After sweeping Void and Arc subclass changes in Year 2, Bungie's giving Solar subclasses a day in the sun next season. As the studio announced in a recent blog post (opens in new tab), Destiny 2's next season, which starts in just under a month, will bring big buffs to underused Solar subclasses for Hunter, Titan, and Warlock.
Hunter's bottom-tree Way of the Sharpshooter subclass is up first. "Traditionally, Way of the Sharpshooter has mostly been used in specific PvE activities and almost exclusively paired with the Celestial Nighthawk helm," Bungie says. "We wanted to move Way of the Sharpshooter to be something players want to choose more often and for a wider range of activities." With that in mind, the three-shot variant of Golden Gun and several passive perks have been changed.
Three-shot Golden Gun is getting increased aim assist, while six-shot Golden Gun (top-tree) is getting reduced range. To help offset this nerf, top-tree Solar Hunters are getting "a new explosive [proximity] knife that can stick to surfaces and detonate when enemies pass nearby."
Anyway, back to Way of the Sharpshooter. On top of a Super buff, it's getting four reworked abilities and passives. Those are:
- Weighted Knife (replacing Knife Juggler): a high-damage throwing knife with a long wind-up that travels quickly, bounces once, and does extra critical damage. This will one-shot Guardians in PvP, finally giving Hunter a way to compete with one-hit abilities like Shoulder Charge and Handheld Supernova.
- Practice Makes Perfect: landing crits will still refund Super energy on a timer, but the Super energy refunded has been reduced while the buff timer has been extended. In the long run, this change shouldn't affect the feel of the perk very much.
- Knock 'em Down (replacing Crowd Pleaser): precision kills increase stability and handling. The buff timer starts at 10 seconds and can be built up to 25 seconds. Using Golden Gun when the timer is above 20 seconds will consume the buff and grant increased damage on your shots (this buff does not stack with Celestial Nighthawk).
- Line 'em Up: the bonuses from Crowd Pleaser - Golden Gun precision damage and Orbs of Light on precision hits with it - have been folded into Line 'em Up.
Unsurprisingly, middle-tree Sunbreaker is the focus of Titan's changes. This subclass never really got off the ground since it was introduced in Forsaken, so it's getting some big buffs to help distinguish it from other Sunbreaker trees. Those are:
- Burning Maul: this Super will now last longer (28.5 seconds instead of 21.2 seconds) and create taller and wider explosions with its heavy attack at the expense of slightly more Super energy. The energy cost of light attacks was also reduced.
- Throwing Hammer: damage increased from 100 to 120. Pick-up radius increased from two meters to 3.5 meters. Hammer throw animation "adjusted … to fit a more damaging attack."
- Roaring Flames: hitting an enemy with your hammer and retrieving it will still trigger health regeneration and grant a buff stack. Additionally, the hammer damage bonus has been increased from 10% to 25% per stack in PvP, ensuring more reliable one-shot hammer kills. The buff duration has also been increased from 15 seconds to 20 seconds.
To round things out, Warlock is getting some much-needed buffs to top-tree Dawnblade, but some of those buffs come at the cost of nerfs elsewhere. Most notably, the speed at which Burst Glide accelerates players in Daybreak is being reduced, so no more 'press jump and effortless fly across the entire god forsaken map,' Warlocks. "We know this is a controversial change but we wanted to reserve the air superiority gameplay with Attunement of Sky and the Burst Glide speed was blurring the lines between both Daybreak paths," Bungie says.
To counter this change, top-tree's aerial maneuverability has been buff considerably. Here are all the changes:
- Celestial Fire (new melee): fires a spiral of three explosive projectiles.
- Heat Rises: consume your grenade to extend glide time and dramatically improve in-air accuracy.
- Winged Sun: fire weapons, use your melee, and throw grenades while gliding. Airborne kills grant melee energy and extend Heat Rises.
- Icarus Dash: double-tap crouch to dodge in midair. Dodging moves players further and costs less Super energy when used in Daybreak. Additionally, you can now use Icarus Dash twice back-to-back. To pair with this change, the Wings of Sacred Dawn Exotic chest piece was buffed to provide 15% damage resistance when shooting from the air.
These are big changes all around. Hunters are getting a one-shot ability, Titans are getting a new hammer to play with, and Warlocks are finally getting a reason to play top-tree Dawnblade. I expect these changes will have a much greater impact on PvP than PvE, simply because every class already has clearly defined roles in PvE (and most of them are Void-shaped), but there's little doubt they'll be noticeable. Players have been asking for a Solar Week-style rework for months, and it's nice to see Bungie kicking off the next season with a requested change.
If you're looking for Black Friday assistance as we get deeper into November, check out our roundup of the best Black Friday game deals (opens in new tab).