did it so they can prevent from doing it again.
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