The Destiny 2 Beta has come and gone, and many Guardians are still flying high on what they got to experience and get a feel on how Bungie is refreshing the Destiny franchise for its second game. Of course being able to play with all the new weapons and armor, see how the new modifications, perks and stats would be laid out, and frag some fellow Guardians in the Crucible was quite great as well.
There are many refreshing changes in the second installment that it is truly a fresh reboot of the fledgling series. The two main ingredients, weapons and armors, are undergoing mojor changes to their classifications, perks and modifications. Many of these changes appear to streamline them both into more into an MMO environment and make them a bit less confusing overall.
Let’s start off with the changes to everyone’s favorite, weapons.
In the original Destiny, all the weapons a Guardian could wield were divided into three groups, Primary, Secondary/Special and Heavy. Prior to The Taken King expansion, every category could have the possibility of having an energy damage coefficient in either Arc, Solar or Void damage. This added some strategy for which weapons you would use in a mission, strike or raid. It the latter cases it was a bit of a necessity in order to cut thru certain enemy shield buffs.
When The Taken King launched, the energy damage was removed from all Primary weapons, save for the Zhalo Supercell exotic auto rifle. Only the Special and Heavy weapons had the possibility of having on of the three main energy damages while all primary weapons went to only Kinetic damage. This was obviously a start towards a grander idea.
Within Destiny 2, Bungie is taking things a step even further by separating weapons based on their damage type. So now instead of having the weapons classified as Primary or Secondary, they are now separated by their damage component. The original Primary weapon slot is for Kinetic damage weapons. The old secondary is now for Energy damage weapons (Arc, Solar, Void). Guardians now basically have two main weapons with large ammo capacities to switch between, with one being Kinetic damage and the other being an Energy damage.
I really like this change as it provides a larger ammo pool for a Guardian to use, and the ability to have a favorite playstyle weapon and be able to keep in both the Primary and Secondary slots. This will really come in handy for when you forget to pickup Primary ammo for instance, and need to swap to an Energy based weapon. With the energy weapons keeping the same large ammo reserve, a Guardian will less likely have to back track to find the ammo drops, which I will say, are much harder to spot now that they’re not a solid glowing color. I’m sure after playing regularly they’ll be easier to spot as your eyes get accustomed to the look of it.
Now everyone’s favorite slot, Heavy weapons, now changes to Power Weapons. The is perhaps the biggest change as many of the original Special weapons now reside here. For instance the Shotgun, Fusion Rifle and Sniper Rifle are now all classified as a Power weapon, and require the Purple power weapon ammo.
This is another change that I really like. It may irk some D1 fans that enjoy run-and-gun with the shotgun, or keeping their Rocket Launcher tied to their Heavy slot for bosses. But I think this change makes the most sense. As these weapons are considered to be quite powerful, and have always had a very limited ammo supply cap, it makes sense that they stay in a slot that better reflects that more without taking away from weapons that are used the majority of the time.
It also should help in reducing the nerfing of weapons, particularliy the Shotgun, as now being locked under Power weapons, it will require the occassional timed ammo release in the Crucible to use and shouldn’t cause such hatred as now you would expect it to one-shot you being a Power weapon.
The second most important thing to a Guardian is their Armor, and in Destiny 2 it too as well undergoes changes similar to weapons. The biggest change is a new breakdown of statistics regarding Recovery, Resilience and Mobility. This change brings armor more in line to what you’d expect in an MMO environment and will allow for some theory-crafting and sets needed to complete raids and Crucible.
Resilience makes its debut in Destiny 2 and dictates how much damage a Guardian can take before getting fragged. I believe this will be a Crucible heavily favored stat and perhaps those characters put into more of a tanking role. The longer and more bullets you can soak in, the better chance you have of surviving a fire fight with enemy Guardians. The same with PvE content in being able to stay alive longer after your shield has dropped. It will definitely be interesting to see how this all plays out.
The Recovery stat affects how fast you health will recover. An important stat for sure, but I can see many Guardians sacrificing this for more Resilience. If you can eliminate the threat with taking more bullets, recovery then takes a backseat if there are no threats around.
The last stat is Mobility and it plays the same role as Destiny 1 in dictating how high you can jump and how fast you can run. Likely to be a favorite for Hunters and Warlocks for getting that bit of an edge on Jump height. I mean lets face it, Titan’s can’t jump right.
Perks and Modifications
Another big change to Weapons is how the Perks and Modifications work. In Destiny 1, you upgraded your Legendary weapons along a set path of RNG’d perks. If you didn’t get the right roll you either had to hope you could get another drop of the weapon, or if possible, pay for the re-rolls and hope the desired combination comes up quickly.
All that is a thing of the past now, as every weapon of the same name will drop with the exact same perks. So no more hoping for a 1000-yard stare with Firefly. If its supposed to have it, it’ll have it.
Armor seems t have been given less perks to upgrade focusing mainly on the major three stats of Mobility, Resilience and Recovery. In the original Destiny the first tier was either Strength, Intelligence or Discipline which affected the cooldowns of your abilities. That is now gone in favor of these new stats.
Modifications this time around look to take more of a defined role within weapons. There are slots to apply different mods or energy damage, increasing the attack or light value, and possibly skins. Of particular interest is the energy damage slot. It looks like there may possibly be the ability to add or modify an Energy damage coefficient on weapons. On Armors in the Destinty 2 Beta this slot was empty making it seem like Guardians will be able to addon an energy damage protection modification. This energy weapon slot may allow you to take one of your favorite Kinetic weapons and add an energy damage to it if there are Kinetic weapons that drop with an open slot like armors. Depending on how fleshed out Bungie makes the mods, it looks like it may even be possible to swap the damage component of existing energy weapons to keep your best weapons tuned to what is needed.
I hope that this does come to pass but I wouldn’t put it past Bungie to leave it out. As to what possible modifications will be available upon launch is still unknown. Hopefully it is a bit vast allowing for some unique sets that fit different playstyles.
We got a small taste of three exotics in the Beta. The Titan got a kinetic mini-gun Auto Rifle named Sweet Business. With some really nice perks like auto-reload into the clip upon ammo pickup, and great burst damage, I feel this may be a great situational weapon for strike and raids for taking down trash mobs.
The Hunter previewed a very nice Hand Cannon called the Sunshot. It had solar damage and a Solar Explosion upon a kill with it. I found this was a great weapon to swap to in order to take down Ultra enemies in the Inverted Spire Strike. It cut down normal mobs just fine, but that extra power really helped with the Cabal Captain’s.
The warlock got a sub-machine gun called the Risk Runner that did pretty decent burst damage. It was most similar to the Zhalo Supercell with he possibility of the shots producing chain lighting among enemies. I think again like the Titan weapon this will work well in a support role while switching to a higher impact damage weapon for bosses.
Sadly there was no Exotic Armor previewed in the Beta, but I’m sure it’ll be quite desired with some nice special perks to make them worth obtaining. We may even get some of the Exotics from Destiny 1 carrying over with new stats and/or being a complete refresh.
Destiny 2 launches on PS4 and Xbox One on September 6. The PC version launches October 24th.