Why The Taken King Is Destiny’s Redeemer

Why The Taken King Is Destiny’s Redeemer

I recently visited Bungie’s mall-sized Mother Base for the second time in my life, and the emotions inside me were the utter opposite of the fangasm I felt in 2014. Year-ago-Adam was wowed by the scale of this Graceland. He was ecstatic to see the first reveal of a 10-year thing called Destiny. His notepad was already bursting with excitable questions, at least two of which included the phrases “Halo MMO” and “Peter Dinklage OMG”.

God, I want to slap 2014 me. From a running start.

In 2015, I’m stomping into Bungie HQ, annoyed. I’m disillusioned by the fact that so many talented people gathered together in one place – in this case a repurposed movie multiplex – could botch a concept so badly. I’m also extremely skeptical that they’ve got what it takes to affect a u-turn, and this time my notepad is filled with grievances to chase up. In in-game terms: my super bar is full and I’m out to Titan smash this control point.

It’s a fairly well-documented fact that vanilla Destiny was undercooked. Personally, it wrecked my fun right out of the gate with its weird ammo bugs and some run-ruining Raid glitches. Many of my casual gamer mates didn’t even progress to that high-level content because they were irked by a barebones excuse for a story which shrugged at them and said: “I don’t even have time to explain why I don’t have time to explain”. (And that’s a direct script quote.)

Last but not least, players of every skill level got burned by a loot system that felt about as fun and fair to participate in as that Holy Grail lucky dip in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It was worse than that, actually. No Grail diary or online FAQ could lead a penitent player to their Raid pants or a Gjallarhorn. In the end, some other Guardian who joined late to a multiplayer match, and contributed zero kills, randomly earned *your* excalibur.

All of these missteps quickly changed the public’s perception of Bungie as a can-do-no-wrong developer. About a week after launch you could see the epithet “Bungle” being used in gaming forums; typically in the sorts of online spaces where folks also use the phrase “Crapcom” whenever a Street Fighter update doesn’t go their way. After Destiny’s two stop-gap DLCs arrived (The Dark Below and House of Wolves) the nickname lost some popularity, but still sorta had some legs in it too.

Plot-twist: I’m repeating all these negative things, but I still log onto Destiny every other day. I have three characters, all levelled to the 34 max, and a grimoire score of 3500. Vanilla Destiny has been out roughly 12 months and my stats say I’ve (somehow) lost at least one full month to this blackhole. It’s not something I bring up at dinner parties. Please don’t tell my wife.

Most of this addiction can be attributed to the pure social element: I’ve organically fallen in with a dozen or so reprobates who log on after work to shoot shit and ‘the shit’ (aliens and conversation both). I’d also have to say that this merry band of mine keeps returning to Destiny because, as a shooter, its mechanical fundamentals are immensely satisfying. My Hunter flits about the battlefield like some sort of neon panther. Popping alien heads off never, ever gets old.

Be that as it may, I need something more than lovely, kinetic gunplay to sustain me, and every active Destiny player I’ve met echoes this sentiment. Bungie’s original release is well past its used by date. It’s rustier than the Old Russian cosmodrome I scavenge through ad nauseam. That being the case, I made myself a promise before boarding the plane to Bungie: if the next two days in The Taken King send me to the same old locations to do the same old crap – provide covering fire for a mouthy drone who hacks doors like old people shag – then I’m going to bladedance Bungie’s PR several new buttholes

Before I can utter a single whinge to my hosts, a controller is thrust into my hands. The opening cinema plays, a tractor beam acquires my brain, and then The Taken King repeatedly smacks me in the gob for two days straight.

Bungie was good enough to clone my account to provide immediate access to my fully-levelled Titan, Warlock and Hunter. This means I have three Guardians bristling with basically every exotic or decent legendary gun you can earn thus far (except Hawkmoon, because RNGesus has forsaken me).

It’s also worth noting that I have been stashing a heap of completed 5000 XP bounties and Daily Public Event rewards. The end result: in five minutes flat I power level up from 34 (which, translated into the new Light levelling system, is ‘Light 140’) to the new cap of level 40. Curiously, that still keeps me at Light 140. More on that in a second.

At this point a Bungie handler wanders past my station and catches sight of my level 40 character. I see one of his eyebrows rise. I share his surprise. Have I just peaked in 5 minutes flat?

Thankfully, no. Not even close. As I continue to smash story missions, and side-quests dedicated to unlocking the fantastic new subclasses for each Guardian, it becomes apparent that level 40 means diddly squat. The big quantifier now is Light: an average representing the combined attack/defence potency of 10 gear/gun/item slots. The old system rated a player’s worth on 4 bits of elusive armour, and this became the source of ludicrous difficulty spikes, not to mention a great deal of elitist dickery and player exclusion.

The new end game is to reach Light 290 in order to earn access to the new Raid. This once epic Hunter of mine is only a filthy Light 140 scrub. That won’t do at all. I spit on my hands and get ready for a new grind.

Take the pro tip now: forget your old gear – precious Raid rewards and Xûr bought exotics both. Chuck ’em in your vault (which has now doubled in size) or slag them into the new non-class-specific upgrade material. Being that I don’t give a crap about my “cloned gear”, I embrace this concept immediately and spend the next 12 hours or so voraciously hunting down any Common (white) and Uncommon (green) gear which all consistently outperform my old stuff while earning me precious Light increases. The bumps in power are only ever measured in single digits, but every time my legend inches forward there’s a triumphant sound effect that sends a goofy shiver down my spine.

Going in, I thought that ditching Fatebringer, Gjallahorn and Vision of Confluence, would cause unbearable separation anxiety. It’s actually liberating. I’m loving the sea change of discovering a host of new favourite weapons (some of them experimental boomsticks ‘on loan’ from the Gunsmith via his new weekly bounties). I feel like I’ve broken up from a manipulative relationship with those old death-dealers of mine. I’m playing the field again. I’m meeting new people, in this case the titular Taken with my sword (a new heavy weapon type).

Better yet, my continued growth is now reliant on a system that is less RNG and more attentive to what I have, and what I hunger for next. If I ever earn a gun type that I detest, I just crunch it down like an old beer can and infuse its power into a weaker weapon that I prefer more. I never once find myself pissed off about a loot drop that’s not enhancing my effectiveness in some way. Ask any Destiny player out there; this is a massive step in the right direction.

I’m also impressed with the challenge presented by the Taken. These ethereal bastards quickly belt me right out of my old tactical comfort zones (often literally with stupidly OP melee hits that slingshot my stupid arse off a cliff). Psion enemies now multiply if not culled quickly. Snipers need to be bum rushed when they camp in bubbles that regen their health. And I guarantee that Taken Captains will become the new bane of your existence when they saturate your sight-lines with hadoukens of blinding hate. To say combat is exciting again is an understatement.

The Taken King is also bursting at the seams with new ways to scratch that trigger finger of yours. Once the satisfying ‘main story’ wraps, in roughly 16 quest steps and a handful of hours, you’ll gain access to a considerably larger aftermath thread called The Taken War, not to mention half a dozen or so Strikes. The latter offer a helluva lot more replayability, thanks to randomising enemy encounters, and there are quirky Raid-like mechanics peppered throughout. If you sprint in expecting mindless shootfests that end with a big bad bullet-sponge on steroids, you’ve got a date with the death-screen.

Couple those Strikes with an expansive new tomb ship – the puzzle-filled loot palace that is Oryx’s carrier – and The Taken King feels like it has twice the content of vanilla (and I haven’t even touched the Raid yet, which is traditionally where Bungie delivers its most memorable Destiny content). A lot of my hours were lost with a three-person fireteam in the new Court of Oryx public space. Essentially it offers community-driven, on-demand boss battles. Providing servers are populated, you might find yourself informally ‘folded in’ with two random three-person fireteams, and the nine of you will need to go hammer and tongs on a series of creative boss encounters.

Can a gaggle of uncommunicative Guardian strangers band together to kill lethal beasts under very specific (and difficult) conditions? Best case scenario: I think the Court will be a place where a lot of friend requests will be exchanged after epic battles. That, or the hate mail messaging will flow. Either, or.

I’ve no doubt this sort of community interaction will make for a fine addition to the Destiny experience, but the biggest improvement over vanilla has got to be the single-player narrative. Along with a greatly improved Ghost companion (thank you, Nolan North), Bungie has wisely singled out the most interesting Tower denizens and transformed them from one-liner-wonders into characters worth caring about.

I particularly loved the mid-mission banter between the nonsense-spouting Eris Morn and the no-bullshit Commander Zavala (Lance Reddick). However, the real show-stealer here is Cayde-6 (Nathan Fillion), the smart ass rogue of a Hunter who is your main point of contact throughout. I found myself looking forward to every single interaction with him, be it in a grandiose mid-level cutscene or just a casual conversation during the multitude of minor side-quests on offer. Fillion can narrate my life, basically.

I walk away from The Taken King with no scowl on my face. The only concerns worth mentioning are the occasional load hitches between areas, and Bungie’s reworking of its inventory system made the menus take at least twice as long to populate. That sure pissed me off when my back was against the wall and I needed to pop an ammo synth or switch subclasses. [Update: the latter complaint seems to have been patched away].

This is a sizeable u-turn that deserves the moniker ‘major expansion’ and it goes a long way to dispelling the snide handle that is “Bungle”. What I finished really does make the original Destiny release look like a beta, mostly thanks to an overhaul of the original framework and a king’s ransom of exciting new content. I’m quite taken by it. I think you might be too.

Disclosure: Adam Mathew travelled to Bungie as a guest of Activision.


  • Adam Mathew travelled to Bungie as a guest of Blizzard

    How is Blizzard involved in this? I understand that Bungie and Blizzard both fall under Activision, but I would have thought Blizzard would be totally separate from Bungie. Or is Activision and Blizzard the same entity?

    • Just thinking about dealing with a zerg rush in destiny…….. I love starcraft, but imagine 100 zerglings running down a hill with hydralisks and banelings following….. plus a few flyers….. and just standing there with my voidwalker switching out the ice breaker for something with a lot more bullets….. must go play more destiny now…… 🙂

    • Since it was a merger, not an acquisition, technically Activision is Blizzard and Blizzard is Activision. Most people just refer to Activison/Blizzard as Activision for brevity’s sake.

      It is weird to call them Blizzard though, I wonder why this is.

  • I really, really, really wan Bungie to release another campaign shooter at some point. My internet is too shit, and my time too poor to be able to get into an MMO type situation, but I really miss the solid way Bungie could make a shooter.

  • I really hope guys buying the DLC enjoy it, this isn’t aimed at you guys or anyone in general. I just feel sorry for people like me who only have the base game and possibly the first two DLC’s.

    People like us actually have less to do now than what we originally did a week ago. I don’t mean the removal of the Taken King Multiplayer from the free week end, I mean the content we had before that. No jokes.

    Strike difficulty (Edit: Difficulties above ‘easy’ lvl 6-16) locked behind paywalls (Even the dark below and house of wolves), multiplayer game types locked, no weeklies, no nightfall, no heroic strikes (EDIT: No daily heroic as well)…. All this after already having payed $120 for the game and year 1 content. I had expected to keep what I had at minimum.

    And to make things worse, you can buy the base game WITH ALL DLC’s for the same price as the new DLC stand alone. Add the fact that the armor and weapons from the first two dlc’s were usable by people who didn’t buy the DLC. That’s not bad in it’s self, but what were we paying for? And only to be locked out this time around?

    Am I wrong? Missing something? I was actually excited to actually be able to find matches with people on the house of wolves and dark below maps for a change as well, not to have only 3 game modes remaining to choose from unless I cough up.

    • Totally agree. I was just reading the latest patch notes and yeah, if you don’t buy TTK, you are pretty much screwed and won’t be able to do anything substantial. Like you won’t be able to do Nightfalls anymore, and you won’t be able to do Daily Heroic story missions either.

    • That’s pretty disgusting. Fuck bungie and\or activision – whomeva came up with this insane business model,

    • This is the nature of the game though. When you brought Destiny the content you paid for had an expiration date. It’s annoying and they could have been clearer about it but that was always the deal. It’s like when the level cap is raised in World of Wacraft. The game is about progression and that means the content you paid for is going to age and become worthless as new content comes in.
      Don’t get me wrong, as much as I love Destiny I tapped out on it because they’re constantly asking for more while delivering less, so I’m in the same boat as you. It’s just that the stuff you spent $120 on was never intended to stay fresh forever. That’s why so many of us were pissed off at their pricing. We knew the DLC packs weren’t expansions. They don’t add more content to the game they simply replace end-game until the next DLC drops.

      All that said you’re right to be pissed. They sold Destiny as subscription free when really all they did was change the subscription period from monthly to yearly.

      • Yup, I agree with your subscription points. It’s why I stopped playing it for a long time before getting back into it casually with some friends.

        I do want to clarify though, my biggest gripe isn’t that the DLC’s didn’t stay ‘fresh’. It’s that they have literally ‘locked’ content, that was previously available, behind a pay wall unless you buy the new DLC. You cannot select higher strike difficulties or do multiplayer modes that we used to have access to. (Eg: No more ‘control’ matches unless you have TTK).

        EDIT: Oh, btw, it’s also not a case of not being able to do more difficult strikes because you can’t reach the level cap without the DLC, it’s that you literally cant select a lvl higher than ‘easy’ (which ends somewhere at lvl 14-16 from memory) when you used to be able to choose up to lvl 30-32.

      • They sold Destiny as subscription free when really all they did was change the subscription period from monthly to yearly.

        The worst thing with this is that there are none of the benefits that come with paying for a sub. The game is all peer 2 peer with no new content between overpriced dlc cycles (the dlc are generally pretty lacking – can’t comment on the taken king as there is no way i’d ever pay $80 for it). So their running costs are comparatively low compared to something like diablo 3 on pc with less updates to content.

        And yet people lap this shit up. Kinda makes me sad.

    • I’ve kept up to date on the DLCs so not run across this problem, but the fact you’re now locked out of content you paid for because you haven’t bought the new content is rough, and going to be a problem moving forward as they continue to release paid expansions 3x a year instead of charging a sub fee like a normal MMO would. I understand they can’t divide the player base too much and continue to support obsolete content, but you typically expect to be able to play games for more than a year without having to upgrade.

    • Are you sure you are locked out? I remember with the last DLC (that I didn’t get straight away), I’d only get locked out if the daily/weekly/etc was one of the DLC missions, once the next rollover came around, I’d be able to do them again as the mission/strike/nightfall was not from the DLC that I didn’t have.

      If thats not the case though, I’ll be packing up my game and trading it in.

      • I also got the original DLC late so I know exactly what you mean about the rollover. I’m fine with not being able to play the new missions and on the new difficulty like with the last DLC. That’s fair IMO, as I haven’t played for that.

        But as it stands ATM the only difficulty I can select is ‘easy’ (lvl 6-16 depending on the planet I think). Which also means that ANY weekly/ daily content is now locked because difficulties above the BASE GAME’S EASY are locked.

        Furthermore I can only choose 3 of the multiplayer game modes. Control is now locked out completely for me, on the old maps and new, and it was my favorite game mode.

        EDITED because it’s early and I forgot stuff lol.

        • That is just insane then… that might just be the final nail in the coffin for me.

          I understand them locking it for the new content, but locking us out of content we’ve paid for is just wrong.

          How can they lock out control!?! That is the only game mode I played in crucible 🙁

    • This.

      I feel your pain. I got both expansions and the digital download of TKK is 69.95 on the Xbox live store, 69.95! The whole package is 79.00 dollars at JB Hifi. I just paid 79.00 for a piece of paper, this is crazy considering how much waste is generated. Its like they had all these destiny discs in storage and needed to get rid of them.

      To top it all off there isn’t even any TKK disc art its the same disc. I now have a copy of Destiny that’s essentially useless. They said they were going to make it right, when? The Veterans quest that you do at the beginning that gives you all that cool gear is pretty much useless now.

      Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is 39.95 for what essentially is a new game, that’s Australian as well. CD Projekt RED offered free DLC for The Witcher 3.

      Bungie are taking the piss, and people are lapping it up. I for one am super pissed.

      In the words of my friend Brick Top: You’re on thin fucking ice my pedigree chums and I shall be under it when it breaks

  • And as soon as its free I may take a look, but in my view this game is cooked. Bungie simply can’t cure the biblical shit tonnes of butthurt they dished out to players in the piece of ass that was ‘year one’. Rather than buy this I have sourced a copy of Eternal Darkness on GameCube….I hear it actually has a story.

    • You’re relying on a logical fallacy that because you don’t like something, no one else does. Destiny has an astonishingly active community and many players have come flocking back to the new content. Obviously I don’t have numbers on hand and I’m sure they’re not as impressive as Bungie/Activision would like, but The Taken King seems to have genuinely reinvigorated the game.

      That said, it released roughly 14 hours ago, so it’s early days yet. People were excited for House of Wolves too but it turned out to be another Band-Aid.

      • Logical fallacy? Not sure what you are getting at bro.

        I’m just saying that, in my humble opinion:
        1. I won’t pay for content and features that should have formed part of my original purchase ;
        2. I suspect it will tank due to the history of serious, sustained and negligent butthurt from Bungie and Activision;
        3. I suspect the story will still suck and/or not exist; and
        4. there are far better games to play, including seriously old ones.

        I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, the community can do what it wants.

        • You “suspect” it will tank. That’s different from asserting it will which is what your initial post did.

          There’s no evidence that the game is a failure despite a large number of detractors constantly insisting it is, and the response to the new story has been overwhelmingly positive.

          Your decision to not pay for this content and a preference to play your other/older games you find more enjoyable is sensible and I commend you for pursuing the best course of action for your gaming needs.

          • I have never said it will tank … I said I thought the game was “cooked” (i.e. finished, nothing left to give) and I suspect it will tank, but judging by this and other forums there are enough fans out there to keep the wheel turning….despite the inevitable butthurt

          • One of the first things you said was “in my view” yet you still had a Destiny fan come tell you you’re wrong lol.

          • And you downvoted me for correcting someone who explicitly said “correct me if I’m wrong”, lol.

          • Your point?

            Seemed like you enjoyed correcting someone and padding out a feature list for your precious game just a little too much for my liking.

            Nice to know downvotes bother you, lol.

          • I was just pointing out your hypocrisy. You took issue with an uninvited criticism but apparently you can’t cope with invited corrections either. Being open to discourse and differing opinions is apparently beyond you.

          • I didn’t take issue with anything, I simply found it humorous. You really want to bring hypocrisy into this when you were just telling someone how their opinion was wrong? It’s ok mate, it was just a downvote. No need to get upset.

            Must be a nice view from up there, though.

          • Enjoying things and discussing them is much easier than putting effort into hating something I have no interest in.

          • Do you have to keep saying the word “butthurt”? It’s the sort of thing idiots say. Now i’m sure you’re not an idiot, but you don’t want to confuse people.

          • Dammit! I didn’t realise butthurt had such a bad rap, just saw it floating around in all the comments when Tony Abbott got ditched and it made me lol…I’ll switch to something else

          • I follow you. I kinda agree. I hope it tanks to a point that Destiny becomes something I want again as it does have solid gameplay and fantastic art. Man, such a lowsy experience though despite those two points of mine is a real brain melter.

  • I wanted to feel good about buying this and getting back into destiny but I really can’t. As was mentioned above forcing me to buy dlc to be able to play modes I already have payed for doesn’t sit well with me. That coupled with the fact that the past 2 dlcs were going to “change the game in meaningful ways” as well just doesn’t inspire confidence that I should believe it this time. Just going to wait it out this time, if they have a sale on TTK at Christmas I’ll grab it and have a look.

  • Look, I’m for so called “DLC” but don’t offer it only in retail with everything else that’s come before it without being able to separate the new DLC out.

    A blatant money making scheme and Bungie has taken mine for the last time.

    • They do sell it online for $70 and I’m sure I could find a TKK pack for less then that.

      When the TKK pack is below $40 or the DLC is below $40 I might consider a purchase. I am aware that TKK is more like Destiny 2 and has more content than Year 1 combined. But year 1 was rough, we want a bit of romance a bit of plot and we’re not ready to make that much commitment to Year 2 just yet.

      All that said I did love playing Destiny, but if they are locking out all the stuff I could do to next to nothing, well I’m out I guess.

  • What I read: “Destiny is so amazing – it’s the same game we already had but they added new things with bigger numbers.”

    Yeah, if I want WoW, I can already play WoW.

    I still can’t believe Kotaku is pushing the rusty Destiny hype-wagon after all this time, and to be honest, I’m a little disappointed. As far as I can tell, the only thing being “taken” is people’s money.

    • You aren’t wrong.
      I was actually pretty keen to get back into it for TTK then I saw it was as much as a full game…

      Long story short, i saved the money I’d have spent on ttk and bought mario maker.

      No regrets

      • My understanding is that TTK adds as much content to the base game as the base game had itself at launch (if not more), and considerably more effort has gone into the storytelling this time around.

        If you balked at $70 solely because you expect it was going to be as lacklustre as the $20 Dark Below/House of Wolves expansions, you are mistaken. That said, if you’re just not interested in buying and playing more Destiny, then choosing not to is still the right answer for you.

        • I’m pretty sure there arent 4 new maps/worlds with 5+ story missions per map/world added with TTK.
          Correct me if im wrong, but I thought it was 1 map/world with 5+ story missions a cpl of pvp maps and modes.

          • Correct me if im wrong

            Very well.

            Oryx’s Dreadnought contains a number of story missions and is a completely new patrol zone, plus there is the Martian moon Phobos which contains some of the story. There’s around 16 story missions not counting the post-story missions referred to as “The Taken War”, and the missions to unlock the new subclasses for each class. The story missions have considerably more narrative and characterisation than the base game.
            There are also new exotic weapon quests, two new PVP modes and several new maps, three new strikes (plus a Playstation exclusive, The Echo Chamber – it doesn’t come to Xbox until next year but Xbox now has access to the former exclusives, Dust Palace and Undying Mind), plus a raid coming in three days. Some of the story also takes place in new areas of existing worlds (not sure exactly where but there’s at least two new story missions on earth that I’ve noticed). One of the features of “patrol” in the Dreadnought region is the Court of Oryx where fireteams can summon special events and fight new bosses with unique game mechanics.

            A little bit more than one world/five story missions and a couple of pvp maps.

          • Hmm more than I thought! So give or take 2/3rds of the base game. Kinda makes sense with the price now.

          • I think a lot of people were under the impression that it was going to be the same amount of content as The Dark Below and House of Wolves which while pretty decent/interesting, were disappointingly small at $20 each.

          • Don’t really give a crap how much content is in it tbh. Not after the bs pricing. I can’t support a company who damn near robs its supporters.


            Each to their own

          • I’m confused.

            I assume by “pricing BS” you mean the DLC being priced at $70 but not offering $70 worth of content because it’s only DLC. But, if it’s $70 worth of content, then there’s no “BS”, just “pricing”, so the complaint is baseless.

            So far I would say that the game is on track with a comparable offering to the base game which probably cost $70-$80 AUD at launch, depending where you shopped. I personally bought the Ghost collector’s edition which was considerably more, a decision I do not regret.

            Alternatively you might mean the fact you can buy the year 1 content plus the Taken King for only a small amount more than the Taken King by itself. Considering the majority of the year 1 content is no longer really playable without The Taken King add-on, this makes sense. It might feel like a snub of year 1 players who paid full price for that content, but that’s the point – year one players got the full benefit of that content while newcomers do not – it’s only a base for the current iteration of the game, The Taken King, to build upon.

            Or maybe you think the game overall is too expensive. I don’t really disagree, but I primarily blame the Australia tax for that.

            In short, I don’t understand exactly what your complaint is, but ultimately that’s not important. What is important is if you don’t want to buy the game there’s really no imperative for you to do so.

    • you do know that WOW isnt the only MMO game in the world, hell many many type of games that arent WOW or MMO’s have expansions that come out and just add bigger numbers and new areas.

      if all you got from reading this article was that you must really need to get new glasses or improve your comprehension skills.

      I payed $120 a year ago and got over 450 hours of gaming from it, hell i payed $69 for this and I have already got 12 hours out of it and only done the main story, and some patrols. I still have many many quest lines to do, say nothing of the new strikes and raid. Last time i bought a CoD game all i got for my $99 was a 6 hour story.

    • Yep how dare a gaming site cover games. I mean they’re constantly talking about Destiny! Occasionally they have an article about it amongst the millions of other articles about other games they always post! How dare they cover gaming news 😛

      • The issue is that the coverage of Destiny is always couched in positive terms. Even when they’re complaining about Destiny, it’s still always “but it’s still such a great game”.

        Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, watch it, I’m huge and taking my wallet away from Bungle.

        • Destiny is a great game, Mechanically, the way you move and interact is still fun. But the story was lacking.

        • *shrug* I can see its flaws but I still find it a great game, I’ve certainly played much worse and gotten a lot less for the same price in my 2 decades of gaming.

          My point is that for all the hate out there there are still plenty of people who are loving it, and every article I’ve read does cover its downfalls too. I just can’t see it as disingenuous personally. While it’s not a perfect game, I feel like it gets far more hate than it deserves. Personally, the Destiny articles I’ve seen (like this one) seem fairly balanced. Not just praising it but talking about the faults too.

    • What I read: “Destiny is so amazing – it’s the same game we already had but they added new things with bigger numbers.”

      Come on man, the article specifically illustrates how the opposite of that is the case. The Taken King is already leagues above the previous two expansions and the original game from what I have played and changes almost every single element of the game in some way.

      I’m seeing a lot of people here saying “as far as I can tell”, “it seems like”, “it’s probably”, etc. Who are pretty much making baseless comments from maybe having played the original game, but possibly not even that.

      Kotaku specifically has had many different articles, positive and negative about Destiny, and even in the positive ones it’s almost always brought up how flawed the game is in many ways. They aren’t just blindly praising it.

      I played Dota 2 for roughly 6 hours or so and based on my observations there was one map, that everyone played over and over again, with no story content, and most of the enjoyment of the game locked away behind endgame play and a hardcore fanbase. I will never play Dota 2 again, it did nothing for me. But I completely understand that my position is one of ignorance, and that there is a huge player base that knows the game far better than I, and that loves the metagame that comes from hardcore play and tactics.

      Try and see past your own experience when it comes to these things. Your experience, your opinion, is hardly universal. And that’s a good thing; but don’t let it blind you.

      • Good points. Destiny seems to be one of those polarising games where the fans love it and the others hate it or are just sick of hearing about it.

        I only played the original and I thought it was an OK game that just turned into a grind which isn’t my thing. Loved it up to then and played after that for some bit but to be honest, I got all I wanted out of the game and don’t see any point going back. I just lost interest and there was no prospect exciting enough to fork out more money on the chance they fixed what i thought was a major problem with the game (for me).

        I think a lot of people view it the same and are expressing it. This isnt ignorance, just a different preference for their gaming. Like you said, experience and opinion are hardly universal, including your own.

        • Yeah when I say ignorance I mean specifically the dictionary definition of “Lack of knowledge or information”. Not the more negative connotation people usually use for it or interpret it as. So more like, you can’t pass judgement on a game / DLC you haven’t played, you know?

          • “The Game”…. As I said, I have played. I won’t and haven’t passed comment on the DLC other than to say from what I have seen and my experience with THE GAME I don’t want to fork out $70 for them to fix the problem with THE GAME, not THE DLC, the core game that again I have played and am not lacking knowledge or information on. They delivered a half baked game where they promised A LOT and failed to deliver on it.
            To say, “hey you should pay another $70 cos now they got their shit together” and then call people out for not wanting to or to say their opinion doesn’t matter because they don’t want to be taken by the hype again and be disappointed again, is to me a bit ridiculous.
            Ever heard the saying “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”. That’s Bungie when it comes to Destiny.

      • Yeah, I did engage in a bit of self-aware hyperbole, but to be fair, it does take over halfway through the article before it does legitimately talking about new content that isn’t basically just bigger numbers.

        That said, fixing the gameplay so it wasn’t bland and repetitive and re-writing/recording the story so it wasn’t a terrible narrative was overdue almost upon Destiny’s release. Admittedly most dev teams new to MMOs struggle to find the way to make it “work” to attract new players and retain existing ones long term as far as gameplay and content goes, but there have been better offerings than Destiny that have gone bust harder from other devs, but Bungie has gotten a bit of a pass because ZOMG WE LUV HALO.

        I don’t hate Destiny, I just found it woefully overhyped compared to what it delivered, and while now it feels like it might actually be able to deliver at least part of what Bungie said it up to be, that ship has sailed as far as I’m concerned.

        Also, big thumbs down to the author not knowing that “Bungle” originated from Red vs Blue YEARS AGO (in an amusing and not derogatory fashion), and *not* the Crapcom crowd.

  • I loved my time with Destiny, but I also hated it. It was so disappointing to see a game with fun mechanics brought down by terrible decisions.

    Raid-wrecking bugs like faulty portals and fan requests like weekly strike/raid matchmaking were left by the wayside while Bungie ruined anyone’s attempts to actually get equipment and level up.

    A leveling system that was not only unreliable, but unbalanced. A level 9 player vs a level 20 enemy was an impossible battle, but a level 9 enemy could still easily kill a level 20 player.

    Year 1 players were screwed over when they added commendations (in that they would have already had many of them if the system was there from the start), or when the first DLC dropped and all the effort to get armour drops from the raid was invalidated by the ability to just buy better gear.

    After all these mis-steps, and even Adam’s own admission that he was suckered in by the initial promises/hype, I can’t believe he (and others) could be so excited for something that (based on the history of the game) is going to be ultimately disappointing.

  • I played a ton of destiny because I had a group of real world friends who played. Then I played more because I had a friends list chock full of people I had met playing Destiny. Even after I culled it down to just those I played with regularly it was still very long.

    I have not seen a single one on playing Destiny in the last 24 hours.

    People must be playing, but all the year one players I know have not jumped on the hype train.

    I uninstalled it. No point having a huge chunk of my hard drive taken up by a game that lost most interesting content.

    • All the year one players who bought the base game and the other 2 dlc’s probably realised how ripped off they are now that ttk is 70-something bucks and that the base game + year 1 dlc WITH ttk was a similar price.

      Basically bungie really fucked over year 1 players with their bullshit pricing.

      • Not really. Year one content has been largely rendered obsolete, and while you can still play the original story and the original strikes are still in the game, you don’t get the most out of them without the Taken King expansion.

        TTK is effectively a “new” game that has built on the original content and added considerably more.

        Year one players didn’t get screwed, they bought and played the content to completion. If you buy the bundle now, you’re really buying it for The Taken King – the base game and DLC is just that, a base that the current iteration of the game builds on. There’s no way they can reasonably charge full price for that now.

        • It’s true. We cant even choose difficulties over easy (Lvl 6-16) and can’t play more than 3 of the multiplayer game modes.

          • In that way you get screwed – if you don’t have TTK yet obviously you get left behind. The fact that the year 1 content is effectively free with TTK purchase is not the issue here. I got my money’s worth out of year 1, and have moved onto year 2. If you’re still playing year 1, you lose out.

          • Yeah, that’s a problem. You can still paly the strikes – at their base difficulty level. You can play the story – on easy mode. All the high level challenging/fun content is sectioned off, not to mention most of the crucible playlists.

          • Yuppo. I would argue though that the difficulty setting could be seen as ‘content’, but I know others may not see it that way. Anyways, just can’t justify buying this DLC just to get locked out again in 6 months to a year.

          • Can I ask, seriously, why are you still playing Destiny, but not buying the new content? After a year of playing, the game has more than paid for itself, including the (arguably) inflated price for The Taken King. Most triple A games cost $80ish provide you with a few weeks of fun, and then you might not pick it up again for years.

            But Destiny’s kept you coming back for a year regularly enough that you see the fact that you are locked out of content as an issue. You’re still playing this game, you must like it. Destiny + DLCs as a value proposition are better than almost every other triple A game released this generation. So why aren’t you getting the expansion?

          • Well, you are making a lot of assumptions, but I guess it’s because I feel that (And it’s cool if your views differ):

            1: I can choose what to spend my money on.

            2: It’s your opinion, which I respect, that the game has payed for itself. And, while I’m glad that it has for you, I don’t feel that way, especially with how little value the previous DLC’s offered, in my opinion.

            3: I bought the previous DLC’s in the sale less than 3 months ago after not playing Destiny for 6 months because of serious content fatigue. At this point I can’t justify paying $70-80ish to be locked out of the old content THAT I PAYED FOR, yet again, when the next DLC comes out. If it happens once, what’s to stop it happening again and again.

            4: The pricing of this DLC doesn’t match up. Why is the base game and ALL the DLC only $10 more than this DLC alone? Wheres the value for those of us who bought the original DLC/ game? Add to the question of why the previous DLC gear was available to all and now this isn’t etc. It just bitters the whole situation more and more.

            5: I played the game casually with some friends. None of them are buying the DLC because they also feel like they aren’t valued as a consumer nor do they feel that they are getting (Or have gotten up to this point) value.

            6: The trust is gone. Again, your views may be different, but that’s just how I, and the people I play with, feel. And if they aren’t coming back, that’s another reason for me not to.

            7: Half of the reason to buy the DLC would be to get back what I had before the DLC released. I.E the strike difficulties (I’m not talking about the new lvl 40 stuff, I mean the old lvl 32 difficulties that have now been locked out) and the other MP game types that we used to have. The added maps, gametypes etc don’t really interest me as nearly as much as the stuff that I had a week ago but now don’t have access to. Again. I can’t even play he ‘control’ match type anymore. That doesn’t scream value to me. (Again IMO.)

            Lastly: Like I say, not having access to the new content is perfectly fine. I didn’t pay for it and that’s fair. What bugs me is that I can no longer access content we used to have. Ie. difficulties above lvl 6-16 and the other multiplayer modes. It left a bad, bad, bad taste in my mouth and more buyers remorse than I’ve ever felt towards a game. Even more than Arkham Knight on PC.

            *Edited for flow 😉

          • All fair points. Just wanted to clarify your position, because it’s rare to see someone still playing the game a year on but not enjoying it enough to buy DLC. It’s, as illustrated by the comments here, a bit of a love it or loathe it sort of game.

          • Fair enough then. Yeah, myself, and my mates, stopped playing shortly after we reached endgame on our characters after the game was out for about a month or two.

            Bored stiff of running through the same areas again and again, shooting bullet sponges for the small chance of getting good loot, we then took a massive break until the DLC was recently on sale. I bought it to play with my mates who also bought it to, lazily, give it another go. We found it a very casual experience to just kick back with occasionally.

            We were all content with just stopping play again until this DLC went on sale, but after seeing, first hand, Bungie/ Activisions business practice (Especially at this price point), that’s just not happening for all the points above. And it’s a pity because I really think that Destiny COULD have been a great game. But as it is its just a more expensive, less fleshed out version of Borderlands or an MMO.

    • One of my mates was/is in the top XXX in the world (think he said top hundred) and he has jumped ship too. The amount of hours he’s put into the game is insane, but he’s now done. The changes plus the price (mainly the price) has finally pushed him over the line and he just can’t do it anymore.

  • Anyone who has the new expansion able to tell me what the single player experience is like from level 1 these days?

    Overall, it was pretty crap at launch (when I last played). The story was vague and poorly explained. The shooting and movement was nice. The missions were unbalanced to the point of frustration, going in difficulty from missions about mowing down waves of minions without even trying to missions about wave after wave of “kill you in two hits” mini-bosses. Ammo not resetting after respawn at checkpoints, effectively making long missions a “don’t die, or you have to start over” sorta thing anyway (because you have to quit the mission and go farm more ammo).

    Have they smoothed out any of that yet?

    I am still wanting to experience the Destiny world, it was lots of fun to explore. I just don’t want to cough up for the expansions if I still won’t be able to progress past the lowbie level missions solo (none of my regular gaming group play Destiny).

    • To put it simply, no, they haven’t patched the first year grind to level twenty stuff. But, you don’t need to go through that lvl 20 grind anymore. They literally give you a pass to lvl 25 just so you can start playing the new expansion.
      More in depth of your question: Ammo doesn’t reset back to the way it was before you died, reason being is because technically your ghost resurrects you when you die, rather than respawning. However, ammo is not a problem anymore. Ammo drops are more frequent and most armor increases the amount of ammo you can hold or increases how much each drop contains. Not to mention there’s a few weapons that regenerate ammo. The shooting and movement is the same. The story (from House of Wolves onward I’d say) is much better explained, with the addition of more (skip-able) cut scenes. The boss fights have changed quite a bit as well from what I’ve played of the Taken King, with many little mechanics that add flavour to what used to be just a bullet sponge boss you’d face at the end of a standard strike/mission.

      All in all, it really depends on how you go into Destiny. If you go in with the negative attitude like some of the people commenting here…you will see the flaws of the past outweigh the corrections of the future. If you go in positive, you will thoroughly enjoy the new and old content because those small flaws are generally fixed pretty quick, and don’t subtract from the game to the point it’s unenjoyable or unplayable.

      • The fact the content is so easily removed, and that it’s seen as a positive thing, is probably a big indicator of just how much busywork is involved with Destiny. The gameplay is fun enough to make up for the lack of solid content but it’s a bit rich asking this much money for content that two years from now players will be pissed off if they can’t skip straight past.

  • I caved in and bought it… there is nothing that really interests me out now or coming out soon. So I thought why not. Now I just cant shake this guilty feeling, I had to pay $70 for it… surely there are other developers out there who deserve my money more? I mean $70!!! I just feel ripped off, after all i have spent! It has tainted my enjoyment if the game, to a degree that i cant really enjoy it. not to mention that I have it on Xbox one, so I miss out on what is apparently the best strike (ps4 exclusive) and lots of armor, for the same price mind you. It leaves a really bad taste in the mouth, I wish I had more will power…

    • Can you break down why you think $70 isn’t a fair price? Can you show me DLC from other games that was priced at $20 (or whatever the first two were) that provided that much content / replayability? I think a lot of people have gotten hung up on the price thing, but even vanilla Destiny’s price tag seems more than justified considering the game kept me playing for over 6 months compared to all other triple A games that don’t last more than a few weeks.

      Even The Witcher 3, with its vast world, even Metal Gear Solid V, with its many missions and weapons to unlock, the playing time fall off is always not more than a month weeks for me.

  • I’ve enjoyed playing Destiny and I’m really liking TTK so far. However, I am part of an active clan where it’s really easy to get into the raid side of things and where people are more than happy to help you farm for certain gear…I might not have lasted as long without so many people enabling my gaming habit.
    TTK definitely feels like a huge step in the right direction for Bungie.
    Your mileage may vary- Destiny certainly polarises people.

  • No, it’s not perfect. Yes, Bungie have made some annoying screw ups. Yes, the pricing seems harsh to charge $70 for a digital update when a complete edition can be obtained for $20 more. But to counter all the negativity above… playing last night, mix of soloing some of the new story missions and hanging with a few of the regulars in a party. Plenty of astonishment and Well worth the $70. It looks amazing. The mission design is really good. The story is fleshing out some of those tantalising year one hints. What I’ve played of the new Sunbreaker subclass is fantastic.

    Loving it.

  • I still enjoy the game, and I know I’d enjoy the DLC, but the price has made it realy easy for me to say no. Especially when we’re paying more then anywhere else in the world.
    If it was a reasonable price, I’d probably bite and download it, but as it stands, $70… more then I paid for the full game… is just a joke.

    I’m kind of glad to be honest, now I’m playing games that I’ve been sitting on for months, and finding I’m getting a lot more sleep 😛 haha

  • Destiny was at launch a 10/10 shooter mechanics wise and a 2/10 RPG. Becoming the most frustrating 6/10 game in existance. I. Passed. as the taken king updates have improved it to being a 6/10 RPG while continuing to have the best fps mechanics on the market. I decided to buyin. After the content moves on I can’t imagine buying anything destiny related until the destiny 2: taken king dlc in 2 years time. Hopefully buy then the RPG mechanics will be a 7 or 8 out of 10

  • I played a lot of Destiny when it was first released, raided the Vault and cleared it on week 2 with my group. It was a lot of fun but there was so much missing. So much wasted potential. I quit just before the Dark Below and barely played any since then.

    I said I’d wait for reviews after the lackluster base game and first two expansions…. but fuck it. I caved and bought TTK last night.

    This is what the game should have been in the beginning. I can track quests, I can see my reputation with each faction, the new story makes sense, there’s cutscenes (WHICH YOU CAN NOW SKIP OMG) with likable characters! This is a big step in the right direction and if my 3 hours with it last night is anything to go by, I’m looking forward to getting back into it properly.

  • I bought the physical collector’s ed of this, even though I had the base game and the 2 DLC.

    I haven’t touched Destiny in a few months but the prospect of getting new gear has brought me back and the changes they’ve made look great.

  • Not only did I enjoy reading this because of the fact that Destiny is good again, but it was a killer read. I laughed. Thankyou.

  • Also, just noticed that the Collectors edition (base game, plus taken king and all DLC) is only $78 at Target at the moment.

    Just making it harder for me to by the $70 DLC 🙁

    • You mean the Legendary edition. The CE contains other stuff as well.

      This is exactly what I did. Traded my original disc in at EB for $20, then got them to price-match Target. I paid $55 for Destiny originally and now $58 for the LE.

      • Thankyou for the correction 🙂

        Thats actually a pretty darn good idea!! I could handle paying $58 for TTK!! Hmmmm… I might just do that actually! Did not even think of trading it in!

  • Played it for 4 hours last night. Really enjoyed it. It has freshened things up. There was more story in the first couple of TTK missions than in the whole of the original base game. Also have lots of quests to go through and haven’t event touched the crucible or the strikes. $69AU is a lot for DLC but really I’m going to get my 100 hours out of it so that isn’t too bad a dollar vs gaming time ratio.

  • lmao

    one year on, a few crappy dlc’s and rose tinted glasses to bring morons back to this shit heap of a game?

    • Let me guess. You either have never played it or you stopped playing after you hit level 20. That about right?

      • I got to level 27 with mates and have gone back to check out the free DLC a couple of times, it’s a pretty terrible game unless you’re talking specifically about the mechanics. So many stupid decisions by Bungie/Activision took a game with such potential and turned it into a joke.

        The fans defending the game really top it off for me though. I love hearing the justification for spending $70 on DLC and how anyone that doesn’t like it obviously hasn’t played it or played enough.

        • Simply put, you HAVEN’T played enough to make an authoritative judgement. At level 27, you wouldn’t have even played most of the endgame content, or if you did, you would have been under-levelled enough not to enjoy it. You didn’t stick around to see all of the great changes and fixes they’ve brought in. You laugh at the so-called fans who defend the game. But it’s the fans who have stuck with the game and seen it grow and transform. They are the ones you should be listening to instead of being just another troll on the hate wagon without any experience of any part of the game beyond the first month.

          • 143 hours of play time isn’t enough for me to form my own opinion on the game? I’ve even defended Destiny here before, I really wanted the game to be something great.

            I went back multiple times, hoping that the additions/fixes/changes would help me enjoy it. They didn’t. A couple of raids that I can only access if I have a preset group (tried those lfg websites, got trolls and people without mics) isn’t going to keep me doing the same shit over and over.

            Each to their own, I’m not saying you’re wrong for enjoying the game, but to say I’m just a “troll on the hate wagon” is a bit closed minded. There’s a reason so many people voice their distaste for it..

  • At the moment it does seem way more interesting than the original game, but unfortunately I’m still hesitant to go ahead and purchase it.

    • BOOM! I really wish people who don’t play destiny would say it like this instead of the crap above about how ‘it’s so shit cause $$$’ or ‘it’s crap because lack of content’

      I totally respect someones decision to say no to a game that hasn’t had a good track record, but still appreciates the improvement it’s going through.

      • I’ve always been in favour of updating games after release. We used to do expansions, not remove portions of the game. Even when I was first turned off by Destiny I got over it really quickly because of their 10 year plan. Even if I don’t like it now there’s a chance I can like it down the line (hell, update the game with health and I’ll jump right in). Personally I’d prefer it if they update the original game more to exclude some of the problems and include some of the expansions best parts.

        Even looking back at Halo the reason why people kept coming back to Halo 3 was because they kept updating it. Even if it’s just using Forge to change maps or new gametypes to experiment with. It’s the real reason why I think Reach appears to have been less popular, they just didn’t update the game and what 343i did the game just made it worse.

  • Does this still have a whole heap of playstation exclusive content locked away from xbox players? I have the base game on PS4, but mates of mine play on xbox one, and since the price of the expansion isn’t much less than buying the expansion + base game combo, I was thinking of switching over to xbox. Any major differences?

  • I do not know why I should go buy a ‘next gen game’ that has no pc support for the next ten years let alone a game that had in game content cut out at release date to be shoehorned in as dlc. You may call it a ‘redeemer’ I call this a slap in the consumers face and top that off with that Bungie must have had a lot of capital to develop this game even before going into a contract with Activision, they only went in to the contract because they were going bankrupt and not managing the project well. Then Activision turned around and made the game more casual so it could sell to teenagers because teenagers are shit at judging games and are bad at playing games in the first place. No offense to teenagers you do not know any better. Call of Duty is a game about killing grown up men and the demographic for the game is 12 -18. Pokémon on the other hand is marketed to kids but is played by adults more than kids. Activision do not respect the gamers who like the games and will always focus on the next teenager generation every 3 years. Cod has gone from ww2, modern, cold war, futuristic, futuristic, futuristic… Activision now design the games for teenagers who just like instant gratification, cod is dead and screw Activision.

    • Anyone who thinks Destiny is a game for casual gamers obviously hasn’t grinded it for hundreds of hours

      • Every game has an element of a grind to it, and it is hard to criticise grinding. Destiny gets mechanics from all different types of game genres and gives an average execution that is very overhyped. Destiny stuffed up as soon as it combined fps, pve, mmo maps, pvp and ‘open world exploration’ all into one game. To pull this off is very hard and ambitious and I think alone this is what the game should get critiqued on. So how does it turn out…

        Below average and dlc is not going to save a game until the release the sequel because the engine has already been coded and the code is crap no offense you need good programmers to pull this stuff off with an A grade design team Destiny does not have that, if that was not obvious. So please stop defending this game do not support it. I have no hate for the people who made the game but they have not earned their money and they have not even displayed their skill as a game developer. Harsh truth, people need to stop giving lame excuses they wanted to make a game that embodies these genres and fails I think you cannot really go we feel sorry for you, because if this was in any other industry besides video games you would get eaten alive. What happens when an architect designs a building and the design he/she made didn’t work out is beaten to a pulp. I am sorry it is a dog eat dog world out there but the games industry is still a little kid that can get away with so much I have no time for second tries. Too many second tries have failed like the first.

  • Destiny seems to be as polarizing as wow; that said my experience with wow hasn’t left me feeling ripped off. As with every DLC release before TK lots of positive press and absolute shit metacritic user scores. I trusted the hype for the DLC and shelled out for the season pass (which I played for 2 weeks) and said never again.

    Happy for those enjoying TK; however the direction and slow pacing of development Bungie is taking with this game just isn’t for me.

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