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Yes, Damn It, Destiny: The Taken King is Good!

Destiny’s The Taken King expansion has revitalized the game and addicted me again, hence the “damn it” in the title. I was doing so well at enjoying other games and going days or even a week without launching Destiny. But now that The Taken King has come out, it’s an obsession just like Destiny was at launch. That isn’t to say that TTK is perfect – far from it. There are annoyances and a few glitches, flaws, and problems, but the smoothness of the game play and the fun missions (mostly) overcome them.

The first thing about TTK is that it is even more MMO-like than before. As Yahtzee said about World of Warcraft when he reviewed it, “It’s all about the numbers!” In TTK, the level cap was increased, but the level is pretty meaningless. I went from level 35 to 40 in seconds by turning in some bounties with one of the Red Bull XP boosts active. No, the only thing that matters is the light level of your gear, much like in other MMOs. The goal of this was to render obsolete all of our year 1 gear, so Ice Breaker, Thorn, Vex Mythoclast, and Gjallarhorn. There are year 2 variants of some of the old Exotics, but not the favorites I listed above. Bungie’s goal, I think, was to get more diversity in loadouts. Even the Exotics now have different perks and stat rolls when you get them, so if you and I both have Helm of Saint-14, they will be different, either slightly or significantly, though the primary perk will stay the same (and, generally, yours will be better, because RNGesus hates me). So now everyone will be dressed differently and have different gear. Until we get raid gear, that is. Since raid gear is the only way to get the highest light level stuff (310), everyone who has raid gear will wear it. Now, it is possible to sacrifice your raid gear by using it to infuse other stuff, thus raising the other gear’s light level, but it will be a while before many people have enough raid gear to use it like that. I have no raid gear, having not done the raid (because my light level is too low and I’m not that good). Oh yeah, and we can have swords now, and they are awesome!

There are lots and lots more missions in TTK, and even some of the old ones have been updated. I’ve killed Oryx on all my characters, yet I haven’t finished all the missions available. They weren’t kidding when they said TTK added more content than the original game. So there’s lots more to do and most of it is fun. And there are hidden side-quests and goodies that are a delightful addition to the game.

There are a few missions that are just crazy hard, and some of the Heroic Strikes are just stupid hard. I’ve had other players bail at the start of some strikes and at the nearly unkillable boss after wiping a few times on others. That isn’t much fun. That’s probably the thing that will break my addiction and get me back to playing other games. On Friday night, for example, I ran into a mission I couldn’t solo (nor could others who are better than I am), then found a strike where the other guys bailed at the end. I was ready to give up at that point and shut down the PS4, but instead I found a couple of friends who helped me with both and it rebounded into a good evening rather than a depressing one.

So, yes, The Taken King is good, damn it, and I can’t wait to play more.

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