Destiny has been simultaneously the most loved and most hated game of the last year. There are players on both ends of the spectrum who either have sunk 1,000+ hours into this game, or who played it until level 15 and decided it wasn’t worth their time. I am a member of the former, having sunk a great deal of time into this game over the last year and really hoping for a huge improvement with the Taken King in less than 2 weeks!
We have been told a great deal about what awaits us in year 2 and most of it means a better experience all round and even offering you the chance to pick the game back up if you were one of those who played for a few hours last September and decided it wasn’t your cup of tea. Today, I am going to be focussing on everything we have learned about Destiny: The Taken King and Year 2, specifically from the reveals. There, of course, have been mumblings of other exciting changes from some of the developers on twitter and through various articles from other news outlets, but I have chosen to focus mainly on the 3 reveals we have seen so far. These are “The Year 2 Reveal”, “The Strike The Dreadnaught Reveal” and “The Court of Oryx Reveal”. Let’s get started, the first one’s got a lot of juicy info!
We will start with the year 2 reveal. This one took me a while to get all the notes written in a concise fashion, so I will do my best to give you a run-down of all the new features as quickly as possible, and in line with how the reveal went. Firstly, we were told about how our new levels will work. Whatever light level you currently are in Destiny, will be your new character level when The Taken King launches and your light level becomes more like an item level from something like World of Warcraft. Every piece of gear contributes to whether or not you are a high enough level to do any given activity. The next thing we are shown on the character screen is how the new Intellect, Discipline and Strength stats will work. There is a heavier emphasis on getting to the next step on these stat bars as when you reach the next step, your cooldown of your super, grenade or melee is reduced by 7 seconds (e.g 49 seconds to 42 seconds).
Moving from the character screen, we are then shown the new quest tab in our pause menu. The first thing mentioned is how there are now 16 bounty slots and that all bounties will be redeemable from this screen. We are also shown how we can track important bounties so that every time you bring up your ghost, you can see them in the bottom right corner of the screen, for easy viewing. Mark Noseworthy, a developer on the panel, also comments on how they have completely new bounties for the players and ones that are more focussed on being enjoyable rather than being too grindy and repetitive. Finally on the quest page, the panel talk about how the whole system of questing will make it easier to upgrade gear and get new loot, rather than solely relying on RNG.
Next, a look at the inventory screen. We are shown the Spark of Light consumable, which allows players to jump up to the level that the Taken King is playable. This is great for friends who maybe put the game down early, or who have never played in the first place. Bungie are trying to make it so everyone is on a level playing field when TTK starts which is great. As an addition to the inventory screen, we are later told that the armour upgrade materials (sapphire wire, hadronic essence etc.) will now be merged into one universal upgrade material in the interest of maintaining 3 characters and in a move to make having a “main” character easier.
We are then told about how the factions have been changed for the better. This involves things like pledging allegiance to a faction instead of having to wear the class item (but beware, only once a week), new perks (such as decreased damage when burn modifiers are active) on armour pieces for factions that make you actually want to buy them and material exchanges for reputation.
Exotic blueprints are the next topic of discussion. These terminals are designed with a couple of people in mind. Firstly, the people who are collectors and want to see their collections grow and people who have accidentally dismantled exotics and want them back. In this section of the reveal it is also teased which exotics will be coming forward and which exotics will remain in year 1. The year 2 versions of these exotics will have slightly modified strength, intellect and discipline stats and changes to the way that they work (perks etc.).
One of my favourite changes to Destiny coming in the Taken King is that Banshee-44, the gunsmith, is now useful. Banshee has a couple of new features that will make him into one of your favourite vendors in the Tower. To start with, he has prototype common weapons that you take with you and complete a special assignment with (crucible headshots, Hive on the Dreadnaught etc.) and earn rep towards his “faction” when completed. When you get to a high enough rank, you gain access to foundry orders, meaning you are able to request a weapon from him with random perks. It’s available every armsday on Wednesday and seems to be the Taken Kings answer to the less popular re-rolling system.
They also cover the new end-game ascension system called infusion. This system allows you to imbue a weapon with a more powerful weapon, along with some glimmer, motes and mats. Essentially, if you get a legendary weapon that’s not as good as a raid drop, you will be able to infuse that weapon with that raid drop to make it more powerful.
And finally, the vault. Finally we see what the team behind vault space has been bursting to reveal. Double vault space has been confirmed for the Taken King and everyone was amazed at how this was possible. Mark talks about how the team managed to find as little as a spare megabyte of memory that allowed them to give us 72 slots for weapons and armour. The materials section is going to be improved, but only to 36 as there are other places to store things like emblems and shaders.
And that’s it for the first reveal. I purposefully left out on explaining some of the smaller stuff but here it is in list form.
- New ghost shells and class items with perks.
- Crucible and Vanguard marks will change into legendary marks.
- And existing Crucible and Vanguard marks will be converted into commendations for exp at the conversion rate of 50:1.
- There have been a lot of stat crunches on most of the numbers in the game to make sure they don’t get too high, although you will still be as powerful.
- Legendary engrams are now purchasable from the Cryptarch.
- Telemetries are weapon slot specific, rather than class specific now.
- New dance emotes were shown at the end of the reveal.
- New sword weapon type was teased in this reveal.
Phew… a lot of stuff in there. Fortunately the next 2 reveals are a lot smaller. Let’s jump straight into the “Strike the Dreadnaught” reveal.
We start off, after introductions from the community management and guest Mr. Fruit, by looking at the new subclasses. There is a huge amount to cover here so I won’t bore you with the details, however I would recommend you go and check out some subclass breakdowns from various Youtubers and other new outlets. They then show off the artefacts that they forgot to show the week previous. These artefacts are all about increasing the amount of orbs you generate for your team-mates through things like melee, grenade and precision kills.
Then, the strike kicks off, with a short introduction from the new ghost voice, Nolan North. One thing I will comment on is the amount of interaction between your ghost and the Vanguard back at the tower during this strike, as it’s refreshing to have dialogue that changes each time you play. Speaking of variety, strikes will now have variable encounters. As for this strike, sometimes you will be fighting Taken and other times Cabal. There will be different enemy spawn locations too which makes each strike feel different and fresh.
As for mechanics in these fights, it seems like Bungie are focussing on keeping the enemies, bosses and guardians close together by decreasing the amount of 1-hit melee abilities enemies have and introducing new anti-cheese methods including firewalls to block off certain areas. The bosses themselves have some pretty interesting ways of fighting. Instead of being 1 hitting bullet sponges, bosses now have specific attacks and ways of defending against guardians, as well as other mechanics to make each fight feel different. For example, there are 2 bosses in the strike from this reveal, one of which is a super melee attack similar to the fist of havoc although it isn’t overwhelming, and the other has an artillery cannon on their back. When one boss gets down to half health, the other trades place with him. As soon as you get the second guy to half, you fight both bosses at once, both with new and improved abilities.
When you kill certain bosses in these strikes, there is a small chance that they will drop some strike specific gear, like a piece of armour or a weapon. This is something we have been asking about for a very long time and it’s nice to see Bungie embrace some of Destiny’s MMO-style, loot collection roots.
That about wraps up the second reveal. It was a little on the short side but was still packed with great information and a nice look at some new things to come. Onto the third and final reveal now which was just as juicy as the first, even though not as much was revealed. Let’s take a look at the Court of Oryx.
This one, as usual, starts up with introductions from the community management and the special guest LacedUpLauren. We then jump straight into the Dreadnaught, onto Lauren’s perspective where we see the new exotic sword, which is earned through missions and quests in the Taken king. It is a solar sword, with an ammo counter meaning that heavy ammo synths will in fact charge the sword. Anyway, onto the Court of Oryx itself.
The Court of Oryx is a player-triggered public event where you earn loot for defeating bosses at strike and raid level difficulties. The way you trigger these public events is with a currency called runes. These runes can be found within the Dreadnaught and are charged by completing the tier 1 events. Tier 2 events are slightly harder, requiring more light and have 2 tier 1 bosses spawn at once. Tier 3 encounters were not shown as Bungie didn’t want to spoil what are supposed to be some of the hardest encounters in the game, but seemed to be something they were really excited about.
One notable thing about the Court of Oryx is that you can only take 3 members of your fireteam into the Dreadnaught, but as many as 9 players can be present when you activate the event, with everyone getting rep towards Eris Morn’s faction and the summoner getting the bigger rewards like engrams and such. In order to stop people from summoning and then AFKing, after defeating a summoned boss, you must wait about a minute before summoning the next boss. You also must be in the arena at all times otherwise the event will be cancelled.
Finally in this event, Bungie confirmed the release date of the raid to be 18th September at 10am Pacific. This gives players a chance to level up before jumping right into the raid and getting frustrated because they are under-levelled. People may be upset by this, but ultimately it is a good thing for Destiny and I, for one, am excited to be able to play through the story before I have to worry about raid prep.
That just about covers all 3 of the reveal events. It just goes to show that Bungie really have their ears to the ground and so much support from all of their fans that they can hit these high numbers on Twitch and leave everyone who plays this game with a huge smile on their face walking away from these reveals.
Before I finish I would just like to give my thoughts on the reveals and how I think this new stuff will go down in year 2. Personally, as someone who loves every single aspect of this game, I am thrilled with the amount of new things and changes that are taking place in the Taken King and Destiny 2.0. I think by the length of this article and by how much detail I have gone into with each subsection you can see that. That being said, there is so much more news out there surrounding Destiny that I wish I could cover, but didn’t have time. If you had doubts about Destiny when it launched last September or have been looking for a time to rejoin the fight against the darkness, I can’t think of a better time to do it than now, with all of this fantastic new content.
This was an absolutely huge article so I would really appreciate it if you guys could share this around with all of your friends who play Destiny, or people who are looking to get back into the game. Finally, I would love to hear your comments down below about anything we have gone over here today.
See you in the Taken King guardians!