We took a look at the most painful weapon nerfs coming with the Destiny expansion “The Taken King” and the 2.0 update. Now it’s time to cover which buffs and nerfs that PlayStation and Xbox players should be cheering.
Again, these are the most comprehensive changes to weapon balancing in Destiny since February of this year. Bungie’s overall goal appears to make the different weapon classes more distinct while also downgrading some of the game’s overly dominant weapons. Check out the best of the buffs and nerfs below and sound off in the comments on what you think of the changes.
— Bungie (@Bungie) July 17, 2015
Auto Rifles Relevant Again
The 1.1.1 update sent Auto Rifles to player’s vaults after their damage and range were both decreased to the point where the entire weapon class was largely made irrelevant. The 2.0 update is correcting this mistake by giving Auto Rifles back some or all of its base damage (Bungie hasn’t said how much yet) while also giving them a 10 percent damage boost against AI enemies.
The goal is to have Auto Rifles be effective in close to medium range so damage falloff will occur early and stability is being tweaked to make landing repeated precision shots more difficult at long ranges.
We’ll have to see the final result of the buff, but so far it sounds like Bungie is putting Auto Rifles back where they should be after the 1.1.1 patch wildly overcompensated for the overuse of Suros Regime in PVP.
Thorn Gets Nerfed and Buffed
Some Destiny players wouldn’t mind if Thorn was nerfed into oblivion. Instead, Bungie appears to have effectively nerfed the weapon in PVP while giving it a buff in PVE. The DoT (Damage over Time) effect is being reduced to around 2 to 3 damage a tick but is being allowed to stack up to five times.
The effect of the stack is negligible in PVP due to the fact that most players are dead after three to four shots from the Thorn anyways. This gives the gun a nice boost in PVE, where the effectiveness of the DoT was less noticeable.
The big question is how the general Hand Cannon nerf in the 2.0 update will affect Thorn. The weapon class’ accuracy and damage at longer ranges are being reduced while the clip size is being reduced. Thorn already has a smallish magazine at 9 so it will be interesting to see how far it falls.
The Last Word is now a Whisper at Long Range
The primary weapon with the fast TTK (time to kill) in the game is undoubtedly The Last Word. The problem with the Hand Cannon is that its effective range was way too far in Destiny. Bungie is cutting the gun’s range stat in half to 10 while stability is being reduced by a third and the effective range of aiming down sights is also being reduced.
It’s not all bad, though, as the accuracy from firing from the hip is being increased along with precision damage aim assist. This pushes the gun into its intended role of a short-range, fast firing weapon.
Necrochasm and Hard Light Get Some Love
If there were ever two Exotic weapons in Destiny that did not feel all that exotic, it was Nercochasm and Hard Light. Things were made worse for the pair with the 1.1.1 update, and the disappointing performance of the former was made worse due to the effort it took to obtain it from “The Dark Below.”
In addition to getting the same buffs that all Auto Rifles are receiving, Necrochash is getting a 20 point buff to stability, a bigger magazine, and the Cursebringer perk will proc all the time and cause a bigger explosion. That still makes the weapon situational against hordes of enemies in Destiny, but it’s a much-needed buff.
Meanwhile, Hard Light is getting a nice 15-point buff to stability. The most eyebrow-raising upgrade is that damage from projectiles will not be affected by damage falloff like the rest of the Auto Rifle class.
Allowing Destiny players to roll for perks turned out to be a curse for shotguns. It resulted in combinations of perks that extended the range of the weapon class well past what was intended and all but ended the use of Fusion Rifles in Crucible.
The additional accuracy granted by the “Shot Package” perk is being reduced by 30 percent, the “Rangefinder” perk now only increases base range by 5 percent instead of 20, and the precision damage multiplier is being reduced by 10 percent.
It will be interesting to see how Destiny Crucible player tactics change with these shotgun nerfs when the 2.0 update is released just before “The Taken King” release on September 15.
[Images via Bungie]