As was announced in their last weekly briefing, Bungie are releasing the next big update to Destiny on April 12, 2016. In the first of three special reveal streams, Community Manager Deej gave eager Guardians some insight into what they can expect with this update.
With Oryx dead a new Taken threat has appeared, Malok, and once again it’s up to the Guardians to defeat him. This time, however, your attention turns from the Vanguards at the Tower, and to Variks the Loyal at the Reef… The apparently friendly Eliksni Reaver takes a central role once again and with it returns a focus to the Prison of Elders.
Variks will become our main point of call for the new quest line, and for new weekly bounties, but that’s not all. With the return of the Prison of Elders, two new variants have also appeared, offering new challenges and new opportunities for loot. First is a new level 41, light level 260, Taken version of the Prison we know and love, and with it the chance for current players to get to the elusive light level 320. With the level 41 Prison of Elders, players will have a 50/50 chance of encountering a Taken version of the Prison, as well being able to access the infamous treasure chest. Vanguard Marks will also be rewarded with each completion, quite possibly in the same way the Heroic strikes do now.
Along with the level 41 Prison of Elders, a brand new level 42, light level 320 challenge mode of the Prison will also be coming with the April update. In this, players will be faced with three rounds of enemies, week-long set modifiers (much like Nightfall), and the chance at much better rewards. Players will receive their rewards upon completion of the final round, and will not be required to take the plunge into the Treasure room.
With the new Challenge mode comes a new way for PvE-specific players to get the highest level gear, the Elder Sigil. This works much in the same way as the Trials of Osiris passage, but only one card is valid for the whole week. The Sigil will contain two challenges Guardians must complete to receive the new gear; completing one with reward a new weapon, the other a new piece of armour. The example shown in the stream this evening has players chasing specific point goals, one which was highest team score, and the other was to achieve a set cumulative score. Those of you who have picked up the Iron Banner weekly bounties will be familiar with how this works. The highest score will award the weapon, and the cumulative score the armour.
Points are awarded through playing the Prison of Elders Challenge mode, with new damage-type modifiers giving players the opportunity to score more points. For example, in the stream a precision kills modifier was shown which would give players more point, compared to when the precision damage modifier isn’t active. Pretty much anything you do awards points, orb creation, grenades, kills, and players are not punished for choosing their preferred subclass. Defender Titans, for example, don’t have an aggressive super ability, however with the right combination of perks can generate as many orbs as a Striker Titan performing a Fist of Havoc on a group of enemies.
So, players have to think of the best approach receive the highest amount of points, however, Guardians must be fairly swift in their destruction. If players are taking their time, Variks will grow weary of a boring fight after approximately five minutes, and will start to deduct points as time goes on. This means players will have to weigh up the risks of taking too long to despatch the boss, in favour of gaining more points with killing lower level enemies.Of course, these lower level enemies are not an endless stream of bullet catchers, no, there is a total of up to five round of “reinforcements”, that spawn depending on the health level of the boss.
But that’s not all… Not only are there new challenges to face in the Prison of Elders, Bungie are also bringing a brand new strike into the equation. Guardians are expected to go toe-to-toe against the new Taken threat, Malok. Unfortunately Bungie didn’t go into too much detail with the new strike, but I imagine it won’t be long until we see more from it.
Talking of strikes, an old fan-favourite, the Winter’s Run strike featuring everyone’s favourite mobile boss, the Archon Priest, is also receiving a Taken makeover. Askor, The Archon Priest, has been captured by the Taken and has learned some new tricks. His previous battle style has changed, so Guardians of old will have to rethink how they can defeat him once again.
Bungie are continuing there special reveal streams for the next two weeks, with the next one focusing on new things to learn. Tune into the Bungie Twitch channel from 7pm GMT to find out more.
The Destiny April update is due to launch on April 12, 2016.