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Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter patch notes are up

The posting of the Destiny 2 update 2.2.0 patch notes signals that the new season is upon us, meaning that players can finally get an up-close look at all that's changing now that the man they call the Drifter has stepped into the spotlight.   

There's a lot going on here, much of it the usual tuning and tweaks—shotgun rate of fire values have been adjusted based on frame type, for instance, while a Curse of Osiris shader called Metallic Sunrise has been renamed to Mercurian Sunrise, because I guess somebody forgot and made a Metallic Sunrise shader for Forsaken—but there some big changes to the way the game's most notorious weapons work.

Number one on the list is probably a nerf to Whisper of the Worm, an Exotic sniper rifle and also the best boss-killer in the game. Its "White Nail" perk automatically refills the magazine after "rapidly landing three precision hits," making it a mean DPS machine: To dull that edge a bit, its ammo reserves have been lowered from 20 to 9, significantly reducing the opportunity to take advantage of the perk if you miss your shots.   

Machine guns have also been nerfed—the ammo bonus of the Machine Gun Reserves perk has been halved, and their damage against bosses and minibosses has been reduced by 21 percent. According to our resident junkie-in-chief Tim Clark, initial testing shows LMGs are still fine against basic enemies, but absolute trash against bosses. Also suffering from less ammo is the Sleeper Simulant, my personal favorite monster-killer, which has had its reserves drawn back from 13 to 9, without perks. 

If you're looking for a new go-to power weapon of choice, it looks like the new meta may well be rocket launchers. The legendary variants received a 60-65% buff (though the Cluster Bomb perk was dumpstered with an 80% nerf), but the eye-opener is the huge boost to the Wardcliff Coil, which sees PvE damage increased by 115% against boss combatants, scaling up to 160% against weaker combatants. Oof, as the kids may still say.

Elsewhere there's bad news for Titan mains. Bungie has fixed 'Titan skating', meaning you'll no longer be able to use a macro to zip around maps faster than the game's speederbikes. The exploit was only possible on PC, and should make the Crucible PvP mode feel slightly less like standing in the middle lane of a freeway with your pants down.

This being a new season, the power level cap has been increased, and now tops out at 700, but the power level of rewards earned through powerful bounties will be limited to the maximum possible power level of the season in which they were acquired—so powerful bounties completely during the Season of the Forge, for instance, will be capped at 650. Iron Banner bounties from the Season of the Forge have expired. 

Obviously you'll want to dive into the full patch notes here if you're concerned that they've messed with your favorite gun (New City forever) or if you happen to be a fan of this sort of number-crunchy stuff. If you'd rather just get the lowdown on the big new gameplay mode Gambit Prime, we'll be taking it for a spin shortly (big surprise, I know). Look for our thoughts on it later today.

Oh, and for those of you wanting to know where the Drifter is now, head down to the Black Armory area of the tower and then swing a left to find his new digs. He seems trustworthy, right?

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.