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Bungie confirms a host of perk changes coming in Destiny 2 Season 11, but is it what Guardians want?

The Destiny devs are tweaking perks, but is it the right direction?

What is the thing that draws your eye to a weapon when a new one drops for you? The perk roll. The right perks on a weapon in Destiny 2 have a way of turning a poor weapon into a mediocre one while elevating an already decent weapon into the top of the meta.

The perfect perk rolls on newly released weapons are the main reason that many of us continue to play Destiny. We are all in some ways the same as Captain Ahab from Moby Dick, travelling endlessly over the high seas of Destiny in search of our white whale of a perk roll.

The problem at the moment with perk rolls in Destiny is that there are a few clear winners in terms of overall performance that causes most other options to be worthless and result in immediately dismantling the weapon.

According to the most recent ‘This Week at Bungie’ blog post, Bungie is again attempting to fix this problem with the current selection of perks in a way that makes them all viable options. These changes are planned for a release at the beginning of Season 11 in a few weeks time.

Reload Perks

  • Outlaw – Slowed this down a little bit.
  • Reload stat from +100 to +50.
  • Reload Duration Scale from 0.8 to 0.9.
  • Feeding Frenzy – This was strictly better than Outlaw, so we’re changing functionality to be based on the number of rapid kills.
  • Functionality changed to increase reload speed based on the number of rapid kills, up to 5.
  • With 2 kills, reload speed is equal to updated Outlaw.
  • With 3+ kills, is faster than Outlaw.
  • With 4+ kills, is the fastest reload in the game (except Alloy Mag).
  • Max possible reload duration scale from 0.83 to 0.8.
  • Max possible reload stat unchanged at +100.
  • Rapid Hit – Gave a huge amount of reload and stability for very little work, front-loaded onto the first precision hit. We have updated it so that it still feels good, but isn’t quite as powerful.
  • Adjusted stacking bonus to give less benefit for the first hit and more with subsequent hits.
  • Max possible reload stat from +100 to +60.
  • Max possible reload duration scale from 0.8 to 0.925.
  • Max possible stability stat from +50 to +25.
  • Drop Mag – Situationally really powerful without a massive drawback, as good as a perk, but in a magazine column.
  • Reload duration scale from 0.85 to 0.9 (just brings it in line with Outlaw).
  • Field Prep – Unchanged, but for reference:
  • Reload stat +50.
  • Reload duration scale 0.8.
  • Alloy Mag – Unchanged, but for reference:
  • Reload empty duration scale 0.6666.

Since the original Destiny, reload perks were always seen as a must have for almost all weapons in the game. These perks were all fairly easy to activate while giving a huge bonus to reload speed and in turn, a huge bonus to damage uptime.

It was only a matter of time before Bungie decided to deal with them but in all honesty these nerfs wont do a whole lot in bringing other perks into the limelight.

The nerf to Outlaw won't really be felt by too many weapons, except by those with a naturally lower Reload Speed, as the original +100 to this stat was wasted due to the stat capping out at 100 anyway.

If we take a look at a popular weapon such as the Machine Gun ‘Hammerhead’, which has a base Reload Speed of 64, we can see that the original +100 and the nerfed +50 will still feel the same as both these stat increases bring the Reload Speed up to the max of 100.

The nerf to Feeding Frenzy is the correct choice in both balance and theme. It was always odd to have a perk named ‘Feeding Frenzy’ but all it takes is one kill to bring it up to Outlaw levels of Reload Speed increase.

The scaling increase in Reload Speed is a good choice too as Feeding Frenzy is much easier to activate than Outlaw so there are clear situations where each perk will be the better choice.

The scaling of Reload Speed increase also gives a large benefit to players who are able to slay enemies efficiently and in quick succession, giving them the highest Reload Speed increase in the game to then continue on killing enemies with little downtime.

Rapid-Hit is one of the newer Reload perks that has seen a bit of power creep in how it simply does it all. The perk gives a bonus to reload speed and stability when hitting precision hits that stack up to 5 times, you don't even need to kill the enemy.

Rapid-Hit had so much power packed into the one perk that it almost made other perks like Outlaw and Zen Moment obsolete.

Like the Outlaw changes, the lowering of max Reload Speed bonus from +100 to +60 isn't too hard of a nerf due to the maxing of most weapon’s Reload Speed but the Stability nerf will be felt. This is a good thing though as it gives other perks, like Zen Moment, room to breathe in the perk pool.

General Perks

In the next section of the patch preview, Bungie gives the rundown on some other perk changes that will join the Reload Speed perk tuning in Season 11.

  • Dynamic Sway Reduction -- Adds 10 Stability over time in addition to accuracy (this is way more powerful than it sounds).
  • Reduced reticle movement from Stability should now tell players this is working.
  • Pulse Monitor -- Take critical damage and you can quickly switch to your now-fully loaded Shotgun!
  • Reload amount from 0.35 to 1.0.
  • +50 Handling.
  • 5% faster swap speed.
  • This works on stowed weapons too, which was already the case but makes it a lot more useful.
  • Hipfire Grip -- Now helps you hit shots closer to ADS ranges, still doesn't affect damage dropoff or magnetism.
  • 1.2x aim assist falloff.
  • +15 aim assist.
  • +1.7 degrees precision hip fire angle threshold.
  • By default, when hip-firing a weapon, the center of your reticle must be over a target in order to get a crit, otherwise aim assist will give you a body shot. This change gives you a little leniency, so if the center of your reticle is not directly over a target you will still get the crit if you’re within this angle.
  • Has no effect on Sniper Rifles.
  • Sneak Bow -- Actually makes you sneaky now. Stealth buff!
  • Now doesn't ping radar when shooting.

Dynamic Sway Reduction was already seen as a fairly desirable perk on Submachine Guns and Auto Rifles due to the Accuracy boost.

The Accuracy stat in Destiny 2 basically determines how close shots will land to where the reticle is pointing after sustained fire. A low Accuracy means there will be a greater, and more often, deviation between the reticle and where the shot lands while a high accuracy means the shot is more likely to hit exactly where the reticle is aiming.

The addition of 10 Stability to Dynamic Sway Reduction is extremely powerful as Stability and Accuracy work very well in tandem with each other. Stability will lower the overall bounce of the reticle while Accuracy will ensure shots will land close to the reticle.

You can see how this would be extremely powerful on fast firing weapons like the aforementioned Submachine Guns and Auto Rifles.

Pulse Monitor has its uses but it has always been seen as fairly situational, it was always better to simply go with some damage and reload perks, which is the entire point of this rebalancing.

Essentially this change will fully reload the weapon when your shields are popped, even if it's stowed, and give a huge boost to Handling and swap speed.

As an example, let’s say you're getting charged down by a Major Vex Minotaur. You have just emptied all your Shotgun shells into some other Vex and are only left with your Scout Rifle. You send a few bullets into the Minotaur but it doesn't even break its Void Shield as it launches a melee attack at you, breaking your shields.

This then activates Pulse Monitor on your stowed Shotgun, allowing you to almost instantly swap back to it, fully reloaded. You are then able to destroy the Minotaur with a handful of shots and continue on with killing bad guys instead of waiting for an ally to revive you. The power of this buffed Pulse Monitor is evident but this won't change it from being a situational perk.

Isn't it best to use perks that reduce the chances of finding yourself in dangerous situations instead of perks that keep you from dying in dangerous situations?

The Hipfire Grip change is an interesting one. To break this down into simple terms, essentially this change will increase the distance at which hip fire aim assist is still active while also increasing the overall aim assist, or reticle ‘stickiness’.

The buff to Hipfire Grip will also give a small amount of leniency to hitting precision hits while hip firing which will greatly reward skillful players.

These changes are planned to go live when Season 11 launches in around 20 days time. This rebalancing of perks is of course subject to change and Bungie could pull the entire thing if they so feel like it or simply make small adjustments as we draw closer to the new Season launch.

For the full list of changes be sure to check out the ‘This Week at Bungie’ blog for 05/21/2020.

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