While Destiny 2 has been officially pushed to 2017, Bungie isn’t abandoning ship to completely work on it just yet. The biggest update since The Taken King hit a few weeks ago and brought with it many quality of life improvements along with a newly revamped Prison of Elders. If you’re looking for a recap of how Destiny has changed since the new year, look no further.
Love rules during the Crimson Days
The live team continued the trend of short-lived events back in February with the Valentine’s Day themed Crimson Days. The crucible saw a new event called Crimson Doubles, a 2v2 elimination playlist where a teammate’s death would grant the living team member a broken heart buff with an overshield and increased regeneration rates. I think the best part was the lack of light advantages, which led to just about everyone busting their Year One favorites. Any time I can dust off my trusty Thorn is a good time in my book. Drop rates were pretty good, too — I received a legendary engram or strange coins after just about every win. Shaxx had a few quests to complete as a fireteam, too, furthering the theme of love.
Naturally, the Eververse had a few new shaders and emotes. Two of the emotes are some of the best yet: the Hotline Bling dance and the secret handshake.
The April Update makes your playtime more meaningful
The big April Update, unofficially dubbed The Taken Spring, has been a hugely positive update for players of all levels. Maximum light is now 335 and Bungie has made two important changes to help you get there relatively quickly. First off, infusion is now 1:1, meaning you don’t have to gamble or calculate how much of a loss your infusion will be. Secondly, and possibly more importantly, the drop quality of just about every reputation package has increased dramatically. I’m not sure if it’s actually 100%, but I’ve received at least one item above my light level in every single package since the update, which has helped me climb from 307 to almost 320. Reputation gains have also increased and you can now find boost items for various factions, meaning you’ll get these packages more quickly.
Between lossless infusion and higher quality reputation packages, each minute of playtime is now more worthwhile. You can be almost certain that if you’re increasing reputation somewhere, you’re getting closer to a bump in your light.
Prison of Elders 2.0: (House of) Judgment Day
Destiny’s version of wave-based combat, Prison of Elders, was a nice addition with the House of Wolves update. Unfortunately, it was untouched when The Taken King came out, making it useless aside from a personal challenge. Variks brought two new Prison playlists with him in the April update. The easier of the two is a matchmaking-enabled level 41 playlist with a recommended light of 260. It’s the standard Prison setup — five rounds, one for each alien race and a final boss wave. Some level 41 Prison instances will be Taken-ified, making the entire thing a little harder. You no longer need keys to open the chest underneath the Prison, which is huge for me because I could never find the damn things. Any old keys, tokens, and armor/weapon cores you have laying around can be turned in for House of Judgment reputation.
The biggest new piece of content in the April update is Challenge of the Elders, a non-matchmaking level 42 playlist with a recommended light of 320. It consists of three boss rounds and Nightfall-style modifiers. For example, the first week gave a bonus to primary weapon damage and the second week favored grenades. Every kill is scored with bonuses for critical kills, super kills, etc. Getting a high enough personal score and cumulative score is how you complete the weekly Challenge of the Elders ticket for rewards from Variks. He also has simple Prison bounties like kills and number of completed runs. All in all, the revamped Prison is a welcome addition to the Destiny fold. It’s a nice mix up from the patrols, crucible matches, and strikes we’ve been running for almost eight months now.
Further customize your look with Sterling Treasure and Chroma
As if the buffs to reputation gains and package drops weren’t enough, more easy-to-acquire drops have made their way to Destiny in the form of Sterling Treasure. Each week you can receive three of these, one each for visiting the postmaster, completing a level 41 PoE run, and completing a weekly featured crucible match. Sterling Treasure is where you’ll find Chroma, consumables that give various pieces of armor and weapons a slight glow. As of right now, Chroma comes in either white, blue, yellow, or red but can only be applied to a small, select set of gear.
Spektar armor always has a Chroma slot and can be found in Sterling Treasure along with a set of Taken-looking armor called Desolate armor. If you have all four pieces of Desolate armor, you can buy the creepy Taken shiver emote from Eververse. I like the idea of armor sets and I hope Bungie moves forward with them down the line.
Final thoughts and looking ahead
The April Update has been an incredibly positive one for Destiny. I outlined the big changes above, but there were also many small tweaks to various guns (lowering the magazine size of Quillim’s Terminus, increasing the time it takes for the Suros Regime perk to kick in, etc.) and classes (mainly Warlocks). You’ve no doubt seen this update touted for it’s quality of life improvements and that’s really what it’s been.
As always, I have a few things I’d like to see added to Destiny. First, as it has been since vanilla, we should have an in-game grimoire. Seriously, there’s no reason not to. Custom crucible lobbies could be a lot of fun, especially if we could play with game-altering settings for things like higher regeneration rate, heavy weapons only, etc. One thing I saw suggested on Reddit that could be super fun is a mayhem strike playlist. I always enjoy playing mayhem matches in the crucible for the pure insanity of it. Imagine doing that in a strike. Bungie would have to balance it with larger numbers or higher difficulty enemies, but it could be a blast.