Bungie is ready to launch a brand new weapon balance update for Destiny in patch 1.1.1, which is due to arrive sometime before the end of February 2015. It’s not quite as dramatic as some of the past updates, but if you’re a fan of shooting things in the game — and if Destiny is a thing you play, then that’s probably the case — then you should probably take a look.
The big winner in patch 1.1.1 is the Pulse Rifle, which gets an almost 10-percent damage boost. Bungie hopes that the uptick makes the weapon more appetizing for players, as it currently stands as Destiny‘s least popular primary weapon class. Pulse Rifles are meant to be good all-around pea shooters, best used at medium ranges but also effective at close and long ranges.
The rest of the affected weapons — it’s not every class — are pegged for damage reductions. Auto Rifles lose 2.5-percent of their damage and a reduced effective range, to better zero in on their intended use as close/medium range firearms. Hand Cannons also take a hit; their overall damage output remains the same, but their range is reduced and their damage falloff (i.e. the damage reduction at range), increased.
A couple of secondary weapons are also pegged for changes. Fusion Rifles get some tweaks to reduce their effectiveness at longer ranges, with a wider blast pattern on each burst (it doesn’t impact close/medium range effectiveness). Shotguns also take a hit to their damage falloff at range, though their PvE damage is doubled. Fusion Rifles and Shotguns both will spawn with less reserve ammo in both PvE and PvP.
What about the rest? Fans of Scout Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Heavy Machine Guns, and Rocket Launchers can rest easy: Nothing’s changed. Good news, Ice Breaker fans.
Bungie concludes its rundown of the changes with an explanation of why these balance tweaks happen. Here’s what sandbox designer Jon Weisnewski had to say about that:
We pay close attention to kill times in all game modes against all combatant types. 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.