The launch of the Destiny 2 beta, for those who have preordered, brought thousands more players the chance to experience the latest iteration of what has been one of the most loved AND criticized franchises this generation. With the open beta on all consoles launching on Friday and a beta on PC to release some time in August, thousands more will get their chance to see if this is a game worth putting out the cash for. While Destiny 2 at it’s core is mainly the same game, many changes have come to balance the game in new ways that will have some players happy and others frustrated. You’ll be able to dive back in to the Destiny universe in Destiny 2, playing as your favorite Hunter, Warlock or Titan again this fall when it releases in September.
For all of the kinder-Guardians out there playing Destiny 2 for the first time, things won’t seem jarring at all. Gameplay is smooth, dueling with guns feels familiar enough to pick up quickly yet unique enough to stand apart, and shooting bad guys is never something that people will frown upon. For the veteran players out there however, some of Destiny 2’s minor and major changes will take a bit of getting used to. There are some overall changes that might seem like a mistep to some but not all, and changes specific to each Guardian subclass that will take a little bit of experience and practice to get used to. In this guide we will take a look at what you can expect from the Hunter Class as well as how its subclasses have changed. Be sure to check out our guides for the Warlock and Titan Classes as well.
Changes Overall to Guardians
The first thing I noticed when inspecting my newly minted Guardian as I loaded up the Destiny 2 Beta was that there are no more stats with regards to Intellect, Discipline and Strength. Gone are the days of finding that perfect set of tier 12 gear to get the best possible balance for your play style. It seems that Bungie has opted to make most of the alterations to Destiny in favor of leveling the playing field and equalizing things for everyone. Replacing the Intellect, Discipline and Strength stats are now:
- Resilience which increases the amount of damage you can take before dying,
- Mobility which increases your movement speed and maximum jump height.
- Recovery which increases the speed at which you regain lost health.
These stats can all be adjusted to fit your play style depending on the armor you have equipped. Each piece of armor except your class armor (i.e. Hunter Cloak, Warlock Bond or Titan Mark) can change the amount of increase you get to each stat so play around a bit until you find a configuration you like. Some might find different configurations are more suited for either PvP or PvE. It’s also worth mentioning that the spot that had previously housed your guardians “artifact” is now gone and is replaced by a lock that will display your Clan Banner. These are inaccessible in the beta.
Another modification to how you will use your guardian in Destiny 2 is how your weapons will change your gameplay. With the addition of a couple of new weapon types, and changes to where weapons can be slotted in your inventory, you’ll have to make some wise decisions as to what your loadout will be given that there will be certain activities where your loadout will be locked once selected. A huge change to the weapons your guardian uses is that there are no more random rolls for the weapons. In Destiny 1 all weapons except for exotics could be rolled with different stats that could drastically change a weapon, from its range or ammo capacity, to weather or not you land a precision kill shot would cause your enemy to explode. This has been cast aside in favor of a more balanced approach. Each unique weapon will have the same stats the first time you obtain it as the hundredth time you do.
Now that we have the general base line changes laid out, let’s see how the Hunter Class and its Subclasses look in the new game.
Destiny 2 Hunter Class and Subclass Changes
Quick on the trigger and deadly with a blade. Cunning and ruthless, Hunters stalk the battlefields, taking big risks for bigger rewards. This is the class for the gun nut in your group with subclasses that allow for specialization.
The skill tree is set up a little differently in Destiny 2. Here’s a break down of what it has in store for the Arcstrider, the new subclass for the Hunter.
- Arc Staff – Conjure a staff powered by arc energy, and acrobatically take out your foes.
- Skip Grenade – A grenade which splits on impact, creating multiple projectiles which seek enemies.
- Flux Grenade – An explosive grenade which deals additional damage when attached to enemies.
- Arcbolt Grenade – A grenade that chains bolts of lightning to nearby enemies.
Class ability: Dodge
- Marksman’s Dodge – Automatically reloads your weapon when dodging.
- Gambler’s Dodge – Dodging near enemies generates melee energy.
- High Jump – Upgrades Double Jump with even greater height.
- Triple Jump – Upgrades Double Jump with a third jump.
- Strafe Jump – Upgrades Double Jump with better directional control while in the air.
Way of the Warrior
- Combat Flow – Melee kills recharge your dodge skill.
- Deadly Reach – Dodging temporarily increases melee range.
- Lethal Current – Arc Staff hits create a damaging lightning aftershock after dodging.
- Combination Blow – Kill an enemy with this melee ability to trigger health regeneration and increase your melee damage temporarily.
Way of the Wind (Note: Not available during Beta)
- Disorienting Blow – Striking an enemy with this debilitating melee attack. disorients the target and nearby enemies.
- Lightning Reflexes – You are harder to kill while dodging.
- Combat Meditation – When critically wounded, melee and grenade skills recharge faster.
- Focused Breathing – Sprinting reduces dodge cooldown, increased sprint speed.
The Hunter has had some changes from Destiny 1 to Destiny 2, most notably the addition of the Arcstrider subclass. Similar to the Bladedancer subclass from Destiny 1, the Arcstrider is an arc based subclass that focuses on quick movement and melee attacks to dispatch enemies. The Arcstrider is a ton of fun to use though depending on the situation, not always the most practical. While using the Arc Staff Super, melee striking is fast paced and deadly to low level enemies or Gaurdians in the crucible. Higher tier enemies might take several hits to kill while the damage to bosses is laughable. It shares a lot in common with it’s Destiny 1 variant, the Bladedancer. So much so that some might say that Bungie phoned it in with this subclass and simply changed the combat animation to make this “new” class. Personally, I think it’s distinctive enough to be called new.
Here’s a breakdown of the skill tree for the Gunslinger.
- Golden Gun – Summon a flaming pistol that disintegrates enemies with Solar Light.
- Swarm Grenade – a grenade that detonates on impact, releasing multiple drones that seek nearby enemies.
- Incendiary Grenade – A grenade whose explosion catches enemies on fire.
- Tripmine Grenade – an explosive grenade that sticks to surfaces and detonates upon enemies who pass through its laser trigger.
Class ability: Dodge
- Marksman’s Dodge – Dodge to perform an evasive maneuver with a steady hand. Dodging automatically reloads your weapon.
- Gambler’s Dodge – Dodge to perform a deft tumble, avoiding enemy attacks. Dodging near enemies fully recharges your melee ability.
- High Jump – While airborne, jump a second time to reach greater heights.
- Triple Jump – While airborne, sustain your air control with a second or third jump.
- Strafe Jump – While airborne, jump a second time with strong directional control.
Way of the Outlaw
- Explosive Knife – Throw a knife from a distance that explodes shortly after impact with this melee ability.
- Chains of Woe – Precision kills increase weapon reload speed for you and nearby allies.
- Six-Shooter – Golden Gun can be fired quickly up to six times, but has a shorter duration.
- Deadshot – Significantly improves your ability to hit with Golden Gun.
Way of the Sharpshooter (Note: Not available during Beta)
- Knife-Juggler – Throw a knife from a distance. Precision knife kills with this melee ability immediately recharges it.
- Practice Makes Perfect – Enter a trance with each precision hit, reducing the cooldown of your Super.
- Crowd-Pleaser – Enables precision damage with Golden Gun. Precision hits with Golden Gun generate Orbs of Light.
- Line ‘em Up – Precision hits with Golden Gun increase its damage and extend its duration.
The Gunslinger class in Destiny 2 has remained largely unchanged with the exception of a couple minor tweaks. The dodge ability is also present in this skill tree. Perhaps the biggest change to the Gunslinger is that the Golden Gun super ability now has 6 shots instead of 3. The drawback however is that the time the super is available once activated is significantly less than before. That being said, it’s still one of the best ways to turn the tide in the Crucible or to dole damage to enemies and bosses in PvE.
The Hunter Class and its Subclasses have introduced some freshness into Destiny 2 without totally leaving long time players scrambling to adjust. Thoughts on how the Hunter Class has come along? Too many changes? Not enough? Share your opinions in the comments.
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