Editor’s note: A warm welcome to Quinn, aka Commander Santa, new to the Content team!
Now, I know that this article is coming out almost a month and a half after the initial release of Destiny’s The Taken King DLC, but I figured that there needed to be a more “fully formed” opinion on how the game has improved since both the 2.0 update and the actual DLC release. So let’s get this show started!
This is going to be a 3-part series on Destiny 2.0.
When Destiny initially launched last September, it had a lot of flaws. LOTS. Most of those carried through to the end of Year 1. Things included on that list were: Vault space; severe lack of story; Grimoire, which was only accessible outside of the game (either through Bungie.net or the Destiny Companion app); and Warlock Jumps (just kidding, don’t kill me).
Year 2 has fixed most of these things. The Vault now has a combined storage of 180 items, spread across weapons, armor, and items. This was a huge sigh of relief for the die-hards and casuals alike, as this meant that collecting and hoarding every piece of exotic gear just got a lot easier. I mean, just look at the two images.
So as you can see, just the overall cleanliness of the Year 2 photo shows that Bungie understood how important storage was to old and new guardians alike. One thing I will say about the Vault though is that it operates a little slowly on PS4, but that may just be due to limitations in part to the Xbox 360 and PS3 holding the entire system back. Overall, it’s a wonderful change, and I am super happy with the amount of space we have now.
Grimoire is still out of reach in the game itself, which is truly a shame as they have a lot of information in each of the cards you collect that you don’t get to delve into but Bungie did add something that adds a little more life into the game: making scan-able items in the different missions, with Ghost (voiced now by Nolan North of Uncharted fame), your handheld companion, and a magic space key/decoder who takes too long. It’s a nice feature, but Bungie could have done a better job in implementing more of the lore into the game.
Warlock jumps, outside of Blink, still suck. (Hunter Main, come at me bruh!).
Speaking of Ghost, probably one of the biggest overall changes comes in the move from the voice of Peter Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame, and famously known as Dinklebot) over to Mr. North. The move was controversial at the time of its announcement, but I believe that overall, the move has been positive. North has, in my opinion, been a breath of fresh air for the game. He has emotion, and you actually feel that you are part of the game and the larger world, rather than with Dinklage, who sounded like he was always monotone and – ironically – very robotic. This is accentuated especially on the first mission on Phobos with the cinematic that plays before you get into the action.
The new Subclasses (as of this writing, I’ve tried the Hunter and Titan) are fantastic.
Nightstalker, the Hunter subclass, is the one I’ve spent the most time using, as I main a Hunter. Everything about it reeks of “SUPPORT” (which is where I usually am in MMOs) but it is actually rather more of an offense type, much like the Gunslinger and infamous Blade Dancer subclasses before it. The last node unlocked, Shadestep, is quite awesome, as it allows you to do a tactical roll, which on unsuspecting enemies can land you a pretty easy kill most of the time. It’s easily one of my favourite things that you can do with this subclass. I do have to say though, that removal of the Quiver node from the class has dampened its effectiveness. But with a glitch giving users infinite arrows, it makes sense. I just hope it comes back sooner than later.
The Titan’s Sunbreaker subclass just feels right. It’s a little overpowered, but when put up against the Striker (ground pound) and Defender (blueish bubble of defense), it’s exactly what the doctor ordered. You throw hammers like Thor but with reckless abandon until the timer runs out. Note that they recently patched the “Infini-Hammer” glitch, so you cannot just spam the shit out of it.
As I mentioned, I haven’t used the Warlock Stormcaller subclass, but from what I’ve seen on patrols and in crucible and the Raid, it’s a wrecking ball of destruction. And I love it. It makes you float around and cast lightning ala Palpatine from Star Wars. It is quite epic to watch electrical mayhem rain down on enemies. Everything about them feels balanced outside of glitches and bugs that make PvP unfair, and aside from Sunbreakers throwing more hammers than a Gunslinger has bullets in his Golden Gun.
One of the biggest and most welcome changes Bungie made was not only to fix the glaring issues with their in-game story, but also to include quests. While all the Year 1 content has gone unchanged, the story has been overhauled in the latest expansion with cutscenes and actual character dialogue and progression. You get to like the Vanguard (Especially Cayde-6, voiced by Nathan Fillion of Castle and Firefly), love/hate Eris, and fall in love with Amanda Holliday.
As for quests, in the early stages of the game, you get a quest for just about everything story-related. Going through the campaign for the first time? Legend of You quest. Done that? You’re onto the next set of story quests. Like PvP rather than PvE? Once you hit Level 5, you get access to the Crucible, and its own set of quests. Some of the quests, especially later on in the game (post Level 40), can be quite challenging: for instance the Jolly Holliday quest, which leads to eventually getting the Exotic Shotgun, The Chaperone.
The quest starts by talking to Amanda Holliday, your friendly Sparrow and Jumpship vendor once you hit Level 40. You are then required to run around in the Crucible with *another* Exotic gun – The Last Word hand cannon – and get kills with it equipped (this is made slightly easier, as you just need kills with it on hand, so Heavy/Secondary kills count, too). You get 1 point for a kill, and you lose 2 points for a death. You get bonus points for going on Killing Sprees as well. It is stupid and overkill – and that is just step 1 of 10 for the quest.
Needless to say, it’s a hassle and a half, but not all the quests are like this. Thank the overlords at Bungie.
With just these core updates, the game has become more fleshed out, and more like the game that Bungie probably wanted to release back in 2014. Overall I’m happy with where the game is at now, and if you stopped playing after a few weeks after launch, got tired of the game after The Dark Below or House of Wolves, or are even looking at buying it for the first time, I suggest you at least give it a try if you own a PlayStation or Xbox console.
My next article covering Destiny will be on the PvE side of the game, focusing more on the story and quests, as well as the Hallowe’en event that just recently passed.
See you Star Side!
Quinn is a contributing writer for AYBOnline.