Some information about how Destiny’s damage system works

So recently I've been seeing some people in this sub who are a bit confused about how damage works in Destiny, so I decided to do some damage testing to prove how the damage system works in Destiny.

 

When your overall light level and your weapon level are at or above the recommended light level, the amount of damage you can deal reaches a cap. This means that if you are at the recommended light level, the level of your weapon does not affect the amount of damage you can deal per shot as long as it is also at or above the recommended light level. For example: Here is a video where my Titan is above the recommended light level and is using both a level 170 Praedyth's Revenge as well as a level 330 Glass Promontory. In this example, both weapons deal 911 damage despite having a 160 level difference.

 

Along with this, increasing your overall light level after reaching the recommended light level while using the same weapons does not increase the damage you can deal. Here is a video where I increased my overall light level by over 100 light and still did the same amount of damage as in the previous video.

 

This all stays true regardless of the light requirement of the activity you are participating in. In this video I tested a level 320 Thousand-Yard Stare against a level 397 Thousand Yard Stare on the heroic version of Eye of the Gate Lord, which has a recommended light level of 240. In both instances my overall light level was above the recommended light level, and both weapons dealt 7310 damage despite a 77 light difference and difference in overall light level. You may notice that 7310 is a higher number than 911 (why wouldn't you, you're a clever fellow), and this is simply due to the fact that higher level bosses have larger health pools as well as damage caps.

 

So all that being said, I must state the obvious: Being under the recommended light level decreases your damage output. This makes sense, being closer to the recommended light means that the boss fight is easier and being underleveled makes the boss fight is more difficult. Along with this, though, having a weapon that is under the recommended light level for an activity means that weapon will not deal the same amount of damage as a weapon that is at or above the recommended light, even if your overall light level never dips below the recommended light. While you will be able to take the same amount of damage, you will not deal the same amount of damage as compared to using a higher level weapon of the same archetype. In this video, my overall light level was above the recommended light, but I used a weapon that was under the recommended light (Praedyth's Revenge) and one that was over the recommended light (Glass Promontory). This shows that when your weapon is below the recommended light level, it will not deal the same amount of damage as one that is at or above the recommended light level. In this video, I used a weapon that was under the recommended light level while having an overall light level that was also under the recommended light level, as well as using that weapon while my overall light level was above the recommended light level. In this case, the damage did increase when I was above the recommended light level, but was not equal to when I was using a weapon that was also above the recommended light level.

 

So what does this all mean? Well, it means that as long as your overall light level and weapon level meet the recommended light that you will be dealing the same amount of damage as someone who is much higher leveled. If you are doing a level 170 VoG run, players who are 400 light level with level 400 weapons will do the same amount of damage as players at 170 light with level 170 weapons (as long as the archetypes and perks are the same).

 

TL;DR: Being overleveled doesn't mean you deal more damage than being at the recommended light level. Weapons below the recommended light will do less damage than weapons at/above the recommended light when your overall light level is at or above the recommended light level for an activity.

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