As reported yesterday, Bungie is running a livestream today in which the studio plans to detail how leveling, gear, investment, and other progression features will work in Destiny once The Taken King launches. We’ll be watching the stream, and we’ll update this story every few minutes with the new info, adding in our editorial commentary where appropriate.
(All times noted in Pacific standard time, where Bungie is broadcasting)
11am: Livestream scheduled to begin.
11:10am: Deej has introduced executive producer Mark Noseworthy and senior design lead Tyson Green, and the team is promising details about year 2 progression, including how leveling and rewards are being handled. The team is starting off with a conversation about the Tower, with a walking tour of the familiar social space.
The new character screen shows off that your light level of 34 is now transitioning directly over into your overall character level. Bungie promises that the backend of the game will inspect your character and vault to determine what character level you're at when The Taken King launches. There is no need to have certain items equipped when the switchover occurs.
Light is now stat connected to all your gear. Defense and attack values are an average of all your gear, including weapons, armor, ghost shell, class item, and the new artifact slot.
11:18am: Intellect, discipline, and strength now have distinct tiers, that show you exactly how long it takes before your cooldown is complete.
We also got a look at the quest page. There are now 16 bounty slots, and they are all trackable as you play. You can also turn in bounties from wherever you are.
You can look at your quest page to determine what you'd like to do in any given night, and note which quests you could make progress on.
We also saw that some of the existing rewards are being changed up. Some rewards will be a guaranteed upgrade, like a reward titled heavy weapon upgrade.
We also learned about the Spark of Light. One copy of this item is given to every account, and is built to upgrade a character to level 25, as well as get some appropriate gear. This item will be available at the postmaster as soon as you arrive at the Tower for the first time.
11:25am: Bungie has also talked about ways to personalize characters in the tower, including showing off your character's weapon of choice with a press of the button.
An audience question asked about how players will acquire new ghost shells, and some are available at the Speaker. At the speaker, Bungie showed off the way that class items have a bunch of interesting perks on class items, but the Speaker will also now have rare ghost shells that boost your defense value, and each of them have their own perks.
New terminals are spread throughout the Tower, in which you can check out your current collections. Bungie showed off the Emblem Collection, and showed off how you can pick up any of the emblems you've acquired. The same process applies to ships and shaders. If you don't have one of these items, it's grayed out in your collection, but tells you how to acquire them.
11:30am: Bungie is now discussing changes to faction reputation acquisition. At New Monarchy, a player can accept a faction badge, and that allegiance is set for a full week. Once pledging, you can purchase armor from that faction (once you have the appropriate rep level). Some of the new faction armor has a focus on a particular energy type, like protection from solar damage. This change makes faction armor more important for certain situations, like particular burns.
By donating items like motes of light and heavy ammo synths, players can also move up in reputation with a faction.
11:37am: Faction level-ups offer guaranteed legendaries, and there is now a higher likelihood of getting faction-specific items, like shaders and ships, and less chance for replication of items you've already gotten.
Next, Bungie headed down to visit Shaxx, to discuss PvP quests. Bungie says that these PvP quest lines initially teach how to play Crucible, but PvP quests continue after that as you level.
We also got a look at Shaxx's new PvP bounties. If you do all five of the weekly bounties from Shaxx, you can complete a sixth bounty for nightfall-tier rewards.
Shaxx also has additional ghost shells, with a focus on PvP play, like a perk that adds additional glimmer if you kill a Titan.
Vanguard and Crucible marks are being replaced by legendary marks, and these legendary marks are now account wide, so you can earn on one character, and spend them with another character.
Importantly, we also learned that old Vanguard and Crucible marks will transition over to commendations. Cash them in to gain rep with a faction.
11:45am: The Crucible Quartermaster also has new bounties, focused on trying out particular weapons.
Your existing ranks in Crucible reputation do carry over with the launch of The Taken King.
By entering the Hall of Guardians, players can investigate the Exotic Armor and Weapon Blueprints kiosks. If you've collected an exotic at any point, you can go and pay an exotic shard and some glimmer and rebuild that item.
In year 2, some of the year one exotics are improved over how they were originally. If you've acquired one of those versions, you can build the new and improved version of that item. For these items, there are intrinsic perks right from the start, and there are also new talents available on a lot of these new and improved exotics. To complete this process, you spend legendary marks. Not all year one exotics will have this upgrade option.