As those of you who have been following the streams of Bungies Age of Triumph will already know, it released on Tuesday March 28th to a waiting universe. Obviously, I was there to join in the festivities, and to see if it really is the fitting send off to Destiny that Deej et al promised. Here are my impressions so far.
First up, on going to the Tower for the first time, theres a cool cutscene that introduces the Age of Triumph to you. By and large it’s whats we’ve seen so far at the end of the streams, with the emphasis on new weapons, armour and challenges that have been dreamt up for us.
Starting off in the Tower, The Speaker invites us to go out into space and complete a quest for him. The stages of this quest are going to take some time, it would appear. For the first step, we have to complete five missions in the new Heroic Story play list, which in this first week is based around missions that take place on Earth and on the Moon. The good news with this is the Husk of the Pit is now gettable again, so if you didn’t manage to get a Necrochasm in Year One, as I didn’t, you can get one now! My Husk dropped at 350 light which is pretty decent, but drooped with the perk to kill Wizards, which isn’t. Luckily, from talking to my game buddies, the Husks are dropping thick and fast, so hopefully I’ll get one with the “Kill thralls” mission on it, or maybe one that says “Eat jelly babies!”.
After finishing the five missions, the next step was revealed as completing three patrols in each of the territories of the universe, including the Dreadnaught. These are really a breeze being as high level as the majority of us veterans are, and an ideal opportunity to find some hive enemies to mess up. The quest involves the Challenge of Elders, Crucible and raid steps, so there’s plenty to go at.
We also braved the darkness of the Crotas End raid, to try the new 390 light levels. All I can say is that I’d become very complacent over the past two years about the Crotas End raid, and now that Bungie has rebuilt it and patched out much of the cheese, the basic design of the raid shines through and it turns out to be quite hard. It took about five attempts to get through the Thrall Forest at the beginning and to get the bridge built, before being taken out by an unexpected Ogre that shot me square in the back as I ran for the checkpoint. Many swears were unleashed, but luckily the last two members of our team managed to drag us through.
And it was here where another change was revealed.
In addition to the Gatekeepers on the other side of the abyss that you have to kill, now Hallowed Boomer Knights keep spawning just to make your life that much more difficult. These are hardcore Knights too, taking two Gjallahorn rockets to put down and supported by hordes of Acolytes. Staying alive on the other side, particularly if you’re the first across, is now quite a challenge.
Also, the Nightfall this week, the Taniks Perfected strike, has the first of the much talked about Rainbow burns on it. This basically means that Arc, Solar and Void damage from any source is greatly increased, and should make the mission so much easier, right? Well, not so much…all our weapons do a lot more damage, but the enemies weapons are all elemental as well, and there’s a lot more of them. Again, many swears later, we managed to down Taniks, well outside the 30 minute time limit, and were rewarded with our blue head flames. I’ve missed those, in a way that I almost didn’t realise until they were back. RNGeesus was good to us as well; myself and a another guy got Exotic sniper rifles, the guy who did most of the work was rewarded with 13 3 of Coins. No-one said that random loot generators were fair.
So, so far then, the Age of Triumph is living up to its billing, and seems to have given Destiny the shot in the arm the game has desperately needed. I’ve seen people on my friends list who haven’t played Destiny in months appearing back on line and joining in with the community again, and whichever way you cut it, that can only be a good thing.
For a free update then, its been worth every penny!