Destiny 2 Exotic Weapon Buffs and Power Level Increases Highlighted in Bungie Blog

Graviton Lance, Rat King, and Skyburner's Oath are looking mean, while max Power won't be handed out like candy anymore.


After months of feeling burned out on Destiny 2, the latest Bungie blog (This Week at Bungie) has reignited some fire through mention of exotic weapon buffs and Power level increases coming with the release of Destiny 2’s second DLC, Warmind, on May 8.

In the blog, Bungie brings to the table Senior Designer Jon Weisnewski to discuss some of the changes coming to exotic weapons at the onset of Season 3. The three guns mentioned are Graviton Lance, Skyburner’s Oath, and Rat King. For anyone who’s spent some time killing aliens with these weapons, you’ll know that they don’t really “feel” exotic and there’s no real draw to use them over a particularly powerful legendary weapon – looking at you Midnight Coup and Nameless Midnight.

While Graviton Lance receives no explanation outside of a video, the other two weapons get a little rundown about their strengths and how they will be improved.

When firing from the hip, Skyburner’s Oath now lobs slower projectiles at a faster rate of fire that tracks targets and explodes… The end result is a dual utility weapon that fires hit-scan, high-damage projectiles while aiming down sights and rapid-fire, lobbed, exploding, tracking projectiles from the hip.

Rat King has always felt a little too weak, especially given the current ammo constraints still plaguing Destiny 2. However, once Update 1.2.0 launches in May, the Rat King should become a more viable option for players outside of being a meme.

We made Rat King full auto to ensure the rate of fire increase can make a difference when running in a pack. Rat Pack perk now triggers when fireteam members have Rat King slotted as their kinetic weapon, stowed or in hand. We also front-loaded the stat benefits of Rat Pack so they increase a bit more drastically with one or two fireteam members—and upped the base invisibility timer of Vermin to seven seconds.

Anyone who’s had a chance to play the Leviathan raid will know that those Cabal Colossus units pose a massive threat, but it appears as if Rat King – when used in a full Fireteam of six – make short work of the missile-launching behemoth.

In terms of the ever-increasing climb to become a more powerful Guardian, players will need to re-evaluate their expectations. When Warmind launches, the new max Power level hard cap will increase to 380, or 385 when kitted out with +5 mods. However, the climb from 370 to 380 will be about as time consuming as the climb from 340 to 370.

Senior Designer Daniel Auchenpaugh was brought in to discuss the finer details of this increase in Power as well as the decision behind making it more difficult to attain maximum Power. You can read Auchenpaugh’s full breakdown (it’s big) in the Bungie blog, but the short of it is that they wanted to “bring back meaning and accomplishment to achieving the Power cap”. This will be accomplished by deemphasizing grinding public events and instead shift the focus to completing end-game content like raids and competing in Trials of the Nine. Without playing the end-game content, you simply will not be able to reach max Power, unless of course you have a clan that can unlock the clan engrams, but then again, those will now only grant rewards 0-2 points above your current gear.

These changes should hopefully see a style similar to what was in the original Destiny, where players couldn’t simply reach the highest levels by farming low-level content. It should also drive more players toward the end-game activities, such as Trials of the Nine, which is in dire need of a larger player pool.

Outside of the discussion around Power cap and exotic weapons, This Week at Bungie also touched on the current Iron Banner event, which is the first ever 6v6 Iron Banner – unless of course you played the first three years’ worth of Iron Banner in the original Destiny.

The final piece of good news that was repeated in this post is that all players will have access to the new maps at the launch of Warmind. This should prevent dividing the Crucible into old maps and new DLC-specific content. The takeaway from this is that these maps will be given out to all players, even those who don’t purchase the second expansion, though we will have to wait for Bungie to confirm.

All of this discussion is beginning to warm up the cold and dead feelings I had toward Destiny 2 after the abysmal Curse of Osiris DLC. Even the recent Destiny 2 Development Roadmap is looking pretty exciting. One thing is for certain, if Bungie pulls the plug and makes the same errors with Destiny 3, it’s going to be near impossible to bring anyone back.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler is relatively new to the industry, getting his start a few years ago as a writer-for-hire. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and finding his feet, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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