Bungie has released an exciting amount of information for Destiny 2 about the upcoming revamp for the Arc subclass of each Guardian with surprising detail on what people can expect for Arc 3.0 coming this 23rd of August.
The Power Fantasy
If you’ve been away from Destiny 2 for a while now, you’d be surprised at how much class customization has changed over the past couple of years. It started with Stasis back in the Beyond Light expansion where we explored Darkness as an entity that opposes the Light of the Traveler and throughout the past two seasons, including the one now, have gotten to play around Void 3.0 and Solar 3.0. The update to the subclasses provides a generous amount of build crafting to which you can tailor your Guardian’s skill set to whatever challenges they may face.
As for the design philosophy of Arc 3.0 in Destiny, the core fantasy is that “Arc is really just, ‘go fast and hit stuff,” as stated by Destiny Designer Sam Dunn. “We call it the ‘hold W’ subclass. Everything is built around moving forward and enabling aggression and those abilities.”
Funnily enough, and I cannot stress how I’m not making this up, one of the prime inspirations for Arc 3.0 was the 2009 action movie starring Jason Statham, Crank 2: High Voltage. The high speed action flick centers on an ex-hitman who’s had his heart stolen and was replaced with an artificial one that runs on a battery. He then must keep his body electrically charged, in increasingly outrageous ways, just to stay alive while on the hunt for his heart.
Buffs and Debuffs
That being said, Arc 3.0 will see the Guardians of Destiny be at their fastest in the most aggressive way possible. Like the previous revamps to Void 3.0 and Solar 3.0, Arc 3.0 will come with its own buffs that work like Aspects or Fragments within their subclass. Arc 3.0 will also come with its own Buffs and Debuffs, much like how Overshields or Suppression was introduced with Void 3.0.
The first and key buff is called “Amplified”. When a Guardian is Amplified, they will move faster in terms of movement speed, weapon handling and with a faster and longer slide. After sprinting for a few seconds, Amplified Guardians will gain another speed boost, a PvE damage resistance buff and an even-longer slide ability.
For Debuffs, there is “Blind” and “Jolt”. Blinded opponents won’t be able to see and will stay disoriented which prevents them from firing their weapons. In PvP, blinded opponents will have nearly the same effect of how flashbangs work from other games, their screen will white out, the HUD will be removed and their audio will have a washed-out effect (notably not a ringing sound to save those with tinnitus). Jolted opponents, who are damaged further, will periodically send chain lightning slivers out to nearby enemies to damage them as well.
Lastly, Ionic Traces which was previously only available to middle-tree Arc Warlocks, is now available to all. Ionic Traces work like elemental wells that, when collected, will add energy to all abilities. Those are all the basic Arc 3.0 abilities shared across classes, now let’s look into what each class can get for themselves once Arc 3.0 becomes available in Destiny 2.
For the Hunter’s design process, the Destiny 2 team used the term “graceful warrior monk” as a guiding principle, someone who can close in quickly and make a mess of their opponents.
“For Hunters we wanted to reward staying in close and being safe while you’re in close quarters with an enemy, which is very difficult to do in a lot of our content,” said Designer Mike Humbolt. “We wanted to give them tools to stay alive while they either closed the gap or were in a melee combo. That came primarily in the form of giving them crowd control tools.”
For Supers, Arc Staff will be retained but Hunters will be able to block and deflect with a press of a button as well as get an armored dodge that gives damage resistance. Hunters will also get a new Super, Gathering Storm, where a Hunter throws their staff into the ground and the staff will act like a lightning rod, jolting enemies within the area of effect. After a few seconds, a giant bolt of lightning will strike the staff to overcharge it, creating a large damage zone.
For melee abilities, Hunters will also retain Combination Blow and Disorienting Blow. Combination Blow kills will refund dodge energy, increase melee damage and restore some health. While Disorienting Blow, will blind opponents and grant Amplified.
For the available aspects, Hunters will get three:
Flow State: Defeating jolted opponents grant Amplified. When Amplified, Hunter Dodge grants improved recharge rate, reload rates and damage resistance.
Tempest Strike: Will allow Hunters to perform a sliding melee that launches an Arc Wave on the ground, dealing damage and applies jolt to enemies.
Lethal Current: After using a Hunter Dodge, a Hunter will get an improved melee attack which will have improved lunge range, a damaging lightning aftershock and will jolt the target. When used with the Arc Staff Super, the improved melee attack hits twice. Jolted enemies that are hit with a melee attack will blind them.
Finally, the biggest addition to the Hunter’s kit is the return of Blink as a movement mode for Arc Hunters. Warlocks will also get a baseline buff to their own Void Blink.
“Blink hasn’t really been touched since Destiny 2’s release, and never quite reached the heights of its previous reign of terror,” Humbolt said. “We felt like this was a good time to walk a few of the tuning changes back a little and bring Blink’s potency at baseline up without needing an Exotic equipped.” Using Blink outside of the Crucible has been a janky experience so I’m definitely looking forward to the changes myself once it’s out.
It wasn’t hard for the Destiny 2 team to decide what they wanted to do with Warlocks when it came to their Arc 3.0 revamp, two images came into mind: The “Lightning Shaman” and Emperor Palpatine “in full lightning-fingers mode while turning Luke Skywalker into burnt toast.”
For Supers, Warlocks will retain Chaos Reach and Storm Trance. Chaos Reach remains the powerful Kamehameha that we all know and love, while Storm Trance will get both Landfall (a damaging shockwave underneath the player when the Super is cast) and Ionic Blink (a short range teleport available during the Super) from the old bottom-tree and top-tree Arc subclass respectively.
Warlocks will also retain their two Melees, Ball Lightning and Chain Lightning. Ball Lightning shoots out a floating Arc Ball that detonates and zaps enemies from above, while Chain Lightning will send out an arc of lightning that strikes and jolts the initial target and chaining damage to surrounding enemies.
“The Warlock’s whole thing is that being amplified modifies their abilities; it powers them up,” said Dunn. “For Ball Lightning, if you’re amplified, the Arc ball will fly out and zap enemies three times instead of just the normal one time, so you can get more damage out of it. For Chain Lightning it chains to more targets.”
For the available aspects, Warlocks will also get three:
Arc Soul: Rifts casted by the Warlock will spawn an Arc Soul that will assist Guardians and their allies in battle. The rift charges faster when allies are near. When Amplified, any Arc Soul you have or gain is supercharged with an increased rate of fire. (Likely close to how the Getaway Artist’s Exotic Perk works.)
Lightning Surge: Will allow Warlocks to perform a sliding melee that will transform them into a ball of lightning and teleport forward, the exit point will be peppered by a field of lightning bolts and targets will get jolted.
Titans have always stood as the impenetrable fortress within the ranks of the Guardians of Destiny but with Arc 3.0, the design team has a few things in mind to shake things up. The Titan Arc revamp inspiration comes in the form of a lead-with-your-fists bare-knuckle brawler and a freight train.
“You don’t get to move the Arc Titan,” Humbolt said, “they move you. The Arc Titan’s ultimate goal is to punch you in the face and so a lot of what we did for Arc Titan was to try and figure out how we facilitate fist-to-face contact as much as possible.”
For Supers, the Titan’s desire to punch all the things is manifested. They retain both Fist of Havoc and Thundercrash. Thundercrash remains relatively unchanged but Fist of Havoc’s slam radius has been adjusted halfway between the top-tree and bottom-tree subclass. The ground slam leaves a damaging lightning field and an aerial slam causes a damaging AoE effect.
Arc Titans will now also get a new Thruster class ability. It’s a ground based dodge ability that throttles the Titan to a direction similar to a Hunter Dodge. “Arc is the damage type that is about mobility, so if we were going to add a mobility boost anywhere [for Titans] it was going to be here,” said Humbolt.
For melee attacks, Titans will retain the Seismic Strike shoulder charge and the aerial Ballistic Slam. Seismic Strike will now blind enemies and doing so while amplified will increase the AoE of the blind as well as the duration. Ballistic Slam also remains relatively unchanged in which the impact causes a damaging explosion.
Additionally, Arc Titans will get a new Melee Ability called Thunderclap. Arc Titans can now hold the Melee button to charge up an Arc energy haymaker that can be unleashed into a furious One Punch Man-style blast that will devastate an opponent. The charge cannot be stored and the Titan must be on the ground to charge the punch. The damage is significant enough to one-shot Guardians in PvP; it’s a high-risk, high-reward gamble that could be an interesting thing to see in PvP.
For the available aspects, Titans will also get three:
Touch of Thunder: Arc grenades are improved in various ways:
Flashbang: Fires an additional blind impulse on its first bounce.
Pulse: Damaging enemies creates an Ionic Trace for the Titan. Damage increases over time as the grenade lingers after impact.
Lightning: Grants an additional charge and jolts targets on the initial blast.
Storm: Creates a roaming thundercloud that moves and tracks enemies (similar to a Stasis Hunter’s Silence & Squall Super), firing lightning bolts at the ground underneath it.
Juggernaut: Titans get a frontal shield that blocks incoming damage while sprinting with full class ability energy. When amplified, gain a stronger shield. The shield can be depleted by damage and when it does, it consumes the player’s class energy.
Knockout: Melee kills trigger health regeneration and amplify the Titan. Critically wounding an enemy or breaking their shield increases melee range and damage for a brief period. Titan’s base melee becomes Arc-empowered while Knockout is active.
To help complement the new abilities and class-specific aspects from Arc 3.0, a new suite of Fragments will be added as well. Some of the new fragments are as follows:
Spark of Beacons: When amplified, Arc special weapon kills create a building explosion.
Spark of Resistance: When surrounded by enemies, gain damage reduction.
Spark of Momentum: Sliding over ammo will reload your weapon and grant a small amount of melee energy. Sliding over Heavy ammo increases the amount of energy granted.
Spark of Shock: Arc Grenades jolt enemies.
All in all, it sounds like Arc 3.0 will bring down the thunder with aggressive strikes and swift defeat to any enemy the Guardians will face in Destiny 2. The Destiny 2 Showcase will be on the 23rd of August and you can check out the Showcase reveal page to find out more of what’s to come.