Destiny April Update Preview

If you're a Destiny fan, you've probably already heard the news that Bungie is releasing an update on 4/12 for Destiny - The Taken King. If you haven't... hold on to your scout rifle Guardian. Bungie held the first of three Twitch streams today to reveal some of the new content coming in the April Update.4 Today's update was covering "New Things To Do".

The Twitch stream opened with a slew of tidbits and updates on the changes coming in the April update. The first was that this is a free update to anyone that owns The Taken King DLC. 1 This update is being brought out by the Destiny Live Team and is the biggest project the Live Team has done to date. I've broken down the biggest points DeeJ and Bungie revealed in today's stream.

Light Level Upgrade

One of the previously announced changes with the April Update was an increase in the maximum Light Level you could achieve with your Guardian. The Taken King update brought the maximum Light Level (LL) up to 320. The April Update will bring the max LL to 335. The April Update will have a new ways for a Guardian to increase their LL. This will include:

  • New and updated bounties.
  • New missions.
  • New quests.
  • New strike.

The update includes changes to the existing content as well:

  • Kingsfall Raid normal drops increased to LL 320.
  • Kingsfall Raid hard drops increased to LL 330.
  • Court of Oryx artifact drops increased to LL 335.

Not all of the new content was discussed in today's stream, but DeeJ and the folks at Bungie said all of the new content will be discussed over the three Twitch streams. They did make one thing clear... all of the new content is focused on what's been happening in The Reef.

The Reef & Prison of Elders

The Reef was initially released as part of the House of Wolves expansion pack. The April Update brings The Reef and Prison of Elders into Y2. During the discussion of what's coming in the new update, Bungie revealed that the Taken are not gone, but have a new power leading them - Malok.

The other new baddie (or is he?) is that the Archon Priest is now Taken as well. This led to DeeJ revealing that the new strike will be a version of Winter's Run with Taken in it. Beyond the new content DeeJ discussed, one of the most recognizable changes will be the map of The Reef itself.

As you can see there are some new and updated places to visit in The Reef:

  • Vestian Outpost: The Vestian Outpost will be the central hub for the content in the April Update. Variks and Petra have continued their war on the Taken and most of the new content revolves around this storyline. Some of the new things at the Vestian Outpost include:
    • The Eververse Trading Company now has a spot in the Reef.
    • Variks has a two new quests: "Pretender to the Throne" and "Return to the Prison". He also has a new weekly passage called the Elder's Sigil - see below for more detail. This passage, similar to the Trials Passage sold by Brother Vance, will allow a Guardian access to new content called "The Challenge of the Elders". Variks also has new weekly bounties to gain House Judgement rank. 2
    • Petra has a new quest line (not revealed in the stream) and updated bounties as well.
  • Level 41 Arena - Prison of Elders: This is a updated version of the Prison of Elders (POE) for Guardians to use PVE content to raise their LL. Like the L28 POE arena, the L41 arena will consist of a fire team of three guardians and it will have matchmaking available. The Sterling Treasure seen in the screenshot above was specifically mentioned, but as DeeJ said - "...will be revealed in next week's stream." The L41 Arena includes 4 new bosses, all of which are Taken. You have a 50/50 chance of getting one of the original bosses or getting one of the new Taken bosses at the end of your POE run. Bungie said that a treasure key was no longer needed on the L41 arena. So once you make it through, you'll be able to open up the treasure chest at the end. Up to LL 320 gear will drop in this arena. 3
  • Level 42 Arena - Challenge of the Elders: This is one of the new content pieces coming in the April Update. Challenge of the Elders will be the PVE equivalent to Trials of Osiris. There is a passage card, called an Elder's Sigil, that can be purchased from Variks for 100 Glimmer to allow entry into the Challenge of the Elders. Just like Trials of Osiris, you need to have a fire team of 3 and there is no matchmaking. Up to LL 335 gear will drop in this arena.

Play Through of "Challenge of the Elders"

The stream was wrapped up with a team of Bungie employees (including Cozmo) playing through a session of Challenge of the Elders (CotE). Some of the highlights discussed or shown during the CotE game play were:

  • The Elder's Sigil passage is purchased from Variks and will have challenges to meet each week. The card is valid for one week and expires at the weekly reset. The example in the game play during Bungie's stream was to hit a specific high score and getting an overall set of points. Achieve these items and you will receive a guaranteed item from Variks.
    • 1st challenge = guaranteed weapon (up to LL 335)
    • 2nd challenge = guaranteed armor (up to LL 335)
  • The CotE does not have a Treasure Room like the new L41 arena or the existing POE arenas. Awards are based at the end of each match (like Crucible matches) or based on the points collected on a player's Elder's Sigil passage card.
  • The CotE point system is similar to Crucible scoring, get a kill or an assist to score points. Unlike the Crucible, a player can get points for both offensive (kills/assists) and defensive (generate orbs) actions. These points are collected for the entire fire team.
  • There will be weekly modifiers on the CotE, similar to the Weekly Nightfall. These modifiers include bonuses for point collection - e.g. precision kills, melee kills, etc.
  • Activities in the CotE are timed, so if you take too much time to clear adds while working on the boss, Variks will start to deduct points off of your overall team score.
  • Engrams will drop like in regular PVE content. In the stream there were 3 or 4 new armor engrams that dropped, but no comments were made about the contents in the engrams.
  • Kills made in CotE will count against daily and weekly bounties from Xander 99-40, Petra, etc.
  • Each player is ranked at the end of each boss level, similar to Crucible or Iron Banner scoring.
  • Wiping on a level will reset that level and your score to your previous point. This means you can't go into CotE, clear 90% of a level, wipe, and expect to keep all of the points.
  • After the final boss is killed, Variks will congratulate you and tell you to come to Vestian Outpost to collect any rewards you have obtained on your Elder's Sigil.

According to Bungie, based on the boss rotation and new/updated modifiers, a Guardian will have 4 months of fresh content to play in CotE. Here are some screenshots of the play through Bungie showed.

Yes, there is a new perk tree on the weapon and Bungie said that will be discussed next week.

Miscellaneous Update Points

There were a few odds and ends revealed through out Bungie's stream today. Deej and the gang didn't go in to any detail, but they were put out there publicly none the less.

  • Subtle changes to character subclasses are coming. More of this will be discussed in the stream on 4/6.
  • There is new treasure in the updated POE and that will be discussed next week.
  • There is new armor and weapons as part of the update. Details on the Taken armor and/or shader will be discussed in a future stream as well.

Next Twitch Streams

Bungie has two more streaming dates set to reveal additional content in the April Update:

  • New Things to Earn | 3/30 @ 2pm ET/11am PT
  • Sandbox and Crucible Updates | 4/6 @ 2pm ET/11am PT

Both of the updates will be on Bungie's Twitch channel:

See you all on April 12 Guardians!

  1. Which is probably everyone reading this article. ;-) 

  2. So we can all finally use our Tokens of Judgement, Flight, and Identity. 

  3. It wasn't specifically stated if a Guardian can move up to L41 to coincide with new LL 335. 

  4. I'm assuming they fixed the "Geek RNG" glitch too.