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Destiny 2's Season 5 patch notes: nerfs, load times and Black Armory

It's the start of the season, and the beginning of a new season for Destiny 2. Season of the Forge, the fifth season in the game's lifetime, has hit live servers, followed by a bunch of changes to the game. The Season 5 patch contains a lot of bug fixes – some important, others less so – but also adjusts the game in some pretty meaningful ways.

We've combed through the official patch notes so you do not have to. Here's everything you need to know about Season 5 of Destiny 2.

1. Weapon and armor balancing lays a fan-favorite gun to rest

Like with all Destiny patches, Season 5 is full of minor weapon changes that – in the right hands – could make a big difference. The most notable change in this patch is the Trenched Barrel, the perk that made the Ikelos shotgun from Warmind so good. The bonus hit it just after three shots, rather than being on a timer. The Ace of Spades exotic hand cannon is also getting nerfed a bit, and will now only hold five Memento bonus damage shots, down from six.

In good news, the broken Ursa Furiosa gauntlets – which could grant a Titan almost unlimited supers in PvP – have been toned down significantly. Machine Guns have increased precacity this patch and SMGs have increased range. High-impact scout rifles are also seeing a very tiny damage buff, which should guarantee that three shots are enough to kill any Guardian.

2. New pinnacle weapons for all

Regardless of of you own Forsaken, the Season 5 update has some serious grinding for you to do. As of this patch, three new pinnacle weapons are available for everyone: the Mountaintop, Loaded Question and Breakneck. These are guns awarded to the best of the best in their given activities, which are the competitive PvP, strikes and Gambit, respectively.

Each of the guns comes with a long or difficult quest, but must be worth a grind once it's all over.

Bungie / Activision

3. Black Armory

On Dec. 4, the Black Armory mini-expansion will launch for all players who own the Destiny 2 Annual Pass. This will come with the usual offerings, like more weapons, exotics and a new raid. Over the next four weeks or so, new activities will open up for Black Armory players to experience. At the end of January, Black Armory players will be able to get on a quest to retrieve an old, fan-favorite exotic – what looks to be the last Word from Destiny.

Black Armory comes with the Annual Pass for $ 34.99. Joker's Wild and Penumbra – The two mini-expansions set to release in March and June, respectively – are also included in the Annual Pass. Activision does not sell the add-ons piecemeal.

4. Gambit is getting a bit more fair

Since the mode released with Forsaken, players have found all kinds of ways to manipulate and bamboozle Gambit bosses. Summoning the Prime – the boss at the end of each match – first has not always the best move, for example. The Season 5 patch aims to change that by reducing the catch-up mechanic for teams that fall behind.

In Season 5, players on the losing team will only receive a maximum of one prime slayer buff before the boss for themselves, down from three. This may not sound like a lot, but the buff is a pretty significant damage increase. Summoning the Primeval first still does not mean surefire victory, but it needs to help your lead rather than hurt it.

5. No more five-minute Tower loads

Look, this definitely is not the sexiest change in Destiny 2 Season 5, but it's the one you'll hopefully notice the most. If you play on the console, you've probably felt the sting of a multi-minute load into the Tower before.

Thankfully, you'll now be able to load in far faster than before. It will not be quick, but you must definitely be spending more time off your sandwich while your Eversverse ship from three seasons ago flies through space.

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