Destiny's most powerful gun may return, but not before Year Three

Bungie explains why Gjallarhorn and other exotic weapons are taking a time out.

Destiny is ditching some of its most famous guns as part of the game's Year Two, which begins today with the launch of new expansion The Taken King.


Exotic weapons that may have taken all year for Bungie's random loot system to drop, guns that require great trials to acquire - many are being left behind, much to player chagrin.

Most notable is Gjallarhorn, the exotic rocket launcher that became ubiquitous enough that high-level players would simply ignore requests from players who did not own it.

In the game's player-versus-player modes, exotic hand cannons were king. Guns such as the poison-inflicting Thorn became the only option for players wanting to stay competitive.

But, as Destiny: The Taken King creative director Luke Smith explains, it wasn't meant to be that way.

"When Gjallarhorn is the only answer it unbalances the game. It also goes against our philosophy for exotics - they should be situational and if there is something that you want to use and never change it goes against our desire for a game with horizontal opportunities for progression.

"Gjallarhorn is the answer to the question 'why are you making me fight bullet sponges?'," he continued. The enormous amounts of damage it created caused Bungie to have to accommodate accordingly.

"It's a balancing act across a variety of teams - we want to look at the PVP and PVE games and do something for both. There's an exotic handcannon overbalance right now, which is why we're nerfing Thorn and The Last World and not bringing them forward.

"We're deliberately leaving Ice Breaker behind because ultimately it presents a way for you to play the game that ultimately isn't that engaging," Smith continued, referencing the way some players simple bunkered down in a safe spot and used the weapon's automatically-refilling ammo to slowly chip away at bosses until they keeled over.

But some hard-earned weapons and all three of the recent House of Wolves exotic guns are not being brought forward either.

None of these have been particularly over-used, and after the trials that people have faced to get them, many players were surprised to see them abandoned.

"I wouldn't conflate the Raid weapons [Vex Mythoclast and Nechrochasm] and the DLC2 weapons [Queenbreaker's Bow, Dreg's Promise, Lord of Wolves] with that," Smith answered.

"Those latter three didn't get the time in the sun they deserve. I think we have to talk about bringing those forward sooner rather than later."

More Year One exotic weapons will make the leap to Year Two, Smith promised, although Bungie was focused on introducing a whole set of new guns as well.

"We're really focusing on the September Year Two exotics. There are loads of new guns to chase, but as for Year One... We're building this back catalogue, kind of like the Disney vault [laughs].

"I have received some very, er, strong messaging about the MIDA Multi-Tool and how excited some players would be if it returned. It's going to be in the vault for a while but we hear it."

So we may yet see Gjallarhorn again?

"We've been pretty upfront about saying Gjallarhorn isn't coming back this year. But in a world where [Gjallarhorn creator] Feizel Crux's great creation returns it won't be slayer of gods that it once was."

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

News Editor  |  tomphillipsEG

Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and all the stealth Destiny articles.


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