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Out of nowhere, Bungie nerfs many of Destiny 2's best exotics

For the past two weeks, the Destiny 2 community was full of good cheer. A new exotic quest was added to the game. The upcoming Season of Opulence showed signs of promise. Players were relatively happy with the state of the sandbox. Now the pitchforks are out again.

In the studio's latest This Week at Bungie post, Destiny 2 fans were blindsided by a long list of downgrades to exotic weapons and armor. These nerfs — which go live at the beginning of Season of Opulence on June 4 — touch just about every item that sparks joy when playing the game. Armor pieces like Orpheus Rigs and Skull of Dire Ahamkara will return less super energy. Lord of Wolves will now do 20 percent less damage. Sleeper Simulant, a linear fusion rifle with a beam that can overpenetrate enemies and bounce off hard surfaces, will have weaker ricochet shots. 

But the most devastating nerf of all was saved for Destiny 2's Whisper of the Worm. This gun, which currently generates ammo out of thin air if a player lands three consecutive precision shots, will soon see that perk dismantled entirely. Once the patch goes live, Whisper will instead reward those three precision shots with ammo pulled from reserves.

One only has to look at the Destiny 2 subreddit to see how the community is taking it. Spoilers: it's not good. In fact, it's so not good that the moderators of r/DestinyTheGame actually created a whole new subreddit called r/NerfTheGame to serve as a release valve for angry Guardians.

Yikes.

It's understandable that the community would be up in arms about these upcoming changes. It was only a year ago that Bungie — struggling to improve Destiny 2 after a rocky winter — decided to take a different approach to the way it balanced the game. Instead of nerfing popular guns and armor pieces, as it did in the first Destiny, Bungie pledged to "bring everything else to them," buffing lesser-used items so that the game's power fantasy remained intact.

The changes outlined in the studio's blog post are a pretty huge departure from that philosophy, and serve as a reminder that several gameplay designers have left the studio in the past few months.

There's no better way to smooth things over than to offer new content, and it's entirely possible that the upcoming Season of Opulence drop could lower the temperature in the room. But that's still a few weeks off. If the community doesn't implode before then, we might catch a glimpse of Bungie's grand plans for the rest of Destiny 2. But players are red hot right now, and it's hard to shake the feeling that this down period is different than the others; that this time, Bungie might have finally done the kind of damage that's irreparable.

We'll keep you updated should we learn more about Destiny 2 and the game's Season of Opulence content release.