Destiny 2 is so back? The Final Shape stream just showed a completely OP new subclass, an entirely new race of enemies, and a wild new type of exotic armor

Going into today's livestream showcase of new gameplay from The Final Shape, most players were expecting a retread of the new Light subclass powers revealed last year, and maybe a walkthrough of a campaign mission.

What we just got was nothing like that. With Bungie's backs against the wall amidst layoffs, pressure from Sony, and missed financial targets, the Destiny 2 studio needed to come out all guns blazing in order to reignite interest in the climactic expansion of its decades long saga. What it actually did was nuke expectations from orbit. Here's what they just revealed:

  1. The Final Shape will feature an entirely new subclass called Prismatic that combines Light and Dark abilities enabling incredibly OP synergies.
  2. The game is getting a new enemy race called The Dread, based on the Tormentors and Subjugators we've seen previously but expanded to include many different units.
  3. A new type of exotic class item is being added to the game that can randomly roll two exotic perks from any other existing exotic, including those not from your character's class.

The Witness has an army of new enemies called The Dread

Any one of the announcements above would have been massive news to a playerbase that has grown cynical and burned out. Hell, I was wondering when we would ever see a new type of enemy and, like many people, felt pretty disappointed that the closing chapter was going to see us battling largely the same enemies we've been vaporising for a decade. The new race is called the Dread, and features flying units for the first time. In addition to Tormentors and Subjugators, the enemies shown also included Weavers and Attendants, which are Strand and Stasis twists on Psions, and Husks, which are melee units that if you crit shot the latter in the wrong place spawn a Geist that immediately attacks. So, try not to do that. 

Visually, The Dread are themed similarly to Rhulk from the Root of Nightmares raid, and the Tormentors from the Lightfall expansion. You can see the models in the gallery below.

Primsatic combines Light and Dark subclasses in one

Honestly, my slim hope going into the showcase was that we could see a new subclass, as these have been the highlights of the previous big expansions like Beyond Light (Stasis) and Lightfall (Strand). But before today, Bungie had only said it would be making slight reworks to our existing Light subclass. So the announcement of Prismatic, which frankly looks absolutely busted in a good way, is about as big a needle drop imaginable.

The new subclass is called Prismatic, and enables you to combine abilities from the existing Light (Arc, Void, Solar) and Dark (Strand, Stasis) subclasses. By being able to pick abilities from radically different kits—for example on Warlock, you might combine Devour from Void with Bleakwatcher Turrets from Stasis—you will be able to come up with almost endless, previously impossible synergies. "It's a little bit game-breaking", said combat area lead Ben Wommack on stream, laughing. 

Prismatic differs from the other Subclass in that you have two super bars to fill—one Light, one Dark—after which you can activate 'Transcendance', which grants you what Bungie describes as a new level of power. Whilst in transcendant mode, you'll have a new unique grenade that combines two elements. Hunters get Solar/Stasis, Titans get Strand/Arc, and Warlocks get Stasis/Void. During Transcendance you also have a weapon damage bonus that stacks with other buffs. We were also told you get more fragment slots than usual.

New exotic class items 'steal' two perks from other exotics

If you haven't been on this decade-long ride with me, that new type of exotic armor might not sound like a huge deal. But in terms of build crafting and power fantasy, this is absolutely game-breaking stuff. Being able to equip two exotic armor perks on a single item is, in itself, nuts. The fact the combination of perks is random, and can even be drawn from exotics that aren't available to your class normally, is going to make the hunt the perfect OP synergy for your build a new white whale to chase.

You can see the models for the new class itemes below. My assumption is that the pool of possible perks with exclude things that wouldn't make sense. For example, you wouldn't be able to get something like the Briarbinds perk on a Hunter class item, as you don't have access to Child of the Old God's. But something more generic like the double melee perk from Claws of Ahamkara would be an obvious one to make available to everyone.

[Update]: These new class items will only be equippable on the new Prismatic subclass according to Bungie's accompanying blog post

"Exotic class items work specifically with the Prismatic subclass and will each roll with two random Exotic perks inspired by a selection of other Exotic armor pieces, even from different classes. That means a Hunter could have an Exotic cloak with some of the unique qualities of Assassin's Cowl combined with parts of Liar's Handshake. On the other hand, Warlocks could get an Exotic bond roll with perks of Apotheosis Veil and Star-Eater Scales and Titans could get an Exotic mark with parts of Ophidian Aspect and Precious Scars." 

It's also interesting to note the phrasing "parts of" rather than the entirety of an exotic perk.

As you can tell, I'm pretty excited. Bungie really needed this W, and even a visit to the r/DestinyTheGame megathread reveals almost near universal joy, except for one joy vampire who wonders what all this will do to PvP balancing. And look, once the dust settles, we may have questions. Foremost among which will be: Why would I ever equip a subclass other than Prismatic. Quickly followed by, given the sheer amount of OP gear and abilities we're being provided with, is Bungie perhaps planning for a full reset after The Final Shape?

Speaking of which, Bungie actually began the stream with a rare message from executive creative director Luke Smith, who confirmed that Destiny 2 very much isn't ending after The Final Shape. (Which frankly, wasn't a shock given that studio had already announced a suite of three 'Episodes' to come in its wake.) He did however add that once the forces of The Witness have been defeated, Bungie will "confirm what's coming next to Destiny 2 and beyond".

The Final Shape will be released on June 4. The free Into The Light update went live today, adding a new horde mode called Onslaught, the return of The Whisper and exotic mission (Zero Hour will follow next month), and 12 reworked weapons called the 'Brave Arsenal'. And I'm off to play it right now.

Tim Clark

With over two decades covering videogames, Tim has been there from the beginning. In his case, that meant playing Elite in 'co-op' on a BBC Micro (one player uses the movement keys, the other shoots) until his parents finally caved and bought an Amstrad CPC 6128. These days, when not steering the good ship PC Gamer, Tim spends his time complaining that all Priest mains in Hearthstone are degenerates and raiding in Destiny 2. He's almost certainly doing one of these right now.