Bungie is about to head into its next season of content, the Season of Opulence. When it arrives, players will discover that several exotic weapons and armor pieces will have been nerfed. This is intentional on the part of Bungie, but has created massive condemnation from the largest Destiny fan groups.
To keep raids and other endgame content challenging, Bungie has announced a wave of nerfs to popular exotic weapons like Whisper of the Worm, Sleeper Simulant, Ace of Spades, and more. Whisper of the Worm, for example, had a unique ability that allowed it to generate infinite ammo so long as players didn't miss. That ability is now gone.
While infinite ammo sounds cool on paper, Bungie discovered that the weapon became "a giant outlier" and bypasses the ammo economy. Similarly, powerful perks in other exotic weapons ended up forcing Bungie to make enemies more powerful to compensate, leading to an overall imbalance in the difficulty.
However, players are venting their frustrations over the nerfs en masse. The Destiny subreddit at the moment is largely full of players criticising the decision to nerf the powerful exotics, and a majority of the replies to Destiny's Twitter account is similarly full of anger.
Destiny players are no strangers to nerfs. Bungie has repeatedly nerfed weapons that have come to dominate the meta throughout Destiny and Destiny 2. Last year, after a year long struggle with retaining players, Bungie announced the "Go Fast" update. Essentially, Destiny players were frustrated by a couple core grievances: repetition, lack of rewards, and a lack of strength.
The "Go Fast" update promised a fix by reducing duplicate exotics and a wide range of buffs across weapons. From then on, Bungie kept promising more powerful weapons with very powerful perks (like infinite ammo generation).
Unfortunately, it sounds like Bungie fell victim to power creep, where the strength of characters and weapons outpaced the strength of challenges. But players see the news from this week as a return to the old Bungie, where the first response to balance issues is with buffs.
Frequent USG contributor Doc Burford explained on Twitter that Bungie's M.O. essentially is "if you like something, we'll take it away." It's a common sentiment across the various Destiny subreddits and forums too.
While nerfs to fan favorite weapons are usually never popular, the community's ire seems to arise from how Bungie is backtracking its promise to nerf less. However, video game loot balancing is a tricky proposition. BioWare has also struggled with tinkering with its loot economy in Anthem, to the point where promised updates were postponed until BioWare could figure out a good way to fix the loot.
Bungie has confirmed that the nerfs will be taking place in the Season of Opulence, and that feedback will be gathered once the weapon changes are live. Check out our Destiny 2 guide for more coverage.