Destiny’s December Update Will Bring New Exotics & Weapon Balance Changes

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Destiny‘s next big update, arriving this December, aims to present Guardians with new Exotics to earn while making sweeping changes to the game’s PvP meta once again.

“We’re infusing loot tables with some more gold to mine from your action,” wrote Bungie’s community manager in the latest Weekly Update, referring to the incoming Exotics. “Two of them are exclusive to Year Two. Others are weapons and armor from Year One that have been upgraded to keep pace with your Level 40 character. A couple of those Year One reprisals might even have some new surprises tucked away in their talent trees.”

As they’re arrival approaches, the studio says it will share what’s coming via its Instagram page. So, give it a follow if you’re curious.

Destiny’s December Update also marks that time of year that weapon balance gets a shake up with new tweaks coming to standard weapon classes and Exotic weapons. Destiny’s Sandbox Designer Jon Weisnewski shared details in a new developer update. You should give it a read here, but you’ll also find the highlights below:

AUTO RIFLES

Goals:

  • Auto Rifles are optimal at close to medium range
  • Auto Rifles can effectively compete against Pulse Rifles in PvP

Changes:

  • Small increases to base damage.
    • Low RoF (Suros Regime, An Answering Chord): 3% base damage increase
    • Med RoF (Zhalo Supercell, Paleocontact JPK-43): 7% base damage increase
    • High RoF (Arminius-D, Necrochasm): 4% base damage increase

PULSE RIFLES

Goals:

  • Pulse Rifle is optimal at medium range, but can still effectively engage enemies at close or medium-long range
  • Pulse Rifles should feel strong in PvP, but don’t become the only competitive option

Changes:

  • Reduce base damage.
    • Low RoF (The Messenger, Spare Change): 9% base damage reduction
    • Med RoF (Hawksaw, No Time To Explain, Red Death): 8% base damage reduction
    • High RoF (Bad Juju): 8% base damage reduction
    • Highest RoF (Grasp of Marok): 2% base damage reduction
  • Reduce damage falloff to start between Auto Rifle and Hand Cannon ranges.
    • A low range Pulse Rifle will have shorter damage falloff than an average Hand Cannon.
    • A high range Pulse Rifle will have farther damage falloff than an average Hand Cannon.
  • Increase base damage against AI combatants to 1.3x (was 1.25x).

HAND CANNONS

Goals:

  • Hand Cannons are optimal at close to medium range
  • Rewards agility under fire, precision targeting, and snap shots
  • Hand Cannons cannot reliably compete with Scout Rifles at long range

Changes:

  • Increase ADS Accuracy for more reliable shooting at close to medium range

FYI:

  • Golden Gun is not, and never will be affected by Hand Cannon weapon changes.

SHOTGUNS

Goals:

  • Shotguns are most effective at very close range
  • Complements melee attacks and other close-quarters class builds
  • Offensively closing on an enemy with a Shotgun is a risk/reward timing game
  • Reduce weapon agility so that CQ combat is more deliberate.

Changes:

  • Reduce starting damage falloff to match melee lunge ranges.
    • Low range stat falloff starts at standard melee lunge.
    • High range stat falloff starts at Blink Strike lunge.
  • Final damage falloff distance extends 0.5 meters longer for a smoother drop.
  • Slower ready/stow times for all shotguns.
  • Additional recoil across the entire Stability stat range.
  • Slower reload speed across the entire Reload stat range.
  • Slower time to Aim Down Sights for all shotguns.
  • Slower base movement speed when Shotguns are the active weapon (Walk, Run and Aim Down Sights. Sprint is unaffected.)
  • Add 2 frames delay when firing out of sprint.
  • Increase base damage against AI combatants to 1.6x (was 1.55x).

FUSION RIFLES

Goals:

  • Fusion Rifles are optimal at mid-range, where targets are easier to track but they’re not close enough to attack while charging up
  • Requires combat foresight and the ability to predict a target’s movement to use successfully
  • Accentuate close range/medium range effectiveness by tuning charge speed and stability
  • Make players feel more judicious about spending ammo

Changes:

  • Increase Charge Speed on fast charging Fusion Rifles, but reduce burst damage to compensate
  • Fusion Rifles behave more predictably based on player state
    • Reduced Hip Fire Stability for all Fusion Rifles
    • Increased ADS and Crouched Stability for all Fusion Rifles
  • Reduction in carried ammo inventory for all Fusion Rifles
  • Increased base damage against AI combatants to 1.25x (was 1.15x)

SNIPER RIFLES

Goals:

  • Sniper Rifles are optimal at long range, and difficult to use for medium or short range combat
  • Sniper Rifles reward thumb skill with high damage against precision targets
  • The Luck in the Chamber perk on Sniper Rifles should still require precision shots

Changes:

  • Extend Sniper Rifle damage falloff so damage only reduces for very long range shots.
  • Luck in the Chamber on Sniper Rifles now only buffs precision damage.

SIDEARMS

Goals:

  • Sidearms should always feel light and responsive. Reload and handling stats go from good to great.
  • Sidearms are optimal at close to medium range, and lose effectiveness at long range.
  • Sidearms are intended to act as an all-purpose support tool for your primary weapon rather than a special case alternative.

Changes:

  • Increase ready/stow speed for all Sidearms.

THE FIRST CURSE

Changes:

  • The First Curse perk now refills the magazine when activated, provides better Stability, better Target Acquisition, and damage falloff starts further out while the perk remains active.
  • +25 to First Curse base range.
  • Fixed a bug where The First Curse perk would deactivate if the player summoned their Ghost.
  • Boost to Imprecation base range and magazine size.

HAWKMOON

Changes:

  • Reduce base Range by 20.
  • Lucky bullets from both Luck in the Chamber and Holding Aces now deal 1.2x bonus damage (was 1.3x).

THE CHAPERONE

Changes:

  • Reduce base damage.
  • Increase precision damage scalar to 1.75x (was 1.1x).

FABIAN STRATEGY

Changes:

  • Front Lines perk on Fabian Strategy no longer buffs Rate of Fire as a bonus modifier. Front Lines now increases the base Rate of Fire stat to highest speed. Damage per bullet is offset to match the High RoF archetype.
  • Removed Extended Mag perk and replaced with Flared Magwell. Removed Small Bore perk and replaced with Rifled Barrel. Needed to make these changes to prevent shipping a magazine bug that could trigger when reloading the weapon while Front Lines perk was active.
  • Increased base Reload and Stability on the weapon to help offset the removed stat upgrades.

BLACK SPINDLE

Changes:

  • Removed scope upgrades from Black Spindle talent grid (Spindle only has one scope). Replaced with Barrel upgrades.

SLEEPER SIMULANT

Changes:

  • Maximum inventory ammo buffed (from 7 -> 9)
  • Ammo swap exploit removed (weapon no longer converts one ammo from a different heavy weapon to a full inventory)
  • Inventory no longer benefits from Fusion Rifle armor perks, but does benefit from Heavy Ammo armor perks.

What are your thoughts on the coming changes? Do they address any of your concerns with the current PvP balance?

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