Destiny’s Warlock is both tough and fragile. Here’s how to survive as Bungie’s newest wizard.
As Destiny goes live this week, the VG247 team will be exploring the world through each class, offering tips and sharing experiences of Bungie’s first-person MMO.
Playing the Warlock requires patience and accuracy. She’s powerful, but her attacks are considered and need to be well-applied.
Destiny’s Warlock is one of three available classes (check out Brenna’s Destiny class guide for full details of them all), and could well prove the most difficult to play. The first two hours with my Exo female Warlock showed her to belong to a considered class which rewards care rather than bluster.
The pre-conception is that the Warlock would be about hanging back. While that’s true to an extent, she can be deadly up close provided you’re accurate and execute strategic movement even in normal mob encounters. If you get surrounded you can easily die.
Destiny’s play starts with a training mission, and there isn’t much strategy involved here. You get your second level without even thinking about it and your Vortex Grenade comes on line. The grenade typifies the necessity to be accurate with the Warlock traits of: it creates a swirls of damaging purple energy which lasts for several seconds, but it’s very easy to miss with it and do no harm whatsoever. I quickly saw that keeping away from enemies is favoured with the Warlock. You need to use cover, fight from range where possible and only use your melee attack and the Preacher shotgun you find in the training mission if you really must get up close.
Once the training mission’s done, you’ll go to The Tower, the game’s hub. Be sure to visit the Postmaster if you played in the beta. You get a special icon called Sign of the Elders. You then need to visit Ikora Rey, the Warlock mentor, to get some better gear, namely a set of Warlock Fieldweave (armour) and some Glimmer, Destiny’s currency. After that you then need to select a weapon. I already had a shotgun so I went with a Pulse Rifle, as Matt already picked a Scout Rifle for his Titan. After you’ve checked you ship you go back into orbit and start the next instance.
The next level saw me go back down to the Cosmodrome (Destiny’s first area is Earth – check out our complete Earth guide for tons more information) to look for a warp drive in an instance called Divide. This ends with the first proper boss, a Devil Archon called Riksis.
As a Warlock, you must hang back. Stay at the back of the room behind the two open doorways and pick off the Vandals and Archon with accurate shots while using the doors as cover. You may need to venture out into the room after the first wave of Vandals – before the Archon itself appears – to get ammo from the dead enemies, but be sure to return.
I got the warp drive and my third level for killing Riksis. Your Glide ability should trigger at this point as well, meaning you can float with a double jump by pressing X (I’m playing on PS4). The Glide ability can be pretty frustrating if you’ve played as a Titan in the beta. The Titan has a powerful double-jump, but, as the name suggests, the Warlock’s Glide only increases the length of your jump and not the height.
After that there was some more story and then back to The Tower. Be sure to visit the Cryptarch to decode any Engrams you’ve picked up: these can give you nice pieces of kit. I got a nice new set of Warlock gloves called Enigma burn which, while I couldn’t use them at the time because they were locked to level 4, eventually allowed me to carry more Pulse Rifle ammo.
The next instance was The Dark Within, a level 3 story session. This one finishes with a fight against a Wizard and the first fights against the Thralls. These are weak, but they rush straight at you and can make you panic, especially as the apparently fragile Warlock. Fear not, though: she’s tougher than she looks. A single melee will kill them if they get too close, or you can just use your shotgun. Similarly, the Acolytes which surround the Wizard are weak. You don’t have to be careful with them. A single melee or a few headshots with the Pulse Rifle will suffice.
After this I got an invite from a friend (also playing Warlock) into Earth’s exploration area. Level 4 happened almost instantly and I unlocked the third Warlock Voidwalker ability, Nova Bomb (Voidwalker is a Warlock subclass – read our Destiny class guide for all the info on the Voidwalker and Sunsinger). You activate it by pressing L1 and L2 together to fire what amounts to a powerful energy grenade out in an arc in front of you. This’ll dispatch pretty much anything at this level, but it takes forever to recharge. Use it wisely.
That took me to two hours. Playing the Warlock requires patience and accuracy. She’s powerful, but her attacks are considered and need to be well-applied. If you just charge in you won’t last long but planned hand-to-hand combat can be highly satisfying. The core of her style, though, is to grant the satisfaction of clearing enemies without getting her hands dirty. A class for purists.