What will the next installment of Destiny have in store?

With almost-three of our promised ten years of engaging content down, news of the next Destiny installment is expected to be announced at next month’s E3. A poster for the release, Destiny: Rise of Iron, was recently leaked (showcasing some sick golden Titan armor) on Reddit. Kotaku’s sources at Bungie have confirmed the leak, revealing that Rise of Iron will feature a new raid and be bigger than both House of Wolves and The Dark Below combined. Suspected release is September 2016.

In lieu of Rise of Iron, and Destiny 2’s 2017 release, we should take the time to look at Destiny as a whole and how it has changed these past few years.

With Bungie fans drooling over every piece of new information or trailer released, it’s fair to say that Destiny was long awaited. Most who purchased were initially dissatisfied by the distinct lack of plot and short single player campaign. Overall, the initial response on release for the first installment was a harmonious ‘it’s ok’.

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Subsequent DLC packs such as House of Wolves and The Dark Below did not do much to address these criticisms, merely adding more content without fixing the initial launch issues. In top of this, these expansions became an almost-mandatory upgrade for players looking to compete on a level playing field in competitive multiplayer matches.

It wasn’t until last year’s major release, The Taken King when Bungie stepped up and made an effort to fix the initial issues surrounding the base game.

They made substantial changes to staff, writers and even voice actors – going as far as to replace the unenthusiastic readings from Peter Dinklage as your robotic companion and guide Ghost. His unemotional and calculated, yet somehow still sarcastic, tone being the only thing keeping our Guardians going in the darkness is now over having been replaced by Nolan North (because he needed more work, apparently).

Large overhauls were made to the in-game systems including quests, leveling and bounties management. An addition of a ‘Quests’ tab was a vast improvement, allowing players to keep track of up to 16 in-progress bounties and quests combined. This cut down on loading screens and travelling to and from the Tower and Vestian Outpost to check their progress.

The leveling system was rebooted, cutting out the reliance on the “light” level of equipment and returning to the experience system previously used. The Taken King raises the level cap to a total of 40, with character level being used as a requirement to enter new areas. Meanwhile, the ‘light’ system was recycled to represent an average of the attack and defence values for equipment. This value would determine how well a player would fare in difficult areas. Whether or not this will remain consistent with Rise of Iron has yet to be confirmed. However, further changes to game’s progression would not be surprising.

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Bungie adapted to the shifting limitations of their platform while still responding to fans need to validate spending another $60 – $80 on a glorified expansion pack. Almost remastering the base game, along with all current expansions and DLC, The Taken King brings the game up to a combined and polished 52 hours of content.

Understandably, players were hesitant to purchase such an expensive update at first if it was just more of the same game, but soon early reviews and word spread of how much had been improved across the board. Bungie was was not afraid to change under criticism, and it paid off with fans rushing back onto the Destiny bandwagon.

Next month should hold more information as to the details behind Rise of Iron and the future of Destiny. Whatever Bungie has in store for E3 will need to be some big changes once again, reinventing the game as a whole and drawing the main audience back to the Tower.

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