Destiny 2 put some extra focus on void and arc subclasses in the current Season of the Undying thanks to special mods in the season artifact that gave some extra power to those affinities; however, developer Bungie has detailed massive changes coming to some of the solar subclasses in the game next season.
Bungie said it has taken some of these subclasses under the design knife to buff and redesign them to push players towards using some of these less-commonly-used subclasses. At this point in Destiny 2's lifecycle, most players have settled into their favorite subclasses and likely have little reason to switch around to try new ones. But these changes may shift the meta a bit and encourage players to do just that.
Gunslinger: Way of the Sharpshooter
First up is the Gunslinger's Way of the Sharpshooter bottom path. Bungie said it can tell from data that most players use this path for PvE activities almost exclusively paired with the Celestial Nighthawk exotic that takes the subclass's default 3-shot Golden Gun to one shot that does massive damage. Currently, there is not a lot of differentiation between the 6-shot Golden Gun of the upper path and the 3-shot of the lower path, so to help to differentiate them, after the changes, the bottom path's 3-shot Golden Gun will have increased auto-aim distance and reliability while aiming down sights. To further separate it, the top tree's 6-shot Golden Gun will have its damage falloff closer to make it more suited for rapid, closer-range shots.
The Way of the Sharpshooter tree is getting a new melee ability called Weighted Knife replacing Knife-Juggler, which is somewhat of a return of how Throwing Knife worked in Destiny 1. It will one-shot with a precision hit in PvP and, as Knife-Juggler did, a final blow with the Weighted Knife will completely refill it. The downside is that it will take longer to wind up and throw; however, it travels fast and will bounce once.
The Practice Makes Perfect perk will remain, with each precision hit reducing Super cooldown, but after the change, the perk will last longer but gives less energy per second. It can also stack twice with precision hits. The other two current perks, Crowd Pleaser and Line 'em Up are being combined. That's to make room for a new perk called Knock 'em Down, which increases stability and ADS speed with precision final blows. The perk starts at 10 seconds, but additional precision final blows or assists can increase the timer up to 25 seconds. And then casting a super with the buff active with a time above 20 seconds consumes the buff and grants extra damage to the super.
Sunbreaker: Code of the Devastator
Next up is the middle tree for the Sunbreaker Titan added in the Forsaken expansion. The Roaring Flames perk, which increases the damage with each kill with the Throwing Hammer, is getting a buff. The perk will now last 25% longer, which should let players keep their stack of Roaring Flames active between encounters. The overall damage has also been increased and players do not have to be as close to pick up their Throwing Hammer off the ground.
The subclass's super has also been made longer and the height of the heavy slam explosion has been increased so that Titans should be able to reach jumping and flying targets easier. The amount of energy the super's light attack takes has been reduced slightly, while the cost of the heavy attack has been slightly increased.
Dawnblade: Attunement of Sky
Lastly, the Dawnblade's top path is getting buffed with these changes, with Bungie saying it is focused on making this path all about attacking from above and focusing on being able to move deftly. The bottom tree Dawnblade has been a dominant choice in PvP for quite some time and the middle tree Well of Radiance has been a go-to pick for PvE.
To further differentiate the top tree and bottom tree, the speed that Burst Glide moves the player while in their super has been decreased. The in-air speed is being granted back to the Attunement of Sky path with Icarus Dash, the side-to-side movement ability in this path, which has been given increased speed and thrust to bring back the Burst Glide movement that players are familiar with now.
The top path is also getting a new melee ability that should give players the ability to attack from a distance while in the air, called Celestial Fire, which will "send a spiral of three explosive solar projectiles." This will replace the current Swift Strike melee ability.
The Heat Rises perk is getting reworked, going from the perk of "Airborne kills recharge your grenade and melee energy. Casting Daybreak instantly refills all your ability energy." to "Consume your grenade to extend Glide time and dramatically reduce the in-air accuracy penalties for weapons." The Winged Sun perk is also getting a rework, doing similar effects allowing players to fire weapons, use the new Celestial Fire melee, and throw grenades while gliding. Getting kills while in the air grants melee energy and extends the duration of Heat Rises.
Bungie said that other solar classes are getting some less dramatic reworks and quality of life changes, as well as some non-solar classes with this sandbox change coming in Season 9. While there were rumors months ago about a theoretical Solar Week accompanying these kinds of changes, there was no mention of such an event coming with these solar subclasses changes. These changes and Season of Dawn go live on December 10, 2019.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is available now for PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One.