So Xorth gave me a password and told me I could put stuff on his website (brave man), and I wanted to share some things with you today.
There are many hotly-debated topics in Destiny. Whether it’s the usage of Thorn, the range of the new re-rollable shotguns, or the asymmetrical spawning in Trials, there is no shortage of hot-button topics concerning Crucible play. But there is another highly contentious topic about which I want to present some statistics to you today, and it concerns something we all have. That’s right. Today we are talking about subclasses. We all use one, and we have all complained about them in one form or another at some point.
Subclasses go down to the very core of our Destiny experiences. Your entire style of play changes depending on which type of character and what subclass you have equipped. We all know that each has its strengths and weaknesses, but what do the statistics say in terms of which subclass reigns supreme? Each subclass has its own type of grenades, its own melees, and its own unique super. As any type of character can use any type of weapon, this review is going to focus on subclassree areas where subclasses are different: grenade, melee, and super kills. Looking at the class-specific kill statistics can give us some insight to “rank” the subclasses.
Before we get to the main focus, it is important to first discuss the rate at which these subclasses are used. To me, comparing a subclass’s or weapon’s usage to its ability to kill opponents is the most important measure of what is truly effective in the Crucible. After all, a subclass that is used the least could be expected to have the least number of kills in a certain category, and the opposite would also be a reasonable conclusion. Thankfully, usage is easy to figure out. From the Destiny Tracker Population Stats, we can extrapolate usage.
A brief aside here for my methodology: I have been tracking Destiny Tracker’s population stats for a while, and in the last few weeks, Xorth has hooked me up with subclass statistics. They are now on the population page for you to see, and that is the figure I had been receiving. I track those numbers and then subtract week by week to figure out that week’s amount of kills. I then keep track of those statistics on a large spreadsheet.
From the Population Stats, you can see that Hunters, Warlocks, and Titans constitute 34.3%, 33.7%, and 32.1% of the DTR population, respectively. All of those numbers are reasonably close to each other, suggesting a fairly even split among the three. However, the focus of this post is subclasses, so we have to go one step further into the data. Luckily, on the same page, you see a subclass breakdown. Hunters are 50-50; Warlocks are 63-37 in favor of Sunsingers; and Titans are 52-48 in favor of Strikers. Putting these subclass percentages into the overall class statistics, I got the following:
This means that the Destiny Tracker population uses subclasses at the following rates: Bladedancer – 17.15%; Gunslinger – 17.15%; Voidwalker – 12.47%; Sunsinger – 21.23%; Defender – 15.41%; and Striker – 16.69%. These values will be important to the analysis of each of the categories below.
There have been more than 475 million grenade kills, and roughly 32 million of these occurred in each of the past two weeks. In the past two weeks, here are the total weekly grenade kills by subclass as well as the percentage made up by each subclass for the week:
|Subclass||Week 1||Week 2|
|Bladedancer||7,402,621 (21.98%)||6,916,435 (22.10%)|
|Gunslinger||4,198,362 (12.47%)||3,919,510 (12.52%)|
|Voidwalker||2,610,988 (7.75%)||4,652,737 (14.86%)|
|Sunsinger||11,402,211 (33.86%)||8,345,481 (26.66%)|
|Defender||2,937,104 (8.72%)||3,190,854 (10.19%)|
|Striker||5,124,891 (15.22%)||4,277,505 (13.67%)|
It should come as no surprise that Sunsinger warlocks are atop the subclass rankings for grenade kills. It might be surprising to some that Bladedancers and Strikers came in second and third, respectively, but these can likely be explained in two ways. First, the two top subclasses are the ones with what I will call the “vicinity” grenades — the fusion and firebolt grenades for the Sunsinger, and the flux and arcbolt grenades for the Bladedancer. Two of these grenades are notorious for adjusting their flight mid-air and sticking their targets, and the bolt grenades simply have to be tossed in a general direction. The relative ease of use of these grenades makes them a popular choice. The second explanation focuses on the fact that warlocks and titans are the classes that get two grenades, whether from the skill tree or an exotic piece of armor. I would suspect that most titans use the lightning grenade, and when they can throw them doubly? These grenades can net striker titans a bunch of kills. Gunslingers have the tripmine grenade, but it has a number of drawbacks: it can blow up in your hand and unlike other grenades, it can kill its user. Voidwalker grenades have to be on the rise with the advent of the Nothing Manacles, but until enough people have them I doubt we’ll see critical mass. Defender Titans? Well, I know they have the magnetic grenade, but from my experience, it has nowhere near the amount of auto aim that the fusion and flux grenades have.
The main theme continues to be “usage versus kills,” and this chart represents that idea. These are the percentages of grenade kills by each subclass as compared with the usage rate for the Destiny Tracker population from above. Sunsingers and Bladedancers easily outperform their usage rates, while the other four subclasses get fewer grenade kills than their percentage of use would suggest. But if the subclasses balance out with melees and supers, then they could be considered balanced, right? We will have to look at the other sections to determine what is “balanced” or “OP,” so let’s continue.
There have been nearly 786 million melee kills in Destiny. That seems like a bunch, but think about it: your melee skill is always available, and with the prevalence of shotguns, there’s always someone close by to punch/space dust/knife in the face. Destiny is very much a close-quarters game, so this level of melee kills shouldn’t be too surprising. The weekly breakdown of the two weeks looks like this:
|Subclass||Week 1||Week 2|
|Bladedancer||8,984,751 (17.50%)||8,562,090 (17.59%)|
|Gunslinger||4,842,434 (9.43%)||4,599,453 (9.45%)|
|Voidwalker||4,079,397 (7.95%)||6,997,089 (14.38%)|
|Sunsinger||17,197,807 (33.50%)||13,328,371 (27.39%)|
|Defender||6,022,462 (11.73%)||6,626,592 (13.62%)|
|Striker||10,203,477 (19.88%)||8,554,373 (17.58%)|
These stats seemingly fit into my Crucible experiences, and they all seem reasonable. Again, Sunsingers lead the way with their one-hit Scorch melee kills, and Strikers are not far behind with their shoulder-charging ways. It is important to remember that these are two of the subclasses that can get shields for killing you with a melee (Titans) or get an overshield for simply touching you with a melee (Warlocks). Overshields play a big factor in winning a melee slap fight, and one of the classes doesn’t have them. To me, the Bladedancer levels are surprisingly higher than I would have guessed, but this is most likely explained by blink and blink strike. Bladedancers are heavy shotguns users, and the shotgun-melee is a known killer in the Crucible. Bladedancers can close the gap with blink, shotgun, and then melee, and even if you’re backpedaling and seemingly out of reach, they’ll make up the difference with blink strike. That’s approaching you, shooting you, and melee-ing you all without being visible. Defenders’ melee kills are aided by the use of the bubble and seem to be on par with what I’ve seen in the Crucible (don’t go in the bubble or you will get punched), while Gunslingers take last, most likely because the throwing knife doesn’t count as a melee. Voidwalkers are on the rise, and their kills are about even to their usage. Which reminds me . . .
Melee-to-usage ratios are fairly even across the board with the exception of Gunslingers — that must be use of the throwing knife. Nothing too crazy here to look at, so let’s move on to supers.
Supers are everyone’s favorites. Who doesn’t enjoy using a super to put down their opponents and shoot orbs everywhere? I surely do, and I bet you do too. But supers are also a point of contention. Some people call out the “panic” supers; others hate the mobile “relic” supers. But what do the stats say?
|Subclass||Week 1||Week 2|
|Bladedancer||7,290,861 (18.38%)||6,536,104 (17.86%)|
|Gunslinger||3,332,236 (8.40%))||3,294,360 (9.00%))|
|Voidwalker||3,100,008 (7.81%))||5,307,380 (14.50%)|
|Sunsinger||10,417,718 (26.26%)||7,038,895 (19.23%)|
|Defender||5,603,811 (14.12%)||5,971,776 (16.31%)|
|Striker||9,928,384 (25.03%)||8,457,182 (23.10%)|
Yes, you read that table right. But there is a major thing that needs to be mentioned before talking about supers.
Some Hunter supers get classified as “relic” kills. It is a known bug. My pull of information did not originally include these, but I have set it up to pull them going forward. I will include them in the future, but for now, I will give you some math to explain how they would affect these charts. There are roughly somewhere near 20 million relic kills per week (possibly high, but a safe estimate from my tracking). According to the super numbers I have, Bladedancers have 66% of Hunter supers and Gunslingers get 33%, so the two exist in a 2:1 rate. If we apply the 2:1 ratio to the 20 million weekly relic kills, that’s a hefty increase in super kills (over 12 million for Bladedancer and over 6 million for Gunslinger). The percentages would look more like this for supers: Bladedancers — 40.42%; Gunslingers — 21.66%; Strikers — 11.98%; Sunsingers — 9.97%; Defenders — 8.46%; Voidwalkers — 7.52%. Again, these figures are derivations using relic kills, but I will have it factored in going forward. But, in the long term, when a total percentage of all melees, supers, and grenades is taken (at the very bottom of this post), the “relic” kills have far less of an impact because there are almost as many melee kills as supers, and the grenades further balance the numbers. It does change the percentages, but not a ton in favor of hunters. I think it is clear to any Destiny player that Hunters have the two most devastating supers. There is no doubt about that. I apologize for not figuring thesese out and including them. I wanted to get this post up without waiting a week or two for more in-depth data, and I hope you can overlook my mistake here (a minor one in the grand scheme of things, I would argue).
Aside from my oversight to include the relic kills, here are two things that stand out with supers:
- Striker Titans have the most super kills other than Bladedancers. Surprising, to say the least. This is probably due to ease of use. We have all been “fist of panic-ed,” and we all know how gratifying it feels to do it to someone else. Throw in the changes to heavy ammo and how people camp it, and there are plenty of guardians standing around to be supered if you’re a Striker Titan. Given how hard it is to kill them during their slam (exotic armor and skill tree will grant it) and the fact that killing them in the animation won’t take it away, you can have multiple chances to throw your super, even if you mess it up the first time. It was surprising that Striker Titans led the way in super kills.
- Sunsinger Warlocks being in second place is a huge surprise. With their grenade and melee kills being so high, I figured their super kills would be in the gutter. After all, this can only include shooting another guardian with a gun during radiance, which seems like it rarely ever happens. The statistics do not double dip: a kill is either classified as a melee, a grenade, or a super. But the numbers are right there. Sunsingers have more than 20% of super kills aggregate between the weeks. (Note: in my previous Reddit posts on the daily percentages of charts, people said supers and grenades would be off because of Sunsingers’ supers basically consisting solely of grenade kills. These numbers say that Sunsingers still manage to do damage during Radiance, so the other numbers aren’t off at all.)
The other three classes seem relatively close to expectations and aren’t really that shocking to me. Defender titan kills count any gun kill that happens in the bubble as a “super kill,” so shotgun kills feed this stat. Voidwalkers were low for Week 1, but their general rise in Week 2 showed an increase in super kills as well. Chart form incoming.
Total and Trend
Speaking of the grand scheme of things, this is where I include one big chart with all of the little charts so you can look at them at once!
This is the chart you came here to see. It is a compilation of the three bar charts above, all in one place. It tells you a lot of things about the subclasses. What are your conclusions? Thoughts? Remember, this is over the last two weeks, and it does include all PVP. Two weeks of Trials is included in there (Widow’s Court and The Cauldron).
And finally, here is a chart of the percentage changes between the two weeks for the subclasses. This chart is just meant to show the overall trend in how each subclass is used on a week-to-week basis. It is interesting to note that, with the exception of hunters, players seemingly switch their subclasses around regularly. Hunters appear to be fairly static and do not change. Warlocks and Titans? They are a different story. They seem to switch between the two subclasses, because the slope of each set of lines is about the same. Strikers go down? Defenders go up at a nearly equal rate. It is an interesting chart, and I thought you guys would like it.
The last thing I want to discuss is the lifetime-versus-trend stat. If you look at the Population Stats (link at the top), you will see some total numbers that run for the entire life of the game. These numbers are good as a reference point, but they really don’t tell you much in terms of current timeframe statistics. To illustrate this, check out this table:
|Bladedancer||18.82% — 22.10%||15.80% — 17.59%||22.07% — 29.21%|
|Gunslinger||16.28% — 12.52%||11.72% — 9.45%||20.31% — 16.42%|
|Voidwalker||13.98% — 14.86%||14.00% — 14.38%||11.63% — 9.38%|
|Sunsinger||27.03% — 26.66%||26.68% — 27.39%||20.31% — 12.44%|
|Defender||10.19% — 10.19%||13.70% — 13.62%||11.99% — 10.55%|
|Striker||13.71% — 13.67%||18.10% — 17.58%||18.14% — 14.94%|
The first number is the overall, running total percentage, and the second number is the percentage of the same category taken from last week’s totals. Unlike the preceding chart, this table is a comparison of the current week’s trends with the total history of Destiny. The line chart is week-over-week; the table is week-over-year. A box with a first number that is much higher than the second tends to tell us that that class is getting fewer kills of the given category than it has historically, while a higher second number tells us that the class is getting more kills than it used to. Again, this is an attempt to show a comparative trend against the overarching statistics, so take it with a grain of salt.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this post. My conclusions are just that — mine, and they could very well be wrong. I post things like this to give the numbers to you guys so you can debate and talk it over with more than anecdotal evidence. Use it, look over it, and hey, maybe it even helps you make better decisions on how to choose and/or set up your subclass and play what suits you best. If it gets people talking, that’s all I can ask for. I’ll be doing some various stat projects with the help of Xorth and others, so keep an eye out for them here and on Reddit.