Starfire Protocol and the Problem With Warlock Drip in Destiny 2

Starfire Protocol and the Problem With Warlock Drip in Destiny 2

The Solar 3.0 changes in Destiny 2 have elevated a whole bunch of Exotics that were previously situational at best to S-tier choices. One of these is Sunbracers, which lets Warlocks throw a constant stream of lava-spewing Solar Grenades. Another is the Warlock Exotic Chest Armor Starfire Protocol, which upgrades Fusion Grenades — giving them an additional charge and restoring grenade energy on empowered weapon hits. Starfire Protocol in particular is extremely useful for high-level content, where having a renewable supply of Fusion Grenades is a great boon. There’s just one problem — the armor itself looks wack.

Starfire Protocol is a simple robe with a high collar, open front, and a sort of overlaid gold tabard thing. Part of the problem is the the silhouette isn’t very exciting or distinctive — it looks like it could be a Forsaken-era world drop, if not for the gold bits. You can’t change those parts with shaders, meaning you’re stuck with that gold regardless of what shader you equip. You can’t even really meme it with Butterbark, because there’s so little hard plating in the design. All that means that if you want to wear Starfire Protocol in Destiny 2, you’re stuck with a pretty boring look. If you’re playing a female character, there’s at least some shape to the robe — but like so many other Warlock armor pieces, on male characters it just kind of looks like you threw a blanket over an old TV in the back seat of a car to try to hide it from would-be thieves.

Destiny 2 Starfire Protocol

The obvious solution here would be an ornament. Phoenix Protocol is another similarly-bland Warlock Exotic — it even has the same open front design — but it got an ornament in the Bungie 30th Anniversary Celebration called Phoenixfall, which is a striking piece that takes shaders extremely well. Starfire Protocol is an old Exotic, having been in the game since Destiny 2 launched, so it seems like a prime choice for a new ornament to spice it up a little.

But there’s a bigger problem at play, which is that Warlocks have a much harder time with drip than Hunters and Titans. That’s because Warlock chest armors are huge robes that cover most of their bodies, while their arm and leg armor pieces are simply gloves and boots. In constrast, Titans and Hunters get discrete chest pieces, full arm pieces, and legs. Don’t even get me started on how Hunters and Titans get cloaks and marks, respectively, while Warlocks are stuck with tiny little bonds as class items. When Destiny 2 added new Eververse class items that interact with specific Exotics, Hunters got neat little fire jets, Titans got a cool glow, and Warlocks got… a barely noticeable pulsing light on their bonds.

I don’t know how to fix this — at this point in Destiny 2, robes are kind of the Warlock thing, just as big shoulders and butt towels are Titans’, and cowls are Hunters’. Maybe that’s the issue — the Titan and Hunter aesthetics aren’t defined by single, huge pieces but rather by accessories, which means their designs can be played with. There are plenty of Titan arms that don’t make them look like linebackers, and Hunters have received cloaks that either don’t have hoods or that barely show up as capes at all. Meanwhile, it’s hard to change up the Warlock visual identity, because their class items are so small and the chest piece has got to be a robe.

So uh, I guess just give us a Starfire Protocol ornament, and that’ll do for now. Please, Bungie, I can’t walk around the Tower looking this unspicy. I know Shaxx is laughing at me.

Author: Deann Hawkins