Why Destiny: The Taken King Comes With a Level Boost

Skipping the grind.

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When Destiny's next expansion, The Taken King, launches next month, it'll come with a one-time level boost. This is the first time the game will let you skip the initial level grind; you'll be able to jump immediately up to a high level to participate in the expansion's activities.

At Gamescom, we sat down with Destiny's lead concept artist, Jesse van Dijk, about the decision to give players a boost up to higher levels. Van Dijk explained that developer Bungie decided that letting players experience the expansion is more important than keeping the initial progression intact.

"We wanted The Taken King to not only be something that existing players were excited about," van Dijk said. "We also wanted to make sure that players who may have never even played the game at all [were] immediately [able to] participate in the events of The Taken King, particularly because it might very well be the case that [between] two friends, one friend might be just beginning and one friend might be at a high level, and we wanted them to be able to play together."

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He continued, "[The game] is a social experience more than anything. And we wanted to make sure that we [wouldn't] fracture the player base [by making the expansion only playable by veteran players]."

How will this level boost work, exactly? Bungie's not ready to talk about numbers, or how much content you'll immediately be able to play. But van Dijk could tell us that it'll be available to new players and old players alike. "When you buy The Taken King, you get the option to instantly level up a character to the point where you can meaningfully engage with the events in The Taken King," he explained. "Or if you've only ever played a Titan, you can instantly level up another class so that you can enjoy the new supers that we’ve built."

The Taken King launches on September 15, and it brings with it a bunch of additions, such as subclasses with the super moves that van Dijk referenced. In addition, the developer has hired voice actor Nolan North to completely redo the voice of Ghost, your robotic companion in Destiny. You can also expect changes such as weapon rebalances, a level system change, and a bunch of new guns.

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