We know that Bungie has another sizable update coming to Destiny sometime this month, bringing with it an updated weapon balance. With every weapon re-balance, that means that the PvP meta shifts – the last time was with the launch of The Taken King, pushing pulse rifles to the forefront. And when the meta shifts, the PvP community rushes around trying to find the new weapons that give them a leg up on the competition.
As the meta stands right now, the current world revolves around guns like Hawksaw, Bad Juju and Red Death for primaries. Pulse Rifles in general are strong across the board – even with the shift toward needing headshots. Because fast firing pulses are basically the best auto rifles in the game now, the reduction of base damage and needing more headshots doesn’t really matter. Secondaries have revolved around the 1000 Yard Stare sniper, and Conspiracy Theory/Party Crasher +1 shotguns. I don’t really see a whole changing here – except hopefully the way people use shotguns. What Bungie was trying to do with the 2.0 patch, I think, worked for the most part. There really isn’t a single weapon that you absolutely need to use to have a hope of breaking even. The days of Thorn/Last Word ended, and really up until the last few weeks, there was actual variety in loadouts. More variety means that the game feels fresh, even with the same maps and game modes.
And to that effect I hope with this 2.1 patch they continue that idea – keep tweaking the base archetypes for the weapons, and that will get the game actually where it needs to be. Once the archetypes are settled, that’s when the Exotic weapons can really be looked at. Obviously, when there are standouts like Thorn, they need to be addressed. But I would really rather see Bungie get the base lines set finally before really fine tuning every little gun out there. I think that we’re actually pretty close to that point now, and based on the early patch notes I think we could be even closer after 2.1 drops.
What I think we’ll see moving forward is that those high rate of fire pulse rifles will drop back to the pack a little, and I think hand cannons and auto rifles will no longer be a liability. The biggest change I think will be with the shotguns. There’s another range hit coming – which they still need – but what could really impact their use is the movement and handling speed nerfs. To me, those are the things that really should have been part of 2.0. If they work properly, the ability to just warrior through gunfire, slide and shoot from ages away should be reduced severely. I think it’ll also help fight the blink-shotgun combo that’s plagued the game pretty much since launch. I think we’ll always see shotguns in the game – they’re just too good at dropping targets instantly. But the way that we use them will have to be adjusted a little bit. I would expect a more defensive and, hopefully, tactical use of them. We kinda see that with snipers – you can’t use exclusively a sniper, because it limits your options – shotguns need to be in that same spot.
What really will be important in the new meta is the exotic weapon choices. I still think that Bad Juju and Red Death will be good, but I actually expect to see the rise of a couple other weapons. Suros Regime could very well return to its old spot on top of the mountain. It’s far and away the best auto rifle – stable, good range, and able to get your health back while taking down enemies. I really think that, depending on just how effective the patch is, Suros will be all over the place. Since we’re also getting some returning Year-One guns, I would try to get hold of a MIDA Multi-Tool. It’s, I think, the most versatile scout rifle out there. It fires super fast, does strong damage, and since it boosts your agility AND keeps your radar on-screen all times, it keeps you alive. Hand cannon wise, I still think you’ll see the usual suspects – Hawkmoon and Last Word.
Before I wrap up, I want to offer up a potential surprise exotic choice: Hard Light. It’s never been a particularly exciting weapon – skip rounds as an exotic perk is pretty lame. Add in that it’s a bullet-hose style auto rifle and you get a weapon that can’t stagger enemies in PvE, and takes way too long to kill in PvP. But the 2.0 patch gave it it’s first truly exotic feeling update – it no longer has damage dropoff on its bullets. Since range now actually matters way more than it did before – especially in PvP – that’s a pretty huge deal. If you can control the recoil, you very well could see this thing doing some decent work at slightly longer ranges than most auto rifles could hope for. Since it’s one of those Year One weapons returning, I could easily see this one being a sleeper choice.