TWAB - 03/30/2023

Mid-season patch preview!


Difficulty Tweaks

  • Reduce enemy health in non-raid/dungeon Legend and Master activities by 10%
  • Reduce enemy health in Legendary Avalon with a full fireteam by 33%
  • Reduce Hawthorne's weekly Commendations challenge from 20 to 5
  • Remove Guardian Rank objectives that require giving commendations from ranks 7, 8, and 9
  • Further reduce Commendation score requirements for Guardian Ranks 7-9
    • Rank 7: 460 -> 100
    • Rank 8: 790 -> 250
    • Rank 9: 1290 -> 500

Mid-Season Patch Preview

Primary Weapons

  • Auto Rifles +25% damage
    • The extra range on top of SMGs wasn't doing enough to make Autos competitive with SMGs, so a damage buff was needed
  • Pulse Rifles, Hand Cannons, and Sidearms +25% damage
    • Pulses and Hand Cannons have underperformed vs other weapon types in PvE for a while. Sidearms are getting the same buff because longer range SMGs outperformed them.
  • Scout Rifles +10% damage
    • They want to be careful tuning up scout rifles, because their high range makes them incredibly safe options (especially with infinite ammo). They gave them a buff just to keep them in line with the other weapon types that have received buffs.
  • SMGs and Bows get no change, the rest of the primaries were tuned with these weapons as the baseline.

Weapon Archetypes

  • SMGs
    • IKELOS SMG had special tuning that gave it much better stability than other comparable SMGs. This is now removed, so IKELOS SMG's recoil should match other Aggressive Frame SMGs.
    • More tuning will be coming to Aggressive Frame SMGs in Season 21, aiming to reduce the resilience threshold where they can reach their optimal TTK value of 0.67s, as well as decreasing the forgiveness of missed crits.
  • Fusion Rifle
    • Fusion Rifles were last nerfed in order to keep them under control relative to Shotguns, which were also worse in PvP at the time. Now that Shotguns are better, they are buffing Fusions again to keep them competitive.
    • Increased burst damage by 15 (damage per burst 245 -> 260, damage per bolt 27.2 -> 28.9)
    • Damage in PvE is unchanged.
  • Trace Rifle
    • Trace Rifles are precarious in Crucible, they can kill quickly at long ranges, but can be difficult to use and can be very ammo limited if not hitting the optimal TTK. They're making these changes to make them a bit easier to use, without making them too powerful (or letting them get two kills with one ammo brick)
    • Increased base damage bo 4% (12 -> 12.5)
    • Reduced precision hit multiplier 14x -> 13.5x (crit damage 16.8 -> 16.9 when including the above change)
    • Increased effectiveness of stability by 10% at 100 stat
  • Sniper Rifle
    • Rapid-Fire Sniper Rifles have struggled to find a place in PvP and PvE. They can't kill in two body shots in PvP, and their inventory size isn't large enough to make them useful in PvE. These changes should address that:
    • Reduced recoil by 50%
    • Increased total ammunition (magazine + reserves) by 30%

Exotic Weapons

  • Final Warning no longer marks targets through Titan Barricades
  • Tarrabah
    • When Tarrabah was introduced, low survivability in PvP meant that getting Ravenous Beast active was difficult. Now, survivability is much better, and Ravenous Beast feels like an outlier.
    • Reduced the amount of Ravenous Beast energy generated when taking damage 3% -> 1%
    • Reduced zoom 16 -> 15
  • Revision Zero
    • Fourth Time's the Charm working when Revision Zero went into Hunter's Trace (sniper mode) was intended, but is causing some issues. They're making it so FTTC can't grant ammo until all the Hunter's Trace bullets are fired, to fix these issues, as well as buffing the strength of the Hunter's Trace rounds, and the Hakke Heavy Burst rounds, to make the trade off of which trait to use more interesting.
    • Fourth Time's the Charm will now reset when entering Hunter's Trace
    • Increased PvE damage of Hunter's Trace +25%
    • Increased PvE damage of Hakke Heavy Burst +75%

Future Changes

Season 21 Launch

  • A sweeping rework of weapon hip fire reticles to better display useful information to players (accuracy, aim assist, charge state, Exotic perk state, etc) (preview of this here)
  • Aggressive Frame SMG nerf
  • 10% PvE buff to Sniper Rifle damage.
  • Buffs/adjustments to more than a dozen Exotic weapons, including Graviton Lance and Salvation's Grip.

In the future

  • They're going to take a look at how zoom interacts with damage fall off, and the base damage fall off ranges of all weapons in general.
  • Zoom, and perks (e.g. Rangefinder) that manipulate zoom have become mandatory on several weapon types, either to compete at all in the sandbox or to exceed intended engagement ranges. This has led to them consolidating zoom values on certain weapon types, which removes a lever they can use to modify weapon feel, the wide effects of zoom on FOV, recoil reduction, and aim assist falloff.
  • They're investigating decoupling damage falloff from zoom (paired with a refresh of the base damage falloff values to compensate), so they can better control the engagement ranges of individual archetypes, while at the same time letting them continue to use zoom as a tuning knob for weapon feel without significant changing weapon performance.

Why Khvostov in Cutscenes and Commendations?

  • Because in some cinematics, they want to be able to animate very detailed hand/weapon movement for certain shots, in ways that would require a lot of extra effort to support all of the available weapon types. They chose a default weapon (went with Khvostov because it's everyone's first weapon) to use in these cases.
  • They also started respecting the "keep helmet off" option in cutscenes where appropriate for the context.
  • There's a longer writeup about this that has more dev insights, check out the actual article for more info on that.


  • There's more PC and phone wallpapers in the blog post than would make sense to copy/paste here, so go check them out in the blog post itself, they look really great. Wallpaper subjects include: Season of Defiance season pass art, Nezarec encounter environment, several large Poukas, Neptune orbit view, Nezarec closeup, Strand action shots, and the Avalon boss arena.


  • They're aware of an issue where equipping certain loadouts may cause a WEASEL error code crash. To try and resolve this, re-save the loadout after re-equipping the Empowered Finish mod.


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