Charles is an avid "Destiny" player, with over 1,000 hours. He has extensive knowledge of all things "Destiny": exotics, quests, and raids.
Bungie recently announced in the latest This Week at Bungie that Recluse, one of the most prominent weapons in Destiny history, is due for a nerf next season. Next season will also include a much-needed retuning of One-Eyed Mask alongside a buff to the Xenophage Exotic Machine Gun. These changes were announced after much discussion from the Destiny community about certain weapons and Exotics overshadowing the changes made to Destiny’s sandbox in Shadowkeep. Primarily, the issue of how Recluse’s Master at Arms perk was allowing players to mindlessly spray bullets at targets and kill them at peak efficiency in both PvE and PvP activities. There was also some discussion around how lackluster recent Exotics–mainly Xenophage and Leviathan’s Breath–have been. Bungie has luckily been listening, providing changes next season to ease the communities’ frustrations.
Recluse will have its Master of Arms perk re-tweaked to be less powerful: Master of Arms will no longer grant precision damage values on non-precision hits. Currently, Master of Arms provides a 21% damage increase to precision damage and over 100% buff to body shots, making it comparable to precision damage. Not only did it give Recluse a time to kill on par with most heavy weapons, but it also meant it could kill every enemy in PvE faster, and with less skill, than any other primary in the game. Master of Arms will now provide a less extreme damage buff to body damage while retaining the same precision damage we have currently, meaning it can still achieve the same level of killing power it has now if you only land precision hits. This should allow other weapons to gain some prominence and lower Recluse’s absurdly high usage in all activities.
One-Eyed Mask Changes
If you are an avid Crucible player, you may be pleased to hear that the infamous One-Eyed Mask Titan Exotic is finally getting changed. Killing an enemy marked for Vengeance no longer provides an overshield to the killer. This is not an insignificant change; One-Eyed Mask has allowed Titan players to gain multiple advantages in Crucible, including:
- Constant tracking of a player
- Damage bonus on kill
- Health regeneration on kill
- An overshield when a tracked target is slain
Preserving the Balance
For comparison, Hunters have Foetracer which grants tracking, Wormhusk Crown that allows healing after you dodge, and Mechaneer’s Tricksleeves that grant a damage bonus to sidearms when critically wounded. Warlocks have tracking while in a rift through Sanguine Alchemy, and health regeneration can be provided through melee kills while using Karnstein Armlets. No one uses those Warlock Exotics, however, as more generic buffs from Transversive Steps and Ophidian Aspect prove to more consistently benefit players than the situational buffs listed here. One-Eyed Mask provides buffs that multiple Exotics cover from other classes and does so in a more convenient way than most Exotics previously. A change was necessary, and luckily the proposed change Bungie provided should bring Titans closer to the other two classes.
Nerfs are not the only thing happening next season. Xenophage will be getting a PvE damage increase of 50%, while ammo crates in PvP activities will grant 4/6 rounds from the current 3/4 bullets. Machine Guns were not renowned for their great damage per second, but Xenophage was underperforming compared to most Legendary Machine Guns. Bungie stated they want Xenophage to fill the gap between a Grenade Launcher and Machine Gun. The damage increase should help with that, but even then, the weapon might still struggle to find a home in player’s loadouts. YouTube content creator Ehroar made a great video about the proposed buff and its implications you can watch below.
That sums up the changes planned for Season of Dawn. Personally, Recluse getting toned down is a fantastic change to the game. The prevalence of that pinnacle Submachine Gun has dominated the energy slot for much longer than it should have. Other weapons will be able to compete after the nerf. Recluse will still have a place as a workhorse weapon that shines in Crucible without disrupting the PvE balance. As for One-Eyed Mask, it will still be the most used Exotic until other Exotics get reworked. Aggressive tracking, health on kill, and a damage increase culminate into a devastating neutral game Exotic. Hopefully, Bungie is looking for ways to make other, lesser-used Exotics, more impactful.