Today I want to talk to you about the 5 best things that have been added into Destiny with The Taken King. There have been a plethora of changes in the last month and a bit, both from Patch 2.0 and the Expansion its self! First up is the Strike Specific loot you can now earn.
If you weren't aware, different strikes now reward specific loot, rather than just general Legendary gear, you can now earn specific loot. Now mirroring Raids in a small way, every time you complete one of the new or reimagined(Undying Mind and Cerberus Vae III) you have a chance to pull one of the new exclusive pieces of Gear. So far I have only earned two pieces of gear, interestingly both from the new S.A.B.E.R 2, firstly a Legendary Machine Gun which goes by the new of Baron's Ambition. This is my favourite Heavy Weapon at the moment(Sleeper Simulant Review soon!). The second(and I believe final) piece of exclusive gear you can score from S.A.B.E.R 2 is the Devouring Maw helmet for Warlocks, as you can see it is a rather impressive, unique looking helmet! There are roughly 2 pieces of gear per Strike, so I won't go through the all, but the highlight is the Fatebringer 2, which can be wrested from the grips of either of the Venus based Strikes, Undying Mind or Echo Chamber(PlayStation exclusive Strike) Imago Loop(NB according to the Armoury, this can't spawn with Firefly)!
This moves very nicely onto my next point, which is the changeable aspect of strikes. No longer can you play a Strike hundreds of times and know exactly what is coming next. Now there are a few instances per Strike which can spawn different types of enemies, usually the normal enemies of Taken. For example on Cerberus Vae III, if you get a Cabal batch of enemies, the well known Tank will appear which you have to dispatch. However there is now a chance a Taken Champion(oversized enemy with a lot of health), and you have to fight him instead. This variety of combat mixed with the new varying lines your Ghost can read, means that repeated plays of a Strike can yield different enemies, and new bits of lore to sink your teeth into! I have played all of the new Strikes many times and I have seen all of the different versions, and there isn't one I don't like, they are all very fun, and it's always intriguing to see which race I will be fighting in the same area this time!
Next let's talk about the loot you get from these Strikes, it is a deceptively poor show of loot from the end of Strikes. Roughly only 1 out of every 3 or 4 Strikes(Heroic) will you get a Legendary Engram, if you cast your mind back to Dragon Strikes before The Taken King, Legendaries were nearly guaranteed every strike. So yes on balance, the strikes give us fewer Legendarys, but now the chance of getting a Legendary from a Rare Engram has been increased massivley(atleast 10 times in my oppinion. Put it this way, before The Taken King, with roughly 200 hours spent with the game, I had earned exactly 6 Legendary items from Rare Engrams, in the 45 hours I have already spent with The Taken King, I have had at least 10, quite possibly more. So all in all, we are getting worse loot from Strikes, but I'm okay with that, because if you don't like the loot you get, it can often be used as infusion fuel for your existing items. This is because even Rare Engrams can be a considerably higher Light Level than your existing Legendary, which synergises incredibly with the new Infusion, so you are still levelling up with the Legendary Chest piece(for example) that you got at the beginning of your journey in The Taken King!
Right the 4th item on my list is how the game has changed to allow you to do more from just one account. Before, you would ideally need 3 High level characters in order to get the most from the game, notably the Weekly Strike, Nightfall, and any Vanguard or Crucible Marks. However this has now been changed, so there is a Weekly Strike Playlist, which you can do 3 time on one character if you so wish, though you won't get the guaranteed Legendary Engram per character. You will still get the 30 Legendary Marks. Which leads onto the fact that Legendary Marks(the new currency that replaces Vanguard or Crucible Marks), are Account wide, rather that specific to each character. You still need 3 character(rather high Light Level) if you want to run the Nightfall 3 times per week. The one thing that I would like to be moved from Character specific to Account wide is faction reputation. For example, my Hunter is Rank 2.75 with the Crucible, and my Titan is just into Rank 2, this means that I am currently unable to even start the Exotic quest which leads to the Chaperone, as it requires at least Rank 3 to start it. I appreciate that I might be on my own with this one, but it is a change I would really like to see.
The 5th and final thing on my list is the Bosses in the new Strikes, no longer are they bullet sponges who stand roughly in the same place and take all of your damage(at least with no change in attacks), the new Taken King Strikes, the Bosses are different. For example the Hive Knight, Alak Hul, his arena is near total darkness, and he randomly appears and disappears, meaning that you are always having to be on your toes, lest he spawns in next to you and possibly kills you with one swipe of his oversized axe. I won't go though the other new Strikes in case you haven't played them and want the surprise, but rest assured they are far superior to the Strikes we got in Year 1.
All of these additions are my favourite with Patch 2.0, and The Taken King, and add immensely to the overall new feeling of the game. Do let me know what your favouirte additions are in the comments below or on Twitter!
Thank you very much 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!