We already knew that The Taken King would bring changes to Destiny on its release, but according to this months issue of GameInformer, it will change the game in more ways than we expected. Not only will the entire leveling system be revamped, but most of the Legendary gear players worked so hard to get will be rendered useless; a new level cap will be introduced, while leaving no upgrade path for legendary weapons and armor to follow.
The Taken King will bring forth changes that will transform the way the game is played entirely. No more need to participate in 6 player raids to reach max level, as the "Light" levels that took over for the traditional xp system at level 20 will disappear. The new level cap will allow you to reach level 40, but your armor will not be what takes you there anymore. You will earn your rank by earning xp though killing enemies and completing missions and bounties. According to Polygon, Community Manager Deej promised all players a one time consumable to boost a character directly to the level needed to access the DLC story. As of now, there is no information on what level that will be.
Armor will still have perks to compliment your character builds and subclasses, but it looks like there is no need to have a certain piece of armor to hit the level cap anymore. "The conflation of gear and character level led to this place where your identity was determined by things outside of your control," said creative director Luke Smith. "We don’t want to do that."
As your level up, your current legendary items will eventually be too weak, as there will be no way to upgrade their stats. The game's RNG system has been tweaked to help the transition, now drops will be tuned to your character to avoid drops of the same items over and over: "...Players will more consistently receive armor and weapons that provide meaningful power growth, items that vary their gear slot from one drop to the next, and fewer drops of items that a player has already attained". From the information available, it looks like exotic items will still be upgradeable, but there is no mention on whether or not the process will be the same as before.
"There are definitely some weapons that you are going to find better versions of — there's going to be something that replaces that sniper rifle that you love"
Veteran players have built up an arsenal of favorite weapons and armor from raids and events, and these will be under leveled and under powered fairly soon. One of Bungie's Community Managers, Cozmo, went out on Reddit to warn players not to get rid of them quite yet: "I would hold off on dismantling anything just yet. We have a lot of information to share. As soon as the away team gets back from gamescom we will let you know our plan for a series of Twitch shows to answer all of the questions you have about the transition into year two with The Taken King"
It is also worth mentioning that the player's in-game companion and guide, the Ghost, will be getting a new voice. Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage will be replaced with veteran voice actor Nolan North, which many of you will know from games like Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed. All of Dinklage's existing dialogue has been re-recorded, so when the expansion hits, all traces of Dinklage's voice will be replaced with North's.
While you take in all these changes, have a look at the new trailer Bungie presented at GamesCom earlier:
If you are interested in a more in depth look at all the news and changes, you can find them here.