Days of Iron, part 1

Destiny, part 10

So, Rise of Iron is finally here!  The last 5 days have been kind of a blur between work and marathon Destiny sessions and little sleep.  Now that I’m on vacation from work I have time to compose my thoughts on the new expansion.

On launch day, we all waited online anxiously for weekly reset to happen so we could get started on our journey to become Iron Lords.  2 minutes after weekly reset happens, BAM!, server crashes and no one is apparently able to get in.  At least not for the first 2 hours after the expansion had been released.  I was in party chat when they said that you could queue up to get in, so I stopped playing Peggle 2 and went back to Destiny.  Once I got it to load I was in the 100,000 mark to get logged in.  ‘Oh well’ I thought ‘glad I have the day off.’  After a while, the line started to go down and I made it to around the 60,000 mark before Charter decided to take a dump and I got booted offline completely.  After power cycling the modem, router and the PS4 I was able to get back in queue.  This time in the 200,000 range.  But this time around, the line went significantly faster and before I knew it I was in.

Before the game crashed, I was in the tower with my alternate Warlock picking up my pre-order goodies from the mail robot but decided to go in as my main Warlock since I figured he would be the most powerful to deal with what was to come.  I went back to the tower after an uncomfortably long loading screen (server lag is a bitch) I found that Eververse was selling new goodies, all the factions and the Vanguard were selling new gear and the new ships and sparrows could be found in their respective kiosks.  After admiring all the new toys, I went to orbit and decided to start my journey…alone.  I left the party chat and decided that if I was going to experience the new story, I would have to go it alone so I wouldn’t have to try to listen to what was being said over the party chat.

The opening mission to investigate the abandoned observatory was fun and began to fuel my incessant need to ask questions.  Why are we just now hearing about the SIVA threat?  How long HAS it been since the fall?  Questions, questions, questions and no answers in sight.

Over the course of about 8 hours or so, I managed to complete all the new single player missions.  They were fun, but I feel like it’s a little lack luster in comparison to The Taken King.  Maybe over the course of the year it will grow on me because at first there were things about The Taken King that I didn’t like either (like no sparrows on the Dreadnaught) so I’ll wait and pass judgement later.

One big noticeable difference between this expansion and previous ones is that right off the bat they give you the record book for your Moments of Triumph so you have something to work toward immediately.  I was not thrilled to find that there are more tiny collectibles – Dormant SIVA Fragments as opposed to Calcified Fragments – but at least this time around there are only 30 instead of 50 and you only need to find 15 to complete that entry in the book (which I’ve already done).

The book also has one whole section dedicated to the Crucible which I definitely wasn’t happy to see.  Maybe I’ll get lucky and those entries won’t be as difficult to complete as I think.  The section of the book devoted to the new raid – Wrath of the Machine – is locked until you actually get in the raid and start doing stuff.  I’m not yet high enough to do much damage in the new raid (which, just like The Taken King wasn’t released with the expansion right away) but with some perseverance I’ll get there.  It took a while before I got good at King’s Fall and now I can run it fairly well, so, it’s only a matter of time.

I’m pleased to see that entries in the book stack across all your characters (like for example, finding the same 5 SIVA Fragments on all 3 of my characters completed the requirement for that entry in the book) so that cuts a bit of my grinding down.  I’m going to have to grind for Legendary Marks so I can infuse the weapons and armor that I want to upgrade and keep from Year Two.  I’ve already infused everything on my main Warlock that I wanted to keep and have run out of Marks so it looks like my Titan and alt Warlock are out of luck for now.

So far I’m not happy that there’s really only ONE new Strike in the expansion (which of course was this week’s Nightfall and it’s hard as fuck.  I didn’t finish it) and that all the other Strikes in the SIVA playlist are, of course, rehashes from Year Two with higher light levels.  I’m not happy that it seems like there’s little in the way of Lore this time around, unless it’s coming down the pipe later in an update or something.  No scannable objects in the environments, and no a whole lot in the way of new dialogue either.  I’m also not happy that none of the Year Two quests auto completed like the Year One ones did, so I guess all those Crucible quests are going to go back to the Abandoned Quests kiosk once again.  I also don’t like the fact that Three of Coins is pretty much useless now since you need Skeleton Keys to open chests at the end of Strikes, and getting these keys is all up to RNG and whether or not it feels like being generous.

The new social space – Felwinter Peak – is very cool.  I like the view from the mountain top and the new Cryptarch is much nicer than the asshole at the Reef ever was.  The new patrol area on Earth – The Plaguelands – is densely packed with action and things to find (like those damn SIVA clusters) so I’m sure I’ll be spending most of Year Three here.  I didn’t like it at first because I thought it was a little confusing, but now I have it all mapped out in my head.  I’ve already completed the quests for the new Gjallarhorn and for the Khvostov exotics and I’m hoping that if there are more exotic weapon quests, they’re just as easy to complete (and don’t require going into the Crucible).

So far Year Three is off to a promising (if a bit lacking) start.  Hopefully there are more surprises in store in the coming year.