Friday, February 5, 2016

Getting back into Destiny with The Taken King expansion

So I’ve recently got back into Destiny with The Taken King. I’d only ever played vanilla destiny for a few months before this and then went on a 5 month hiatus. Needless to say, for someone like me, A LOT has changed since I last logged onto destiny. Some of these changes are good and others not so much.

Let’s start with the new content because that’s what it all comes down to right, content. The story missions were fun, quite a few recycled maps but they did add a whole new section with Saturn/Dreadnaught. I must say that The Taken King story missions were by far the most fun to play and least convoluted among all the other Destiny story missions, DLC’s included.

The new raid, although I haven’t done it yet, looks wicked and the boss Oryx looks like a complete badass.

Outlined below are some of the changes in Year 2 Destiny that really caught my attention.
  •  XUR – The person who I eagerly waited for every Friday when I played vanilla Destiny, I was glad to find out, STILL arrives every Friday with goodies, only this time he’s changed a little. He still brings ONE exotic item for each class just like before, but now instead of bringing an exotic weapon and a random exotic engram, he now brings an Exoic Weapon OR an Exotic engram. With this change he now brings an additional engram known as an Exotic Legacy Engram. The legacy engram is an engram of either a weapon or armor slot but exclusively from year 1 containing year one stats and perks. This is mostly for the collectors or hoarders of Destiny. While I think this legacy engram is an amazing idea, people should be careful and double check before buying one since it looks exactly like an Exotic engram from year 2 but costs way more Strange Coins at 31. 31 strange coins may seem like a lot for a year 1 item but strange coins are easy enough to get and for someone looking to complete their collection or just get that year 1 item they always wanted but never got, this is the perfect engram for them to buy. XUR also sells an item known as 3 of coins which is a consumable, which when used increases your chances of getting an exotic engram on your next ultra-kill or next crucible win. More on this later. Needless to say, this nifty consumable makes getting exotics engrams quite easy. Other than that XUR is still your friendly neighborhood agent of nine who arrives promptly on Friday 5AM EST and leaves on Sunday at 5AM just like in Year 1 of Destiny.
  • Gunsmith – the gunsmith still sells basic guns but now he also sells Legendary weapons that you can place through an armsday order which you will receive the following Wednesday as that is the weekly reset day for the gunsmith. In order to place an armsday order you have to be at least Rank 1 with the gunsmith. At Rank 2 and Rank 3 the gunsmith will also give out a quest for class specific Legendary and exotic weapon respectively, which I think is really neat. The Tlaloc exotic for warlocks is an especially awesome gun. I am still working on getting to Rank 3 with my warlock for that one and will post the results when I finally get one. And finally at Rank 5 you get an exotic quest for a handgun which is decent but nothing out of this world, so I’ll probably only get that for collection purposes eventually.
  • Marks – There are no longer separate marks for vanguard and crucible, there is only ONE type of mark in The Taken King and they are called Legendary Marks. You can get them from the daily crucible activity (15 marks), weekly crucible activity (max of 10 x 3 for the week for winning ONLY), daily heroic story (15 marks), weekly heroic strikes (10 x 3 for the week) as well as from some story missions and dismantling YEAR 2 Legendary gear. All in all I am quite happy they made it only 1 type of mark and it is still fairly easy to reach the cap of 200 marks if you do all the activities. These marks are also used for infusing weapons and armor to make them stronger and if you happen to have some extra lying around after all that is done you can also trade them in at the vanguard for materials like spinmetal and so on.
  • Strange Coins – Strange coins no longer drops from the heroic/ nightfall strikes, they CAN drop randomly but they are no longer a guaranteed drop from there. Not to worry thought, as far as I’ve seen its literally raining strange coins in Year 2 Destiny. If you play the game quite a bit you can easily get anywhere from 50-100 strange coins a week just from playing the game. If you don’t play the game as much you can still get anywhere from 30-60 strange coins is what I’ve found. This is more than enough to buy 2-3 pieces of gear from XUR on a weekly bases.
  • Motes of Light – One of my favorite upgrades in Destiny Taken king is motes of light. Apart from being used to bolster reputation with factions motes of light can now also be used as a consumable to level up weapons and armor, something I didn’t learn about until a week into The Taken King.
  • Kiosks – Ok this is hands down the best upgrade to Destiny in my opinion. There are a number of different kiosks located in the Tower for different things such as shaders, emblems, ships, sparrows, exotic weapons and exotic armor. What kiosks are essentially a memory vault containing a ‘blueprint’ of a specific type of item you owned or unlocked. Say for example this week you bought an exotic titan helmet from XUR. This titan helmet is now forever unlocked in the kiosk regardless if you dismantle the helmet or not. So in a situation where you loose your helmet and later down the road would like to have it again for some reason, new build tryouts perhaps, who knows, then all you need to do is go to the kiosk pay a bit of glimmer and 1 exotic shard and boom the helmet is yours again. This works similarly for exotic weapons as well as everything else. However the kiosks for ships, emblems and shaders you don’t even need to pay any money, just click 'acquire' and now ALL you characters can have that awesome legendary ship you just unlocked from the raid. This feature to me is an absolute lifesaver and a brilliant idea on Bungie’s part.

  • Factions – Mostly the same from Year 1, factions still sell armor and weapons at Rank 1, 2 and 3 respectively. However now, once you reach Rank 25 you get a faction/class- specific quest to obtain a faction exotic class item such as a titan mark, warlock bond or hunter cloak depending on which character you leveled up the faction to Rank 25 with. The cool thing about THIS class specific exotic is that it lets you equip it at the SAME time as another armor exotic, a trait which is exclusive ONLY to these exotic faction class-specific items.
So lots of changes with The Taken King, some really positive ones, others not so great but the game is still amazingly fun to play especially after a 5 month Hiatus. Obviously I didn't go through ALL the changes that came with the Taken King like the three new classes and exotic swords and such or this would probably be a never-ending post.

Feel free to let me know what your thoughts are on the Taken King and all the various changes that came with the expansion in the comments section below.



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