Destiny: The Taken King Sounds Promising As Hell

Destiny: The Taken King Sounds Promising As Hell

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?


  • Sigh. I guess I’m back. Getting to level 40 via XP rather than equipment is a game changer.

    • Honestly, it has gotten surprisingly easy to get to lvl 34 these days, the game is pretty much throwing opportunities for Light upgrades at you.

      • From running PoE 34/35 and Trials of Osiris every week, I’ve got nearly 25 etheric light in my inventory right now

  • So all those legendary weapons willl be completely obsolete? That has to be the craziest idea they’ve come up with! All that time put into firstly gettting them, then leveling them, was just a waste of time 🙁 I don’t understand why they could not give us another option to boost their levels like they did in previous expansions
    Ugh, 90% of the new update sounds great, but the legendary weapons combined with not getting any new vault space has kind of ruined it for me

    • Bring on the new guns – I’ve levelled mine and used them for hundreds of hours already… new loot is definitely welcome – I’ll find a new favorite gun 🙂

      • I’m excited for new guns, but not at the loss of all the old ones. I came late to the game, so have barely even unlocked them all. I just got my Vision of Confluence the other night, so am only going to enjoy that for a week (after I’ve finished leveling it) before it becomes obsolete 🙁
        Just seems crazy to make all those guns worthless, at least give us the option to level them up to match the new guns
        To be honest, I think they did that because of the vault space. This way we’ll all be getting rid of our old legendary guns to make room for the new ones

        • The fact my Vision of Confluence and Oversoul Edict will suddenly outlive their usefulness is sad. Confluence is easily one of the best guns in the game.

          We can vainly hope raid weapons will be an exception but probably not.

  • Destiny in its entirety can be summed up with “Sounds promising as hell”

    I thought they realised the mistake in making exotics obsolete back during the Crota DLC.
    Spending all that time grinding to level weapons, grinding to reset them and grinding to level them all up again…….and now they are obsolete?!

    • Legendary weapons will be obsolete, not exotics. And after the lukewarm response to HoW legendaries (why would I bother with them when I can just upgrade my favourite raid weapons?), I can see why they’re doing it.

      My prison loadout is purely old weapons: Fatebringer/VoC/Word, Found Verdict/Swordbreaker, Gjallarhorn/Thunderlord – none of the new weapons even come close to the effectiveness of those old weapons at 365. I love my Fatebringer – it took me six months to get that bastard to drop – but I don’t want it to be the only thing I use in endgame content for the next nine years.

      • Ah, legendaries, my bad.
        I always thought new, better legendaries was the way to go but I thought people actually wanted their old raid legendaries brought forward, I remember the forums were filled with such requests not that long ago.

      • I feel like this is once again an issue with vanilla being just so much better than the dlc and that this is just a slack persons bandaid for an over lying problem. Destinies best content has already come and gone.

        • I’m not gonna write Destiny off just yet – HoW gave me hope that they’re finding their storytelling feet, VoG’s proven they know how to make a good raid, the grimoire cards convince me there’s plenty of lore that can be explored, and the stuff they’ve announced shows they’re listening to player feedback. That’s enough to make me reserve judgement until I can play it for myself.

      • If the old legendaries are going to be obsolete, then there won’t be any reason to go back and play VoG nor CE once TTK drops. How is Bungie going to address that? Will they just change the loot pool of VoG/CE so that they drop new gear?

        And what is the point of nerfing Blackhammer (an old legendary) if it is going to be obsolete anyway?

        • They’ve said they’ll be changing up the older raids to make them worthwhile for when TTK hits. They haven’t really said how though, at this stage.

  • There’s a few things there that sound nice, but still far too many things broken / non-existent.. still very much a wait and see for me.. and hopefully a wait and see the price get cut in half first.

  • 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.

    There, fixed that for you. Hell, given the ‘beta-testing destiny’ snark bit, I wouldn’t be surprised if the use of the word ‘not’ was in fact an actual error.

    But yes, it is very hard to be excited about the future of Destiny, a game whose potential was never fulfilled, whose devs have repeatedly gushed at us with enthusiastic pride over unimpressive things of little to no consequence or merit, underscoring their complete inability to be trusted when it comes to talking about their own work.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice (TDB), thrice (HoW) or… qurice? There’s a reason there’s no fourth word in that series. Anyone foolish enough to be fooled that many times is better off not being spoken to or about.

    • My sentiments exactly. Looking at all this content I’d love for someone to do a 1:1 comparison on content between the original Destiny game and the Taken King. As I understand pricing in AU they are equal in cost at their respective launches. Looking at TK it seems to be a lot shorter on content on an existing engine/platform that they’d built for the original game.

      • ^^^ This. Too bad the AU price for this digital expansion is going to be as much as I paid for the original game from JB. Can’t help but be negative as a result. 1 subclass, 1 new patrol area, new race that is just a re-skin of the others with different abilities. Activision has improved it’s business model from CoD. They can now just sell half (being generous) a new game every year for full price. On the up side, it should almost be time to the PS exclusive stuff to be available on xbox soon… just in time for it to be useless. Yay

    • I kinda got the TDB & HOW in the fool me once part.

      As a game Destiny still plays great, the problem is that play is short and consists of shooting the same handful of guys over and over again. At least in the linear Halo story each fight was staged interestingly. Not so much in Destiny.

  • What happens to the people who bought the Ghost Edition of Destiny? They now have a Ghost that does not exist in destiny

  • May hold off diving back in to my level 32 until this release. No point going hard for gear now. And I’ll miss my Red Death so…

    By the way, do any of you Kotaku-ers have a guild/clan? I’m eager to finally join one but have no friends who still play. I play on PS4 and am pretty average.

    • Yes, is there a Kotaku AU clan? I’m on the 360 and it’s getting more difficulty to find players to play with…

    • Will get back to you. I’m pretty average on PS4 too so you should fit in great!…………………..but can’t remember our clan name that’s how long it’s been. Got very disappointed with the grind and stopped at 32 also.

    • Presumably the obsolescence only applies to legendaries and we’ll be able to continue to ascend our exotics.

  • “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.”

    I must confess, it’s really easy not to be excited about the future Destiny, a boring, repetitive MMOFPS where I could grind ad-nauseum in a run-of-the-mill shooter with some of the worst writing since Modern Warfare 2.

    • It’s really easy to be excited about Destiny when Activision gives you a massive bag of cash every time DLC comes out.

  • i recently got back into Destiny and may be purchasing a PS4 when taken king comes out as it seems to be pretty difficult finding people on PS3, and playing the game solo is fairly difficult and i really want to try out those Raids.

  • Wow…… 8 new missions. Bungie is trying to beat call of duty for its lack of solo content.

  • There’s an exotic pulse rifle called No Time To Explain. Yep.

    Hope you held on to your Stranger’s Rifle.

  • Hi greenlego, I’ve been playing Destiny on a regular basis to get ready for The Taken King. I’m happy to team up on the Xbox 360. I mainly do strikes and the Vault of Glass as I’m pretty bad at PvP.

  • Lots of little story touches — because what would Destiny be without story? Go boot it up right now and you’ll find out.
    Jokes (sort of) aside, this doesn’t really sound like a great revolution, more making the game closer to what it should have been on release day.

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