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Bungie reveals huge weapon & perk buffs coming to Destiny 2 in Season 14

Are these buffs enough to shake up both the PvE and PvP meta?

With a little under two weeks left of Season of the Chosen, Bungie has started with their previews of the upcoming balance patch that will launch with Season 14. We recently got the rundown on how the new transmog system ‘Armor Synthesis’ would work as well as a list of nerfs that would be hitting outlier weapons and perks.

In today’s ‘This Week at Bungie’ blog post, the Destiny 2 developers revealed a huge list of buffs to underperforming aspects of the sandbox. This includes 450RPM Auto Rifles, Linear Fusion Rifles, as well as perks like Subsistence, Unrelenting and Dragonfly.

Let’s talk about some of the bigger upcoming changes:

Auto Rifles

  • Increased Precision (450 rpm) Auto Rifle damage per bullet from 17 to 18.

This archetype of Auto Rifles has been lagging behind in the meta for some time now compared to other Auto Rifles archetypes. This archetype includes Auto Rifles such as Shadow Price, Seventh Seraph Carbine and Horror Story. At the present time, These Auto Rifles have an optimal time to kill of 0.93 seconds which is significantly slower than the 0.83 of High Impact (360RPM), 0.8 of Adaptive (600RPM) and 0.77 of Rapid Fire (720RPM) Auto Rifles.

This 0.93 second TTK for 450RPM Auto Rifles can be done by hitting 6 precision hits and 2 body hits. With these new damage values, 450RPM can kill in 0.78 seconds with 7 precision hits and to hit the previous TTK of 0.93, only 5 need to be precision hits and 3 to the body.

This is a huge buff to this archetype of Auto Rifles and hopefully this buff combined with the 120RPM Hand Cannon nerf will allow these weapons to properly enter the meta.

Linear Fusion Rifles

  • Increased precision damage by 15%
  • Increased reserve ammo by 20%

For a long time now Linear Fusion Rifles have been deserving of a significant PvE buff as they have sat unused for what feels like years. This buff, along with a perk like Vorpal weapon, will most likely make it viable in terms of Heavy weapon damage but still wont allow it to hang with the big boys like Falling Guillotine.

Hip-Fire Grip

  • +1 degrees precision hip fire angle threshold, +1.2x reticle stickiness falloff distance.

At a glance this might not seem significant but Bungie gave the following info about how important this buff is: “One degree doesn't seem like that much, but for reference Hand Cannon aim assist cone angle is 2.5 degrees at 0 AA, to 3 degrees at 100 AA, and you can feel the difference between a 90 AA hand cannon and a 100 AA hand cannon (a 0.05-degree increase), so a small difference can be significant.”

This, in essence, is a huge buff to The Last Word, especially on console. Due to the aim assist given when using a controller, The Last Word sees heavy use on the console platform. This buff to the aim assist cone angle will make this Hand Cannon much more consistent with hitting longer range hip fire shots. This is a buff to keep an eye on for sure.

Subsistence

  • No longer reduces reserve ammunition.
  • Submachine Guns now receive the same ammo fraction per takedown that Auto Rifles do (was 10%, like most weapons, now 17%, same as Auto Rifles).

With this buff, two of the biggest downsides of using Subsistence have been eradicated. At the present time, the Subsistence perk reduces the player’s reserve ammo for that weapon by approximately 30-40% which can be hugely problematic in certain end game situations like Nightfalls where ammo is at a premium. This reduction to reserves has not been just reduced but completely removed.

Alongside this, for Submachine Guns in particular, the amount of ammo returned to the magazine on a kill has been buffed from 10% to 17%. This means that for a magazine size of 30 like IKELOS SMG instead of only 3 bullets returned per kill, it will now be 5 bullets returned.

For myself at least, I already found Subsistence a fairly worthwhile perk and enjoyed running it. These two buffs to Subsistence will 100% turn it into an S tier perk. Pair this with Rampage on something like Extraordinary Rendition and baby you got a stew going.

Here is the full patch preview notes:

Weapon Archetypes

Precision (450 rpm) Auto Rifles: This subfamily fell behind other Auto Rifles in the Auto Rifle tuning last year, so damage has been increased to be closer to the time to kill of the others.

  • Increased Precision (450 rpm) Auto Rifle damage per bullet from 17 to 18.

Rares: We added a Rare Machine Gun and Bow to the World Loot Pool recently, but we didn't have any obtainable Linear Fusion Rifles or Breech Grenade Launchers and wanted to make sure these archetypes were also easily accessible.

  • Added existing but unobtainable rare Linear Fusion Rifle and Breech Grenade Launchers to the World Loot Pool.

Linear Fusion Rifles: These are an unpopular choice in PvE, largely because other weapons do their intended job (single target sustained damage) better or more efficiently, without the requirement of landing all precision hits. We want to keep the LFRs focus on precision damage but decided to increase the precision damage to make them more competitive, and increase reserves to give them more staying power. Note that we have seen plenty of suggestions to move some or all LFRs out of the Heavy slot, but this is a substantial amount of work and a balance risk for PvP, due to the difficulty of balancing Sniper Rifles (as instant-shot weapons) against LFRs (with charge time), with wildly varying flinch and aim assist values, and reduces weapon diversity in the Heavy slot. It's still a possibility for sometime in the future though, if tuning them as Heavy weapons doesn't have the desired effect.

  • Increased precision damage by 15%
  • Increased reserve ammo by 20%

Fusion Rifles: The recent buff to Fusion Rifle ranges had the side effect of making the best subfamily for PvP (high impact) even better, so we've decided to bring low range-stat Fusion Rifles up a fair bit.

  • Increased damage falloff start distance for Fusion Rifles, no effect on 100 range stat, +2m on 0 range stat.

Perks

Subsistence: When we made this perk, we were experimenting with unusual downsides for powerful perks, but ultimately decided that reducing reserves wasn't an interesting tradeoff. We also wanted to be able to put the perk on Special and Heavy weapons, where reducing reserves would feel terrible. Submachine Guns were granting a much smaller magazine fraction than Auto Rifles, so we fixed that at the same time.

  • No longer reduces reserve ammunition.
  • Submachine Guns now receive the same ammo fraction per takedown that Auto Rifles do (was 10%, like most weapons, now 17%, same as Auto Rifles).

High-Impact Reserves and Under Pressure: Due to technical constraints at the time these were created, the trigger condition for these is on projectile impact (i.e., the bonus won't take effect until you fire the weapon once), but we have more flexibility in perk activators now.

  • These are now active as long as their conditions are met.

Unrelenting: This was hard to trigger in difficult content, and the health awarded was hard to perceive.

  • Now easier to trigger in PvE (immediate trigger on majors) and heals 20% more.

Sympathetic Arsenal: Isn't appealing enough for many players as it is, but is useful in niche situations, so we decided on a small buff to sweeten it a little.

  • Now grants +20 reload in addition to its primary effect.

Dragonfly: It always bugged us that Dragonfly wouldn't proc on every enemy you could finish with a precision hit.

  • Now works on heavy shanks and servitors, and occurs even faster than after the Season of the Chosen fix.

Hip-fire Grip: We're being careful not to over-buff this, since when hip-fire is too effective it changes the game significantly, so we're just bumping this a bit more over the Season of Arrivals buff to make it a more useful option.

  • +1 degrees precision hip fire angle threshold, +1.2x reticle stickiness falloff distance.
  • One degree doesn't seem like that much, but for reference Hand Cannon aim assist cone angle is 2.5 degrees at 0 AA, to 3 degrees at 100 AA, and you can feel the difference between a 90 AA hand cannon and a 100 AA hand cannon (a 0.05-degree increase), so a small difference can be significant.
  • Note that precision hip-fire angle caps at the aim down sights aim assist cone angle.

Iron Grip, Iron Gaze, Iron Reach: We were cautious when making stat bump perks in Season of Arrivals, not wanting to break weapon stat ranges at too low a cost, but the penalties these shipped with were too much now that we've seen them in the wild.

  • Reduced secondary stat penalty from -40 to -30.

Osmosis and Elemental Capacitor: We didn't have time to address these when Stasis came into being, but always wanted them to work correctly when playing a Stasis subclass.

  • Osmosis now switches the weapon to Stasis damage when playing a Stasis subclass - this should work for any mechanics that ask for Stasis damage (but not for Stasis ability damage). Also created stasis VFX for all weapon types that Osmosis can appear on (more coming later).
  • Elemental Capacitor with a Stasis subclass grants +recoil direction and reduces ADS move speed penalty.

No Distractions: Because of an Exotic change below, and the Sniper Rifle flinch changes in Season of the Chosen, we wanted to make No Distractions a more appealing option for combatting flinch.

  • Reduced trigger time from 1.5s to 1s and increased flinch reduction from 30% to 35%.

Celerity and Bottomless Grief: We addressed these specifically in an earlier TWAB, but here are the buffs again. Note that we buffed the perks themselves, so these changes will apply to your existing drops of these weapons (these being alternate perks on Adept weapons can't be applied retroactively though).

  • Celerity: Now always grants +20 to handling and +20 to reload in addition to the triggered effect.
  • Bottomless Grief: Now always grants +30 to magazine in addition to the triggered effect.

Thresh: This change is already live and not a buff so much as a bug fix (Thresh unintentionally only worked in PvP for certain weapons in Beyond Light) but Thresh has worked for all weapon types in PvP since Season of the Chosen launch.

Mods

Adept Mag, Adept Targeting: Same reasoning as the Iron Banner perks, we were cautious initially but think it's fine to reduce the penalties for these perks having seen them in action.

  • Reduced secondary stat penalty from -20 to -15.
  • Fixed Adept Mag not granting reserves when applied to a Sword.

Adept Counterbalance: This didn't feel like enough of an upgrade over standard Counterbalance Stock to be worthwhile.

  • Increased recoil direction benefit.

Exotics

MIDA Multitool: We've seen many requests to switch this from Outlaw to something more useful, and one thing we've observed is MIDA losing fights to weapons that cause more flinch, so here we go.

  • Changed the catalyst perk from Outlaw to No Distractions.

Hawkmoon: Increased priority of Paracausal Charge and Paracausal Shot buff text (this was sometimes dropping off the bottom of the list).

The Future

Sometime further into Season 14, we expect to touch the following:

All Shotguns: We don't expect the change to the two dominant Shotguns (replacing Quickdraw with Surplus) and nerfing Quickdraw to really move the needle on Shotgun usage overall in PvP. We agree with some of the comments that weapon usage is not only dependent on tuning, but that map design is also a factor. However, we want more weapons to be viable on all maps, and we can achieve this through tuning, giving other Special weapons room to excel. Specifics coming later.

Dead Man's Tale: With the upcoming nerf to 120 Hand Cannon range, we expect to see a surge in Dead Man's Tale usage (which is already high). We had enough moving pieces in Season 14 that we didn't want to try to squeeze this in at the same time , but we have a change ready to go that reins in its ability to challenge Sniper Rifles, 120 Hand Cannons and Scout Rifles while in hip-fire without detracting from the fantasy of the weapon.

Fusion Rifles: As with some of our other changes, we don't want to bump these too much too fast, so will follow up if needed.


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