Published on: Aug 27, 2015 @ 17:30
Edge Magazine released their Destiny: The Taken King cover story and revealed a ton of awesome news! This article will recap the new information released in the magazine, including Y2 versions of Y1 Exotics being moved forward in future expansions!
We’re very pleased to confirm that, while not all Y1 Exotics will be available for upgrade on TTK’s release, Edge Magazine (and thus, Bungie) assures us that “the missing ones [Y2 versions of Y1 Exotics] will be released over time.”
While this is a nebulous description of a timetable at best, it is great news for those who were afraid their favorite weapon would never see an upgrade. We don’t know any more than this though, so you might be holding your breath for a while! We assume that all of the Y2 versions will be released eventually, though they might not be as powerful as you’re used to; ATK levels will be satisfactory, but perks may be downgraded.
Put Up or Shut Up
One of the strongest arguments for including Y1’s strongest gear in Y2 is the fear that Bungie is unwilling or unable to deliver powerful alternatives to some of the amazingly fun guns like Fatebringer, Vision of Confluence, Gjallarhorn, and Icebreaker. While it may be possible that our new challenges won’t require such OP monsters, it’s a little disappointing to think we may have to step down in terms of sheer power. Once you’ve tasted Wolfpack Rounds, it’s hard to go back to anything else.
Fortunately, Luke Smith apparently is confident that the top-tier gear that is eventually waiting for us will satisfy. Even so, he balks at the notion that these new guns should replace the old ones. As he rightfully points out, having weapons that are head-and-shoulders above their alternatives simply stagnates the meta, and Bungie is consciously being “more careful than we’ve ever been before” about “what we put in players’ hands now…”
Dreadnaught & The Court of Oryx
Upon completing the campaign, the Dreadnaught opens up for patrol. It contains tons of stuff to do, locked chests with zero indicators as to how to open them, and new collectibles that eventually will lead to powerful weapons (like the Sleeper Simulant).
You won’t have to wait for Public Events, as the Court of Oryx is the challenge you’re looking for.
You summon different challenges by using Runes that you’ve acquired or purchased in your play. There are four tiers of difficulty, and the majority of challenges don’t come down to being able to put out the most damage, but instead have you focus on deciphering strange mechanics to make bosses vulnerable, and other unique modifiers.
One battle has you fight three Wizards, but your team must drop them in a synchronized fashion, or the remaining two will respawn with full health. We’re reminded of the Twilight Beast fights in Zelda: The Twilight Princess.
Another has an Ogre who is completely impervious to gunfire, and can only be damaged by opportunistically popping cursed thralls when they are near the big oaf.
A third contains two powerful Knights whose shields can only be drained by forcing them to stand next to each other. This sort of cat and mouse game is a welcome shift away from hiding behind cover only to pop out after using a Heavy synth.
Rewards are given through a chest that appears on a high platform. The player who used the Rune to summon the fight is given a better reward, but anyone who contributed gets at least something for their effort. We see shades of GTA V’s Heist operations here. It’s good to see Destiny judicially implementing new ideas, borrowing and tweaking from tried-and-true systems.
Luke Smith is keeping tight-lipped about its contents. However, he notes that the team designed Hard mode first, then scaled it to Normal. We’re extremely hopeful that this is going to mean the end of overleveled Raids that simply trivialize Guardians’ gear and demand cheesing, hiding, and more cheesing.
Oh, but just in case you’re sure that you’ll find some EZ Cheese in Week 1, be aware that Bungie has hired a team of playtesters, code-named “Velveeta” who, while also ensuring the experience is bug-free, are also tasked to find obvious exploits. We don’t think we’re gonna see another Crota’s End in the exploit department.
“It’s not just going to be Normal and Hard mode.” The Destiny Raid as we know it may be branching out. What could this mean? New modifiers? Timed modes? The sky’s the limit, and this is one of the most excitingly cryptic things we’ve heard in a while.
Nolandroid will participate far beyond his original role of simply scanning terminals and delivering obscure pieces of lore in an uninteresting drone. You’ll use him to reveal invisible bridges and platforms by keeping him out, and if you’re forced to put him away for whatever reason, the path you’ve revealed will disappear too.
Although opt-in lore is scattered throughout Destiny, Bungie doesn’t put signposts up directing you to it. You’re encouraged to seek out these bits of information, and subsequently exploring your environments for these nuggets of backstory becomes more important.
You can see this scanning in action in the following story mission gameplay:
New Exploration & Quests
We’ll get to explore the Colony Ship in the area beyond Sepiks Prime, with a few platforming sections and even a little taste of stealth for variety.
Another mission will see us in unfamiliar territory, eventually overwhelmed by enemy combatants, finally being forced to retreat. This is a nice mix-up from the usual pattern of enemy waves that are eventually easily dispatched. It’s hard to believe an entire story can progress in the same fashion, and The Taken King apparently recognizes and remedies this.
Players will have no shortage of challenges, tasks, and errands to run for the Tower’s NPCs upon finishing The Taken King’s campaign. Shaxx will want us to brave the Crucible, the Cryptarch wants our assistance in cleansing and decrypting engrams that have been corrupted. Banshee, long a silent purveyor of green-quality weapons, is eager for us to test out some of his prototypes. The best part? Quality, useful, rewards are guaranteed from almost all of these quests.
You’ll unlock the quest to your new subclass within the first hour of the campaign. Warlocks will get to travel to Blind Watch, and eventually square off against the Vex with their new powers accelerated and amped up to ridiculous levels for one-time only. Titans and Hunters will get to go power crazy, too.
Bigger, Better Strikes
Strikes are now being designed to challenge players “in the right way.” Luke Smith wants to emphasize creativity instead of overwhelming numbers, with the end goal of simply creating something that’s fun. He cites the Archon Priest Nightfall as something he wants to avoid.
The PS4-exclusive Strike, Echo Chamber, has some inventive new mechanics besides wave-clearing and hiding from a tanky boss. You’ll need to carry a cumbersome relic, that restricts movement and weapon use, to a statue that then debuffs the boss’s powerful overshield.
When you defeat the trickier and more aggressive Strike bosses, you no longer simply stand there and wait for your rewards to be announced in the bottom-left of the screen. Now, the loot you get you acquire from their corpse, leading to a more visceral and satisfying appreciation for what you accomplished. When you combine this with the fact that Bungie is ramping up Strike rewards with boss-specific gear (still guarded jealously by RNG), the experience is much more involved. While we wonder if it will be nearly as satisfying the 10th or 20th time, making that first time memorable is a big part of Destiny.
Thankfully, Strike rewards will also help your Guardian prepare him or herself for the harder endgame missions. Luke Smith even confidently states that playing Strike Playlists will be a great way to gear up for King’s Fall.
We’ve already talked about what to expect from Armsday, but we’ve also been told that the fee for your order is 2500 Glimmer. There are apparently “five new legendary weapons” that can be acquired in this way. Learn more about Armsday in this video:
As we now understand Bungie’s controversial reasons for leaving a lot of gear behind, Infusion does strike us as a more elegant system. It’s somewhat of a happy medium between the everything-goes mechanic in Ascension, and the dark days where all your old stuff both couldn’t fit in a vault, and wasn’t going to help you in the new expansion. Infusion is going to sequester off Y2 gear from Y1 gear, but also will ensure that any low quality piece of Legendary armor or a Legendary weapon can be viable, providing you’re willing to sacrifice something that’s a little “better”. If Bungie’s goal is to encourage variety, but still control the field of play from a balance perspective, Infusion is the smart way to go. They know every piece of gear that TTK is introducing, and since Infusion is a proactive and not reactive inclusion, we’re much less concerned about any one weapon dominating PvE or PvP.
Of course, you can argue that Destiny would be a better game if armor and weapons from Y1 could be brought into Y2, and many people have made that argument with strong reasoning. But, like it or not, The Taken King has thrown down the gauntlet, and Guardians will have to adapt or perish.
Sublime Engrams & Ukonvasara
The following information comes from the PlayStation magazine:
The Auto Rifle we saw on full display in a couple of the GI trailers we now know to be called the Ukonvasara. It’s an Exotic Arc weapon, named for the Finnish thunder God Ukko’s hammer. It’s safe to say this weapon is now competing with Gjallarhorn for the most badass name in Destiny.
The PS-exclusive Legendary sets of class armor are unlocked via a new item, called a Sublime Engram. These will randomly decrypt into one of the set pieces, though how they are acquired is currently unknown. Luke Smith’s wording is a little curious: “When you get a Sublime Engram and you’re on Playstation, you know it’s going to be one of those Legendary set pieces.” – This possibly suggests that Sublime Engrams may have another function on the XBOX — but this is just speculation, and they could just be obtained exclusively on PS.