So after hearing positive things from some friends who were playing I decided to shell out to buy “The Taken King” expansion for Destiny. Before this weekend I have not played Destiny since a few weeks since its original release, mainly because it had the same issue I have with most, if not all, online games. That is that once you finish the story they expect you to run dungeons, or in this case strikes or to do pvp in order to get better gear. While it is possible to obtain better gear through random drops you were better off doing these other things.
So before I get in to the Taken King content I will say that I also played through the DLC content that came before it before starting on the expansion content. These DLC’s were “The Dark Below” and “The House of Wolves”. I don’t remember the cost of the season pass now, but considering that both DLC sets were fairly short I would say that I paid too much. I don’t know how many missions there were total, but I finished them both fairly quickly. The only thing on them I did not do was the strike quest at the end that wraps up their stories. I may try to get a couple people to do these this weekend, but it still annoys me that I’m being forced in to content I really have no interest in just to see the wrap up. I also expected the content to be higher level than what it was.
Considering it came out after most people would have finished the game the content level was early to mid game levels. The problem there was that the content felt more difficult than what it should have been. Maybe it was because I wasn’t wearing the best tier gear or something but I had a lot of issues early on. That could just be that I’m horrible at FPS games though so eh.
So after finishing up that content I moved on to the expansion content, and the myriad of changes that accompanied it. The first change that I feel I should mention is that they replaced Peter Dinklage as the voice of your “Ghost” companion. The reason they gave was scheduling conflicts that prevented him from coming back to record additional dialog, but I think it is at least partially over the negative response they had to his performance. The thing is that I actually enjoyed him more than the new voice. RIP Dinklebot.
The next change comes in how your character levels. In what they are calling Year One (pre expansion) you leveled up to 20 through story/patrol/murdering entire planets and once you hit that you could only get levels by equipping gear with better “light” values. This meant that the only way to get past level 20 was to find light gear, which generally came from pvp or strikes. Which led to my above frustrations with the game. The change allows you to level all the way to the new cap of 40 just through the story and some math on your armor determines your “light” value which is essentially your defense/offense score, also known as your gear score. I do enjoy this, because at least I can get to the max level in the game without having to farm for it.
The next change was to the currency used to buy gear. Previously there were at least a couple different currencies. One for pvp gear and one for other gear. There are/were others but these were the primary ones. With the expansion they merged these currencies in to what is called Legendary Marks, and this is the main currency for all vendors now. I feel a bit mixed on this right now. I do like that all the vendors take this as their currency, but it still means that in order to get better gear, short of rewards or random drops, that I have to do content I may not want to do. I think this is not as much of an issue for other people, and maybe if I can do it with my friends it wouldn’t be so bad, I just don’t enjoy random groups as much as I do playing with friends. That being said I still think this was a good move, and it does make it easier to get the gear. This means that I can do the pvp grind for marks and buy non-pvp gear with the rewards.
One of the other things that changed at some point was how loot drops work. I did find that I was getting more engrams dropped, and that the quality of the item at least matched the color of the engram itself. Before you could (and most likely would) get a blue drop but get a lower quality item out of it. Now if I get a blue drop it’s going to be at least blue quality. So far though, I have only gotten one purple drop (see the header picture). I don’t know if the drop rate for this quality is that low, or I just have bad luck.
As to the story of the expansion, I thought it was pretty good. While the story was good, I just thought it was a bit short and felt like it really is just an old MMO mechanic where you do a long quest chain just to unlock a raid. To accurately describe how short the story is I beat both dlc’s and I would say most of the expansion in one day, before dinner. Now there are some post “final boss” missions I have not completed yet. This is because I need better gear to do it first, which means I have to farm better gear in order to do it.
I am at least mostly enjoying the game again. Though for me the best part has been Nathan Fillion voicing Cayde-6.