Earlier today Bungie teased the new darkness-based subclass coming to Destiny 2 called Strand, and it's as much about movement and traversal as combat.
In its showcase, the developer finally detailed the much-rumoured new subclass. Now confirmed to be called Strand, the subclass looks as much about exploring the new city on Neptune with a cosmic grappling hook as it is whipping cabal in the face with ropes of green energy.
"Strand is psychic energy that forms this extra dimension, this sort of matrix that connects everything together. It connects all living beings and all minds, and you the guardian are sort of gaining the knowledge and gaining the power to peer into this alternate psychic universe and begin to pull on these threads and tug on these wires that are connecting all these living beings," Samuel Dunn, senior designer, says.
If you haven't heard already, Bungie also showed off the next big expansion for Destiny 2, Lightfall (opens in new tab), during a livestream. It broke down the upcoming subclass changes and new Neptune-based location: a cyberpunk-style city that's been largely untouched by the collapse that has seen most of the known Destiny universe we've played in so far be a ruin of its former glory.
"When you play through Lightfall, you are discovering this power for the first time. No one in the universe, ever in the history of Destiny, has used Strand before," Adam Grantham, narrative director at Bungie, says.
The Strand subclass plays into that new location, with a whole new way to traverse the world unlike anything we've used so far. Harnessing a thread of darkness energy, you'll be able to fling your guardian around the new location. Sort of like a space-age Spider-Man, but actually slightly better. Your grappling hook doesn't need to actually connect with any object to fling you forward, it sticks to a web of magical space energy—because of course it does.
"Since you are seeing into this cosmic web, you are able to grapple at any point because the cosmic web exists everywhere. Even if there is not an object there, it will hook onto that web and pull you forward," Dave Samuel, senior VFX art lead, says.
In regards to the new map, players will be "using Strand to traverse through it, explore it."
How far the grappling hook will flow into the rest of the existing content is not yet clear, but I imagine it could have fairly wide-reaching implications if, say, you could take it into a raid run. Plenty of cheeses came out of swords back in the day, so I wonder how a whole grappling hook will impact how we play older content. It might be a risky strategy to throw yourself into an abyss and hope a hook will save you, but only those brave enough to risk it all learn cool new tricks.
But Strand isn't all exploration-based. No, it's a fully-fledged subclass that will offer each of the three Guardian classes—Hunter, Warlock, and Titan—a new way to crush alien enemies.
- Warlocks are the "telekinetic master of Strand" and will receive a new missile-based super ability that barrages foes. When these missiles land, they split and unravel.
- Titans get hands-on with some up-close and personal claw hands that offers a spinning and slashing AoE attack.
- Hunters will be whipping Vex right in their milk hearts with a rope dart (also known as a rope javelin). Players will be able to spin and launch this rope dart as they're flipping and sliding around, or whatever Hunters do.
"We've learned a lot from creating our other subclasses, and we've taken those learnings about combat, about movement, about build crafting, we've put that all into Strand," Eric Smith, senior designer, says.
Bungie says that Strand was initially a Hunter-only kind of deal, though felt it was too fun to restrict to the cape fanciers. And I say that without any sort of envy of what might have been as a Warlock-main.
It all looks absolutely killer, though we'll have to wait and see which super has the most practical use for our respective classes. As a Warlock, I'm wondering how much Strand will play like Nova bomb or a void build, but I'm sure there's a lot more there to shake things up. Beyond Strand, Bungie is also reworking Arc builds with Arc 3.0 launching today, so it's not Strand or nothing.