How Destiny 2’s Exotics Are Changing In An Upcoming Update

Bungie has explained its approach to changing Destiny 2‘s Exotics, offering insight into its goals and what it hopes to achieve in a game update planned for March. In the latest Bungie Weekly Update senior designer Jon Weisnewski said the gameplay tuning pass on Exotic gear is focused on “adding and/or increasing player Power spikes,” and although all items are being considered, special attention is being paid to low-usage items. The goal, he says, is to “lean into an item’s established gameplay and push it harder” while avoiding “catch-all improvements that dilute item identity.”

To show what this means Weisnewski used the Graviton Lance as an example, explaining that the feedback has been that it looks cool, but isn’t viable for getting kills in player-versus-player scenarios. Bungie is remedying this by reducing the recoil of the first of the weapon’s burst shots. On top of that, it’s introducing some aim assist to control recoil and changing it from three shot burst to two shot.

“This still plays into the fantasy of a low-damage gravity-neutralizing round forming a projectile tunnel for the last bullet,” he said. “It also allows us to ensure the damage per burst is at a competitive level for PVP engagements. In fact, it gives Graviton a slight mathematical edge against other pulse rifles.”

Weisnewski also said that, as a result of feedback, the way an enemy’s body now behaves after being hit with a Graviton Lance has changed. “We made it so that rather than violently flying backwards and likely out of range of a potential splash damage opportunity, the defeated opponent floats back and up,” he explained. “Then we made the explosion bigger, increased the damage, and added some void field projectiles that seek out any remaining targets.”

According to Weisnewski, “this is one of the more exaggerated examples to help describe how we’re looking at our goals and applying them to the gear.” He went on to name weapons that aren’t getting an update: Merciless, Telesto, Wardcliff Coil, MIDA Multi Tool, Colony, Legend of Acrius, and Vigilance Wing. The team decided not to change these as some don’t require it, while the others will benefit from other tuning changes included in update 1.1.4.

“We’ll be touching a lot of powerful gear with this update and to truly understand the impact for players requires a lot of design iteration and test time,” Weisnewski said. “It isn’t enough to crank up the damage and run one strike or Crucible match with a gun and helmet and move on. Dialing in the right amount of power, testing in all activities with all types of load outs, finding the bugs, fixing the bugs, updating the perk description text to reflect new behaviour, and then handing that off to localization for translation–it’s a ton of work, but we’re up to it. We sincerely appreciate your patience. I believe it will be worth the wait.”

As previously detailed in the Destiny 2 roadmap, the changes are expected to go into effect on March 27 when the Sandbox & Crucible update will be launched as part of patch 1.1.4.

Destiny 2’s Crimson Days event is now live, introducing a special 2v2 Crucible playlist. By taking part in the event you’ll be working toward unlocking the real highlight of the new content: new gear. There’s lots of new goodies for Destiny 2 players on PC, PS4, and Xbox One to acquire, but only for a limited time. You can take a look at the new items, rewards, and gear in Destiny 2 Crimson Days update here.

Crimson Days is now live on all platforms, and it runs until the weekly reset on February 20. Even if you don’t plan on playing much, you can get a free Crimson Engram just by logging in and speaking with Tess at The Tower.

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