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Destiny's nerfed Hunters really were OP

Blink and you'll miss it.

Destiny's Hunter class took a big hit in the game's recent June update.

Two of the three Hunter subclasses - Gunslingers and Bladedancers - were nerfed significantly in the latest round of sandbox changes - leaving some Hunter players miffed.

Now, Destiny developer Bungie has explained its decision - and shown how Hunters really were overpowered.

The below graph from Bungie shows the average kill-death ratios for players in Destiny's player-versus-player Crucible modes.

Gunslingers and Bladedancers were clearly performing better than the other subclasses before the June changes were made.

"When one Class becomes the default choice for anyone who wants to do well in the Crucible, we see that as a problem," sandbox designer Grant Mackay wrote in a new blog post. "We chose to bring the Hunters down from their position of dominance because it is our hope that every variety of Guardian will have a fighting chance.

"We've seen the common suggestion that we could just add more power to the less successful Classes. Our concern is that this would eventually make the game way too lethal and chaotic overall."

That's not to say Hunters were nerfed completely - far from it. The full list of balance changes shows a - well, balanced approach.

Gunslinger's Golden Gun had its damage increased, although the class' deadly Tripmine Grenade no longer sticks to enemies, and is also now weaker. Throwing Knife damage has also been reduced, and its Circle of Life perk no longer extends the Golden Gun's duration.

Bladedancer, meanwhile, saw nerfs centred around the subclass' ability to quickly relocate. The Blink ability now covers less ground, the Arc Blade super lasts longer but consumes far more energy per swing, although has received a buff against AI enemies outside of PVP modes.

Destiny's June update has shaken up the finer balance of the game, then, although for actual new content players will have to wait until 20th September, and the arrival of the game's next expansion Rise of Iron.

Eurogamer caught up with Bungie at E3 to find out how the company is building Destiny better, faster, and how infusion will work come September.

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