I’ve been using Way of the Outlaw nearly nonstop since D2 release, in PvP and PvE. Here’s what I would see changed.

I swap subclasses when Strikes ask me to play Arc or Void. Otherwise, I have a memory of popping my whole Super to kill one bather in Leviathan. It helps that, in my raid group, I typically run relics, so my ability use is often irrelevant.

In my opinion, a lot of elements in Way of the Outlaw are really cool, but none of them work together or push a central playstyle, which is a shame. This is supposed to be the Gunslinger spec. Cayde-6's spec. Shin Malphur's spec. It oozes a mixture of Mandalorian and McCree. It's why it's my favorite to play, but a lot of the power fantasy hasn't ever really transferred through to the gameplay.

Since I've been religiously maining it since release, cleared every raid when it was relevant with it (Except Spire of Stars… Bad timing), I think I know what this subclass is supposed to be. It feels it's best when I'm in the midst of combat, dodging gunfire, setting off explosions, and popping heads in-between. And when it works, it feels like it should be great, but there's very little reward for this high-risk playstyle. There's no healing mechanic to back you up like Devour or Knockout, but you make up for that with speed and range, right?

The Good!:

  • The Theme – Like I said, this is THE Cayde-6 spec. The Hunter depicted in the Subclass background is fanning his Golden Gun. When we reclaimed our Light during the Red War campaign and rediscovered Golden Gun, we fan fired it it a cutscene(Even though we wouldn't have unlocked that perk yet). In theory, this is the iconic Destiny Hunter – A space outlaw, wandering gunman, fiery ranger. I like this in particular with regards to Chains of Woe, as it literally bakes the 'Outlaw' perk into the 'Way of the Outlaw' subclass, making Outlaw a useless perk on a gun if you use this cluster.

  • The Style – Did you know you twirl Golden Gun after a dodge? Frabjuous.

  • The (Unintentional) Sound and Visual Bugs – So, Way of the Outlaw has some neat interactions with some weapon audio, including Ace of Spades. Ordinarily, if you're using Ace of Spades, Memento Mori has a sound-cue to let you know it cued up. But, if you're playing Way of the Outlaw, Memento Mori plays no sound effect, and this sound cue plays instead when your Chains of Woe wears off. It's actually extremely satisfying and the sound effect fits the aesthetic of the subclass. While this is an accidental good thing, it should be kept in mind for designing this clusters aesthetics.

  • The SPEED – Chains of Woe makes every gun feel so fast. All it buffs is reload speed, and yet, having Outlaw/Feeding Frenzy on every gun suddenly makes it hard to take the subclass off. Also, Golden Gun's increased rate-of-fire feels fantastic.

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The Problems:

  • There is an extreme lack of synergy in the perk cluster. None of the subclass perks seem to play off of each other. Explosive Knife can proc Chains of Woe, if you get a precision kill with the knife-element, but you're either wasting the explosion element, relying on lucky collateral damage, or worse, possibly hurting yourself if the enemy is close enough. And in PvP, this is actively discouraged, since all of Explosive Knife's damage is backloaded into the explosion (Which is a good thing, but promotes anti-synergy).

Which, I want to say – Explosive Knife was NERFED when they changed it to Proximity Explosive Knife. The ability to use it as a trap is cool, but it didn't used to self-damage, which enabled a fast paced, close-range playstyle with plenty explosives. Now, it self damages with the detonation. It can be shot in mid-air and kill you, and this happens to me in PvE and PvP. It severely limits it's utility.

  • Golden Gun is pretty lackluster. Without Young Ahamkara's Spine or Star-Eater Scales, it's almost useless in PvE. Anything this Super can do, I can do with Ace of Spaces and some precision kills. While the buff to refund bullets absolutely saved this Super from complete PvE irrelevance, it's lackluster damage means there's rarely targets to use it on. It also has no damage-reduction, and a lengthy startup animation, so in PvP, it's extremely easy to hide from and almost impossible to use aggressively without gimmicks or mods. Pyretic Embrace in particular (Heal to full on Solar Super cast) absolutely changed the dynamic of Six-Shooter in PvE AND PvP when I could slot it into my Cloak, since I could actually pop GG when under fire and not die instantly.

  • The subclass also has no exotic dedicated to it. Young Ahamkara's Spine is probably most effective for it, but it's just as effective when running Blade Barrage. Star-Eater Scales actually makes Golden Gun a great PvE Super with effective damage and healing with a possibility of an Overshield. Star-Eaters plays perfectly into Outlaw's playstyle, and is a bit underrated for the spec imo (Spectral Blades too). But Celestial Nighthawk looms like a shadow over this spec, knowing you could just one-shot something so easily instead of trying so hard to make Six-Shooter work.

  • Lastly – Deadshot is a completely dead perk. If it increases Golden Gun's accuracy at all, it's barely noticeable.

My Proposed Solutions:

  • Introduce Synergy – I feel like Chains of Woe should be the defining feature of the cluster, like Knock 'Em Down, Roaring Flames, or Devour. It proccing off of precision kills works great, but it's also limiting, making you feel weak against enemies without precision spots or hard to reach/hidden ones. I'd change it to the following:
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Chains of Woe – Grants a period of increased Handling and Reload Speed after in-air or hip-fire precision kills, Special and Heavy Weapon multikills, Solar explosive kills, or kills with Golden Gun. Stacks up to 5 times.

Buffing Handling in addition to Reload Speed helps grant the spec that 'close-range gunfighter' feel that Cayde-6 would exemplify. Allowing it to proc by other means really increases the ability's versatility and rewards your gunplay for using your abilities (Both of which are Solar explosions), which this subclass should promote. The Handling buff could benefit Golden Gun (Making you twirl it up faster after throwing a Grenade or Dodging), and precision kills with the knife can count as 'hip-fired.' Of course, we remove it's ability to buff your allies, or maybe change it so it only grants a minor buff while at max stacks, but meh – but this is a selfish subclass. We're helping them by killing hordes of adds and majors.

  • Introduce Indirect Durability – Way of the Outlaw mixes it up in close-to-mid range combat. Therefore, it needs ways to survive. This is most often done with healing or overshields, but I think a different take could be used here to make it more unique. One of the best feeling things about Young Ahamkara's Spine is that it makes your Tripmines deal 0 damage to you. You can stick them to a nearby wall, to an enemy running into you, underneath you as you jump away, and you will be safe, your enemies will not. You used to be able to do this with Explosive Knive as well before it was changed to Proximity Explosive Knife. Explosive resistance would add a unique and effective element to the subclass, and encourage evasion and dodging bullets while dampening damage that you can't dodge.

  • Encourage Ability Use During Golden Gun – I'm mentioning it a lot, but the other thing about YAS that feels great with Six-Shooter is how it encourages you to use your Grenades during your Super. No other Super has this element to it, and using your Grenade during them normally should be a detriment. But, because Golden Gun is a gun, and grenades and abilities are an integral part of Destiny's gunplay, it feels natural to use grenades, knives, melee attacks, and dodging during Golden Gun. This should be encouraged more. There was a perk in the D1 Gunslinger akin to this called Circle of Life, that granted GG duration with a Throwing Knife kill. That perk sucked, but it was limited by it's time (GG only had 3 shots, wasn't fan fired, didn't refund a bullet, refunding duration has a lot more value now than then). With the last two paragraphs in mind, this is what I'd encourage:

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Bombs for Bullseyes (Reintroduced from Beta and reworked) – You take no damage from your own, Solar explosions. In addition, each stack of Chains of Woe reduces all explosive damage you take, and your Grenades deal increased damage for each Chains of Woe stack.

Six-Shooter – Golden Gun has doubled capacity, accuracy, and rate of fire, and refunds a bullet with each kill. Throwing knives and grenades, killing enemies with melee attacks, and Dodging all refund a small amount of Golden Gun duration.

Granting duration during Golden Gun is all that's required to make abilities feel effective during the Super. All refunding duration does, effectively, is cancel out the penalty for the ability's animation. They're already effective on their own, but feel like a waste because you could be shooting instead of using an ability. But that isn't always possible in high-intensity, close-to-mid range, moment-to-moment gameplay. I snickered when Cayde tried to draw his GG against a crowd of Scorn, because he could have just tossed an Explosive Knife. Of course, this was before the Proximity Explosive Knife change, so he could have done it safely without the architects taking issue.

Lastly – ADD AN EXOTIC SPECIFIC TO THE CLUSTER. It's absolutely screaming for it's own Celestial Nighthawk. It's a huge element missing, and Lucky Pants are due for a rework.

EDIT: Could we shoot our own explosives (With aim assist) to set them off instantly? That would be a cool perk, too.


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