Bungie talks Destiny weapon balancing: Auto Rifles, Shotguns getting nerfed

Among the things talked about in today's Destiny dev notes was weapon balancing.

"Our goal when balancing Destiny is to never have one player choice– for example a choice of class or weapon– either be so much better than the alternatives that it is the only valid choice or to be so much worse that it would always be a mistake to choose," Bungie explained. "When we are successful with this kind of balance the result is a wide set of equally compelling player builds, some of which may be preferred by one player or another but none of which is an absolute right or wrong choice." 

To accomplish this, Bungie detailed a number of balancing tweaks they are looking at for Exotic weapons, auto rifles, scout rifles, and shotguns. 

Exotic Weapons

I just got done farming my first Exotic Weapon. I got the Bad Juju Pulse Rifle from a Bounty Quest a last week. First off, it looks awesome, but it just doesn't feel exotic to me.

"Exotic Weapons are designed to look, feel and sound overpowered, but to not actually break the game. We hope these weapons challenge the way players think about their loadouts and expect their idiosyncrasies to sometimes be a little frustrating. We find ourselves wanting to collect them all and hope players feel the same way," Bungie explained, while also admitting that not all of Destiny's Exotic Weapons are living up to the promise. Bungie particularly made note of weapons obtained through completing exotic bounties "including Thron and Bad Juju" which "have disappointed many of us who have gone through the great effort to obtain them because, despite looking and sounding amazing, they feel underpowered." 

Bungie didn't get into specifics, but did warn players not to shard these guns. "Their time will come," the developer promises.

Bad Juju Destiny

Auto Rifles

Basically, the Auto Rifle in today's game is too effective at long range. According to Bungie, the auto rifle is "intended to inflict sustained damage at close to medium range, but to lose effectiveness at longer ranges." As a result, players should expect stability and/or damage adjustments to Auto Rifles in the weeks ahead.

Scout Rifles

Bungie said Scout Rifles aren't hitting hard enough today when compared to other precision weapons. "They are intended to be an awkward weapon to use at close range but to be dominant– as long as you land your shots– at medium and longer ranges," they explained.

Bungie will be addressing this soon, but didn't really explain how. 


As a Titan in the Crucible, I am primarily wield a shotgun. I'll admit it's cheap, which is why I'm not surprised that Bungie is looking to make some changes here. Designed to deal "a massive spike of damage to the thing standing next to you," Bungie admitted that today's shotguns are just too effective beyond their intended range, especially when upgraded. Again, expect changes to the shotgun's range in the weeks ahead.

That's all the changes Bungie made note of when it comes to weapon balancing. If you didn't see your preferred weapon listed, that means it's safe from the first round of balancing. Of course, as an ever-evolving game that may not be forever.

In addition to discussing weapons in Destiny, Bungie also released a hotfix that, among other things, killed the legendary loot cave.