Bungie Charges Player Interest With Destiny 2 Arc 3.0 Subclass Rework Preview
As with the other 3.0 subclasses, Arc 3.0 abilities revolve around a set of new keywords. The primary keyword is Amplified. Guardians can become Amplified with any Arc 3.0 subclass now by chaining kills with Arc damage from any source. Aspects and fragments will add ways to become Amplified but are not necessary unlike Void’s Invisibility or Solar’s Empowered keywords.
Amplified guardians are all about speed. If a guardian sprints while Amplified, they receive an extra Speed Booster effect which will linger as long as they continue sprinting even if the Amplified buff expires. Amplified guardians also received a significant increase to weapon handling which allows them to stow and ready more quickly, as well as aim down weapon sights with less delay. In PvE only, the Speed Booster effect will also provide resistance from incoming damage.
Arc 3.0 allows guardians to apply two other keyword debuffs to their targets – Blind and Jolt. Blind will function essentially as the effect already does within the game. Affected PvE enemies will be unable to attack and stagger around while opposing guardians will lose their HUD and have a whited-out screen and distorted audio for as long as the effect lasts. Jolted enemies will function similarly to Void’s Volatile or Solar’s Scorched and Ignited loops. A Jolted enemy will periodically chain webs of Arc energy to nearby enemies for extra damage.
Finally, all classes are receiving access to Ionic Traces which were formerly a Warlock staple. While the exotic Coldheart trace rifle could extend this effect to all classes, it has generally been under-utilized. Ionic Traces spawn from killing enemies and track towards the guardian’s location. The Ionic Traces restore a small amount of ability energy once picked up.
Bungie envisions Arc Hunters as “graceful warrior monks” who weave and dodge through combat to make precision close-range strikes. The Hunter’s former middle-tree Arc Staff super has become the default behavior for Arc Staff, which allows wielders to block and deflect projectiles though it has also absorbed bottom-tree Arc’s damage decreasing dodge. Hunters are also receiving a new Super ability option called the Gathering Storm. When this is used, the Hunter jumps and throws an Arc Staff at the ground creating a Jolting burst upon impact. The staff is then struck by lighting and continuously damages enemies around it with more electric arcs.
Speaking of Warlocks, Bungie is leaning hard into the Emperor Palpatine identity of their Arc subclass. Warlocks will channel electricity through their bodies, “controlling lightning like an elemental conduit.” Warlocks will be able to choose from the omegabeaming Chaos Reach Super ability or choose Stormtrance for more mobility and to fully embrace becoming The Senate. Stormtrance will combine both the initial Landfall shockwave from bottom-tree Arc with the Ionic Blink teleportation from top-tree Arc so guardians no longer have to choose.
Warlocks will be able to choose from two melee attacks. Ball lightning shoots out a ball of Arc energy to detonate above enemies while Chain Lighting will Jolt a primary target with electricity which chains to nearby enemies.
The three Aspects for Warlocks are Arc Soul, Lightning Surge, and Electrostatic Mind. The new Arc Souls become supercharged while the Warlock is Amplified to fire more quickly. Lightning Surge is another sliding melee ability which teleports the Warlock forward as a ball of lightning which strikes and Jolts targets at the end. Electrostatic Mind allows the creation of more Ionic Traces which in turn also Amplify the Warlock on pickup.
Titans are also getting in on the “go fast” subclass changes with a playstyle that focuses on fists of fury. It retains the Thundercrash Super ability relatively unchanged, but also offers a refined Fist of Havoc option. Fist of Havoc lets Titans ground slam to create a damaging field or slam from the air to damage in an area-of-effect zone.
Titans are rejoicing over a “close-enough” inclusion of the Destiny 1 exotic armor Twilight Garrison ability to dodge. While Twilight Garrison enabled mid-air evasion, the new Thruster class ability will let Titans quickly dodge on the ground akin to a Hunter. Bungie said it will be activated via “double-tapping a button” but the exact behavior is unclear – do Titans have to give up their barricade for this?
Titans will have the Shoulder Charge and Seismic Strike melee options joined by a new Thunderclap. Thunderclap requires charging up Arc energy to power it by standing on the ground. The melee button can be tapped for a quick jab, or else held down to charge for a potential one-hit kill.
Titan Aspects will be Touch of Thunder, Juggernaut, and Knockout. Touch of Thunder bolsters various Arc grenades. Juggernaut grants a front-facing shield to a Titan while sprinting provided its class ability is fully charged. Knockout causes melee kills to Amplify and start healing the Titan, while also empowering its basic punches with Arc energy as well.
We are very interested to see how these changes play out. Outside of Arc Warlock, the subclass has personally felt underwhelming in the past. Sure, Thundercrash is fun but it felt like a one-trick pony. The new abilities and refinements sound like they will go a long way toward bringing build diversity to Arc subclasses. All-in go-fast builds may become obnoxious in the Crucible, but at least there will not be any Artifact mods like Classy Restoration, right?