Destiny 2's One-Eyed Mask and Recluse are finally getting nerfed

(Image credit: Bungie)

Bungie promised in October, when it nerfed Destiny 2's bottom-tree Striker and Dawnblade subclasses, that the Titan helmet One-Eyed Mask would be dialed back at some point in the future. Today it nailed down when the nerf will land: The studio said in the latest This Week at Bungie blog that the overshield granted by defeating opponents will be removed at the start of the Season of Dawn, which kicks off on 10 December.

One-Eyed Mask is actually a perfectly reasonable exotic in PvE, but it can be a real pain in the ass in the Crucible: Winning a duel immediately pops a full-health overshield, plus begins health regeneration, and grants a damage buff. That means that that even if a player is a half-step away from death, their opponent's teammates can't jump in to finish them off easily. Handy for anyone on the right side of a fight, yes, but a little too good to be left alone.

Reaction to the nerf on the game's subreddit has mostly been that Bungie hasn't gone far enough, with many complaining that the real problem with OEM (as it's known), is that the gun also grants wall hacks that enable players to see the person who just shot them for a several seconds. I probably don't need to explain why wall hacks in a supposedly competitive FPS rustle a lot of people's jimmies.

The change to OEM is not the only notable nerf revealed this week. The Recluse, a wildly overpowered SMG (our resident Destiny man Tim described it as "the ultimate easy-to-use bullet hose" and added that "putting it on feels like easy mode," and to be honest that sounds like my kind of gun, but anyway) is having its signature damage-dealing perk toned down considerably. 

On the other side of the coin, Xenophage, the machine gun with a bug in it that was also bugged, is getting a pretty big buff.

Here are the details:

The Recluse

Changed the effects of Master of Arms:

  • Removed the precision damage modifier
  • Recluse will continue to receive a damage bonus from Master of Arms, but damage will not default to precision values when the perk activates

Many doubted The Recluse when it was first announced, but it has since proved to be resilient to being squashed. Although the precision damage modifier did not actually improve the efficacy of the weapon at its best, it did allow for fairly mindless spraying to be just as good as concentrated aiming. After considering various options on what to do with it, the decision was made to remove that part of the functionality and preserve its activation methods. The alternative was leaving in an effect we believe to be too strong for a Legendary weapon.

The description of the nerf is a bit vague and, in the absence of niceties like actual numbers, that led to some confusion about what exactly was changing. Bungie community manager dmg04 clarified on Twitter, saying that the Master of Arms effect currently defaults all damage to critical when active, but after the nerf will not—you'll have to actually aim if you want to land critical shots.

One-Eyed Mask

Changed the effects of Vengeance:

  • Removed the overshield granted from defeating an opponent that inflicted damage on you

In a previous sandbox update, One-Eyed Mask received some tuning in how Vengeance was applied to Titans. Next Season, this perk will continue to provide health regeneration when defeating an opponent that has inflicted damage upon your Guardian, but it will no longer grant an overshield.


  • Increased PvE damage by +50%
  • Ammo pulled from PvP crates has been increased to 4/6 from 3/4 from shared and solo Heavy ammo crates, respectively

Xenophage unintentionally shipped a little weak, so it’s getting a bump up in raw damage. Machine Guns have a higher ammunition capacity than other Heavy weapons, trading raw DPS for ease of use. Xenophage slides further towards other Heavy weapons such as Grenade Launchers in that aspect but didn’t get enough power back. This will correct that. 

All three nerfs will take place when Destiny 2's next season gets underway on December 10. Bungie said that more Sandbox patch note previews and quality of life changes to things like Escalation Protocol Armor will be revealed over the next few weeks.

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.