The Good, The Bad, The House of Wolves

destiny-house-of-wolvesMay 19th of 2015 may become known as the day that players started hating Bungie just a little bit less.

The House of Wolves not only brings fresh content to Destiny but it also gives much needed fixes to the game. Many players cursed and screamed, some even walked away from the game, after some of the changes implemented with Destiny’s The Dark Below expansion. The latest expansion is somewhat of an apology to players.

Even though there were few missions added…

First, the additional story content. Even though there were few missions added, they are of a higher quality than the previous expansion. The storyline was larger and more flushed out but fell short of the highest levels that Bungie has been known for in the past. The mechanical delivery of the story is its greatest flaw, the same voice over then action and more voice over technique continues to be over employed in this game. 

For those most interested in co-operative content, there is an additional strike and new arena mode called the Prison of Elders. The strike is much to talk about in comparison to the arena mode. The strike is pretty much standard fare in the way of Destiny strikes whereas the Prison of Elders shakes things up. Instead of running through a map space killing enemies, the players are staged in to a small arena and enemies spawn in waves. Later waves and harder levels include objectives that must be met in order to continue. The objectives could be a VIP target, dismantling mines, or destroying mines. Ultimately, there is still a boss at the end of the challenge and then ultimately rewards for the player. The top of the line rewards come from a large chest but you must have a key to open it.

If you are into PVP play then the Trials of Osiris has been added and may be of interested. Think of it as a higher stakes version of Skirmish. There are no player respawns and once all three players of one team are eliminated, the round it over. The first team to win five rounds wins the match.

Change isn’t always for the best, however.

Perhaps more important than the new content are the changes Bungie has made to Destiny. The most striking and maybe most welcome is the upgrade system has been changed. In The Dark Below, only Exotic gear could be upgraded and it required the player to re-apply all of the materials to the item as well as a huge fee to Xur. This has been replaced with a simplified and far less demanding system where the item can be upgraded for the cost of an Exotic Shard and does not require the materials to be re-applied. There also is now a way to upgrade Legendary items with introduction of Etherical Light. It is applied in the same manner as an Exotic Shard but it is much harder to come by. Exotic Shards are readily available from dismantling Exotic items but Etherical Light is only obtained from the Trials of Osiris, Prison of Elders, and via random drops in weekly Nightfall strikes. 

Change isn’t always for the best, however. New gear drops at the second to highest defense and damage levels but getting them to the very highest level requires the aforementioned Exotic Shards or Etherical Light. This unfortunately means that upgrading your Legendary items may take a good stock of time and luck to complete. As if Destiny was not riddled with currencies already, there are now more. To get some of the top level gear from the newest vendors you know must have tokens for them. These are only earned by completing events in the Prison of Elders and they are handed out sparingly for higher level events or through RNG rewards.

For those that are debating a return to Destiny, it is suggested to go back into the game and see how the changes suit you. The drops do seem to be improved as you may not necessarily get the great piece of gear you are hoping for but at least you won’t walk away with nothing, as was all to common in the past. If the cost of $20 is an issue, you may want to consider how much time you will get out of this purchase. The main content can be completed in about two hours, you’ll need to decide if the replay value of the Prison of Elders or Trials of Osiris will make this a worthwhile purchase.

I had little to say about the Trials of Osiris since I have yet to play it. Since it lacks matchmaking I am hesitant to join a random group and give it a try but I feel that at some point I will relent.

Bio Card Paul

Paul Novak is a self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing in the west side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet. Found here at What’s Your Tag? and on the Twitter @dudewantshisrug. Game on with Team XBRO!

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