As some of you may know, GameInformer revealed that The Taken King (TTK) was the magazine cover and the big story for their latest issue. They revealed a bunch of new information in regards to TTK. Let’s take a look at what has been revealed:
First off, TTK is not like The Dark Below or House Of Wolves expansions. These two previous expansions were small, and offered a minimal amount of additions to the game. TTK, however, offers a much larger amount of content to be shipped with it. There are new weapon foundries in Omolon, Häkke and SUROS. They offer unique and defining key characteristics to better differentiate between them. In fact, the entire arsenal that is coming with TTK is the biggest Destiny has seen yet.
Brace yourselves, winter has ended:
Among some of the biggest news, it was revealed that Nolan North would be the new voice of the Ghost. He will be replacing Peter Dinkleage in all aspects of the Ghost, even dialogue recorded in vanilla Destiny will be redone to have North’s voice instead of Dinkleage’s. They are changing the original dialogue to have North’s voice to allow better continuity with the Ghost, so it wouldn’t be jarring for new players who play through the main story with Dinkelage only to hear Nathan Drake when they start up TTK’s story.
Along side this there are also new cinematic cut-scenes. The introduction to TTK contains “the single most epic cinematic yet seen in the series.” That’s a bold claim, but hopefully Bungie deliver on that statement with a truly epic and immersive cutscene(s).
The Ghost also receives a new function in TTK. Scanning will become an available feature in TTK. What does this do? In TTK, you will hear an audio cue which will notify you, the Guardian, that there is something in the area. Something that you should scan. Scanning the item that has been provided for you will make the Ghost elaborate on what you just scanned. This is completely optional. This gives you the option to learn about the area that you are in and your surroundings.
Less Tower? UI Changes:
Intellect, Discipline and Strength are getting changed as we know it (well the UI at least). The system is getting streamlined into tiers. Apparently “tiers are digital thresholds that you cross to reduce the cooldown of your core 3 powers. Instead of a percentage, we want to tell you the time in seconds that your ability is going to come back in.” Personally, I’m a little skeptical because it sounds like you won’t be granted any benefits unless you break off into the next tear. This sounds to me like there is increased potential for wasted stats if you don’t quite make into the next tier. But we’ll wait and see how it plays out in TTK.
The option to wear your helmet in social spaces now extends to the character screen. Emotes are now equipable. This is done below your emblem selection. Holding L2 or LT, for you respective console, on the pause screen (there is such a thing in Destiny?) gives a glimpse to the elements on your weapons and some icon redesigns as well. This is to make it easier to see what you currently have equipped. GG Bungie!
You can now return your bounties without having to go to the bounty vendors. Bounties can be returned from the quests page. Thank you RNGsus for that! It was to tedious having to go back the Tower every time you wanted to turn in your bounties. There will be 8 “lengthy story missions” as well as a lot of new quests and bounty chains to be obtained from NPC’s (yes, NPC’s other than the Bounty Tracker). Some of these have prerequisites like finishing the campaign. There will be different quests given to you by different NPC’s. For exmaple, Eric’s Mom. Whoops! I meant Eris Morn will send you on a quest to rediscovering a weapon type that has since been forgotten. Vanguard quests will carry the story forward. Even the Cryptarch and the Gunsmith can hook you up with some sweet quests to do. Even the vanilla Destiny story has been streamlined. The Sword of Crota mission now seamlessly leads into The Dark Below story line (if you can call it a story line). Original missions were reordered and reconfigured, so that they could better fit this new and improved quest system.
New level cap and revamped levelling system:
Destiny has had a rather unique levelling system when levelling past 20. Currently, to get anywhere you need high light-level gear, meaning that your level for any endgame content is solely dependent on the gear that you have equipped. While this is a really cool concept, there are a few problems with it. Previously, to reach the level caps of 30 (Pre-Dark Below) and 32 (Pre-House Of Wolves) you had to wear the raid armour. This was cool at first, but there were a few issues with it. Because your level (such a crucial stat in determining your power) was tied to your gear, any change in that gear could hinder you and make for a bad experience. This translated badly with Destiny’s unforgiving Delta-scaling system. Power aside, once more and more people started to reach the level cap, everyone started to look the same. A game like Destiny needs Transmogrification.
Transmogrification is well known for its use in World Of Warcraft. It is basically having an altered appearance of your armour, without losing the benefits of the best armour possible. In Destiny terms that would be having different looking armour all be able to raise you to the max level cap. Though it is true that some of this issue was alleviated when House Of Wolves was released (with the etheric light and ascension system) there were still some issues with it. There just wasn’t enough customisability to it. There are a lot of really cool looking Rare, blue-quality armour pieces, but they don’t carry the same light values as the Legendary, purple-quality armour pieces. This still minimised how much someone could customise their characters appearance.
The Taken King looks to alleviate any form of transmogrification problem by removing the light-levelling system. Now your level isn’t influenced by the gear that you carry and is only increased by experience itself. This is much like a regular RPG and shouldn’t be any worry for avid Destiny players. Destiny’s delta-scaling system won’t seem so unforgiving now that you can’t go down in levels. This is a welcome change, even though I really did love the unique system that was light-levels. The new level cap will be 40, double what was the previous base level cap. What the minimum level required to start TTK’s story will be has not been revealed yet. But it would be safe to say that it would be late 20s or early 30s. This allows players to wear whatever armour they want. Whether it be common armour, or legendary armour. Very very good move by Bungie.
Light-levels will no longer be a benefactor in determining your power. However, it is currently unknown what light as a stat will do once TTK releases.
Out with the old and in with the new:
Year-one legendary weapons and armour will not be upgraded in The Taken King. They are still useable for the first mission or so in TTK, but beyond that you will need to move on to year-two weapons and armour. No, Bungie is not taking your weapons away and you are not required to dismantle them. Your current legendary weapons will still be a viable option in the Crucible where attack values are not taken into account. However they will not be so viable in the Iron Banner and Trials Of Osiris PVP events, and any form of TTK endgame PVE content. Yes, it will be hard to let go of your Fatebringers or your Vision of Confluences, but they deserve some rest now, Guardians.
Ascension is getting changed for year-two gear. You can now improve an item you like by dismantling another piece that is in the same slot (i.e I like my little boots, but I want them to be better so I dismantle another pair of boots that don’t fit me.), this allows for near max level gear customisation. The name and specific details on how this will function are still unknown but the reason for this change was because “it enabled a player to customise they way they want to look and the weapons they want to use.” This ascension system also stems into exotics, meaning they can be upgraded like this too. There hasn’t been a cap revealed for how high weapons or armour can get by this procedure.
For those of you who are worried about starting TTK only to find that you have been brought down to level 20, fear not! If you have reached level 34 with your character before, then when you login in, you will be automatically boosted up to level 34, meaning there are only 6 level for you to gain via experience to reach the new level cap. There are also boosts for veterans looking to raise new characters that allow them to skip year-one story content and go straight to year-two. How much of a boost, level wise, is unknown since the minimum level requirement for TTK has not been revealed.
My vault is going to explode with all these exotics:
When GameInformer got their hands on TTK, they reported there being over a dozen new exotic weapons and 6 new exotic armour pieces for each class. However, this was not the final build so more could still exist. There are reports of a new Auto Rifle that shoots blasts of chain lighting, a sniper that blinds nearby enemy on precision shots. No Time To Explain is an exotic Stranger’s Rifle which returns bullets upon precision hits. Yes, we finally have an exotic version of the Stranger’s Rifle. It also does arc damage.
There are new exotic quest lines, which many of these exotic weapons (and potentially armour) are tied to. These quest lines are like the exotic bounties that we have seen before, but are a little more memorable. For example, one of the quest lines requires you to explore the Dreadnaught (the new patrol zone coming in TTK) extensively in order for you to obtain the exotic.
One of the more notable exotic reveals is the “Sleeper Simulant.” This fusion rifle uniquely sits in the heavy slot and fires shots that over-penetrate their targets and bounce off of walls (Hard Light much). Getting this won’t be easy as it comes from a quest line which can only be obtained by finding a clue hidden in the universe.
New reputation, changes to factions and material unification:
The Gunsmith. Our old friend who’s only use recently was for re-rolling our subpar legendary weapons. Generally it was either a Party Crasher +1 shotgun or a Matador 64 shotgun and people were going for Shot Package as a perk. He now has a new use, in fact, he has his own reputation! To increase this reputation you have to pick up prototype weapons which have bounties built into them. You are able to check out as many as you inventory will allow. Once you have ranked up enough you’ll be able to make “Armsday Purchases” whereby once a week you can order a new legendary weapon, and on Wednesday it will arrive with a random perk selection. Vanguard marks and Crucible marks. One of the grindiest parts of Destiny, especially if you’re trying to get gear for an unlevelled character. Well that’s getting changed too. Both marks are being merged into a singular mark currency and all the armour upgrade items (Plasteel Plating, Hadronic Essence and Sapphire Wire) are being merged into one upgrade item.
Factions are getting changed too. Instead of wearing your factions respective class item, you now can pledge allegiance to them. This allows the option to wear whichever class item you wish to use, and that is a very smart move since class items are receiving stats now. Motes of light, weapon parts, armour materials and even ammo synthesis’ (probably because we have more special ammo than we can use from the Ether Chests) can be turned in for faction reputation.
Shaders and emblems will no longer fill up unnecessary amounts of vault space, instead Eve Levante (the nice lady who sells the rare quality shaders and emblems near the Speaker) will have all the shader and emblems. The ones that you don’t have will just have information on how to obtain them, the ones that you do have can be repurchased for what I assume to be a minimal price. Right now Bungie are still bumping into a technical limitation for more Vault space, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up just yet.
New subclass quests:
Now I am just going to say that they did divulge some new information regarding the quests that you will be required to partake in to unlock the new subclasses. If you do not wish to read about these (for spoilers sake) then please scroll down the next subheading.
Are you still here? Okay I guess you really do want to know what they revealed. Good on you!
The information that was revealed mainly revolved around the Titan’s Sunbreaker subclass as that had the most information revealed to it. For Titans, you will venture out on a mission that involves a rogue group of Titans called “Sunbreakers.” You then go to Mercury for another short mission and then to Venus to fight off Vex. In this last mission on Venus, you are supercharged allowing you to spam your new super. A LOT!
Detail wise, Nightstalker and Stormcaller did not have as much revealed. Nightstalker involves tracking a lone wolf Hunter who has gone missing and Stormcaller involves a mission where Ikora Rey (the Warlock Vanguard representative) indoctrinates you into the power. These quests are similar to the Sunbreaker’s in that they seek to teach you the powers and they seek to teach you where they came from.
Even more Crucible:
Yet another gamemode has been revealed and it is somewhat similar to one we already know and love. Zone Control is like Control only kills don’t contribute to your teams final score. This means that you can’t win just based on kills. There are 8 new maps coming with TTK. One of the maps notably takes place on an abandoned fallen ketch and “players should notice low gravity effects on physics, objects and ragdoll.”
Bounties that you could not complete (like Salvage on a non-Salvage week) will no longer show up. Trials Of Osiris gets its own set of bounties. Weekly crucible bounties will arrive. Completing them all will unlock a final bounty which, when completed, will grant a big reward. There will be a new Mercy Rule for very unbalanced games. For example, say you are winning a game of Zone Control by more than 10000 points, the game will end early to enact some mercy towards the losing team.
Previously in Destiny, once you reached the max level you were sorta just left to do whatever. But with TTK reaching the max level is considered the “first act” of the story, where upon reaching the end of the campaign another set of mission strikes and quests become available to you, the Guardian.
There are 4 new strikes (one of which is a PlayStation timed-exclusive) and 3 older strikes are getting revamped with Taken enemies. These new strikes should offer us a little more depth than their older counterparts. Presumably, the “third act” will be the raid, King’s Fall.
The strikes will feature more “raid-like” mechanics meaning that there will be no more just running through everything and Gjallarhorn burning the boss. To complete them will take methodical practice. “The Fallen Sabre” will take you to Earth because of a distress signal from Rasputin to fight a super-powered Shank (guess that’s why Shank Burn is a necessary perk for my rocket launcher). “The Shield Brothers” strike will take you onboard the Dreadnaught, where the Cabal seek to destroy a ship, with you on it of course. “The Sunless Cell” pits us against a hive Darkblade who has been imprisoned in complete darkness for rebelling against Oryx. “The Echo Chamber” is the PlayStation exclusive strike where you head to Venus to hunt the Restorative Mind which is trying to restore Sekrion from The Nexus. The Strikes are made with replayability in mind. We’ve heard Bungie say this before, but I would say that they are making more of an effort to make it actually mean something this time around.
After the main story is complete, a new series of quests revolving around the “Taken War” will open up. For example, the mission called “Unsealed Paradox” (cool name, right? I really dig it.) will take you into the Vault of Glass where you will finally learn about Praedyth (and why she feels the need to enact her revenge in the form of a Sniper Rifle. That was a joke, please don’t take it literally.)
The Dreadnaught (the new Patrol Zone) seems to be made with endgame players in mind. There are many secrets hidden throughout the ship, hidden alcoves and chest where the game doesn’t really babysit you into finding them. Finding these secrets will be a challenge in it’s own right, let’s hope that it is worth the challenge.
What else is there?
Bungie has also released a new teaser trailer for TTK via GameInformer.
I personally am very excited for TTK to release, come September 15. The weapon rebalancing that was already announced, all the content and changes coming with TTK, and just the sheer magnitude of this expansion seems to be well worth the steep pricetag (in comparison to TDB and HoW). What are you most excited for? Expect to be updated when any new information is released.
GameInformer has released more articles regarding The Taken King. They regard their Hands-On Impressions, the 8 new Crucible maps and how TTK fixes three issues with Destiny.
1. Hands-On Impressions:
GameInformer spoke about how the story content that is coming with TTK doesn’t feel so random and lacking in context. There is actual context and meaning to what you do. The context being you killed Oryx’s son and he’s kind of mega pissed off at you for it. Characters like Eris Morn (The Dark Below NPC), Commander Zavala (the Titan Vanguard) and Cayde-6 (the Hunter Vanguard) have their personalities shown now and aren’t just a voice you hear in the loading screens. These characters actually speak to you in a lot of the missions instead of your ghost relaying the information for you. The Vanguard see you now as THE Guardian for a lot of things now since you defeated conquered Atheon and silenced Crota.
The Dreadnaught is sounding better and better every time it is mentioned and still seems to be focused around endgame players. Even though you are unable to summon your sparrow inside this patrol zone, moving around shouldn’t be too vexing (see what I did there?). There will be a bunch of fighting that occurs and there will be platforms and passages for you to explore. Apparently “there is an exotic weapon that Bungie has broken into 50 pieces and scattered across the Dreadnaught.” That sounds insane, we won’t even know what to look for and how it is implemented. Definitely looking forward to that! Not only will there be Hive and Taken enemies aboard the ship, but the Cabal will be fighting too seeing as they also want to wear Oryx’s ass as a hat. Enemies inside the Dreadnaught are at endgame levels and some areas won’t open up for you until you hit level 40. The “Taken War” is a progression of quests and mission, these do not become available until you complete the “First Act.”
GameInformer explained how gear and light was going to work in TTK seeing as light is getting a total change. Essentially, every piece of gear you equip will now have an affect on your light. Strikes, missions and the raid have recommended light levels, but will not block access for not meeting these recommendations. Light as a stat will be a numerical value that shows how strong you are. Damage taken and damage dealt will be calculated accordingly with this stat.
Gearing up in TTK will occur rather quickly as green items can potentially be more beneficial to you than your current legendary items after the first couple of new missions. Bungie are also apparently taking a look at and tweaking loot drops. Now “the look backend will pay attention to what you need for a meaningful improvement. It offers variety in armour and weapon type from what you’ve recently gotten and also tries to avoid repeating the same gear.” You aren’t guaranteed to get the drop you want every time, but it is a good change. Kiosks in TTK will stock EVERY shader and emblem, whether you have them or not. If you don’t have them, it will tell you how to go about acquiring them. GameInformer hopes that there is some form of system like that for exotic weapons and I can’t blame them. It would free up a lot of space. Xür (yes that amazing guy who sold the Ballerhorn) will now sell an item called “Three of Coins.” Note that this is the item name, not how much it will cost. This item will increase your chance of getting an exotic on the next boss you kill. Whether this buff stacks is unknown.
Strike bosses are no longer massive bullet sponges and actually have raid-like mechanics. Encounters and dialogue can differ between play-throughs, meaning that you may hear some other dialogue or fight another enemy type on subsequent runs. This brings some form of replayability to these strikes, however knowing some people this replayability will not last long. Strikes offer little bits of story as well. To avoid anymore spoilers, I will not divulge the information that they spoke of in regards to the strike, “The Sunless Cell.” If you wish to read about this, then go to page 3 of the GameInformer article.
Vanguard strike playlists are being redone as well. There will be “Vanguard Legacy” which will comprise of all the Year-One strikes, “Vanguard Ursa” which is a strike playlist that randomly selects any strike and puts the heroic modifier on them and “Vanguard Marmoset” which will feature all of TTK’s strikes. These names could still be changed closer to release though, so don’t get too comfortable just yet. The matchmaking system has been made anew to focus on the new light system, however further details were not disclosed. Designers are making an increased effort to hand craft to the modifiers for the nightfall each week.
2. TTK’s 8 new Crucible maps:
Now I’m not going to go in-depth about these maps as to avoid making this article any larger than it needs to be. If you want to see a bit of a larger explanation of these maps, head here.
- Bannerfall – This map is set on a Tower that is similar to the one currently used as a social space.
- Frontier – The map is set in a transfer/relay station in the City Perimeter on Earth.
- Crossroads – The vex themed map on mars is the one of two maps that feature teleporters.
- Sector 618 – PS4 exclusive, this map is set within the Cosmodrome wall on Earth.
- Ghost Ship – First map to ever be set in The Reef, Ghost Ship takes place on Fallen ship that fell after a Hive attack.
- Exile – A Hive cell that sits in one of Oryx’s ships orbiting Saturn. Architecture and detail work will be similar to that of the Dreadnaught.
- Memento – This is the second map to feature in the European Deadzone on Earth, first is Widow’s Court.
- Vertigo – Set on a Vex structure high above Mercury.
This article is an opinion piece. The guys at GameInformer just explain how one of the problems with Destiny was that “The story was a mess” and how TTK aims to rectify that. They also explain how this new and improved light levelling system is a lot more refined and no where near as confusing as the system we already know. Lastly they speak about how the new loot system and all the content coming with TTK alleviates a majority of the paining grind inside of Destiny’s midgame and endgame.
For now that is all the extra information released in regards to The Taken King. Stay tuned into DYEGB for anymore news and updates regarding TTK.