Why Linear Fusion Rifles Still Haven’t Seen The Spotlight
In spite of their recent buff with Season of the Splicer, Linear Fusions Rifles haven’t made the splash that Bungie was likely expecting. But why is that, exactly? Well, it’s a combination of factors, really, many of which have come from Splicer specifically.
The only reason we’re having this conversation if because Splicer saw a buff to Linear Fusion Rifles, as Bungie announced in their ‘This Week At Bungie‘ for the 29th of April. With this season, Linear Fusions saw a 15% buff to their precision damage, and a 20% buff to their ammo reserves.
Now, these buffs are nothing to scoff at. They were very much needed and, again, as we’re having this conversation, they were a notable change. However, the buffs didn’t really do enough to put Linear Fusion Rifles at the top. The question then, is why not?
For starters, this season saw Grenade Launchers become even better than they already were – somehow. Breach and Clear with Anarchy is probably the most potent combination in the game. It’s incredibly ammo efficient and easy to utilise – there isn’t really much of a reason not to be using it.
Grenade Launchers also received an Unstoppable mod this season – again, making them even better than they already were. There’s nothing quite like slapping two Anarchy shots on an Unstoppable Incendior before watching them burn down into nothingness. It’s fun, and it allows me to still do additional damage or reposition whilst it’s happening.
Of course, everything could change with Anarchy’s upcoming nerf. Even then, I don’t see Linear Fusion Rifles rising because of it. People will likely latch on to the next most-powerful option, or Anarchy may not even suffer that much and its usage will continue. We won’t know until we see the extent of Bungie’s plans for it.
Now, Linear Fusion Rifles have seen usage in the Vault of Glass, specifically against Atheon. They’re effective in that encounter, however as time has passed their usage has dwindled as the meta for the encounter has become clearer and clearer. Yes, I'[m looking at you, Roaring Flames Titans. Personally, I don’t think a grenade should be more effective than a Heavy Weapon, but that’s just me.
Now, it’s not like Linear Fusion Rifles are bad. On the contrary – they’re actually really, really good now. They’ve always felt good thanks to high damage per shot, however their DPS suffers because of their high charge times. Even then, a Threaded Needle with Frenzy or Vorpal Weapon can, under the right circumstances, do over 1 million damage. However, that’s in ideal circumstances. In reality, their DPS fits in with their direct competition: Heavy Snipers.
Given that both Heavy Snipers, DARCI and the Whisper of the Worm, are regarded as underwhelming, it’s no shock that Linear Fusion Rifles aren’t making a splash either. When both your options for a single role suck, people don’t really gravitate towards that role. Even Sleeper Simulant’s buff has done nothing for the weapon’s usage, as it too has been underwhelming.
Honestly, until Bungie gets every Heavy Weapon archetype where they want it, they’re going to stay underutilised. I do think more of a buff wouldn’t hurt, but again – it depends on how the whole sandbox shifts going forward.
But what do you think? Let us know in the comments.