Destiny has been a bit stagnant of late, but developer Bungie is winding up to drop a whole mess of new content on players next week—so much, in fact, that it took the developer three livestreams to explain it all.
The last stream wrapped up today, so we finally have a complete picture of what Destiny will be like come April 12. Here’s a quick rundown of the most important pieces:
NEW STUFF TO DO
The most important part of the update is what you’ll actually be doing when you play it. Mostly, you’ll be returning to the Prison of Elders, a section added in an earlier Destiny content drop in which players fight varying waves of bad guys. The whole thing has been made harder, with a new max-difficulty activity called “Challenge of the Elders,” which will be the only way players can get their characters up to the very top levels.
The Prison of the Elders will also come with new weekly content for 16 weeks. Players who have done pretty much all Destiny has to offer up to now will be spending the bulk of their time here.
Out in the rest of the game, there will also be a new quest to finish, culminating in “The Blighted Chalice,” an additional three-player “Strike”—one of Destiny’s fairly lengthy levels that culminates in a big boss battle. Difficulty is being bumped in a bunch of other regular areas of the game, like the public boss fight area known as the “Court of Oryx” and the super-tough weekly “Nightfall” strikes, and one of the old strikes, “Winter’s Run,” is being updated and put back into the rotation for players to run again, as well.
NEW STUFF TO GET
Destiny is ultimately about finding newer, better, cooler guns, helmets, and shoes, so the April update is going to include plenty of those.
The April update, first and foremost, increases the maximum “Light” level players can reach—which means they can get stronger gear than ever before, and therefore kick more ass than ever before. There are five cool new sets of armor for players to find, and new items that can change that armor to make it look even spiffier, the purpose of which, of course, is to make other players jealous.
Bungie is introducing new items called “Sterling Treasures” and “Chroma.” You can get Sterling Treasures for finishing different activities, and they give you new pieces of armor and Chroma to customize the way your gear looks. Chroma lets you actually change the colors of your weapons and armor, independent of Destiny’s existing “shaders,” which are basically new color schemes you can find in the game. Long story short: Glowy, slick-looking armor is coming your way.
In the weapons department, Bungie is bringing back a bunch of the Year One weapons that it made obsolete with its last big expansion, The Taken King, so favorite guns that were great but too old to be competitive are back to being awesome.
LEVELING UP SHOULD SUCK LESS
The last big change to Destiny is in its “Infusion” system, the bane of the existence of Year Two Destiny players. See, getting to be the strongest in Destiny is based on your equipment: The higher the level of your stuff, the higher your Light level. If your average Light level is high, you’ll be stronger in every way, even if some of your gear is kind of weak. But to reach the tippy top in strength, you need the best possible gear.
Trouble is, sometimes you get stuff with a high light level but which doesn’t have all the cool perks and capabilities of your favorite gun or piece of armor. Destiny lets you “infuse” the higher-level gun into the lower-level one, boosting the latter to a higher level. In the current system there was some math involved, so if you infused a 320 gun into a 300 one, what you’d end up with was always lower than the full 320. It often felt like you were wasting better equipment trying to make your favorite stuff worth a damn.
The April update does away with that nonsense, changing the Infusion system so you get all the benefits from your higher gear. Put a 320 gun into your 300 gun, and you get a new 320 gun. That should help players get to higher levels a little easier, without wasting so much junk along the way.
Overall, the changes in the April update sound great, and lots of them, like updating old guns to make them worth having again, are things players have been asking for. Will Destiny be able to hold players’ attention long-term, though, or will they fall back into a rut where there isn’t enough stuff to do, like earlier in 2016? Only time will tell—though if history is any indication and someone challenges you to bet, you should probably bet on the latter.
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