Bungie was back this week with their big weapons update related to season 15, going into the details of upcoming changes to weapons, the introduction of Stasis legendaries, Exotic changes, the Anarchy nerf, and also a huge buff for Vex Mythoclast. Today I am going to round up all the changes, so you know what to chase in Season 15.
Let’s dive into the update from Bungie.
This week at Bungie, we’re talking weapons.
Next week’s update is ushing in a new Season and a big sandbox update to go with it. We have already covered ability tuning here, armor and mod changes here, and now it’s time to go over what is changing with weapons. Here is Weapons Feature Lead Chris Proctor with a full rundown.
Chris Proctor: G’day, it’s Chris again. We’ve got a lot to talk about for Season 15, including stasis weapons, a rework of Fusion Rifles, and several changes intended to make certain weapons more relevant in the new activity and with the new artifact mods. Let’s kick off by clarifying some terminology.
Season 15 introduces Legendary Stasis weapons, and we’ve seen some concern about how these are intended to work, particularly in PvP, so here are some details:
Stasis Power weapons are in the Power slot, but all other Stasis weapons are in the Kinetic slot. This is to avoid overcrowding the Energy slot, and so that it’s reasonable to use one in match game content. The Kinetic slot won’t be renamed at this time.
Stasis weapons don’t intrinsically do anything differently from weapons of other damage types, but they are the only weapons that can roll with Stasis perks.
We generally intend Stasis perks with slowing or freezing effects to have a kill trigger, this being easy enough to trigger in PvE and fun to use but not obnoxious to play against in PvP.
Now that we’ve addressed Quickdraw’s permanent +100 handling buff we see more people using the quickswap glitch. The glitch uses combinations of inputs to animation cancel, allowing near-instant weapon swaps. We want the Handling stat to continue to have value on weapons, and don’t want – for example – Aggressive Shotguns to lose their key downside (slow swaps) due to an unintentional side effect of the animation system
Fixed the quickswap glitch.
Running out of Primary ammo has never been tactically interesting. Running out in hard PvE content or because you were on a tear in PvP was a weird and sometimes frustrating experience that we would like to not subject anyone to in the future.
All Primary ammo weapons now have infinite ammo.
Inertia Override has been adjusted to account for there being no Primary bricks (see the 8/5/2021 abilities TWAB).
Drop Mag’s downside of reducing reserve ammo is now almost meaningless.
Reworked to be +reload speed, -magazine size.
Compact Arrow Shaft’s upside of increasing reserve ammo likewise.
Reworked to be +reload, +handling.
Updated some other perks that refer to reserves in a way that’s no longer accurate.
See notes on Fighting Lion and Sweet Business in the Exotics section below.
Target farming Trials weapons is much more efficient in Season 15, and we have some cool new perks for players to play with that we wanted to put on Trials weapons.
All Trials weapons available in Season 15 now have seven perks in each column (was 5).
When max Power levels on weapons launched, and we reissued several weapons, we saw how frustrated players were at having to regrind their favorite rolls, since the perks pools hadn’t changed. Based on that, our reissue guidelines from Season 13 onwards were to replace most of the perks. Turns out that that was an overcorrection, and that certain perks in the original pools had become part of the identity of a weapon.
Moving forward, the guidelines for reissues will be to remove the least useful 2-3 perks and add 2-3 newer perks that give the weapon some new options and may result in an entirely new top tier rolls without removing the old one.
We’ve made some small adjustments to the weapons reissued in the 3.2.1 update to move these in the direction of the new reissue guidelines (and if you were wondering why our Community Managers were asking for everyone’s favorite rolls, now you know).
Added one or two of the original perks to each column for the Luna weapons reissued in 3.2.1 (i.e. the Lectern weapons only).
Since these can be target farmed, we’re ok with increasing the size of the perk pools in this case.
Added one of the original perks to one or both columns for the Dreaming City weapons reissued in 3.2.1 (Tigerspite, Twilight Oath, Abide the Return).
Since these can’t be target farmed (yet), we didn’t want to increase the size of the pools by more than one.
Note: Exotics receive these changes as written unless otherwise mentioned in the Exotics section below
Breech Grenade Launchers are increasing as a pain point in PvP, and with the Shotgun nerf we’re seeing a small increase in usage. This change aims to reduce the ease of getting big splash damage for priming or cleaning up targets; we’ll watch how things change and make further adjustments in a future update if needed. Note that we’re fine with how they perform in PvE so have compensated there.
Reduced blast radius by 0.4m, e.g. max blast radius decreased from 4.55m to 4.15m, min blast radius decreased from 3.80m to 3.40m.
Reduced splash damage by 20, which reduces total damage for a direct hit from 220 to 200 (before taking spike or proximity grenades into account).
Increased damage in PvE by 12% (because of the above splash damage change this results in a small overall buff to combined damage).
Witherhoard is unaffected.
While Machine Gun usage is surprisingly high, we felt that they weren’t fulfilling their intended role in high difficulty content (ammo efficient add clear and secondary single target sustained damage).
Increased damage in PvE by 20%.
Scout Rifles and Hand Cannons have felt weaker than we’d like in hard PvE content for quite a while.
Increased damage vs. minors by 15%.
Fusion Rifles have benefited indirectly from the mid-Season 14 Shotgun nerf, but Fusion Rifle subfamilies weren’t as different from each other as we wanted, and weren’t all useful in a variety of content. So we looked at all of the options we had for diversifying them and ended up with some substantial changes. This isn’t intended to be a global buff to Fusion Rifles, but we expect some of these to be better counters to other weapons than they were previously
Note that we also evaluated some other options, which are worth a bit of discussion:
Giving the projectiles travel time: We did like the idea of this behavior in Destiny 1, but on investigation found that there are networking issues with firing rapid bursts of non-hitscan projectiles, and they didn’t play as well as we wanted them to. We may look at this option again in the future.
Burst rate of fire: This would have meant touching design data and audio for every Fusion Rifle we’ve ever shipped; well beyond the scope we wanted for this change and also not that interesting a change.
Increased PvE damage bonus such that all subfamilies have a 15% PvE bonus (previously high impact was 0%, precision and adaptive were 10% and rapid-fire was 12.5%).
Pushed subfamilies further apart, adjusting charge time, shots fired per burst (was seven for all subfamilies) and damage (note that the “base” below means without battery perks, a charge time masterwork or the Adept Charge Time mod):
High Impacts charge slower, and while still strong require more planning to use effectively.
Base charge time increased from 0.86s to 1.0s.
Shots per burst reduced from seven to five.
Reduced total damage per burst.
In playtesting, we’ve found that charging these in the open is super risky, but pre-charging around corners or otherwise in safety is very effective.
With the reduced shots per burst, these are now less reliant on stability, so can stack a bit more range.
Precisions and Adaptives are close to unchanged.
Base charge time is unchanged.
Shots per burst is unchanged at seven.
Very slightly increased total damage per burst.
In playtesting, we feel that these are very effective all-around, without stepping on the niches of High Impacts and Rapid Fires. (I’ll be keeping a good PLUG ONE.1 for PvP).
Rapid Fires charge faster, allowing them to be used reactively against charging enemies, or aggressively when pushing forward.
Base charge time decreased from 0.54s to 0.46s.
Shots per burst increased from seven to nine.
Increased total damage per burst.
In playtesting, we’ve found that these are very effective against Shotgun-rushers. The combination of them needing to be closer, and you having a shorter charge time work well together, and if you have good enough timing, you can fire two bursts with a rapid fire before a high impact user finishes charging their first.
With the increased shots per burst, these are now more reliant on stability, but with the increased damage they’re less reliant on range.
Parts of this work required adjusting several Fusion Rifle perks, and one mod:
Backup Plan’s implementation was incompatible with the Fusion Rifle changes, and we felt like the perk could use a rework anyway.
Removed +100 to charge time stat, adjusted charge time multiplier from 0.85 to 0.7, now scales damage by 0.8.
Liquid Coils and Accelerated Coils needed a rework for similar reasons.
Both converted to scale charge time and damage instead of modifying the charge time stat.
The final effect is much the same as before, but these are now more robust, however they won’t visibly change the charge time stat in the inspection screen.
The Adept Charge Time mod felt pointless, and we felt like it would still be balanced against other mods if it didn’t reduce damage.
Changed functionality to scale charge time directly instead of changing the charge time stat, without adjusting the damage.
A note on the Charge Time Masterwork:
A Fusion Rifle’s damage is determined by its charge time stat, similar to how most others weapons’ damage is determined by their rate of fire stat. Masterworks can only increase weapon stats for performance reasons, so it’s not possible to change how charge time maps onto damage without big changes to how the charge time stat works.
We investigated doing this by making the Masterwork a perk, but this would cause Fusion Rifles to exceed the perk budget, resulting in Bad Things Happening (as mentioned in a prior TWAB).
With the Fusion Rifle rework, we feel that this Masterwork is more viable; it now rarely reduces bolts to kill, so may feel not feel like a downgrade in the same way as before.
We’ll be watching to see how this plays out and have some options to address the issue if that’s still needed.
Adjusted the Fusion Rifle stat order so it matches other weapons (stability and handling were out of order).
This is a big change to Fusion Rifles, including all Exotic Fusions, so we’ll be watching for any major issues and will make tweaks as needed.
The Anarchy Exotic Grenade Launcher has been dominant for years now (we’re ignoring the Season with sweet Grenade Launcher artifact mods of course), being near-mandatory for certain raid bosses (combined with e.g. double slug Shotguns), as well as excelling as a solo weapon and for add clears in some encounters. We like that it’s a great choice for hard solo content, and trapping enemy spawns/chokepoints, but don’t want it to remain part of a dominant tactic for boss damage, and particularly don’t want it to be great for boss damage AND add clears in a single encounter. With this change we expect it to remain strong, without being borderline usable as a Primary weapon.
Reduced total reserve+magazine ammunition from 26 to 16.
Reduced damage by 30% vs bosses (Champions are not bosses).
Xenophage was already top notch, so didn’t need to benefit from the global Machine Gun buff. It does benefit from the damage-per-bullet buff to Machine Guns, but now has slower rate of fire to compensate, resulting in slightly lower damage per second, but higher burst damage and sustained damage (since it’s now more ammo efficient).
Reduced rate of fire from 120 to 90 RPM.
Receives less of the Machine Gun PvE damage buff.
Fighting Lion has always been fun but not dominant in PvE, so we weren’t worried about the impact infinite ammo would have there. However enabling fast, unlimited grenade spamming was too much in PvP based on internal playtests, so we’ve addressed that specific case without significantly impacting its feel in PvE.
Fighting Lion reserve ammo increased from “a lot” to “infinite.”
Receives the same changes as other breech Grenade Launchers.
Reduced base reload stat to 0 (breech Grenade Launchers with 0 reload stat reload very, very slowly).
Now increases reload speed to its previous level on damaging multiple enemies with one grenade.
We’ll be keeping an eye on this, but believe it’s in a good place with this change (and note that we’re not going to over-nerf an Exotic with its own subreddit).
You shouldn’t be manually reloading Fighting Lion anyway.
Vex Mythoclast – We were cautious with tuning this one at launch, knowing that shipping a dominant weapon that has incredibly low ownership would break PvP, and aimed for “balanced, but erring on the side of not letting it ship too strong.” However, it fell short of balanced, ownership is much higher now, and we want it to be strong enough to be a desirable reward from Vault of Glass:
PVE damage bonus increased by ~40%.
Range stat increased to be near-best in class for high impact Auto Rifles.
Increased stability stat.
Reworked catalyst to grant stability and damage after a kill.
Increased rate of fire from 360 to 390.
Reduced Linear Fusion Rifle mode charge time from 820 to 533 (same as standard Linear Fusion Rifles).
No longer loses overcharge stacks on stow except when in Linear Fusion Rifle mode.
Merciless – We had to touch this anyway because of the Fusion Rifle changes, and figured if we’re in there we might as well make a buff we’d been thinking about.
Updated perk to account for fewer shots per burst (should build up charge rate at the same amount per burst as before).
Reduced the damage penalty for increasing charge rate by 40%.
Jötunn – because of how the charge time stat works with the Fusion Rifle changes, we made a small change to avoid breaking this weapon – in playtesting it makes almost no difference, but if I didn’t mention it someone would notice.
Reduced charge time from 0.82s to 0.78s (i.e. charges 0.04s faster).
Slightly reduced damage per shot.
Bastion feels very strong with Shotguns being less dominant, so we’re preemptively adjusting it in PvP. It’s also super low usage in PvE, so we’re buffing it there too.
Reduced damage by 15% (can now not quite kill a Guardian with one shot in the three-shot burst it fires).
Increased spread angle by 10%.
Increased PvE damage by 25% (so overall around a 10% increase in PvE).
Sweet Business’s perk refilling the magazine when picking up Primary no longer works in a world without Primary ammo, so it’s been adjusted.
Now refills magazine on picking up Special/Heavy ammo instead of Primary.
Firing Line – We like the idea of the perk; it was just giving away a bit too much damage for almost-free.
Reduced damage bonus to +20% precision damage for all supported weapon archetypes (was highly variable depending on weapon type).
Will roll on some Sniper Rifles, Linear Fusion Rifles and Machine Guns, and maybe some other stuff in the future.
Certain damage perks only affected impact damage on explosive weapons, we’ve updated these specific perks to also increase detonation damage.
We also fixed incorrect rarity on some recently shipped weapon perks.
Weapon VFX were all custom and some didn’t meet our desired cool factor, so we’ve rebuilt these to speed up the process of adding new weapons or updating old ones, while updating the visuals at the same time.
Updated all Grenade Launcher and Rocket Launcher VFX.
Legendary Fusion and Linear Fusion Rifles now have distinct damage type charge VFX.
THE NEAR FUTURE
We’re devoting a lot of energy to The Witch Queen expansion, and there are a ton of things changing in a few weeks, so we want to see how things shake out before deciding on further tuning. We’ll be watching Season 15 launch closely and are ready to make some small adjustments as needed in the first half of the Season.
THE MORE DISTANT FUTURE (BUT STILL BEFORE THE WITCH QUEEN)
Linear Fusion Rifles and Caster Frame Swords are still not where we want them to be, so expect some tweaks.
We’re also looking at underused or underpowered Exotics, and will be taking a pass at some of them including Arbalest, Suros Regime, Cryosthesia 77K, Malfeasance, and more.
If you have issues with spamming high rate-of-fire semi-automatic weapons as fast as possible, we’ve got something in the works for you.
Priming a target and quickly swapping for a cleanup is easier than we’d like, and we’re looking at options for building towards faster swap speeds. We’ve got a step at hitting both of these points coming.
WITCH QUEEN AND BEYOND
We’ve talked previously about wanting Legendary weapons to have more identity based on their source and expect to ship a new system for this in or close to The Witch Queen.
In Season 15 we tweaked Exotic Primary weapons to generate ammo faster through ammo finder mods, and we have another change planned to make them more enticing in hard PvE content.
That’s all we’ve got for weapon changes for now. We’re looking forward to seeing how the PvP and PvE metas shape up once you all have your hands on them next week!
GUNS, GUNS, GUNS
We are still holding a lot of the details on Season of the [Redacted] close to the chest – including the new Season 15 arsenal you will start to discover next week. We do want to show off some of the other weapons you will be earning next Season.
Next Season’s ritual quest weapons is a rocket launcher with the Explosive Light perk. As is the custom, you can then collect Gambit-, Crucible-, and Vanguard-themed weapon ornaments by upgrading your rank on the vendors.
We are adding three weapons as post-game rewards for completing Vanguard Strikes, Gambit, and Crucible matches. These will drop randomly after completing these activities with random rolls. Here is a sneak peek.
We also have plans to freshen up the loot pool of the Prophecy Dungeon. We’ve seen a lot of feedback to bring forward weapons original reward from Trials of the Nine and thought that adding these to the Nine-themed dungeon was a great fit. These weapons have been upgraded with random rolls and certain ones will drop from specific encounters of the Prophecy Dungeon.
On top of all these weapons we are also updating the world pool with some fresh drops. Here are new weapons you can expect to start seeing pop up in the wild.
Let me know in the comments what you think of the weapon changes.
That’s it for the latest Destiny 2 news update. For more Destiny 2 content like this check out This Week In Video Games