It's finally happening: Bungie is about to severely weaken one of the best, most tried-and-true guns of Destiny 2. An upcoming update will cut the legs out from under The Recluse, a pinnacle SMG from Year Two that remains one of the most versatile and sought-after guns in the game. It's about to become a lot less useful, thanks to rebalancing that will also effect the Titan Exotic helmet One-Eyed Mask, and the Xenophage Exotic machine gun.
In its latest This Week at Bungie blog post, the developer shared details for a few upcoming balancing changes, with a nerf to The Recluse headlining the list. Currently, the gun carries a perk called Master of Arms, which is activated when you get a kill with any gun in your arsenal. When the perk is running, The Recluse deals significantly more damage, making it a beastly addition to your arsenal in just about all situations, both in the PvE and PvP sides of the game.
Nerfs To The Recluse
Right now, when Master of Arms is activated, The Recluse does precision-level damage no matter where you hit your target--basically, it's like the gun lands nothing but headshots. In Destiny 2's next content season, the Season of the Dawn, the game will get a change that removes that bonus, which will knock down the damage The Recluse deals significantly. It's part of Bungie's continued focus on trying to bring Legendary guns (of which The Recluse is one) down a peg in strength, in order to make rarer Exotic guns stand out from the crowd more.
As Bungie details in the TWAB, The Recluse will still get a damage bonus from Master of Arms, but it won't be as powerful as the current bonus.
"Many doubted The Recluse when it was first announced, but it has since proved to be resilient to being squashed," Bungie writes. "Although the precision damage modifier did not actually improve the efficacy of the weapon at its best, it did allow for fairly mindless spraying to be just as good as concentrated aiming. After considering various options on what to do with it, the decision was made to remove that part of the functionality and preserve its activation methods. The alternative was leaving in an effect we believe to be too strong for a Legendary weapon."
Nerfs To One-Eyed Mask
Also getting pared down is a favorite Titan helmet from Year Two called One-Eyed Mask, which has become a regular adornment for many players in PvP. One-Eyed Mask marks the person who damages you when you take fire, activating a perk called "Marked for Vengeance." If you then kill the person who did damage to you, you get immediate health regeneration as well as an overshield, making you even more powerful for taking down the next person you encounter.
The update that nerfs The Recluse will also alter One-Eyed Mask to do away with the overshield.
"In a previous sandbox update, One-Eyed Mask received some tuning in how Vengeance was applied to Titans," the blog states. "Next Season, this perk will continue to provide health regeneration when defeating an opponent that has inflicted damage upon your Guardian, but it will no longer grant an overshield."
Boosts To Xenophage
The TWAB wasn't all bad news, though. The recently released Xenophage, is getting its power amped up to make it more effective. Xenophage fires explosive rounds that explode somewhat like grenades, but it doesn't deal extra damage for critical hits. That made it somewhat less powerful than Bungie intended it to be at release, and coupled with its small magazine size, made the gun fairly forgettable. Next season, Xenophage will get a couple more rounds when you pick up Heavy ammo in PvP, and will do more 50% more damage in PvE.
"Xenophage unintentionally shipped a little weak, so it’s getting a bump up in raw damage," Bungie writes. "Machine Guns have a higher ammunition capacity than other Heavy weapons, trading raw DPS for ease of use. Xenophage slides further towards other Heavy weapons such as Grenade Launchers in that aspect but didn’t get enough power back. This will correct that."
There's only one month left in the Season of the Undying, so now's the time to get out there and enjoy your Recluse and One-Eyed Mask before Bungie's changes come through. On the bright side, Xenophage could be a very useful gun with these new changes, which will be nice considering how difficult it was to unlock in the first place.