September 15th dawns the second year of Destiny. With it, we get a new expansion: The Taken King. It features Crota’s Father Oryx and the Hive ship, the Dreadnought. With this expansion. tons of new features have been added and changed. Lots of people may be wondering, “Is this a good time to jump back in?” or, “Is it worth the 40$ price tag?” Lets find out.
– Level Cap Raised to 40
The previous level cap was Light level of 34. In order to get to 34 you had to have the have the specific raid amour that would give you “Light”. This is no more. To reach Lv 40, the new cap, all you need to do is gain experience. At this time, all your level does is allow you to equip the good gear. If you do not have The Taken King, you will not be able to get to 40 and will not be able to get the new gear. Now the new Light level is a numerical average of your attack and defense.
– Ascendant materials are gone
No more grinding for shards and energy! All you need in order to upgrade your gear is Glimmer, parts and resources. You can easily upgrade a piece of gear within a day, decide if you want to keep it, and move on.
– New raid and multiple strikes
At the time of writing I have not gotten to the new raid, but it looks epic! The strikes are more unique than the previous ones, especially the one where you fight the final boss in the dark. Loot drops from the strikes are great, too. They’re definitely a good place to grind for new gear.
– New area to explore
The Dreadnought is a huge Hive ship full of Hive, Taken and Cabal. It will include enough missions, strikes, and patrols to take over your life for the next few months. There are also lots of chests that have hidden requirements in order to open. Tons of things to do here. But this is an interstellar ship, right? Why is it so dirty? Somebody grab a broom, please…
– New sub class for each class
The biggest reason to get The Taken King is the new unlockable sub class for each class.There’s the Sunbreaker, for the Titan class. It is Flare based and the super allows you throw a slew of flaming-exploding-Hammers! Hells to the yes!
Then there’s the Nightstalker, for the Hunter class. It’s super allows you to fire a void arrow into your enemies to grapple them to a certain point or another enemy. This is best used with many bad guys in close proximity to each other. It has its uses but it feels pretty anti-climactic compared to the others. The Nightstalker’s best new feature is the advanced detection ability. This allows you to seek out chests and resources on the mini map.
Finally, there’s the Stormcaller, for the Warlock class. This one makes me feel like Emperor Palpatine. When you activate your super, you shoot lightning bolts from your finger tips… Seriously! Exactly like Palpatine! It’s awesome!
– Piles of new weapons and armour
Unfortunately, all of our old weapons and armour will be obsolete. They’ve lowered the stats for anything from before The Taken King. My favourite Vision of Confluence used to be 248 plus. Now, it’s down to 150 and cannot be properly “upgraded”. This is upsetting, to be honest. It took forever to get Vision or Thorn and now I can only use them for patrols. This does give us the chance to experiment with all the new gear, though. There is a way to get certain Exotic gear through the blueprint feature, but it costs a lot of Legendary Marks in order to get.
– Ghost shell, Cloaks, and Artifacts give you stats and perks
One of my favorite new features is that your Ghost shell and Cloaks give you stats and perks! You also have a new item slot for what are called Artifacts. These do not show on your character so my guess is they go in your Guardian’s pocket.
– New Achievements/Trophies
Unlike the previous DLC, The Taken King comes with Achievements/Trophies which is a big selling point, at least for me.
– Loot and chest rates have increased
Back in the day, I remember doing a strike and not receiving one single engram. Now, I am completing them with 5 or more, and half the time one of them is a legendary engram! This was a big complaint, and Bungie finally addressed it. We can feel like we are accomplishing more while grinding.
– Gunsmith gives you weapon missions to rank up
Banshee, of the Guardian Tower, now lets you rank up. He has some common guns with their own challenges. If you get 20 head shots with a certain pulse rifle you get experience with Banshee. When you rank up he will give you missions and decent weaponry, which are sometimes class-specific, such as my Titan shotgun or Warlock Fusion Rifle. Every week, you can also put in an order for a legendary gun to receive on Wednesdays. I received my first batch yesterday and they are fantastic!
– Wolf Pack events are replaced by Taken Champions.
Alongside the classic Public Events are Taken Champion events. In most areas Taken will start to spawn, then Taken majors will spawn. If you defeat 3 within a time limit you will summon a Taken Champion. Many side mission are tied to these. Be warned, they are tough and will most likely require a fire team to take them down.
– Vault space has been increased 6 fold
Finally, we have enough space to hold all our gear, with plenty of space to spare! Each section has 72 slots for Weapons, Armour and Items.
– Carry up to 16 bounties
Ugh, how did we seriously live with only 5 slots? We now have 16! Also, a lot of what would have been bounties are now in your side mission list.
– Class-specific weapons
There are new class-specific weapons that have perks for that class. My Titan’s shotgun allows my to never run out of ammo when I am in a bubble shield. This can be really handy when you are being swarmed by hive.
– Legendary Marks
Vanguard and Cruciable Marks are no more. They have been replaced by Legendary Marks, instead. These do seem a bit harder to obtain: for example, with the Daily Heroic Mission, you used to be able to get marks for each character. Now you earn them across all characters. If I complete the daily with my Titan, I cannot earn them with my Warlock or Hunter for that given day.
– Infusion Mechanic
Legendary weapon weaker than a rare you just picked up? No problem! You can infuse it into your legendary. I am still experimenting with this, but say I have a scout rifle that has an attack of 250 and I pick up a rare that is 280 (which happens a lot). I use Glimmer, parts, mote of light and 3 Marks and the 280 rare to split the difference, which is added to the infused gear: instead of 250 it would now be 265 plus. This also means that a given piece of gear can be picked up with different stats.
– Gain Faction and Vanguard Reputation at the same time
Once you align yourself with a faction, you gain reputation with them at the same time as you would for the Vanguard. Keep in mind you can only change factions once a week. This also means that you no longer have to wear the faction mark to gain reputation with them.
– New Rift Crucible Playlist
There is a new playlist called Rift. It is very similar to a one bomb type game. The rift in the middle charges up, and once it’s full both teams try to pick it up and deliver it to the opposing teams base.
– Quest and Bounty tracking mechanic
The new tracking mechanic allows us to select up to 4 missions or bounties to track. This lets us see our progress when we press select. No more going into our menu and drag the cursor over top of our bounty. Its as easy as pushing one button.
– Item, Weapon, Armour, Shader, and Emblem collections
Throughout the tower you will see these blue screens. They will allow you to re-purchase or pick up most of the gear or items you have acquired. For example, once you have unlocked a ship for one character you can get it for your other two. Don’t worry about shaders you’ve discarded, because they are all still there for you to try on again. As for the exotic blueprints, if you have received them before, but dismantled them, you can go back and buy them again.
There is so much more to do in The Taken King compared to the previous DLC. Is it worth the price tag? I’d say 100% yes. Other games’ DLC comes with, say, 3 multiplayer maps at around 20$, which makes this an easy decision. I’ve put in about 40 or more hours into it and I feel like I have more to accomplish than when I started. 40$ can seem a bit steep, but once you’ve got it you won’t regret it. I am way more satisfied with this purchase than with any other DLC I’ve gotten. It’s only real rival for content is Skyrim.