The close quarters combat elite. Equipped with the toughest armor and the meanest close-range guns, the Titans live and breath in the heart of battle. They don’t care about sniper rifles or high vantage points. They want to be in the face of their enemy unleashing a world of hurt. It’s what they excel at, what they were born to do. Everyone better get out of their way.
The grenades of Bungie’s combat design are essential and typically fit three roles; initiating combat, acting as a finisher, or controlling the map space. A veteran player will be able to use each grenade for all three situations. But that does not prevent the grenades offered to the Striker Titan from falling into their own niche.
Flashbang Grenade – An explosive grenade that disorients the enemies it damages.
Pulse Grenade – A grenade that periodically damages enemies inside its explosion radius.
Lightning Grenade – A grenade that sticks to any surface periodically emitting bolts of lightning.
Titans are going to excel in controlling combat space in both PvE and PvP. With either the Pulse Grenade or Lightning Grenade, the Titan is going to be able to have consistent area wide damage that will be potent in very tight quarters. Thinking back to the Alpha and the boss fight with Sepiks Prime, enemies would consistently spawn in front and behind players.
Titans equipped with either the Pulse Grenade or Lightning Grenade were able to lock down the entire back hall, taking the pressure off the rest of their team. As an initiator of combat the Flashbang Grenade is the go-to choice; tossing it into a wave of enemies will give the Titan the edge as they charge into battle.
Movement for the Titans comes in the form of a jetpack-like ability called Lift. While not as satisfying as the Hunter’s Double Jump, Lift will still get players where they need to go and give Titans the height they need whatever the encounter be it PvE or PvP.
Lift – Jump and then press X again while in the air to activate Lift.
Increased Height – Upgrades Lift to travel to greater heights.
Increased Control – Upgrades Lift for better directional control while in the air.
Catapult – Upgrades Lift to provide a strong initial burst of momentum.
Lift is the default ability that gives the Titan a jetpack-like ability similar to what has been seen in Halo Reach and Halo 4. In practice it feels very similar too. Of the choices that follow Lift, all look to be good in almost any situation. Increased Height provides a very nice boost which makes the Lift ability feel much more practical.
Increased Control will give players more control while in the air, possibly making it easier to make those tough jumps to hidden areas. Catapult looks to be right at home in the PvP scene especially by giving Titans that initial burst of height that can be used to escape or even initiate fights. It certainly will work in PvE situations as well and be a godsend when fighting bosses.
FIST OF HAVOC
The Striker subclass signature ability — the Fist of Havoc. When activated the Titan leaps forward, smashing both hands down onto the ground dealing out massive amounts of area-wide Arc damage. The damage is potent enough to one shot cannon-fodder enemies in PvE or other opponents in PvP. The exception to this rule will understandably be stronger enemies and bosses. The damage dealt is still considerable.
Fist of Havoc – Smash the ground and dissolve nearby enemies in a maelstrom of Arc Light.
Aftermath – Fist of Havoc leaves a damage-dealing field in its wake.
Death From Above – After jumping, Fist of Havoc can be aim at enemies below.
Shockwave – Fist of Havoc unleashes a wave of devastation energy which travels along the ground.
The Fist of Havoc is going to be a very versatile ability when used correctly. All the choices given here are valid and look to be fun to use in both PvE and PvP. Aftermath will work great against swarms of enemies that accompany bosses. After dealing the initial damage the Titan can continue to fight the boss with damage from Aftermath continuing to tick away. Aftermath work great in PvP as well with the Control game-type coming to mind as being perfect for Aftermath.
Death From Above, while very applicable to the PvE scene is going to shine in PvP for one simple reason: surprise. Couple Death From Above + Catapult and the Titan has transformed into a literal airborne battering ram that can attack from any angle or height. Shockwave will also work well in similar situations as Aftermath. Aim the Fist of Havoc correctly and the wave of devastating energy will sweep across the map, taking out additional enemies or maybe catching that unsuspecting PvP rival as they run around the corner to join the fight.
What would the Titan be without the melee attack? And being a close-quarters specialist, one would expect the melee of the Titan to not only be deadly but also a blast to use. While this is mostly true, a big element of randomness is also built into Storm Fist.
Storm Fist – A punishing melee attack that deals bonus damage.
Overload – Hits with Storm Fist have a chance to immediately reset its cool down.
Discharge – Hits with Storm Fist have a chance to deal area of effect damage around the target.
Illuminated – Kills with Storm Fist significantly reduce the cool down of Fist of Havoc.
In PvE chance is not as big as deal as PvP. While there will be some situations where a Titan will want its melee attack to behave exactly as intended, there is definitely some leeway in PvE. The same cannot be said for PvP. In PvP, abilities have to behave the same way consistently or else no one can make an educated guess about how to approach a situation. With that being said, Illuminated is the go to ability for PvP; not so much for the reduction in the cool down, but because the ability is consistent. That is not to say that Overload and Discharge won’t have a place in PvP.
One could argue both work fine and for the most part they will. As long as one does not expect their bonus to kick in when making decisions in PvP. Go in with that frame of mind and any of these three choices will work.
Like all Guardian classes the Titan also receives some boosts to their core stats. Which stats are chosen is all based on how the player wants to tailor their Titan to a certain play style or situation.
Titan Codex I – Training focused on battle recovery and toughness.
Titan Codex II – Training focused on speed and toughness.
Titan Codex III – Training focused on battle recovery and speed.
This again is all about choice. Titans fill the niche of being a heavy armor specialist, so augmenting armor further would be a solid choice. Couple that with a boost of speed or battle recovery in Titan Codex II or Titan Codex I and the Titan will have an easier time charging into battle and surviving longer. Titan Codex III seems to be the weakest of the three choices in that it doesn’t buff armor. Titans need armor, that is what they are built around — ignoring armor in favor of speed and battle recovery is almost like fighting an uphill battle. Granted some people will select this and do just fine; but it still feels like the weakest of the three choices.
Here comes the fun choices; where the Titan gets access to their first real combat perks. Each is unique and adds flavor to the Titan’s combat in one of three areas; their super, their grenades or their melee.
Headstrong – Sprinting increases the leap distance of Fist of Havoc.
Aftermath – Increases the duration of Pulse Grenade, Shock Grenade (they mean Lightning Grenade) and Aftermath.
Transfusion – Kills with melee attacks immediately trigger health regeneration.
The faster a Titan can get into close range the better. While a Titan can outfit itself with long range weapons, the class is meant to be played up close. Headstrong helps do just that. Fist of Havoc by itself is a great super; but there are times when it doesn’t travel as far as one would like. This requires the Titan to get in close and can lead to unfortunate deaths. Headstrong helps with this by increasing the leap distance of Fist of Havoc. Aftermath is all about map control again. By prolonging the duration of both the Pulse and Lightning Grenades as well as Aftermath, the Titan is able to lock down areas of the map easily. Transfusion is all about survivability. Charge in, finish an enemy with a melee and then run out with regenerating health. Couple this with Overload or Illuminated and the Titan could turn itself into a melee death machine.
Again like the other Guardians, the Titan receives a second column of stats boosts. Like stated before, these choices are all about pushing the Titan down a certain play style.
Titan Codex IV – Training focused on all attributes.
Titan Codex V – Training focused on maximum battle recovery.
Training Codex VI – Training focused on raw speed.
Overall nothing too exciting in the column except that there is no significant boost to armor beyond Titan Codex IV. The big choices are whether the Titan receives better battle recovery or speed. Either of Titan Codex V or Titan Codex VI when coupled with Transfusion could make the Titan and even deadlier melee centric style of play. There is no correct choice here; and mostly likely the best choice will be based on the stats boost chosen earlier.
THE BIG ONES
The cream of the crop. This last tier gives the Titan access to its most powerful abilities. They are also going to be a blast to use and truly define the Titan as a close quarters combat machine. There is a reason these are the last to be unlocked as some of them offer a wealth of options to the Titan if chosen and played correctly. There are some very potent combinations that combo beautifully with previous abilities.
Unstoppable – You are harder to kill while using Fist of Havoc.
Shoulder Charge – After sprinting for a short time, press R1 to unleash a devastating melee attack.
Juggernaut – After sprinting for a short time, gain a protective shield.
Sprinting. It’s all about the sprint. Even Unstoppable which does not inherently mention sprinting will function better when sprinting into combat to get a melee kill. The combinations with these last three choices will push the Titan into a very sprint melee heavy class. Combine Unstoppable + Transfusion + Illuminated or Overload to create a health regaining terror. Or switch out Unstoppable for Shoulder Charge to give the Titan access to two melee attacks. Initiating an attack with the Catapult + Death From Above and then chasing down stragglers with Shoulder Charge or Juggernaut will be nothing short of gleefully satisfying.
Honestly, there are too many combinations to list here. The Titan has a wealth of play styles to look into thanks to these three choices. One could argue they are the most varied and diverse we’ve seen so far.
Again the big commitment. Titans who feel they like their play style can lock themselves in and gain a substantial boost to armor.
Illumination – Seal this Subclass, locking previous choices.
As stated before and in need of some clarification in the Gunslinger Hunter article, if this were the only option available, the loss of class variability based on encounters would not outweigh the boost to armor. However, when considering that a second subclass choice to unlocked, there is no reason to not lock in a play style and gain the armor boost. The only downside is having to level a second subclass; but in all honesty that isn’t really a downside either. So yes; lock in and start leveling again.
The Titan, like the Hunter and the Warlock is going to be one hell of a fun class to play; especially if one is all about getting in the opponent’s face and dealing out damage. Bungie has really gone to great lengths to design the Striker subclass to do just that. There is so much focus on melee that anyone who loves the Bungie “shoot, run in melee to finish the job” style of gameplay will be right at home with the biggest grin on their face as they blast away the forces of The Darkness and their opponents alike.
While the Hunters will be sitting back and sniping away and the Warlock tossing space magic, we all know exactly where the Titan will be; in the heart of the battle, meleeing to their heart’s content.