The upcoming expansion sounds good but there are plenty of reasons to manage expectations.
Bungie has made a remarkable comeback of sorts in the past few months with Destiny: The Taken King. From angering fans with Luke Smith’s comments regarding emotes and locking content behind Red Bull cans (not to mention the backlash behind the upcoming weapon update 2.0) to currying favour with upcoming quest-lines, new weapons and Nolan North as the voice of Ghost. However, for all the positive hype that The Taken King seems to be emanating, there are still plenty of reasons for Destiny fans to not get their hopes up. No, this isn’t another rant telling you not to pre-order the Collector’s Edition. It’s just a way to look back on Destiny’s previous mistakes and be cautious about all the new “features” that The Taken King will offer.
The Taken King will be introducing new story missions but if the first mission is any indication, they may be the same length as those seen in House of Wolves. Don’t get us wrong – we liked House of Wolves’ story missions despite their recycling of existing areas. However, the missions were still short as well. We don’t expect Bungie to show us everything the story may have but a lengthy mission presentation would go a long way towards alleviating some of the concern.
The Exotic quest-lines sound interesting especially those involving Eris Morn and the quest for the Sleeper Simulant. The ability to find out more about the different subclasses and the fate of characters like Praedyth in the Vault of Glass also sounds great. However, remember when Bungie promised better story-telling in both The Dark Below and House of Wolves? Even if cut-scenes and dialogue from other characters is implemented more in The Taken King, Bungie’s track record for its story-telling quality still stands. Hopefully the whole “Taken War” aspect in the end-game offers enough story content, especially for those who don’t want to just attempt the raid again and again.
The raids are some of the most coveted content in Destiny, so much so that there was immense backlash from fans when House of Wolves didn’t have one. Bungie has been putting most of its effort into King’s Fall, The Taken King raid which will be its largest yet. It all sounds exciting but you have to remember – not a single end-game activity for Destiny was perfect at launch.
Trials of Osiris launched and suffered an onslaught of cheaters from the get-go (and Bungie took its sweet time in banning the same). The Prison of Elders suffered from random teleports and bugged Elder Ciphers when it wasn’t outright pummeling you with Solar/Arc Burn on Skolas at level 35 or overpowering Qodron’s jailing abilities. Let’s not even talk about the numerous Vault of Glass and Crota’s End glitches that took months to fix.
Also, you can bet that Bungie will throw caution to the wind and despite the pleas of its fan base, introduce level 41 Hard Mode version of King’s Fall. Because who needs clever mechanics when you can simply handicap your players till the next level cap increase?
Arms Day Concerns
Leveling up the Gunsmith for receiving free weapons on Arms Day, which delivers Legendary weapons with random stat rolls? Weekly bounties which can be completed for the chance at a sixth bounty that can reward a Legendary or Exotic? Combine this with the largest arsenal ever in The Taken King and there’s plenty of incentive to be excited for all these new opportunities to earn weapons.
The problem is that Bungie already does some of these things and faced plenty of problems again. The weekly bounties system seems like a way to guarantee that players receive an Exotic bounty, similar to the first few Exotic bounties like Thorn and Invective, rather than making this aspect “random” (and you can bet that sixth bounty in The Taken King will have annoying requirements). So while it’s the right step forward, it’s hardly revolutionary.
There’s also the fact Bungie did attempt two systems which offered different weapons each week with varying stat rolls depending on your efforts. These were the Prison of Elders treasure chests and Variks, the House of Judgment, both which offered useless weapons most of the time. Worse, they were fairly similar to each other, leaving very little motivation to grind for treasure keys unless you had to complete an Elder Cipher bounty or try your hand at an Exotic.
The factions in Destiny are seeing a number of positive changes with The Taken King. Not only do you not have to wear a class item to level up a faction’s reputation but you can also exchange materials for reputation gains. They’ll also have their own bounties and rewards that can be purchased at different ranks, much like how Petra Venj in the Reef works. Not having to grind one’s rank and just using marks to buy weapons/gear? We’re down with that.
What remains to be seen is how useful the factions will actually be in terms of the gear they offer. What separates Dead Orbit from Future War Cult currently in terms of gear aside from the colour scheme? The base designs look exactly the same and most times, the factions have useless weapons (*cough*Sawtooth Oscillator*cough*). Sure, there may be the odd Deadshot Luna SR1 or The Fulcrum but unless Bungie actually has some decent rewards planned as part of the faction quests, then it’s going to be another case of grinding for weapons that are just plain disposable. Or worse, netting these useless weapons as Nightfall rewards three times in a row.
We applaud Bungie for allocating shaders and emblems to a kiosk rather than storing it in a player’s inventory. And while it’s apparently seeking a solution for increased vault space, it needs to be implemented sooner rather than later.
Because while year one Legendaries won’t hit the new damage cap or be upgradeable, Bungie is still encouraging players to keep these weapons for old activities like the Vault of Glass. That’s all well and good but when it’s going to introduce the largest infusion of weapons either, it needs to increase vault space. The message has thus far been a bit conflicting on this front, which isn’t helped much by community manager David “DeeJ” Dague’s comments. Players are being encouraged to hold on to their old weapons for now but aside from more vault space, there doesn’t seem to be any coming respite.
Is there any aspect of Destiny’s The Taken King that has you skeptical? Let us know your thoughts below and whether you agree or disagree with any of our concerns.