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Big changes are coming to Destiny's weapons with the game's 2.0 update

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

With the upcoming 2.0 update for Destiny, Bungie is making sweeping changes to the game's weapons — changes that will have a big impact in cooperative multiplayer, in PVP and on the effectiveness of your precious Gjallarhorn. In a lengthy news post today, Bungie designer Jon Weisnewski detailed how weapons will soon be changing, both from a weapon class standpoint and for individual exotic weapons, from the wildly popular Thorn, to the less popular No Land Beyond.

Bungie outlines the across-the-board changes that are coming to auto rifles, hand cannons, shotguns, pulse rifles, fusion rifles and rocket launchers in great detail. The pending tweaks to weapons appear to slightly reduce the effectiveness of hand cannons, while giving a boost to auto rifles and scout rifles, but many of the adjustments are nuanced. Weisnewski explains Bungie's goals for each class and the steps the developer is taking in the pursuit of balance.

There are also specific, important changes coming to existing exotic weapons.

"Some of these changes are intended to make you feel better while killing with the weapon, and some are intended to make you feel better while being killed by the weapon," Weisnewski says.

A few exotics that are either lacking or currently unpopular — Hard Light, Nechrochasm, No Land Beyond — are getting some attention from Bungie to make them more effective and ultimately more appealing to players.

Other weapons are taking a slight hit, including exotics like Thorn, Ice Breaker and Gjallarhorn.

"We want to preserve the functionality that makes Thorn such a compelling weapon, but its effective range and lethality are one of the most hotly contended items by the PVP player base," Weisnewski said when prefacing the incoming changes to the hand cannon. In addition to general hand cannon tweaks, Thorn users will soon find the Mark of the Devourer damage over time perk to be less lethal in competitive multiplayer.

Players who rely on Ice Breaker will find themselves waiting a bit longer for the sniper rifle to recharge. Bungie is increasing the time for a round to recharge from five seconds to eight seconds.

The highly coveted rocket launcher Gjallarhorn is getting a downgrade of its own. Wolfpack Rounds, the tracking cluster missiles that spawn upon detonation, will see their damage reduced by an unspecified amount.

"We definitely intended to have a high damage Heavy Weapon that was ideal for PvE destruction," Weisnewski said when discussing Gjallarhorn changes. "What we did not intend, and what we unfortunately saw, was pick up Raid and Nightfall groups gating participation based on whether or not players had this weapon. Gjallarhorn was so strong that for many people it had become the only answer to getting through tough encounters, and therefore they were less willing to spend time with other players that didn't have it."

There's a lot more detail in the full post, which touches on other Destiny exotics and weapon stats.

Destiny's 2.0 update is expected to hit alongside the release of the shooter's next major expansion, The Taken Kingon Sept. 15.

Correction: The original version of this article indicated that auto rifles were being adjusted to make them less powerful with the 2.0 update. They are, in many ways, becoming more effective in PVP and PVE.

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