With The Witch Queen expansion for Destiny 2, Guardians will face unparalleled threats. From exploring the seat of Savathûn’s power – her mysterious and nefarious Throne World – to facing the Lucent Brood – Hive enemies capable of wielding the Light – players will be tested in ways they’ve never been challenged before.
It’s a good thing, then, that Guardians come prepared. In addition to a new Power Cap and a host of new weapons and armor to use in the fight against the enemies of humanity, Guardians will also be imbued with brand new capabilities thanks to some significant changes coming to the Void elemental power coinciding with The Witch Queen expansion. The Void update – what we call Void 3.0 – is the first overhaul of Destiny 2’s elemental powers to come in Year 5 (look for Arc and Solar changes in the future).
“Void abilities haven't really been developed since 2017 and they were a reaction to the sandbox that was in Destiny 1,” said Destiny designer Kevin Yanes. With Void 3.0 (and the other elemental changes to come), the team had a set of goals they wanted to attain to bring these classic elemental powers in line with the challenge level and balance of today’s sandbox, as well as to strengthen the overall fantasy that is at the heart of each element’s playstyle.
“We're trying to codify each of the damage types so that each element has its own world of gameplay that its dominant over,” Yanes said. “For example, Stasis is the domain of crowd control. We looked at what Void was about both thematically and mechanically. Void is about gravity. It's about space. It's about the cosmic. That means we want things to feel like you're shooting black holes that drag people in. There’s a lot of personality we can draw from that creates cool mechanics.”
The first big Void 3.0 change is the introduction of Aspects and Fragments. First introduced with Stasis in Beyond Light, Aspects and Fragments give players more options to choose from when it comes to the abilities they want to use in battle. As with Stasis, Aspects are class-specific selectable items that give players additional actions they can perform within their elemental subclass. Fragments are non-class-specific complementary perks that players can select to enhance how they play the game. How players choose to combine their Aspects and Fragments is a key component of buildcrafting their Guardian.
When developing the new Aspects for Void 3.0, the team worked hard to center them around new actions – “verbs,” as the team refers to them – that define what Void should mean going forward for players. “It wasn't just like a passive or a perk, it should feel like a new thing that you were adding to your toolkit,” Yanes said. “All of the actions feel like they have new performances to them; they are reinforcing that core fantasy.”
These verbs manifest themselves in the forms of new actions for players to use in the heat of battle. New actions such as the Trapper’s Ambush will find the Hunter diving and slamming into the ground, weakening enemies, and causing nearby allies to become temporarily invisible. Titans will be able to grant barriers to allies, and Warlocks will be able to summon entities from beyond the Void to help turn the tide of battle. (More on all these new actions below).
“None of that was available before The Witch Queen,” said Yanes. “The old [Void subclass] diamond system was rooted around a melee augment, a Super augment, and then two passives. What we’ve done is essentially added two new sections. Yes, you still get your melee; yes, you get your Super, but now you get two new things that either plus-up your existing kit or give you something you didn’t have before.”
“We've taken elements and abilities from the diamonds and promoted them to full-size Aspects,” said Destiny designer Samuel Dunn. “The Warlock’s Chaos Accelerant ability is a good example, where the Warlock can charge their Void grenades into more powerful versions and throw them. While that's something that's existed before, we believe that the performance and the identity of that ability is strong and feels like a unique ability, enough to stand on its own as an Aspect. With the 3.0 upgrades we're trying to take the cool parts of what already exists, and then add in new stuff where we feel like there are holes to be filled.”
Before we take a deeper look at each class’ implementation of Void 3.0, let’s align on some terminology. Some Void attacks apply one (or more) of six buffs/debuffs that confer a tactical advantage to the Guardian:
Suppress: The target is taken out of any active ability when suppressed. While suppressed, the target cannot activate any abilities or movement modes. Combatants are disoriented.
Weaken: The target takes increased damage, has slowed movement, and is disoriented.
Volatile: The target will explode in a Void detonation upon taking additional damage. If the target dies before volatile has taken enough damage to detonate, the detonation happens anyway.
Invisibility: The player vanishes from sight and does not appear on radar.
Overshield: The player gains a protective barrier that immediately stacks on top of their existing health and shields and intercepts incoming damage. Overshield reduces the damage taken from PvE combatants.
Devour: The player is immediately restored to full health upon activating devour from any source and is granted grenade energy. When the player gets any kill with devour active, they are restored to full health, granted grenade energy, and their devour buff timer is extended.
Now let’s take a class-by-class look at how Guardians will benefit from the Void 3.0 changes in Destiny 2.
A Void-enabled Titan is the stalwart shield of a fireteam, whether serving up Ward of Dawn protective bubbles to withstand furious enemy assaults, or charging the battlefield, shield in hand, mowing down opponents, one shield toss at a time. Previously, the two Supers – Ward of Dawn and Sentinel Shield – were tied to one another from a control standpoint, so that Titans had to use a similar input (and sit through a chunk of the Sentinel Shield activation animation) before the Ward bubble was created.
The Titan's Ward of Dawn.
With Void 3.0, the two functions are separated, which means that the Ward of Dawn is now nearly instantly activated. In addition, the Ward of Dawn has been moved to the fastest Super cooldown tier, making it much more available to the Titan in need. “This change means it’s a much better reactionary defensive tool,” said Destiny designer Mike Humbolt. “So as an example, if a Hunter were to jump at you and cast Blade Barrage, the Titan can now pretty reliably activate Ward of Dawn before any of the enemy Supers land and survive as a result.”
Just as before, Sentinel Shield will allow Titans to traverse the battlefield bashing foes with their Void shield or tossing their shield as melee attacks. Thrown shields will damage opponents and apply volatile (if Controlled Demolition is equipped), while Shield Bash kills will grant a full overshield.
The Titan's Offensive Bulwark.
There are three Titan Aspects to choose from with Void 3.0:
Controlled Demolition: Hitting a target with a Void ability or volatile detonation will make them volatile.
Bastion: Casting Barricade generates overshield for yourself and nearby allies. Those bunkering behind the shield will regenerate overshield over time and extend the overshield’s duration.
Offensive Bulwark: While you have overshield or are inside the Ward of Dawn, grenades charge significantly faster and you have increased melee damage. You also gain an additional shield throw for your Sentinel Shield Super.
The Hunter prioritizes movement and stealth in the heat of battle. Whether it’s enjoying a few moments of tactical recalibration in a tense encounter by briefly vanishing after dodging an attack or setting snares and traps to disorient and slow their opponents, a fight with a Hunter is always a study in agility, surprise, and deadly precision.
The Hunter's Vanishing Step.
In addition to the Spectral Blades Super, the Shadowshot variants that Hunters are accustomed to –Deadfall and Moebius Quiver – will still be found in the Void 3.0 updates, though there are some changes to be aware of. For example, Moebius Quiver will fire volleys of three arrows that will now track targets and make them volatile if they are tethered. In addition, with Deadfall, the Void anchors that are dropped after Shadowshots will now pull enemies towards it when it impacts a surface or a target. The Hunter’s Snare Bomb melee ability will now weaken opponents. In PvP, players caught in a Snare Bomb will have their HUD removed and an obscuring screen effect applied for a short period of time.
The Hunter's Moebius Quiver, Trapper's Ambush, and Stylish Executioner.
Hunters will have three Aspects to select from with Void 3.0:
Trapper’s Ambush: Player can activate Quickfall to spend their melee charge and dive to the ground, creating a smoke cloud upon impact. Enemies caught in the cloud are weakened and allies become invisible. In addition, Snare Bombs, upon attaching to surfaces or enemies, cause nearby allies to become invisible.
Vanishing Step: Dodging makes the Hunter invisible.
Stylish Executioner: Defeating a Void-debuffed target (weakened, suppressed, or volatile) grants invisibility and Truesight. While invisible and after a Stylish Execution, your next melee attack weakens enemies.
The infinite mysteries of the universe are the playgrounds of Warlocks. When they aren’t nose-deep in an ancient text, Warlocks are floating across the battlefield, healing allies and creating havoc among their foes. Void 3.0 fine-tunes these powers and the Warlock’s new Aspects will, among other new abilities, summon a brand-new type of support from the yawning void of spacetime.
The Nova Warp Super lets Warlocks quickly teleport from one spot to the next and players can choose to let loose with a deadly Void eruption. With the Vortex Super enhancement, a player’s Nova Bomb will now draw enemies into the singularity it creates, damaging them once inside. Casting a Nova Bomb with the Cataclysm enhancement will cause it to travel across the battlefield and seek out enemies. Detonations will shatter into smaller seeker projectiles and shooting the Nova Bomb will cause it to detonate early.
The Warlock’s melee, Pocket Singularity, fires an unstable ball of Void energy that detonates when it nears enemies, pushing them away from the blast and making them volatile. According to Destiny designer Mike Humbolt, he expects this melee will find particular use in the Crucible. “We do a lot of PvP testing and knocking someone who is trying to Shotgun-rush you off the map [with a Pocket Singularity] is always a good time.”
The Warlock's Child of the Old Gods.
As with Titans and Hunters, Warlock’s will have three Aspects to wield in Void 3.0:
Chaos Accelerant: Hold down the grenade button to overcharge your Vortex, Axion Bolt, Scatter, and Magnetic grenades. Magnetic grenades overcharge into Handheld Supernova.
Feed the Void: Defeat an enemy with a Void ability to activate devour.
Child of the Old Gods: Cast your Rift to summon a Void Soul. When you damage an enemy with your weapon, your Void Soul will launch itself towards them and detonate nearby, attaching draining tendrils which deal damage and weaken the target. When your Void Soul deals damage, it restores either melee and grenade energy (if running Healing Rift), or health (if running Empowering Rift) back to you. Defeating an enemy who is being drained grants Rift energy.
Designer Samuel Dunn calls the Child of the Old Gods Aspect a passion project for him, something the team worked on for quite a while to get right. “I'm a Warlock main at heart and I really love summoning little friends like Arc Soul and Bleak Watcher to do my bidding. So, I wanted to make sure that Void Soul felt like a black hole, but with a little personality to it too."
The Warlock's Chaos Accelerant.
To complement the class-specific Aspects, Void 3.0 will also introduce a number of new Fragments, which offer new perks to build upon as well as add bonuses (or penalties) to your Guardian’s intrinsic stats. Here’s a look at a few of the new Fragments to come:
Echo of Expulsion: Void ability kills cause enemies to explode; Intellect bonus.
Echo of Provision: Damaging enemies with grenades grants melee energy; Strength penalty.
Echo of Domineering: After suppressing a target, gain greatly increased Mobility for a short duration and your equipped weapon is reloaded from reserves; Discipline bonus.
Echo of Undermining: Void grenades weaken enemies; Discipline penalty.
Another significant change for Void 3.0 is that all sub-classes will have access to all Void grenade types in the game. For example, as a Hunter, you’ll be able to run with Suppressor or Magnetic grenades instead of choosing between just Void Spike, Void Wall, or Vortex. In addition, some grenades will see upgrades. For example, the lingering field created by Vortex grenades will now suck enemies into it.
Players who have played Destiny before The Witch Queen expansion will have access to all Void 3.0 Aspects and most Fragments with the launch of The Witch Queen on February 22. (Several Fragments will be available after the World First raid completion). New Destiny 2 players will earn their Aspects and Fragments as part of the New Light game experience.
Across all these ability tweaks, new powers, and buildcrafting options, one theme is clear: The team behind Void 3.0 is focused on giving Guardians the chance to fulfil the fantasy of their chosen class by giving them ample opportunity to do what their class does best. As Dunn puts it, “We’ve built out multiple ways for the player to access and key off their core verbs.”
For example, Dunn said, the Titan has several ways to earn and extend overshield in a fight:
Use the Bastion Aspect to create a barricade to grant overshield to you and your allies.
The Shield Throw melee can grant overshield, as does the Void shoulder charge.
With overshield, the Titan also gets get increased grenade recharge and melee damage. As a result of these new buildcraft options, players can double- and even triple-dip into these verbs, like overshield for Titans or invisibility for Hunters. As Dunn sums it up, “It means you can do the things that your class is supposed to do, all the time.”
Void 3.0 arrives to coincide with the launch of The Witch Queen on February 22, 2022.