ALL Exotic Weapon Buffs and Nerfs Coming in December’s BIG Sandbox Update in Destiny 2 Season of the Lost

Bungie was back this week with a bigger TWAB than usual, with a big focus on sandbox changes coming in December’s 30th Anniversary Update. We’re not only getting new paid and free content, but also a big sandbox update too, which is going to touch a whole lot of weapons. Today I am going to go over the Exotic Weapon buffs and nerfs, so you know what to expect in December’s update.

Without any delay, let’s dive right into the updates.

Vex Mythoclast – Yeah we over buffed this, and while it’s kept in check by the peekshot potential of Hand Cannons etc., it’s definitely melting faces. In playtests we feel it’s still strong enough to be desirable, without feeling free.
Reduced Aim Assist stat by 25.
Reduced the Linear Fusion Rifle mode Aim Assist Cone scalar from 1.1 to 1.05.
Now requires 3 eliminations for full Overcharge instead of 2.

Fighting Lion – This wasn’t a specific problem, but given increasing frustration with breech Grenade Launchers in Crucible, it seemed like a misstep to say “we hear you” and “here’s an infinite ammo version of that thing you’re frustrated about” in the same patch. It should be clear to everyone that a full nerf isn’t needed, so we’re adjusting it. (Note: This is not a full rollback — there’s still a difference between “almost infinite ammo” and “actually infinite ammo” in how weapons are used, and in playtests where we tried to abuse infinite ammo, it was extraordinarily oppressive, much more so than we expected given that it had a ton of ammo previously.)
Removed the multi-hit requirement
I.e., dealing any damage will grant the buff.
Increased the buff to the reload stat from +50 to +70.
I.e., reload will still be slow if you miss, but if you land any damage, Fighting Lion will reload faster than it did before the nerf.
Increased the buff duration to 7s.

Arbalest – We always wanted this to have utility in high difficulty PvE, but its lack of Champion mods prevented that, and it’s all about shield breaking already, so we’re fixing that.
Now has intrinsic anti-barrier.

Sleeper Simulant – The delta between Sleeper and the best Legendary Linear Fusion Rifle wasn’t large enough to make this a compelling option, so while it benefits from the 10% damage buff above (really, this time), we’ve given it some additional love.
Increased magazine size from 3 to 4, increased PvE damage by 6%.

Suros Regime – Dual Mode Receiver always made Suros a worse 360 RPM auto rifle but fixing that is a straightforward stat bump. This may not make this mode dominant, but at least makes it do what was intended: turn it into a high-impact Auto Rifle.
Dual Mode Receiver mode now grants the following in addition to its current effects: +30 range, +3 zoom.

Cryosthesia 77K – Given the state of Stasis in PvP at the start of Season 14, we deliberately shipped this weapon in a weak state (which almost physically hurt us, but was the right decision), not wanting to contribute to the problem. Now that we’ve had more time to evaluate the state of the sandbox, we’ve reworked this Exotic to address its weakness in PvE. Specifically, the following pain point: Fire on release with the charge trigger, losing all ammo on firing the freezing shot.
Removed Variable Trigger completely. Now fires on trigger press instead of release (this will make it feel much more responsive).
Charged Shot moved to special reload. Getting a final blow with the Sidearm enables access to the special reload.
Once the Charged Shot is fired, the weapon reverts back to standard Sidearm mode.
This does NOT cost your entire magazine.
Charged Shot now causes an AOE which freezes AI and slows players (direct hits still freeze).

Leviathan’s Breath – This Bow is underused, so we wanted to give it a bump, while also making its catalyst more interesting (expect this type of catalyst tweak to become more common moving forward).
The catalyst now grants the Archer’s Tempo perk in addition to its other effects.

Whisper of the Worm – The original DPS king has fallen out of favor, with the delay before the damage buff kicking in making the weapon less usable in short damage phases, and optimal sustained damage requiring all critical hits but not sufficiently rewarding precision.
Reduced delay on activating Whispered Breathing from the catalyst from 2.1s to 1.2s.
White Nail magazine refill changed. Was 3 from inventory but now pulls 2 from inventory and 1 from thin air.
Increased damage in PvE by 10%.

D.A.R.C.I. – This Sniper Rifle’s damage has fallen behind as other options have been buffed, and its damage is dependent on crits, while also requiring 100% time on target, so we’ve improved its ease of use and bumped the damage up.
Reduced flinch, recoil, and accuracy degradation by 50% while Personal Assistant is active.
Personal Assistant now has a 1s delay before deactivating when off target (was instant).
Increase damage in PvE by 20%.

Malfeasance – For a weapon all about explosions, this Hand Cannon’s explosions were a bit underwhelming.
Increased explosion damage by 50%.

Dead Man’s Tale – We’ve seen this Scout Rifle’s usage drop dramatically on console since the recent nerf.So we spent some time tuning it in a way that benefits controller much more than mouse and keyboard (i.e. we don’t believe this buff will improve the weapon much on mouse and keyboard), specifically touching hip fire with the catalyst.
Note: This isn’t actually branching the tuning between input devices, but the bits we touched are either only present or are much more impactful on controller:
Increased reticle friction falloff distance (no effect on mouse and keyboard).
Less recoil (reduced effect on mouse and keyboard).
Improved accuracy (reduced effect on mouse and keyboard).

Heir Apparent Catalyst – There was a data error in the Heir Apparent catalyst resulting in it granting too much damage resistance against players, this has now been corrected. No effect in PvE.
Reduced damage resistance against players from 75% to 25%.

Lorentz Driver – The bonus ability energy feels extraneous when the damage buff is so strong, and we’re limiting certain weapon sources of ability energy.
Removed ability energy regeneration on picking up a telemetry.

Traveler’s Chosen – The ability energy granted from the perk was on a curve that isn’t intuitively understood. Similar to Lorentz Driver, it seemed appropriate to adjust this in PvP. These changes aren’t noticeable in PvE.
Now grants 10% ability energy per stack on activation (was previously more generous on low stacks, less generous on high stacks, the average and amount for 10 stacks are unchanged).
Reduced stacks granted on a Guardian defeat from 3 to 2.

Personally I’m happy to see Whisper of the Worm get a nice buff here. The fact that it now pulls 2 ammo from reserve and one from thin air, could be a nice change, plus we get that extra 10% damage buff. Sleeper Simulant looks like its going to benefit from the 10% buff to damage for Linear Fusions, as well as a 6% on top of that. I don’t think that means a 16% buff… the 10% gets applied first, then the 6% on that.

I’m a big fan of Suros Regime (which is available from Xur this weekend at the time of making this guide), so I am looking forward to using that a little more. Cryosthesia 77K needed a buff. I heard it got a pretty severe nerf close to release, given people were super frustrated with Stasis at the time, and releasing a Stasis weapon back then when the community was in a state, probably wasn’t the best idea. Finally, Arbelast looks like it’s going to be useful in endgame content with that ability to break champions shields.

Let me know what you think about the exotic changes, plus do you think any buffs were missing?

That’s it for this look at the Exotic weapon changes coming in the December Sandbox Update. For more Destiny 2 content like this check out This Week In Video Games on YouTube and subscribe today.