Bungie's Destiny is a game unlike any other. One part first-person shooter and one part MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), it has filled a niche no console gamer realized they so desperately wanted. Having released in September 2014, Destiny now boasts roughly 16 million registered players across its available systems (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4), and with new content releasing regularly, that number could very well grow.
Bungie has stated previously that they have a 10-year plan for Destiny, and according to Bungie Director of Production, Jonty Barnes:
"We're going to continuously update the game from now until the end of time. That's always going to be part of the philosophy of Destiny. We always wanted to build a new universe but keep building upon it, rather than to do a complete and utter restart periodically."
While the "end of time" may be a bit of an exaggeration, Bungie has indeed kept that promise of continuous updates thanks to their expansions, but also with regular patches to fix noted issues the game will experience.
This leads us to what's coming next for Destiny, namely it's newest and biggest expansion. The news come via a leaked marketing sheet acquired by Kotaku and it details what players can expect from the game's next DLC (downloadable content). Titled The Taken King and expected to release on September 15th, the expansion is being priced at $40 USD, which puts is squarely between Destiny's original pricetag of $60 and its year one expansion pass (which included two DLCs, The Dark Below and House of Wolves) of $35.
Since The Taken King will cost more at launch than both of its previous expansions players should expect more bang for their buck. This expansion will include new story missions expanding upon Destiny's mythos, as well as new Strikes, PvP maps, and a new Raid that will pit players against Oryx (father of Crota, the raid boss from The Dark Below). In addition to added playable content, the three player classes will also be receiving an additional subclass and super ability: an electrical storm for Warlocks (arc); a gravity bow for Hunters (void); and a flaming hammer for Titans (solar).
Those new super abilities in particular will be welcomed news for players seeing as they add the type of damage (arc, void, solar) that those respective classes were missing. Also, it isn't too surprising to learn The Taken King will include a new raid since that's an addition that was noticeably absent from House of Wolves.
Obviously, none of these details are yet official and Bungie has declined to comment on their validity. Next week, the year's biggest video game conference, E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) will kick off in Los Angeles and Activision (Bungie's parent company) are promising to unveil more about Destiny's future. You can plan on The Taken King being their hot ticket item.
For those unfamiliar with the game's premise, Destiny comes from the makers of Halo and finds our universe in decay following a period of great exploration, where humans colonized much of our solar system. After a devastating event referred to as "the Collapse," only the humans living on Earth were spared from extinction thanks to The Traveler, a large, spherical being whose appearance allowed humanity to develop the technology needed to explore the universe. Now The Traveler hovers above the last remaining city on Earth, granting its protectors - the Guardians - the ability to wield a strange power known simply as "The Light."
Guardians are divided into three classes for players to choose (Hunter, Titan, and Warlock) and each sport their own unique abilities, making the classes distinct in their gameplay. Beyond completing story levels to advance your Guardian, Destiny's gameplay also includes Strikes (group missions) and Raids, which are intended for even larger, more organized groups of advanced players to tackle. In addition to their PvE content (player vs environment, or non-player characters), Destiny also includes PvP (player vs player) action, much like what gamers are used to from the Halo franchise's award-winning, eSports-favored online play.
The basic structure of leveling a character in Destiny should be familiar to those who've played any RPG before, where experience earned by completing missions and side quests (which in Destiny are called Bounties) increase your Guardian's level. However, after reaching the game's soft level cap of 20, players need to begin collecting armor to continue leveling their Guardians. The switch from experience-based leveling to armor is one that's received a mixed response from Destiny players, especially since the game's loot drops (where armor is typically found) are generated randomly. This has caused more than a little frustration for players pushing their guardians to reach the highest level possible.
With so much importance given to the armor a guardian wears, Destiny's expansions have brought with them a bevy of new loot in addition to missions, strikes, and raids. The Taken King - or whatever the new DLC will be called - should be no different, and will likely boost the game's level cap yet again with its influx of new armor.
So Guardians, what do you think of Destiny's next expansion, The Taken King? Assuming these details are true, what are you most looking forward to? New Strikes? Raids? And what of a new subclass for each type of Guardian? Let us hear from you in the comments below!