As far back as I can remember, I, like Ray Liotta, have always wanted to be a Warlock. My daddy was a Warlock. His daddy was a Warlock. Warlockin’ is in my blood, I thought as I started up Destiny for the first time in 2014. When Destiny 2 was released three years later, I stuck to what I knew. I stayed a Warlock.
Sure, in the past, I have dabbled in other classes. In Destiny, I eventually rolled a Hunter, but by the time I did, Destiny 2 was on the horizon. I tried playing a Hunter again in the sequel, but changes to the way Destiny worked made it not feel as fun. So I continued, a Warlock, like I’ve always been.
It’s been five years now, and I think I’ve been making a mistake.
Character classes in Destiny are weird. It’s a first-person shooter, so your class can never really overshadow the shooting for more than a few moments — like, say, when you trigger your show-stopping super ability.
Outside of that, a lot of the differences are subtle. Classes influence the way your jumps work, what kind of grenade and melee attacks you use, and how all those abilities work together and complement the players around you.
Destiny’s Warlocks are glass cannons, which is typical for mage classes in most role-playing games. You can’t take a terrible amount of damage, but your super abilities can wreck face from afar. Also, Warlocks have a bunch of melee and grenade skills that can be tuned to set off fun little chain reactions good for clearing out foes when you’re in a jam.
I like playing a Warlock, but recently, I’ve also been starting to think a little more honestly about how I play Destiny 2, and it is... not like a Warlock.
I’ve just got to be in there, man, smashing Hive Ogres to bits up close and personal. I wanna feel like a walking space tank, not a floating space artillery. It’s time for a change. I want to be a Titan.
I realised this the other day as I was running some bounties using my Stormcaller sub-class. It has this super ability called Storm Trance that lets you float around the battlefield and fire the game’s version of Force Lightning at everyone around you. It’s a cool ability, and one of the few Warlock skills that lets you get up close and really scrap, if only for a little bit.
Unlike most online role-playing games, changing classes in Destiny 2 is not that big a deal. Doing it doesn’t come with the sort of guilt that my colleague Heather Alexandra experienced when she changed classes in Final Fantasy 14.
There’s less riding on your decision. Party composition matters for some of Destiny’s toughest challenges, but for the day-to-day of it, you can run whatever you like and be fine.
It’s just work, since I’ll have to level up a new character from scratch. I don’t know if I want to do that work, especially because I know massive changes are coming in September when Destiny 2: Shadowkeep launches.
This is the drawback of playing a live game such as Destiny. The world of the game can be mercurial; substantial changes can occur at any time, rendering decisions you make today moot tomorrow.
That’s part of the fun, of course — learning the meta, figuring out the most effective ways to find what you need and get the best loot with every new update — but it also has a way of driving me into a narrow focus, from keeping me from wanting to spread myself too thin.
So maybe I’ll just stay a Warlock, at least until Shadowkeep drops and I have this existential crisis all over again this September. Who knows. Change is good, maybe.