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Destiny 2: From Beta to Launch, a Comprehensive Beginner's Guide

So now that both console and PC people have played the BETA for Destiny 2 and with it coming out in a day I think we should talk about it. Console players initially got to play first back near the end of July and PC players recently at the end of August so, did we learn anything from the BETA? Well...we learned at bit from it, so let’s take a quick gander at the BETA. This article may contain spoilers about the game if you choose to go in blind. You have been warned.

Let’s Jump In!


Well first off let’s take a look a new sub classes we saw during BETA! The first one is the Titan’s Sentinel Subclass.

We get a new grenade type: The Magnetic Grenade; A grenade that sticks to people and explodes twice. The Void Wall Grenade which summons a fire wall and Suppressor Grenade that prevents people from using abilities for a bit return from the first Destiny. One the big things is the Class Ability which is called Barrier which summons a shield in front of you and has two forms: Towering Barricade which can reinforce your defensive post with cover by enemy fire. The other one is Rally Barricade which summons a barrier you can peek over and shoot enemies and instantly reloads your equipment. There also Passive Abilities that give class specific upgrades.

There is Code of the Aggressor which focuses on offense and Code of the Protector which focus on Defense. These can be customized as you want but can only choose one option at a time for both Passive Skill trees. There are also jump upgrades to help improving your jumping capabilities. However, the Sentinel's Ultimate Ability is a Captain America shield called Sentinel Shield that can guard, attack and even be thrown at enemies.

Something tells me this Subclass will be a very important one in the future of Destiny 2.

The Sentinel Subclass

The next new Subclass is the Warlock’s Dawnblade Subclass. The Solar Grenade which acts like flare that damages enemies, and Fusion Grenade which is essentially a sticky grenade return from Destiny 1 while the Firebolt Grenade which releases bolts of solar energy to nearby targets is new to Destiny 2. Along with it’s set of jumping upgrades the Dawnblade also has a set of Passive Abilities.

Attunement of Flame which focuses on upgrading your special abilities and Attunement of Sky which focuses on mid air combat. The Class Ability for the Dawnblade is called Rift and comes in two forms: Healing Rift which summons a bubble that continuously heals anyone in it and Empowering Rift which increases weapon damage inside the bubble.

The Dawnblade ultimate ability is called Daybreak and it turns you in a Valkyrie of absolute death. You fly around on fire wings and swing and slash your sword burning enemies to a crisp. At a distance you swing your sword to launch a fire projectile to make me pay!

This subclass will most likely be the subclass of choice in the long run for Warlocks as they can buff teammates and have enough offensive power to not be weak.

The Dawnblade Subclass

The final new Subclass and my personal favorite the Hunter’s Arc Strider. This Subclass according to Bungie is replacing the Bladedancer Subclass from the first game. The Arcbolt Grenade which chains bolts of lightning nearby enemies, the Flux Grenade which is a sticky grenade, and Skip Grenade which splits off into multiple projectiles and seeks enemies all return from Destiny 1. Along with it’s jumping upgrades, the Arc Strider all has Passive Abilities.

Way of the Warrior which focuses on melee combat and Way of the Wind which focuses on your abilities and speed. The Class ability for the Hunter is called Dodge which replaces Shade Step from the previous game. There are forms of it which are Marksman Dodge which automatically reloads weapons when dodging and Gambler’s Dodge which generates melee energy when dodging near enemies. Arc Strider's ultimate attack turns you into a ninja with the Arc Staff. You basically run around flipping like a madman as you kill people with an electric bow staff.

From what we saw in BETA it seems the Arc Staff is super powerful in both PVP and PVE but considering how Bladedancer was for the previous game we will have to wait and see what will become of it.

The Arc Strider Subclass

This is all well and good but what about the previous games Subclasses? Well no need to fear, for Gunslinger, Voidwalker, and Striker will be returning from the previous game, and have gotten some makeovers though they are mostly the same.

However, nobody knows for sure if the subclasses from the The Taken King expansion of the previous game would return and be in the game from the beginning. The Subclasses being: Stormcaller, Nightstalker, and Sunbreaker. There have been rumors that they will, but for now all we know is Gunslinger, Voidwalker, and Striker will be returning. Obviously each will have their own Passive Abilities and Jump Upgrades as well as their signature Supers: Golden Gun, Fist of Havoc (Also known as Fist of Panic), and Nova Bomb.

If you haven’t played the BETA then I’ll leave out how they changed the returning subclasses. You’ll just have to wait til the game is out for that.

Voidwalker, Gunslinger, and Striker.


With Subclasses and Abilities out of the way let’s talk about how the weapon system is set up. The weapons this time not set up Primary, Secondary, and Heavy like the last game. This time they are set up as Kinetic, Energy, and Power Weapons.

Kinetic weapons still feel like Primaries with Auto Rifles, Scout Rifles, Pulse Rifles, and Hand Cannons. Energy Weapons consist of any non power weapon with elemental damage so that would be Sidearms, Auto Rifles, Scout Rifles, Pulse Rifles, Hand Cannons and new weapon archetype, the Sub-Machine Gun! Yes Submachine Guns have finally been introduced to Destiny. Obviously up close they do good damage, but further down range not so much. Submachine Guns can also exist within the Kinetic Weapon category as well.

This opens up many interesting combinations for weapons. Power Weapons are….well exactly what you think they are, super strong weapons. These consist of: Shotguns, Sniper Rifles, Fusion Rifles, Light Machine Guns, Rocket Launchers and another new archetype: The Grenade Launcher. It seems they fused Secondaries and Heavies together in one category.

The best part of the new weapons system is that Exotic Weapons, some of the most powerful guns in all of Destiny no longer needs you to be max level to carry them! It’s great you can carry these around even at lower levels! Assuming you can upgrade them via infusion, as system where you take the level of one weapons and combine it to level up your current weapon, this may be a great change that I’m certainly excited for! Assume the same goes for the armor as well at least for now. We don’t know what Exotic Armor or Weapons are returning if at all so keep your eyes open.

Obviously each weapon and armor piece is different and has it’s own set of perks and stats you can upgrade to make your weapons and armor even better. Say hello to the new weapon system!

If you notice, the Kinetic is a Sidearm, the Hand Cannon is an Energy, and the ‘Nade Launcher is the Power.


Light Levels have returned in the form of Power Levels (Insert Dragon Ball Z reference here) and it is still determined by the level of the gear you have. Currently we don’t know the maximum Power Level in the game (OVER 9000!! JK) but we can only assume it won’t be 200. They fixed the leveling up system where you have to put on your best gear in order to get a higher level loot. This will help especially new players level up without a hassle.

Obviously in order to obtain these Power Levels you must be max experience level which currently is level 20. You obtain experience by defeating enemies in PVE or PVP. Once you’re high enough EXP level, Power Levels will take over as your actual level. Not much different from Destiny 1. Speaking of PVP….

The Light Level During BETA.


Okay so overhauled weapon system and subclasses are cool but what about the changes to Crucible? Crucible has always been slightly controversial so take a look at it. Let’s take a look at the obvious: Instead of the normal 6v6 battles in Crucible it has been reduced to 4v4, reminiscent to Bungie’s previous game, Halo. These new team sizes will ultimately determine how the new maps will be laid out and will affect how people play.

Old game types like Control will return alongside new game types like Countdown which was introduced in the BETA. Countdown the only new game type we know about is an attack/defend game mode where one team tries to plant a bomb while the other team tries to stop them. Another new change for Crucible is power weapon ammo spawn, which spawns near each team’s spawn side. Matches being shorter is also a plus.

Some of the other minor changes include each team controlling one flag already off the bat when the game begins. Which means it will be a mad rush for the one in the middle of the map. And a big plus, you no longer need multiple teammates to speed up flag capture time and you don’t need to uncap the flag first. THIS IS A GODSEND, it would always take forever to cap a flag in Destiny 1. All these changes to Crucible will definitely help in the long run, even if they are minor.

Our new 4 man team.

Two things that need a quick mention, one of them being the return of Trials of Osiris. This is a competitive game mode within the Crucible similar to Elimination. Trials of Osiris is now being called Trials of The Nine. It will be released probably a couple of weeks after the launch of Destiny 2. This is very interesting lore wise that may be explained in game at some point, for The Nine are essentially the Illuminati of the Destiny mythos, so who knows why the Nine are setting of Trials. This may be 4v4 just like the other game modes of Destiny and will give Trials specific loot after every match. Unlike other game modes in PVP it takes light/power levels into account which it shares with Iron Banner.

The second and final competitive game mode is called Iron Banner (Iron Banana to veteran players). Iron Banana is essentially a hardcore PVP mode which unlike other PVP game types takes light/power levels into account. The higher the light level the more powerful you are. Iron Banner arrives once a month and you can bet there are some powerful Guardians. (You can call it Destiny’s Period because it...is difficult to deal with to say the least). Each time it appears the game mode is different and gives you Iron Banner specific loot at the vendor at the end of the match. We don’t know changes have been made to these two game modes, we can only speculate until the game comes out.

A Hunter in Iron Banner Gear and...a katana?!









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