Bungie has finally given us a peak under the hood for what’s coming with Destiny 2’s Arc 3.0, and bloody hell it’s exciting. Hunters are getting Blink back, Titans are sort of getting Twilight Garrison back, and Warlocks are… well, keeping their old Warlock stuff.
I’m going to go through everything we found out in Bungie’s Arc 3.0 reveal. I’ll be breaking down certain new abilities and giving my thoughts on where I think everything will land on the META power scale. This is a long breakdown, so I’ve included a TLDR at the top for anyone just looking for the footnotes.
For the rest of you more interested in some in-depth Destiny 2 analysis, I’ve done what I can to keep everything nice and organised.
- Everyone has Ionic Trace now
- Buffs and Debuffs:
- Amplified – Rapidly kill enemies with Arc damage to become Amplified. This powers the entire subclass.
- Speed Booster – Run while Amplified for a massive speed buff and damage reduction.
- Jolt – Enemies Affected by Jolt chain lightning to other enemies.
- Blind – Already exists in game and stops enemies from firing and using abilities.
- Hunters have a Synaptic Spear-Like super and Blink.
- Warlocks have nothing new but will be strong in PvP.
- Titans will be strong everywhere and have a bunch of new stuff, a sort-of Twilight Garrison ability, and Thundercrash and Fist of Havoc both return.
- Salvager’s Salvo is going to be overpowered thanks to a new Fragment.
Destiny 2 Arc 3.0 Details
Buffs and Debuffs
Void 3.0 got Weaken, Suppression, and Volatile. Solar 3.0 got Restoration, Cure, Radiant, Scorch, and Ignition. Now, it’s Arc’s turn.
The team at Bungie is treating Destiny 2’s Arc 3.0 a little differently than its Void and Solar counterparts. With those previous subclasses, your buffs were a state you needed to achieve with your abilities. For example, Solar players have to use an ability to activate restoration, as do Void invisibility players. Arc 3.0 isn’t like that. Instead, it operates on a mode called “Amplified.”
Amplified is a buff that becomes active by rapidly defeating targets with any Arc damage. How many targets you need to kill hasn’t been revealed just yet, but it doesn’t really matter. With Arc weapons like Riskrunner, chaining together Arc damage kills will be extremely easy, so Amplified shouldn’t be too hard to maintain.
The idea of Amplified is that it’s this character state that the rest of the subclass revolves around. Rather than your Fragments being about activating Amplified as it would be with the other subclasses, it’s about buffing Amplified up when it’s active, instead.
While Amplified, the player’s movement speed is increased, as is their weapon handling. You will also slide further. When you start sprinting in Amplified mode, after a few seconds you will get another massive speed boost. This has been officially described as being as fast as the team could make the sprinting animation, so look forward to plenty of new movement tech.
This speed boost from Amplified is called Speed Booster in Bungie’s official reveal, so that’s what we’re working with. While Speed Booster is active, not only will your movement speed be massively increased, but so will your damage resistance. I don’t know about you, but this sounds broken to me. Ignoring the very obvious PvP issues here, PvE players already have 40% damage resistance thanks to the newly buffed resilience stat. Having super fast movement speed with damage resistance on top of that 40% that’s already there sounds stupid. You would effectively be able to move from one side of a map to the other in seconds while taking what I’ll assume is at least half damage. We’ll have to wait and see just how strong this is in practice, though.
Blind is exactly what it sounds like. It’s already in the game, and you’ve probably already abused this debuff – especially if you’re an endgame PvE player (Blinding Grenades, anyone?).
It isn’t clear how many methods of Blinding we have at our disposal, but we do know that flashbang grenades will blind.
In PvE, Blind enemies won’t be able to fire or use their abilities. In PvP, it acts more similar to a traditional flashbang – blocking out the screen and removing sound.
It’s a debuff that’s been in the game a long time – all that’s changed is that we can now use our subclass to inflict it.
At first, this sounds like a cool piece of tech and nothing more. However, I think this might just be the single most powerful, important, and impactful inclusion in all of Arc 3.0. If you’re a Grandmaster player, then you know just how impactful Blinding Grenades as a perk is. It’s almost mandatory for a lot of GM Nightfalls.
Not only having Blinding on command but without it taking up a weapon is incredible. Not to mention the fact that we can spec into it as a playstyle. This is one part of Arc 3.0 that I think is going to surprise a lot of people in how powerful it is.
This is more akin to what many of us, myself included, assumed the new Arc 3.0 subclass would be built around. All Jolt is, is chain lighting. When an enemy is afflicted with Jolt, it’ll send out periodic lighting that chains to nearby enemies Riskrunner style.
This has the potential to be incredibly powerful, or really weak. We’ve already got a lot of great AD-clear right now, so it’s got some work to do if it wants to compete. Ultimately, I think the effectiveness of Jolt will come down to its synergy with subclass elements and exotics. I could be wrong, though, so who knows?
Destiny 2 Arc 3.0 Classes
All right, with those initial changes, buffs, and debuffs out of the way, we can move on to what’s coming with each individual class.
Hunter Arc 3.0
I’ve been a Hunter main for what amounts to literally about a third of my total life, so when I say that Arc Hunter was one of the weakest subclasses in the game, I’m speaking from experience. It was up there with Behemoth Titans. So, Bungie’s got a lot of work to do in order to get it into a place where it’s META viable.
Bungie has said that its vision for Hunter’s Arc 3.0 was a “graceful warrior monk.” That’s reflected in the fact that the Arc Staff is here to stay. I know, I know, I hate it too. We all miss Blade Dancer.
While Arc Hunters will be retaining the ability to reflect projectiles with their staff, it looks like that functionality is being mashed up with your regular top or bottom tree Arc staff. That’s not all, though. A part of Bungie’s goal for Arc Hunters is to give them crowd control options, as well as CQC survivability options.
With those goals in mind, the team has seen fit to give us an entirely new super that’s definitely based on the Synaptic Spears we saw in Season of the Risen. Hunters will throw their staff and it’ll stick wherever it lands. On impact, it will do an initial burst of damage before being struck by lightning to create an AoE dead-zone that will decimate anything that walks into its radius.
This could be a really powerful super depending on the size of the AoE, and its duration – so it’s another case of “wait and see.”
It looks like Bungie is going all-in on Combination Blow with this rework. Kills with Combination Blow will reward dodge energy, increase melee damage, and restore health. It’s unknown whether or not this is the only Arc melee that Hunters will have access to.
I think this will be an interesting piece of tech for Hunter’s to have. There’s a lot of support for Combination Blow, and Hunter melees in general, so there’s definitely some potential here.
Hunter’s will have access to three Aspects when Arc 3.0 first drops. They are:
- Flow State – Defeating a Jolted will Amplify you. While Amplified, your dodge will regenerate faster, your reload speed is increased, and you’re granted damage resistance.
- Tempest Strike – Gives you access to a sliding melee that will launch a wave of Arc energy across the ground. This wave deals massive damage and will Jolt any enemies caught in its path.
- Lethal Current – After dodging, your next melee attack has increased range, causes Jolt, and leaves a damaging aftershock. When used with Arc Staff, your next attack will hit twice. Meleeing Jolted enemies will blind them.
Honestly, these are all pretty underwhelming compared to the lethality we got with Solar’s Gunpowder Gamble. Every single one of these has potential, sure, but there’s nothing standout about any of them. A Lethal Current/Flow State build could be interesting, but I’m not sure you want your PvE endgame strategy to revolve around melees.
As for PvP, your guess is as good as mine. Lethal Current will probably be incredible. Regardless, there’s no doubt that Destiny 2’s Arc 3.0 is going to be a miserable experience to play against in the Crucible – we just have to see what form that takes.
Oh, and by the way, Hunters are getting Blink back!
Warlock Arc 3.0
Warlocks seem to have gotten the short end of the stick (for once). They’re the only subclass that didn’t get anything specifically new, which is a little bit odd. However, they still look to be just as powerful as they were before.
Warlocks are keeping Choas Reach and Stormtrance. The only differences here that we know about is that Stormtrance now gets Landfall and Ionic Blink instead of one or the other. Chaos Reach seems to be unchanged.
That’s super boring compared to the Hunter’s spicy new super, but Chaos Reach was already pretty good so I’m not sure Bungie would want to buff it in any meaningful way.
Unfortunately, Destiny 2 Arc 3.0 Warlock melees also seem to just be unchanged repackages of 2.0 abilies. Ball Lightning from middle-tree is back, as is Chain Lightning. Ball Lightning is the same as usual, but Chain Lightning will apply Jolt.
What’s interesting is that being Amplified powers up these abilities. Ball Lightning will trigger three times instead of one, and Chain Lightning can chain to a lot more enemies. Again, it’s a wait and see type of situation to determine whether or not either of these will be META defining.
Warlocks will also have access to three Aspects at launch. These look powerful enough, but there’s nothing here blowing my mind:
- Arc Soul – This is just your Arc Buddy from before. When Amplified, it gets an increased rate of fire, but that’s it. You know this guy – it’s reliable in PvE, and overpowered in PvP.
- Lightning Surge – When you melee while sliding, you’ll teleport forward in a ball of electricity and call down lightning bolts where you land. These lightning bolts inflict Jolt.
- Electrostatic Mind – Arc ability kills, and kills on Arc-debuffed enemies, will create Ionic Traces. When you collect an Ionic Trace, you become amplified.
There’s actually a surprising amount to talk about here. Arc Soul is great, and will continue to be great, and Lightning Surge looks like it would be hell in PvP. Electrostatic Mind will be a staple pick in PvE, meaning Warlocks have a 3/3 on good Aspects.
While Warlock Arc 3.0 won’t be particularly spicy or exciting to play, it’s definitely going to be an incredibly strong subclass – especially in PvP.
Titan Arc 3.0
Out of all three classes, Titans have the most to be excited about here. They already had the best Arc 2.0 subclass thanks to Thundercrash with Cuirass of the Falling Star, and it looks like they’re in the running to have the strongest 3.0 setup, as well. Oh, and of course, Destiny 2 is finally giving Titans a pseudo Twilight Garrison – so that’s something.
Twilight Garrison is Returning to Destiny 2 – Sort of
Yes, Titan’s are getting a new Twilight Garrison-like piece of movement tech in Arc 3.0. No, it’s not a piece of armor, so it can’t be used with other subclasses, and no, it’s not nearly as good as it used to be.
The old Twlight Garrison allowed Titans to dodge, both on the ground and in the air. As a result, they had access to some of the most busted movement tech Destiny has ever seen.
In Destiny 2, that Twilight Garrison movement tech is coming back in the form of an Arc 3.0 class ability called Thruster. When activated, the Titan will quickly burst in the direction inputed, traveling a distance comparable to the Hunter’s dodge.
That sounds great, but the caveat that separates this from the Twilight Garrison of old is that you can’t activate it in the air. So, Titan skating is still a no-go. Still, at least Bungie is meeting in the middle with this much-wanted player request.
Fist of Havoc and Thundercrash are the two Arc supers returning to Titans in 3.0. Like the other new Arc supers, these will all be more powerful, combined versions of their previous variations.
Fist of Havoc has a new radius that’s in the middle of the old top and bottom trees. It also leaves a damage-over-time effect where it lands, and using it in the air will cause an area of effect damage blast.
Thundercrash, the more exciting super of the two, seems to be completely unchanged. However, it’s now separated from the perks that it came with in Arc 2.0, giving it a natural buff through that alone. It’s still a fun super, and it’s still going to do insane damage.
Shoulder charge fans rejoice – Seismic Strike is returning as one of the Titan’s Arc 3.0 melee, with some upgrades. For example, when you hit it, it’ll blind enemies in a radius around you. That radius is increased if you’re Amplified.
Ballistic Slam is also making a comeback, although there’s no word on if that has any additional functionality.
On top of that, Titans are actually getting a brand new melee with Thunderclap. This is a weird, unique melee ability that might just dethrone Hammer-Titan for the highest potential DPS in the entire game.
To use Thunderclap, you hold your melee button. Holding the button will build up an Arc charge that you can unleash at any point. If you let go quickly, you’ll do a light jab. If you charge it all the way up, though, you’ll deal a debilitating amount of damage. For example, a 90% charged Thunderclap will one-shot in PvP. To balance that, though, it takes a while to charge, and you can’t move while charging. That last part makes it more or less useless in PvP, but it shouldn’t affect shotgun strategies in PvE too much.
Arc 3.0 subclasses are getting three Aspects each across the board. The Titan’s are:
- Touch of Thunder – Touch of Thunder is an Aspect that will improve your Titan’s Arc grenades across the board. It affects the following grenades in the following ways:
- Flashbangs fire an additional pulse on first bounce.
- Pulse grenades now have increased damage over time and linger. Enemies killed by Pulse grenades drop Ionic Traces.
- Lightning grenades gain an additional charge and Jolt target on first impact.
- Storm greandes create moving clouds that hover and track enemies, shooting lightning bolts beneath it.
- Juggernaut – While sprinting with full class ability energy, Titans gain a frontal shield that blocks projectiles. The shield is stronger when Amplified. If the shield takes too much damage and depletes, you will lose your class ability energy.
- Knockout – Melee kills Amplify you and trigger health regeneration. Breaking a shield or critically wounding an enemy with this melee increases melee range and damage. Your base melee becomes Arc-empowered for this duration.
Everything is good here! Everything! Sure, Titans may not have gotten the Twlight Garrison they wanted, but they got the world, instead. All three of these Aspects are viable and are going to tear up the Crucible. I would be worried if I didn’t main Titan in PvP.
Okay, that was a lot of information to take in. Thankfully, each Fragment is universal so we don’t have to worry about having different options for each class. Everyone has access to this pool:
- Spark of Beacons: While Amplified, your Arc special weapon kills will create a Blinding explosion.
- Spark of Resistence: While surrounded, you gain increased damage resistance.
- Spark of Momentum: Sliding over ammo will partially reload your weapon and give you melee energy.
- Spark of Shock: Your Arc grenades now Jolt enemies.
Of course, there’s a bunch more Fragments yet to be revealed, but these are all we know about for now.
Of these four, Spark of Beacons is the clear winner. Salvager’s Salvo has always been an S-tier PvE weapon. Now, it’s going to potentially be the best weapon in the entire game for endgame activities.
On a whole, Destiny 2’s Arc 3.0 looks to be very, very strong. Your interest in the subclass will likely depend on what you main. Warlocks don’t have too much to look forward to, while Titans are getting an early Christmas present.
Either way, we’ll see where all these new abilities land once Season 18 launches.