Bungie have just wrapped up their second reveal stream on Twitch, and this time it focused purely on the new mechanics for strikes.
Special guest Mr Fruit, of YouTube fame, joined Community Manager Cozmo and Gameplay Designer Claude Jerome as they explored the Dreadnaught, showcasing one of the new strikes coming next month.
The Shield Brothers takes place in the new Dreadnaught environment, as Guardians are tasked with stopping a Cabal onslaught against Oryx and the Hive. Based in the rings of Saturn, players will be hunting down the Cabal brothers, and taking on both Cabal and the new Taken enemies as they make their way to them.
The emphasis on new strikes for The Taken King is how the final boss encounter has changed, and players will no longer be facing bullet sponges, such as Valus Ta’aurc in the original Cerberus Vae III strike. Instead, they will have to think through strategies to take down this new adversaries.
Once your fireteam has made it’s way through the twisted corridors of the crashed Cabal ship, guided by the Hunter mentor Cayde-6, they will enter an arena-style final room where they will face the Shield Brothers. Both Valus Mau’ual and Valus Tlu’urn have their own personalities, and much like arcade games of old, it is up to the players to devise a strategy to take them down.
First up is Valus Mau’ual, whose attack is very similar to the Titan Fist of Havoc, ground pounding his way around the arena in an attempt to stop the Guardians in their tracks. Once you fight him down to approximately half health, he retreats, and his brother comes in to play. Valus Tlu’urn has a much more range to his attack, barraging players with his mortars, and once he too is down to around half health, will retreat. This starts the third phase of the battle, where players will have to have their wits about them, and fight both brothers at the same time. It is in this third phase where they develop new abilities, such as Valus Tlu’urn’s bubble shield, forcing the players to rethink their strategy.
Oh course, what’s the use of strikes without rewards? Bungie have said that strikes will reward players with activity-based rewards, which reflect the strike you have completed, but no further details have be released at this time.
Along with the strike, we did get to see the new sword in action, which sits in the Heavy Weapon slot. It appears that ammo behaves much like a charge, allowing the player to deflect incoming attacks, as well as wreak havoc, but at a much closer range.
We also had a chance to have a good look at the skill trees for each of the new subclasses. It seems that a lot of previous abilities, especially grenades and jumps, have been recycled between subclasses, but there are some new additions. For example, Sunbreaker Titans will now have access to the previously Warlock-only Fusion grenade, as well as its brand new Thermite grenade. We also see the return of Lift, Increased Control, and Catapult jumps for the Sunbreaker.
Immediately after the stream ended, I felt a little disappointed as the new strike seemed so easy, but you must remember that they were running a level 36 strike, as level 40s. It was great to see the new subclasses, and I personally can’t wait to go all Hammer Time with my Titan on September 15.
Next Wednesday, we will have the opportunity to explore the new Dreadnaught environment, and we’ll get to see the new Patrol activities coming our way.
The Taken King is released on Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, and Playstation 3 on September 15.