Now that Hotfix 126.96.36.199 is out and Hard Light is dethroned (I won’t miss you), we need to talk about what happened and which weapon you’ll want in your Energy slot for the Crucible. Adaptive Frame Auto Rifles are still the king in the Crucible, and you have plenty of good options in the Energy slot if you can’t be asked to part with your Revoker.
So, what did the sandbox team at Bungie do to Hard Light exactly? Here are the patch notes from the Hotfix:
• Hard Light’s damage falloff now floors at 0.7x (Auto Rifles use 0.5x standard).
• Split Ricochet bonus damage between PvE and PvP.
o PvE damage remains at 2.0x.
o PvP damage is now 1.35x.
• Removed a recoil adjustment that made the weapon more stable than intended.
The two changes that kicked Hard Light from its top spot are both present in the complete redesign of its Exotic Trait, Volatile Light. Before the update, Volatile Light gave Hard Light’s rounds no damage drop off at range. The weapon will still enjoy better damage at longer ranges than other Auto Rifles, but it’s no longer going to feel as “overpowered.”
The second major change for Hard Light in the Crucible is that bouncing rounds off the floor or walls no longer deals double damage. Instead, you’ll only do 35% extra damage against other Guardians when you land a shot with its Ricochet Rounds type ammo. We all know how frustrating it felt to die from bounced Hard Light rounds during that second week of Trials on Anomaly. This was the shortest meta in Destiny’s history, but Hard Light reigned too long for my taste.
The good news is you’ll still be able to bank shots in PvE for amazing Primary weapon damage. Seriously, try swapping Hard Light’s elemental affinity to the weekly Arc/Solar/Void singe and see how impressive it can be against Majors and Bosses.
Bungie also removed a “recoil adjustment” which made Hard Light too stable, but players aren’t reporting any noticeable change on console or PC. Insert shrug emote here.
So, what should you use now that Hard Light isn’t your default option for Crucible? I’m glad you asked.
The Galliard-42 XN7568 is a terrific option with some great perks if you can stomach having to farm the Black Armory forges for it. This weapon is a random reward for completing a Forge, and I wish you the best of luck in getting it to drop. If it does magically grace you with its appearance, I suggest looking for a roll with Dynamic Sway Reduction and Rangefinder or Moving Target.
The Summoner is another solid choice. This weapon comes as a reward for winning Trials matches when it’s in rotation, so keep an eye out if you and your team enter the Trials of Osiris for the weekend. Dynamic Sway Reduction is also available on The Summoner, and is still your best bet for the third column. Rangefinder is back again in the fourth column too.
If you can’t be bothered to farm Forges or have the stomach for Trials (and who could blame you for not wanting to do either of those things) then the Arc Logic is a decent option for your Energy Auto Rifle needs. I personally think you can’t go wrong with Moving Target and Tap the Trigger, here. Rangefinder is also available once again, though I still prefer Tap the Trigger since Dynamic Sway Reduction is sadly missing.
If you enjoy Gambit and/or Gambit Prime, then you’re in luck. Gnawing Hunger is a great Adaptive Frame Auto Rifle in the energy slot with some solid perk options. I’d be happy with Tap the Trigger and Swashbuckler myself. This could do wonders on a bottom tree Striker Titan.
There you are. Four possible replacements for Hard Light that are farmable from a wide variety of activities in game. Whatever replaces Hard Light, and something certainly will, I can personally say I won’t miss the daily disco show in the Crucible.