Understanding the Code Behind Destiny 2’s Strange Orb Change

Bungie’s 30th Anniversary pack will give Destiny 2 players what they want: Exotic buffs
November 23, 2021
February 26, 2022

Understanding the Code Behind Destiny 2’s Strange Orb Change

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Destiny 2’s Bungie 30th Anniversary celebration is less than a month away, and Bungie is sharing patch note details. And in addition to the new dungeon, activities, weapons, Gjallarhorn, and whatever other surprises Bungie has in store for players, some fan-favorite Exotics will see major improvements.

Destiny 2
Destiny 2 BUNGIE

Yesterday, Destiny 2 had its first TWAB of 2022 which announced some great changes, like the ability to change the elemental affinity of Masterworked armor cheaply, and a path where XP will allow players to unlock all seasonal mods with enough playtime.

But one change was…kind of weird, and mostly bad, it seemed.

That was an alteration to the way orb generation works in Destiny 2. Right now, you masterwork a weapon, it generates orbs on multikills, giving you super energy or activating “charged with light” mods on your armor. Now, that’s changing. Orb generation will now be a slotted helmet mod for a particular elemental type of weapon.

The problem this solves is that now, exotics without catalysts will be able to generate orbs, but the problems this creates?

  • Masterworking weapons now has no benefit except a minor stat bump.
  • Those helmet slots can now not be used by targeting or finder mods, presumably.
  • At max you can probably have two types of elemental weapons generate orbs, which poses problems for the match game modifier if you want 3 elemental types. Really, there are five types of weapons that need mods for orb generation now, solar, void, arc, stasis and kinetic, and every time you switched guns, you’d have to switch mods. Cumbersome.

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This retweet appears to be an endorsement of the “perk freeing” idea, and sandbox lead Kevin Yanes retweeted another user who cited something Bungie wrote in a past TWAB:


So, the idea here is that if weapons no longer generate orbs, and that task is given to armor, then there is a new slot freed up for…something. Another perk option, perhaps, but reading that TWAB entry, my guess is something like perhaps an intrinsic foundry/loot source-based perk that each weapon will now have. That could even be something you unlock after masterworking, which would be a new reason to do that, if orb generation is no longer a thing.

Bungie has done this a few times before, where they have announced some big change that sounds really bad, but later, they pair it with another positive change that offsets it, or at least makes it make more sense. While I can understand not everything being fully ready to share yet, they do sort of keep creating these situations themselves, and quasi-answering things by retweeting player theories isn’t exactly the best way to clarify the situation.

But the long and short of what’s going on here is that there is some sort of trade being made here, modified orb generation for perhaps an entirely new perk/mod/intrinsic ability slot in weapons, as is the heavy indication. I’m still not sure the whole helmet mod orb thing is good regardless of that, but again, it’s hard to fully judge until we see the full shape of what’s coming. And all we have now is some scattered pieces where we have to fill in the blanks.

Trials of osiris recovery and boost

Whisper of the Worm, which was once the go-to damage weapon in nearly all fights, is getting a significant rework. In addition to a 10% damage increase, the Whispered Breathing damage increase offered by the weapon’s Catalyst now activates 0.9 seconds faster — which is a much bigger deal than it seems. Hitting three successive headshots in a row will also refill the magazine by only using two shots from reserves — meaning you get one free bullet for being accurate with trials of osiris recoveries and boosts.

The blog also highlights a host of other great Exotic improvements:

  • Leviathan’s Breath Catalyst will also give the Archer’s Tempo perk
  • Malfeasance’s explosions will do 50% more damage
  • DARCI will do 20% more damage and the Personal Assistant perk will be more reliable
  • Cryosthesia 77K will get a complete rework and no longer drain players’ magazines
  • Suros Regime’s Dual Mode Receiver version gets increased range and zoom
  • Arbalest will intrinsically have anti-barrier
  • Fighting Lion will reload much faster on a successful hit
  • Dead Man’s Tale will see some recoil adjustments for controller users

While that’s all great news for Destiny fans, Bungie will also give out a few slight nerfs. Vex Mythoclast is getting its PvP wings clipped a little — mostly around it’s aim assist. Heir Apparent’s Catalyst is getting a bug fix, which should rein in its defensive capabilities. Lorentz Driver will no longer give bonus ability energy, and Traveler’s Chosen will offer reduced ability energy regeneration in PvP — Bungie community manager, dmg04, clarified on Twitter that this is preempting an ability regen change coming later.


Bungie is also making some significant weapon archetype changes. Slug shotguns will lose 10% damage in PvE, but pellet shotguns will gain 10% PvE damage. Caster swords now use less ammo for a heavy attack, and bows will deal 10% more damage against weak enemies. Fusion Rifles and Sidearms will also see an obscure bug fix, making them hitscan more reliably. And as we mentioned with Sleeper Simulant, all Linear Fusion Rifles will deal 10% increased damage. There are also some perk and mod adjustments coming.

Finally, the studio mentioned a few development points coming in the Witch Queen expansion. Bungie is looking to move Catalysts away from pure Orb or Power generation, and will finally have a solution in destiny 2 boost February 2022. There will also be a reason to use two weapons of the same element and stat type in Witch Queen, although Bungie isn’t telling why yet. All primary weapon Exotics will also get a tuning pass to make them more useful.

All of these changes, aside from those specifically teased for the upcoming expansion, will launch alongside the Bungie 30th Anniversary event on Dec. 7.

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