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Destiny: House of Wolves release date narrowed, major expansion this autumn

Huge balance changes buff Destiny's least-used gun type.

Bungie has narrowed the release date of the next Destiny add-on, House of Wolves, to Q2 2015.

Specifically, that means sometime from 1st April to 30th June, a new blog post clarified, which fits with the leak from earlier this week that suggested a 19th May launch was likely.

Meanwhile, Destiny publisher Activision has hinted at the next addition to Destiny after House of Wolves - the weighty "Comet" expansion rumoured for release this September.

According to other, earlier leaks, this expansion is called Plague of Darkness and offers the largest lump of new content since Destiny's launch.

"In Q2, we expect to launch the game's second expansion pack, House of Wolves, and later this year, we will announce a major content release for the fall, so stay tuned," Activision exec Eric Hirshberg told investors during a financial call last night. "And a very robust pipeline planned after that."

Activision expects to profit more from Destiny this year than last - despite the fact it will only sell expansions. This is due to the fact that last year's launch sales were balanced against higher development costs.

These costs will be lower this year, meaning a better balance sheet from Destiny overall.

"Comparing '14 and '15, obviously, last year was a major launch with Destiny 1 and we won't have a comparable launch this year, although we do have content in the back half of the year," Activision financial boss Dennis Durkin commented.

"On the flip side, though, on the cost side, there was significant amortisation of Destiny's development costs that came through in 2014, that will not be in 2015. So even though the revenue will be down based on the new content pipeline and a smaller release, effectively, we do expect actual profits to be up for the franchise."

A little closer on the horizon is the late February launch of Destiny patch 1.1.1, which includes the heavy ammo bug fix detailed last week.

Also included in that patch is a far-reaching rebalancing of Destiny's guns to buff the game's least-used weapon type: pulse rifles.

Data published by Bungie shows pulse rifles as the least-used primary weapon type by far. Pulse rifles account for just six per cent of kills in PVE and two per cent in PVP. Compare that to auto rifles (18 per cent in PVE and 19 per cent in PVP) or hand cannons (13 per cent in PVE and seven per cent in PVP).

Bungie has published a separate, detailed blog post on the gun rebalancing and warned players to expect other weapon types to be nerfed as part of the changes.

Auto rifles and hand cannons in particular get notable debuffs. Damage and range are reduced, for example. Fusion rifles get a wider burst cones to reduce long-range effectiveness.

But not all changes are negative. Shotguns, widely used in Destiny's PVP modes but largely ignored in PVE, get a 100 per cent damage increase against non-human players. Meanwhile, in PVP, the weapon type receives a reduced number of starting ammo.

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