The Taken King: (sub)classing Destiny up a bit
Destiny’s third expansion, The Taken King, is considered by many players to be the beginning of Destiny 1.5 - the prelude to Destiny 2. Bungie has announced that the release of the Taken King heralds the beginning of Destiny Year 2.
Among the many changes and additions detailed for Destiny’s The Taken King expansion is the announcement of three new subclasses for the existing classes of Titan, Hunter, and Warlock. These new subclasses add new talent trees, abilities, and roles for each of the base archetypes. These subclasses will not be accessible at first, but rather will be unlocked by a quest unique to each class.
Titans Are Dropping the Hammer
Titans are receiving their first solar subclass, the Sunbreaker. Already referred to by the greater Destiny community as “Hammer Bros,” Sunbreakers have the special ability to summon a fiery Hammer of Sol to their hands, which can then be launched at enemies from afar or slammed into them through a well-timed charge. An offensive subclass like the Striker, Sunbreaker gives Titans a much-needed ranged super, allowing them to do damage to enemies they could not normally.
Hunters Take a Bow
Nightstalker will be the Hunter’s new void-based subclass. Unlike the other two Hunter subclasses, Nightstalker is more defensive than offensive, bringing a much-needed group synergy to the Hunter class. Clever use of entry-blocking grenades, smoke-screen melee, and the snare-and-suppress Shadowshot super will allow the Hunter to trap and funnel enemies for his Titan and Warlock brethren to decimate, and even while solo, the Nightstalker should have no trouble taking care of foes with the usual damage kit.
Warlocks Take the Worlds by Storm
Like Titans, Warlocks are also gaining a second offensive subclass, this one more focused on area of effect abilities. The arc-based Stormcaller, in a move reminiscent of a very popular villain from a rather famous sci-fi franchise, calls lightning to her hands and sends it arcing out towards enemies. The Stormtrance ability will allow greater control of which enemies are hit by her super, and is a more close-range and less self-destructive super than the Voidwalker’s Nova Bomb or Sunsinger's Radiance grenade spam.
Each new subclass will add a new facet to the playstyles of each class. Hunters will finally have a subclass which breaks the lone-wolf mode of Gunslinger and Bladedancer and allows them to bring a support role to the group, while Titans receive a solid set of ranged offensive abilities and Warlocks can get up close and personal without having to risk blowing themselves up. These new subclasses will change the current status quo and add inject a whole new synergy into the game, encouraging players to find new ways to play and new methods of taking on the challenges posed in The Taken King.
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The Taken King, Destiny's third expansion, is set to release on September 15th, 2015, on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, for $40 stand-alone, $60 with the base game and previous two expansions, or $80 Collector's Edition. Destiny released on September 9th, 2014 and currently retails for $40.