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Bungie Details Weapon Tuning Coming in Season 23

Destiny 2 News

Destiny 2‘s 23rd Season is quickly approaching. Just a little over a month away now (34 days to be exact).

While info about Season 23 is still redacted, Bungie has posted a preview of the Weapon Tuning pass that will drop as part of the big update to start the season.

Read it below, or check it out on Bungie’s website here.

Hi, all. It’s the Weapons team here with a look at the Season 23 weapon changes. While we do have a few PvP changes in here for you to see, we wanted to share a deeper look at the PvE changes specifically.

When we look at weapon balance in PvE, we look at several things and ask ourselves some questions (this is not an exhaustive list, just some of the common ones):

  1. What is the intended role for the weapon?
  2. What ammo type does the weapon use?
  3. How safe is it to use the weapon?
  4. How easy is the weapon to use?
  5. How much damage per second (DPS) does it do compared to other options?

When we take all the answers to the above questions, we can holistically see if a weapon is potentially over or under performing in the sandbox within these bounds. These questions, of course, assume that we have a solid baseline to compare to, so one of the very first things we need to do is look at which weapons answer the above questions in a satisfactory manner.

Let’s take Auto Rifles, for example.

  1. Their intended role is mostly focused on add clear (as opposed to major killers, burst DPS, or extended DPS).
  2. They all use Primary ammo (for now 😉).
  3. They are moderately safe to use. as close to mid-range options allow you to be relatively further away from the combatants. Although, for the most part, they’re not as safe as Scout Rifles, Hand Cannons, or Pulse Rifles, they’re generally safer than Sidearms and Submachine Guns (SMGs).
  4. They are also relatively easy to use, with less punishment for missing individual shots and a lower reliance on critical hits than Pulse Rifles, Scout Rifles, Bows, and Hand Cannons, while being a bit more reliant than SMGs.
  5. They currently deal about 25% less DPS to minor combatants than SMGs. Since they are safer to use than SMGs, given their extra range, it makes sense for them to deal less damage. However, given they are more reliant on headshots, this price seems a bit high in the current sandbox.

Given these values, we can make an educated decision on how to balance Auto Rifles. This is, of course, only the first step in the balance process. After we make a change, we will playtest it extensively with A/B comparisons to get a better idea how it feels in game and to make sure we have not missed the mark with our change. Sometimes, we realize after playtesting that a change is not enough, and we will take a second pass in a future release to move the weapon closer to the ideal target. This process, in part, helped to lead to our decision in Season 23 to increase their damage versus minor combatants by 10%. This should narrow the gap in effectiveness between SMGs and Auto Rifles, without overstepping their bounds and invalidating another class of weapon.

We hope this provides useful insight into how we look at balancing weapons for PvE and that it will help you to better understand many of the changes that we will be discussing below.



We discovered a couple weapons with mistimed ammunition loading animations.


Auto Rifle DPS is generally in a pretty good place, but they were lagging slightly behind when it came to damage against minor combatants.


Pulse Rifle DPS in PvE is comparable to Scout Rifle damage, but in the new sandbox they are more closely aligned with Hand Cannons and Auto Rifles in terms of range. As such, we have increased their damage against minor and major combatants to move them closer to the other mid-range options, and we will continue to monitor them to see how this changes their effectiveness.


We wanted to improve how good it feels to use Glaives as both a melee and projectile weapon. We also wanted to increase the uptime of the shield without pushing it too far into the realm of being overpowered. As such, we have made changes to all three aspects of Glaives:


We’re continuing our trend of moving Sniper Rifles up by small amounts at a time, to make sure we do not upset the encounter balance in PvE.



Although Vex Mythoclast received both a range buff and a PvE damage buff in Season of the Witch, we believe it has additional room to grow in PvE and find a unique role. We have increased damage against minor and boss combatants and are going to be experimenting with a different style of anti-Champion gameplay. Instead of having an intrinsic anti-Champion perk, we are massively increasing the damage that the Linear Fusion Rifle mode deals to all Champions. This places it in the unique space of being more of a Swiss Army Knife and less of a specialist. We envision it as a weapon you can take into an activity, regardless of which Champion type is present, and still have it be an effective tool—especially when it’s utilized in concert with other anti-Champion abilities.


As a second part of our anti-Champion experiment, we are also increasing Revision Zero’s damage versus Champions, although by a much lower amount, since the weapon also retains its intrinsic anti-barrier.


In Season 23, Thorn will be getting both a catalyst to bring its strength up in PvP and a change to the base behavior to make it more fun to use in PvE.


Alongside the Glaive rework mentioned above, we have also done some tuning on the class Exotic Glaives introduced in The Witch Queen. The below changes are for all three Glaives, to make using their Exotic functionality both more forgiving and more understandable:


Edge of Intent seemed like it was begging for some Solar 3.0 interaction instead of the previous generic healing effect. A larger area of effect (AoE) helps it reach more nearby allies, too.


We wanted to make the baby-bubble more effective in endgame content, so it now provides some benefits to weapons just for passing through it, even if you do not remain inside.


The Glaive changes mentioned above already made this quite solid, but we felt that Lightning Seeker presented a fun opportunity for an Arc 3.0 interaction.


Osteo Striga has been, quite frankly, far too powerful for the ease of use it provides when it comes to add clear in PvE. It has more range than most other SMGs, does not require kills, and does not rely heavily on precision aim to activate one of the strongest AoEs we’ve ever had in Destiny. In addition, the lingering poison damage has benefited from the damage scalar that SMGs get in PvE content, which was intended to buff SMGs direct impact damage. This scalar, which is one of the highest scalars of any weapon type in the game, is pushing the poison damage to such an extreme level that it’s been difficult for any other weapon to compete in the add clear role. While it is likely that this change will not move the needle on Osteo Striga by a substantial amount, it will at least be slightly less of an outlier compared to other add clear weapons. To preempt the argument, buffing other weapons up to the same level would be power creep to an extreme degree and very unhealthy for the game as a whole, so it is not something we are going to explore.


Placed a speed limit on the detonation when damaging Stasis crystals. This will help prevent the detonation from being able to shatter too many crystals on a single frame, which would sometimes kick the player to orbit with an error code.


We did not want to leave Winterbite out of the Glaive improvement pass, so we made it a little stronger and a little bit less lethal to the user.



In the Season 23 mid-Season patch and the patch that will launch with The Final Shape, we will have a host of new changes for you to try. Some highlights to look forward to are:

Near future:

  1. Bow tuning in PvP.
  2. Additional weapon tuning for Checkmate, aimed at promoting a better diversity of weapons.

Far future:

  1. Necrochasm will be getting a buff to extend the duration of the poison damage-over-time effect it applies from the Cursed Thrall explosion. It will also have a new catalyst called One for Thrall, which grants a moderate period of increased damage, range, and aim assist after you damage three enemies in quick succession. Damaging three more enemies while the perk is active refreshes the timer.
  2. Buffs to Truth, Colony, and Dead Man’s Tale as well as other Exotic weapons.
  3. Heavy Grenade Launchers will get a substantial inventory buff.
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