Bungie has taken aim at two of the most popular Exotic weapons in Destiny 2, leaving players frustrated. Whisper of the Worm and Ace of Spades are taking the biggest hits, and the explanation offered by the developers is problematic.
As the Season of Opulence approaches, the developers have been gradually releasing information about their plans for character progression, changes in the raid release schedule, and upcoming balance changes, also known as nerfs, to Luna's Howl and Not Forgotten. Players have had time to consider and react to that last bit of news for a while now, and the rational behind the decision seems to have been accepted among the community, even if some feel like their favorite weapons are being gutted.
Meanwhile, yesterday the sandbox team of the game in charge of weapons and abilities released their weekly post detailing a number of other nerfs that have some players upset at the sudden unexpected change.
Whisper of the Worm and Ace of Spades are two of the weapons being discussed most by players online, as the proposed changes seem harsh and retroactively undermining the effort needed to acquire them. Whisper of the Worm will no longer be able to generate endless ammo under certain conditions, and Ace of Spaces will have its Memento Mori perk adjusted. Gladd, one of the most well-known and active PvE players in the game shared his thoughts in this (NSFL) tweet:
Good fucking job ruining one of the only exotics that feels exotic, and one that is tied to such an awesome quest. There goes a piece of content down the drain. These nerfs to make other things "relevant" are ridiculous and make no one happy. Are you trying to make people leave?— Gladd (@GladdOnTwitch) May 16, 2019
Players discussed how frustrating this felt as a strategy to encourage the use different Exotic weapons. The consensus was that nobody wants to use "bad" Exotic weapons, and nerfing the best ones will not sway players in that direction.
To explain these changes, the Destiny Dev Team stated "We want to ensure that encounters—raids and other endgame content...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."
The developers reasoning is sound, because anything in-game that limits design space or trivializes what is supposed to feel like the next step in endgame content is always going to be problematic, and sooner or later needs to be removed. However, that was error made by the developers in releasing an over-tuned weapon that the player must now pay for.
Herein lies the problem in that the developers did not treat the matter delicately, but rather as a cold, calculated necessity for the good of the game. Over time, this erodes player confidence, and makes people question if they should devote any time to Destiny 2, as their hard work and immersion into their characters can be so easily and carelessly shattered.
While the changes are necessary, this is a hard pill to swallow for the player base. Right now, the developers should be thinking of how best to communicate with them on a more empathetic level, and offer some kind of in-game compensation for the bait-and-switch tactics that many may be feeling. Thanks to u/TheHachibi for the image below, "Mr. Stark? I don't feel so good."