With Rise of Iron less than 20 days away (Choo Choo) I wanted to take this time to look back at what the Taken King did to help progress us further along in the Destiny story.
New Sub classes: After spending an entire year swapping between Arc blade and Gunslinger (Solar) as a Hunter it was refreshing to enter TTK (The Taken King) with the capabilities of using a whole new subclass and get into that sweet sweet new void bow.
Cut Scenes: The one most notable thing that Vanilla Destiny was missing was having any semblance of a story. TTK made sure to drive home with narrative early on and made sure that it’s tower team of Eris, Zavala, Cayde and Ikora were at the center of it all.
The story did well at introducing a new super villain as well as doing a hell of a job of giving us an understanding of why we are raiding. The Crota raid did decent in telling us a story behind the raid where Vault of Glass fell flat on any real reason to go into the Vault and destroy Atheon (Grimore cards aside).
EXOTIC Quests: These were a neat way of having you earn new exotic weapons while gaining a bit of a story behind the gun. As much fun (albeit frustrating fun) as it was to play the nightfall and pray for a hawkmoon or Gjallerhorn drop, TTK brought a refreshing twist of REWARDING players with guns at the end of quests.
“Black Spindle” Quest: Even though Exotic quests were somewhat of a thing during Vanilla, TTK really made them relevant. However, in a separate category, what TTK did well was including a quest based on the daily story mission “lost light.” If you completed this quest you were awarded with essentially the Year 2 version of the Black Hammer: If you land 3 straight precision shots this weapon will automatically reload. This made the gun a standout for the first 2 Boss encounters in Kings Fall Raid as you could just start there landing precision damage shots on War Priest and Golgoroth without ever reloading.
Live Team Events: Live Team events like SRL (Sparrow Racing League), Festival of the Lost (See below) and Crimson Days (Valentines Day Event), were all neat little things to do in Destiny during the off days of grinding Raids, Strikes, Nightfalls and PvP Content (Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris). Even though they lacked overall content in these events they were still a pleasant break away from the core grind of the game. Also, the in tower changes when each event rolled around was very entertaining.
April Update: The April Update was the smallest updated chunk of content we’ve ever had in Destiny but you’d be a fool to think that it wasn’t one of the more important in terms of Quality of life. The April update made it so that rank up packages (From Crucible, Vanguard, and Faction) would drop 330 lvl gear. It made it so that Iron Banner gear was not only dropping more frequent but would guarantee you a 320 Artifact at Rank 3 and a 320 Ghost at Rank 5. All these great drops + the fact that they never upped the Raid light level made doing Destiny’s end game content that much more accessible for players who were previously daunted when doing the raid. On top of all this the April update saw us return to the reef and hang out with the homie Variks.
Challenge of Elders was a welcome return, and although it wasn’t difficult (Anyone remember Skolas) it was a great way to grind up new gear and reclaim the year 2 version of the Prison of Elders exotics.
Along with Challenge of Elders we saw a new treasure in the form of Sterling Treasure which essentially housed new armor pieces (light level 3) plus chroma which would change the color of a Guardian’s weapon or Armor piece. It didn’t work on every weapon or armor piece, just the ones added in the April update. Inside the sterling treasure you also had a chance to get Taken armor (seen above) which was a really cool addition to the game.
All in all the April update was exactly what the game needed at that point in time, it made it so any returning players found it rewarding to continually level up and made all year 2 content that much more accessible to all players. More loot= More fun.
Challenge Mode Raids: I just wanted to quickly give a shout out to Challenge Mode in the Raid, although it didn’t end up being all that it was hyped up to be it was a neat addition to raiding that I hope Bungie will expand upon in a greater fashion going into Year 3. Challenge modes weren’t particularly hard but you did get a pretty sweet emblem for completing each as well as quality drops so yeah, shout out to challenge mode.
LOOT/Three of Coins: Last but certainly not least, TTK brought us tons and tons of loot. With the new addition of Three of Coins players finally had something to spend their weekly Strange Coins on in order to farm more exotic engrams. This was a worthy addition to the game and made playing PvE matches as well as strikes all the more enjoyable if you were rewarded at the end with that shiny exotic engram.
Finally, I’d like to tip my cap to the new infusion system brought in to the Taken King, this allowed players to level up certain guns in an easier fashion than year 1 and will be brought into year 3. Although it had it’s struggles early on, once infusion became a 1:1 ratio in the April Update it really made the grind that much easier.
Rise of Iron is shaping up to be the best Destiny content yet and with all the positive changes the Taken King brought it will be nice to see them implemented into Rise of Iron and see where Destiny goes moving forward.
What did you think of the Taken King? Feel free to comment below or follow me on Twitter @RealMattMills