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Destiny 2’s Most Used Exotics Are Getting Nerfs and Players Aren’t Happy

As the next season of content approaches for Destiny 2, players have been increasingly looking for information on the mysterious Season of Opulence and what it will bring to Destiny. At this point, we know two things for sure. We know that the Raid is going to release on day one, a first for Destiny Raids. It will launch about five hours after the reset time that day, giving everyone a pretty fair shot at going for worlds’ first. The other change, announced yesterday, was a bunch of nerfs to some of Destiny 2’s most used and powerful weapons and armor. Players in the Destiny community are livid at having the crutch kicked out from under them.

Bungie explained that the reason for these nerfs comes from the power spikes being too high. These pieces of gear bypass ammo economy and super economy and basically become the defacto optimal choice, overwhelming challenging content with ease and rendering other pieces of gear useless in comparison. For reference, there are 123 Exotic weapons and armor pieces in Destiny 2 right now, and that’s not considering what gets added next season. Bungie specifically called out the names of 10 pieces of gear—four weapons and six armor—that are getting nerfs. Players are particularly upset about one of the weapons—Whisper of the Worm—and three of the armor pieces—Skull of Dire Ahamkara, Orpheus Rigs, and Phoenix Protocol.

Bungie notes that this isn’t everything that will be receiving big changes in Season of Opulence, but that they are the most impactful. They specifically call out that they needed to nerf this gear because “if we continue to push every weapon up higher and higher, it will be impossible to maintain challenging experiences.” We usually get new patch notes the day of the patch, which in this case will be June 4. Here are the announced changes so far.

Whisper of the Worm

Bungie: “Whisper of the Worm was already adjusted in Season of the Drifter, but an Exotic that can generate an infinite amount of Heavy ammo is still a gigantic outlier and renders many weapons irrelevant for certain encounters. While Exotics are intended to be powerful and novel, bypassing the ammo economy can tend to force us to adjust enemies to compensate. This effectively results in Sniper Rifles as a whole being punished because of Whisper’s unique ammo ability. As a result, we’re removing the ammo generation ability so that we can increase the effectiveness of all other Snipers that don’t have an endless ammo supply.”

  • White Nail pulls ammo from reserves rather than creating it
  • Reserve ammunition increased to 18 (without ammo reserve perks)

Sleeper Simulant

Bungie: “The reduction of bounced shot damage for Sleeper Simulant is already present on several important enemies. We are now making this reduction part of the weapon. The difference in damage is too large between a single precision shot of Sleeper Simulant and an angled shot that pierces the target and then also hits the target again with the bounced projectiles. Much like Whisper, we’ve had to adjust enemies around that potential. By making these changes a permanent part of the weapon, we can get it into a more balanced position.”

  • Reduced ricochet/bounce damage on boss combatants
  • Modified precision behavior—total damage is unchanged, but non-precision shots are significantly more forgiving

Lord of Wolves

Bungie: “Lord of Wolves received a massive increase in damage with the full benefits of the Shotgun changes in Season of the Drifter. This made it a lot more popular, but we got a significant amount of feedback that Release the Wolves activating on every kill made it difficult to control the weapon’s ammo consumption. As a result, we’re allowing you to swap between the two states to control the output, while also reducing its output slightly.”

  • PvE damage reduced by 20%
  • Release the Wolves perk has been reworked:
      • No longer triggers automatically on kill
      • This effect is now triggered by holding reload, similar to “The Fundamentals” on Hard Light and Borealis
      • PvE damage and range bonuses on this effect has been removed and replaced with a universal damage bonus instead

Ace of Spades

Bungie: “Ace of Spades is pretty hot in the Crucible, and has been since its inclusion in Destiny 2: Forsaken. The number of perks on the weapon, combined with the semi-permanent effect of Memento Mori gives the weapon too many advantages compared to other weapons. Now that Memento Mori ends when you stow the weapon, you’ll need to make a decision on whether or not you’ll keep the weapon drawn to retain the bonus.”

  • Memento Mori now ends if the weapon is stowed
  • The PvP damage bonus of Memento Mori was slightly reduced to prevent two-tapping Guardians while Vengeance (One-Eyed Mask) was active
      • Specifically, you need four resilience to survive this
  • Memento Mori is active for six shots again (up from five)

Super-Generating Exotic Armor Changes

  • Skull of Dire Ahamkara, Orpheus Rigs, and Phoenix Protocol now receive Super energy back with diminishing returns, making it rarer to get a full Super back
  • Shards of Galanor and Ursa Furiosa had their Super gain caps reduced to be in parity with other Super Exotic changes
  • Gwisin Vest had its energy reduced from 15% to 8% for killing one to two Guardians
        • Still scales up similar to before when killing three or more Guardians
      • PvE energy return remains similar to before

Players’ anger comes from Bungie’s history with nerfing powerful gear and not trusting that their other Exotic items won’t be next. They maintain that Bungie is taking the fun away from the game by pulling these specific pieces of gear back a little bit. Even popular Destiny content creators and fans within gaming media have been voicing their displeasure, and a vast majority of that is angry that Whisper of the Worm is effectively becoming a “spicy legendary” as one player put it, rather than being worthy of taking up your Exotic weapon slot.

It should be noted that this isn’t a full list of path notes, but a small preview into the changes that are coming with the Season of Opulence. We could see some other weapons and armor nerfed, and we could also see some buffs to bring other gear up to a usable level. Bungie wanted to get these big ones on people’s radar early so that they can adjust their play style or strategies for future content (and not have launch day of the new season be sullied by everyone being mad at nerfs like they are right now).

The initial response has been overwhelmingly negative, but it seems like Bungie was anticipating this, leading the new Season with bad news first and early. Season of Opulence launches on June 4, and is the final paid content season of the Annual Pass, known as Penumbra. Little is known about what Bungie is going to do next for Destiny 2, especially now that it is independent from Activision. Leaks about Destiny 3 have made some speculation for what we’ll see this fall, but for now, Bungie is focused on the Season of Opulence and doing damage control as an angry fanbase wields torches and pitchforks after losing their crutches.

[Source: Bungie]

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