A slew of Destiny 2 Exotic reworks are coming to the FPS game, but player feedback on the pending changes shows Guardians aren’t happy with the planned buffs and nerfs.
With Destiny 2 season 19 on the horizon, Guardians were initially excited to learn that the developers planned to rework more than 25 Exotic weapons. The phrasing led people to believe that Bungie would completely overhaul some weapons to offer more specific features, perks, and use cases.
Bungie then outlined the changes as part of a post in the company’s This Week at Bungie (TWAB) series. The changes included serious nerfs to fan-favourite weapons and buffs to underutilised weapons.
Though Bungie’s developers explained the team’s decisions in detail, many players feel the game’s announced buffs and nerfs are, at best, unnecessary and, at worst, detrimental to the overall game.
Among the changes is a nerf to Gjallarhorn, a fan-favourite Exotic rocket launcher. In the interest of making it a support weapon alongside Legendary rocket launchers, Bungie will reduce the primary rocket’s impact and detonation damage by 25%. However, the weapon’s Wolfpack rounds are unaffected.
Some additional feedback involves complaints regarding airborne effectiveness, a mechanic theoretically designed to provide better aim while in the air. However, many players argue that it fails to function as intended, sometimes causing players to miss shots that otherwise appear accurate.
Bungie will now apply airborne effectiveness to Whisper of the Worm and D.A.R.C.I., which, even if instated correctly, seems like a confusing choice. The weapons are both sniper rifles, which makes them a class of weapons that are not commonly used in the air.
Players were also upset over some non-Exotic changes. For example, Bungie shared that it would reduce glaive melee base damage from 75 to 67 and reduce glaive melee damage multipliers reduced by 25-30% against champions, mini-bosses, bosses, and vehicles. Players have suggested this change is unnecessary.
Weapon balancing is a challenging task. In a game like Destiny 2, with so many options and ways to stack mods, class abilities, and parks for maximum impact, it can be challenging to ensure weapons don’t quickly become overpowered to dominate the game meta.
But one of Destiny’s selling points is its Exotic weapons, which typically have unique features that make them extraordinarily powerful in specific scenarios or combine with other traits or perks to make them extra strong against difficult enemies.
Even journalist Paul Tassi, who regularly covers Destiny 2 content and updates, wasn’t impressed with some changes.
“Dead serious, I need to understand the use case for a buff to Whisper airborne effectiveness, like what is the rationale there,” Tassi shared in a tweet with more than a thousand likes.
In response, some suggested the changes are for encounters involving the forthcoming Destiny 2 Strand subclass, which will be available upon the Destiny 2 Lightfall release. However, knowing very little about the Destiny 2 Strand subclass, any statement suggesting this as a driver of changes appears to be entirely speculative.
Bungie is facing significant criticism in the aftermath of a Destiny 2 Telesto event and the Destiny 2 Eliksni Quarter community event, both of which disappointed community members. Low Destiny 2 player counts on Steam reflect this sentiment. However, even when players are unhappy with Destiny 2, it remains among the most popular space games on PC. These numbers will likely pick up with season 19 and spike even more upon Lightfall’s release.