This week at Bungie, we carved a pumpkin. Then, we slam dunked it onto your head.
If you grew up canvasing your neighborhood for candy once a year in a macabre disguise, you’re in on the joke. If you’re playing Destiny in a far-flung land that does not observe Halloween, welcome to a harvest tradition that began back in the 1700s. I shoplifted this quote from the Internet to provide some context as to why your Jackolyte consumable is relevant to all Guardians:
"In the carnival celebrations of All Hallows' Eve, our ancestors used the most powerful weapon in the human arsenal, the power of humor and ridicule, to confront the power of death.”
Thank the Traveler that such wisdom survived the collapse of the Golden Age. Guardians can’t be destroyed, and neither can the spirit of the reaping season. Here are some examples of people getting in on the revival.
The Dark Below
Also this week, we revealed The Dark Below. The first expansion pack for Destiny will be available for you to play on December 9th. Between now and then, we’ll be releasing more details about the next phase of your evolution as a Guardian. To begin, let's talk about what you'll find in The Dark Below, and how it will change the experience of every Guardian - even those who don’t opt in.
Q. Hey, Bungie. I saw the marketing stuff for The Dark Below. Can you please tell me what I get for my purchase?
Sure! Here’s a version for those of you who don’t like to read things that are too long. The Dark Below contains the following:
3 Story missions featuring new enemies and encounters in the Cosmodrome and Moon
Tower Character and Vendor, Eris, featuring new Quests, Bounties, and rewards
Exclusive Legendary Weapons and Armor
New Exotic Weapons
“Will of Crota” Strike
“Crota’s End” Raid
3 Crucible Maps: Pantheon, Skyshock, and The Cauldron
Maximum Light Level increase to 32
There will also be tweaks to activity playlists (e.g. a new Crucible playlist featuring new maps). We’ll detail those out in full just as soon as we put the finishing touches on them.
Right now, the Dev Team is preparing some notes to cover exactly how Weapons and Armor will be updated and upgraded alongside The Dark Below. We plan to publish those notes in the coming weeks.
Q. Do I get anything if I don’t purchase The Dark Below?
Yep. There will be some updates and alterations that every player will be able to enjoy.
All players will also benefit from these updates to the Destiny player experience:
Some new Weapons and Armor
New Daily Bounties
Five additional Bounty slots
Q. What else can you tell me about The Dark Below? Who is Eris? What are Quests?
The Dark Below is themed around The Hive summoning their dark god, Crota. Without spoiling the details, Crota’s summoning is a multifaceted ritual that has implications for Story missions, Quests, the “Will of Crota” Strike, and the “Crota’s End” Raid.
The story missions will take you into untapped spaces with brand new encounters. There’s new music, custom effects, and some serious challenges to undertake. The Strike and Raid will also feature beautiful new spaces and difficult new engagements to overcome for you and your Fireteam.
The storyline of the Dark Below kicks off with the return of Eris to the Tower, bearing a grim warning about the rise of Crota. Eris is a new character that appears in the Tower to serve as your guide. She has her own story to tell, and serves as the primary narrator for the Story missions. She offers her own reputation stream, unique weapon and armor rewards, as well as other item rewards for Guardians who earn her favor.
She also offers new Bounties and Quests. Some of her Bounties will be available whether you purchase The Dark Below or not.
Quests are a new storytelling mechanism that we're using in the Dark Below. They are multistage tasks that culminate in a reward, similar to the Exotic Bounties you may have experienced. Unlike Exotic Bounties, the Quests in the Dark Below can be completed by players who are solely focused on the cooperative story content of The Dark Below.
For example, one Quest creates a continuous chain of multiple tasks that culminates in the “Will of Crota” Strike. Another may simply ask you to return to Earth to take down the surging Hive threat.
This new way of storytelling in Destiny is a bit experimental in nature. We’ve seen players spending a lot of time in the Tower, and we’ve heard loud and clear that players would like more unique gear and additional Bounties. Eris is one part storyteller, one part Tower Vendor, and tens parts creepy.
Q. And Exotics?!
We promised to make all of your Exotics worth the price of ownership, and you should expect to hear more about how they’ll continue to be prized possessions in the short term future. Stay tuned!