Three Days Exploring Destiny: Rise Of Iron

We’ve been spending the month rolling out our blowout coverage on Destiny: Rise of Iron, including a look at one of the brand new exotic weapons, and an interview with the Bungie developers leading the project. Today, we wanted to step back and have an informal chat about some of the things we discovered, as well as discuss some additional details that just couldn’t fit into our 16-page cover story.

Matt: Ben, you and I had a chance to spend three full days wandering around through the new missions, characters, enemies, and battles of Destiny: Rise of Iron. How are you feeling about getting to dive in with your real character on September 20? 

Ben: I know that some people are actually tired of hearing us talk about Destiny, but I’m genuinely excited to get my hands on the official Rise of Iron release. Every time we do one of these trips, we end up playing a good portion of the game, so we have to replay it when it releases, but honestly that doesn’t bother me. When I got home from this trip I actually booted up the game so I could prepare for the new release. I feel like I should be sick of playing Destiny after two years, but I’m not. What about you? What was your biggest takeaway from our time with the game?  

Matt: I think Bungie has continued to make strides in making the content more replayable, and that’s something I took away from my time with Rise of Iron. Even though Rise or Iron isn’t as large in scope as The Taken King in several ways, I think they’ve really doubled down on the investment game, and they’re putting a lot of stuff in to keep players involved over the long term. I’m encouraged by their willingness to talk about plans several months in advance even past Rise of Iron, like the return of Festival of the Lost and Sparrow Racing League. It indicates a more cohesive plan, and a recognition that many of the game’s players are in for the long haul. 

But let’s dig down into some specifics. One of the first things we did in Rise of Iron, after those first couple of missions, was visit Felwinter Peak, which we had a video about earlier this week. Are you excited about the wolves?

Ben: Oh man, I loved the wolves. Mostly, I loved sitting down inside the wolves so that I looked like a wolfman. I know we really encouraged Bungie to add a pet the wolf option, but I don’t think they’re going to do that.  

Matt: One of the things we learned is that Bungie actually consulted with some wolf conservationists before putting the wolves into the game, and I think even got some of the sounds the wolves make directly from that group. But it was on the condition that Bungie try and represent the wolves in at least some authentic way; I think that’s why we can’t pet them. But they’re all over the place on that mountaintop. It’s a very “living with nature” kind of a place. Who knew Guardians were so eco-friendly? 

Ben: I will say that Felwinter Peak is a cool looking environment. I like the frosted mountaintop vibe, and it’s nice to have a new social space that’s different from what we’ve seen before. Plus there is a whole section of that area that we didn’t even get to see because it’s locked away for special events. What did you think of the new vendors on the Peak? 

Matt: We’ve talked about those new characters a bit, but there’s some other fun stuff about them. For instance, Lord Saladin has these new Iron Engrams for sale, which reward you with some of the older Year 1 and Year 2 armor pieces, which is an ideal option for people who are looking to flesh out their collections. Cayde’s buddy, Shiro-4, also has some cool stuff connected to him. He has bounties to undertake, like using the battle axe to kill enemies in the Plaguelands, or completing a Captain encounter in the Archon’s Forge. Shiro also has some class items for sale, which looked to me like some of the old Year 1 Iron Banner options, like the Hunter Mantle of Perun, the Titan Jolder’s Iron Sash, and the Warlock Felwinter’s Iron Bond. People will be happy for another shot at those, I think. 

We also got a glimpse of the new Radiant Treasures. Did you snag any of those? 

Ben: I didn’t mess with those much actually, but I saw you looking at them. I know they are a similar thing to the Sterling Treasures that were introduced in the April Update. Some of them looked pretty cool. Sounds like you’ll be able to get them through either microtransactions or completing in-game missions, right? 

Matt: I think that’s the idea, though Bungie didn’t detail for me how you’d get them each week, or how many you can get from in-game play. I was able to acquire a few of them from the Eververse. I’m not entirely sure about everything that you can get from those Radiant Treasures, but I know that among other things you can get visual customization options for your exotic weapons. I’m not sure if just some or if all of the exotic weapons have those new ornaments, but I saw options for the Zhalo Supercell, Invective, Telesto, MIDA Multi-Tool, and the new Khvostov, and I’m assuming there’s more. 

I also saw that they’re introducing some new emotes through the Eververse, which is fun. And the Eververse has another cool little feature – new artifacts for your guardian that seem pretty clearly targeted to folks making in-game movies.  The one I saw – the Golden Age Lens – let you equip the artifact, and change the camera filter for your in-game view, and it added a sepia tint. I also saw one that added a blue tint. Bungie implied there are just a few colors, but it’s still pretty neat. They are definitely presented as a cosmetic choice – not something that would compete with the powerful Iron Lord artifacts.

Next Page: Discovering the Plaguelands and fighting in Archon’s Forge

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