As I settled down to watch the latest of Bungie’s Age of Triumph streams, my mind was full of the teaser shots of the new armour that Bungie had leaked. The still images looked great, and I was looking forward to seeing what community manager, Deej and co had in store. He was joined this week by armour and weapon designers Ian McIntosh and Josh Hamrick, and my goodness they have saved the best for last. As 73,569 people looked on via Twitch, Deej released the details we’ve been waiting for!
First up, he introduced the new armour and weapons that can be acquired from the Vault of Glass on heroic mode. The armour this time around is very much more Vex-ified (totally a word, honest), to the extent that the Warlock has legs that appear to be purely mechanical, with no room for feet. The designers said they were looking forward to seeing how cosplayers would rise to the challenge of making these armour sets. The Warlock was also modelling the tentacles from a Harpy, writhing from his shoulders, and was also holding a newly ornamented Vex Mythoclast, which changes the colour from the original gold to a more gunmetal/silver colour, and still sounds as awesome as ever. The Hunter had one Vex style leg, and the cloak on the Hunter was covered in glowing blue accents, which are in effect the new ornaments for VoG armour. He also had a new Fatebringer in hand: a new adept, Exotic version of the Fatebringer.
This is something that they have brought in for each raid – newly reimagined versions of the Raid primary weapons – that all have elemental damage and exotic adept versions. The VoG Titan had an amazing looking shield on his back, rising above his shoulders, in a kind of semi circle. It doesn’t provide any extra armour, but it looks way cool. In the Titans hand was an adept, exotic version of the Visions of Confluence, complete with solar elemental damage. Again having a different appearance, the same way Fatebringer did, these new models for the weapons look amazing. All of these weapons and armour will be available at 400 light level, making them immediately relevant to today’s players.
Next up were the models rocking the Crotas End armour and weapon sets – and from the concept drawings that were shown, it appears that this seasons style is spiky.
When the three models appeared in the armour, the overall impression was that you wouldn’t want to give them a cuddle – spikes everywhere. Apparently the thinking behind the design was that as you kill Hive enemies, their energy is absorbed by your armour until it can’t hold any more, then it breaks out into spikes. As the camera zoomed in, the spikes could be seen to be animated, with a cool, flowing motion on them that looks awesome. Better still, as the armour takes damage, the spikes break down into chunks, that then slowly reform, before beginning to glow as the armour mends. In practice this looked very impressive indeed, and I for one can’t wait to try them out. According to Deej, the Titan armour put him in mind of a dinosaur, and it certainly was a sight to behold.
On the weapon front, it wasn’t all good news. Black Hammer will not be coming back, and instead Black Spindle will get a new ornament, making it look like it is made of bone. I could almost hear the grinding of teeth as this was announced, but there it is: no more Black Hammer. I kept mine in the Vault, but as it’s only 150 light it really isn’t much use any more.
On the plus side, the Word of Crota is back, and has the new adept, exotic version to look forward to. And Necrochasm has a new ornament and a cool new perk: Firefly will now take effect even if it isn’t a head shot kill, making your victim explode and damage enemies around then no matter where you hit. While they were chatting about Necrochasm, Josh let it slip that the auto rifles as a group have had a range buff, and hand cannons have had a slight range nerf, helping to even the damage out. As an auto rifle man, this makes me very happy; anything that makes my Genesis Chain more effective is okay by me. It was also revealed that the new, adept versions of the weapons will only have a chance of dropping when that Raid is the weekly featured Raid. I’m a little suspicious of the words “chance of dropping” but I’m hoping that the new found generosity that they mentioned in their previous streams will be brought to bear.
In a surprise move (to me at least), the stream also revealed that Kings Fall and Wrath of the Machine will have new armour sets, and elemental damage added to the primary weapons from each raid.
First up, Deej introduced the new armour and weapons from the Kings Fall raid. The new armour from Kings Fall follows the template laid out by the Crotas Raid armour, but more subtle and less flashy. Where the Crotas armour was covered in glowing spikes, the Kings Fall armour has a cool, cracked effect, with blue light spilling out from under the plates. Again, as damage is taken, the light goes out, then comes back as the armour mends itself. The new Hunter helmet looks amazing, with a glowing blue, blank face that really does look cool, especially as it mends and begins to glow again. They didn’t demonstrate the adept versions of the Kings Fall weapons, the only thing that they showed was a new ornament on Touch of Malice, with a skin like texture, looking like someone had stapled one of Oryx’s wings to the weapon.
The new Wrath of the Machine armour was shown as being more SIVA-fied (again, totally a word), with parts of the armour breaking down and SIVA being emitted. In a darkened room, as they were in, it looked awesome, with the Titan in particular appearing to have flaming legs and a helmet that is poring SIVA into the air. Energy patterns crawl all over the Warlock helmet in SIVA red, making them look fantastic. The weapons shown included Genesis Chain in its adept version, looking very cool in its new colours. Sadly, they couldn’t remember which element had been assigned to which weapon, so it will leave us something to discover on March 28th.
The last armour set to be shown was the new Age of Triumph armour sets. These hark back to the Year one armour sets, with new Chroma patterns that make them look amazing. The armour in the stream had white Chroma applied to it, and the Warlock bond in particular looked fantastic, changing pattern every few seconds. The Titan mark and the Hunter cloak also has the cool chroma pattern on, and it was discussed that these class items are only going to be available from the Quest that the Speaker will give out on the 28th. They also showed new ornaments for Dragons Breath, which made the rocket launcher look like a tiger, and Lord Of Wolves, making it into a fantastic black and white design. However, ornament of the night has to go to Suros Regime, which had an amazing black and gold pattern on. It was simple, it was sleek, and it looked absolutely gorgeous. Suros Regime also gets a new ornament, which is basically an inverse of the original red and white scheme. This however, isn’t anywhere near as nice as the black and gold ornament.
After all this, the last thing to do was to show the changes that will come in with version 2.6.0, which is when the Age of Triumph launches. The changes are manifold, and the Bungie blog is going to be the main way to find out what the changes are. The headlines they mentioned were, in no particular order:
– No Land Beyond has a stability reduction under fire.
– Truth still only has one rocket in a magazine, but you can carry an extra rocket and it’s the fastest reloading launcher in the game now.
– Memory of Skorri now only charges others supers after a kill when your super is full, and only for one minute.done to stop Trials teams camping out until their supers were full.
– Secondary ammo pickups now behave like Heavy ammo pickups, reloading the weapon so it is instantly ready.No more reloading after pickup.
– Sidearms now only have one magazine of ammo on respawn, stopping the stockpiling of ammo.
In conclusion then, after this, the wait for the 28th is going to be a long one. The new armour and weapons, along with the new Raid mechanics could well be the shot in the arm that this game is needing. So Guardians, will we see you out there among the stars on the 28th, or will you prefer to wait for Destiny 2? Let us know in the comments below.