Since its release in 2014, the sci-fi first-person shooter Destiny has constantly evolved, adding new missions and multiplayer modes, and expanding its compelling story even further. With the fourth expansion, Rise Of Iron due out September 20th — both as a download (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) and as part of Destiny The Collection (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) with the rest of the game — I asked Bungie’s Community Manager Deej to give me the lowdown on what this add-on actually adds.
Just in terms of the story, where does Rise Of Iron fit in with the rest of Destiny, and what is the story being told?
Rise Of Iron is a tale of honor and redemption. The Iron Lords are heroes from the past of the world the Guardians fight to protect. The events of this next adventure will have players walking in their shoes until they fit. You’ll retrace the steps of the Iron Lords, confront the enemy that destroyed them, and take your rightful place in their ranks.
We’re always inviting the players of Destiny to aspire to new heights and prestige and power, and Rise Of Iron is the next extension of that journey. The invitation is a compelling one: Become an Iron Lord, just like the mysterious figure who emerges in the Tower to conduct the Iron Banner.
You’ve announced that the sequel to Destiny will be out in 2017. Is Rise Of Iron meant to serve as a narrative bridge between the two games?
You should think of Rise Of Iron as its own tale. We’re telling a distinct story that stand on its own. This isn’t a cliffhanger in search of some future resolution. The players of Destiny are invited back into the world they know to fight some new enemies in a new territory.
As for the future, we do have the sequel coming next year, but post Rise Of Iron, fans can look forward to the release of Festival Of The Lost in October [an in-game event running October 26 through November 10th that, according to Bungie.net, will include, “…new quests, consumable items, themed gear, and new Eververse Trading Co. items”] and the return of Sparrow Racing League this holiday.
In terms of the gameplay, let’s first talk about the new story missions in Rise Of Iron. How many are there, and how many of them are normal missions as opposed to Strikes or Raids?
There are five story missions, three Strikes — one brand new and two redesigned — and one brand new Raid. The story we’re telling in Rise Of Iron sends you to places you’ve never been before. The Plaguelands are a new zone of mystery and danger, forever transformed by the outbreak of a new threat.
While Destiny was clearly made to be played with other people, you’ve always maintained that it could be played solo. As someone who doesn’t play well with others, is there anything in Rise Of Iron that reflects that there are a lot of people who prefer to go it alone?
Lone wolves are welcome in our living social world. We’ve even made adjustments to the paths that lead to the top of the power scale to accommodate players who prefer to go it alone. Raids still require teamwork, but there are many ways to become the ultimate badass in the solar system without any help from a Fireteam. The endgame rituals that lead to your newfound status as an Iron Lord are open to all.
Rise Of Iron also, I’m told, will give you a flaming axe, but you can only use it on certain missions and for a limited time. What was the inspiration for this, and why did you decide to only have it available in certain spots and for a little while?
I’m glad you asked. The Iron Battle Axe is what we call a Spectacle Weapon. It’s a flaming axe of magic and legend, and it’s a thrill to hold and to behold. It punctuates special moments of action that require only the finest expressions of power to overcome. But if we let you use it all the time, Destiny would be really easy. What’s the fun in that?
Along with the campaign, Rise Of Iron also has some new multiplayer maps and a new multiplayer mode. What is the new mode, how do you play it?
“Supremacy” is a kill-or-be-killed team engagement. We have some new scenarios that encourage teamwork. Even a lone wolf like you can play a crucial role. In “Supremacy,” you don’t just down your opponent, you have to collect the Crest that they drop. That sniper that ventilates helmets from a relatively safe perch in the rear? That player will have to work with a team to collect their points. We like to inspire players to work together.
What about the level cap, will that be raised? If so, to what? If not, why not?
Aside from Felwinter Peak, the new mountaintop in Destiny is 385 Light. The Raid will lead to even higher heights.
Lastly, Rise Of Iron is only going to be available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. How come?
We reached a point at which the legacy consoles had received all the updates they could accommodate. To deliver Rise Of Iron to those systems, we would have been forced to start subtracting from the stories we had told. Instead, we decided to leave those experiences intact. We’ll be waiting for those legacy consoles in Rise Of Iron, and we’ll have upgrade paths to help them catch up.