Confession time: I didn’t earn my Recluse in Destiny 2. In fact, I never even wanted one. While going for the MMXIV seal last season, I enlisted a stranger to carry me far enough in Competitive to get the Glory I needed for the Revoker. I could have done this on my own, but the progress was slow enough that I just wanted to get it over with. Well, I got the Revoker, but my companion asked if I wanted him to help me hit Fabled as well, while we were at it. A few games later and I had my very own Recluse, the bane of so many players’ Crucible experience.
A couple of months later, the Recluse has almost never left my Energy weapon slot. The thing is just unreal — its rate of fire is tremendous, it has powerful perks, and it doesn’t use up my Exotic, leaving me free to equip something like the Tractor Cannon, which makes the Recluse even more unreal. After nerfs to some of Destiny 2‘s more sought-after weapon perks like Rampage, the Recluse is even better in comparison.
Oh, and did I mention how Shadowkeep throws tons of Vex at you — Vex which overwhelmingly use Void shields that the Recluse just tears through? Or how it can equip one of two of the Seasonal Artifact mods to let it pierce Champion barriers or disrupt Overload Champions? Or how the Seasonal Artifact also has a mod that gives you faster submachine gun reloads?
At this point, equipping anything other than the Recluse feels like making a deliberate choice to be less effective. Shadowkeep even has some other SMGs that are pretty great, but none of them can stand up to the Recluse — one of the Pinnacle Weapons so powerful that it convinced Bungie to do away with the concept entirely.
Check out the Warmind stats for the new raid, Garden of Salvation. Yeah, there are some standouts in Kinetic and Power weapons, but less than a third of players are using the top Power choice — the Wendigo GL3 — versus almost 90% using the Recluse. The Recluse’s nearest competitors in the Energy SMG race — the Subjunctive, Riskrunner, and Every Waking Moment — are essentially blips.
Yes, there are always going to be standout weapons in Destiny depending on how Bungie tweaks the game’s balance. But as it is, the Recluse is just too good. When any piece of equipment makes everything else obsolete, it’s time to think about reducing its effectiveness.
So how should Bungie do that? In this case, I think it might be easiest to tweak Master of Arms, the Recluse’s unique perk that increases its damage after a kill with any weapon. It might be enough to just reduce the bonus damage that the perk gives to bring it in line with the changes to Rampage.
However they do it, at this point it feels necessary that Bungie make a change to the weapon somehow. Will it irritate players who worked to get the Recluse in Competitive Crucible? Almost certainly. But such is the way of playing a live game — you have to roll with the punches and understand that your experience is a part of a larger ecosystem. And hey, who knows? Maybe the next balance tweak will make swords the new meta or something. Wouldn’t that be fun?
While you’re here, check out the rest of our Destiny 2 Shadowkeep coverage, including guides, features, tips, and more. Want to find Exotics? We’ve got your Exotics! Want to know what’s up with the world of Destiny 2 before you jump in? Take a look at our Lore Primer. Don’t know where to start? Check out our guide on Getting Started in Destiny 2 Shadowkeep. Good hunting, Guardian.