It’s here. After all these months, Destiny 2 has finally released for us digital owners stateside and ohhh man is it fun. Here at Spoon Deep, we take game launches seriously, and as such, proceeded to play for almost the entire day. And night. Because that’s just what we do. HATERS GON HATE. We all fell back into our familiar roles on our familiar classes, once again making me the only Warlock. After one day (and night) spent almost entirely on Dawnblade, here’s what I think.
I mean, it looks so cool! But the super itself…maybe it’s too early to tell, but it feels very underwhelming. I spent the day running through story, completing adventures, lost sectors, and public events, searching for region chests, and generally killing all the things with Dupie on his Arcstrider and WOW is his subclass better than mine. When he pops his super, things die. A lot of things. When I pop mine, some things die. The red bar things. They die. Some of them. Yellow bars? They don’t. They do for him, not for me. Well, maybe one for me if I use all the swords. Obviously, it’s only day 1, and the game just came out, so maybe (hopefully) I’m missing something, but as of now, Dawnblade doesn’t do much for me besides look cool, although it does that in spades.
Okay, first up: grenades. The grenades are good! Nothing’s changed at all from Destiny 1 except for the lesser damage these and all grenades now put out, so anyone familiar with the Sunsinger will feel right at home here. I’ve been using primarily Firebolt, but that’s only because I’m a Harry Potter fan.
Jump abilities – same story. These are also the same as in Destiny 1, so as with the grenades, I’m not going to outline them here. You can play around to suit your tastes, but I typically run Focused Burst for that extra height because I like to explore.
Now, a new Warlock feature: Rifts. Titans have their shields, Hunters their dodge, and we get our rifts; stationary wells of either healing or damage boost. Currently, I find the Healing Rift to be much more potent as it can actually keep you/your fireteam up when surrounded by enemies where the Empowering Rift doesn’t seem to add that much damage. I’m sure it’ll see its place in the raid to help get past those nasty DPS-checks early on or in the less add-intensive strikes where boss damage is the primary focus.
In Destiny 2, each subclass now has two perk-paths to choose from, and these paths augment your playstyle in specific ways and are the main source of variation in your subclass. For the Dawnblade, these paths are the Attunement of Sky and the Attunement of Flame.
Attunement of Sky is the Dawnblade’s utility tree, allowing players to shoot, throw grenades, and even dodge midair, which again is cool, but its usefulness remains to be seen. Its melee ability increases your movement and reload speed, further adding to the tree’s utility and the spec’s mobility. Its perks have good synergy but don’t seem all that applicable in PvE having to be in the air and exposed for extended periods of time. This seems like it’ll be the Crucible tree of choice but will require some skill to get the most out of it. I haven’t played any Crucible yet due to the ridiculous queue times, but I can see a crafty Dawnblade excelling with clever use of in-air movement, and I’m excited to see some top-level gameplay.
Attunement of Fire on the other hand does more with the Dawnblade super itself but in my eyes still not enough to take it to that next level. This path causes your super’s swords to seek targets, launch flames on impact, extend duration on kills, and in a very cool perk gives you access to a “Phoenix Dive” where you quickly descend from midair to restore your health/cause area damage if in your super. This path’s melee burns targets on hit and explodes them on kill. Given the Dawnblade super’s short duration, I was intially excited for the extended duration perk, but it’s been underwhelming thus far. At the rate the super’s energy drains, i.e. fast, killing adds only gives it maybe another sword or two at most, and the cleave damage is almost negligible.
And that’s it! Dawnblade is definitely a cool and fun subclass, but easily the most underwhelming of the three for the Warlock and even the most underwhelming of the three new ones across all classes. Sentinal and Arcstrider have it beat for sure, and hopefully Ian and Jake will show you why. Maybe even Chase will give the Titan a shout!
PvE-wise, I’ll be sticking with my beloved Voidwalker, which I haven’t played too extensively yet but plan to in the coming days. I’ll be playing it almost exclusively leading up to this weekend and aim to do a similar write-up by Sunday covering all things void. And then I’ll do Stormcaller, and then Crucible, and then strikes, and then raid, and all things Warlock to come.
See you on the dark side,