Update: As of The Taken King expansion this totally came to pass. Carry on.
I’m going to copy and paste a post I put up this morning in Bungie’s official Feedback forum (link here) regarding the addition of swords in Destiny’s weapon sandbox. Putting it here on my blog to increase awareness, because I kinda really want this to happen. Will be back to the typical blogging later. Remember; Listen and Believe! Hit the jump on the post.
“Swords For Destiny: The Argument”
I’ve had this thought since the first time I slashed my way through Sword of Crota’s finale. And while recording some gameplay (posted video), I figure I break it down on the official forums. Many of you have thought of it, I’m sure: Swords as a new weapon type outside of that story mission.
I notice not many ideas and suggestions are… not worded well here. I know many of you aren’t experienced in expressing ideas. This is not a weakness or something to be ashamed of. What this means is so long as we all believe in one goal; we can unite and let some other guy do all the writing.
I’m going to 1) Make a case for Swords as the new weapon type for Heavy Weapons class, 2) Explain how I think it would work, and 3) Try to address possible/foreseeable concerns. I’m going to add a mock poll where both options are ‘Yes’ because the general goal here is for this to get loud enough for Bungie to take notice. I also believe funneling the desire for this into one thread would help.
And Then Came A Blade
Each weapon class offers items for all ranges. The Primary class covers mid-range mostly, with the ammo being very common. You could use Auto Rifle for close range and Scout or Pulse Rifle for long range, but these weapons seem commonly used for mid-range battles. The Secondary class deals in extreme close, extreme long range (shotgun and sniper rifle respectively). This also houses the Fusion Rifle. The traits Secondaries all share is OSK ability, at the cost of major risk if you miss. Their ammo is relatively common, in that crates are littered throughout and respawn often – but you must manually replenish between your own respawn.
And that brings us to Heavy class weapons. Outside of certain supers, these are what I like to call ‘Conversation Enders’. Nobody stays in your sight for long when you have a Heavy Weapon ready to go. Our current choices are the meat grinding Machine Gun, and explosive Rocket Launcher. The Machine Gun eats health quicker than any other automatic gun, balanced out with easily the longest reload animation of all classes. The Rocket Launcher annihilates an area, though poor use could see you among the ashes. Heavy class weapons are primarily balanced by long timers on their ammo drops, not unlike Halo’s power weapons. So why should the Sword join the Conversation Enders?
The Sword would offer a melee based approach to changing the tide after your pick up some purple jello. It would fully weaponize the close quarter Guardian who likes it too close to ADS with a Machine Gun and also doesn’t wanna blow himself up with the Rocket Launcher. For two or three swings he could clear out a Captured Zone, go point for his Fireteam in a hallway, or just stand by waiting around a corner to see who his radar’s talking about. The sword would not only be powerful enough to warrant Heavy Ammo, it fits a niche that the class doesn’t fully supply the player.
And It Works Like This… Perhaps
To simply ask that Bungie lifts Sword of Cota’s unique gameplay and make it a new option is oversimplification. So while I’ll never know the specifics of such a task, I will explain how I think it would work in practice, if anything but to show I’m serious about this request. Note: This section can be completely ignored by Bungie; if they wanted to actually do this (and please Bungie do it), they’d know better than I how to implement it. So really this is my personal view of how it would work. I’m not attempting to tell Bungie how to do this.
Now to understand how this could work we have to look at the mechanics of Sword of Crota (treated as its own game and hereby known as SoC). In SoC the viewpoint changes to 3rd person, though the camera controls are otherwise the same. The big difference, and a major difference from other FPS games with melee weapons, is how attacks are treated as “Hack-n-Slash” – multi-directional attacks rather than fixed in the direction of the camera. Action game fans probably adjusted naturally with experience from games like Devil May Cry or most recently Bayonetta. I’m pretty sure games like this were inspiration for how SoC works.
Melee inputs now execute as a combo system, where you change directions on a fly. Melee also executes basic swings in the air (though without the aerial stasis of actual action games’ traditional air combo systems). Right Trigger executes a downward slam whose area of damage extends beyond the physical blade. And R-Trigger in the air is a diving attack DMC fans remember as the “Helmbreaker” attack. Finally, SoC features its own Super; a leaping slam that operates like a more linear Fist of Havoc. Jumping abilities and grenades thankfully remained. Though not as fully fledged as a Hack-n-Slash title, this combat system is something unique for a dedicated FPS.
So how does this translate and balance out for PvE and PvP? Here’s my approach:
– Removal of SoC’s dedicated Super. Outside of that story mission, Guardians will have access to their sub-classes Super as it is with other Heavy class weapons.
– Ammo dependence and expense. The new Sword weapon type will require Heavy Ammo drops, and they counted by number of swings. To maintain the slight combo system, we’ll imagine the ‘clip’ at three (as in three swing generally). Once out of ammo, you may hold your sword but you can’t swing it.
– The Right Trigger attacks (Slam and Helmbreaker) will now be upgradables on a sword by sword basis, and not default actions. This opens up the possibility of new Right Trigger attacks as unlockables (go look up DMC’s Stinger and get excited).
– Multi-directional attack system remains, of course, as well as the generous homing. It is a Heavy weapon after all. For the long wait for Heavy Ammo, one should feel powerful.
– Jumping abilities and grenade use remains as it did in SoC.
– Some Swords offer full three-hit combo strings, other max at two, and some for good reason offer a single swing. This is essentially your Sword’s ‘clip size’.
That’s my basic take on swords added to Destiny’s Heavy class weapons and general gameplay. But what does one expect as far as stats go? Here’s my ideas for the sword’s performance stats:
– Weight: Determines both how quickly you swing your sword and thus how fast your combo string is.
– Impact: Damage value on each hit, just like the guns.
– Range: Your effective range during swings. This stat correlates with Weight; swords with longer range will often be heavier.
– Balance: Essentially your ‘homing’ or ‘tracking’ value. Higher balance means you will be harder to evade during swings, little balance means you have to apply more player agency to make sure you land a hit. This stat correlates with your opponent’s agility rating. Or rather, consider the difference between Titan’s melee (light tracking) and Warlock’s melee (generous tracking).
Of course the level and elemental damage ratings apply are there as well, on a sword by sword basis like all the guns. And also like the firearms; swords would come in Legendary and Exotic flavors. Can you imagine what kind of stat ratings and special perks/Trigger Attacks could be discovered? I can. I’m writing this because I so can imagine it.
Only Lord Shaxx is Perfect
Now I’ve also considered some of the potential issues of Swords being introduced in Destiny’s ecosystem. I may not think of everything you could, so feel free to add any potential issues with such a system.
Q: Wouldn’t a 3rd Person viewpoint introduce not only a specific visual advantage to the player (reference gesture corner peaks), but potential difficulty using it in cramp spaces – where you noted as a potential useful area for the Sword?
A: Perhaps we can consider a ‘loaded’ Sword well deserving of the extra wide view, and consider it a ‘warrior’s awareness’ in narrative terms. We can also make switching to a Sword slow, as for people not to abuse the view and try to switch back when they peak a corner. As for in closed spaces perhaps the same camera zoom against wall effect could be used.
Q: The Destiny population are reaching the current level cap. Is it too late to introduce a whole new weapon class?
A: Bungie says all the time that Destiny is a game meant to evolve. Major shake ups are the sort of thing that can not only happen, it’s pretty much promised. Swords would only be fashionably late.
Q: I have to wait for Heavy Ammo, possibly fight for it, and still have a chance of missing a swing and wasting my “ammo”?! It’s a SWORD!
A: Suspension of Belief, videogame logic, call it what you will. But tying it to ammo is part of its transitional balance adjustment, especially as a Heavy Weapon. And in any case, you know you have the same chance of totally wasting your Machine Gun and Rocket ammo. 😛
Q: Wouldn’t this invalidate Bladedancer’s Super?
A: Firstly, Bladedancer has a host of abilities that would certainly not be replaced by simply having a sword. Secondly, one could argue that the other Heavy Weapons guarantee kills just as much as certain Supers. And I’m thinking it’s be much slower than that Ark Ninja.
Okay I’m done talking to myself.
Bungie, and fellow Guardians, if it isn’t clear enough by now: I want this to happen. I think it can happen, and I think it should happen. If you agree, add on to this thread and support the idea for Swords. Bungie will make it happen if the fans desire it enough. Thank you for reading what may be wishful thinking. /End
And that’s that. If you want some hack and slash action in other parts of Destiny sound off and let Bungie hear us. In the meantime, here’s some sword swingin action of my Warlock living the dream.