Another Weekly Update from Bungie announces some pretty hefty weapon changes to come with The Taken King release in September. Everything from general weapon class balancing to specific weapons being tweaked is all described in today's unusually long blog post. And it is actually one worth reading if you are still playing Destiny and plan to do so when the DLC hits.
Bungie's Sandbox Designer Jon Weisnewski said that they originally wanted to implement some of the changes right off the bat, but since everything in the game is connected, one change for the better would affect something else for the worse. So they decided to wait, and release it all at once with the DLC. And he ends the post with a statement subtly indicating that all the changes listed are made to work with the new content, because as we all know, there will be new items added to the game with The Taken King: "We still have some surprises and twists we don’t want to spoil that you’ll get to experience when The Taken King is released."
All weapon classes are in for a re-do, far too many to list. They range from launchers getting a wider blast radius, scout rifles getting more ranged damage and hand cannons losing some of their magazine size to shotguns becoming more difficult to use in close up encounters. Perks are affected too, and with all these tweaks Bungie intends to bring the weapons as close as possible to the original goal they set for them.
In the past, Bungie nerfed auto rifles to prevent them from being overpowered in PvP. The result was a weapon class that no one used at all, so that can be said to be a terrible miss. They are now trying to fix that, as they of course want all weapon classes to be viable choices in both PvP and PvE. A few of the Exotic ones, the Hard Light and the Necrochasm, will get some extra love that hopefully will make them useable.
Some changes will have a significant effect on how PvP modes feel, The Thorn and The Last Word, both incredibly powerful hand cannons in their own ways, will no longer be a given choice of primary in Crucible. Their effective range will decrease, and the Thorn's DoT will be lowered to a third of what it was. So no more getting sniped from across the map, or one-shot by a Thorn in Trials. You will have to get creative now, which is exactly what Bungie wants.
Other noteworthy changes are the increased ammo regeneration time for the Ice Breaker and the change in the White Nail perk on the Black Hammer. The result seems to be two snipers that used to be great fun and very awesome in certain situations, turned into mediocre choices, still good, but not awesome. The Ice Breaker will still be an unique weapon, but not as efficient to use. And the Black Hammer will be just another legendary solar sniper now. I'm not sure Bungie can afford to remove too much of what makes guns worth the grind, it takes away something vital from the experience, something that is very important: The satisfaction of finally getting your hands on a gun that is so different from everything else and actually have a purpose in some situations. As long as they are not game breaking, which I can't see that these two are, I find it hard to see the reasoning behind the changes. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for balancing, but not just for the sake of it. If there are factors coming with The Taken King that can justify these changes, then I might change my mind. Maybe.
And to top it off, the change that will upset the most players: The Gjallarhorn is getting a nerf. Yes, that is right, the Wolfpack Rounds will be getting their damage reduced by an unspecified amount. And the reason as to why they are killing all your fun? Well, community, you brought this upon yourself:
"We definitely intended to have a high damage Heavy Weapon that was ideal for PvE destruction. What we did not intend, and what we unfortunately saw, was pick up Raid and Nightfall groups gating participation based on whether or not players had this weapon."
As surely as we will see raging over some of these the nerfs, many players will definitely welcome these changes, as long as they are actually working. We can only hope that Bungie has done enough testing to get the balance is right this time. Because a game where all guns are working as planned sounds like a game that requires more skill, more strategy and maybe even force people to play more as a team?
If you are interested, the very long and detailed list of goals, buffs, tweaks and nerfs can be found at Bungie's official blog.
What are your thoughts on the changes they are making? How do you think this will affect Raids and Trials in the future? Let us know in the comments below.