Destiny 2 players baffled by one of the most pointless weapon changes in FPS history

Destiny 2
(Image credit: Bungie)

Bungie dropped a big-ol' list of Exotic weapon changes in its latest Destiny 2 blog post (opens in new tab), and many of them are underwhelming. Reduced recoil here, a little extra damage there. Only a few weapons got substantial changes, like promising buffs for Borealis and a pretty big nerf for Witherhoard. There are far more insubstantial changes, one of which stands out as one of the most pointless and inexplicable weapon changes in FPS history: Whisper of the Worm, a heavy sniper rifle, has had its airborne effectiveness dramatically increased. 

Let me try to unpack just how useless this is, because it is like changing the air filter of a car on fire. 

alright_bungie_that_did_make_me_chuckle_a_little from r/destiny2

Airborne effectiveness was added to Destiny 2 a few seasons ago, primarily to curb flyby shenanigans in PvP. You can't just slap on an Icarus mod and jump-shot everyone across the map anymore. Most weapons have terrible base accuracy in the air now and increasing that in-air accuracy costs an arm and a leg, hence why the stat was unpopular at launch and remains controversial to this day, with many players still calling for its removal (opens in new tab)

Bungie says it's looking to make primary weapons much more accurate in the air by default, but sniper rifles were hit particularly hard by airborne effectiveness tuning and, outside of a few niche builds and skills, are now highly unreliable once your feet leave the ground. Naturally, this includes Whisper of the Worm (and D.A.R.C.I., the heavy sniper we don't talk about). 

The thing is, nobody cares about Whisper of the Worm's in-air performance. Seriously, nobody. Players don't generally use Whisper in PvP simply because it's a heavy sniper rifle. It can't one-hit with body shots, so it's functionally the same as a normal sniper rifle, only it's so sluggish that it feels like aiming a frickin' longboard and it requires hard-to-find heavy ammo. The jump-shot potential isn't going to change that.

In PvE, jumping is the last thing you want to do while using Whisper. Its Exotic perk is explicitly designed to reward sequential headshots and punish even a single whiff. The optimal way to use the gun is to superglue your feet to one spot and absolutely unload on a giant raid boss weak spot with an effectively bottomless clip. On top of that, you need to aim Whisper for a few seconds to trigger its essential Exotic catalyst, which makes a quick shot from the air even less viable. 

bungie_after_seeing_the_whisper_buff_backlash from r/destiny2

Whisper has been buffed in and out of the meta several times since its original release in Destiny 1. The gun's been overhauled from Black Hammer to Black Spindle and now to Whisper of the Worm. It's been busted every time it offered infinite ammo (provided you never miss a crit), and it's been pretty weak otherwise. Whisper hasn't been good in Destiny 2 for a long time and Legendary linear fusion rifles have eaten its lunch, so players were excited to see it getting a change next season. Alas, that change has disappointed and confused everyone without doing the gun any material good. 

Assassin's Creed is coming to Destiny 2, and vice-versa. 

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 staff 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.