Much like last week, Bungie hosted a Twitch stream this morning at 4am (11am PST) which revealed some more details we did not fully understand yet. The stream was hosted by Deej and James Tsai (Design Expert). The stream was to show off the new “Shield Brothers” strike which is coming with The Taken King. The fireteam which was selected to undergo this mission consisted of community manager Cozmo, community member Mr. Fruit, and Sandbox developer Claude Jerome. Each of these fireteam members are using the new subclasses which also means we got to take an unedited look at the new supers. Notably, Mr. Fruit decided to use the sunspots for the Sunbreaker Titan (#titanmasterrace) so this will be the first real look we have gotten at the new mechanic introduced with Tho- I mean Sunbreaker Titans.
Yes these have been confirmed for a while, but this is the first time that we have actually been able to properly look at and analyse one. As stated by Mr. Fruit, Artifacts are not cosmetic, they play into your character’s stats and provide an extra perk (or perks, we haven’t seen a legendary Artifact) for you to use. Here we see a blue rare-quality Artifact named “Radegast’s Blade.” It provides +25 Discipline (reduced grenade cooldown) and +39 Strength (reduce melee cooldown) as the stat roll. The perk we see here makes it so ‘solar melees have a chance to generate an Orb when killing a minion of the Darkness.” This seems geared towards more of a support role as more Orbs means more supers for your teammates. The other two fireteam members’ artifacts do the exact same thing as Mr. Fruit’s but for their respective class and element.
The Shield Brothers strike:
Now we start getting into the action. According to James Tsai, “This strike is going to take you right to the heart of the Hive Dreadnaught. Oryx and his buddies aren’t really great at making friends throughout the galaxy so a couple of Senior Cabal Commanders, Valus Mau’ual and Valus Tlu’urn are leading an invasion force onto the big ship. This is the chance for guardians to kind of take advantage of the chaos from this incursion, go in there and take these two commanders out. Ordinarily, the Guardians I think would be ok with the Cabal taking down a big Hive ship but there is still a lot of information and secrets that need to be extracted.”
We start off with the fireteam touching down on the surface outside the Dreadnaught and all appears to be calm, for the moment. It takes a matter of seconds for Mr. Fruit to die by punching an explosive canister.
From here the team proceeds upwards to be welcomed by a bunch of Taken and Cabal enemies. The Taken enemies were disposed of quickly, however we watch Mr. Fruit and friends struggle to take down some Cabal majors. Whether this is a mark of their skills or just the degree to which the difficulty has been ramped up to is currently unknown. The team decides to do what almost everyone does in a Strike and just run past the enemies. This speedy operation was spearheaded by Cozmo himself.
It’s a little hard to see in this image, but they have managed to make the lighting in this game even better! The fireteam, from here, progress into an area called ‘Dantalion Exodus VI.’ While the team forges their way through here, Tsai explains how the dev teams have been working at making the strikes hold more replay value seeing as a lot of people grind the strikes for marks and such. He speaks of how there will be different dialogue and different (potentially randomised) encounters for subsequent play-throughs of the new strikes. They progress into another enemy encounter.
Here we see our first look at Sunspots. Mr. Fruit so generously threw down some Hammers of Sol to let us take a look at these Sunspots. In this instance, the Sunspots were used to aid Mr. Fruit’s super, by allowing it to last longer he was able to throw down some more hammers and Sunspots.
Here we see an item that we do not understand anything of yet. A ‘Skyburners Command Beacon.’ My own speculation would be that it may be a new item that you can turn into the Cryptarch for glimmer like Silken Codexes or House Banners. However, it is exactly that, pure speculation. The feed then switches to Cozmo’s gameplay, whereby we get to take a look at a new Omolon scout rifle. It should be noted that this weapon appears to be similar to the MIDA Multi Tool in that it sounds the same and has a very similar (if not identical) fire rate as the exotic scout rifle. The team progresses into a tight room where giant doors on the far side part to open and reveal a Goliath Tank. The team disposes of this tank rather painlessly (aside from a few deaths) and kill of any stragglers. In this encounter we do get to hear some of the new music that will be shipping with The Taken King, it sounds very good. It will not feel foreign to long-time Destiny players and is not jarring to the encounter.
As you can see, the team has now encountered some more Taken enemies with what appears to be some form of black hole. Here we get to see some of the new ways that the Taken fight with. Taken Centurions have a short-ranged, Blink-like evasion manoeuvre and the Taken Phalanxes appear to actually hold their shield up horizontally as if it were some form of Dark Souls shield.
The team progresses to a hall where if you look to the left, you will see the Cabal fighting against the Taken. This scene reminds of Halo: Combat Evolved during the mission ‘The Two Betrayals’ where you see the Flood and the Covenant at odds with each other. While the team are making their way through this hall, Deej and Tsai discuss how Strikes will now offer exclusive rewards upon defeating the boss (or bosses). This has been tailored to help feed into a feeling of accomplishment once the that boss has been downed.
Here we see Cozmo epically fail at using his super, Stormtrance. He activates it and dies immediately due to pure skill. There is nothing really all that special here but we do get to take a little look at the aesthetics of the Dreadnaught in action.
The team is nearing the climax of the strike, this is the hallway leading to the boss fight. Here we get to see the first instance of a boss fight with actual mechanics. Before everyone get’s their hopes up, yes it is still technically a bullet sponge, but it is no where near as blatant and lazy as before.
Here we have it, one of the two big bad meanies that are this strike’s bosses. Aesthetically speaking he looks very very well-designed and unique. Gameplay wise he is very very aggressive. He chases Guardians around the room and does a ground pound of some form which deals a large amount of damage and can send you flying to the wall, which may be what kills you. Once enough damage is dealt to Mau’ual, he will retreat like the coward he is and a big wave of enemies will be released. Once the enemies have been taken care of, Valus Tlu’urn will emerge and fire mortar-like projectiles. An area of effect will be marked and Guardians would be wised to stay out of the marked areas. While Mr. Fruit and Co are taking care of the enemies, Tsai explains how the aforementioned two bosses came to be. It used to be two bosses fighting you at the same time, however the intensity of this battle died down dramatically once one boss was taken care of. The double boss fight still occurs, but they have implemented a mechanic after one boss is downed whereby the surviving boss will inherit the abilities and some changes to their appearance from their fallen counterpart. This is a very similar tactic to Dragonslayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough from the first Dark Souls game (NOT Demon’s Souls for all you perfectionists).
So here we see the final form of Valus Tlu’urn after he fuses with Mau’ual. This final boss is as aggressive as the original, he just has a few more tricks up his sleeve. The team disposes of him in a rather chaotic manner and all is well.
If you would like to watch the full stream head over to the the Bungie Twitch channel where Bungie have stored it in their archives for all to see.
That is all we have for you this week. Next week Bungie will be hosting another livestream event showcasing the new public event called the “Court of Oryx.” Expect to be updated on that when the time comes. Did you like what was revealed? Let us know in the comments below. For the meantime…