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Destiny 2's Hard Light is getting nerfed

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(Image credit: Bungie)

The Destiny 2 (opens in new tab) exotic auto rifle Hard Light has been around for a long time, and hasn't been especially noteworthy for most of it. It has a lot going for it, including no damage drop-off, elemental damage types you can toggle between, and ricocheting rounds that are nasty in confined spaces. None of which mattered, because for most of its life span it's been widely considered unusable due to a nauseating screen-shake effect when firing that made it miserable to aim at any kind of range. 

An adjustment earlier year that reduced that effect, though, and coupled with the impact of an overall buff to auto rifles it very suddenly became a go-to gun–especially in PvP. A little too much of a go-to for its own good, as it turns out: Today Bungie announced that it's going to dial Hard Light back a bit with a nerf that will go live tomorrow as part of hotfox 2.8.1.1. 

Thankfully, the nerf will not revert the weapon shake effect, but will target Hard Light's long-range effectiveness instead, and bring stability down a notch.

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"Although weapons like the Fighting Lion can also do what Hard Light does for indirect fire, they are generally less effective during a direct confrontation. Hard Light boasts a lot of great stats, and its impact grows with more players using it - eventually no cover is safe," Bungie explained (opens in new tab)

"As such, we’re reducing some of the aspects that allow for indirect fire and unexpected lethality in odd scenarios, while still retaining some of the bonuses to keep the flavor."

Here's what's coming:

  • Hard Light's damage falloff now floors at 0.7x (Auto Rifles use 0.5x standard).
  • Split ricochet bonus damage between PvE and PvP.
  • PvE damage remains at 2.0x damage.
  • PvP damage is now 1.35x damage.
  • Removed a hidden recoil adjustment that made the weapon more stable than intended.

The hotfix will also make a few bug fixes, which will be covered when the full and official patch notes go live tomorrow.

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.