The Beta has now passed and I’ve had some time to digest my thoughts and come up with some conclusions about how I feel on the direction of Destiny 2.
I will caveat this entire post by saying I realise that what we have in the Beta is not the full game and things can change and we will obviously have access to a lot more when the final game launches.
Firstly and one of the most prominent changes is with the subclasses. We’ve had three new sub classes’ added one for each class. The Titan now the Sentinel class, Warlock has the Dawnblade and the Hunter has Arcstrider.
I think it’s fair to say that the classes across the board have all had their ‘skill trees’ simplified and all abilities have had their cool downs increased.
With regards to the cool downs, I personally think this should change, maybe we will see items or perks in game that increase the cool down times, but if that’s not something we’re going to have then it has to change. It sucks all the fun out of having them and makes it all feel very underwhelming, we’re meant to be Guardians, heroes that can take on legions of enemies and smite them with our space magic, but what good is it if we can only throw a grenade once every three minutes and it barely kills anything.
Supers now charge at an incredibly slow rate meaning you might get to use them once or twice on a mission and once every multiplayer match – if you’re lucky. Where you might’ve had 6-7 supers to use on a strike before, now you’re probably going to get half that.
Everything feels like it’s had a blanket nerf and it’s just doesn’t feel quite as fun right now.
The thing is, is the new classes are great, the Sentinel is a badass Captain America style class where you smash foes with your shield. The Arstrider – whilst basically a redesign of the Bladedancer, is really fluid and agile that can combo moves together with devastating effect. The Dawnblade rains down fiery hell on anyone dumb enough to show their face. But we’re not getting to use them enough.
Too many times I had multiplayer matches where players weren’t getting supers until the dying moments of the game, when the points have all but been wrapped up by one team. Even then it was only a couple of people actually getting to use them; some players didn’t get one super use in the whole game. A well timed super should be potentially game changing, something that can swing the tide of a battle or even the odds, but as it stands we’re just seeing players get them towards the end of a match and it doesn’t really make much of a difference.
Each class now has some new abilities to make use of, most of which feel pretty useful, for example the Sentinel has the option to deploy a wall for cover, Warlocks can place healing ‘rifts’ that will heal all players quickly whilst stood in the zone. The Arcstrider however, has a dodge ability that can either reload your gun, or reset you melee. This works pretty well in some situations and will be helpful for solo players, but this at the moment this class offers nothing to a fire team which could render the class a little useless. At least before the Blade dancer could quickly mop up a room of ADS, but the Sentinel is now arguably more effective at doing this. I love playing as a Hunter, but I’m struggling to see the benefit overall for using this class in a Strike or Raid situation.
Quite big changes have been made to the way weapon slots work and I’m not sure whether I like it or not. You still have three slots, but the first is now Kinetic weapons only, so no energy type damage, the second is special weapons, and the third is for power weapons. The problem is, is that a lot of weapons are now considered power weapons – swords, shotguns, snipers, rocket launcher, grenade launcher and fusion rifles. I’m just not sold on it yet. On one hand I think limiting the fact that you can be one shot in crucible by a shotgun every 30 seconds is a good thing, but it also means fewer options. Getting ammo for power weapons in the crucible is now rare and you’ll only get a few shots when you do actually pick some up. Add this to the fact that abilities have been majorly nerfed; it just makes things a little more bland in combat.
Maybe once we actually get access to all weapons, it will make more sense, but at the moment it just feels little limited and right now, it’s a case of choosing Sniper or Rocket Launcher and I feel like I’m going to choose Rocker Launcher all day which could make snipers redundant!?
Destiny 2 sees the introduction of 4vs4 in multiplayer. It’s not that I mind the change and drop in players, but what bothers me a little bit about it is that it feels really fragmented against all other modes. Raids are 6 players, strikes are 3 players and now multiplayer has 4 player fire teams, everything is split up and there’s no fluidity between game modes. At least before you could switch from Raids to Crucible without any bother and if you wanted to run strikes you could easily split a party in to two.
Some people are speculating that the change is in part to deal with server issues and lag, but that feels a bit ‘tinfoil hat’ to me. Others are saying it’s to try and make the game more competitive and potentially generate some kind of e-sports scene, which whilst it might not be true, sounds the more likely.
Jumping back in to the Crucible I was definitely rusty – but then I haven’t played in about 4 months so it was to be expected. For that reason, I’m kind of finding it tough to really comment on the balance of things. I was getting my ass kicked a lot of the time, which became a little frustrating, but I’m putting it down to the fact that I haven’t used a controller in an FPS in such a long time.
All I know is that I’m not entirely sold on the drop down to 4vs4 just yet, but that could change.
This post my come across as a little negative, or maybe erring on the side of not liking the game, but I did really enjoy it and it hasn’t changed my mind about getting Destiny 2 on launch. The new story seems interesting and the opening mission was great, I can only hope that the rest of the story pans out as well. The strike we got to play was fun, and felt a little different overall although the final boss still lacked a little imagination. The new classes are fun to use and I’m still hoping that there are three more being kept secret as going from nine sub-classes down to six is a little lame.
Next up is the PC Beta, I’m very cautiously optimistic about it, it’s going to be picked apart to no end and I hope Bungie are ready for that!