Destiny 2 is nerfing linear fusion rifles and buffing a bunch of Exotics

Destiny 2 Lightfall
(Image credit: Bungie)

My fellow Guardians, we might have to come up with a new DPS meta for Destiny 2 Lightfall, because Bungie is finally nerfing our beloved linear fusion rifles.

Senior design lead Chris Proctor outlined a raft of changes coming in a balance update due later this month. A nerf to linears tops the list, to the surprise of nobody who's run basically any raid in the past, I don't know, two years? Their boss, miniboss, Champion, and vehicle damage has been reduced by 15%. This nerf notably won't affect Queenbreaker and Sleeper Simulant, and Sleeper was already pretty good, so it might be really good in Lightfall. 

Other heavy weapons are due for some buffs, with machine guns getting a PvP damage buff and PvE ammo buff, and heavy grenade launchers due for sizeable damage, blast radius, and collision buffs for both PvE and PvP (the Exotic Parasite not included). 

Kinetic primary and special weapons are getting a damage boost too, and to help differentiate them, Stasis-type kinetic weapons will no longer receive the same unshielded damage bonus as their true kinetic counterparts. (The boost to kinetic special weapon damage sounds like an indirect buff to Izanagi's Burden to me, and I hope I'm right because sniper rifles really need help in PvE and they aren't in today's patch notes.) Bungie also teased that there's a new "Kinetic damage type perk" coming as part of the massive loadout and buildcrafting update in the next expansion

The mid-season patch is rounded out by a small list of perk changes and a long list of Exotic changes. Here's the condensed version of that:

  • Queenbreaker shots chain to nearby enemies and apply the Arc 3.0 blind effect.
  • Ruinous Effigy's orb slam attack now suppresses enemies.
  • Leviathan's Breath applies volatile on a perfect draw, deals more damage, and does extra damage to Champions.
  • One Thousand Voices applies stacks of scorch with every mini-explosion. 
  • Sunshot explosions will apply scorch.
  • Polaris Lance applies scorch instead of a unique burn effect.
  • Two-Tailed Fox scorches with the Solar rocket, suppresses with the Void one, and is apparently due for a catalyst that "completes the trifecta," which I choose to believe equates to some kind of Arc effect.
  • Prometheus Lens's catalyst now includes the Incandescent perk, which sounds very strong.
  • Grand Overture's catalyst now applies the Arc 3.0 blind effect. 

This update came at a good time for weapons: a new Lightfall trailer just showed off a bunch of new Exotics and I want them all. You'll also get to play around with the new Destiny 2 Strand Subclasses in Lightfall.

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.