Last Tuesday the largest expansion ever dropped onto our consoles for Destiny, this went by the name of The Taken King. Today I want to bring you my thoughts on this expansion after just over 20 hours spent with the game. I have completed the first Act of the game, which is what contains the cutscenes etc, but still have the second act to complete. I have also not even touched the Raid, so my full review will come when I have finished those two things!
Without further ado, I will start by talking about it in a large sense, then take a look at some of the smaller additions, and whether I like them, and if they work well or not.
First up, the new gear is far more powerful than the old gear. This might be a fairly obvious statement to make, but within the first mission alone, I was finding new Green and Blue tier weapons and armour pieces that were higher attack and defence levels than my full levelled old gear. I love this because it makes us use the new weapons, which are at least visually incredibly different from our old Year 1 favourites. There are far more ways to earn weapons now, than there were before. For a start I have probably seen as many blue engrams turn into Legendaries in the time I've played The Taken King, as I did in the whole time I spent in year 1. Also I have earned my first ever Exotic weapon from a legendary engram(sadly it was only Thunderlord, not a weapon new to Year 2). These increased drop rates are extremely useful for getting new weapons to Infuse with(more on that soon) or dismantle for Legendary Marks!
Okay, so I just mentioned Infusion, this is a new system introduced with The Taken King, exclusively on Year 2 weapons(so you can't bring Year 1 weapons into Year 2). This works on the principle that if you have a weapon with a higher attack or defence rating than the one you are currently using, but you want to keep the one you are using, you can sacrifice the new weapon, into the old one to make the old one better. This works fairly well, but not exceedingly well. I would like the ability to infuse two weapons with the same ratings, and they increase. As it is, Infusion only serves the purpose of keeping the armour and weapons you like relevant to your current activities. This is nice, but there is a point to be raised that maybe you should just use the new higher level item. That being said, it is a very nice feature to have, once you find that one piece that you really love.
While we are on the subject of armour and weapon stat levels, let's talk about the new Light Levelling System. Rather than the old levelling system where only your 4 pieces of armour contribute to your armour level, this lead to a system where you couldn't really change your armour, lest you lose levels. Now you overall Light Level is decided by an average of your three weapons, Ghost, four pieces of armour, and an Artifact. This means that each individual piece counts with a much smaller percentage towards your overall light level! So your level will now increase in much smaller increments. Of course it should be noted, that the normal system of levelling up to 40 is still achieved by earning XP, I was level 34 going into The Taken King,, and it took me around about 7 hours to increase my level to 40. As it stands, I have spent around about 30 hours in game since Taken King launched, and I am Light Level 293, while my level 34 character was around the 160 mark!
Right, in my last section for today, I want to talk to you about some general changes that I really like, and some that I like a little less!
First off, the best addition to the game in my opinion, are the Quests, technically this was introduced in Patch 2.0, but is most noticeable with the new content introduced with The Taken King. You are guided through the campaign via the quests, and for me there was always a very clear end goal, which I won't spoil. I also felt like I always knew why I was doing what I was doing, I never felt lost as to why I had to do this section. You can always check you Quests in the menu, and catch up with where you are in the story, if you have taken a break.
The Quests in the game continue after you have finished the main campaign, with quests from various people, taking the "story" part of the game much further beyond the campaign. Beyond even that, there are various Exotic Quests you can embark upon, which will give you a guaranteed Exotic weapon! It seems to me that there are only 4 new Exotic weapons than can be acquired via "RNG", those are the Jade Rabbit(PlayStation Exclusive), Zahlo Supercell holding down the Primaries fort, and for Specials, we have Telesto and Hereafter. Due to the farming capability of the Three of Coins last weekend, I have both Special weapons listed above, so expect a review for each of those soon! Don't think that there aren't many new Exotic weapons in Taken King, quite on the contrary, there are approximately 12, which means that most of the new weapons can be aimed for, and worked towards. Though expect them to be either tough or rather long!
That concludes my first thoughts on The Taken King, all in all it is an amazing addition to Destiny, and I can't wait to play more of it, and get my teeth into the new Raid! I will of course have more content for The Taken King, in the coming weeks.
Thank you very much for reading,
Today I wanted to bring you all something a little different, a first person diary from the perspective of my Hunter, during one of my recent matches of Mayhem Clash. If you don't know, Mayhem Clash is a new game mode that is being added into the Crucible with the launch on The Taken King. In it your Super Ability, Melee and grenade all recharge much faster, along with special and heavy ammo drops spawning much more frequently. It really does live up to the name; Mayhem!
The opening few shots of the bullet ridden section of the Tower shows me that the time is near the middle of the day, no sunsetting over the last safe city on earth today. I spawn in and immediately swap my Hawkmoon for the Shadow of Veil, this is my first time fighting the good fight in this area, so I take a guess as to where a good sniper position will be. Luck favours me, and soon enough a number of enemies rush into my line of sight. A few squeezes of the trigger later, and my team has taken the lead, and my first super is progressing very well indeed. I know their team will be onto me know, and I stay just a little bit too long in the same place. A well placed Lightning Grenade puts me out of business. But before my cape has even touched the ground, I am back in the fight. This time I am out for revenge!
I decide to take to the left, more open side of the map, to see if there is any action going down there. Sure enough losses are being incurred on both sides in the courtyard. Just as I am notified that my Super is ready to be deployed, I see a Nova Bomb heading straight for me and my comrades. I am lucky enough to only take a large amount of damage. I look over and see that my friends were not so lucky. There wasn't a moment to waste thinking of my fallen brothers in arms, as I then heard the tell tale sound of another Guardian releasing his Golden Gun onto the field. I take that as my cue to extricate myself from the main court yard, and retreat to the adjacent open aired space. Lord Shaxx pipes up in my ear that Heavy Weapons Ammunition will be released onto the map in a few short seconds. This works well for me, as I am already rather neatly positioned where said drop would land. I holster my Hawkmoon onto my hip, and precede to withdraw my Rocket Launcher from its sling on my back. With three rockets in the tube at once, and the ability for the rockets to detonate early based on proximity to opposing Guardians, this was a weapon to fear.
A few short seconds later, and a Titan comes around the corner, via the door where my first few seconds were spent inspecting through my sniper scope. From the look of him, I knew this Titan was about to spell trouble for me and my cohorts. I barley have time to let one of my rockets off in his direction, before his Fist of Havoc wreaks just that right in front of me. This now means that only the enemy team have Heavy munition now, which simply won't do. I make the decision to release my Golden Gun onto the field, and try to neutralise the opposing teams Heavy weapons. This goes surprisingly well, they appear to have been expecting my team to come through the main door, which very kindly had at least a few rockets aiming at it. I jump around the corner and produce my flaming cannon from my hip, the sound of which makes all near by enemies look in my direction. Luck was on my side again, as I managed to remove these rockets from the field without dying myself.
Now the weapon situation was equalled once more between the teams, my team started to open up a significant lead. Helped in part to a few very nice headshots from yours truly. But before the heat of the battle got too much for our sorry opponents, Lord Shaxx stepped into the fray and brought proceedings to a close. Mentioned something about granting mercy to the opposing team, but at the time, I was hell bent on trying to make sure I got a decent result from the current(and also third) release of my Golden Gun, I am pleased to say, it wreaked suitable destruction in the closing few seconds of the match.
And there you go my friends, my first trip into Bannerfall was over, and I had tied another victory knot to my belt. I hoped you like reading from the perspective of my Guardian, if you did be sure to let me know on TWITTER, and I will revisit this topic!
That's all from me, thanks for reading,
On Tuesday the 8th of September, the world of Destiny changed for ever, Patch 2.0 was release which heralds the release of The Taken King. Nearly everything in the game was touched by this patch, the UI, the usability of the weapons(balance), more changes in the Tower than you can hold a candle too, and a new Quest System, which will change the way to play the story. So today I want to talk to you about some of my favourite things from this patch! My last note before I get into this post, I will be referring to PvE and PvP, PvE is the Player vs Enemies, and PvP Player vs Player!
The first thing I want to talk about is the balance in PvE, most notably the change that has occurred with Auto Rifles, in the past they were a weapon that you would be stupid to use. Now they are incredibly useful weapons, I would actually take an Auto Rifle into Kings Fall, the new Raid. They have had a 10% damage increase against AI enemies, this may sound like a small difference, but it makes a huge difference, I will talk about how good they are in PvP shortly. Despite the promise of a small reduction in the magazine size of Hand Cannons, I have seen no such change, though this was one of the few changes that I didn't like the sound of.
Then we have the famous Gjallahorn, which has had the Wolf Pack Rounds nerfed by 33%, I full agree with this change, and I have used it a bit since this patch and I still think it is very usable. Especially on activities with Solar Burn(like this weeks Nightfall). The Icebreaker was slated to have the shots respawn every 8 seconds up from 5 in the pre patch Weekly Update, I didn't full agree with this change, that has been changed slightly from 5 seconds to 7 seconds now the patch has been released.
Next up we have the changes made to PvP, if you even played 1 match in the Crucible before Patch 2.0 you would know that a select few weapons were used by nearly everyone. The Thorn and The Last Word, were both weapons that everyone used, myself included. Well the DoT(Damage over Time) for the Thorn has been decreased to a fifth of what it was, but it now stacks, so in PvE, it has actually received a buff! The new power house in PvP are Pulse Rifles, specifically the Trials of Osiris weapon The Messenger, is rather powerful. Though I need to stress that the whole crucible feels much more balanced, I have still been killed by the Thorn a few times, but there is a very wide variety of weapons that work very well! I personally am finding my best play style is with the Hawkmoon, as it can down people at a nice rate. Though that isn't to say it is an OP weapon, it is just one of the many useful weapons that I have gravitated towards.
Now let's talk about some of the amazing additions in The Tower, Patch 2.0 has revamped most of the Tower. First let's address the most obvious change, the Vault Space has been increased by 2 times for weapons, and even more for Armour and General(Consumables etc). This is an amazing addition, and especially with TTKs new take on armour and Light level, the extra armour space will be very nice indeed. The Gunsmith now has a reputation meter, which you can fill up by taking free weapons of him, and completing certain objectives, such as 10 kills with it in the Crucible, or 20 headshots. This rank will the contribute to the Armsday weapons he will sell, which will set you back 2,500 Glimmer per weapon, and he will sell 5 weapons per week. These weapons will be delivered to you on Wednesday(exactly 32 hours after reset on Tuesday). There are no weapons to buy yet, but that feature will be added once The Taken King has been released in a few days time.
As you can see in the picture above, Ghosts can now have changeable shells, which not only change the colour of your Ghost, but it also gives you at least one perk. At the moment I believe they all offer perks that assist with finding planetary materials, including chests, but I'm sure more perks will be available in the future! Your Ghost will also now have a defence stat on them, which contributes to your general Light level(not connected to your general level which is increased via XP). Your Light level now dictates the amount of damage you receive and deal out, this is a very welcome change, as armour variation will now very much be a thing. As a few light points lost or gained will be of very little consequence, when high level players seem to be over 300 Light Level!
Bounties have now been overhauled, firstly you can now carry up to 16 at a time, and they can be turned it(though not collected) from your menue, no matter where you are. All of the bounties are either new or tweaked from what we had before(as far as I can see from a few days watching them), they are now incredibly easy to complete. Especially the Crucible bounties, for example yesterday I completed 5 of the 6 available bounties for that day in 1 single match. Now I like the principle of this, and I like completing them, but XP gain towards vendors will seriously plummet, seeing as you can't earn as much XP per day as you could. Due to this I would like to see the XP needed for each vendor level reduced from 2,500 to around 1,750. Other than that, I love the speed of the new bounties, and I love the fact that they are all new, at least for now!
Speaking of vendor and Faction levelling up, you now no longer need to wear your faction specific class armour piece in order to level up with them. All you need to do is spend 2,500 Glimmer to pledge allegiance to that faction, and you will now earn XP towards either the Vanguard or Crucible(depending on the bounty) and also towards your faction. I have a problem with this, and it links back in with what I was saying before about the speed of levelling up vendors. At the moment(and I do suspect this will change after Tuesday), you earn half the XP of the bounty towards your faction, and the full amount towards the vendor. You are thus effectively earning 150%XP. The problem is, there is no way to make the split change, so I can't make more XP go towards my Faction. So at the moment some bounties are only giving 12 XP towards my faction, which will make levelling up much, much slower! This may be counteracted by another new feature that has been implemented, which is that you can sacrifice materials for faction XP. So I calculated that it will take 100 Motes of Light to increase a faction level by 1. You can also trade in Armour Materials, Weapon Parts, Special Weapons Synthesis and Heavy Weapon Synthesis. This might make levelling factions easier in the long run, I would just like to see the option to send more XP towards you faction of choice!
All in all, I think Patch 2.0 is the best thing to ever happen to Destiny, there is a plethora of new additions which improve the game immensely, and with TTK launch around the corner, things are only looking up for Destiny, and Destiny players!
That will do it for me for now, I am planning to do lots of content covering The Taken King in the days, weeks and months after launch. Specifically check back here on Launch Day, as there will be plenty of content to keep you going!
Thanks for reading,
Friends of The Games Critic:
My name is Ed, I write everything here, covering all kinds of games, but I only play them on the PS4!