Bungie details Destiny 2 pinnacle weapon changes and PvE perk nerfs

(Image credit: Bungie)

In the final This Week at Bungie update before Destiny 2 makes the big move to Steam, Bungie detailed some of the changes it's making to the game's combat, player progression, economy, and more. The update digs deeper into how the studio intends to address the out-of-control damage stacking that game director Luke Smith discussed in his big state-of-the-game analysis in August, which will see pinnacle weapons nerfed and the effect of damage-dealing perks reduced in PvE.

In Season of the Undying, pinnacle weapons will become ritual weapons, with curated rolls rather than special perks. They were simply too powerful, and "they cause problems in the player ecosystem, particularly in the case of the Crucible pinnacle weapons," Bungie said. 

"Due to the nature of PvP and PvE, anything that works well in PvP is likely going to be extremely effective in PvE as well. This forces players into the Crucible if they want the 'best' loadouts. Even the title of “pinnacle” set a variety of unrealistic expectations. Rather than being the absolute height of Legendary power, they were supposed to be interesting novelties to chase."

Legendary weapons have also become too powerful, in some cases even outperforming Exotic Primary weapons, so the Rampage, Kill Clip, Swashbuckler, Multikill Clip, Desperado, Surrounded, Master of Arms, and Onslaught perks are being toned down as well.

"All the way back in original Destiny, we had a perk named Crowd Control, which was Rampage’s predecessor. Crowd Control capped out at a bonus of +15 percent extra damage," Bungie explained. "At this point in Destiny 2, Rampage caps out at about +67 percent. That’s a 447 percent increase from the original iteration. Legendary damage perks have become so powerful, they simply invalidate non-damage related perks."

The post also covers an array of changes coming to player progress and the in-game economy, has a preview of next week's patch notes, and also makes a few corrections to previously released information:

  • There was a shot of Trials of the Nine armor in the launch trailer by mistake. We wanted to clear up any confusion and let players know that the Trials of the Nine set will not obtainable in Season of the Undying.
  • We also had to revise our gameplay calendar for Season of the Undying. The menu of action is the same, but we are adjusting the timing of the Nightmare Hunts. The new schedule looks like this:

(Image credit: Bungie)
  • Back when we were first talking about finishers and some of the mods that go with them, we talked about how one of the mods enabled you to spawn Heavy ammo for your fireteam when you executed a finisher. That was still in flux at the time, and for balance reasons we ended up making a mod that will spawn Heavy ammo for yourself and a mod that will spawn Special ammo for your fireteam.

Bungie also warned that, beginning at 10 am PT/1 pm ET on September 30, Destiny 2 will be taken offline for roughly 24 hours ahead of the launch on Steam. Bungie.net and the Destiny API will also be unavailable during this time. Bungie said that the big downtime should help it "mitigate" any delays in Forsaken license transfers for players migrating from Battle.net to Steam, although it's still possible they could occur; if they do, Bungie will issue notices on the BungleHelp Twitter account and at help.bungie.net.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.