– James Orr
Destiny’s new update adds FREE content for owners of Destiny: The Taken King. That’s right, after six months of waiting, players finally have new things to do. Unfortunately, it’s only a couple of hours of content and one new exotic, Zen Meteor, which is a Playstation exclusive. But its unique effect, ‘Dynamite with a Laser Beam,’ is a Queen reference, so bonus points for that.
There’s a Taken version of the classic ‘Winter’s Run’ strike, accessible if you’re lucky enough to play it in the Heroic Strike Playlist (and some people report not getting it until fifty matches), as well as one brand new strike, The Blighted Chalice, with a questline that leads up to it. Unfortunately that quest is only three missions long, including the strike. One mission has you fight a few waves of enemies on a reused area of the Dreadnaught, and the other is a resource collection mission that you can do pretty much anywhere. Not exactly Destiny’s greatest. The new strike isn’t to my personal liking (it also reuses old environments) but it at least uses a few new mechanics and is a bit challenging.
Speaking of challenging, the Prison of Elders has received two new modes. One is just a harder version of the standard PoE, with new Taken rounds, and the other is ‘Challenge of Elders’ which pits you against three rounds of bosses. The bosses are the same bosses from the standard gamemode, but they each have a new or upgraded ability. Challenge of Elders isn’t actually hard, particularly for the first week as it has damage increasing modifier that allows fireteams to complete a run in less than five minutes. But each week players can get a scorecard to complete in order to earn new and stronger gear, and as long as the modifiers rotate the challenge will get some actual challenge in the coming weeks and months.
There’s new aesthetic customisation with some of the new gear. Using a ‘chroma’ on a weapon or armour will add a cool glow to it, allowing you to differentiate your guardian even more, albeit only slightly. Chroma can be found by earning or buying ‘sterling chests,’ which also grant you a legendary armour piece and possibly a piece of Taken themed armour (if you acquire a whole set you’ll also get a free Taken emote). Many players were concerned that Bungie was pushing into ‘pay to win’ territory by allowing the sterling chests to be bought, but any equipment gained from it starts at level 3, and thus needs to be levelled up with gear found by actually playing. So there’s nothing really to worry about (yet). Also, I mustn’t forget the new emotes; the most notable being a Shia Lebeouf ‘JUST DO IT’ routine.
The biggest and best update is for the overall ‘quality of life’ for the game. Levelling has become easier; now there are more avenues to acquire max level gear, and many outlets guarantee a drop that is higher than your current level. Infusion will now instantly level a piece of gear to the level of the consumed piece, rather than just 80%, so levelling faster no longer requires players hoarding gear just to infuse one gun to the max level.
I have to say that this update would have been the perfect opportunity to finally implement private matches. Destiny’s multiplayer is great, and it would have given something new for players until the next major expansion. And quite frankly it should have been there since day one. People are still managing to host tournaments despite this, but if you look at the roundabout method they require to make this happen, you can see that it’s pretty ridiculous. It’s now been over 18 months Bungie, and I’ve all but given up hope that we’ll see custom matches until Destiny 2 releases next year.
So was the update worth the wait? Well considering the only new things we received since the launch of The Taken King was the ‘Sparrow Racing League’ and ‘Crimson Days’ multiplayer modes, which both lasted only a week, I’d say, ‘not really.’ I don’t mean to complain, the content is technically free, but it feels there as an attempt to maintain our interest for another six months. And I say ‘technically free’ because I’m wondering where the money from the microtransactions is going. It’s as if they know I’m going to buy the next expansion anyway.
Curse my Destiny addiction.