I spent 6+ hours trying to balancing Rocket Launchers in PvE. Here are my 4 suggestions with data.

Content of the article: "I spent 6+ hours trying to balancing Rocket Launchers in PvE. Here are my 4 suggestions with data."

Hey All, thank you for checking out this post. Rocket Launchers have been pretty much terrible since the Cluster Bomb nerf. My goal here is help get them to become a viable PvE option for the heavy slot. Here are a few relatively easy-to-implement suggestions that may improve the weapons' viability.


  1. Increase base mag size to 2.
  2. Up base damage by archetype by +10-30% (see chart below)
  3. Add new perks and archetypes to make rolls feel more unique (see Sample Perks below)
  4. Remove/reduce the boss penalty modifiers

Note: even with these buffs, nothing in this game comes close to Eyes of Tomorrow's burst damage (with Adaptive Ordnance's), except the 4th Horseman. IMO, that's perfectly fine and how things should be :)!

Balance Suggestions

Currently, all legendary RLs deal the same amount of damage and have the same number of reserves, regardless of archetype. Exotics have been balanced separately in another post.

  • Adaptives are now Lightweight frames
Frame Base Mag Damage Change Base Reload (s) Intrinsic Bonus
High Impact 2 +25-30% 3.33 (unchanged) Impact Casing
Precision 1 +20-25% 3.62 (unchanged) Tracking Module
Aggressive 2 +15-20% 3.0 -> 3.33 Blast damage
Lightweight (formerly Adaptives) 3 +10-15% 3.17 (unchanged) Killing Wind & +10 Mobility Bonus
(NEW) 60 RPM Rapid-Fire Frame 3 -25% 2.90 Faster Reload on empty mag

Sample New Perks

  • Pyrocumulus: Rocket explosions leave an elemental cloud that damages and slows enemies in an aoe for short duration. (AOE size increases with blast radius.)
  • Blast Wave: Rocket impact damage penetrates targets in a concussive cone… (cone length and diameter increase with impact and blast radius, respectively).
  • Meteor Shower: After remaining in the air for a short duration (1.5s+), gain bonus handling, accuracy, and rocket damage (7%). Can activate when weapon is not equipped.
  • Tripod: Increases the size of your rocket magazine by 1, up to 3.
  • Impact Vector: Rockets deal massively increased impact damage, but have reduced blast radius. (Concussive Nades..but for rockets and good).
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Enhancing Archetype Identity (optional)

Rocket Launchers don't really feel all that different right now. I'd like Bungie to shift around impact-to-blast damage ratios per archetype might help. Examples:

  • (NEW): Rapid Fires have 3 in the mag, a higher fire rate and bonus reserves at the cost of less damage per shot. Reload faster when mag is empty
  • High Impacts could have a blast damage version of Full Court intrinsically. The farther your rocket travels, the greater the blast damage (up to +5%). These could get the highest possible blast radius values of all rocket launchers.
  • Precision Frames have Tracking Module intrinsically (like they do now), but lack blast radius. Better for PvP.
  • Aggressives could have an increased blast damage to impact damage ratio. Speccing for blast radius and blast radius driven perks would be best for these since they have higher velocity by default.
  • Adaptives are now Lightweights. They offer bonus mobility, toned down handling stats intrinsically, a great best mix of perks, but no stand out stats. Have Killing Wind intrinsically. Great for Gambit.
    • Slow fire rates make these very difficult to balance without completely reworking the archetype. They'd either outperform Aggressives or be redundant. I chose to give them the Lightweight bonus plus one in the mag to offer utility and perk synergy over burst damage and TDO.
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That's all I've got. If you read to the end, thank you! Please do check my math for mistakes. I will be posting more balance updates for other power weapons soon. Feel free to share your thoughts, frame ideas, or questions.

If interested, I have damage comparison notes below.

Here's a quick chart that compares the old and new average damage per second (DPS) and total damage output (TDO) values. All values can be found in the damage Damage Chart Madness (PvE, Raid) D2 v3.0.0 spreadsheet (here).. Values have been rounded to the nearest thousand.

Frame Old DPS / TDO New DPS / TDO (in thousands)
High Impact 11K / 172 K 10 / 224
Precision (incl. Hakke) 10K / 172 K 12 / 215
Aggressive 11.9K / 172 K 13.6 / 215
Lightweight (Adaptive) 11K / 172 K 11 / 204
Rapid Fire N/A 14.5 / 161
Eyes of Tomorrow 13 K / 262K 13 K / 262K


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