Today/tonight (depending on your timezone), Bungie is taking to Twitch for a proper, in-depth reveal of Destiny: year two. Kickstarted by the mammoth Taken King expansion on September 15, this is going to be less a continuation, more a reboot. The old levelling system has gone. Many of your old weapons have gone. We're getting new enemies, new missions, new spins on old missions, and even whole new types of mission, alongside a whole bunch of new ways to play in the Crucible. But while we know what The Taken King is going to do in general terms, we don't know the details. Or at least we didn't, until now.
You see Bungie has released a trailer for the reveal (the stream happens live at 11am PST / 7pm BST), and although short, it's packed with details. In fact, there's so much going on, presented in all manner of suspiciously specific ways, that we can't help but suspect that Bungie is pre-revealing its reveal in condensed form for the most eagle-eyed of Destiny players to decipher. In fact we're sure that's what's going on. Because we are those players. And we've worked out loads of stuff. Click on.
The new levelling system, explained
Righty, heres the overall gist of how the new levelling system works then. We already knew that the Light-focused system whereby you can only progress past level 20 by accumulating a high enough total of Light attached to your armour is going, to be replaced by a far less complicated, and far less grindy, traditional XP system. But now we know how equipment is going to play into that.
It seems that Light on gear ratings still exist, only now, rather than defining your level, they factor into your overall attack and defense ratings, your XP level dictating the quality of gear you can equip at any given time. In all, its not too different from any traditional RPG. You level up, you equip better stuff, you get stronger and more dangerous as a result of equipping that stuff. The only difference is that your ultimate attack and defense ratings will be decided by an average of your Light tally, not a total. Presumably this means an additional, ambient buff to existing attack and defense, rather the complete dissolution of traditional gear stats, but well find out soon.
The new Exotic levelling system, sort of explained
This is very interesting. Exotic Blueprints? Seems were getting our first look at how Exotic levelling will carry through from year one to year two, You might remember that Bungie has already revealed that year one Legendary weapons wont be upgraded to year two standard, but the studio has remained resolutely quiet about the big yellow monsters. Well it looks like while its still not 100% clear we might have something to work with now.
First up, that division of the inventory into Year 1 and Year 2 is intriguing, particularly when you consider that there are duplicates between the two sections. Notice Monte Carlo and The Last Word, present in both the year one and year two sections? Theyre slightly redesigned for year two, but its definitely them. This probably isnt a historical collection were looking at here. It looks like youll be able to acquire a year two specced version of your existing Exotics, as well as discovering new ones. The physical redesign of the weapons - and use of the word 'blueprints' -certainly hints that we might be looking at new, Exotic 2.0 models rather than straight upgrades. Though whether all year one Exotics will make it through to year two remains to be seen. Our guess would be no. *cough*Gjallarhorn*cough*
One currency to rule them all
Legendary Marks seem to be Destinys new currency for the majority of its gear. Were highly hopeful theyre being used to unify the worlds economy under one denomination. Because lets face it, Destinys various currencies started out relatively complex, and only got worse as around a thousand more were added over the course of year ones updates and patches.
Looks like things might be getting a lot better and a lot more straightforward now though a recurring theme in The Taken King. Legendary Marks are acquired from Daily activities and by dismantling Legendary gear (seeming to directly replace the now redundant Ascendant Energy and Ascendant Shards in that respect, both of which were used only in Destinys old, now defunct gear-upgrade system). Previously we had to use Crucible Marks or Vanguard Marks to purchase gear from vendors, depending on the respective shops allegiance, but youll notice that the video probably very deliberately shows Legendaries being used at the Crucible store. The next clip (starting at 0:23) very specifically shows 10 LMs being dropped at the end of a mission, so expect them to be relatively abundant, but not guaranteed.
Proper Quests, and lots of them
If theres one thing that Destinys PvE activities need in order to shake things up, its more Quests. When weve seen them in brief flashes appearing as chains of mini-objectives in the two add-ons so far theyve been great, but all-too brief. Threading such smaller stories through the main campaign line, independent from the core missions, has added a much more organic feel to Destinys story and world, but alas this stuff has always been over far too soon.
But now it seems that Quests will be a continual, always-present element of the game, 32 able to be open at any given time. And a quick skim of the currently shown Quests titles and descriptions is very interesting. They seem to act as background and side-stories to the main plot-line, which is highly intriguing, with plenty of original, unrelated tales to flesh things out too.
The new Faction loyalty system
It seems that faction vendor loyalty is getting a rather shiny shake-up. Where currently, you can level up your reputation with the Future War Cult, Dead Orbit or New Monarchy by equipping their special class items to replace Vanguard and Crucible Point accrual with faction favour (in exchange for the ability to buy their specific, higher-level gear), it looks like loyalty will now be a slightly more formal, but far more cool-looking affair.
Cementing an allegiance in year two seems a simple case of saying Yes to the vendor in question, with your ability to switch allegiances now limited to once-a-week frequency. The pay-off, though? It looks like youll be able to collect faction reputation at the same time as Vanguard or Crucible Points, and rather than looking like any other gear you might find, faction-specific merchandise is branded up in all kinds of cool ways. Take a look at the next slide to see how natty it looks.
Faction shaders for armour and ships
Its not 100% clear whether these designs are inherent to faction gear, or applied via faction-exclusive shaders, but either way, holy crap.
There are now 16 Bounty slots
For those serious about building up their XP stash and now that XP is the core means of levelling up, that should be everyone this is a very big deal. Weve all bemoaned our inability to pick up every Bounty we want to on a particular day, and this should solve that in one big hit.
Plus, you know, without increased Bounty access, year twos levelling system basically would just not work. So, er, good job on making it work, Bungie.
The new Ghosts look rather different (and excellent)
We knew that new Ghost skins were coming, but now we can (sort of) see them. The whole purple-and-gold colour scheme looks rather classy indeed. No idea what they do yet, mind.
Cayde-6 is the next major player in the story
The trailer is topped and tailed with his appearances. Nolan Norths new Ghost aside, hell be the new main voice in your ear, a la Eris, Petra Venj and Variks. Given his affable nature and long-suffered pining for his adventuring glory days, he should be a hell of a lot of fun to have around. Oh, and did we mention that he's secretly Nathan Fillion under that mask? Yes. That.
Artifacts are a whole new element of your load-out
We know that Artifacts are a new equippable item in year two. And we reckon this is one. You can also see differently coloured versions in the screens depicting the Crucible shop. Were not 100% sure what they do yet, but given that they appear on your Guardian screen below your class items, we strongly suspect that theyll imbue passive buffs. Think of them as Destinys equivalent of Final Fantasys relics or accessories, until we hear any different.
Nameplate collections point to more involved customisation overall
Another vague one, but its a good bet that these will be an evolved version of the current games emblems.
Infusion is a thing now too, apparently
We really have no idea. Guesses?