As sales pitches go, 'this thing is great, but only in the few seconds after all of your friends die' isn't the most alluring. The proof is in two of Destiny 2's least popular weapon perks: 'Celerity' and 'Bottomless Grief'. They were introduced as 'origin' perks for weapons from the Trials and Nightfall activities respectively, and both proc their benefit when you are "the last surviving member of your fireteam". Or in other words, the effect only kicks in once all your buddies are dead.
Given that conditional requirement, the perks must be pretty strong—and, honestly, they are. Celerity grants +100 to target acquisition, handling and reload speed, as well as reduced recoil and bullet spread. That's a lot! Bottomless Grief entirely refills your magazine on each kill. Also good! Both perks are intended to enable you to make clutch plays in modes which often require them.
Unfortunately the players didn't see it that way, and have complained bitterly about the perks ever since they were introduced.
Yesterday, as part of the This Week at Bungie blog, weapons feature lead Chris Proctor gave his thoughts on why the perks have proved so unpopular and detailed plans to change them in season 14 (currently unnamed), which starts on 11 May.
"We found that a trigger condition that relies on failure generally feels pretty bad, and the power it grants doesn't negate that feeling," wrote Proctor. "Players never like betting against themselves or their teams."
Responding to the widespread suggestion from the community that these perks should switched to being intrinsic abilities on 'Adept' weapons (the highest tier of legendary weapon in the game), Proctor explained why that isn't workable:
"For performance reasons, we have a maximum number of perks that can run on a character at a time. Legendary weapons have a threshold per weapon, and many of them are right at the limit—adding a perk on top of that without taking one away causes Bad Things to Happen, in the form of random parts of perks turning off."
Instead, for new weapons which roll with Celerity or Bottomless Grief, those perks will now be selectable underneath another perk in the same column (whereas previously you were locked into using them). The two perks have also been reworked. Bottomless Grief will grant a flat +30 to the weapons' Magazine stat, while Celerity adds +20 Reload and Handling.
Note that those changes are in addition to the current benefits which the perks already grant. I wasn't sure that was the case but confirmed it with Bungie. The logic being that the perks will now have a solid benefit when your teammates are alive, and a truly nutty one when they're dead. It certainly makes them a lot less situational, and I actually want to try them out now.
What strikes me as strange about the whole thing is that nobody on the design team foresaw how unpopular relying on your teammates messing up to trigger a perk was going to be.
Elsewhere in the post Bungie detailed changes to the Gunsmith vendor, who will begin selling six randomly rolled weapons each week next season (hallelujah!), and gave more info on the return of ADA-1, another vendor, who will sell randomly rolled armor and an increased selection of mods, enabling players to complete their Warmind Cell and Charged with Light collections. Good stuff.
Finally, on the subject of weapons, if you are thinking of braving Trials this weekend, the coveted Shotgun is available for winning three matches, and you can also earn the even more coveted Igneous Hammer hand cannon just for winning seven rounds. I'll be praying to the dark gods of RNG that your perk roll is, as I believe the young people say, 'a juicer'.