The days continue to tick-down to the release of Destiny Year 2. On Tuesday, September 8, Bungie will release the Year 2 game patch - which will bring sweeping improvements for players (even without purchasing The Taken King expansion). One week after the studio introduces those fresh weapon balances, a tweaked user interface, and other quality of life improvements, Destiny: The Taken King officially hits store shelves and digital marketplaces on the 15th.
In spite of the wealth of new missions, strikes, and loot for players to explore, in addition to a significant storytelling overhaul, a new six-person raid activity is Destiny: The Taken King's biggest draw - especially among the game's most loyal and dedicated fans. Now, just as the developer is priming Guardians for the excitement of Year 2, with a new story trailer (which you can see above), Bungie has also revealed that The Taken King raid, "King's Fall," will not be available at launch.
This isn't the first time that eager Destiny players have been let-down, finding out that they'll have to wait for a new raid activity, following the controversial announcement that the House of Wolves DLC would not include a six-person raid (at all). Previously, many gamers had assumed that raids would be included as a key selling point in every single DLC and expansion. As it is turning out, however, Bungie isn't beholden to any particular set of conditions for when a new raid will launch.
Still, this time, Bungie is simply claiming that "King's Fall" will not be available on Day 1 - hinting that players won't have to wait too long after launch to kill Hive god Oryx. The news broke as part of IGN's live stream at PAX - with raid director Luke Smith indicating the raid would not be available on September 15th. Still, Smith insists that Bungie will give players a full heads-up soon, so Destiny fans know exactly when the raid will release (and can plan accordingly).
Check out the full interview below (raid news starts around 17:20):
While some outlets initially reported the news as a delay, Bungie never promised that the raid would be available on September 15th - and, given the amount of changes coming to the game in Year 2, it actually makes sense to hold-back the raid until more players are leveled-up and acquainted with the new weapon balances. No doubt, some fans (and competitive raiders) will be disappointed that they can't burn through the expansion story and face Oryx right away but for most consumers (and the studio) it really will be a win-win: gamers have more time to prepare and acquire new gear before facing Destiny's toughest end-game challenge yet, while the developer gets a bit more time to ensure that the raid is bug-free.
Furthermore, while Smith is mum on when Bungie will announce a "King's Fall" release date, and doesn't hint whether or not the raid will become available shortly after launch or farther into the fall, the announcement makes one thing clear: as we previously stated, some readers were worried that they'd need to beat Oryx in the raid to unlock Nightfalls and other end-game content but it is now apparent that Smith only meant players would need to face Oryx in the story - before turning to high-level end-game missions.
Still, even though the raid won't hit Destiny on September 15th, there's still plenty for players to chase in the interim. After all, pushing the raid back a bit should help space-out the game's recurring content gap problem - encouraging gamers to dig into the story missions and strikes for loot rather than just playing the raid over and over. Plus, in addition to new exotics, higher-level legendary armor, and the ever-illusive faction shaders, The Taken King also includes a new set of trophies and achievements - all of which recently leaked online.
While the list doesn't give away too much of the main storyline, the achievement list does include quest titles, so readers who do not want to be spoiled should turn away now!
Potential Minor Spoilers for Destiny: The Taken King
Check out the full list of achievements, below (courtesy of Segment Next):
- The Taken King (40) – Complete “The Taken King” quest.
- Night Court (20) – Complete “The Court of Oryx” quest.
- Hunger Pangs (20) – Complete “The Old Hunger” quest.
- Second Wind (20) – Complete the “Echoes of Oryx” quest.
- Stormcaller (20) – Complete “The Stormcaller’s Path” quest.
- Sunbreaker (20) – Complete “The Sunbreakers’ Challenge” quest.
- Nightstalker (20) – Complete “The Nightstalker’s Trail” quest.
- Still Got Wolf Problems (20) – Complete “The Wolves of Mars” quest.
- The King is Dead (20) – Complete the King’s Fall Raid.
- Long Live the King (50) – Complete the King’s Fall Raid (Heroic).
Given that Destiny: The Taken King is still an expansion of Destiny, instead of full-on Destiny 2, there are only ten new achievements/trophies - most of which will be earned through story progression (assuming a player is running all three classes). At this time, it is not known if "The Stormcaller’s Path,” “The Sunbreakers’ Challenge,” and “The Nightstalker’s Trail" quests (which each introduce new subclass) can all be completed solo by players who are not running the respective class for each mission. However, aside from the two raid challenges, nearly every other mission should be easily obtainable within The Taken King storyline.
As for what players can expect from that storyline, the launch gameplay trailer certainly hints at a much more cinematic and immersive story than the underwhelming presentation in Destiny Year 1. In addition to a new voice for the player's ghost (courtesy of voice work star Nolan North) and more cutscenes in Year 1 content, The Taken King looks primed to finally push the scale of Destiny's world on screen - instead of relying almost-entirely on out-of-game grimoire cards to sell the mythology.
Returning fan-favorites like Eris and the Queen, coupled with movie-quality CGI space battles, and more interaction with beloved actors (Nathan Fillion and Bill Nighy, among others) in character should go a long way in achieving Bungie's promise of a sprawling sci-fi story. That said, with nine more years left in the studio's ten-year Destiny plan, there's plenty of room for further improvements.
Destiny: The Taken King launches on September 15th, 2015.