Destiny developer Bungie is making some big changes to weapons in this month’s 1.1.1 patch.
Destiny players by and large disdain pulse rifles, preferring almost any other firearm to the burst semi-auto weapon.
This, and their over-reliance on auto rifles, will be addressed in an upcoming weapons rebalancing, due in the Destiny 1.1.1 patch announced for release this month.
Auto rifles, hand cannons and fusion rifles will be nerfed, while pulse rifles will be buffed. Shotguns will be buffed against non-Guardian enemies, but nerfed in other ways.
“If you look at the top ten lethal weapons over a period of thirty days, six of them are Auto Rifles,” sandbox designer Jon Weisnewski wrote on Bungie.net
“It’s extremely effective in most combat scenarios and engagement distances. In fact, it is so effective that it’s intended role in the Primary family is being partially obscured. We want you to be able to deliver a steady stream of precision damage with an Auto Rifle, and you still can, but you’ll need to get a little bit closer.”
As a result, auto rifle base damage will be nerfed by 2.5%, averaged across rate of fire states, with higher rate of fire weapons taking less of a hit. Their effective range will be reduced, making them less effective at a distance, but higher range stats will translate to less severe damage fall off, so auto rifles with high range will be even more valuable.
The pulse rifle base damage will increase by 9.7%, bringing it “more in line with other primaries”.
“Pulse Rifles are currently the least used across all of the Tower’s warriors. We want to push these weapons to become a more compelling choice,” Weisnewski said.
Meanwhile, hand cannons will have their effective range reduced, with damage falloff kicking in much closer to the user, and less accuracy on follow up shots at range. Initial accuracy will also decrease slightly, but shouldn’t be too noticeable at close and medium range.
“Right now, the Hand Cannons work as advertised, but they’re a little too effective at longer ranges,” Weisnewski said.
On to secondary weapons now. The fusion rifle is “one of the most contentious weapons in the PvP arena right now”, according to Weisnewski, and “are the most hotly unliked weapon to be killed by”.
“On the other end of the feedback spectrum, they are supremely satisfying guns to kill with,” he added.
“It is pretty easy to find and build a fusion rifle that can push the range limits and land one hit kills and/or massive damage from pretty far away. Furthermore, in The Crucible it is not difficult to depend on a steady stream of special ammo so that players rarely have to pick and choose the right time to use this weapon.”
To address this, the blast pattern of fusion rifles will be widened, so that at a distance, you’ll find it hard to get the full burst on a single target. Thus, the fusion rifle will become better at damaging groups. Additionally, starting ammo and all ammo stats will be reduced.
Shotguns are getting a strange rebalance because, according to Weisnewski, “a very high amount of players use Shotguns in PvP, and almost no one uses them in PvE”.
To fix this, shotgun damage against non-Guardians has been boosted by 100%. However, damage fall off on shotguns with high range stats has been increased, so even the best shotties need to be another player’s face to be one-hit kills, and like fusion rifle,s Crucible starting ammo has been reduced.
The scout rifle, sniper rifle, machine gun and rocket launcher are currently functioning as Bungie intends, and will not be tweaked.
The full post contains further detail of Bungie’s goals and some interesting graphs and statistics, if that’s your bag.