In One Update, Destiny Got Some Mojo Back

In One Update, Destiny Got Some Mojo Back

Last week, Bungie launched a significant update for Destiny, a video game in which players create virtual dolls and dress them up in a variety of coloured costumes. The update, which has been informally dubbed The Taken Spring, adds a few new bits of content to Bungie's shooter-MMO hybrid. There's a short quest, a boring new strike and an unnecessary PlayStation-exclusive mission that seems to exist solely so Sony has extra ammo for their marketing cannon. Bungie has also refreshed the Prison of Elders, which is Destiny's version of horde mode. There's now a level-41 version and even a challenge mode for special gear.

As a package, even a free one, it's disappointing. The Prison of Elders remains boring and repetitive, in part because it's so structured — every time you go in, you're fighting the same types of enemies on the same types of maps. The new strike is just another jaunt through an old area, and the lore doesn't make much sense — the boss, Malok, is meant to be a contender to last year's big bad Oryx, but in reality he's nothing but a big ol' knight with a shiny head. With no other new content coming out until the expansion this spring, this might feel like dire times for Destiny.

Yet the new update didn't just add more content. The Taken Spring bumped up the light level to 335 and made some much-needed changes to the game's core systems. Two of those changes have turned out to be just what Destiny needed.

The first change is a revamped loot system tweaking the random drop rates that have plagued Destiny players since year one. Now, drops from higher-end content like the raids and Trials of Osiris are far more likely to give you rewards that mean something. Players at 315 no longer have to keep running on the treadmill for 300-light gear; now, they're more likely to find drops at light level 315 or higher. The algorithm feels player-friendly in a way it never did before.

The second and most important change is one that should have been added six months ago: Infusion now makes sense. In the past, infusing a low-level item with a higher one would result in a piece of gear that sat somewhere in between. For example, if you infused that sweet new 280 Sleeper Simulant with a level-300 Thunderlord, you'd wind up with a level-290 Sleeper Simulant. It'd take a lot of grinding to get your favourite laser gun all the way up to the cap.

Now, the system is way simpler: infuse a piece of gear and it will leap right up to the higher of the two levels. The change is simple, yet pivotal. It allows Destiny players to use whatever gear they think fits their character best — or whatever looks the prettiest — instead of forcing them to stick with the stuff that maxes out their light level. It's a player-friendly addition that has re-energised hardcore Destiny fans as they shoot their way to level 335, and as they wait for the new expansion this spring.

It's fair to say that Destiny still lacks content for those of us who have played hundreds of hours, but hey, we've played hundreds of hours. Ain't nothing wrong with a break.


Comments

    infuse a piece of gear and it will leap right up to the higher of the two levels
    I was never able to understand why it wasn't like this in the first place.

      Because then you wouldn't have to spend hours and hours grinding.
      How else will they make people stick around?

    I had a lot of fun jumping in and doing the strike with you-know-who and another long time Destiny buddy. Short, sweet and a good final encounter. It might even get me back into Destiny a couple of hours a week.

    It feels less than stellar because Bungie hype it up too much. Imagine if they didn't do twitch streams of the content and stuff for three weeks before the release? Imagine if people only heard about it in the weekly update notes and shit. It would be a pleasant surprise and would more than likely draw more players back...discovering all the little changes they made without expectation.

    I've been out of the destiny universe for about 8 months now. i kinda miss it! might give it another crack.

      it gets like that, you do miss the universe of it. Just a shame there isn't more lore in the game itself.

      I took like, 4 months off. Just getting back into it a bit, i do miss the times when my whole psn list was with people playing it. I think they left this update a bit too late and most players have moved on...

      I'm enjoying it for what it is, and the pvp is a stupid bit of fun :D

        logged on last night for first time in months. one person playing destiny.....5 people playing rocket league haha thought everyone had moved on from that too. guess not!

          haha rocket league will be popular for a while, destiny still is popular enough. Just not on my friends list it seems lol

          Which kind of sucks, i wouldn't mind doing the damn raid again. I really wish they'd bring Crota's end and Vault of glass with new gear/current light level :(

          Anyway, been having fun playing it again. Seems gear drops work better, like you actually get higher level gear that you are wearing a lot more than before!

    Meh, a light level increase and a smattering of new content that was probably cut early on in development and just thrown together to say 'look, new content'. The focus is clearly on Destiny 2 now, this isn't enough to make me want to start playing again and it's not enough to make me want Destiny 2 either. Maybe if such updates were bi-weekly for new missions and monthly for new strikes maybe, but not an 'update' almost 6 months after TTK that barely brings anything new to the table other than fixing what should've been fixed in the first place

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