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Destiny's weapons are changing this month, here's how and why

When Destiny's 1.1.1 update arrives this month, it will include weapon tweaks that range from the subtle to the unmissable, according to a post from sandbox designer Jon Weisnewski.

Since its release last September, developer Bungie has been observing games, listening to players, collecting data and conducting internal playtests. The upcoming changes are a result of those efforts.

Weisnewski breaks the changes down by weapon category. In general:

  • Auto rifles, which are designed for close to medium range combat, will see their base damage reduced by 2.5 percent, in addition to a reduction in effective range.
  • Pulse rifles, Destiny's least-used weapon class, will see their base damage per second raised 8.7 percent.
  • Hand cannons, Bungie's euphemism for pistols, are designed for medium range, and will lose some effective range and initial accuracy.
  • Fusion rifles, which are designed for mid-range combat, will see a "little wider" blast radius while their starting ammunition is reduced.

Heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, scout rifles and sniper rifles are largely immune from update 1.1.1's tweaks, though Weisnewski admits that "changes to the Destiny arsenal mean that untouched weapons may now seem different in side by side comparisons. You may discover new reasons to start using some of these weapons as part of your combat strategy."

The sandbox designer also preemptively answered a question sure to be asked by frustrated players: Why did Bungie nerf my favorite weapon instead of leaving it alone and changing others?

"We pay close attention to kill times in all game modes against all combatant types," he wrote. "If we brought up all the other weapons to account for lethality spikes that occur in specific situations, then our TTK (time to kill) would get faster with every patch. It is important to us to keep TTK values such that your arsenal feels lethal, but also both allows for some drama while you fight, and creates opportunities for counter-play when you're being attacked."

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