This week one of the most coveted weapons in Destiny 2 is getting nerfed, and saying fans are not happy would be an understatement. In the most recent “This Week at Bungie” it was revealed that The Whisper of the Worm, an exotic sniper rifle that has infinite ammo if you hit critical spots, will no longer have that ability. Instead, it will only have 18 rounds and while you’ll never have to reload it will now stop after you’ve exhausted your magazine. The nerfing of weapons and armor continues to occur with the Destiny sandbox time and time again even after promises that this design strategy would no longer occur. With Whisper specifically, it’s an exact recreation of the Black Hammer nerf that happened in the original Destiny.
Dissatisfied with the contents of this patch… Personally was really starting to appreciate Whisper where it was and I could see how it’s strength was making me genuinely contemplate other options. Prospector, Thunderlord, Wardcliff, Two Tailed. I’ve been using them all recently https://t.co/TsZXjBBKMu
— My name is Byf (@MyNameIsByf) May 16, 2019
Explaining the change, Bungie says the following. “For Season of Opulence, several notable weapons are being adjusted. We want to ensure that encounters—raids and other endgame content, for example—remain a challenge. Some of these weapons have been overwhelming that challenge. Our first choice is to buff underused weapons, but if we continue to push every weapon up higher and higher, it will be impossible to maintain challenging experiences. This is not a full list of changes, but some of the most impactful.” The idea that nerfing Whisper to keep things ‘challenging’ is frustrating for several reasons. First, Whisper isn’t the best weapon for every situation. It works very well on characters like the raid boss Insurrection Prime who remains stationary during a damage phase, but for others like Kalli who moves too much or the Vault which is mechanics based, it’s not the ideal choice. There are other bosses that it works great on like Morgeth, but again that’s because he’s a large stationary boss with a damage phase. If I had to guess, this change is coming not because the weapon is overpowered, but because of the new raid launching on June 4th and Bungie doesn’t want teams completing it too quickly.
In addition to the Whisper Nerf, some other powerful exotics are having their fun factor reduced. Ace of Spades will no longer keep it’s buff when you swap weapons, Lord of Wolves – which got a significant buff during Season of the Drifter – will now have a 20% damage reduction and will not grant bonus ammo on ranged kills. Oof. On the armor side, Skull of Dire Ahamkara for Warlocks will not generate as much super energy for Warlocks, and Orpheus Rig for Hunters will also generate less super energy though we’ll have to see how drastic those tweaks will be.
I shouldn’t be surprised that Whisper got nerfed the same exact way that it did in D1, but I guess I am a little bit. It was nerfed for a reason back then, idk if Bungie thought things would be different this time around or what. None of these exotic nerfs surprise me at all.
— Datto (@DattosDestiny) May 16, 2019
For now, it’s not unreasonable for fans to expect their next coveted weapon will be nerfed to the point that they’ll never use it again a few months later. That’s a terrible feeling for a game designed entirely around its weapon system. Recently, the community praised Bungie for the release of Outbreak Perfected, a throwback to Outbreak Prime. Today the conversation on Twitter and Reddit has completely done a 180 and turned to the tone of “I really like this. I wonder how long until Bungie ruins it.” A weapon comes out, everyone loves it and instead of designing a more elaborate encounter to cater to it, or other options, the decision is instead made to essentially destroy what makes it so fun. For someone who’s played as long as I have, it’s a reason I never chase a quest for a less desired weapon until Bungie feels like it’s “got it right” which usually means making it easier. If Bungie does go forward this way it will further solidify that exotics have an expiration date making our grind meaningless.
No one wants this, and to see that Bungie is moving forward with the changes regardless of relentless player feedback, makes the team’s promise to listen to its fans ring hollow.