Destiny has been something of a ride. The first year has had its share of ups and downs, but I can definitively say that there is no game that I have more hours in than Destiny. Not all of those are hours are good hours. Hell, some are downright awful, but some have also been the most fun that I have had in games, and this is a game that has been out for one year. I’ve made a ton of great friends through Destiny, and learned new skills in working with other people. That’s why it was bittersweet to eject that disc a few months ago in favor of putting more of my time elsewhere, specifically into other games that needed playing and reviewing.
When I got home from work yesterday, the Destiny icon was different. Update 2.0 had just finished installing, and the looming silhouette of Oryx, Hive god and Taken king, was peering out at me from behind the Destiny logo. My trophy completion for the game had dropped from 100% to 84% as the new Taken King trophies were added. It was then that I did a crazy thing. I ejected Metal Gear Solid V and put Destiny back into my PS4. The next few hours of my night were filled with a surge of nostalgia of the last year of the game, and exploring all of the new 2.0 update changes in complete awe.
Keep in mind that I am not talking about The Taken King expansion here. That doesn’t launch until September 15, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to say about the expansion when it does drop. I am just talking about update 2.0 which is available to all Destiny players, whether you plan on purchasing The Taken King or not. Destiny update 2.0 does a whole lot right. And what I intended to be just sometime spent fiddling around and checking out new features turned into those hours of me delving into what 2.0 brought to the Vanguard war table.
Leveling the Playing Field
The biggest change immediately noticeable is the change to leveling, and the separation of character level and light level. Your characters can now level organically to 34 (40 after The Taken King releases), using nothing but experience gained from quests and killing enemies. That’s right! No more hoping for the right pair of boots to drop just to be the proper level to run Prison of Elders on hard. You can now get there strictly through leveling. Light level still has a place, but it is a separate number that averages the levels of your main ten pieces of gear, meaning that no singular piece of gear is essential to you being at the proper level for endgame activities.
The light level also ranges into the hundreds, rather than stacking 14 levels on top of your characters organic 20, so the curve from level to level is much more gradual than Destiny’s previous cliffs between light level. These cliffs impeded far too many players that weren’t lucky enough or didn’t spend enough time grinding out the right gear, and effectively segregated the player base into those that had Raid tier weapons and armor and those that didn’t.
What Is Your Quest?
Questification. Verb. To turn previous Destiny content into the quest-based system coming in The Taken King. And yes, you can go back through it all again to earn additional reputation and experience, or maybe you just want to hear how Nolan North sounds as Ghost. I didn’t think I would want to go through the old story quests again, but the quest based system makes it feel a lot more like an RPG-styled game now, with quests and bounties able to be tracked (up to four at a time) when you pull up your Ghost with the touch pad. This way you can easily see the number of Titan kills you have left in the crucible, or the number of Hive majors that need to meet the business end of your fusion rifle.
In addition, bounties (which have increased to 16 slots) can now be turned in directly from the menu without having to go back to the bounty-bot in the Tower. Talk about efficiency! I also noticed that plenty of the bounties were new objectives, and felt much more organic to playing the game rather than the arbitrary checklist of things that “have” to get done.
While leveling and questification are the biggest changes in this update, there have been plenty of other tweaks to 2.0 that make the experience well worth checking out again if you have fallen out of sorts with Destiny, but are looking for that excuse to get back in. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone if you want to take a peek.
You can find more features that Destiny update 2.0 brings and my impressions in the gallery below.
Destiny Update 2.0 Has Me Hooked Again
If you want the nitty gritty details on every change in Destiny update 2.0, you can check out this post on the Bungie blog. So how about it? Is this enough to bring you into the Destiny fold, either as a returning player, or a fledgling newcomer? Let us know what you think of update 2.0 in the comments below, and stay tuned for further coverage of Destiny as we near the release of The Taken King.