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Are the changes to classes in Destiny 2 “Game Breaking” or just an indicator of a new direction?

A new era of buildcrafting.

Bungie has just blown everything we know about buildcrafting out of the water with their latest announcements for The Final Shape. Announcing the new Prismatic subclass that can combine all subclasses into one has the potential to reshape everything we know about the current Destiny 2 builds.

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What we know about the Prismatic subclass

The Destiny 2 announcement livestream aired on April 9th showcased the all-new Prismatic subclass. During their breakdown, the developers’ excited chatter was understandably all over the place, with them describing it as “broken” and “complex.” This new Destiny 2 Subclass will be able to draw from both Light and Dark, combining all five. It can pick and choose to combine them into a supergroup of power.

As the live stream has shown, there seems to be little reason to use anything but the new Subclass. It can use abilities from all the other subclasses. Causing Light and Dark damage will gradually fill a Transcendence bar. Once this is topped off the class then applies weapon damage and instant refills to a new type of grenade. Along with the obvious adaptability and power comes a greater selection of fragments and fragment slots.

Destiny 2 prismatic
Image: Bungie

Introducing such an overpowered subclass raises a few questions. How are the other subclasses going to be buffed to stay relevant? Why is this change coming so late in the current generation of Destiny 2? And what does it mean for future playstyles?

A sign of things to come

The very beginnings of the livestream made two things abundantly clear: The Final Shape was not the end of Destiny 2, and it certainly wasn’t the end of Destiny. It is clear that the team at Bungie, despite layoffs, has a lot more planned for the IP.

Over the decade of Destiny 2, many changes have been introduced. Many tweaks and rehauls to mechanics have been made, resulting in the complex and in-depth game we all know and sometimes love today. I think that the introduction of the Prismatic subclass is just an indication of where the game is heading in its apparently long and rich future.

The Prismatic subclass is more than just a fun new element, like the introduction of Strand and its movement changes in Destiny 2. It is a merging of the things that define build crafting in the game as we know it. Unless something seriously drastic is done to the current subclasses, they are going to become redundant. But is that such a bad thing?

Destiny 2 The Final Shape prismatic
Image: Bungie

This new Prismatic subclass does away with the need to switch classes. Now it is possible to cherry-pick the fragments and abilities of their class. This will encourage a lot more originality with the builds but could very easily lead to some seriously overpowered metas. As the devs mentioned, they wanted it to feel a little ‘broken’. Only time will tell just how broken the players can make it. I expect to see some absolute madness.

This choice may be moving towards a new class system for Destiny 2 going into the future, even beyond The Final Shape. Subclasses, as we know them now, maybe fazed out in favor of a much wider and varied mish-mash of abilities. I’m all in favor of this personally; after all, variety is the spice of life.

What does Prismatic mean for PvP?

One thing was obvious while watching the Destiny 2 livestream: The new subclass coming in The Final Shape is going to cause absolute carnage. They showcased some very interesting builds with incredibly high movement speeds and a large amount of damage. But what stood out for me was the ability of the Destiny 2 Prismatic subclass to feed itself.

In PvP, due to the lack of ADS, it can be a struggle to get the damage or kills to feed certain abilities on your class. This levels the playfield somewhat as you know enemies aren’t going to be endlessly using supers, class abilities, or their grenades. However, now that the walls between subclasses have been dropped, this opens up the doors to insanely focused builds that specialize in self-feeding and wanton destruction. During the Destiny 2 live stream, we saw the new Prismatic synergy possible with Bleak Watcher and Feed the Void, resulting in almost endless Bleak Watchers around the field.

Destiny 2 The Final Shape prismatic
Image: Bungie

This isn’t the end of the fair fight, though, as the subclass is available to everyone. I think the result will be a very much changed PvP landscape with a lot more variation and a real shake-up of the current meta. The new Prismatic subclass will encourage people to fully experiment with what they have available. On the other hand, it will also push people to play in much more defensive and preventative ways.


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Author
Leo Gillick
Leo is a Freelance Writer for PC Invasion. He has a degree in English Literature and Film Studies and more hours buried into videogames than he cares to admit. He has worked extensively in the Videogame and Travel writing industry but, as they say, get a job doing something you love and you'll never work a day in your life. He uses his writing as a means to support indefinite global travel with the current five year plan seeing him through Latin America.