Destiny 2‘s Senior Design Lead Tyson Green admits that the time limit for Nightfalls was driving players away. “It only acknowledges success as being a clear, with no degrees of success past that, so no competition exists in that space,” he said in a blog post. “It turns a lot of people off of Nightfall too, since it is both difficult and indexes performance solely on speed.”
Scoring is now team-based and the sum of individual performances, which should encourage teams to work together more. Scores will again be driven by kills and orb of light generation, a back-to-basics approach that won’t be cluttered up by special point awards like medals (though the team may add these back in the future). Finally, your score will slowly decrease over time (“score decay”) so that teams able to finish it faster will get a higher score than those who take their time. In addition, scoring points is cut in half after 15 minutes in a Nightfall, while no points can be scored after 18 minutes. These two changes are meant to make your score more meaningful than just the current pass/fail mechanic. In addition, once you complete a Nightfall run, you’ll get a Challenge Card that will help you tune the level to better match your fireteam’s ability. Plus, you’ll get new Nightfall Emblems so everyone can see their high score on specific Nightfalls. These emblems also give you a cool-looking aura if your personal score is higher than a certain global threshold.
So now, instead of racing through a Nightfall, you’ll want to be a bit more methodical. “With Nightfall strike scoring,” said designer John Favaro, “we were looking to give players a little more control, allowing them to modify their experiences to provide them the challenge they want and incentivize more methodical progression through the activities. People like big numbers, and the best way to get big numbers is to kill everything.”