Exotic Concepts #2: Whisper

People seem to want more uniqueness in their exotics. A signature. Something that makes it stand out in the crowd. It’s with great pleasure that I present the first reader-submitted exotic concept. Whisper.

Here’s exactly what was sent to me:

Whisper.
But no one else is there..
Sniper rifle.

Softly: range and impact greatly increased, weapon is silenced. (you don’t appear on radar and enemies have a delayed response. Shots fired have a silencer effect.)

Inside voices: precision kills with this weapon increases reload speed,and greatly increases precision damage for a short time.

Thanks, Mike! Firstly, love the flavour text.

The thing about sniper rifles is that if used properly, they are one-hit killers and effective at the longest ranges. That said, there’s no real need for buffs to damage or range. Reload speed also shouldn’t be an issue unless you have a half dozen enemies lined up. So, what do we do with this concept?

The idea of a silenced sniper rifle is awesome but in Destiny there is one element that is far more telling to the presence of an impending long-range death: that little red light. If you’re lucky enough to see the barrel pointed at you before the trigger is pulled, that telling light is your only indication. I think a wonderful and unique perk would both muffle the sound of the rifle and eliminate that red light. There’s your “Softly” perk.

I’ll admit that kind of left me at a loss for what else to add. Precision and other stuff would be on a vertical perk tree (agility, over-penetration, blah blah blah), so I was drawing a blank. Then I killed a Praetorian point-blank with Icebreaker and it clicked.

Inside Voices: Whisper is effective at all ranges.

This eliminates not only any damage falloff at extreme long ranges, but also makes it useful closer up at ranges where you are using a hip-fired primary weapon. To balance this out, Whisper will need a relatively low firing rate, long reload and a small clip of no more than three rounds. Also, to make the perk useful at all, I’d want vertical perk trees of ballistic and scope options. Two separate trees of three options (one for ballistics and one for scopes) would work well. Having these options allows for customization, but at the same time doesn’t allow for the rifle to be too responsive to changing needs. It’ll test the operator’s ability to handle the weapon, change selections on the fly and respond to fluctuating dynamics. I’m not sure any other weapon in the game would demand such talent, but it would be rewarding. A player that can make this weapon dance in Crucible will be a rare force.

I’d love to have much more customization available, but as sniper rifles are weapons for specific purposes, there’s very little wiggle room. There’s not a lot of success when they expand a weapon type too far outside its intended role. I’m looking at you, Universal Remote.

What do you think? Does it balance? Would you use it?

Again, thanks to Mike for dropping the concept for me to toy with. I realize I went completely off the rails with it but I hope it’s pleasing in the end. At present I’ve got four more concepts in the pipe, two of which are reader-submitted. I’ve also added a page on the sidebar so that readers can keep track of them. Oh, and I’ve got someone working on volunteer artwork for Rose, so look forward to that.

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