On April 12, 2016, Destiny and The Division will go head-to-head for the first time when they each release their free updates. Today, we’re going to take an in-depth look at what players can expect from the April update in Destiny, looking at the new Challenge of the Elders, maximum Light Level of 335, as well as some new mechanics, like modifying the look of your gear with Chroma. We’ll also detail the new Strike, story mission, and talk about how you can get all of the new armor and weapons, including the Taken Sword that harnesses Void energy.
New Mission: Pretender to the Throne
The April update will come with a new mission that takes place on the Dreadnaught called Pretender to the Throne. This mission acknowledges that Oryx is dead (Haven’t killed Oryx? King’s Fall Raid Guide), and states that the Taken remain. However, no one voice controls them. Apparently someone is trying to fill the void of power that Oryx left, and Variks would like you to investigate. The quest name for this mission is At the Gates, and you can obtain it at the Reef by speaking with Variks, the Loyal.
Level 41 Prison of Elders
The Prison of Elders has been overhauled and brought up in difficulty to match end game challenges and rewards. There are now Taken filling those cells, and Variks wants you to head back in and see if you can learn more about the Taken. The quest line is called Return to the Prison. This activity will be a Level 41 Arena with a recommended Light of 260. The rewards for this activity are listed as Sterling Treasure, which we detail in more depth below. Beyond that, you can also go into the Treasure room and open all three of the chests (no Treasure Keys required), having a shot at Exotics and everything else that those wonderful chests contain. This mode does feature matchmaking, so even if you don’t have a Fireteam that you roll with regularly, you can team up with others. Oh, and it features four Taken bosses as the possible enemies that you’ll face.
New Prison of Elders Bounties
There are new Bounties in the Prison of Elders, also handled by Variks. These will arrive and disappear with the Weekly Reset, and require players to complete various tasks in the Prison of Elders game mode. Completion will reward you with House of Judgement reputation and XP. In the live stream Bungie put on March 23rd, we saw three Bounties; Riot Guard, Dead Shot and Heavy Hitter.
Challenge of the Elders
The Challenge of the Elders is a Level 42 Arena, and comes with a recommended Light of 320. There is no matchmaking for this, so you’ll have to bring two of your friends in if you want to have a shot at getting the job done. The gear that you earn in this mode can get you to Light 335, so it’s definitely going to be worth the time if you’re aiming to max out your characters.
Each week there will be Modifiers, and if players are able to meet the requirements they will earn a higher score. For example, the March 23 live stream showed off the Precision Kill Bonus. Earning points in the Challenge of the Elders ties directly into the Elders’ Sigil. If you are able to meet the requirements on the scorecard, you’ll get a guaranteed reward from Variks. We’ll talk about the Elders’ Sigil more shortly, but for now you should know that there is an additional Modifier to the Modifier. The Challenge of the Elders will feature three rounds, and the point Modifier will multiply each round. If you get 90 points for a Precision Kill in round one, it will be 180 for round two and 270 for round three.
This is a scorecard that you can buy from Variks each week for 100 Glimmer. You take it into the Challenge of the Elders and try to reach the listed checkpoints. We saw an example that showed a High Score of 30,000, and a Cumulative Score of 90,000. If you are able to reach these levels, Variks will have a reward for you. The High Score is your three-person Fireteam’s combined score for one run, while the Cumulative Score is all of the runs you complete through the week. It’s important to note that if you hit a High Score of 34,000 with one team, and then run it again with another team and got a team score of 29,000, your personal Cumulative Score for the week would be 63,000.
If you are able to hit the High Score in a week, Variks will give you a guaranteed weapon that could drop at 335 Attack. If you reach the Cumulative Score in a week, he will drop a guaranteed bit of armor that could be at 335 Defense. This is how Guardians can reach the max Light of 335. It should be noted that you do not visit the Treasure Room in the Challenge of the Elders.
New Blighted Chalice Strike
This new Strike is going to feature a foe named Malok, who we have included an image of above. He carries a big gun, and he doesn't appear to think that any of our nonsense is funny. This Strike will be added to the Heroic Strike playlist, which means it should drop end-game rewards.
Winter’s Run Strike Remake
The Winter’s Run Strike has been worked over and brought up to the Heroic Strike playlist, and has been given some unique rewards to make it worth your while. This Strike features the Archon Priest, only this time out he has been claimed by the Taken. This guy was always a pain to deal with, and it’s likely not going to get any easier with this makeover.
Turn Off the HUD
Players now have the ability to remove their HUD. Pause the game, navigate to Settings, Accessibility and then HUD Opacity. There will be options for Full (Default), High, Low and now Off. Choosing the latter allows gamers to remove the HUD, including notifications to visit various vendors and at the social spaces. This will be ideal for those (like us) who frequently need to take screenshots and would like to remove the clutter to make them more appealing.
The Reef: Abandoned Quests Kiosk
For those of you out there that actually use the Abandoned Quests kiosk at the Tower, you can now access this at the Reef. We’re going to file this under quality of life, but it’s nice to know that when we use this Kiosk every couple of months, we won’t have to burn more fuel taking our ship back to the Tower. It’s the little things in life, isn’t it?
The Chroma System
This system will let Guardians further customize themselves by adding a glow to individual armor pieces that they’re wearing. It is not tied into the Shader that you equip. For example, if you have a red Shader on your armor, but you are using a white Chroma on each piece, your armor stays the same color, but you’ll have a white glow. The Chroma system will include white, yellow, blue and red for color choice, and you can use a different color on each piece of armor. It should be noted that you can roll the Chroma color of your armor for 100 Glimmer. Chroma can only be obtained from the Sterling Treasure, or by dismantling armor that comes from the Sterling Treasure.
New Desolate Taken Armor Set
This is not a Shader. The April update will include a new armor set that can be collected for each the Hunter, Warlock and Titan. When a player collects the entire set, they will then unlock a new Emote called the Shiver. This armor set can be found in the Sterling Treasure only, which can be found in a few different places that we’ll outline below.
New Faction Armor Sets
Each faction will have a new armor set for the Hunter, Warlock and Titan. In all, that’s nine new sets of armor that players can earn from the three factions. It’s unlikely that anyone will be interested in them all, but it’s cool to know that no matter what faction you prefer, you have some new gear that you can collect. When you apply the Chroma options to these sets you get a level of customization that you just didn’t have in the past. The only catch is that the new faction armor sets can only be earned through the faction packages, and not by purchasing them through the faction vendors. The good news is that the rate at which you gain faction reputation has been greatly increased.
New Spektar Armor Set
This set of armor is also available for the Hunter, Warlock and Titan, and is designed with the Chroma system in mind. Besides the Taken armor set, this is by far the best looking armor that is coming to Destiny on April 12. You can get the new Spektar armor set from the Sterling Treasure only, which we’ll explain in more detail below.
The Sterling Treasure Box
The Sterling Treasure Box can be obtained from several locations and activities.
- Level 41 Prison of Elders
- Lord Shaxx (Weekly)
- Variks (Weekly)
- Postmaster (Weekly)
- Eververse (200 Silver Each)
Sterling Treasure will feature a guaranteed item, which will be a piece of Desolate or Spektar armor that comes at Defense 3. Obviously this is too low for you to use in any of the activities in Destiny, but you can Infuse it up to Level 335 if you wish to wear it during battle.
The Sterling Treasure could possibly contain another item, such as a Class Item (Bond, Mark or Cloak), Vanguard Reputation Booster, Crucible Reputation Booster and House of Judgement Reputation Booster. Other possible items that the Sterling Treasure could contain are the Waning Star ship, Space-Age Mariner ship and the S-35 Aeon Glow Sparrow. Lastly, the Sterling Treasure could also contain a Chroma that you can use to customize your Chroma compatible armor.
New Infusion System
The new Infusion system is just about the most exciting new feature in Destiny. Now, when you Infuse something you get a 1:1 ratio. This means that if you were to Infuse the Spektar Hood that comes out of the Sterling Treasure at Defense 3 with something that is Defense 335, your Spektar Hood will now be Defense 335. No more having to Infuse 15 different items into the piece of gear you’re trying to upgrade. You do this one time and you’re ready to rock-and-roll.
More Vault Space
We got more Vault space with the Taken King, and now we’re getting more with the update on April 12. Now, instead of only two pages of Vault space for your weapons, two for your armor and two for your general items, you get three pages. For those of Guardians out there that wish to keep all of their Year 1 gear for sentimental reasons, this is now possible.
New Maximum Light Level
The new maximum Light level in Destiny will be 335. With the new Infusion system, it’s going to be easier to hit that since you won’t be losing points when you try to upgrade your gear. For those that wish to see their Guardians get to 335, there are several activities that will drop 335 weapons and armor.
- King’s Fall Raid (Hard)
- Iron Banner
- Trials of Osiris
- Heroic Strikes
- Exotic Engrams
- Court of Oryx (Artifacts)
- Challenge of Elders
New Taken Sword
We didn’t get a lot of details on the new Taken Sword in Destiny, but we know that it will use Void energy. How you unlock it, and what Attack level it will feature are still a mystery. As soon as we know we’ll be sure to update you, but in case it’s related you might want to Unlock the Exotic Sword in Destiny prior to the April 12 update.
April 6th Live Stream Recap
Bungie put on a third live stream ahead of the April 12th update, with this one focusing on PvP, the Warlock class, the ammo economy, and weven weapon balancing. The summary below is a good idea of what you can expect, but for complete picture of the changes you can watch the recap that we've embedded below.
Crucible and Trials Revives
One of the major changes that players can expect is the revive process in the Crucible. This will have a major impact on Trials of Osiris, where reviving your downed team member is a huge factor. Going forward you can expect the following changes.
- You must get closer to your downed team member to revive them.
- It takes longer to revive someone, even with fast revive perks.
- You can no longer revive someone while running over their body.
In Trials of Osiris specifically, you now have an increase in the revive timer. Previously it was set to five seconds, meaning you couldn't revive a downed member of your team until those five seconds were up. That time is now seven seconds, and the second time they die, it's 14 seconds. This is applied to the round, meaning the second time you die in that particular round, not the overall game.
Changes to Ammo Economy
There have been changes to the way that Special and Heavy ammo work in the PvP environments. This doesn't apply to Mayhem, since that mode is all about blowing things up as often as possible.
First of all, players will now spawn with Special ammunition, which they did not previously. The Special ammo glitch is gone, however, so no using your Ice Breaker to build up a full Special ammo magazine and then switching to a weapon like one of the shotguns. If you switch weapons, your ammo is gone. Special ammo will also drop into the game at the two and three minute marks of the match, so overall players will have less of it.
In terms of Heavy ammo, it now only spawn one time per match, and that is at the five minute mark. Again, Mayhem has been untouched so you can still go crazy with that mode.
Bungie admitted that there weren't enough Legendary drops in PvP, so that is being fixed. There will now be more rewards for playing PvP, although we didn't get to see it in the live stream since it had been disabled for testing purposes.
Back at the Tower, Shaxx will now reward players with a possible 335 weapon if they complete his Weekly Bounties. You can pick this up directly from him at the Tower. It's important to note that because the Weekly activity that shows up in your directory is not what Bungie is talking about here, although that will reward you with a Sterling Treasure.
There are also rewards for making it to Mercury in Trials of Osiris. The chest should now drop armor and weapons, which we believe could be up to 335 Attack and Defense. The Trials of Osiris Bounties will drop loot up to 330.
Moving to the Iron Banner, they have removed Legendary rewards and replaced them with an Iron Banner drop. Imagine the end of the round screen where you see a purple engram. Now that is going to be an Iron Banner drop, so it could be a piece of armor or a weapon, but it will be specific to the activity. If you are able to hit Rank 3 and Rank 5 during the Iron Banner, you're now going to get a 320 Ghost and 320 Artifact, but it could drop all the way up to 335. We're not sure which one drops at what level, but that's what you get if you can see this activity all the way through.
April Update Weapon Tweaks
The info on the weapons was quick and quite general at times, so watch the recap if you are looking for something specific. We'll simply provide you with a bullet point summary of what's happening to the weapons. Some of these will be specific and other will be very general.
- High rate-of-fire auto rifles have seen their damage come down just a bit.
- Low rate-of-fire auto rifles, like a SUROS Regime, have a damage bump.
- Low rate-of-fire pulse rifles are getting a damage bump. Just a small one.
- There is an increase in the amount of ammo that players carry with hand cannons.
- All fusion rifles have been given a stability increase.
- Sniper rifles will be less effective in short range encounters.
- Bungie has added two frames to zoom into your scope, which nerfs quick scoping.
- Scopes now zoom in a bit further, making them better at distance, worse close up.
- Mida Multi Tool, the most popular PvP weapon, will not have high caliber rounds.
- SUROS Regime gets a damage buff as a low rate-of-fire auto rifle.
- SUROS Regime - Spinning Up talent kicks in about for bullets later in the mag.
- SUROS Regime - Focus Fire talent has a range buff. SUROS can now get max range.
- Hawk Moon - This hand cannon has received a buff in range.
- The Last Word has had a damage nerf to the Last Word perk only, not overall.
- Thorn has been nerfed in that the burn isn't as bad and doesn't last as long.
- Ice Breaker can't be used to charge ammo and swap weapons. Still Year 1.
- Dreg's Promise projectiles will do a better job of tracking their targets.
- Telesto will no longer hurt your own team members or destroy bubbles.
- 1,000 Yard Stare, the most used Special Weapon, loses a bit of inventory ammo.
- All weapons from the King's Fall Raid will reload faster.
Warlock Subclass Changes
The Storm Caller has seen a nerf, but the specifics were very hard to pull from the stream. It looks like the super won't last as long in general, so no more half a round of PvP with someone cooking your entire team. If you want to see a detailed look at exactly what has changed for Warlocks, start watching the recap video of the stream at about the one hour mark.
That’s all we have right now, and it pretty much catches you up on everything we know about the April update.