Following update 2.0 and less than a week from the release of The Taken King expansion, and the Destiny community is bracing itself for what could well be a watershed moment for the game.
Now that information on the expansion’s full list of exotic weapons has been released, speculation is well underway on what will work and what won’t. And with the recent release of Destiny 2.0, the debate on which actor did the better voice-work has already begun. We’ll get to Dinklebot vs. Northbot in a bit, but first let's look at a brief preview of the exotic weapons.
We’ll start with the Auto Rifles, Scout Rifles, and Hand Cannons before moving on to the exotic Fusion Rifle, Shotgun, and Sniper Rifle - then address Destiny's most interesting new exotics: swords.
- Zhalo Supercell - The exotically-named Zhalo Supercell has a good chance of living up to its billing. Its nominal perk creates a chance of chain lightning when enemies are close together, and its Bolts from the Blue perk rewards double kills with Super energy and returned magazine ammo.
- Fabian Strategy - Because of the perks Crowd Control and Front Lines (more damage to opponents up close), this is an auto rifle that could be a beast.
- Tlaloc - The Tlaloc features the classic perk Grenadier as well as Eye of the Storm (it’s more accurate and stable as your health gets lower) and the exotic perk Overflow (better handling, rate of fire, and stability when the player’s Super is charged). It’s hard to imagine how “Eye of the Storm” would be especially useful for the already-accurate scout rifle. We’ll have to wait and see if this one’s worth the exotic slot.
- Boolean Gemini - The scout rifle formerly known as the 347 Vesta has the perks Unflinching, One Way (increased Agility after precision kills) and Or Another (increased Armor on non-precision kills), the choice between the last two being a no-brainer (why would you incentivize non-precision kills?).
- Jade Rabbit - The Jade Rabbit is another exotic scout rifle that incentivizes non-precision hits, this time through the Fate of All Fools perk (chain body shots together to get bonus ammo after your next precision shot). Its other two perks are Spray and Play (increased reload speed with an empty mag) and Zen Moment (increased stability with damage). Due to its long range, this PS4 exclusive might be useful as a weapon that splits the difference between scout rifles and sniper rifles.
- Ace of Spades - This hand cannon has Maverick (precision kills put a round from the reserves into the magazine) and Firefly (precision kills make the target explode), which embodies the term “exotic.” We’re excited about this one.
- The First Curse - A hand cannon whose First Curse perk rewards aim-down-sight precision kills with increased stability and range until the next reload. It's an okay mix, though, as there’s some interesting synergy with Triple Tap and Deadeye.
- Telesto - Does the Unplanned Reprieve perk (fusion projectiles attach and detonate for Void damage) mean the Telesto is Destiny’s Needler? Is it still the Needler if it rewards multikills with orb spawns for our allies (Harbinger’s Spark)? Either way, we’re interested.
- The Chaperone - The Chaperone is a precision shotgun that rewards sequential precision kills with its Roadborn (bonus range, handling, and precision damage after a precision kill) and Survivor (three rapid precision kills while Roadborn in active will return two rounds to the chamber) perks. This is one that could be very, very fun in the right hands.
- The Hereafter - The Taken King’s exotic sniper rifle might be a dud or it might be completely insane. Its nominal perk increases scope zoom as well as the ability to aim under fire while crouching, and it’s Blinding Light perk creates a chance of a flash bang effect on nearby enemies after precision kills. It also features Perfectionist, a perk that replenishes the whole magazine if all shots fired are precision kills.
- The Swords - The expansion’s swords essentially share the same perks other than their special moves, and together form a sort of paper-rock-scissors dynamic. The Solar (Raze-Lighter), Arc (Bolt-Caster) and Void (Dark Drinker) swords all feature the melee attack Sword Strike, and all three have a parry against the other two kinds of attacks. They also all have the selectable perk Scabbard, which increases ammo capacity. As for special moves, the Raze-Lighter has the Phoenix Uppercut (a badass uppercut), the Bolt-Caster has Sword of Thunder (a badass lightning bolt with an AoE effect) and the Dark Drinker has the Supermassive Vortex (your standard badass AoE). The swords are definitely game-changers, but of the three, we tentatively think the Dark Drinker could be the most effective.
In response to overwhelming community opinion, Bungie hired voice actor Nolan North (the Uncharted series) to record the expansion’s new dialogue for Ghost, the game’s pithy AI character. They also recorded North over Peter Dinklage’s original lines, a move that should generate perpetual ammo for Northbot vs. Dinklebot arguments for the foreseeable future.
Judging from the video above, the source of Dinklebot’s arguably phoned in lines wasn't Dinklage’s performance, but rather the style of the dialogue itself (or Bungie's voice work direction). North is able to bring a little more emotion to Ghost’s sarcastic, understated lines, but not much; for some, the new vocal treatment might actually vindicate Dinklage’s interpretation. The Taken King may take a different approach to better suit North’s voice-acting style, but for now, the jury is still out on the Northbot vs. Dinklebot question.
No doubt, Destiny players are excited for the new loot and full changes that are coming in The Taken King. In the meantime, Bungie is tracking a few bugs that cropped up as part of the 2.0 launch, including missing quest and patrol rewards as well as a few game-breaking glitches. You can check out the full list of known issues - HERE.
Destiny: The Taken King is set for release on September 15, 2015.