Destiny, The Taken King, and Further Thoughts

To be completely honest, I give Destiny and, by extension, Bungie a lot of shit because of the economy and the bullshit idea that people are attracted to the endless grinding in the game. I will continue to do so until those things improve.


BUT in all fairness, I play the game an awful lot. Destiny has become my default game I go to in order to relax and not have to think about things. It’s the game I currently explore the most, and it frequently makes me feel like a total bad ass.


Yes, I still want the economy simplified (more on that in a moment). Yes, I want more actual story. Yes, I want actual achievement from all the grinding I do in game. But I can’t say I’m unhappy with the game as it is despite my previous posts on the game. As long as I have my PS4 and internet access, I’ll probably continue to play Destiny at least once in a while.

In a few weeks’ time, the next expansion, The Taken King will be released. I, along with many other players, have had a conflicted opinion of this new content before anything was ever really known about it. I don’t want to get into the argument over needing to buy the collector’s edition which includes everything you might already own in order to get some particular perks because that’s already been talked to death. What does concern me, however, are the repeated slips on Bungie’s part indicating that this either was originally intended to be a sequel to Destiny (I’ve heard them refer to it both as “a whole new game” and “the second one” in various interviews) or that this might be some of the missing content originally intended to be in the original release. Either case would be bad news in my opinion, as it would indicate that Bungie is attempting to capitalize on this property with annual releases and DLC packs the way Activision does with Call of Duty, or that someone made the call to carve the game up either as a money grab or in the interest of rushing it out the door. I’m not sure which I believe, yet, but I have my suspicions either way.

Another related issue I have is that because this is bigger than the standard DLC, a “new game” as it were, that this might indicate a money grab for additional season passes to get new minor expansions like The Dark Below and House of Wolves later in the year. No, I haven’t seen any indications that this will actually happen, but let’s face facts: it wouldn’t be unreasonable for the publisher to impose such expectations. Only time will tell at this point…

Beyond the new content, including new subclasses, weapons, and raids, Bungie is changing quite a bit in The Taken King, not the least of which is the economy. While it still isn’t going to be as simplified as I would like to see it, they are merging some of the various currencies in an effort to reduce the insanity. Crucible and Vanguard marks, for instance, are becoming Legendary Marks which can be used to upgrade or buy weapons, particularly exotics. This is a good change, because if you are anything like me, doing the Crucible as a last resort, you may have 200 Crucible Marks laying around unusable because you haven’t yet hit rank 2 with the Crucible despite having earned exotic weapons that depended on player versus player combat to obtain. Vice versa, you may only do PvP and have a few unusable Vanguard Marks. Either way, the marks will be converted to this single currency, though the exact details haven’t been revealed yet.
Similarly, all the various goddamned upgrade materials appear to have been murdered merged into “Upgrade Materials”, and it looks like I’ll finally be able to rid myself of my 1,500+ weapon parts by selling them for Legendary Marks. Again, details are still scarce at this point, but things look like they’re going to improve.

Perhaps the most controversial change on the way is with the actual weapons and armor themselves. First, the effectiveness ratings have been recalibrated, meaning that a fully upgraded Ice Breaker’s attack value will no longer be 365 but some other number. According to Bungie, there’s no need to be concerned about that numerical change; your weapons will still have the same effective impact that they currently do, and the armor will still be as effective as it currently is. The is purely an adjustment to the scale of things.

What you should be concerned about, however, is that only a limited number of exotic weapons and armor from “Year 1” will be upgradable to be comparable to “Year 2” weapons and armor. While the full list of items making the cut hasn’t been revealed, it is known that some of the most popular exotic weapons in the game have reached their peak effectiveness as of now. The aforementioned Ice Breaker doesn’t appear to be on the upgrade list (though that could change, even after The Taken King launches), and neither is Thorn, which I only recently acquired myself. Gjallarhorn was explicitly mentioned by Bungie as not making the cut, which is certainly going to annoy a lot of players (including myself) after it recently was being sold by Xur.

Naturally, this is going to piss off a lot of people. While I only have a relative handful of exotics, and my count on the upgradable Year 1 weapons list included 4 items I have (Bad Juju, Invective, Truth, and Thunderlord), there are players that have spent an enormous amount of time and energy building a collection of exotics over the last year. One female streamer I follow has every slot in her vault filled with either exotic weapons, armor, or engrams. There was a recent article indicating that the Xbox boss has put in over 300 hours into Destiny, and I’m closer to 400 than he is, but have only a handful of these exotic weapons… If I spent a lot more hours playing and acquiring these items, even half as many as that streamer, I’d give careful consideration about quitting Destiny permanently after this change.
Bungie could change their minds later, it wouldn’t be the first time and it’s the advantage of the modern era of gaming where updates and new content can be downloaded, but that is a discussion for another day. In the mean time, there’s not much to do but wait and discuss what little is known about the upcoming release.