The Taken King makes huge and important changes to Destiny

UPDATE: Now Strike, Light and Xur differences have been detailed.

UPDATE 13/8/15 11.05am: Yet more Destiny: The Taken King details have emerged, detailing changes to the game's Strike missions, Light levelling and a new consumable for sale each week from Xur.

As detailed by Game Informer, The Taken King will slim down the game's many Strike playlists to just three - Vanguard Legacy for existing Year One missions, Vanguard Ursa for a random mix with Legendary marks and engram rewards, and Vanguard Marmoset for just the new strikes.

Fresh strikes will offer different encounters each time you play, with variations of regular or Taken enemies, placements of turrets and ammo, and voice over dialogue.

Nightfall Strikes will be curated more heavily, meanwhile, with specially-chosen modifiers for each week.

We already knew that the expansion will move levelling to a simple XP system, but the existing Light mechanic will remain in some form, as a level of your power and abilities. Items will have recommended Light levels, including a new selection of Ghost shells that will also afford other buffs such as increased XP from certain enemies.

Other tidbits include the fact that The Taken King's new Dreadnaught location will house an exotic gun split into 50 parts for you to find, and that mysterious merchant Xur will soon sell a new Three of Coins item to boost the likelihood of an exotic item dropping from your next boss fight.

ORIGINAL STORY 5/8/15 12.35pm: Bungie has revealed a wide-ranging set of changes coming to Destiny as part of its upcoming The Taken King expansion, including details on the new story missions, raid, weapons, competitive multiplayer, enemies and more.

The Taken King himself, Oryx.

Eight beefy missions comprise The Taken King's first act, many of which are bookended by cinematic scenes, Game Informer reports.

The Taken King's story opens with a huge space battle between the Reef Queen's forces and the Taken, showing both Queen Mara Sov and Prince Uldren in battle.

Later missions include another visit to the Vault of Glass, plus a mission where you lay down the patrol beacons in the Dreadnought as the Vanguard's forward scout. The new strikes will now offer more than one round of dialogue, so are easier on the ear when you replay them.

Players new to Destiny will note that missions from Destiny Year 1 have been reorganised into a new quest framework. For example, the base game's Sword of Crota mission is now part of The Dark Below storyline, while the Reef outpost will open up for new players upon meeting the Queen for the first time.

As reported yesterday, Nolan North has now taken over as the new voice of your robot buddy Ghost in both The Taken King's new content and the lines originally recorded by Peter Dinklage for the base game.

The Taken King's second act mixes story missions with quests for addition lore and exotic weapon, more strikes plus introductions to the Dreadnought's public events and secrets.

And then there's the new raid, King's Fall.

"The raid coming in The Taken King is objectively and emphatically our biggest raid yet," creative director Luke Smith said. "It is a journey that we hope players and their friends are going to remember. It raises the stakes again for what the raid team is expected to deliver."

Existing areas will also be updated.

After that, you still have the full run of the Dreadnaught - and the ability to summon "ultra bosses". You will also have the new level cap of 40 to chase, although Bungie has suggested that this will be tied simply to XP, rather than the complicated Light gear system currently in place.

Gameplay additions include the ability to scan objects in your environment for added lore, and to spark radio interaction with other characters back in the tower such as crazy quest giver Eris.

We already know The Taken King will render your existing legendary weapon arsenal redundant, but higher attack values will be available from just common white and green rarity items. Also, these new weapons can be improved by dismantling others in the same slot.

Streamlined material and mark systems mean that Vanguard and Crucible marks are now just Legendary marks, while the class-specific materials gained from dismantling items are just the singular Armour Materials.

A new quest screen will help you track the expansion's range of tasks, one of which will see Eris helping you unlock a new weapon type.

The Tower's Gunsmith will have his own reputation gauge to be filled via the testing out of weapons. Complete tasks for him and he will let you order a legendary weapon, delivered each Wednesday - named "Armsday".

You no longer need to wear a faction item to pledge allegiance, and reputation can be traded in and built up with excess items such as motes of light.

Sleeper Simulant.

Fresh weapons include the new exotic Sleeper Simulant, a fusion rifle that sits in your Heavy Weapon slot and acts as a portable rail cannon whose bullets ricochets off walls.

Another new exotic is the pulse rifle No Time To Explain - a cheeky nod to one of the base game's clunkiest lines of dialogue.

You'll need the new weapons to take on the expansion's fresh round of enemies: Taken Captains throw orbs of blinding darkness, Knights summon a burning area-of-effect you need to flee from, Centurions have tracking shots that can bend around corners, Wizards now summon shadow Thralls, Psions can now split themselves in two continuously, Vandals have been given a healing shield they can shoot out of, and Phalanxes can knock you back with an impulse blast.

Oh, and Thralls can now teleport.

The player-versus-player Crucible mode is also getting an update. For example, a new Crucible mercy rule will end matches that have become too one-sided.

Eight new maps will introduce fresh locations set in the Reef, above Saturn and in an Earth location similar to the Tower. Three new modes include the Capture The Flag-style Rift, overpowered Mayhem (fast-recharging Supers, grenades and melees) and Zone Control (where only control point scores - and not kills - will count).

The Crucible will even have its own quest lines, featuring faction leaders, Crucible organiser Shaxx and his quartermaster, that will introduce you to the mode properly.

The full new location map for the Dreadnought.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.


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