Exotic Concepts #7: Sol Vector

Gave the option of a Voidwalker or Sunsinger exotic to a particularly active reader. Thanks for being a fan, @Volk37!

To some, it may seem like the Sunsinger focus got the short end of the supers stick. Radiance doesn’t let you do anything new if you don’t include the Fireborn upgrade. Sure, you can take a little less damage or improve cooldowns for nearby allies, but it’s not as interesting as other supers. You don’t get to feel like blazing winged badass you look like.

Sol Vector is a set of warlock gauntlets that is supposed to give a Sunsinger the sense of complete power and domination one should be if one was a star by getting creative with your grenade and melee.

Apollo Arbalast – Launches a super firebolt grenade that continually procs while Radiance is active. Higher discipline equals faster bolt procs.

What’s cool about this is that it’s almost like deploying a limited-duration turret. If the defender titan is the ultimate in zone defense, a discipline-build Sunsinger is the ultimate in zone offense. While a minimal discipline build will fire off only two or three pairs of firebolts, a maxed discipline build should proc seven or more times.

Lambda Scorch – Scorch hits at any distance.

It’s important to remember that scorch is cooling down very fast during Radiance, perhaps instantly with a strength build. That amounts to a very powerful ranged weapon. It should travel about as fast as a fusion rifle bolt to force the user to track a moving target at long ranges. Accuracy should be as accurate as your average sniper shot because anything less than that would detract from the godly destruction you should be able to apply.

It’s important to note that using Lambda Scorch will drain your super metre, so if you’ve got Apollo Arbalast out, it’ll last less time than you expect.

The Infusion upgrade (Replenishes health each time you pick up an Orb of Light) rounds out the upgrades a lot nicer than anything weapon-based and fits the theme nicely.

In the interests of balance between the two major upgrades, I think a three-way equal split between intellect, discipline and strength would be best. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like that before but given the nature of this exotic I feel it fits.

For appearance, I’d like this to look like gauntlets that would match the Heart of Praxic Fire. Same colouration and pattern.

If it seems over-the-top even for an exotic, take into consideration how dominating a Bladedancer is with the Mask of The Third Man. That’s usually the gauge for whether or not the exotic is truly OP.

So what do you think? Would you use this? Do you think I’ve finally lost my mind?

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Exotic Concepts #6: FASTBALL

I think titans have gotten the best exotics when you consider how well they all integrate into effective build choices. Going over all the existing options looking for significant holes in the profile, I came up empty. I had to think a little more outside the box than usual, but it also had to be simple and executable.

False Axis Sensory
Tactical
BALlistic
Limb

The “Fastball Special” takes its cue from a nerd meta-joke. Large hero throws small hero at baddies. Mayhem is assured. Ah, the mayhem. While you can’t throw other guardians at Valus or Phogoth (as much as you’d want to sometimes…), you do throw other things. Grenades. Grenades travel on a parabolic arc and don’t travel very fast. But you’re a mighty titan, are you not? Are you arms not… mighty? If a professional baseball pitcher can throw a small ball at 100km/h, why can’t you send a sticky grenade slamming into some poor fool’s face at several times that speed?

Fastball Special: Magnetic Grenades will be thrown extremely fast and in an almost straight line.

Fastball Encore: You get a second Magnetic Grenade.

At this point some of the more hardcore titan players will be hissing and booing at me, saying that discipline is a fool’s stat for titans. Indeed, the strength stat seems to be the only thing worth a damn if you go by the example of every other titan exotic, but since Destiny makes it silly to min-max to such a degree due to its failure (yes, failure) to allow upgrade stacking, why not have a discipline build? This exotic would have to have a crazy-high discipline-only roll to make it worth while, but we’ve seen that sort of thing before in other exotics.

Consider how many heads you can detonate if you’ve got a sunsinger warlock in your fireteam helping you proc these little messengers of loud pain even faster. I did promise mayhem, after all.

I’d also like to include a heavy weapon loader upgrade to round out its effectiveness.

So here’s my question for the readers: What does it look like? Let’s have some fun with this! Even if it’s a half-idea or a picture from something else that you think kinda sorta maybe is in the same ballpark, just drop anything in the comments section. Also, would you like to use it?

Exotic Concepts #5: Shinsō

Exotic weapons are all well and good, but armour is what other players will gawk at when you’re busting a move at the Tower, or holding the banner at the beginning of a Crucible match. They arguably affect more of your play style than any single weapon will.  So let’s see what we can dream up for exotic armour!

When it comes to the Hunter class in the Crucible, I’m all about Bladedancers. It’s more than just that crazy super, though. Building your entire hunter around your melee can be very rewarding if you’re into a super-aggressive style. However, the range at which a Hunter’s Blink Strike can find its target as compared to his super’s is quite shorter, not to mention it’s not really a noticeable improvement over any other class/subclass. The perk for Blink Strike does say it has an extended range, but it’s almost nothing, which is disappointing.

Shinsō would be arm armour that would have 60cm black blades coming out of each gauntlet. Any melee attacks (including the super) will have different animations to utilize these blades as opposed to the standard ones. I’d like them to incorporate smooth lines with sharp terminuses as well as the yin-yang symbol.

It’s perk would be called Ikorose and vastly increase the range of melee attacks. The internets tell me that the range of a Blink Strike is 5.8m, so a Shinsō-boosted range should be around 9-10m to keep it really interesting. If you’ve got a 100% strength build and are using the Fast Twitch perk, you’ll be simply wrecking in the Crucible. I’d also recommended Hungering Blade since you’ll be using your melee a lot. Having a high strength role and maybe a bit of intellect would be pretty important to the build you would want with this exotic.

I’m pretty sure I’d want the other perk to be Shotgun Loader to boost the reload speed of shotguns. As I’m more or less aiming this exotic for Crucible use, special ammo isn’t that hard to come by, so I feel giving something useful to a weapon that people already use in conjunction with Blink Strike would be the best choice. I’m aware some people find this combo annoying but it is effective, if not a bit suicidal.

This is my first crack at exotic armour and I’m a little wary about balance, so feel free to tell me if I’m off my rocker and how you’d fix Shinsō. I’m hoping to come up with something for Warlocks and Titans so if you’ve got ideas for them, let me know in the comments section!

Exotic Concepts #4: Double Dragon

Here’s another exotic weapon picture that comes from the bowels of the interwebz:

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Ah, yes. Dual-wielding. I still remember the crowd’s reaction when Bungie showed the Master Chief holding two SMGs in Halo 2. It was a palpable excitement over really nothing at all when you break it down. People love it. Dual lightsabers in Star Wars, dual pistols in Hard Boiled… it’s just cool. Why not have a dual-wield exotic?

Firstly, I love the idea that the dual-wielding option is not something you get right out of the box. Then I started thinking about all the steps people had to go through to get Necrochasm, and regardless of how panned the final weapon has been, people were eager to work hard towards that goal. Not wanting to delve into how RNG fails at Bungie’s intent that armour and weapons would show off achievements, how could we make the procurement of the Double Dragon unique?

Double Dragon would always be found as either one of two legendary hand cannons: Ball Lightning (arc) or Flare Thrower (solar). You’d get them as randomly as you would any other legendary and would have normal but solid legendary stats. Ball lightning’s static perk would be Hip Fire while Flare Thrower’s would be Firefly. Again, they’d be very good legendaries (the kind that make top 5 lists) but just that.

Things would get interesting once you’ve leveled one hand cannon completely up. Oh, look. Something is waiting at the postmaster for you. What’s this? An exotic bounty? Seems this awesome gun I just finished upgrading has an equally awesome counterpart out there, and this bounty will lead me on some grand quest to reunite them!

You’d go on this quest, acquire the other hand cannon at some point during it, fully upgrade that weapon and then complete the bounty in some grand fashion that involves using them both in an up-leveled Dust Palace strike to kill the light-corresponding Mind Flayer.

Suddenly, you get a new exotic. Double Dragon. You’d retain the individual weapons as legendaries because it would be silly to keep you from using them individually if you wanted to. A good legendary weapon is by no means something to just throw aside, especially after you went through all the trouble to upgrade them.

So you’ve got Double Dragon. What does it do? First and foremost, it would be the only weapon to do two kinds of damage in alternating shots. As two guns, one still shoots arc and the other still shoots solar. I think it would have a pretty fast rate of fire since it’s really two hand cannons for the price of one. In fact, the stats would obviously get a general boost to line it up with other exotics.

There’s also the reload. Why would this be of interest? Well, your guardian uses his/her free hand to reload a hand cannon, so what do we do when there’s another gun in that hand that also needs fresh ammo? Games in the past have just dropped the guns from view, but that’s pretty lazy. I think Double Dragon’s revolver mags should snap out as they do now, but the left hand gun would snap in the opposite direction, so both mags would be towards the chest. Then, instead of a physical mag being swapped out, the mag could vent out energy before being snapped back home.

Perks. The primary perk would be “Third Eye” as homage to Inspector Tequila and other great scenes where the hero spins around with pistols in each hand. I’d also like to see the “Lightweight” and “Field Scout” perks make appearances to keep with the theme. The unique perk, “Double Dragon” would combine the two static perks from the formative hand cannons (“hip fire” and “firefly”) which I think would be pretty potent but not overly so for an exotic.

Thoughts? I got a lot of people poking at the last Exotic Concept I posted over various social media and I loved all the interaction (though if it were centralized in this blog’s comments you guys could interact with each other as well)! Keep it up!

Next concept? Armour!

Exotic Concepts #3: Phobos Buster

Here’s an exotic rifle concept image I found:

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I’m actually looking forward to a Cabal-themed raid, and this has all the markings of a big raid exotic ala Vex Mythoclast. Scout rifles are pretty popular and they’re my favourite primary weapon type.

My concept for this weapon is something you’d find in the middle of a venn diagram between scout rifles, sniper rifles and fusion rifles. It would spin-up the same way as a fusion rifle, fire a single hard-hitting shot like a sniper but be classified as a scout due to primary status and usefullness at closer ranges. Firing rate would be akin to a very fast fusion rifle (a hair faster than FWC’s The Calming). This would all add up to a unique weapon that would be built to melt bullet-sponges right out of the box.

That’s about all I’m going to get from the pic. Frankly the Surplus perk is fairly useless at the best of times. “Psion Buster” is obviously the artist’s idea of a raid-specific perk, but you wouldn’t find those on exotics. Armour-piercing rounds would be great if the weapon we were dealing with fired faster. Void damage makes no sense for a Cabal weapon. We’re outside the box already, let’s stay outside.

My favourite strike mission is The Dust Palace, as it has the most exciting final encounter, a lack of big singular bullet-sponges and the main targets use all three types of polarized shields. That last point requires some unique loadout thinking for a strike. In honour of that strike, I’d like this very unique weapon to be able to put out all three damage types. That alone will make it a must-have.

Beyond optics and secondary perks which I don’t really like to specify, we’re left with the primary and unique perk. The pic calls the unique perk “Bust A Move” which sounds like a movement perk and the icon tells nothing. We’re not going in that direction.

For the primary perk, I’d like to add another circle to the aforementioned venn diagram. Rocket Launcher. “Quantum Munitions” will act much like an enhanced firefly or Ice Breaker, as well as explosive rounds. Hits with this weapon cause a 3-meter kinetic explosion around the target, while kills will trigger a 7-meter explosion dependent on the damage type in use.

With the unique perk, it’s best to look at why this weapon is called the Phobos Buster. Phobos is the Martian moon that the Cabal have wrangled much closer to the planet. The warlocks believe it’s being held there by the Psion Flayers who intend to use it as a weapon. In the strike mission where you encounter them, the three Flayers each had a different polarized shield, so why not give Guardians the same option? The perk “Quantum barrier” would apply an overshield after each kill, polarized to the damage type in use.

The usefulness in PvE situations can’t be understated, but its effectiveness in the Crucible requires a lot of skill and observation, specifically observing what weapons one’s opponents are using and tracking any common damage types. If you notice that your foes are using more arc light than anything else, switching to arc light and getting a barrier up will give you a sizable defensive advantage.

What do you think? Would you use this weapon? Does it balance out?

Always looking for more exotics ideas from readers. I’d specifically like to get some armour items suggested!