Weapon loadout changes were one of the controversial topics at the Destiny 2 reveal in May. Bungie released a new podcast Friday, ahead of E3 2017, where the developers go into the reasoning behind the changes for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC shooter, along with the curious internal name for the system, which is “Freedom.”
The Destiny 2 reveal event came with a dramatic shift in how Guardian weapon loadouts are handled. The original concept of primary, secondary, and heavy weapon slots has been completely reshuffled in an attempt to move away from the problems caused in Destiny 1 PVP.
The new “Freedom” system replaces the primary weapon slot with kinetic weapons. These are weapons like Hand Cannons, Auto Rifles, Scout Rifles, Pulse Rifles, Sidearms, and the new Sub-Machine Gun that still fire bullets.
Bungie says these are weapons that are relatable in a contemporary sense, but they still allow the developers to explore science fiction themes in the Destiny 2 world. Some examples they gave are weapons from films like Elysium, Aliens, and Blade Runner.
Meanwhile, Energy weapons will replace the Special Weapon slot and will have a similar feel to Kinetic weapons. However, these guns are charged with one of Destiny‘s three elemental energies – Void, Arc, or Solar – which can be used to quickly take down enemy shields in PVE and players using their super ability in PVP. They will also sound different.
The Energy weapons at the Destiny 2 reveal event did not provide a good example of being able to bring down enemy shields down quickly. The timing did not feel all that different from Kinetic weapons, and shields were easier to wipe out with a well-placed grenade.
Bungie says it has since tweaked Energy weapons to do more damage to shields. So, those that attend E3 2017 next week should have an opportunity to try it out for themselves.
Another important point about Energy weapons is the ammo economy. Bungie struggled to find the right balance with Special Weapon ammo in Destiny 1 because the slot is populated with one-shot kill weapons like the Sniper Rifle and Shotgun. This led to the controversial balance change to make Special Weapon ammo hard to find.
Finally, the Heavy Weapon slot is now the Power weapon slot in Destiny 2. This is where all of the one-hit kill weapons in PVP will reside – Shotguns, Sniper Rifles, Rocket Launchers, Fusion Rifles, Swords, and Grenade Launchers.
Power weapons will be ammo limited in both PVE and PVP, just as they are today. Bungie is happy with the ammo constraints in PVP currently, but are still tinkering with power ammo balance in PVE.
The developers’ desire is for Power weapons to be situational and force players to make a choice about what role to play. Guardians will need to decide if they want to take on a short-range role with Shotguns or Swords, a long-range role with Snipers, or a demolition role with Rocket Launchers.
Goal of the ‘Freedom’ system
The high-level goal of the “Freedom” system, according to Bungie, is to allow Destiny 2 players the option to run many different combinations of weapons and explore what is fun. Traditional short-range and long-range combinations like Hand Cannons and Scout Rifles can be used in the Kinetic and Energy weapon slots, or something crazier can be used. For example, Luke Smith described an experience where he ran dual Sidearms and Shotguns with the new Arcstrider Hunter. It may not have been optimal, but the perks of the new Hunter class made close encounters with the dodge perk a blast for Smith, even though he admits it may not have been optimal.
Don’t expect to see a lot of the new Destiny 2 weapons at E3 2017 or before launch in September. Bungie wants to save the thrill of player discovery for release.
The dates of the Destiny 2 beta will be announced during E3 2017 next week. Expect a late June or July time frame for the beta, with the PS4 getting it first, as Smith says he wants time to react to the data they get from the play test.
[Featured Image by Bungie/Activision]