The Whisper of the Worm is clearly causing Bungie some problems behind the scenes, as the exotic sniper rifle is in line for its third consecutive nerf in the upcoming Season 7 update ahead of the Season of Opulence content release.
Bungie's development team detailed sandbox changes for the Whisper of the Worm, mainly detailing how effective it can be in clearing PvE situations. The sniper rifle will be joined in the nerf-pile by the Sleeper Simulant, Lord of Wolves, the Ace of Spades, and exotic armour pieces as a whole.
"For the upcoming Season of Opulence, several notable weapons are being adjusted," the sandbox development team confirmed. "We want to ensure encounters - raids and other endgame content, for example - remain a challenge.
"Some of these weapons have been overwhelming that challenge that we put forward. Our first choice if to buff underused weapons, but if we continue to push every weapon up higher and higher, it will be impossible to maintain challenging experiences."
The Whisper of the Worm nerfs come in the form of the removal of the White Nail perk's central features. In the past, the sniper rifle would replenish its ammo if the player wielding it hit three precision hits in a row - not necessarily a difficult feat if you're using it against a major boss at the end of a Strike or Raid. Now, White Nail will draw directly from the weapon's reserve ammo pile rather than creating new bullets. To help this change, the weapon's reserves being increased from 9 shots to 18, just months after being reduced to single digits by Bungie.
In regards to the other major nerfs, the Sleeper Simulant is having its bounced shot damage reduced, while Lord of Wolves will have it's "Release the Wolves" perk reworked. Now, the powerful shotgun that was tinkered with during the Season of the Drifter will no longer have its key perk active on kills, but instead will now power-up by holding the reload button. To go along with this change, PvE damage and range bonuses on this effect have been removed and replaced with a universal damage bonus. The weapon's base PvE damage has been reduced by 20 percent.
Finally, popular Crucible hand cannon Ace of Spades will now see its "Memento Mori" perk end when the weapon is stowed. The PvP damage bonus for the weapon has also been slightly reduced to prevent two-tapping Guardians while the Vengeance perk from the One-Eyed Mask is active. The hand cannons active now remains on for six shots again, back up from five.
Bungie also confirmed they would be tweaking exotic armour pieces that grant Super energy back for Guardians. According to the balance team, these main armour pieces have "increasingly become 'must-pick' gear choices."
"We're making some changes to some exotic armour pieces," they said. "Orb generation from teammates is meant to be a way to accelerate your Super generation. These exotics are allowing players to bypass this teamwork mechanic by generating a large amount of Super energy without relying on other players' orb."
The Skull of Dire Ahamkara, Orpheus Rig, and Phoenix Protocol are now set to receive Super energy back with diminishing returns, while Shards of Galanor and Ursa Furiosa have had their Super gain caps reduced to come in line with other changes. Finally, Gwisin Vest has had its energy reduced from 15 percent to eight for killing one or two Guardians.
"Because these items are so overwhelmingly strong in situations where players face off against large numbers of enemies, some activities were designed considering the use of armour such as Orpheus Rigs, Phoenix Protocol, Skull of Dire Ahamkara, etc," the balance team said.
"This means if someone in your fireteam doesn't have these Super Exotics equipped, the activity becomes far more difficult. We are making some changes to these armour pieces to try to preserve their power fantasy and still leave them as viable choices for difficult activities without making players feel like they must have them equipped or be at a huge disadvantage."
So what do you think - has Bungie gone too far in the sweeping nerfs ahead of the new season, or were these changes justified to make sure the new content wasn't dominated by a handful of meta-defining weapons and equipment?
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