For me, the star of the Destiny 2 beta has been the Titan. The reason why is probably best explained with a story or two.
We were at the final boss of the Inverted Spire, my fireteam and I – one Hunter, one Warlock, and me on the Sentinel Titan. It was the final stage of the fight, explodey Goblins were coming at us from all sides and the boss had a sliver of health left. I decided to pour every last bullet of ammo I had left on my Sweet Business, the exotic auto rifle/minigun, to burn the boss down. I put down a half-height barricade, the one that auto-reloads your gun whenever you crouch behind it. The Warlock realised what I was doing and dropped a damage Rift right behind my barrier. The Hunter joined us a second later and together, the three of us behind my wall sent Prothean screaming to his watery, Vex milk grave.
That’s story one.
Story two involves the wall yet again, but the full height one. I found that, occasional epic moment of teamwork aside, I wasn’t getting as much value as I expected to out of the half-height barricade. But my teammates and I were dying a lot and the relative lack of cover in the Inverted Spire strike’s boss fight made revives a fairly risky affair. I switched to the full height barricade. The moment someone went down, I would run to them, drop a wall in front of their ghost and casually revive them, no big deal. An added, unanticipated application of the full-height wall was when we reached the final stage of the boss fight. Every now and then, the boss would run in a different direction from which adds were spawning. All I had to do was drop a wall to protect our flank and we could stand in place and take out adds in complete safety. Add a warlock healing rift on top of that and we were nigh unkillable.
It. Was. Glorious.
As much fun as the Sentinel’s new super and the Striker’s revamped super are, it really was the class ability, that incredible barricade, that sold me on the Titan. It isn’t a Ward of Dawn replacement, mind you. The removal of Weapons and Blessings of Light from the Titan made me wonder how much utility my main would have in Destiny 2. The versatility of the barricade – on a much shorter cooldown than the super – went a long way towards assuaging those those fears.
The second part of the Sentinel Titan’s versatility comes from the super. Press and quickly release the super button(s) – depending on your control scheme – to use a shield, or press and hold to deploy a Ward of Dawn. The ability to deploy a Ward of Dawn is now a perk and, since it doesn’t provide the teamwide buffs that it used to, I don’t see it being as tremendously useful as it once was.
The shield functions in a manner very similar to the relic from the Vault of Glass, except for the fact that you can toss this shield around. You can slam into targets, throw the shield once per super – or twice, depending on your build – or block a fairly large area, shielding allies behind you from offensive fire. It’s basically a mobile Ward of Dawn minus the buffs.
In PvE it’s enormous fun for clearing out mobs, but the damage from smashing into things doesn’t seem to be enough to take down even yellow bar enemies. I used my super once in the Homecoming mission specifically to try to take down Brann the Unbent Blade and while I brought him to within a centimetre of his life, I couldn’t kill him outright. After that, I used my super mostly to clear out large-ish mobs of low tier enemies which doesn’t really seem optimal. If anything needs tweaking with the Sentinel, it’s the damage numbers to yellow bars.
A couple of other things of note are that the spike grenade is gone, replaced instead by the Nightstalker’s voidwall grenade. I’ve always been fond of that particular grenade for add clear in PvE and zoning in PvP, so it’s very much a welcome addition. The melee does what it used to with one significant difference – if you kill an enemy with your melee, you’ll create an overshield for yourself and nearby allies. Additionally, melee kills will also restore health for you and nearby allies.
It’s also important to note that the perks I mentioned – Ward of Dawn, ally overshield, and ally health – are based on perks from one of two available sets. The second set of perks wasn’t unlocked in the beta so I couldn’t mess around with them and, therefore, I will reserve my opinion. There’s a full gallery of images below showing all of the perk nodes so you can go through them in detail.
In summary, the Sentinel Titan is one of the things that excites me the most about Destiny 2 – and I say this, mind you, as a Titan main. I wasn’t happy about the Warlock getting Blessings and Weapons of Light, albeit with different names, but the versatility of the Barricade and the Sentinel’s super more than make up for their removal. I’m not sure how much utility I’ll get in matchmaking out of things like the overshield and healing for allies, but it’s very, very early days still.
The bottom line is that the Sentinel Titan, like the Defender Titan before him, continues to be the wall against which the Darkness breaks. And personally, I couldn’t be happier.
(Click an image to embiggen and look through the set.)