Yesterday, Bungie released a rather hefty update to Destiny 2. Shadowkeep owners in particular were treated to a fantastic new dungeon, Pit of Heresy. While the dungeon experience itself is self-contained, rewarding players who complete it with pinnacle gear, an exotic quest for a new unique type of machine gun, Xenophage, is also tied to it.
Update: Cozmo, a Bungie rep, has confirmed that while it’s intentional that Xenophage does not do critical damage, how low its damage is right now is unintended and Bungie is looking into it.
Players need to go through a fairly lengthy quest in order to then have the ability to enter the dungeon, complete some hidden objectives, to then fight a secret boss and unlock the exotic weapon.
Unfortunately though, all that effort appears to be for naught because Xenophage seems… pretty, pretty bad.
Let’s first start by explaining what this gun does, and the fantasy it’s supposed to be fulfilling.
It’s an extremely slow-firing – but still fully automatic – powerful machine gun that fires explosive ammunition that hits hard from any range. It uses the essence of a Guardian that was put into a bug to channel its angry, vengeful energy. Sounds really sweet on paper.
However a few puzzling choices prevent Xenophage from being a competitive exotic weapon. In fact, it might be one of the worst exotics in Destiny history.
First, Xenophage can’t critical hit. This is odd considering every machine gun ever can critical hit. This would be forgivable perhaps if body shot damage was strong… but it’s not.
Relative to the slow firing rate, and how limited its overall ammo capacity is, Xenophage is extremely weak. On top of that, it has extremely high recoil, making any sort of sustained damage on anything that isn’t a giant boss that’s impossible to miss very challenging.
In the Crucible, it takes two shots to kill a guardian and only gets THREE bullets per pick up. That’s yeah… not a lot.
Forget being competitive with other great machine guns like Hammerhead, 21% Delirium or Thunderlord, Xenophage appears to be competitive with nothing, in anything.
The only value that has been gleaned in the community thus far is as an invader weapon in Gambit, considering it fires full damage from any range, but even then… just use Truth, it’s broken.
The comments in this Reddit thread from user EM1Jedi who claims to be one of the first people to get Xenophage, slowly go from excitement and curiosity to severe disappointment as details about the gun trickle out.
On Twitter, fans seemed to enjoy the process of getting Xenophage, and even the design/feel of it, but are underwhelmed by the weapon’s performance. Whatever it’s on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit, the general feeling of the below Tweets appears to be pretty widespread:
At least to me, the exotic weapons added in Destiny 2: Shadowkeep and Season of the Undying have ranged from decent/situational (Leviathan’s Breath) to great (Monte Carlo).
It does seem that recently Bungie is terrified of adding weapons that can dominate/break the meta, like what Whisper of the Worm was able to do pre-nerf. With Xenophage though, it seems to have been obliterated before even releasing, and as a result it’s DOA.
Bungie has been a little bit better recently about responding more quickly to feedback and player issues. I wouldn’t expect a response right away since today they are focused on their charity event, but perhaps in the TWAB this week there will be an acknowledgment of Xenophage’s less than impressive performance.