Unlike The Dark below and House of Wolves DLCs, The Taken King is double the size and double the price, introducing new content that isn't quite large enough for be a full sequel but still packed with plenty of hours of gameplay.
New zones and patrols that joins the existing four planets will give us an actual expansion other than small areas within the zones we've already explored countless times. The first mission called "The Coming War" takes places on Phobos, which is the Mars' moon. New subclasses are also included, finally filling that empty box in the character menu, and they look badass with the Warlock's Electrical Storm, Hunter's Void Bow (I'm excited), and the Titan's Solar Hammer that basically turns him into Thor (ok, maybe now I'll play a Titan).
The largest complaint against Destiny since its launch has been the lack of in-game story. With the use of Grimoire cards that forces players to go onto bungie.net or to use the Destiny mobile app, players will have to unravel the information, which is structured by category, to get any sense of story behind the game. A fan-made theory on Reddit predicted that the nemesis to the Traveller, Oryx, is actually a Brown Dwarf star—a hypothetical star also called a Nemesis, for those that love science!—which is a "rotting star" actively trying to destroy humanity through the Hive. The theory is backed by the Shrine of Oryx that looks similar to the Brown Dwarf, and the exotic Warlock Helmet, Light Beyond Nemesis, that links the Traveller's light.
However, official Destiny lore now tells us that the Fallen Hive King Oryx is the father of Crota—who we kill in the first DLC, The Dark Below, with his own sword. Oryx has everything a terrifying villain needs with wings and horns, and he's out for revenge with a dark army to hunt Guardians down.
In The Coming War gameplay from E3, we see that the "Taken" consists of the four enemy races already in the game that have been taken under mind-control by Oryx. Guardians will face new Taken units in a six-person strike, including the Taken Psion that has the ability to split into multiple copies of itself, making fighting them harder than before. The Taken Knight has the ability to teleport with a wall of flame, while the Taken Phalanx has a radiating force shield that can push the player.
The expansion itself comes with four package options that ranges from $40 to $80, each including their own tier of rewards. Each package will come with special VIP rewards that include a new sparrow, shader, and the Hunger emblem. While the majority of loyal Destiny players have already played both The Dark Below and House of Wolves DLCs, to be eligible for these rewards you must have at least one level 30 character or own expansion I and II before August 31.
Digital Download ($40)For those who already own Destiny and both The Dark Below and House of Wolves expansions, the digital-only download will include just The Taken King expansion along with a commemorative Founder's Fortune Year 1 Emblem, Sparrow, Armor Shader, and more at launch for loyal players.
Legendary Edition ($60)Full collection of Destiny, including the original game and all three expansions. Pre-order The Taken King and be able to play Destiny and the first two expansions now.
Digital Collectors Edition ($80)Includes the original game and all three expansions with the edition of:
- Exotic Guardian Class items with XP bonuses
- Three class-specific emotes
- Three armor shaders
- Early access to three Vanguard weapons *Will be available to everyone else on January 1, 2016.
Collectors Edition ($80)For the same price, you get everything from the Digital Collectors edition with the addition of physical rewards:
- Collector's Edition SteelBook Case
- Modified Treasure Island Book with Intro Letter from Cayde-6
- Cayde-6's Personal Notes and Illustrations
- Collection of Relics and Artifacts
- Strange Coin replica
- Weapon Schematic
The biggest gripe with these packages is that for the most loyal fans, and really the ones who would be most excited about this, there is no package that includes all the exotic rewards without having to purchase the first two DLCs. Dedicated fans would have to purchase content they already own to get the in-game rewards. Additionally, for those that bought Destiny on its release spent roughly up to $95 for the game and the two expansions. Those new to the game will get all that, plus The Taken King, for $30 less. This has become standard in DLC-games. The rewards given to the fans that made Destiny successful is far lacking and a slap to the face. It seems Bungie needs to find a way to reward its valuable fans while giving incentives for those to begin playing.
The Taken King will be available September 15 on disc and digital download. Pre-order it now.