I’ve talked here already a bit about the changes that Destiny‘s 2.1 patch brought to the weapon meta. In brief though, the four different primary weapon classes are all a bit closer together than they used to be. Maybe the exact figures weren’t quite to the level that we expected, but I do think that in general they’ve accomplished their mission. That said though, the patch didn’t just bring weapon changes and Sparrow Racing. The 2.1 patch is the first time that the subclasses have really been adjusted in just about a year – and in this case, it was all about the Titan.
If you follow my Destiny posts here, you know that I’ve played as a Titan since the Beta – it’s always been the class that just seems the coolest to me. With the addition of the Sunbreaker in The Taken King Titans got a second option in PvE and a dominant option in PvP. But even I can’t look at how strong the Sunbreaker was and say that it wasn’t too strong. It needed to come down a notch or two – and the older subclasses needed to come up one or two. So the 2.1 patch made those changes.
Sunbreaker basically just got pulled back slightly, mainly in PvP. While Hammer of Sol is active, prior to 2.1, we were all but unstoppable. It gave us the highest damage resistance yet – even above Radiant Skin Sunsinger Warlocks. With the right build and gear, you could tank through a Golden Gun shot – that’s a little silly, even I have to admit. Supers should all do something to counter the others, with Ward of Dawn being a little different. So that damage resistance came down a bit, the actual Hammer of Sol damage came back to the pack a little too. It’s probably still the best Titan PvP subclass, with versatile neutral game choices that impact the different phases of Destiny combat. And with the 2.1 patch, it has some competition finally.
Striker Titans have had a bit of a rocky road over the last year and change. Since they were the only purely offensive Titan class for Year One, if you were an aggressive player, you were probably playing them. In Crucible play, they were definitely the better option without a strong understanding of just how to work the Defender builds. But in end-game PvE, well, they just were bad. Basing the subclass around melee combat proved to be way too dangerous for its value. Add in that Fist of Havoc really had limited use against bosses and big groups of majors and that Storm Fist did so little damage it was funny and you can easily see why PvE end-game demanded Defender Titans. Not anymore though! Patch 2.1 made Strikers not only better, but actually relevant. It’s been a running joke that Titans have little T-Rex arms and that’s why they can’t punch anything. Well now they can with a melee range buff – and it’s noticeable too. In PvP I have found myself making lunges almost on par with Warlocks – not quite that far, but pretty close, enough to trade in a lot of melee fights.
Where I think the patch really shines is in the adjustments to the subclasses neutral games. Striker Titan’s strength going in was a strong neutral game – fantastic grenades, and good upgrade nodes to build either around melee health regen, grenade duration or Fist of Havoc versatility. The patch went ahead and tuned those nodes to be even more useful. Headstrong – which previously just had you leap farther while Fist of Havocing – now increases your sprint speed, and feels like you leap even further. It’s actually worth taking now over Transfusion or Aftershocks. Storm Fist got a pretty sizable damage boost to the point where it actually is worth punching low and mid-tier enemies. Amplify gets you 30% more super energy per kill now, making melee kills worth going for. Striker is more that just trash clearing now – it’s still not quite on the level that Defender is, but it’s way, way better in PvE than it ever was. In PvP terms, Striker still has the strengths it always did, but got that melee range boost and damage boost for Storm Fist actually makes a huge difference and brings it right up with Sunbreaker.
Defender Titan also got a little attention, just not quite to the same level that Strikers did. They’re still the best PvE subclass in the game, able to provide not only a safe haven with the Ward of Dawn – potentially buffed by Saint-14; but they also provide a pretty substantial stat boost to anyone that enters the Ward, either offensive or defensive. Really the biggest change with the patch is that now when you activate Ward of Dawn, your grenade and melee energy is refilled – instantly putting you back at full strength. In PvE, that’s a huge boost to potential DPS. In PvP, it means that you can better fight back against whoever comes up against you. With Defender really starting to show up a lot more in PvP play thanks to suppressor grenades and No Backup Plans taking away the risk for Force Barrier usage, the 2.1 patch really just reinforces that having a Defender in the mix in PvP is a good idea in just about any game mode.
If you play Destiny still, at this point it’s likely that all of this is old news. Destiny has evolved very clearly into a game that’s supported by a dedicated fanbase – I think it might get a good influx of players next week, but right now I think it’s more full of longtime players. But if you’re new, you might be wondering why Titans are starting pop up in Crucible play more than they used to. And I think the patch really was just what the class needed to keep us relevant. One last thing to keep in mind is that in advance of 2.1, Bungie had said that the other classes will be getting similar changes, so Hunters and Warlocks will both probably see a patch next month. I think I speak for all Titans when I say I hope that there’s a lovely little Blink nerf headed their way.