Takeaways from a Serious First Two Weeks of The Taken King

Raiding with a regular group of pretty serious Destiny players – I don’t even want to guess at the number of hours that we’ve put into the game collectively. Most of us treat it with the seriousness of a second job, but it’s still somehow all fun and games.

Week one of The Taken King was intense. There is a lot of new content, and it’ll easily take an entire day of playing to clear through the new campaign. The various quests surrounding it are plentiful.

Leveling to 40 from 34 was trivial – once I’d equipped the new subclass for each character, I used a radiant light XP buff and turned in the high-value bounties that I’d accumulated before patch 2.0 dropped. Combined with the exotic class item given to owners of the collector’s edition, I was able to get my new subclasses ready for the campaign in very short order.

On the new subclasses

Hunter’s new void subclass is awesome to have. No fireteam should do anything without one. It has superior orb generation when compared to Gunslinger and Bladedancer. The ability to locate planetary materials, chests (erm … hadium flakes), and ammo crates. I maxed this subclass out first, and really enjoy playing it.

Titan’s new solar subclass is a lot of fun as well. The super does great burst DPS, easily melting majors. With the subclass talent Cauterize, the Titan easily recovers in most engagements.

Warlock’s new arc subclass has a slick talent akin to Blink that is only available while super is active. Makes a marked improvement in mobility, and I’ve had fun running it in PvP.

On the raid

The new raid offers a challenge, but luckily one that can be overcome. I could have gone with an experienced raid team for my first run of The King’s Fall, but zachvice made a case for doing the raid blind. In retrospect, that was absolutely what I had been trying to avoid, but I did it anyways. Since no one else in that raid team had prepared for the raid by watching the live streams, it took an enormous amount of time and effort to down each boss. Oryx was a complete no go.

My first successful raid completion came courtesy of Hunters wearing the Celestial Nighthawk. I joined three other Celestial Nighthawk-wearing Hunters, and together we wrecked Oryx hard.

… Which leads me to believe that every raid group should have at least one hunter. They just make things better.

Our current record time for the raid is 1 hour 13 minutes 42 seconds from start to finish, accounting for chests at the ship jumping puzzle (can’t remember the name of the location), Golgoroth’s Cellar, and the second jumping puzzle (the one with all of the things that push you out to your death).

On the game

The Taken King improves on the original release. The game is stickier than before, with the new quest system and reputation to grind. The quest system gives players clear goals to work towards, the rewards feel worthwhile.

Cool things moving forward: collecting calcified fragments to obtain the exotic scout rifle, Touch of Malice, which wrecks on raid bosses where the Aura of Invulnerability buff is available (Oryx’s daughters – deathsingers, Oryx)