Destiny’s House of Wolves Expansion – Is it Worth It?

For those of us who are still playing Destiny in spite of all the other great time consuming games out right now, we are in for a treat! In the beginning, we were promised a bigger universe than what we were actually given. Then the first expansion, The Dark Below, was released. While it gave us more (of the same) to do and a new challenging Raid, it also created some issues concerning loot.  Not only that but personally, I felt left out. Don’t get me wrong, raiding with friends is great, but I can only do that so many times before I become bored with it. Being an avid PvP fan when it comes to first person shooters, I’ve become discouraged with the lack of content for those looking to test their skills against other Guardians. That all changed with the release of the House of Wolves!

Before I start salivating all over this expansion, allow me to lay the groundwork for what the House of Wolves is all about. The Queen of the Awoken has opened her doors to the Guardians after being betrayed by some of the Fallen she once allied with. You see, years ago the House of Wolves where defeated after attacking the Reef. The Queen offered the survivors mercy if they pledged their loyalty to her. This expansion starts right after the Fallen’s violent rebellion. Re-donning themselves as wolves, these traitors have begun an interstellar path of destruction in an effort to unite all of the Fallen houses. Now it’s up to us to help squash this uprising before the Reef (and other inhabited places around the solar system) is completely destroyed.

Sounds good right? Well…it isn’t completely bad. Though this marks the best story thread Destiny has to offer (which isn’t saying much) you’ll still end up retreading past environments. On the plus side, you will face new enemies with stronger abilities and weapons that will cause even higher level Guardians to think twice before going in alone. Not only that but the campaign missions will drop higher ranked loot at high rates, making the grind up to the new level cap of 34 less time consuming.

Some of the fans of the game were hurt to hear that there would not be a new Raid for them to conquer. Many questioned how they were supposed to get legendary and exotic armor and weapons? The good news here is that older weapons can now be ascended to the point of actually being useful again. Ascending your old weapons (using a new drop called Etheric Light) won’t reset their progress, just improve them. This allows gamers a fighting chance when dealing with higher leveled enemies; you don’t have to get new weapons before being able to deal real damage, which makes it easier when grinding for the new weapons introduced in this expansion. What makes this feature great for players like me is that Etheric Light drops in PvP matches more so than the campaign. Throw in the new competitive game modes and you finally have a reason to shoot fellow Guardians again.

Crucible veterans, you will be happy to see that they have brought back the challenging Inferno mode. Guardians are in team deathmatch with no radar and your only points gained are from kills. This requires guns with great perks and constant communication. This sucks because, for some off reason, we still don’t have team chat so we can talk with the random people we are paired with after matchmaking. But, if you have a set of friends you run with, this game mode is high octane fun. In addition to the return of Inferno, we are given to brand new three on three elimination mode called the Trials of Osiris. Here you will need to bring your best two partners because of its hard-core nature; the trails are only available from Friday to Tuesday, ranked weapons/armor actually matter, you have to buy your way in, and can only play until you’ve won nine matches or lost three. Winning consecutive matches will unlock high level armor, with even better stuff held for those who can win nine without losing a single match. If you’re really something special, you’ll unlock your place in a VIP area (called The Lighthouse) exclusive to the Destiny elite. I, unfortunately, am not welcome into this great area, but that won’t stop me from trying to reach this exclusive spot.

The biggest addition in the update is clearly the new tower, aka the Reef. Here we can meet new Guardians, visit new vendors to purchase items from, and snag new bounties before heading out. It is much darker and gloomy then Earth, which is still my favorite place to hang out, but it’s an awesome place in its own right. What is great is that the two places don’t make the other obsolete. You still go back to the Tower and visit the older vendors like before. With the update adding more items available for sale at the vendors, you will need to visit both areas frequently.

Needless to say, Destiny is finally moving in the direction that we expected after its initial E3 reveal. Yes, it has been a long road but it feels as if the road is at least getting bigger for us to drive on. We have a more comprehensible story (though the missions themselves aren’t that different) and a Crucible worth returning to alongside the normal inclusion of new PvP maps and Strike mission. There’s even a new horde-like mode called The Prison of Elders that completely different from other Destiny offerings. This expansion set the bar pretty high. And with rumors of a much bigger expansion coming our way, it looks like it’s a great time to finally join your friends in space if you haven’t done so already. Basically, The House of Wolves is a must buy!

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