This Week At Bungie – 8/19/2021
Chris Proctor: G’day, it’s Chris again. We’ve got a lot to talk about for Season 15, including stasis weapons, a rework of Fusion Rifles, and several changes intended to make certain weapons more relevant in the new activity and with the new artifact mods. Let’s kick off by clarifying some terminology.
Definition of TermsSome of the recent info on weapons we've put out has been confusing, and while I generally like to use our internal terms for concepts where possible, in some cases these require too much explanation to use them externally.Here are some definitions and clarifications to help:Falloff - Internally we use "falloff min" and "falloff max" to mean start and end, but moving forward we'll use these externally, using damage as an example (but the same logic applies to aim assist and whatnot):
- Damage falloff start: The distance at which damage falloff begins, or stops doing maximum damage.
- Damage falloff end: The distance at which damage falloff ends, or hits the damage floor.Projectiles - We've used various terms to describe these types externally, including borrowing terms from other genres (oops), but have settled on these:
- Hitscan: A projectile that instantly hits - this applies to most weapons in the game; for example Auto Rifles, Hand Cannons, Fusion Rifles, fully drawn Bows (at most distances).
- Non-hitscan: A projectile with travel time, sometimes having physics bounces, and often having explosive damage and/or homing; for example Rocket Launchers, Grenade Launchers, partially drawn Bows, Jötunn.Shotguns
- Spread angle: The cone that pellets come out in - not to be confused with one of the other types of cones - this determines the size of the outer ring below.
- Destiny 2 Shotguns don't have pure RNG for pellet distribution (though yes, it sure feels like it sometimes), which seems worth diving into…
- A Shotgun shot contains 12 pellets, spread out across three rings as follows:
- Center: One pellet right in the middle
- Inner ring: Four wedges with one pellet each
- Outer ring: Seven wedges with one pellet each
- So, aside from the center, which is in a fixed location, each pellet is only randomized inside a defined wedge angle and inner/outer radius.
GlobalSeason 15 introduces Legendary Stasis weapons, and we’ve seen some concern about how these are intended to work, particularly in PvP, so here are some details:
- Stasis Power weapons are in the Power slot, but all other Stasis weapons are in the Kinetic slot. This is to avoid overcrowding the Energy slot, and so that it’s reasonable to use one in match game content. The Kinetic slot won’t be renamed at this time.
- Stasis weapons don’t intrinsically do anything differently from weapons of other damage types, but they are the only weapons that can roll with Stasis perks.
- We generally intend Stasis perks with slowing or freezing effects to have a kill trigger, this being easy enough to trigger in PvE and fun to use but not obnoxious to play against in PvP.Now that we’ve addressed Quickdraw’s permanent +100 handling buff we see more people using the quickswap glitch. The glitch uses combinations of inputs to animation cancel, allowing near-instant weapon swaps. We want the Handling stat to continue to have value on weapons, and don't want - for example - Aggressive Shotguns to lose their key downside (slow swaps) due to an unintentional side effect of the animation system
- Fixed the quickswap glitch.Running out of Primary ammo has never been tactically interesting. Running out in hard PvE content or because you were on a tear in PvP was a weird and sometimes frustrating experience that we would like to not subject anyone to in the future.
- All Primary ammo weapons now have infinite ammo.
- Inertia Override has been adjusted to account for there being no Primary bricks (see the 8/5/2021 abilities TWAB).
- Drop Mag's downside of reducing reserve ammo is now almost meaningless.
- Reworked to be +reload speed, -magazine size.
- Compact Arrow Shaft's upside of increasing reserve ammo likewise.
- Reworked to be +reload, +handling.
- Updated some other perks that refer to reserves in a way that's no longer accurate.
- See notes on Fighting Lion and Sweet Business in the Exotics section below.Target farming Trials weapons is much more efficient in Season 15, and we have some cool new perks for players to play with that we wanted to put on Trials weapons.
- All Trials weapons available in Season 15 now have seven perks in each column (was 5).When max Power levels on weapons launched, and we reissued several weapons, we saw how frustrated players were at having to regrind their favorite rolls, since the perks pools hadn't changed. Based on that, our reissue guidelines from Season 13 onwards were to replace most of the perks. Turns out that that was an overcorrection, and that certain perks in the original pools had become part of the identity of a weapon.Moving forward, the guidelines for reissues will be to remove the least useful 2-3 perks and add 2-3 newer perks that give the weapon some new options and may result in an entirely new top tier rolls without removing the old one.We've made some small adjustments to the weapons reissued in the 3.2.1 update to move these in the direction of the new reissue guidelines (and if you were wondering why our Community Managers were asking for everyone’s favorite rolls, now you know).
- Added one or two of the original perks to each column for the Luna weapons reissued in 3.2.1 (i.e. the Lectern weapons only).
- Since these can be target farmed, we're ok with increasing the size of the perk pools in this case.
- Added one of the original perks to one or both columns for the Dreaming City weapons reissued in 3.2.1 (Tigerspite, Twilight Oath, Abide the Return).
- Since these can't be target farmed (yet), we didn't want to increase the size of the pools by more than one.
ArchetypesNote: Exotics receive these changes as written unless otherwise mentioned in the Exotics section belowBreech Grenade Launchers are increasing as a pain point in PvP, and with the Shotgun nerf we're seeing a small increase in usage. This change aims to reduce the ease of getting big splash damage for priming or cleaning up targets; we'll watch how things change and make further adjustments in a future update if needed. Note that we're fine with how they perform in PvE so have compensated there.
- Reduced blast radius by 0.4m, e.g. max blast radius decreased from 4.55m to 4.15m, min blast radius decreased from 3.80m to 3.40m.
- Reduced splash damage by 20, which reduces total damage for a direct hit from 220 to 200 (before taking spike or proximity grenades into account).
- Increased damage in PvE by 12% (because of the above splash damage change this results in a small overall buff to combined damage).
- Witherhoard is unaffected.While Machine Gun usage is surprisingly high, we felt that they weren't fulfilling their intended role in high difficulty content (ammo efficient add clear and secondary single target sustained damage).
- Increased damage in PvE by 20%.Scout Rifles and Hand Cannons have felt weaker than we'd like in hard PvE content for quite a while.
- Increased damage vs. minors by 15%.Fusion Rifles have benefited indirectly from the mid-Season 14 Shotgun nerf, but Fusion Rifle subfamilies weren't as different from each other as we wanted, and weren't all useful in a variety of content. So we looked at all of the options we had for diversifying them and ended up with some substantial changes. This isn't intended to be a global buff to Fusion Rifles, but we expect some of these to be better counters to other weapons than they were previously
- Note that we also evaluated some other options, which are worth a bit of discussion:
- Giving the projectiles travel time: We did like the idea of this behavior in Destiny 1, but on investigation found that there are networking issues with firing rapid bursts of non-hitscan projectiles, and they didn't play as well as we wanted them to. We may look at this option again in the future.
- Burst rate of fire: This would have meant touching design data and audio for every Fusion Rifle we've ever shipped; well beyond the scope we wanted for this change and also not that interesting a change.
- Increased PvE damage bonus such that all subfamilies have a 15% PvE bonus (previously high impact was 0%, precision and adaptive were 10% and rapid-fire was 12.5%).
- Pushed subfamilies further apart, adjusting charge time, shots fired per burst (was seven for all subfamilies) and damage (note that the "base" below means without battery perks, a charge time masterwork or the Adept Charge Time mod):
- High Impacts charge slower, and while still strong require more planning to use effectively.
- Base charge time increased from 0.86s to 1.0s.
- Shots per burst reduced from seven to five.
- Reduced total damage per burst.
- In playtesting, we've found that charging these in the open is super risky, but pre-charging around corners or otherwise in safety is very effective.
- With the reduced shots per burst, these are now less reliant on stability, so can stack a bit more range.
- Precisions and Adaptives are close to unchanged.
- Base charge time is unchanged.
- Shots per burst is unchanged at seven.
- Very slightly increased total damage per burst.
- In playtesting, we feel that these are very effective all-around, without stepping on the niches of High Impacts and Rapid Fires. (I'll be keeping a good PLUG ONE.1 for PvP).
- Rapid Fires charge faster, allowing them to be used reactively against charging enemies, or aggressively when pushing forward.
- Base charge time decreased from 0.54s to 0.46s.
- Shots per burst increased from seven to nine.
- Increased total damage per burst.
- In playtesting, we've found that these are very effective against Shotgun-rushers. The combination of them needing to be closer, and you having a shorter charge time work well together, and if you have good enough timing, you can fire two bursts with a rapid fire before a high impact user finishes charging their first.
- With the increased shots per burst, these are now more reliant on stability, but with the increased damage they're less reliant on range.
- Parts of this work required adjusting several Fusion Rifle perks, and one mod:
- Backup Plan's implementation was incompatible with the Fusion Rifle changes, and we felt like the perk could use a rework anyway.
- Removed +100 to charge time stat, adjusted charge time multiplier from 0.85 to 0.7, now scales damage by 0.8.
- Liquid Coils and Accelerated Coils needed a rework for similar reasons.
- Both converted to scale charge time and damage instead of modifying the charge time stat.
- The final effect is much the same as before, but these are now more robust, however they won't visibly change the charge time stat in the inspection screen.
- The Adept Charge Time mod felt pointless, and we felt like it would still be balanced against other mods if it didn't reduce damage.
- Changed functionality to scale charge time directly instead of changing the charge time stat, without adjusting the damage.
- A note on the Charge Time Masterwork:
- A Fusion Rifle's damage is determined by its charge time stat, similar to how most others weapons’ damage is determined by their rate of fire stat. Masterworks can only increase weapon stats for performance reasons, so it's not possible to change how charge time maps onto damage without big changes to how the charge time stat works.
- We investigated doing this by making the Masterwork a perk, but this would cause Fusion Rifles to exceed the perk budget, resulting in Bad Things Happening (as mentioned in a prior TWAB).
- With the Fusion Rifle rework, we feel that this Masterwork is more viable; it now rarely reduces bolts to kill, so may feel not feel like a downgrade in the same way as before.
- We'll be watching to see how this plays out and have some options to address the issue if that’s still needed.
- Adjusted the Fusion Rifle stat order so it matches other weapons (stability and handling were out of order).
- This is a big change to Fusion Rifles, including all Exotic Fusions, so we'll be watching for any major issues and will make tweaks as needed.
ExoticsThe Anarchy Exotic Grenade Launcher has been dominant for years now (we’re ignoring the Season with sweet Grenade Launcher artifact mods of course), being near-mandatory for certain raid bosses (combined with e.g. double slug Shotguns), as well as excelling as a solo weapon and for add clears in some encounters. We like that it's a great choice for hard solo content, and trapping enemy spawns/chokepoints, but don't want it to remain part of a dominant tactic for boss damage, and particularly don't want it to be great for boss damage AND add clears in a single encounter. With this change we expect it to remain strong, without being borderline usable as a Primary weapon.
- Reduced total reserve+magazine ammunition from 26 to 16.
- Reduced damage by 30% vs bosses (Champions are not bosses).Xenophage was already top notch, so didn't need to benefit from the global Machine Gun buff. It does benefit from the damage-per-bullet buff to Machine Guns, but now has slower rate of fire to compensate, resulting in slightly lower damage per second, but higher burst damage and sustained damage (since it's now more ammo efficient).
- Reduced rate of fire from 120 to 90 RPM.
- Receives less of the Machine Gun PvE damage buff.Fighting Lion has always been fun but not dominant in PvE, so we weren't worried about the impact infinite ammo would have there. However enabling fast, unlimited grenade spamming was too much in PvP based on internal playtests, so we've addressed that specific case without significantly impacting its feel in PvE.
- Fighting Lion reserve ammo increased from "a lot" to "infinite."
- Receives the same changes as other breech Grenade Launchers.
- Reduced base reload stat to 0 (breech Grenade Launchers with 0 reload stat reload very, very slowly).
- Now increases reload speed to its previous level on damaging multiple enemies with one grenade.
- We'll be keeping an eye on this, but believe it's in a good place with this change (and note that we're not going to over-nerf an Exotic with its own subreddit).
- You shouldn't be manually reloading Fighting Lion anyway.Vex Mythoclast - We were cautious with tuning this one at launch, knowing that shipping a dominant weapon that has incredibly low ownership would break PvP, and aimed for "balanced, but erring on the side of not letting it ship too strong." However, it fell short of balanced, ownership is much higher now, and we want it to be strong enough to be a desirable reward from Vault of Glass:
- PVE damage bonus increased by ~40%.
- Range stat increased to be near-best in class for high impact Auto Rifles.
- Increased stability stat.
- Reworked catalyst to grant stability and damage after a kill.
- Increased rate of fire from 360 to 390.
- Reduced Linear Fusion Rifle mode charge time from 820 to 533 (same as standard Linear Fusion Rifles).
- No longer loses overcharge stacks on stow except when in Linear Fusion Rifle mode.Merciless - We had to touch this anyway because of the Fusion Rifle changes, and figured if we're in there we might as well make a buff we'd been thinking about.
- Updated perk to account for fewer shots per burst (should build up charge rate at the same amount per burst as before).
- Reduced the damage penalty for increasing charge rate by 40%.Jötunn - because of how the charge time stat works with the Fusion Rifle changes, we made a small change to avoid breaking this weapon - in playtesting it makes almost no difference, but if I didn’t mention it someone would notice.
- Reduced charge time from 0.82s to 0.78s (i.e. charges 0.04s faster).
- Slightly reduced damage per shot.Bastion feels very strong with Shotguns being less dominant, so we're preemptively adjusting it in PvP. It's also super low usage in PvE, so we're buffing it there too.
- Reduced damage by 15% (can now not quite kill a Guardian with one shot in the three-shot burst it fires).
- Increased spread angle by 10%.
- Increased PvE damage by 25% (so overall around a 10% increase in PvE).Sweet Business's perk refilling the magazine when picking up Primary no longer works in a world without Primary ammo, so it's been adjusted.
- Now refills magazine on picking up Special/Heavy ammo instead of Primary.PerksFiring Line - We like the idea of the perk; it was just giving away a bit too much damage for almost-free.
- Reduced damage bonus to +20% precision damage for all supported weapon archetypes (was highly variable depending on weapon type).
- Will roll on some Sniper Rifles, Linear Fusion Rifles and Machine Guns, and maybe some other stuff in the future.Certain damage perks only affected impact damage on explosive weapons, we've updated these specific perks to also increase detonation damage.
- Kill Clip
- Adrenaline JunkieWe also fixed incorrect rarity on some recently shipped weapon perks.
VFXWeapon VFX were all custom and some didn't meet our desired cool factor, so we've rebuilt these to speed up the process of adding new weapons or updating old ones, while updating the visuals at the same time.
- Updated all Grenade Launcher and Rocket Launcher VFX.
- Legendary Fusion and Linear Fusion Rifles now have distinct damage type charge VFX.
The Near FutureWe're devoting a lot of energy to The Witch Queen expansion, and there are a ton of things changing in a few weeks, so we want to see how things shake out before deciding on further tuning. We'll be watching Season 15 launch closely and are ready to make some small adjustments as needed in the first half of the Season.
The More Distant Future (but still before The Witch Queen)Linear Fusion Rifles and Caster Frame Swords are still not where we want them to be, so expect some tweaks.We're also looking at underused or underpowered Exotics, and will be taking a pass at some of them including Arbalest, Suros Regime, Cryosthesia 77K, Malfeasance, and more.If you have issues with spamming high rate-of-fire semi-automatic weapons as fast as possible, we've got something in the works for you.Priming a target and quickly swapping for a cleanup is easier than we’d like, and we’re looking at options for building towards faster swap speeds. We’ve got a step at hitting both of these points coming.
Witch Queen and BeyondWe’ve talked previously about wanting Legendary weapons to have more identity based on their source and expect to ship a new system for this in or close to The Witch Queen.In Season 15 we tweaked Exotic Primary weapons to generate ammo faster through ammo finder mods, and we have another change planned to make them more enticing in hard PvE content.That’s all we’ve got for weapon changes for now. We’re looking forward to seeing how the PvP and PvE metas shape up once you all have your hands on them next week!Chris
Guns, Guns, Guns
At Bungie, it’s our mission to build worlds that inspire friendship, but we also realize the fortunate position we find ourselves in, and we believe in the power, compassion, and generosity of our community to amplify our efforts to reduce distress and suffering in the world. We believe that games can be a powerful force for good, and we believe it is our responsibility to use our voice and to support your desire to help those in need.The Bungie Foundation’s mission is to put those beliefs to work. We are a people-focused organization that builds and empowers our community to improve the health and wellbeing of children, uplift the rights of all individuals and communities, and provide aid in times of crisis. We act as the charitable giving arm of Bungie in order to express our company’s values outwardly to the world around us, and we have developed strategic programs and partnerships in order to accomplish our mission.Our partners in disaster relief – Direct Relief and Team Rubicon – are doing profound and meaningful work around the globe to provide direct aid, agility, and expertise in response to the numerous humanitarian crises our world is facing, including the Haiti earthquake and global impacts of climate change and COVID-19.We invite you to jump into action with us to develop a fund that will both support their efforts as well as help us build a pool of reserves that can be leveraged to support future humanitarian needs strategically and rapidly. Between now and September 1 at 11:59pm PT, we have a few exciting opportunities to help those in need around the world, along with some incredible incentives to thank you for doing so.Here’s how it’ll work:
- All donations to the Bungie Foundation will support the Disaster Relief Fund.
- Donate $25+ and receive the Anchor Point emblem, distributed via email on Thursday, September 9.
Guardians of Hope T-Shirt Pre-Order
- Pre-Order the Guardians of Hope T-Shirt from Team Rubicon’s webstore and the Bungie Foundation will match up to $25k.
- We’ll provide shipping updates in a later TWAB.
- Every customer will receive the Vital Elixir emblem, distributed on Thursday, September 9.
Bungie Store Initiative
- All purchases from Bungie Foundation Collection will support the Disaster Relief Fund.
- All purchases from this collection will receive the Planet of Peace emblem, delivered via email after purchase is completed.
Notes: To be eligible for the in-game items listed above, donations and/or purchases must be made between August 19 and September 1 at 11:59pm PT. Unique redemption code(s) will be emailed to you on Thursday, September 9 following the completion of the fundraiser. Donations must be exactly $25 or higher to qualify for the Anchor Point emblem. Combining smaller donations does not qualify. Limit one redemption code per item per email for qualifying donations or purchases.
A little bit more about our partners:
Team RubiconTeam Rubicon (TR) is a veteran-led disaster response organization helping vulnerable communities prepare, respond, and recover after natural disasters and humanitarian crises. They acknowledge that crises such as COVID-19, impacts of climate change, and increasing natural disasters are ubiquitous. That is why funds raised through this campaign will support TR’s efforts to meet critical needs around the U.S. and globally, including high priority efforts such as the Haiti earthquake, wildfires, and global COVID-19 support. But these funds will do more than that. The Bungie Foundation and TR’s goal is to leverage these funds to provide exponential and incremental impact to the most vulnerable populations here and around the world, now and into the future.
Direct ReliefDirect Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. Each emergency has specific characteristics that are dependent on local facts and circumstances. Direct Relief coordinates with local, national, and international responders to ensure efficient use of resources while avoiding duplication of efforts or logistical bottlenecks. Funds raised through this campaign will generate efficient responses to today’s major crises and will leverage resources to maximize continued health improvement around the world.Love,Your friends from the Bungie Foundation
UPDATE 3.3.0On Tuesday, August 24, Destiny 2 will undergo maintenance in preparation for Destiny 2 update 3.3.0. Below is a timeline of events. Note, some times may be subject to change during this maintenance period:
- 8 AM PDT (1500 UTC): Maintenance begins.
- 8:45 AM PDT (1545 UTC): Players are removed from activities. Destiny 2 is brought offline.
- 10 AM PDT (1700 UTC): Update 3.3.0 will be available across all platforms and regions. Players will be able to log back into Destiny 2.
- 12 PM PDT (1900 UTC): Destiny 2 maintenance is expected to conclude.Below are some issues that will be resolved with update 3.3.0. A complete list will be shared when the update goes live.
- Players will no longer receive the BIRD error code when trying to get to the Wall of Wishes.
- The Adept Big Ones Spec' weapon mod will now correctly appear in the Collections.
- Bounties, Valor, and Weekly Challenges will correctly gain progress in Crucible matches.For more information, players should visit our Destiny Server and Update Status help article.
CLAIM YOUR REWARDSThe following will reset and become unclaimable when Season of the [REDACTED] launches on August 24:
- Season 14 Bungie Rewards.
- Season 14 Seasonal Challenges.
- Vanguard Tokens – Visit Commander Zavala to turn them in.
- Valor rewards – Visit Lord Shaxx to claim these items, including engrams.
- Infamy rewards – Visit the Drifter to claim these items, including engrams.
- Splicer Servitor engrams.Season of the Chosen Season Pass items on our Previous Season webpage. Make sure to check each character! Some people may have to use our Destiny Companion mobile app to claim these rewards.
CROSS PLAY NAMESAs a reminder, Cross Play will go live early in Season of the [REDACTED]. When players log in for the first time to play Season of the [REDACTED], the name on whatever platform they log in on will become their Bungie Name for when Cross Play goes live. Below is a list of reminders regarding a player’s Bungie Name:
- The display name of the first platform that players log in with to play Destiny 2 beginning at 10 AM PDT on August 24, 2021, will become the player’s Bungie Name.
- Platform ID numbers, non-standard characters, and symbols will be removed and excluded.
- If a name violates our Code of Conduct, it will be changed to “Guardian.”
- Name changes won’t be available until a later update.
- For Steam players: your Steam profile name, not your Steam account name, will become your Bungie Name.
- A name can be up to 26 characters in length.
- Cyrillic characters are supported in each language that Destiny 2 supports.
- The following languages are also supported: Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.
HEROES’ MEMORIAL QUESTSome players have reported issues acquiring the final Season of the Splicer quest. To resolve this issue:
- Players should log into each character and check the Splicer Servitor and the Quest Archive for this quest to collect. Please be aware that this quest can only be completed on one character.
- Players may have to listen to each radio message in the H.E.L.M. first by going to orbit and back to the H.E.L.M. each time until all radio messages have been listened to.
- Players may have to complete all Season 14 quests in their inventory and log out and back into the game.
- Players may have to pick up and complete a bounty and complete the Override activity.
KNOWN ISSUESWhile we continue investigating various known issues, here is a list of the latest issues that were reported to us in our #Help Forum. A full list of known issues related to Season of the [REDACTED] will be shared once the Season goes live:
- We have resolved an issue causing the Gift Sub Weekly Bounty in the Destiny 2 Twitch Extension to not complete for viewers who purchased Gift Subs. Players who purchased Gift Subs for the bounty can now acquire their bounty rewards from Amanda Holliday at the Tower before the weekly reset.
- We have resolved an issue causing Xbox players to receive negative silver balances. Players who had issues earlier should restart their platform and Destiny 2 app and log back in to verify.
- Players with a full inventory will not earn Season of the [REDACTED] Seasonal currency, and the currency will not go to the Postmaster.
- The Arbalest Exotic Linear Fusion Rifle will not work with anti-Champion mods in Season of the [REDACTED]. In a future update, anti-barrier will be added as an intrinsic perk for the weapon.
- When 'Charged Melee' is mapped to an input, changing the button layout will retain that mapping. Players can reset the custom layout or clear the mapping for "Charged Melee" to fix this issue.
- The Vex Fanatic's Radiolarian Fluid pool persists and continues to do damage for about 8-9 seconds after the visual pool disappears.
- The elevator in the Corrupted Strikes sometimes cannot be interacted with, blocking the progression of the strike entirely.
- Warlock's Nova Warp doesn't Blink if Hold Sprint is active.
- A second weekly Nightfall score stat tracker is present in the stats trackers.For a full list of emergent issues in Destiny 2, players can review our Known Issues article. Players who observe other issues should report them to our #Help forum.
Eris Morn is complete.— ℙ𝕀ℕ𝕂ℂℍ𝔸𝕆𝕊🔪 (@firstpinkchaos) August 13, 2021
My all time favorite guardian in @DestinyTheGame
3ft x2ft acrylics on baltic birch. 100+ hours of planning, sketching and painting. #Destiny2Art
Thank you to everyone who thought my crazy idea would be kinda cool. 🤟🏼
1 of 2 (photos) pic.twitter.com/pslRXPo591