As huge as Destiny is, lots of shooter and RPG fans haven’t given it a shot yet. Maybe you didn’t play it because of the initial lukewarm reviews. Maybe you heard it required a lot of grinding or thought it was too focused on multiplayer for you to enjoy.
Destiny has changed quite a bit since those early days, but its biggest change is just about to hit, thanks to a 2.0 update and the release of a massive expansion called The Taken King. All of which makes now the perfect time to jump on board and see what you’ve been missing this past year.
Here’s everything we know so far about what’s in store.
Destiny is an online game that pulls inspiration from shooters like Halo and massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft. But the result is an unusual game that doesn’t fall neatly into either category.
The game takes place in the far future after humankind has colonized other planets in the solar system. But since all good things must come to an end, vicious aliens have wiped out almost the entire human race. You play as a Guardian soldier, tasked with going around the galaxy and wiping out all the aliens you can find.
The Taken King
This expansion centers on Oryx, an unpleasant fellow known as the Taken King. Apparently Crota, one of the creatures the Guardians have already killed, was his son. Needless to say, he’s pissed. He’s coming after humanity, and he’s bringing a formidable army with him. Your job is to infiltrate his dreadnaught ship, wipe out his army of Taken creatures, and kill him before he eradicates humanity from the universe. No pressure.
Destiny: Legendary Edition
If you already own Destiny, you can buy this new expansion as a $40 downloadable add-on, although you should note that it’s intended for players who have already completed the first two expansions, The Dark Below and House of Wolves.
If you’re totally new to the game, you can buy the Legendary Edition for $60, which includes everything ever released for Destiny, including the first two expansions and The Taken King.
This is no minor expansion. It comes with new story missions, new multiplayer “strike” missions, new multiplayer maps, a new raid, lots of new gear, and new subclasses for each main Guardian class. Basically, it’s roughly a whole new game’s worth of content.
The Taken King also coincides with the Destiny’s 2.0 patch, which brings major changes to nearly every system in the game. More on that below.
Raised level cap
The Taken King does what any great RPG expansion does: It raises the level cap. The original game capped the level at 30. The Dark Below raised it to 32, and House of Wolves kicked it up to 34. With The Taken King, players can now go to level 40.
Simplified experience points
Previously, to level up beyond level 20, you couldn’t just run missions and kill enemies, like before. Instead, you needed to acquire something called Light. The problem was that you could only accumulate Light by finding specific pieces of armor, which could bottleneck players at lower levels until they spent enough time grinding to happen upon the right gear. To risk understatement, many players were not thrilled with this confusing luck-based leveling structure.
In The Taken King, Light will function differently. Bungie hasn’t gone into detail about the new system other than to say that your Light rating will be separate from your experience points and will no longer be required to gain levels. Now, you’ll be able to gain levels simply by earning experience points.
Light will still play into the game in an important way, but it will be much simpler than before. We’ll have to wait and see exactly how it works, but separating Light from leveling sounds like a good start.
Before the update, getting an overview of your current quests was a little, shall we say, inconvenient. Now you can view your quests at any time by bringing up a menu that will show you your active quests and where you need to go to finish them.
The algorithm used to determine what loot drops you receive is getting an update that should make players happy. Loot drops will be less random, and will take into account the gear you already have. Assuming all goes according to plan, that means you’ll get fewer duplicates and more gear that’s better than the stuff you already own.
Also, Bungie has said that the gear already released will be known as “Year One” gear, and it won’t be getting any more powerful. It will suffice for early missions in The Taken King, but you’ll have to find new “Year Two” weapons and armor as you play to have a shot at progressing.
No more Dinklage
For whatever reason, the lines delivered by Peter Dinklage (AKA Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones), sounded like they were recorded when Dinklage was half asleep and wishing he passed on the job. Going forward, his character, Ghost, will be voiced by Nolan North, who you probably know from his work in games like Uncharted, Batman, and more. All Dinklage-voiced lines will be replaced with new recordings from North, in addition to the new lines his character has in The Taken King.
From the sound of it, this second year of Destiny will offer a much smoother experience to players both old and new. So whether you played it early on and gave up or you haven’t ever given it a shot, the release of The Taken King on September 15 is a great time to dive in to Destiny.