Destiny 2

Why We Gravitate To Damage and Reload Perks (And How To Stop It)

destiny2 2 - Why We Gravitate To Damage and Reload Perks (And How To Stop It)

So, I went back to Destiny 1 and ran around with a couple of weapons that all had one thing in common: They didn't have Crowd Control (Rampage) or Reactive Reload (Kill Clip). And you know what; I didn't miss them. Instead, I used more utility based perks, like Firefly (Dragonfly), Triple Tap, and Spray & Play (Alloy Mag, kinda) and so on.

There's been a lot of talk about nerfing the damage-reload combo and how weapons will behave moving forward, so I feel like I should pipe my 2 cents in. We've already sat through major changes to the damage perks, and now with the reload perks, which was a bit uncalled for.

So, why do we gravitate toward this holy combo? It's quite simple, actually.

Primary Weapon Damage is too low

It goes without saying that the reason why we like perks that boost our damage is because it feels like we aren't doing enough damage already.

Destiny 1 had this certain level of perk diversity because most of the best perks in the game didn't directly affect your damage. While Outlaw and Feeding Frenzy were still top-tier, they weren't meta-defining like they are today.

Ace of Spades in D2 can't one shot some red bars at certain levels without Memento Mori active, when an equivalent hand cannon, the Eyasluna in D1, would have handled those enemies no problem. This issue is also shared with Bows, Scouts, and Pulses, where they can't one shot/burst certain trash mobs.

A lot of the damage in the game is also heavily weighted on headshots. D2 punished you like nothing if you land bodyshots. And sure, while that is understandable on something like a sniper or scout rifle, but on weapons that can't easily hit headshots, like an auto, it's awful. Maybe it has to do with the differences between console and PC, but I call bullshit. I doubt that people would actively choose to shoot for less damage if the bodyshot floor was brought up. PvP, I get it; you want to reward accurate shooting, but why is that same philosophy held in PvE? That was partly why Recluse was so good for so long: Master of Arms was weighted to bring the bodyshot damage up by something ridiculous (like 150%) to bring it in line with the precision damage.

If most guns had their precision/body split brought closer in, say Forsaken, Recluse wouldn't seem as broken as it was and perks like Rampage would be seen as creature comforts rather than necessary.

Certain Perks Aren't What They Used To Be

I look at Firefly as the poster child for this. Before D2, it was the premium CC perk. The explosion was big and dealt a lot of damage, and came on some of the best PvE weapons in Fatebringer and Hung Jury. Both of those didn't have damage perks and only Fatebringer had Outlaw.

As we moved into D2, kinetic weapons lost the option to roll a Firefly-like perk. We didn't have a kinetic weapon with Firefly until Ace of Spades (I'm not counting that Warlock chestpiece), and haven't seen one since. Energy weapons got Dragonfly: a stripped back, laughable imitation of what Firefly used to be. The damage is poor, the range is bad, and the Dragonfly Spec mod barely addresses the issue.

Once again; since Dragonfly lost a lot of its usefulness, if Rampage is in the same slot, why wouldn't I pick it?

Some Perks Are Gone Entirely

What happened to Life Support? Or Hot Swap? Or Return To Sender? Or Third Eye? What about Battle Runner and Army of One? I miss Focused Fire, Spray & Play and Final Round personally.

A good chunk of the utility perks, and even some damage and reload, just flat out don't exist in D2 legendary pools. When most weapons can only roll the same 5-6 perks, of course we'd naturally gravitate toward some of the better perks. Which leads me to my next point:

Other Perks Are Plainly Bad Or Not The Best Choice

Whoopie, Air Assault. Because I want a barely noticeable handling boost for the split second I'm in the air, eating an accuracy debuff in the process. No wonder it's only on a few weapons from Black Armory and Austringer.

Under Pressure and High Impact Reserves are good on fusions. Other than that, can you name a weapon that will benefit from having either over Zen Moment or any damage perk?


With those in the same column as Rampage, Multikill Clip, Feeding Frenzy, and others; why would you choose those?

Same applies to the more useful perks. Why take Ambitious Assassin or Triple Tap over some of the other perks mentioned above? While better than Air Assault, they aren't as usable as Rampage or Outlaw.

Having perks that are naturally better than others is fine, it's a bad thing when the only choices are also the best.

Most Guns Are Laid Out The Same

In general, it's:

  1. 2 Barrels/Scopes
  2. 2 Magazine
  3. Perk 1
  4. Perk 2

It wasn't like that in D1. While it was 3 scopes, perk 1, 3 mag perks, and perk 2; the pools were huge. The reprised Shadow Price, for example, had 11 different perks you could roll in both slots, and of those, at least 6 would have been usable (in each slot), and even fewer of those were damage and reload perks.

What happened to the foundry-specific perk layouts? Better yet: what happened to the foundry weapons? We had a ton in D2, year 1, and barely a quarter of them can now roll with random perks.

Take a look

. Hakke and SUROS weapons each had their own quirks, and as such, you could build around a certain weapon's strengths. By no means am I advocating that we go back to the one-perk per gun system for SUROS weapons specifically, but there's a bit of creativity to be had. Like, maybe Veist weapons can have 2 trees of magazine perks and a tree for a weapon perk.

i also miss the hakke 4-shot burst pulse rifles

So how do we make the guns better?

Glad you asked.

  1. Game-wide, sweeping primary buffs: Bodyshot damage should go up, and certain weapons should have a higher crit multiplier. Some guns should also have stability looked at. 750 SMGs are terrible weapons to use because of how bad they kick, and certain hand cannons just kick a little too hard, even after their firing animation change.
  2. Introduce new (or returning) weapons that have a different perk tree layout. Augmented weapons from the forges and Season 9 weapons with the Season Pass buff are a good start. Weapons from certain foundries should have different layouts from each other, no matter the source. The FWC fusion and Erentil would have the same layout, for insance.
  3. Buff under-performing perks to bring them in line with the top dogs.
    1. High-Impact Reserves, for example, should have (at least) a 50% damage buff at the very tailend of the magazine. This can be tuned differently for PvP
    2. Slideshot and Slideways honestly should just be merged
    3. Under Pressure should have another bonus, on top of stability, like maybe range or accuracy
    4. Dragonfly should be significantly larger, deal more damage, and roll on kinetic weapons again
    5. Air Assault should negate the in-air accuracy penalty and have another buff. Handling just isn't important when you're already in the air
  4. Restructure weapon perk pools so they hold 8-12 per slot. While some guns from certain sources (raids, Trials) should have smaller pools to increase the shot of a great roll, vendor and random drops should have wider selections.
  5. Reintroduce D1 utility perks to diversify perk pools. I'd love to see Focused Fire back on Autos and Army of One on all weapons.
  6. Bring back certain barrels and scopes to diversify perk pools. Red Dot OAS was one of the best scopes in the game and it's only on blues now, and Aggressive Ballistics would get rid of (or at least reduce) the need for a damage perk

While I don't expect all of these to be in the game, I would at least like to see some added in. But who knows what Bungo is planning.

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