Destiny weapon balance for Crucible multiplayer has been a growing topic of conversation among players in the PlayStation and Xbox communities. The launch of Trials of Osiris and recent Iron Banner issues without a weapon-balancing update from Bungie have only made the conversation grow louder and angrier. The developer obliquely addressed the issue in a Weekly Update today, but there’s still no telling when it will happen.
Bungie last tuned the weapon balance with the 1.1.1 update released in February of this year. The months since have seen the release of House of Wolves and now attention on The Taken King, but little nothing concerning issues players were having with the way Crucible matches are currently being played out.
The grumblings turned louder this week with multiple posts in the DestinyReddit forums combined with a video from DattoDoesDestiny on YouTube that encapsulates the bulk of the complaints of the community.
So what was Bungie’s response in Thursday’s Weekly Update? Community Manager David “Deej” Dague essentially said, “Between now and September 15th, we’ll also explore a range of topics that we know are important to you, including weapon rebalancing, economy improvements, an overhauled quest experience, bounty enhancements, faction allegiances, end game content, and more.”
Gameplay Designer Joe Weisnewski added a little more flavor to the issue of Destiny weapon balance in a couple of posts via his Twitter account. It’s still not clear on if the balance question will be addressed prior to The Taken King launch, but it is being looked into.
“…weapon rebalancing” I’m on it. https://t.co/l6nhck1t1n
— Jon Weisnewski (@sharkeatsman) July 2, 2015
Here are the problems with Destiny weapons balance in multiplayer that are widely regarded as the most troubling by the game’s community.
The Thorn and The Last Word hand cannons are too powerful. You can arguably say that Thorn is more widely used in Crucible than the Suros Regime was prior to the nerf that Auto Rifles received. Both weapons have extremely low TTK (Time to Kill) and such a long range that there are few weapons that can counter them. Therefore, the only counter is to equip either of the two Hand Cannons as your primary.
Thorn in particular needs to have its DoT (Damage Over Time) effect lowered from the current the current seven damage-per-tick to five or less or have its impact dropped to keep it from being a two-headshot kill. Meanwhile, The Last Word currently has a bug that allows it to gain the hip fire bonus while aiming down sights.
On the shotgun side of the ledger, the “Shot Package” and “Rangefinder” perks on weapons like Party Crasher +1, Matador-64, and Felwinter’s Lie have effectively extended the range of these weapons to the point where Fusion Rifles have been made useless in PvP. It’s also made Hunters and Warlocks with Blink jump a preferred tactic because of the range of the weapons.
Bungie did remove the “Final Round” perk on sniper rifles that made them unbalanced in PvP, but those with older rifles still have them. The developer may have to do a swap on the “Shot Package” and “Rangefinder” perks or nerf these to the point where players don’t want to use them.
In hindsight, the Auto Rifle nerf months ago was an overreaction to a problem dealing with a single weapon, the Suros Regime. The 2.5 percent reduction in damage combined with the reduction in range has resulted in the weapon class falling out of favor in both PvE and PvP. At the very least, the damage nerf should be undone partially or fully while the range nerf stands.
Finally, the “Grenades and Horseshoes” perk for rocket launchers also needs to be nerfed for PvP. It’s become the dominant role in multiplayer; favored even over “Tracking.”
Yes, Bungie does have its attention split between getting The Taken King done by its September release and dealing with the rest of the game. We’ve seen the developer respond fairly quickly to the community before. Hopefully, they can get to this issue soon though as they risk bleeding players tired of dealing with the off-balance multiplayer.
What do you think of the Destiny PVP weapon balance issues? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Destiny]