Choice of Exotic Auto Rifles was slim during Year One of Destiny. If you played on the Xbox One, you had to choose between the Hard Light or the ever-popular
We’ll be comparing the Hard Light against the
Hard Light Base Stat Analysis
Rate of Fire - 88
Hard Light spits its ionized polymer rounds at an impressive 88 Rate of Fire, putting it far ahead of the
Impact - 8
And here is a prime example of that balance. With a pitiful 8 for Impact, the Hard Light is unlikely to do more than tickle your opponent with an individual shot. It’s no consolation that the
Range - 28
In a rather strange turn of events, all three Auto Rifles tie at 28 for Range. This would mark them all as somewhat average, if only because they define the average here. Despite the tied stat, Hard Light actually wins due to its Exotic perk which causes the Hard Light to have no damage “drop-off” over distance, meaning its rounds won’t decrease in damage when farther away.
Stability - 82
The Hard Light rocks a steady 82 for Stability, exceeding both the
Reload - 86
Bringing Hard Light up to its third 80+ stat with a staggering Reload speed of 86, it outclasses the
Magazine - 40
We weren’t kidding when we said the Hard Light has a decent Magazine size. Carting around a hefty 40 shots per Magazine, the Hard Light is ahead of the curve against both the
Base Stat Conclusion
Definitely fitting the bill for a low Impact, high Rate of Fire Auto Rifle, the Hard Light acts more like a submachine gun would in most other shooters. We would already recommend the Hard Light based on its stats alone, especially considering its impressive Stability and Reload. While it may lack the power of its former Year One colleague, the
Hard Light Perk Analysis
Exotic Perk – Volatile Light
- Rounds fired from this weapon have no damage falloff, over-penetrate targets and ricochet off hard surfaces.
We’ve touched on the lack of damage falloff, which is certainly useful as it allows the Hard Light to maintain its peak damage output no matter the range. However, just because the Hard Light's damage is maintained doesn’t mean its accuracy will be as well. The next two elements work well in tandem and are great for both crowd control in PvE, as well as for clearing corridors in the Crucible. While it may be difficult to get used to due to a slight adjustment in playing style, the Volatile Light perk can prove to be extremely useful.
Selectable Ballistics Perks
- Accurized Ballistics
- CQB Ballistics
- Aggressive Ballistics
Ignore CQB Ballistics, it reduces Recoil and significantly reduces Range which the Hard Light desperately can’t afford. Aggressive Ballistics is a slightly better option but is also not recommendable due to the fact that while it makes Recoil more controllable and increases Impact, it also increases Recoil and reduces Range. Accurized Ballistics is the best option of the three, as it gives a boost to both Range and Impact at the cost of reduced Stability.
First Selectable Stat Perks
- Fitted Stock
Here’s where Hard Light gets a little unusual. Instead of the typical “middle perk” which is fixed, followed by a choice of 3 Stat-boosting perks, the Hard Light takes up its last two columns with a choice between two Stats perks each. The same number of perks, with a little more choice. In the first column, we have Quickdraw and Fitted Stock. Ignore Quickdraw, although it allows you to draw your weapon incredibly fast, we still can’t fathom why this is considered such a huge advantage. Instead, we recommend going with Fitted Stock for increased Stability which will bring the Hard Light close to pinpoint accuracy.
Second Selectable Stat Perks
- Glass Half Full
- Spray and Play
In contrast to the previous column, both options here are equally viable. First, Spray and Play increases Reload when the weapon’s Magazine is empty. This is always useful if caught short in a firefight in the Crucible, and coupled with the Hard Light’s exceptional Reload speed, can even become somewhat excessive. Because of the Hard Light’s already high Reload, we lean more towards the second option. Glass Half Full increases the damage output of the bottom half of your Magazine. This is a necessity for the Hard Light’s low Impact, especially when combined with the huge Rate of Fire and Reload speed, making it perfect for both PvE and the Crucible.
The Hard Light was already something of a winner based solely on its stats, but after looking at the weapon’s perks it’s hard to deny that the Hard Light carries itself at an impressive standard. Because it was somewhat overshadowed by the former might of the
Because of this, we’re giving the Hard Light a solid 4/5 Exotic Engrams!
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