Destiny 2 News Roundup – Exotic reworks coming in Season 19 plus new loot!

Bungie was back this week with their This Week At Bungie detailing Exotic weapon and armor changes coming to Destiny 2 in Season 19, plus we have new and returning weapons, and a whole bunch of reworked exotics.

Without further delay, let’s dive in.

Iron Banner, Trials and Nightfall Weapons

It’s a new Season on the horizon, which means more loot to earn. For those Guardians with a penchant for a different kind of challenge, there is a new array of weapons to earn. Whether you’re heading for the Lighthouse or just looking to make ‘ol Saladin proud before heading out to run Nightfalls, here’s what you can look forward to with the upcoming Season:

Trials of Osiris

What’s arriving:
Exalted Truth Suros Adaptive Hand Cannon + Adept
Unwavering Duty Suros Adaptive Machine Gun + Adept

What’s staying:
Whistler’s Whim Bow + Adept
Forgiveness Sidearm + Adept
The Inquisitor (Adept) Shotgun + Adept
Burden of Guilt Fusion Rifle + Adept

What’s leaving:
Aisha’s Embrace Scout Rifle
Reed’s Regret Linear Fusion Rifle

Iron Banner

What’s arriving:
Dark Decider Auto Rifle
Gunnora’s Axe Slug Shotgun

What’s staying:
Allied Demand Sidearm
Roar of the Bear Rocket Launcher
The Wizened Rebuke Fusion Rifle
The Hero’s Burden Submachine Gun
Frontier’s Cry Hand Cannon
Razor’s Edge Sword

What’s leaving:
Forge’s Pledge Pulse Rifle
Riiswalker Shotgun

Nightfall

What’s arriving:
Wendigo GL3 Heavy Grenade Launcher
Hung Jury SR4 Scout Rifle

What’s leaving:
Silicon Neuroma Sniper Rifle
Duty Bound Auto Rifle

One more thing! We also have shiny new Season 19 ornaments for ritual activities like Gambit, Crucible, and Vanguard strikes. Feast your eyes on more activity-themed fashion for the upcoming Season and marvel at our ability to always come in hot with that clutch green snakeskin look.

Exotic weapon and armor changes

We identified a handful of weapons that we felt needed a substantial change to really hit the level of “exoticness” that we expect from Destiny 2 Exotics.

The Fundamentals perk (which can be seen on the damage-type switching Exotics: Borealis, Hard Light, and Dead Messenger), while functional, felt like it could do more to grant the modes some identity based on selected damage type, so each damage type now grants different weapon stats (think Elemental Capacitor, if that perk checked the damage type on the weapon instead of the player’s subclass).
Added stats to each element
Arc: +25 handling and +5 range.
Solar: +35 reload speed and +20 airborne effectiveness.
Void: +20 stability and +10 aim assist.

Even with the above change to The Fundamentals, we felt like Borealis needed a more substantial change:
Breaking a matched shield now refills the magazine from reserves and allows your next 5 shots to deal bonus damage. Not deactivated by reloading.

Jade Rabbit is a strong Scout Rifle, but its Exotic perk was lackluster, so we’ve redesigned it to be more of a gameplay loop:
Quickly landing 3 crits returns a round to the magazine and increases the damage of your next body shot.
Stacks up to 3 increased damage body shots.
Resets if you reload.
Nerfs

Witherhoard is extremely strong in both PvE and PvP, dealing high damage quickly, and for an extended duration. We aren’t making changes to direct hits, and we’re leaving the damage and ammo capacity alone, but since this weapon in its current iteration is too strong in PvE (not to mention that the Taken portal is difficult to deal with in PvP), we’ve made the following change:
Reduced Taken portal duration from 7.5s to 4.5s.

Regarding Divinity, this is a must-have weapon in endgame PvE. That said, the combination of the strongest possible weaken effect, the cage making critical hits trivial, and intrinsic Overload being too strong (as is evident in looking at how this weapon is used in instances like raids), it was time for a change. We looked at several options, including making the weapon harder to use or reducing its uptime by bringing its ammo down, but ultimately felt that its identity is all about making damage phases more enjoyable. Cage uptime remains the same, but we’ve brought the weaken strength down to match other standard weakens in-game. It’s also important to call out that you can still apply a 30% weaken debuff with the cage by combining Divinity with Tether or Tractor Cannon.
Reduced Divinity’s weaken from 30% to 15% (still self-buffs to 30%).

Arbalest missed out on the body damage reduction that Lorentz Driver received, making it too easy to get one-hit body shots in a PvP while also not requiring enough precision in PvE:
Reduced body shot damage to match Lorentz Driver.

Gjallarhorn is the highest DPS Rocket Launcher and a great support weapon for Legendary Rocket Launchers, so we picked one of those two roles and opted to lean into its support power:
Reduced primary rocket’s impact and detonation damage by 25% (Wolfpack Rounds are unaffected).
This just brings it into the desired band without nerfing it past other Rocket Launchers.

Forerunner received an unintended (and relatively small) damage buff in Season 18’s balance update that made it a little too easy to use. After the change, all it took for a final blow was 1-crit and 3-body shots, or 5-body shots in PvP. Here’s what we’ve changed for Season 19:
Reduced Forerunner base damage from 40 to 37, and crit damage from 72 to 67.
Buffs

We track Exotic weapon popularity when deciding what Exotic weapons to buff by looking at how many active players own a weapon and how much they use it in-game.

Typically, we choose from the 20 or so of the least popular weapons for a potential buff, either directly or via a Catalyst addition. In this case, we’ve adjusted some that have languished for years and others we simply felt strongly about. We have more of these types of changes coming in Lightfall, though we’ll share those in a later update.

With the addition of the Full Auto setting, we’re replacing the Full Auto Trigger System perk on each Exotic that had it.
No Time to Explain: replaced with Feeding Frenzy.
Traveler’s Chosen: catalyst perk replaced with Surplus (it still has Osmosis).
Vigilance Wing: catalyst perk replaced with Ensemble.

We’ve fixed an issue where crits from Dead Man’s Tale were landing inconsistently depending on whether your aim was above or below the target. We’ve also made some small changes to its base damage, which will apply to all 120 RPM Scout Rifles:
Now prefers critical hits over body hits in hip-fire if both types of targets are inside the precision aim cone.
Increased body shot damage from 46 to 54, and reduced crit damage from 81 to 80.

We’ve also been looking for a way to help D.A.R.C.I. players. We know many Guardians would like it to move to the Energy slot, but there’s plenty of competition for Sniper Rifles there, even Exotics. With the below change, it’s a more interesting choice in the Heavy slot:
Now applies Jolt when damaging targets affected by Personal Assistant.
Increased base airborne effectiveness to 80.

Wish-Ender has always had a hidden damage bonus vs. targets affected by Witherhoard due to its identity as a Taken hunter’s weapon:
Increased bonus vs. Witherhoard-blighted targets from 10% to 25%.

While we don’t want Special ammo Snipers to be perfectly accurate from the air without significant investment, we don’t have the same concerns with their Heavy ammo counterparts. That’s where this Whisper of the Worm change comes in:
Increased base airborne effectiveness to 80.

The Prospector has surprisingly high burst damage, but ultimately doesn’t excel enough at add clear or DPS for it to have a secure place. With the below change, it is substantially more effective at add clear, though we will continue to monitor when it’s live in-game:
Added Chain Reaction to the intrinsic perk.

The Fourth Horseman has some niche uses, but ultimately suffers from extremely hard-to-control recoil, which we’ve pulled back:
Decreased recoil by 50%.

Forerunner is a fun weapon in PvE, but it’s never been a top pick. Changes to the weapon and its grenade should make it a lot more viable:
Increased crit damage by 30% and The Rock’s damage by 60% in PvE.
Reduced ammo cost to activate The Rock from 6 to 4.
Increased damage at the outer edge of The Rock’s damage radius from 0% to 20%.

Merciless is extraordinarily strong when ramped up, but it’s hard to keep it in that state:
Merciless’ decreased charge time on hit now resets on a 5s timer. This timer is refreshed when you land hits.

Rat King is a lot of fun to use, but the allowed distance from allies feels a little too strict as it stands:
Radius required to activate its perk increased from 15m to 20m.

Legend of Acrius has some movement penalties to make it feel weightier. We think that the feel of using the weapon does that sufficiently though, so this is what Acrius users can look forward to:
Removed movement penalties.

Bastion’s Season-14 nerf was a little more than it needed, so we’ve halved it:
Reduced spread angle by 6%.

Quicksilver Storm’s grenade intentionally shipped on the weak side. We wanted to see what the uptime of grenades was like in the wild rather than ship them too strong, but we believe it’s safe to increase the damage and the radius a fair bit. We’ve also fixed a bug with the rockets: they weren’t intended to be Arc, and this bug—unchanged—would interfere with the catalyst coming in Lightfall:
Increased PvP maximum grenade damage from 80 to 120, and increased the explosion radius from 3m to 4m.
Switched rocket damage from Arc to Kinetic.

Coldheart’s Arc 3.0 rework wasn’t generous enough with Ionic Traces, so:
Reduced cooldown on Ionic Trace generation from 3.5s to 2s.
Now maxes out stability and reload speed when at maximum damage.
Picking up an Ionic Trace now reduces the time it takes to get to max damage.

Grand Overture’s loop doesn’t feel rewarding enough in its current form, so we’ve dramatically increased the reward:
Increased missile damage by 50%.

Xenophage only deals Area of Effect (AoE) damage currently, which causes issues against some enemies in PvE. We’re not changing the overall weapon much, but we are addressing that pesky PvE issue. Despite benefiting from solid ease of use, we felt that its damage could be a little higher:
Now deals roughly half of its damage as impact damage, and the rest as detonation.
Overall damage increased by 5%.

When adjusting Divinity, we also looked at some bugs relating to it, including Cloudstrike:
The lightning storm will now correctly activate when hitting Divinity’s cage.

Armor

Some Exotic armor pieces were part of combinations allowing extremely high damage output from melee attacks in PvE, so we’ve brought a couple of these down versus altering enemy health:
Wormgod’s Caress: Reduced maximum damage multiplier from 7.5x to 3.5x.
Winter’s Guile: Reduced maximum damage multiplier from 7.5x to 3.5x.

Note on Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk: We have a change coming in 6.3.0.1. Here’s a sneak preview of the changes that we believe will address balance concerns in PvP while maintaining a clear identity in the Void space:
Gain Volatile Rounds when exiting invisibility.
When executing a finisher while invisible, this Exotic now gives nearby allies a reserve overshield and give the wearer a temporary bonus to weapon damage.

Things players can look forward to in the future:

A Heavy weapon damage rebalance:

Tinkering with bringing some less effective options up while bringing some damage outliers down.
What’s the Lightfall DPS meta? Mysterious.
A large rebalance of the airborne effectiveness stat, making Primary ammo weapons significantly more accurate while airborne without any investment in the stat. Think Icarus-level accuracy from before Season 17. Specifics are still in development.
Some tweaks to the new Shotgun reticles.
A pass at adding Subclass 3.0 verbs to several Exotic weapons:
There are currently seven.

Let me know in the comments what you think.