Destiny 2 News Roundup – Sandbox Update Coming in Season 18 including Exotics, weapons, armor and perks

Bungie was back this week with their This Week At Bungie update detailing a big sandbox balancing coming to Destiny 2 in Season 18, which is only a few short weeks away, starting on 23rd August 2022. Today I am going to run through all the weapon changes, the buffs and nerfs to exotics, weapons, armor and also some reworks coming too.

Let’s dive into the update from Bungie.

WEAPONS & THINGS

First up, we are going to jump right into the Sandbox changes, so let me hand it over to one of our associate designers on the Sandbox team, Mercules!

Hello everyone, Mercules here. We moved a good bit of the balance changes from Season 18 forward to the mid-Season patch of Season 17, so this will be a bit lighter of a weapons-Sandbox TWAB than usual. That being said, there are still some changes we’re really excited about, so let’s dive in!

TL;DR:

  • Buffed some under-utilized weapon archetypes:
  • Scout Rifles and Heavy Grenade Launchers in PvE.
  • High-Impact Auto Rifles.
  • Lightweight Bows.
  • Buffed multiple perks, fixed some bugged perks, and updated some perk descriptions to be more accurate.
  • Buffed multiple Exotic weapons.
  • Added intrinsic Anti-Champion functionality to some.
  • Reworked a couple of Exotic weapons whose functionality was causing issues.
  • Updated the perk pools for Dares of Eternity weapons and gave them a new origin trait.


GLOBAL CHANGES

Fixed an issue introduced in the 30th Anniversary update that caused too much Heavy ammo to drop when running double Special weapons.
Several weapon stats were previously hidden, which made fully evaluating weapons difficult.
Airborne effectiveness, recoil direction, zoom, and aim assist are now visible in the weapon inspection screen.

WEAPON ARCHETYPES

Scout Rifles – We felt they could still use a bit of love in PvE.
Increased damage of all Scout Rifles vs. Minor enemies (red bars) in PvE by 10%.
This change is in addition to the baseline damage buff given in the Solstice balance patch.

High-Impact (360 RPM) Auto Rifles – This sub-family of Auto Rifles has good damage output but low ease of use, leading them to under-perform compared to other options in the same engagement ranges.
Increased base stability stat of all non-sunset High-Impact Auto Rifles by 6-12, depending on the weapon (numerically this may seem like a small change, but it noticeably changes the feel of the weapons).

Lightweight Bows – This subfamily has languished compared to their higher damage counterparts for some time, in part due to difficulty hitting perfect draw shots, so we’ve made it a bit easier.
Reduced base draw time by 5% (from 612ms to 580ms).
Increased the “perfect draw” window (how long you can hold the drawn Bow before you begin to lose accuracy and damage, stability modifies this window).
From .30s to .50s on the low end.
From .55s to .80s on the high end.

Hand Cannons – Fixed Dire Promise’s zoom stat (got changed to 13 inadvertently, it’s now 14 again).
Glaives – Their interactions with some Exotic armor pieces can be confusing, so we’ve explicitly made some changes to align better with our stated goals.
Glaive melee attacks can now activate the Exotic armor perks on ACD/0 Feedback Fence, Karnstein Armlets, and Necrotic Grip.

Breech Grenade Launchers – Concussion grenades can no longer roll in the magazine slot (blinding grenades are a better option in the same slot that serves the same purpose).

Heavy Grenade Launchers – These don’t see a ton of support in PvE, so we hope this makes them feel a bit better as a DPS or yellow-bar clearing option.
Increased damage vs. Majors and above by ~10% (excluding Parasite, which does not need to do more damage).

WEAPON POOLS

Updated the perk pools for Dares of Eternity weapons and added an origin trait.
Addressed an issue where playlist (Crucible, Gambit, and strike) weapons weren’t randomizing individual perk column’s perk counts correctly based on number of resets.

PERKS

The Gambit and Iron Banner origin traits were too specific to be generally useful, so they’ve both been redesigned.
Invader Tracker (Gambit Origin Trait)
Renamed Gun and Run.
Redesigned functionality to give a sprint speed increase on multi-kills.
Skulking Wolf (Iron Banner Origin Trait)
Redesigned to activate on kills while at low health (so it will work in all PvP now).
Ambitious Assassin has fallen behind perks with similar functionality (such as Overflow)—we’ve adjusted this to have a higher potential than before.
Increased magazine overflow from 10% to 20% per kill on Primary weapons only (Special and Heavy weapons are still 10%).
Increased overflow cap from 50% to 150%.
Wellspring had an internal cooldown to prevent it from activating too frequently—we no longer feel this is needed.
Cooldown has been removed, allowing for Rocket Launchers and Grenade Launchers to return more ability energy when defeating groups with a single shot.
Perpetual Motion was triggering frequently enough to be annoying, so we disabled audio/visual feedback on perk activation.
Lead from Gold wasn’t respecting the functionality of splitting the Special ammo picked up when two Special weapons were equipped.
Now gives the correct amount of ammo to each weapon when two Special weapons are equipped.
Concussion Grenades can no longer roll on breech Grenade Launchers.
Veist Stinger was intended to grant ammo on weapons that support it, and charge/draw time on Bows only, this was inadvertently applying to Linear Fusion Rifles as well, making it too strong for an origin trait on them.
Fixed a bug where it was applying a charge time reduction to Linear Fusion Rifles—it will correctly only refill the magazine from reserves when it triggers on these weapons.
Zen Moment has always had a description that confused players (Particle Repeater too). Their descriptions have been updated to say what they actually do.

EXOTICS

BUFFS

We’ve added anti-Champion functionality to several weapons, with the goal of giving more options for each Champion type, split across weapon slot and ammo type—we expect to do this from time to time in the future as well.

Le Monarque
Added intrinsic Overload to Poison Arrows.

Thunderlord
Added intrinsic Overload.

Malfeasance
Added intrinsic Unstoppable to explosions.
Added +25 to the base airborne effectiveness stat (28 to 53) to match other precision Hand Cannon’s intrinsic bonus.

Wish-ender
Added intrinsic Anti-Barrier.
Increased number of hits vs most targets from 2 to 3 (more hits against vehicles, still 2 against players).
Increased damage vs. Champions, majors, and minibosses by 10%.
Draw time decreased from 828ms to 820ms.

Ticuu’s Divination gets a free, small buff from the global lightweight Bow changes.
Draw time decreased from 612 to 580.
Legend of Acrius has fallen far behind other Heavy, short-range weapons and warrants a buff.
Catalyst now grants the Trench Barrel perk in addition to its other effects.
Different versions of the Exotic Paired Legendary Weapons didn’t have matching stats, so we have brought them up to parity.

Calus Mini-Tool
Increased airborne effectiveness from 23 to 28 to match MIDA Mini-Tool.

MIDA Mini-Tool
Increased zoom from 13 to 14 to match Calus Mini-Tool.

Drang (Baroque)
Increased airborne effectiveness from 21 to 23 to match standard Drang.

Sweet Business
Increased airborne effectiveness from 27 to 32.

Fighting Lion’s Season 17 5% damage buff was rolled back as part of a fix for a larger bug, this is being reintroduced and increased.
Now receives the intended buff, increased from 5% to 8%.
Increased the grace time for the instant reload effect of Thin the Herd from 5 to 6s.

REWORKS

Lord of Wolves – Lord of Wolves has long been a thorn in the side of PvP players, especially when paired with certain Exotic armor pieces. We have changed the amount of ammo it starts with, and reduced the damage dealt to players. This is part one of a larger rework aimed at making it a more viable PvE Exotic without increasing its effectiveness in PvP.
Decreased starting ammo in PvP from 15 to 10 (PvE unchanged).
Reduced the burst size (shots fired per trigger pull) from 10 to 5 shots when Release the Wolves is active.
Reduced the burst delay (the time between bursts) by 60% when Release the Wolves is active.
Decreased Lord of Wolves base damage by ~20% (now deals 35 per shot to the body in PvP, 44 with Release the Wolves active).
Increased damage in PvE by 20% to compensate.

Dead Man’s Tale – The Cranial Spike perk was causing issues with unintended damage scalars against players, and generally felt unpredictable both to use and to fight against. It also wasn’t quite landing the “hip-firing cowboy rifle” fantasy as strongly as we wanted to, so we reworked it to lean more into fast-firing hip-fire.
Changed Cranial Spike’s effects:
Cranial Spike no longer buffs damage vs. players, instead it grants increased reload, aim assist, and range per stack.
It still grants additional damage vs. PvE combatants.
Upon reaching max stacks of Cranial Spike, the catalyst will now increase hip-fire RPM by 50 (i.e., it will fire at 180 RPM) but will deal reduced damage per bullet (20% decrease).

Collective Obligation – We are aiming to make the Exotic perk effects easier to activate and more effective in PvE.
Increased Void Leech timer to 15 seconds in PvE activities.
PVP remains at 10 seconds.
Removed the cooldown.
Added a 20% damage bonus against PvE combatants only while Void Leech is active.
Takes less hits to fully charge Void Leech.
Kills against debuffed targets instantly charge Void Leech.
Void Leech is also instantly charged when your character is affected by Void debuffs.
Does not work if hitting yourself with your own Suppressor Grenade.
Fixed a bug where Umbral Sustenance was activating with non-Void overshields.

ARMOR

In Update 6.2.0.1 (more on this in version update in the Player Support section), we will be reducing the effectiveness of damage resistance used by Omnioculus and Whisper of Chains in PvP (PvE damage resistance is unchanged).

Tier 1: 10% to 2.5%
Tier 2: 15% to 5%
Tier 3: 20% to 7.5%
Tier 4: 25% to 10%

Things we are looking at addressing in the future (Season 18 mid-Season patch or Season 19):
Reducing Shotgun spread randomness.
Reducing Bow-swapping effectiveness.
Increasing Trace Rifle ease of use.
Introducing the full-auto setting.
Reducing the ability of Snipers to shoot through flinch in PvP.
Examining some small, targeted balance changes to certain PvP outliers.
Pulse Rifles with out of band effectiveness.
High Impact Scout Rifle ease of use.
Precision Fusion Rifle ease of use.
Allowing Glaive interactions with some Exotic armors that buff melees.
Fixing Glaive hit detection.
Reworking some enhanced perks.
Folding Spec mods into the base perks.