Published on: Aug 7, 2015 @ 14:17
Game Informer has finally shown off one of the most anticipated new Exotics coming to The Taken King: Sleeper Simulant!
This new heavy fusion rifle also has Rasputin’s logo and its design looks very similar – Pocket Infinity has the same logo.
What Is It?
The Sleeper Simulant is a fusion rifle that will sit in your heavy weapons slot, so you know it packs a punch, since it needs to compete with weapons like rocket launchers and machine guns for your attention and use. Unlike most fusion rifles, its charged up blast can penetrate through multiple enemies and will ricochet off walls up to five times when fully upgraded. Think hand-held rail gun, and you’re on the right track.
Thoughts: Great to see Bungie branching out! While the gameplay footage sort of makes it look like a Heavy of the version Queenbreakers’ Bow, in principle it’s a step in the right direction. Destiny will thrive as more variety makes its way into the rotation, and the Sleeper Simulant seems like a great place to start. While it lacks the giddy ridiculousness of the Spartan Laser, its design is quite cool.
How To Acquire?
In order to unlock the gun, players first have to collect relics of the Golden Age which have been scattered across the various locations of Destiny. After players bring these pieces back to Banshee-44 (the Tower’s gunsmith), the ancient artifacts trigger a memory in the ancient Exo gunsmith, and he will invite players on an odyssey to repair and reactivate one of the Taken King’s most striking exotics.
Bungie doesn’t want to spoil the story content of this mission, but it did say that there will be unique tasks and objectives required for completion, which might even include puzzles that are too hard for any one player to figure out on their own.
Thoughts: Again, another great decision by Bungie. Players have been begging for more quest-style Exotic rewards. The reception to Thorn’s meandering and challenging task list was of supreme satisfaction when Guardians were eventually rewarded the powerful Hand Cannon, and Bungie has made it clear that they want to replicate that experience for other gear going forward. Hunting down relics, seeking out parts and testing prototypes, and collaborating with other players are all fantastic ways to make the acquisition of a weapon memorable – even if the weapon itself turns out to be disappointing.
- Projectile Over – Penetrates enemies and will ricochet once. Projectile capable of dealing precision damage
I don’t know what it is about Bungie betting so hard on richocheting rounds. Hard Light, Dreg’s Promise, and now the Sleeper Simulant, and not one Guardian in Destiny would pick ricochet over something else. I’m hoping the precision damage multiplier is huge, to make this a high-risk/high-reward choice for when you need to deal unparalleled, massive damage to a single target. If I can create the same effect with two precision Sniper shots, than the Sleeper Simulant will be a failure. Over-penetration might pair well in extremely closed-off areas, assuming The Taken King adds some.
Barrel column upgrades:
- CQB Ballistics – Bonus to Stability
- Linear Compensator – Bonus to Range, straighter recoil, bonus to Impact. Reduced Stability.
- Accurized Ballistics – Bonus to Range, bonus to Impact. Better Target Acquisition. Reduced Stability.
Best option: Accurized Ballistics/Linear Compensator. Stability won’t be an issue with something with such a huge charge time, so CQB Ballistics is pointless. Any extra damage may be significant, and while I’m hoping this Exotic won’t even have damage drop-off, extra Range may help you hit those precision shots or widen the hit-box. Because the projectile has a travel time, extra Target Acquisition won’t improve hit-scan accuracy.
- Just a Scratch – Reduces aim deflection on incoming rounds while you’re aiming with the weapon. Helps the wielder stay on target during the long charge up.
“Unflinching” for the enterprising Exotic on the go. Let’s hope its effect is more noticeable than Unflinching. It seems like a practical and smart choice, even if a little underwhelming in Exotic flavor. You want to hit your targets, and you may be under fire. The Taken are an aggressive bunch, and if your reticle is jerking all over the place, you won’t have much luck aiming this bad boy.
- Speed Reload – Faster reload speed
- Perfect Balance – Better Stability
- Single Point Sling – Ready the weapon faster, and faster move speed while aiming.
Best option: Speed Reload/Single Point Sling. Again, I don’t know why Perfect Balance is even on there. Who needs Stability when you have time to grab a cup of coffee in between shots? Speed Reload will be ideal if you want to keep firing uninterrupted, especially if you’re aiming for pure DPS and have a Synth on standby. Single Point Sling is also okay, if only to ready it immediately and for its synergy with Just a Scratch in helping you stay mobile, avoid damage, and hit your target reliably.
- [Final name TBD] – Increases bounce count of projectile to 5.
More richocheting…Well, five times is certainly no small number. In the right situations, a pulse from the Sleeper Simulant may be the most devastating thing in the game. Certain closed-off Crucible maps (Anomaly comes to mind) might be ideal for this. However, most of us know how open the majoirty of Destiny’s PvE enviornments are, so I’m hoping the Dreadnaught has some claustrophobic areas where an illuminating beam of searing hot light will simultaneously light the way and eliminate any pesky Taken in the way.
One of Many
An encouraging first look at the Exotic. My hype doesn’t quite extend to “New Gjallarhorn!!!11!” – but it doesn’t look useless, and Bungie has a vested interest in pulling us toward their new stuff – so I expect its damage, RoF, or other properties could change to make the quest for the Sleeper Simulant all the more alluring. Its RoF, for one, is slow. You can fire two Gally’s well before you can fire two pulses from the Simulant.
I’m glad it could one-shot shielded Wizards and Knights, but the Mag size of 3 and reserve ammo seem too low. It needs to be clearly set apart from Rockets and have its advantages and disadvantages over them. It can’t track, it requires a charge-up time, and it doesn’t have proximity detonation, so there’d better be some real utility to its over-penetration and ricocheting rounds. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and really get a feel for its power!
There’s at least a dozen new Exotic weapons coming with The Taken King. We’ve also heard about:
- Auto Rifle that shoots bolts of chain lightning
- Sniper rifle blinds enemies on precision hit
- “No Time To Explain” (‘Exotic Stranger’s Rifle’) that replenishes the magazine if you land precision hits