Often it is easy to liken a game’s character classes to some icon of fiction or fact. Destiny‘s Titan is a little difficult to compare to any contemporary figures. The class has the brute force you might attribute to Hulk, but doesn’t have quite the indestructible implacability. Titans can float around the map raining down fistfuls of pain, but don’t have the laser eyes of external-underwear pioneer Superman. The Titan can even scamper around the crucible and slay foe after foe with incredible explosions of debilitating energy, yet also has a soul and can’t be likened to Piers Morgan.
The closest comparison that can really be made to the Titan frankly is to that of an iceberg: a huge, strong and sturdy entity that moves with near-sentient purpose but can melt down if the heat gets too much.
You get three choices of class in Destiny: the Warlock, Hunter and Titan. Each one has its own little quirks but also shares much of its genetic makeup with the rest of the family. Each one can use the same weapons so the only factor that plays much part in choosing any class is the collection of abilities — and of course how pretty the armor is because deep down we all just want to show off.
So, the Titan. What exactly is it? Across both subclasses, this class finds comfort in the line of fire and right in the face of Destiny‘s assorted enemies. Of course by selecting longer range weapons like the Scout Rifle you can still have a long range power house of projectile punishment. But you’d be doing the class a disservice and leaving all of its greatest benefits on the sidelines as nothing more than emergency measures. These benefits are all resting comfortably in the subclass menu, just waiting to be unlocked in Striker and Defender flavors. Time to go take a look at them I think.
From the get go, all Titans start as the Striker. In the pantheon of MMO tropes, the Striker Subclass fits neatly in the DPS (Damage Per Second) category like a square peg in a square hole. Playing as a Striker revolves completely around getting deep into the opposing lines and ripping them apart with reckless abandon. Luckily all of the Striker’s abilities are focused on this idea. Your role is not to sit back on the horizon popping off enemies with surgical precision; save that for the Hunters.
Those little explosive balls on your belt are not tasty apples for lunch later. They are grenades which come in three forms for the Striker. Your first opportunity to let loose a volatile volley is a the Flash Bang Grenade. Throwing this ordenance into a gaggle of Fallen, or any enemy for that matter, results in those in close proximity being disorientated and therefore much easier to take down or avoid. The other options, a Pulse Grenade which creates a pulsing AoE (Area of Effect) damage area and Lightning Grenade throws out lightning from wherever it lands, are most useful in the Crucible but, in PvE, pale in comparison to the Flash-bang.
As a Striker Titan your melee abilities are augmented through a wide range of additions, all existing with the sole purpose of making you an all out in-you-face killing machine of bullets and death. Of course, being melee abilities, this means punching the eyes out of anything in reach. All this revolves around the Storm Fist ability, which deals bonus damage on impact and can be spiced up with a number of niceties. Overload offers the chance of Storm First becoming available again straight away, while Discharge adds an Area of Effect element for use in crowds and Illuminated boosts the recharge speed of Fist of Havoc — we’ll get to that soon.
A Striker’s melee attack can be further powered up with the application of a later upgrade called Shoulder Charge. It doesn’t seem like it does much at first, but the upgrade actually offers yet another powerful melee swing with the only requirement being a running start. When used in conjunction with a swift Fist of Havoc and Storm Fist (lots of fisting going on here, read into that what you will), the Striker subclass becomes Destiny‘s embodiment of a shock trooper.
Now, the main event. This one’s a shiner. Ever wanted to punch the ground so hard everything around you dies in a sparkling explosion of death and lights? Then this bad boy is for you. The basic slam disintegrates anything nearby and in itself proves to be a joy to watch. Though when modified, it becomes a true terror of the battlefield. Tie it with the Aftermath upgrade and your landing point is left with a pulsating aura, much like that of the Pulse Grenade. And, much like the Pulse Grenade, it has very little use. Death from Above allows the Fist of Havoc to be targeted with more precision, but you may want the next upgrade instead.
Transformers fans around the world rejoice, for Shockwave has arrived. This final upgrade to Fist of Havoc lets loose a terrifyingly powerful explosion capable of ripping the beard from Santa’s face at 50 paces. Its explosive majesty is matched only by its force. It takes a while to unlock the Shockwave but after being slotted it will break the chains around your heart and the hip bones of whatever dares to stand against you. In short, just think of a blast that leaves only a pair of smoking boots behind and you’re there.
Enough of the explosions though. What if you want to be a balls-out badass who takes all the punishment while dishing out your fair share of rebound anger. Well, apart from the Juggernaut upgrade in the Striker tree which grants a shield around you while running, you’ll be looking at the Defender Subclass
Are you the kind of person that likes to get in the way? That member of any group who leaps in front of others to take the first punch before smiling back at your opponent and slamming them into the ground? The one who is at their happiest when taking or avoiding damage rather than dishing it out? Then you’ll be wanting the Titan’s Defender Subclass.
Playing as a Defender doesn’t become available until you’re level 15 so before hitting this level it’s a good idea to stock up on a handful of quest completions and bounty returns. Any experience gained while the Defender class is equipped will count towards leveling it up. However if you like to make things harder for yourself then you’re in luck: Taking on the Defender subclass without any upgrades means no double jump, no Supercharge ability, no grenades and no melee attack boost.
Let’s go to the first question, what sort of (gren)aid does a Titan Defender bring to Destiny? The first is the Magnetic grenade which attaches itself to your helpless quarry before exploding in a pair of deliciously destructive explosions. This will most likely be your weapon of choice because rushing around being all Defender-y doesn’t lend itself to accurate grenade placement. If you want to try something different then you can try the Suppression Grenade. It stops those affected by the explosion from using abilities for a short time but, much like the Lightning Grenade from the Striker school, it doesn’t have much use outside of the Crucible.
The Spike Grenade however is a whole different kettle of Hive. This directional devastator emits a geyser of Void Light from its peak. Landing it on the floor doesn’t bring much to the party unless under a large boss. Attach it Gorilla Glue-style to a wall though and it really starts to become worthwhile. Rather than simple exploding outwards, it will bedazzle enemies with a horizontal beacon of light-based death. Very useful in corridors. Even more useful on low ceilings over staircases. Rather less useful when used to stir pancake mix. You get the idea.
Getting up close and personal with your assorted enemies as a Defender can prove to be a boon to your Boondock Saints tribute act. Slam into an opponent and, should they die, you’ll be surrounded with a Force Barrier. The barrier provides a warm and cosy shield which can be powered up in three different ways. Applying War Machine as a boost massively increases weapon reload times and Unbreakable means the barrier will constantly regenerate itself while cuddling you close like Kevlar.
For those who are more group-play minded, taking the Gift of Life augment means any further skill uses have a chance to generate extra Orbs of Light. Giving your buddies a fresh set of shiny orbs is a surefire way to make them like you as this fills up part of their Supercharge bar for them to dish out their own main abilities.
Supercharge in Defender Titan roughly translates as “Big Shield of Love”. Actually called the Ward of Dawn, this skill creates a spherical wall of light which is utterly indestructible and halts any incoming (and outgoing) damage. Like an umbrella at an open concert, this can attract Guardians from miles around to hide within its purple bosom to avoid incoming damage from opponents. Placing it outside of the line of fire but close to the group or in an area of great risk can be the difference between the life and death of a group. It always works incredibly well against Phogoth in the Summoning Pits mission.
The Ward of Dawn can be upgraded to confer additional bonuses on those who wish to seek cover. Armor of Light grants everyone within a much higher damage resistance than normal. This one in particular is great for taking on swarms of Hive Thralls, but not everything in Destiny likes to run into your face. Blessing and Weapons of Light give Guardians a Force Barrier-esque shield or a weapon damage bonus respectively. It can turn your Ward of Dawn into something similar to a drive-thru a 3am after a heavy night of drinking but it is still very useful. A little boost does go a long way after all.
Additional bonuses can be lavishly lathered over the Ward with passive bonuses that make it drop Orbs of Light when absorbing damage or increasing its staying power. These add a little extra spice to the proceedings while not being especially useful in themselves.
Don’t forget though, when using the Ward of Dawn damage can not come into the shield or go out of it. If this concept baffles you, just think of the TV series Under the Dome and you’re about there. Just without less drama, kidnapping or cow-slicing.
Last and by some means least there’s the wonderful world of traversal – aka moving around. There’s only really one thing here for the Titan so this will be brief. Jumping. Before you break into a rendition that House of Pain would probably not be proud of, Titan’s aren’t really all that good at jumping around. They are instead much more suited to hovering in a menacing yet vulnerable fashion with Lift.
Tapping on X/A twice will initiate the Lift ability and welcome you into a world of lazy loping through the air. The basic ability is literally nothing more than an ascending glide which leaves you open to damage and prone to inexplicable bouts of narcolepsy. Imagine it as a hot air balloon really. The jets power up, there’s a whole lot of noise, but you only raise by a few feet and find yourself making very close friends of whatever wall may be in your way. To avoid this airborne meander you can press the jump button once again at any time to end your Lift. Sounds simple but this can prove very important in the Crucible where, when floating, you’re nothing more than a target to be riddled with bullets.
Now take a wild guess what the upgrade Increased Height does to Lift. Does it raise your chair by 7 inches? Nope. Maybe it provides you with a kitten heel? Nope. It just gives you increased height on the second jump. A basic upgrade but its use is obvious. Getting up to that ledge without having to jump onto another surface first means saving valuable seconds to unleash round after round into whatever bullet-sponge is wandering around the field. Increased Height also finds a use when exploring areas to find those sweet Golden Chests and vantage points.
Following the trend of Increase Height and its subtle naming we have Increased Control. This rather less simple but just as useful upgrade means you can jump upwards then glide in a more precise direction than before. This is best used in conjunction with the Titan Striker Subclass and the Fist of Havoc. Combining these lets you float up, pick your targets and slam down with the precision of a falling boulder with adjustable flaps. It is still clumsy, but slightly less than before.
The third and final upgrade to Lift is still totally lacking in subtlety but provides a little fun all the same. After your initial jump, Catapult spins up the jump-jets to launch you screaming into the air with all the grace of a thrown banana. When playing against Destiny‘s assorted AI enemies Catapult doesn’t serve much of a useful purpose but when applied to the Crucible, it becomes a rocket-powered Get Out of Jail Free card to escape any sticky situations.
There you are then. Pretty much everything you’ll need to know about Destiny‘s Titan class and its two Subclasses. Or is it? If you’ve got any tips or tricks for budding Titan’s out there why not leave them in the comments box down below?