Exciting peek at ‘The Taken King’ from Destiny

The Halo creator’s latest epic adventure finally touched down last September, and it’s set to grow exponentially just over a year later with the release of The Taken King next month.This new trailer skips the deep-dive details in favor of a more atmospheric, story-driven peek at what’s to come.

In The Taken King, the god of a race of space-demons is out for revenge, transforming the solar system we know into a hellscape teeming with mutated alien killers. Sounds lovely.

Destiny Share The Changes Actually Happened?

It’s been almost a year. Bungie has released two expansions for Destiny: December’s The Dark Below and May’s House of Wolves. In September, they’ll release The Taken King, which looks to be the most substantial addition yet.

 In between major releases, Bungie has also been tweaking and patching Destiny, adding a number of small improvements to the interface, matchmaking, gameplay, and more. The Destiny of summer 2015 is a markedly different game from the Destiny of fall 2014.

It’s likely that Bungie will be announcing a bunch more about The Taken King over the next few weeks. They’ll probably share and tease more about the new weapons and armor, explain whether our gear will carry over from this year into next, show us some new crucible maps, talk about how the Prison of Elders will be expanded, and more.

Before all that happens, let’s go back over those initial changes we suggested last fall and see how many of them actually made it into the game. Turn on your wayback machine, here we go…

1. Sparrow Races

What we wrote: “How in the world someone can put super awesome speeder bikes in their game and then not organize some way to race them is beyond me, but somehow Bungie did it.”

Has it happened? No, not yet. It still seems ridiculous that we can’t hop on our awesome speeder-bikes and actually race someone. There are, at least, now “pikes” strewn around some patrol areas, which let you drive around and shoot stuff. It’s not racing, but it’s something.

2. A Comprehensive In-Game Stats Page

What we wrote: “I also can’t tell you how many hours I’ve played, how many strikes I’ve completed, how many times I’ve died, or how many bullets I’ve fired. There should also be an easy in-game way to check stats like your Vanguard or Faction rep, for that matter.”

Has it happened? Yes, at least partially. The inventory screen now has a lot more information than it used to, and it’s possible to see your rank in the various factions without visiting that faction’s HQ in the tower. Still can’t see your overall K/D or how many aliens you’ve killed, though.

3. Better High-Level Armor Customization

What we wrote: “We’d love to see some sort of deeper armor customization — not just of appearance but of ability, or perhaps a “gem”-like system that lets us weld items onto our armor to gain additional buffs.”

Has it happened? Sort of. It’s not possible to change a piece of armor’s stats, but thanks to the etheric light system, you can upgrade a whole lot of different armor. As a result, it’s much easier to get a build that you like, e.g. pure INT/DISC with extended grenade-throw distance and more super energy from kills. The Taken King looks like it’ll add even more armor flexibility, giving you more choice about which stats you boost and even letting you change them on the fly.

4. Better Ship Customization

What we wrote: “It’d be nice to feel like our rides reflected something about us other than just whether or not we’ve been lucky enough to find a rare ship while doing patrols.”

Has it happened? No. Your ship is still your ship, and while some of the ships introduced in House of Wolves are cool—they either look like crystalline glass sculptures or like off-off-brand Go-Bots—it’s still not possible to customize your ship’s look with shaders or other cosmetic additions. The ships still all look the same, and as a result, one of the most “elite” ships is… the janky one you got at the very start of the game, because so few of us hung onto it.

5. More Patrol Landing Zones

What we wrote: “We’d love to be able to choose our landing point, rather than have to navigate all the way from the Steppes to The Divide every time we want to go take out that Fallen Walker in the public event.”

Has it happened? No. You still land in the same places on patrol, and it usually still takes too long to get from there to wherever you’re going. The Taken King is adding a new patrol zone, of course, but no word yet on how the existing patrols may change.

6. Patrol Mission Difficulty Modifiers

What we wrote: “We’d love to see a second difficulty setting—maybe just a single one—that kicks the base level of the grunts on each world up by ten or so levels.”

Has it happened? Sort of. You can’t modify a patrol’s difficulty, but with House of Wolves, there are now higher-level Fallen enemies hanging around on Venus, Earth, and the Moon. Poor Mars, though. Does anyone go to Mars anymore? Mars must feel so bummed out.

7. Launch To Tower, Not Just Orbit

What we wrote: “We’re only passing through space on our way to the Tower to cash in bounties, decode engrams, and do whatever else. When we bring up our ghost in the field, two face buttons are still unassigned—it only makes sense that one of them could be designated a “Launch to Tower” button.”

Has it happened? No. Alas. However, Bungie’s Destiny app has made it possible to do some of the things we used to have to go to tower to do, like transferring gear and materials between characters. Cool third-party apps like Destiny Item Manager and Tower Ghost make it even easier. It’d still be great to bypass orbit and go straight to tower from wherever we are.

8. More To Do In The Tower

What we wrote: “’Find Xur’ and ‘Turn on the Fan’ are some of the closest things to actual activities, and it’d be nice if Tower could continue to grow and offer more and more things for players to do. ”

Has it happened? No. Sure, they added a new “tower” in the form of the Reef, but there’s still nothing to do there except try to jump onto the one thing or the other thing, or to turn on the lamp that’s next to the postmaster. Fun! There are now more factions, more vendors, and more things to check, but nothing new to do.

9. New Shaders At The Store, For Pete’s Sake

What we wrote: “We’d love it if the Guardian Outfitter would actually start getting some new stock, even if it was just once a week. It’s amazing she’s stayed in business this long, frankly.”

 

Has it happened? Yes. Eva Levante did finally get a few more shaders in stock since we wrote our first article, though her stock still can’t be called bounteous. Fortunately, you can now get new shaders at a few other vendors, as well—Eris Morn, Petra Venj, Variks and Lord Saladin all sell a few nice-looking shaders, provided you can rank up enough to buy them.

10. Built-In Shader Previews

What we wrote: “…it’d be even nicer if Bungie built in a preview feature for shaders similar to how it lets you preview other gear. Surely there’s space for a dressing room somewhere on Tower…”

Has it happened? Yes. You can now preview shaders before you buy them.

11. Meaningful Clans

What we wrote: “It’d be nice to be able to create and manage your clan in-game, and even to have access to a shared pool of money or bounties. It’d also be cool if every clan could be given their own space on Tower (they’d all occupy the same area, of course) that you could customize, where people in the clan could go to hang out, get clan-specific bounties, that sort of thing.”

Has it happened? No, not really. Clans still feel mostly “outside” of Destiny, little more than a way to publicly show that you and the other people on your Crucible team are allied outside of the game. Clan pages on Bungie.net are a decent way to organize, but it’d still be nice to see clans become more meaningful in the actual game.

12. Custom Emblems

What we wrote: “We’d love the opportunity to design our own emblems, the better to help our clans stand apart.”

Has it happened? No. There are more emblems in Destiny than ever, but it’s still not possible to make your own custom emblem. Players have worked their way around this by getting creative with the little-used emblems—I saw a clan in Trials of Osiris called “The Green Arrows” who all had matching fugly green emblems—but as of now, we still can’t make our own.

13. Opt-In Proximity Chat

What we wrote: “It’s great that Bungie is adding opt-in chat for crucible multiplayer and strikes, but it’d be nice to see something similar for proximity chat while out exploring in the world.”

Has it happened? Sort of. It’s now possible to join a voice channel to talk with the people on your strike team or on your Crucible team, but the game still doesn’t have the sort of proximity chat we were envisioning.

14. A Bunch More Emotes

What we wrote: “This game direly needs a wheel’s worth of emotes that are actually useful, some of which relay information through the other players’ ghosts. ‘Help!’ ‘I’m ready to revive.’ ‘Come here.’ ‘Go there.’ ‘Shoot that.’ That sort of thing.”

Has it happened? No, though as the recent uproar over the exclusive Taken King collector’s edition emotes demonstrated, the game will be getting more emotes soon. Just how many remains to be seen.

15. The Ability To Change Your Handle

What we wrote: “Destiny should allow players to create custom names for each of their characters, rather than having them all operate under their Gamertag/PSN name.”

Has it happened? No. Bad enough that we’re all still saddled with the PSN IDs we picked out when we first started, we’re also not able to put a different handle on top of that in Destiny. If your PSN ID is CPT_JUGGALO, then CPT_JUGGALO you remain.

16. A Helmetless Option

What we wrote: “We’d love to be able to show off our fabulous haircuts outside of the Tower.”

Has it happened? Sort of. The inverse, actually. You can’t go helmetless while on patrol, but you can opt to wear your helmet in social spaces. We’ll count this one as a “sort of.”

17. Character Re-Customization

What we wrote: “If we’re going to continue to develop these characters over the next ten years, we’d better be able to change our minds about how they look.”

Has it happened? No. And we’re all very hopeful that The Taken King will let us change our character’s face, sex, and race.

18. The Option To Hide Other Players’ Handles

What we wrote: “It’d be nice to have an option to turn off other players’ handles in-game. It’d be entirely optional—their level could still display, since that can be useful information, but it’d be nice to have more control over what shows on our HUD at a given moment.”

Has it happened? No. And to be honest, after nearly a year of Destiny, in retrospect we wouldn’t really care if this one never happened. Especially if we were allowed to pick our own custom Destiny handles. It’s nice to see who you’re playing with.

19. A HUD-Free Screenshot/Selfie Mode

What we wrote: “Destiny would hugely benefit from a HUD-free screenshot mode, as well as a good selfie mode. It’d be even better with the aforementioned helmet-free option, which would make every random battle look far more interesting and photo-ready.”

Has it happened? No. And the game’s beauty continues to be difficult to document and share without a bunch of text and other UI junk getting in the way.

20. More High-Level Solo Activities

What we wrote: “If a [solo] player just wants to play for an hour or two each night, there should be more than a couple of things for them to do.”

Has it happened? Sort of. There are more single-player missions now, of course, but most of the new PvE activities are geared toward playing as a team. Lone wolves can matchmake into the weekly strike or the level 28 Prison of Elders, or hop into the new public events, but when you do those things, you’re gonna do them alongside other people. There still aren’t many high-level, endgame-ish things to do on your own.

21. New Missions With Actual Variety

What we wrote: “Here’s hoping the new missions channel the sorts of challenges seen in the Vault of Glass raid, with enemies who buff and debuff, bosses that require careful strategy to defeat, and environmental challenges that test the limits of Destiny’s long-distance jet-jumps. Show us what you’ve got, Bungie. We can handle it.”

Has it happened? Yes. Both expansions introduced new single-player missions with more variety, particularly House of Wolves. There’s always room for improvement, of course, but we’ve seen several clear steps in the right direction.

22. In-game Grimoire Cards

What we wrote: “Grimoire cards should be moved into the game somehow, either during loading screens or at a kiosk in the Tower, or somewhere in the menus. You wrote all that lore, now put it in your game, Bungie!”

Has it happened? No, and the Grimore remains sadly segregated from the rest of the game. Sites like Ishtar-Collective.net have done a great job of pulling all the Grimore lore together into a digestible format, but it remains baffling why so much of Destiny’s backstory isn’t in… you know, the game.

23. An Integrated Looking-For-Group Tool

What we wrote: “While it’s nice that there are websites that let people hunt for teammates for the nightfall strike or the raid, it’d be even nicer if the game itself could feature that sort of tool.”

Has it happened? No. Popular LFG sites have continued to do a fine job of remedying Destiny’s lack of an integrated LFG tool, but Bungie has yet to add one to the game itself.

25. A Way To Undo Gear Breakdowns

What we wrote: “It’s likely that someone or other will accidentally break down a legendary or exotic piece of armor and regret it afterward. It’d be nice if there were some sort of short-term undo option for breaking something down, like the buyback option most RPG stores offer.”

Has it happened? Sort of. You can’t undo a gear breakdown, but it is now possible to “lock” your gear, meaning my precious Hopscotch Pilgrim will forever be safe from an accidental holding of the Square button.

26. An Inventory Wheel

What we wrote: “It’d be nice to have an inventory wheel that lets players quickly access different weapon loadouts, ammo packs and other consumables, and check the status on various bounties. There’s no reason we should be fiddling with in-game menus while taking damage from enemies.”

Has it happened? No. We players have certainly gotten better at hopping into the inventory menu, changing up our loadout or popping an ammo synth, then hopping out in time to stay alive, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t love to have a better inventory interface in-game.

27. Shared Bounties

What we wrote: “If you wind up out patrolling with a friend and they have a (non-exotic) bounty that you don’t, they should be able to share that bounty with you and have it turn up in your bounty inventory. You shouldn’t have to return to Tower just to get on the same page.”

Has it happened? No. This is another improvement that, in retrospect, actually doesn’t feel all that important. It’d be better if we could just grab bounties using the Destiny App, so that if, say, we started the Nightfall without getting The Cleansing, we wouldn’t have to bail out and go back to Tower just to get it.

28. A Home For Exotic Bounties

What we wrote: “Exotic bounties are cool and everything, but they’re also time-sinks, and they shouldn’t hog an entire spot in your bounty inventory for the multiple days it usually takes to complete one.”

Has it happened? Sort of. There are now twice as many bounty spots as there were when Destiny launched. It’s still not enough, but from what we saw of the menu screens when we demoed The Taken King at E3, there are more bounty spots coming, along with a whole page dedicated to mission progress and, presumably, other ongoing challenges like exotic bounties.

29. An In-Game Map

What we wrote: “While we’ve all learned the basics of Old Russia and the Moon, it’d be nice to have an in-game map that shows our location relative to the overall world we’re exploring”

Has it happened? No. At this point, we’ve got all of the maps memorized, but I’m sure newcomers would still benefit from an optional in-game minimap.

30. A Way To Pause The Game

What we wrote: “Bungie: as adults with roommates, spouses, children, and pizza delivery guys occasionally asking for our attention, we cordially ask you to add some way to pause your fucking game. Thanks.”

Has it happened? No. Seasoned players have figured out when they can set down the controller and for how long, but Destiny still forces you to play on its timetable, not yours.

31. Let Players Trade Items… Or Maybe Don’t

What we wrote: “It seems inevitable, but we’re not sure that it would actually improve the game.”

Has it happened? No, and it shouldn’t. Even at the time we first wrote this, it was included as number 31 because we said we weren’t sure we wanted it. A year later, it’s even easier to see how a trading economy would completely upend Destiny’s reward system. A real-money economy would sprout up outside of the game almost immediately, with $100 eBay Gjallarhorns for everyone. As fucked as Destiny RNG often is, there’s still something vital about only being able to use weapons and armor that you yourself unlocked in the game. When I see someone wearing full Trials of Osiris gear or even just using Thorn, I know that they did some shit to get it. A trading economy would throw all of that out the window.

Final Tally

If you’ve been counting, four of our proposed changes made it into the game, seven were sort of added, and 19 still haven’t made it. A few of those 19 are things don’t really rate anymore, but most of them would still improve the game. Also, to Bungie’s credit, they made one big change—increasing our vault space—that we hadn’t thought to ask for because it hadn’t yet become an issue in October. Of course, there’s still not enough vault space, but hopefully (hopefully, hopefully) they’ll give us more in September.

Will The Taken King address more of our lingering issues? Probably. When that expansion comes out, will we publish a list of new changes we’d like to see? Likely. Will the people who make Destiny continue to be annoyed as we cavalierly propose solutions to problems that are likely much harder to solve than they seem? Almost certainly.

We’ll know more soon, as The Taken King is out in just over a month. Here’s hoping they at least let us skip the cutscenes.

Destiny share the new PS4 bundle including the expansion now available

A new PlayStation 4 (PS4) bundle prominently featuring the “The Taken King” expansion for “Destiny” and having the expansion itself is now available. As of now, players can already start pre-ordering the new bundle for the price of $399.99.

The entire bundle includes a bunch of goodies for avid “Destiny” fans.

Starting off, the bundle will, of course, have a physical copy of the Limited Edition of “The Taken King” expansion itself. It is worth noting that the expansion, if bought on its own, will cost gamers $59.99, although it does already have the game itself as well as the two earlier expansions that were released for “Destiny.”

Also included in the bundle are the pieces of hardware that prominently display “The Taken King” theme. One of these is a 500GB white PS4 that features an illustration of “Destiny’s” map along with the Golden Guardian brand, according to Polygon. Rounding out the hardware package is a white controller to follow the “The Taken King” theme.

Also featured in “The Taken King” bundle for “Destiny” is a token for an upgrade to the Collector’s Edition of “The Taken King,” which has a digital version that is currently selling for $79.99.

“The Taken King” expansion will be released on Sept. 15.

In related news, video game developer Bungie, Inc. has chosen to ban hundreds of players from the game’s online multiplayer mode for manipulating network traffic, according to Gamespot.

For those who may not know, manipulating network traffic can lead to other players having to endure a poor gaming experience while playing “Destiny.” It can also lead to the erring players gaining an unfair advantage over their inconvenienced foes.

Aside from banning the players found guilty of manipulating network traffic, Bungie also reminded players that they can use the game’s in-game reporting tools to point out any untoward behavior from fellow “Destiny” enthusiasts.

‘The Taken King’ Expansion Pack Introduces New Weapons, Dreadnaught with Destiny

A recent post in Reddit is creating buzz amongst the gaming community as it provides alleged insider information on the development of Bungie’s upcoming shooter game series Destiny 2, whom the poster identified as The Shattered Suns as well as details on the Destiny 2.0 expansion pack called The Taken King which is scheduled for release on September 15 this year.

To be clear, Destiny 2.0 is not related to Destiny 2, a sequel to the game which is reportedly still in development. You should expect to see Destiny 2.0 released with the next major expansion, The Taken King, which is expected to have its release date on September 15th, which was recently announced at E3 2015.  For those that want more details about the weapons changes, check out the official memo from Jon Weisnewsi at the Bungie site

The poster claimed he received the information from a close friend who knows somebody (READ: A friend of a friend) from inside Bungie who is involved in the development of Destiny: The Taken King DLC and future contents.  He claims to have exclusive information about Bungie’s plan for the Destiny franchise, including its story line, evolution of the clan system and the unveiling of a new way to ascend characters.

The poster claims the next Destiny installment will be released in September 2016. However, what’s suspicious about the post is it claims that Activision has decided to ditch its current DLC model.

Part of the post reads: 

“It is titled currently as ‘Destiny 2 – The Shattered Suns’ and is planned for release on September of 2016. You will still be using your current characters. It will focus heavily on Osiris and his endeavors as he is the main quest giver in the game. A new form of enemy is said to be in development, Possibly Ahamkara? Couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone on that. Mercury is also supposed to be a big player in ‘Destiny 2 – The Shattered Suns’. The main area in which the guardian will explore. Bungie has also hired on Hollywood writers for the story of this game as well. A new voice for the ghost is also being implemented. Bungie apparently stated that they are not going to continue with DLC’s, but instead release free raids, planets, etc. throughout time. They will only be continuing with the main games after TTK and its successor DLCs.”

The post went on to say, “Finally as a bonus, there is not going to be trading implemented into the game ever. Stated, ‘Activision got sent a letter regarding what not to do on a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) from Blizzard, and trading was on that list’. Also that there is no 6th chest in the VoG or has only been known by a small group of people in the studio. It was just a bluff to keep us occupied for The Taken King most likely.”

The Taken King to Introduce New Weapons

Meanwhile, games should expect the weapons for “Destiny: The Taken King” during its release on Sep. 15: Pulse Rifles, Scout Rifles, Hand Cannons, Shotguns, Fusion Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Rocket Launchers, Hard Light, Necrochasm, The Last Word, Thorn, Hawkmoon, Ice Breaker, No Land Beyond and Black Hammer. 

here will also be a base increase in the damage of Scout Rifles, not to mention an increase in the magazine size and a reduction with its accuracy. Pulse Rifles can do 2.5 percent less base damage than before, and it decreased stability with repeated shots and increased the amount of shots you can take with the weapon’s standard magazine.

As for shotguns, the shot accuracy is reduced 30 percent, precision damage reduced by 10 percent, and reduced damage against non-player enemies by 10 percent.  Also affected are Fusion Rifles, Sniper Rifles, and Rocket Launchers.

‘Destiny’ – Cheaters Given A Smacking This Week

Destiny developer Bungie has brought down the ban hammer.

Destiny PvP modes Crucible, Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris are good fun, but have their share of problems. Most prominent of these is lag, and more specifically, lag switching – a form of cheating which is very frustrating for innocent players on the receiving end of teleporting, invulnerable shottie-wielders.

In the latest Bungie Weekly Update, the developer said it has taken action against such cheaters.

“Yesterday and today, our Security Response Team has restricted access to the Crucible by the worst offenders among us all,” Bungie said.

“We started with a look at the most notorious cheaters that had been reported by other players. After a cross-reference against our own player-data, we gave the

Banhammer a mighty swing.

“Contained in its blast radius were hundreds of people who have manipulated network traffic. If you don’t know what that means, we love you. Never change.”

Bungie asked players to keep using the reporting tools to dob in cheaters.

“Shaming your offenders in a video might feel good, but it doesn’t factor into our process for passing down a guilty verdict – and it might get you in trouble with the moderators of your favorite Guardian clubhouse,” Bungie said.

This wek’s update also gave us a sneak preview of the new Dreadnaught destination coming with The Taken King, which includes all-new Destiny Bounties, Patrol Missions and Public Events.

Destiny: Armour building foundations for head-scratchers

What to do when not all armour pieces are the same, not even the same ones? It’s time to sort this whole business of balancing bonus attributes and cherry-picking the best perks.

First of all, here’s a recap for those of us that do know and a primer for those you that still do not: when it comes to armour drops, and items sold by Xur, their attributes and in many cases perks vary enough to be of significance. Destiny power leveling make upgrade more easy. You may have received ‘a’ helm from defeating Crota, but this may not be ‘the’ helm with the perk you’re longing for unless you smashed him on Hard. You may own the exotic bucket Knucklehead Radar, but wait before ditching it because the newer one could boost your Strength stats by a further 35 points or more. It could also be less. But at least you checked.

Armour building foundations for head-scratchers

Now, a disclaimer. We are not in possession of a list that details every single armour permutation in Destiny. We can, however, assume from our own experience that there are six basic variations for pieces obtained from RNG drops such as raid checkpoints and strikes.

These are: 100% Strength, Discipline or Intellect; Strength + Discipline/Intellect; and Discipline + Intellect.

Depending on your play style, the benefits of stacking each attribute will be more or less relevant. These also impact the usefulness of many character subclass set-ups, such as grenade-oriented perks paired with higher Discipline values. This, in itself, is enough to worry about.

In addition, however, Destiny armour can have perks similar to the rolls affecting weapon performance. A quick glance might show negligible difference between performance attributes to the piece you already own, but on Rare and Legendary gear some perks may be more to your liking.

For example, our equipped Warlock’s Kellbreaker’s Gloves generate Orbs when killing Fallen with precision hits. Even though the Strength rating is higher on the spares we recently acquired, they generate Orbs after killing Fallen with melee attacks. This isn’t helpful for Intellect/Discipline oriented set-ups.

It’s not just play-style up for consideration either, but weapon ammo too. We own a pair of Titan Willbreaker’s Resolve chest pieces that are frankly frustrating because the 100% Discipline option boosts ammo for Auto Rifles and Shotgun, while the more balanced Discipline/Strength alternative carries more for Hand Cannon and Fusion Rifles. We’d keep both because Abyss Defiant and Swordbreaker are great tools for the later stages of CE, while Fatebringer or Vex are so useful earlier on in the Raid.

However, as every Destiny player knows, there’s no room for such luxury. Like, literally. There aren’t enough armour slots to carry all this stuff around.

A taste of the exotic

By accident or (let’s give the benefit of the doubt) design, Bungie has engineered a situation in Destiny whereby Vault space alone is starting to limit your wardrobe. Anyone running three high-level Guardians will be uncomfortably familiar with this state of affairs – there’s simply not enough room to hold onto every armour piece that comes your way.

So what will you keep? And why?

Raid armour for the Vault of Glass only varies across ammo perks, plus the type and potency of any Strength/Discipline/Intellect attributes. It’s straightforward to assemble kit with attributes balanced in your favour. The age-old torment with the Vault is that you’ll only acquire the helmet after killing Atheon on hard. It doesn’t drop often, and you can be waiting forever to get the ideal example. Our advice is to keep everything other than the helm as balanced as possible, since an exotic lid is more than likely going to be the main option regardless.

Optimizing armour from Crota’s End is more of a grind, particularly while hoping for the Infusion helmet perk that replenishes health each time you pick up an Orb of Light.

Also, you’ll be wanting Hive Striker or Breaker on gloves creating Orbs of Light upon killing Hive with melee or critical hits. For this reason, your attributes may not be ideally balanced for a while since such qualities are worth chasing more than boosts to ability recharge speeds. The drops are much more plentiful during this Raid compared to the Vault of Glass, however, no doubt owing to the increased permutations.

When factoring in exotics, the decisions are based on which Raid armour perks you can live without. After a while, an experienced team isn’t going to be so fussed about reload speed while Oversoul’s Gaze is active, so chest armour with Moment of Speed can be exchanged for, say, a Hunter’s Crest of Alpha Lupi that generates more Orbs from Super kills (especially handy for Hard Mode).

Choice pickings from Trials of Osiris, Iron Banner

Helmets and gloves gained from the Iron Banner and Trials are worth considering for performance enhancing perks that benefit PvE as much as PvP.

You may land a helmet with the Infusion perk, for example, alleviating the pain of the Crota’s End grind. Also, for killing Crota, there are melee-enhancing perks across all three classes, enabling two-sword take downs of Crota at the end.

Otherwise the perks are obviously more PvP oriented, granting faster reload speeds on preferred weapon types and longer grenade throws for flushing-out tactics. Super usage tends to come to the fore in all PvP modes, so guardians will most likely invest in Intellect at the expense of Discipline or Strength, depending on whether you prefer the proximity attacks of shotguns and melee or ranged hits from sniper rifles and grenades.

Etheric Light to the rescue


Something that’s heartening to know while piecing together your ultimate kitbags for PvE and PvP is that Etheric Light, that ascends Legendary armour and weapons to max House of Wolves potential, also boosts Strength/Discipline/Intellect attributes on older armour. It’s not a huge amount (we noticed just seven points per category on our Warlock Vault of Glass collection) but if you’re not running sword on Crota and only concerned with heavy ammo capacity, the VoG boots are great.

Equally, in relation to the PvP comments above, an ascended Iron Regalia helm can be awesome.

I am Level 34. I feel badass. Don’t tell me I’m not.

Right now in Destiny, a Guardian that has reached the soft level cap of 20 can attain the max rating of 34 inside a few weeks without sweating too much. This is especially true when you’re boosting an alternative character, regardless of class. Since Destiny Expansion II: The House of Wolves, the arrival of Variks in the Reef guarantees one piece of light level 42 per week, per character. If you’re able to run a level 32 Prison of Elders arena this drops an Armour Core to exchange for Variks’ Kell Armour, and this Armour Core can be used by any of your Guardians. Even complete newcomers can aim for this in a short space of time by running Vanguard activities such as strikes and dailies. Upon gaining enough reputation for Vanguard Level 2, you simply buy level 32 gauntlets, chest and leg armour.

You may have noticed, and we hate to break it to anyone happily parading silly Strength stats, that Variks’ gear is a brilliant example of how Bungie is keeping us all glued to the grind by switching up the Kell armour attributes each week. Also – and you can hear the Vault creaking in anticipation – there’s the promise of armour sets that are specific to activities in the same way Kell armour accelerates recovery speed and puts a spring in your step.

And that’s before we even get on to the subject of a whole new era of Raid armour required to face Oryx The Taken King.

You armour choices in Destiny depend dramatically on situation, of which there are many. Seriously serious Bungie: more vault space!

Guns And Weapons Blaze Off Before ‘Taken King’ Arrival with Destiny

With little more than a month before The Taken King expansion lands in “Destiny,” developer Bungie has provided some eye candy for players. After last week’s controversy and outrage among fans with the nerfing of the Gjallarhorn, the new guns in the game may fuel another round of discussions among guardians.

In the latest Bungie update, the developer gave a brief backgrounder on the kind of new weapons by introducing three product lines in the game. There are sample concept art pieces for the gun completing the illustration.

There are three product lines for the weapons, and each has its own thrust in weapon-making and focus in terms of the weapons’ contribution in the battle against the Taken. The first are the Hakke weapons, which have stable base stats that make them ideal in upgrading the weapon. As for their battle capabilities, the Hakke weapons are more offensive and tactical.

The Omolon range of weapons are concerned with breakthroughs and breaking borders with weapon design. The weapons are lighter, and the perks are more behavioral in nature rather than stat-based. Finally, perk selections are more beneficial when choosing those that are energy-based or are interactive with the guardian’s abilities.

Suros, the last line of weapons, is concerned more with customizability and adaptability of the weapons in battle. This allows Suros weapons to suit the situation on the battlefield. This is made possible by the ability to have more options in changing the weapon stats compared to others, and it has the ability to swap nodes and change its range effectively and efficiently.

The new guns and weapons are not the end in terms of additions for “Destiny” and its upcoming expansion. PlayStation Lifestyle spotted a feedback forum exchange with new manager Chris “Cozmo23” Shannon. He shared with fans some features taken from the community’s wishlist. He noted not all can be implemented, but he wanted fans to know the developer is listening to what people want.

On the list are skins for guns and ghosts, more options in terms of aiming, matchmaking, customization and storage, private crucible matches and rebalancing of weapons. Players also brought up two things that will be interesting additions to the game: the ability to dismantle consumable items and player trading.

The latter had been hinted at repeatedly. The most recent sighting was in early June, wherein three trademarks for “Destiny” surfaced. Forbes previously reported the trademarks revolved around “Eververse” and “Eververse Trading Co.” While there are no direct relations to “Destiny,” at least based on the trademarks, Bungie has already said it plans to have player economy down the road for “Destiny.”

How Guitar Hero Live Borrows from Old-School MTV with Destiny

In the ’90s, there was no Spotify. There was no Vevo. Traditional music-based channels were a cultural norm, with live shows and music-video rotations alike. But with the advent of the internet, all of that changed. Listeners can now subscribe to a library of countless songs, and music videos are only ever one search away. Our content is no longer curated by the provider, but by us, and the days of thinking “what song will I hear next” are slowly fading away.

At least, for the most part.

Guitar Hero TV is less of a singular game than an entire platform. In October, it will release as part of Guitar Hero Live, Freestyle Games’ reboot of the seminal plastic instrument series that began 10 years ago. While the latter’s live-action sets, reactive crowds and new control scheme are doing their own part to set the reboot apart from its predecessors, Guitar Hero TV is the separate, online aspect with progression elements of its own. And it could be the thing to keep players coming back again, and again, and again.

“With Guitar Hero TV, we want to bring back that feeling,” an Activision representative tells me, while strumming a chord progression perfectly during one song’s chorus. ”That idea that the next music video is completely up in the air. You might know it’s going to be punk rock, or metal, but outside of that, no one knows.”

From what Activision showed, Guitar Hero TV is easily accessible. One press of a button on the new guitar brings up what looks like a TV guide, complete with separate channels, each based around a certain genre. Songs rotate on each channel, and there’s a schedule with a week’s worth of programming: Saturday at 7 p.m. could be pop hits, followed by a midnight shift to dirty punk music. Essentially, Guitar Hero TV is a collection of music-video channels. But these are ones we can all play along with.

A bar on the left-hand side of the iconic Guitar Hero highway shows a list of names. This is the leaderboard for the current song. Whoever hits the most notes, gains longer streaks, and uses their score multiplier at the best times will rise to the top. Subsequent rewards are based on player scores, and can be turned in for certain items–these include new note highway aesthetics, and also, of course, songs.

And that’s the thing–this mode can be completely free. If you come across a song you love, you can use in-game rewards (called “plays”) to save it to your Quick Play library, ensuring you have it on-hand for the next time you want to play it. You can use real money to buy the songs as well. But refraining from doing so won’t hinder your experience at all, like many free-to-play models might. Guitar Hero TV doesn’t bar you from any content–all the songs are available from the outset. It’s just a matter of when you’ll see them.

This model borrows heavily from MTV nostalgia, but also from something more recent: Destiny. Similar to Bungie’s flow of scheduled content, Freestyle wants to find ways to keep players returning. And as it turns out, rotating content on a weekly basis might be a good way to do that.

“Keeping a player base can be hard,” the Activision representative says, nailing a series of hammer-ons during a particularly hard solo. “And we needed a way to differentiate Guitar Hero Live from the older games, because people played those ones to death. This is our way of doing something different, and we think it will keep people hooked.”

Much like Bungie reels players back in with daily story missions, weekly cooperative strikes, and weekend events, Freestyle will swap out programming every week. While Destiny players return for the promise of new loot and experience, Guitar Hero Live players will, ideally, return for the music.

And then there are premium shows. These weekly challenges will unlock specific rewards for players skilled enough to beat them. The rewards also scale with the difficulty of the tasks. For instance: completing a certain song with a three-star rating could increase the rate of in-game currency accumulation, while a five-star rating on the expert difficulty could give access to live concert footage.

“It’s not just a question of how we can get the content to players. It’s a matter of, ‘How do we keep giving players worthwhile content, and how do we keep people interested in Guitar Hero past that first release week? That’s why designing TV was more like designing an entire platform,” according to Activision.

This school of thought is very much like Bungie’s shooter as well. Although Destiny released almost a year ago, its player base is still alive and well. Freestyle is aiming to maintain a similar crowd with Guitar Hero TV.

Destiny – New challenge for the week of July 28

Tuesday means only one thing if you’re a Destiny fan: Reset day.

It’s that wonderful time when Bungie’s rotating selection of high-reward activities are rebooted (along with any raid progress made in the previous week), giving everyone a fresh chance at scoring some of the game’s sweetest and rarest loot.

Are you new to Destiny? Don’t know what any of this means? Good news. There’s a Destiny wiki that’s packed with information. Click for details on what Strikes are, and how Nightfall differs from Weekly Heroic challenges.

The House of Wolves add-on also adds a new weekly wrinkle, in the form of Prison of Elders. The multi-round gauntlets are built for endgame play, with the specific enemy types and modifiers changing from week to week.

Here’s a rundown of what’s happening this week:

Nightfall (The Shadow Thief)

  • Epic – This is a standard Nightfall modifier. It just means there are more enemies to fight, and a greater number of Majors (the yellow health bar dudes) on the field.
  • Nightfall – Another standard Nightfall modifier. This one boots the entire Fireteam back to orbit if everyone is downed inside one of the revive-only respawn Darkness Zones.

Arc Burn – All Arc damage is increased.

  • Juggler – Ammo doesn’t drop for your currently equipped weapon.
  • Brawler – Guardian melee damage is increased.

It’s a House of Wolves-only week for Nightfall runners. You either have the add-on or you’re out of luck. We’ve seen this exact lineup of modifiers applied to this Nightfall before, so there are very few mysteries here.

The most dangerous moment of the quest is the mini-boss battle against the spider tank, because its main weapon is an Arc launcher. A good strategy is to have all three Guardians hang a left when they first enter the chamber and defend that corner of the room. The tank can’t easily shoot you there, so the fight becomes a matter of clearing out reinforcements as they rush in, then popping out to lay some damage on the tank (with Arc weapons, naturally).

The final boss is a snap. Enter the chamber through the left-hand door and shoot the boss until he teleports, Then head up to the raised platform at the opposite end of the chamber from where you entered, and rain hell down on the boss (who should appear on the right side of the chamber after his first teleport).

Weekly Heroic (Winter’s Run)

  • Heroic – Standard Weekly Heroic modifier. More enemies show up than you would see on a standard Strike, and they’re more aggressive.
  • Juggler – Ammo doesn’t drop for your currently equipped weapon.

Yawn. Exactly the same Strike as the previous Weekly Heroic. The only difference: instead of last week’s favorable Void Burn modifier, we’re saddled with Juggler. Nothing to deduce here. Just shoot all the thing and don’t forget to keep switching weapons so you get ammo drops for everything.

Prison of Elders

If you’ve got House of Wolves then you can also participate in the weekly Prison of Elders activities. These endgame challenges send players through a multi-round gauntlet in which each round has its own enemy type and Nightfall/Weekly-style modifier(s).

The lineup of enemies, modifiers and, in some cases, bosses for the level 32, 34 and 35 activities changes every week. You can find some general tips for surviving Prison of Elders right here. Read on for a breakdown of enemies and modifiers for each round this week.

Level 32: Broken Legion

  • Round 1 (Hive): Trickle (All abilities recharge very slowly)
  • Round 2 (Cabal): Small Arms (Primary weapon damage increased)
  • Round 3 (Cabal): Exposure (Guardian shields are significantly increased but recharge very slowly)
  • Round 4 (Hive): Arc Burn (All Arc damage is increased)
  • Round 5 (Urrox boss): Solar Burn (All Solar damage is increased)

Fighting Urrox amounts to a deadly game of “Hot Lava.” Every once in awhile throughout the fight, Urrox goes into rage mode, which makes anything that counts as “ground” (including the tops of crates and rocks) burn, causing damage. The trick is to keep hopping for the 10 seconds Urrox’s rage is active.

Defender Titans should save their bubble shield (equipped with Blessing of Light) for these rage moments, as the Blessing upgrade gives you a bonus overshield each time you hop out of then back into the bubble. It’s important to understand the mechanics of how each class jumps, the better to maximize your air time. Pro tip for Hunters: switch to Gunslinger, and turn on your triple jump.

In the spectrum of Prison of Elders boss fights, Urrox is one of the easier ones. Especially with Solar Burn active. Vision of Confluence/Black Hammer/Gjallarhorn is the ideal loadout. If you’re a Hunter Gunslinger and you have the Celestial Nighthawk exotic helm from House of Wolves, use that; the natural damage boost that the helmet offers is compounded by the Solar Burn bonus.

Level 35: Skolas’ Revenge (all modifier descriptions listed here)

  • Round 1 (Hive): Exposure and Brawler
  • Round 2 (Vex): Grounded and Airborne
  • Round 3 (Cabal): Catapult and Arc Burn
  • Round 4 (Fallen): Specialist and Juggler
  • Round 5 (Fallen): Trickle and Small Arms
  • Round 6 (Skolas boss): Brawler and Juggler

Skolas is a Fallen boss and the constant big bad for all level 35 Prison of Elders runs. He’s a tricky one. You can’t even damage him until you take out one of his two special Servitor defenders (they keep respawning), and even then you have only a small window (20 seconds) in which to dish out damage. That’s the first half of the fight; once Skolas is at half health, the Servitor issue goes away.

They’re replaced by Skolas’ “Devouring Essence” attack, which puts one randomly chosen player on a 30-second countdown to death.The countdown can be reset by passing Devouring Essence to another player, but there’s a 35-second delay before the player that gives it up can grab it again. This means that all three fireteam members need to participate in a deadly game of hot potato.

The second half of the fight also features two rounds of mines that need to be dismantled. It’s tricky to juggle dismantling alongside the Devouring Essence hand-offs; frequent, clear communication is vital. Designate someone (preferably a Bladedancer Hunter with invisibility) to grab the more distant mines. You should pretty much ignore Skolas until you can get those taken care of.

If you’re looking for favorable Skolas fight conditions, it doesn’t get much better than Brawler/Juggler. These are great modifiers mainly because neither of them create any major problems, complicating what is already a lengthy and challenging fight. Brawler gives you a great “Oh shit” button to lean on when you’re surrounded and out of ammo, and Juggler is just inoffensive. If you still need a Skolas win to finish out your Moments of Triumph, make it happen this week.

Destiny: Guardians Will Be Useable For The Next 10 Years

Destiny has without a doubt been one of the most talked about games of any other since it released last year and that is likely not going to be changing anytime soon. We previously heard Bungie say that the money put into Destiny was part of a 10 year plan and now they have given even more details on the future.

In an interview with GamesRadar+, Destiny’s Engineering Lead Luke Timmins spoke about the future of Destiny and how seriously they are taking their ten-year plan moving forward. The most interesting aspect is that he confirmed we will continue to use our same character created Guardians that we made from the start.

We certainly take it seriously that Destiny is a ten-year thing. It’s a long-term thing and with these adventures that we’re adding my contract to you – and any player – is that your Guardian will always be there.

While this is something that many expected, with MMOs being the same it is interesting to have confirmation on the subject from Bungie themselves.

The biggest problem here though is how far behind newcomers will feel multiple years in, especially in the shooter genre that usually you can just hop in and be on a close to level playing ground with.

The Taken King is the first major expansion for the game, but I’m sure we’ll see a Destiny 2 and beyond in that span as well. As a result, we’ll have to wait and see just how they handle transitions when they aren’t just merely expansions with new missions and such like we’ve gotten so far.