I must confess, it's hard not to be excited about the future of Destiny, a video game in which players must travel through space fighting enemies, getting loot and beta-testing Destiny.
On September 15, with the launch of the upcoming expansion The Taken King, Destiny is entering what Bungie's calling Year Two. We first saw the expansion and heard about their plans for this so-called Year Two at E3 earlier this year, and just about everything seemed promising, albeit vague. Today, we've learned a hell of a lot more about the future of this ridiculous, polarising game, and things are even more promising (albeit still kinda vague).
This month's issue of Game Informer (which you can get digitally here) features a big blowout on the next big Destiny expansion. Some of the news is vague. The magazine notes, for example, that levelling your characters from 1 to 40 will no longer be strictly tied to the light on your armour, but it's unclear exactly how the new progression will work. "Experience points from missions, bounties, and enemy kills now contribute directly to progression, even after level 20," Game Informer writes. "Simultaneously, gear continues to play an important factor in the developing power of your guardian. The light system is being revised for a streamlined and consistent experience from 1 to 40."
Other tidbits, like the Death Of Dinklage, are unquestionably hilarious. Some of the news -- like Year One purple weapons capping at 365-damage -- will make some people mad. But most of it has me very excited for Destiny 2.0.
If you're interested in the game, I recommend you go read Game Informer's full cover story. But for now, here are some nuggets you'll probably want to know if you play Destiny:
- There are eight new story missions that Bungie's calling the "first act" of The Taken King, and then there will be a host of other quests and bounty chains that you can get from various vendors at the Reef and Tower. One example of these endgame quests: Unsealed Paradox, a mission set inside the Vault of Glass that's all about a certain dude by the name of Praedyth. There's also the raid, of course; it's called King's Fall and Bungie's hyping it up to hell and back. (So stoked for this one.)
- Lots of little story touches -- because what would Destiny be without story? -- like the new Nolan North-voiced Ghost jabbering with Eris Morn, Zavala, and other various characters as you play. You'll also be able to examine random objects during missions for little blasts of lore, Bungie says. Maybe this is how they will implement all those grimoire cards?
- They're reorganising old story missions too, to better incorporate the stuff from The Dark Below and House of Wolves into the main quest. The reef, for example, will now open up once you meet the Awoken Queen.
- Members of the Taken -- the new enemy race -- have all sorts of abilities: Taken Wizards, for example, will summon shadow thralls to kill you. Taken Vandals have Titan-Defender-like shields and Taken Captains throw orbs that can temporarily blind you.
- There are four new strikes: Fallen Saber (on Earth; you'll fight against a super-powered Shank); Shield Brothers (on the Dreadnaught; you'll take out two Cabal leaders); Sunless Cell (hunt down a Hive Darkblade who rebelled against Oryx); and Echo Chamber (this is the PlayStation-exclusive one; it's yet another Vex mind). Three old strikes are also getting remixed: Dust Palace, Undying Mind, and Cerberus Vae.
- These new strikes have "raid-light" mechanics, Bungie says; in other words, you won't just be killing waves of enemies, thank god. And since the developers are well aware of how repetitive strikes are, they're triggering these new and revised strikes to change up enemies and even narrations on replays, which could be either really great or really irritating. No in-between.
- Year One legendary weapons will go obsolete fast -- Bungie says that when you load up The Taken King, you might even find white or green weapons with higher attack values than your poor 365 Fatebringer and Vision of Confluence. RIP.
- You'll be able to turn in Bounties without going back to the vendor. Game-changer.
- The Gunsmith in the Tower will have his own reputation meter and bounties -- work with him enough and you'll be able to order weekly weapon deliveries, which sound really neat. Once a week you can pay him for a new legendary weapon, which will arrive on Wednesday with a random set of new perks.
- Lots of reputation/material streamlining: Vanguard and Crucible marks are turning into one pool called Legendary Marks, while all class armour materials (like Plasteel Plating) will morph into items called Armour Materials.
- No new vault space yet. Says Luke Smith to GI: "We're still bumping into a technical limitation for vault space. We are exploring options for getting stuff out of players' inventories via these kiosks that we've placed around the tower, but we're still working toward a solution that we're excited about."
- There's an exotic pulse rifle called No Time To Explain. Yep.
- Lots of other new exotics coming too, like Sleeper Simulant, a heavy weapon fusion rifle that shoots bouncy laser blasts. You have to do a whole quest line (filled with puzzles, Bungie says -- actual puzzles!) to get this one.
- Crucible quest lines are coming, as are new Crucible bounty types. Trials of Osiris will get its own set of bounties, and you'll be able to play through an array of weekly Crucible bounties that eventually lead you to exotic-calibre rewards. This is in addition to all the new PVP maps (eight!) and modes (three that we know of, so far).
- The Dreadnaught sounds pretty rad, like it will be full of more interesting content than most patrol zones that are in Destiny today. Says Smith: "Through your adventuring on the hive ship, you're going to find a bunch of arcane objects that you can use to summon ultra bosses." Uh, yes.
I'm not going to cop everything from Game Informer's story -- that would be rude! -- so go get the digital issue if you want to read every little thing about what The Taken King has to offer. It's all very exciting, even if we do still have a lot of questions, like what am I going to do with all this damn Etheric Light?