New Subclass Rumors Prompted by Destiny 2 Merchandise
Class Item logos have appeared on Destiny 2 merchandise, prompting speculation that these logos may be related to new subclasses.
Last night, Twitter was abuzz with these images. The most prevalent speculation has been that these are the new subclasses. A quick check to the bungie.net forums, however, shows that there’s a divergence of thought. The logos are most likely either the symbols for each class, or else symbols for new subclasses. There is evidence to support either assertion.
Supporting the theory that these are merely the new class symbols, a previous theory indicated that each class would have a pet companion. It specifically mentioned a cat-like creature for Titans, a magic bird for Warlocks and a slithering reptile for Hunters. This theory doesn’t account for additional pets, meaning that, if true, these animals represent the class as a whole. Additionally, the Titan appearing on the Destiny 2 poster wears a chest plate prominently featuring this symbol—displaying no other indication that he’s a separate subclass.
Conversely, a bird symbol is equally prominent on the chestplates of two Guardians in the Destiny 2 trailer. They're listening to Cayde 6's speech, and are definitely not Warlocks. While it's not the same bird symbol, it's unlikely that Bungie--for all its attention to iconography and symbols--would allow the bird imagery to be repeated in class items. This could mean that the symbol of "the bird" is representative of a Guardian discipline reflected by new subclasses. At the moment, this seems the best way to explain the existence of bird imagery between classes. Additionally, the lore behind the Venom of Ikeheka indicates that it is related to the mastery of venom based abilities among Hunters. The theory strongly suggests that a subclass like group of Hunters operated with the symbol of a snake. From a story perspective, new subclasses are the easiest way to explain the new symbols.
Nonetheless, “easy to explain” isn’t a valid metric, especially in the convoluted world of Destiny. Until Bungie reveals Destiny 2’s class systems, the matter of the new symbols does little but stoke speculation. That said, Destiny players revel in speculation. It’s just what we do. Regardless of their role within the universe, let’s break down the imagery.
Snakes. Birds. Wildcats…Wildlife.
In Destiny 2, we enter a world without Light. The Tower is destroyed, our Ghosts are MIA and we’re thrown into the wild world without our gear or weapons. Note that Zavala's post-invasion speech in the Destiny 2 trailer takes place in the wild. Not in a new city, or in Bannerfall, or any other civilized location, but in a natural environment. The new symbols fit perfectly with Guardians reduced to their most basic elements.
Without our space magic, trapped outside our own civilization, Destiny 2 asks Guardians to rebuild their legend from the ground up. The symbols match this tone. Guardians relying on their most natural, human instincts to fight against a foreign aggressor.
But Destiny’s always existed on the spectrum of mythos. The animals they’ve chosen are reminiscent of a Chimera. A Chimera is a creature of Greecian mythology, one with the triple heads of a lion, snake and ram. While these three are the most common, the term can also include any conglomeration of animals. In this case, a lion, bird and snake would fit excellently into a cohesive Chimera. It’s unlikely we’ll get a physical one within the game—even that stretches the plausibility of the fantastical universe.
Insofar as symbolism, though, it hints that the Destiny classes are part of a greater whole. This could be generic “The Power of Teamwork” storytelling, or else a sign that Destiny is adjusting gameplay to make the game’s classes more disparate. The classes may be more drastically separate, bringing new weight to team composition in both PvE and PvP activities. This would resolve a common complaint of the game. The classes are so interchangeable, and abilities/supers so rarely consequential outside of raids, that their coexistence has never been necessary for the game to work.
To make Hunters, Titans and Warlocks necessary for each other would introduce fantastic storytelling opportunities that are framed in each class’ deep lore. Beyond speculation regarding new subclasses, these symbols present us with a path to Destiny’s future. Bungie is telling a story centered on humanity, it’s response to an overpowering threat, and its reduction to its natural state. From here, we must rebuild our Legends.