Every Single Popular Destiny Gun Is Getting Nerfed

Illustration for article titled Every Single Popular Destiny Gun Is Getting Nerfed

Tonight, Bungie announced some crazy news in the world of Destiny, a video game where players fight against vile, disgusting enemies like the Cabal, the Vex, and Red Bull.


You know all those weapons that everyone uses? Gjallarhorn? Thorn? The Last Word? Hawkmoon? They’re all getting nerfed. Every damn one.

Thanks to a massive weapon overhaul that will arrive as part of Destiny patch 2.0—which should go live this September—it appears that in the near future we’ll have a new host of weapons to complain about not getting. Auto-rifles are getting buffed; Hand cannons are getting nerfed. Goodbye, Ice Breaker; hello, Necrochasm. Trials of Osiris players will be pleased to hear that Final Round sniper rifles are getting nerfed, too.

You can read all the granular details here, but let me give you some excerpts.

First, the auto-rifle changes, which could help those pea-shooters feel more worthwhile:

  • Increase base damage
  • Start damage falloff closer to the player to emphasize its role as a close to medium range weapon
  • Small reduction in base stability. Landing shots at optimal range is unaffected, but repeated precision hits require more weapon control to land consistently
  • Boost damage by 10% against AI combatants

And the hand cannon changes, which might make them a little less deadly:

  • Start damage falloff closer to the player to limit long range lethality
  • Small reduction in ADS accuracy, targeted at making long range snap-shooting less reliable
  • Reduce final accuracy when firing from hip
  • Fast firing from hip is less reliable
  • Reduce magazine size for all base inventory stats
  • Reduce base Optics (zoom) for all Hand Cannons
  • ADS now grants more width in favor of depth

All the other weapon types are getting tweaked, too. You can read them all on Bungie’s page. For now I have to get to news about the exotics, which will surely both please and disappoint many, many people.

Some of the changes:

The Last Word

The Last Word is our fastest time-to-kill (TTK) primary in the game. The intent of this weapon was always to deal lethal damage up close and in style while shooting from the hip. Right now the Stability and Range of this weapon has players reliably getting ranged kills while aiming down sights, so we want to try and push this weapon into more of its intended role.

  • Changes:Reduce Range stat to 10 (was 20), reduce Stability to 20 (was 30).
  • Reduce effective range while in ADS.Increase accuracy and precision damage aim assist scale when firing from the hip. “Get three coffins ready.”Fixed bugs with Hipfire damage bonus applying incorrectly


Thorn has had an interesting journey. It started as a weapon that was perceived as an unworthy reward for one of the most contentious exotic bounties in the game, and has slowly dug its way into players’ flesh as one of the most popular exotics among the Destiny population.

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. The base changes to Hand Cannons and weapon stats address Thorn’s range.

  • Changes:
  • Reduce base damage of Thorn’s Mark of the Devourer DoT (Damage over Time) to roughly 1/3 of what it was in PVP and PVE
  • Allow DoT to stack up to 5x across multiple landed projectiles
  • This is a net buff for Thorn’s DoT, but reduces the lethality of the weapon in PVP

Ice Breaker

We’ve all done it. Hunker down in the back of the map with your lunch box, picnic table, a sci-fi paperback, and Ice Breaker. Kill all the enemies, wait for more to show up, kill those ones too, put a few shots on the boss, make a sandwich, finish the strike, and then collect your reward-that-isn’t-Hawkmoon and move on. The recharging ammo of Ice Breaker has become a staple for the PvE game. We don’t want to completely destroy that, because a really great thing happens when all of a sudden you need Ice Breaker and you’re still waiting on that next round to show up. In that moment there is an interesting tension at play; you need to think about how you spend your next few seconds while it recharges. We are going to amplify that tension by increasing the recharge duration by a few seconds.

  • Changes:
  • Increase recharge time for Ice Breaker rounds to 1 every 8 seconds. Was 1 round every 5 seconds

Gjallarhorn :(

If Destiny had a nuke it would be the “Ballerhorn.” We definitely intended to have a high damage Heavy Weapon that was ideal for PvE destruction. 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.

We strive for Destiny to be a place where a single weapon or strategy does not dictate how, or with whom, you spend your time. In the new world Gjallarhorn is still worthy of its legacy as an exotic Heavy Weapon, but we hope it promotes inclusive behavior rather than exclusivity.

  • Changes
  • Reduce damage of Wolfpack Rounds

Some guns—Hard Light, No Land Beyond, etc.—will get buffs that should make them more viable in both PvE and PvP. And although it’ll take a while before we really understand all of the effects of this overhaul, one thing’s for sure: come September, Gjallarhorn will no longer be king.


If you’re a hardcore Destiny fan and you want to slog through granular details about weapons, go read the full log of weapon changes. If you just want the short version? Well, everything’s going to change. Big time.

You can reach the author of this post at jason@kotaku.com or on Twitter at @jasonschreier.



All they had to do was buff auto rifles...


And who the fuck complained about gjallarhorn xD?

Answer: Nobody.

but we hope it promotes inclusive behavior rather than exclusivity.

This coming from the brain trust who decides not to include matchmaking for 3/4 their game’s activities.