I’ve used hand cannons almost exclusively since Dark Below now, and I can’t think of a time I’ve been more disappointed in their performance in PvE than with this patch. I didn’t have too much time with them, but from what I did use, it’s not a good experience, and I’m not even talking about the recoil changes.
First use was my old Duke, and it did fine for the first few story missions, but seemed less than stellar for a Heroic Adventure I did. Only way to one-shot a Legionary was to get up to three stacks of Rampage, and have no damage fall-off. It’s certainly a change of pace, but since the Cabal are supposed to be tanks, I can let that one pass.
What I can’t, though, is how bad 140 rpm’s feel. I used a blue one that was over level for a story mission, and despite the fact that I was also over level, I still couldn’t one-shot Acolytes or Cursed Thrall without some kind of damage buff. This just shouldn’t happen.
Bungie seems to want to bring body shot and headshot damage closer, and for the other archetypes that works fine, but the entire point of hand cannons are to heavily reward good precision shooting, and punish bad aim. This update makes them just feel like lower ranged scout rifles due to that precision shot nerf, which basically means there’s no point to them. I had a better time with auto rifles and even sidearms than with that hand cannon. That’s how bad it is.
If there’s anything that most people should be able to agree on for this game, it’s the fact that hand cannons should have their damage and precision multiplier changes rolled back to pre-Shadowkeep values. If Bungie would still like to make a minor nerf to hand cannon precision multipliers, say maybe 5%, that would be fine, too. But it just isn’t working how they function now, and I certainly won’t be using them much unless some kind of buff happens.