Bungie’s massive Witch Queen expansion launched surprisingly smoothly and is extremely good so far. While everyone else has been celebrating, however, Destiny 2 Hunters have been going through an existential crisis of sorts as they grapple with some of the update’s low points. These include an extremely niche Exotic called Blight Ranger and major nerfs that are leading some players to abandon the class altogether.
For much of Destiny’s history Hunters have been one of its most versatile and fun classes to play. As the game has shifted more toward being an MMO with defined combat roles, however, they’ve fallen out of favour in many endgame activities because of an arsenal that doesn’t always excel at big arena fights. Thanks to a few big changes in The Witch Queen, Void Hunters in particular are feeling that more acutely than ever, and some are threatening to abandon their posts altogether.
Hunter is very underwelming compared to Titans and Warlocks. The super is nice but but overall ability play doesn't click too well for me personally. I think the Heart of the Pack removal really hurt it more then anything.— Nick (@RokLobsterNC) February 22, 2022
“Switching from Hunter main to Warlock,” wrote one player on the subreddit. Others were less dramatic but similarly upset over feeling like their favourite subclass was weaker following the Void 3.0 overhaul. The changes have been absolutely fantastic for Warlocks and Titans, but mileage has certainly varied for Hunters, confirming some of their worst fears from when the patch was first teased earlier this year.
The Nightstalker, which is Destiny 2’s stealth ninja class, throws smoke bombs, goes invisible, and moves super quick. Or at least it used to. The passive ability Keen Scout which provided a major sprint boost is gone. Heart of the Pack, which gave Hunters weapon haste and better survivability when near allies was also removed, and Combat Provisions, which helped recover grenade and melee energy faster, was nerfed as well.
These abilities have effectively been replaced with more ways to turn invisible, which can be extremely useful in some situations and very boring in others. Playing the Witch Queen campaign on Legendary difficulty (which is fantastic) provides lots of opportunities to make use of prolonged invisibility to navigate enemy mobs unseen or escape from a boss until you’ve recovered.
“I’ve been invisible for like half the campaign at this point lmao,” confessed one player. For all its usefulness, though, it unfortunately forces you into a very passive playstyle because you can’t do anything while invisible without breaking invisibility, and breaking it doesn’t offer the same bonuses the previous Void abilities used to.
Adding insult to injury for some players who have been maining Hunter for years is the new Exotic armour piece for Hunters, Blight Ranger, a helmet that lets players use their Arcstrider super to deal extra damage while deflecting projectiles. Players have confirmed it does a ton of extra damage in PVP, but it remains to be seen how useful it is in PVE. It could melt raid bosses, or it could end up being an extremely fickle gambit that’s not relevant for most of the game. The results thus far have looked underwhelming and led Hunters to commiserate over their poor luck.
Every cloud has a silver lining, though, and Void Hunters especially have taken refuge in one particularly overpowered combination: Tractor Cannon plus Stylish Executioner. The first debuffs enemies and the second grants invisibility when debuffed enemies are killed. It’s a combination that seems destined to get nerfed, but in the meantime Hunters can have a ton of fun with it during the main campaign at least.