For years, Bungie has struggled with balancing shotguns. In Destiny 2 PVP they can be outright dominant, but Bungie nerfing range a few seasons back meant random pellet spread caused them to become too unreliable. As a result, shotguns largely fell out of the meta. Rather than continue to try and balance PVE and PVP together with all shotguns lumped together, Bungie is going to try something different. In Season 19 of Destiny 2, Bungie is overhauling the spread pattern of the subfamilies. Each will now have a different reticule, different bullet spread, and different range effectiveness.
As a note, Bungie says some shotguns will likely need to be buffed or nerfed depending on how such a massive change impacts their performance. If you, like me, have no clue what subclass the Shotguns you regularly use are, we’ve sorted them into a handy list below.
These are your close range, wide-spread shotguns. Basically, this is what you’ve been experiencing until now.
- Astral Horizon
- Toil and Trouble
- A Sudden Death
- Felwinter’s Lie
- Found Verdict
- Mindbender’s Ambition
- The Comedian
You’re going to have to be a little more accurate with these shotguns now, at lest when it comes to horizontal aiming.
- Compass Rose
- Matador 64
- Prophet of Doom
- Retold Tale
This honestly isn’t too far of a departure from what you already expected your shotguns do. The pattern is just a bit more condensed meaning it should be accurate at slightly longer ranges than Aggressive Frames.
- Reckless Endangerment
- Wastelander M5
- Seventh Seraph CQC
- Without Remorse
- Xenoclast IV
Take that even further and you get Rapid-Fire shotguns.
- One Small Step
- Dead Weight
- IKELOS SG
- The Deicide
And finally, there are the Slug shotguns.
- No Reprieve
- First In, Last Out
- Sojourner’s Tale
- The Inquisitor
Bungie’s Full Context
Missed the TWAB explaining everything? Here’s what Bungie had to say.
Shotguns were previously able to one-hit kill (OHK) from too far away and needed adjustment. Once that was addressed, the weaknesses of random pellet spread became clear: they’ve become less reliable, even at close ranges. This gave us a solid starting point to do something we have been looking into for a while: Giving each Shotgun subfamily a custom, fixed spread pattern, and a matching custom reticle. Each of these spread patterns is intended to give a subfamily a unique style of gameplay and predictable effectiveness at specific ranges.
The reticles are tuned to match the size of the actual spread pattern at the default field of view (FOV) but note that this is not the case as FOV changes, or as spread angle changes (like if you are jumping, for example). We’ll update reticles to react dynamically to spread angle in Lightfall and FOV in a later release, though this first step was crucial for getting that prepped for implementation in the future.
The changes listed evolve the experience of using a Shotgun so much that we expect to revisit tuning on these over the next few Seasons. That’s OK. Tailoring to different playstyles while maintaining a balance takes time, but we’re on a good path. Also, note that we have held off on adjusting Fusion Rifles because the balance between Shotguns and Fusion Rifles depends a lot on how these changes work out after Season 19 launches. “The numbers, Mason, what do they mean?”
Bungie has also fixed a bug around Aggressive Frames and buffed Rapid-Fire Frames.
- Fixed several Shotguns that were using the incorrect intrinsic Aggressive perk. All Aggressive Shotguns will now increase rate of fire after a kill, as intended.
- Increased PvE damage by 5%.
- The reload speed benefit for the Rapid-Fire Shotgun Frame now always applies instead of only when reloading from an empty magazine.