Destiny: House of Wolves First Impressions

The House of Wolves expansion for Destiny dropped on May 19, and we’ve been playing it since. People have been upset about the lack of raids this time round, but there’s still enough for players to sink their teeth into. We thought we’d delve into it a bit for our readers.

The Reef—the brand new social area, is the primary focus of House of Wolves. Players have been invited by the Queen of the Awoken—the one that helps the Guardian access the Black Garden, to the Reef. The Queen needs the help of the Guardians to track down one of her rogue lieutenants, who has betrayed her and sought to take over the “House of Wolves”. Obviously there are new story missions that require players to help the Queen track down Skolas. Skolas is the Queen’s betrayer and he seeks to threaten the Queen’s ministration.

Destiny_20150522182157The first story mission has the player on Venus as they race to prevent Skolas from assuming command of the House of Wolves. The missions involve racing on a Pike along a trench until the player reaches a walker. This one is strong, so stick to cover like glue, and avoid using the Pike. There’s no suppression field, so no worries about dying. Skolas has left some of his wolves behind to deal with you. Deal with them and use the scorch cannons—they’re very handy. Survive the fight and the quest is done. The reward is a guaranteed Legendary weapon; however, it is set. Everyone who completes the quest receives the same item.

The next mission is straightforward, and only requires the Guardian to go to Venus to collect items. The items can be found from any random chest, and any fallen enemies that are taken down during the quest. The guardian can find these items from any kill from Fallen Vandals, Chests or Wanted Fallen in any area on Venus. Wanted Fallen drop a lot more than just 4 of them. Pick up the required number and report back to Petra to complete it.

The next mission requires the Guardian to take down a group of assassins that Skolas plans to use against the Queen. This mission takes place on Earth and the Guardian will encounter quite a few traps on their way to the objective. Many enemies lie in wait, invisible until they’re close to Guardians. Once you get to the cosmodrome, there will be many concealed enemies and high-level targets. There’s no shame in retreating to regenerate health. Once all the enemies are dead, the level’s over.Destiny_20150522142604The next mission the Guardian is tasked with involves tracking down the House of kings to prevent Skolas from mobilizing them against the Queen. Something is jamming the frequency required to locate the House of Kings, however. The Guardian must clean up the signal first, before confronting the Kings. This fight is rather frustrating as the Kings have no qualms attacking the Guardian in hand to hand combat. Bring plenty of shotgun ammo and don’t get too close. For completion, the guardian receives a Legendary emblem, and royal amethyst, which can be traded to the Cryptarch for 2500 glimmer.

Skolas is heading to the Ishtar Cliffs with the rest of the House of Wolves. They’re taking refuge in shelters situated on Venus, and Petra and the Guardian must track them down. We’re getting close to the end of the House of Wolves story missions now and this one is quite a frustrating fight. The Wolves will begin setting off these nodes called Oracles. The Guardian must destroy these as they appear and as fast as possible. If they fail to kill them, then it will result in an instant death within the mission. This must be done while dealing with enemies—the whole ordeal is quite unpleasant. Once the oracles are dealt with, then comes the fun part. Scorch captains and powerful Reavers are very prevalent in this fight. Use their cannons and run and hide if low on health. Deal with them and the mission is over. One more mission to go.Destiny_20150521181115The Kell and the Vex are in combat as the Guardian must fight their way up to the tower to finally confront Skolas and the Wolves. This is the final mission, and it’s rather cool, so we’re not going to spoil any part of it. Suffice to say, on the way up there are some Vault of Glass styled jumping puzzles that require timing to land. Once the mission is complete the Guardian will receive royal amethyst; a legendary emblem, a treasure key, have access to the new strike, and will be able to compete in the Queens Prison of Elders.

The Prison of Elders is probably our favorite part of House of Wolves and can’t be accessed until the story is done. It has three guardians pitted against five arenas of combat—with each ascending arena having caveats like melee damage being decreased, or substantially increasing cooldowns on abilities. Once four arenas are completed, the Guardians must then defeat a boss. Upon winning, they are allowed into the Queen’s chambers. This place is loaded with all sorts of goodies from upgrade materials, legendary and exotics, as well as the new materials that allow older Legendary and Exotics to be upgraded to the new standard—allowing people to light level themselves up to level 34. The really good stuff is only available from the big chest, which requires treasure keys earned from farming the bounty prowling Wolves to open it.Destiny_20150522142526There are new Legendaries and Exotics, including ones that are specifically effective against only Fallen enemies. There are new ships, cool new emblems and new faction items. There are also three new competitive maps for the House of Wolves expansion, with the added bonus of all The Dark Below multi-player maps being available to anyone who doesn’t have the expansions. There is also a PS4 timed-exclusive competitive map for Playstation owners called ‘Timekeeper”. Other platforms will receive the extra map sometime in fall of 2015, Businesswire.

PvP has also been upgraded with a new mode called ‘Trials of Osiris.’ This competitive mode pits two teams of three players against each other each weekend and power levels count. Guardians gain access to higher level gear depending on the consecutive amount of matches won. The mode plays similar to Counter-Strike where players don’t respawn. Death is permanent til the next round.

The new bounties are really interesting and overall, the new expansion brings some new unique things to the table. It’s nice to see Bungie experimenting with things like the Prison of Elders or the Trials of Osiris. I’ve personally been having a blast despite the lack of there being a raid, and the new Fallen-specific legendary weapons are quite experimental. I’m having an absolute blast, and I can only hope everyone else is having as much as I am. If not, they’ll have to look forward to Destiny‘s expansion.

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Tabitha Dickerson
Welcome to the sovereignty of our nation. I am Tabitha Dickerson. I am currently 26 years old First introduced to the world of "vidya" at the ripe old age of four—my first console was a Sega MegaDrive (Genesis).The only game I had for a number of years was Sonic 2. Upon becoming extremely proficient at that, I moved onto games like Spiderman/Venom Separation Anxiety, Maximum carnage, Toy Story and many more. My next console was a Playstation where I developed my love for all things Sony, increasingly becoming obsessed with anything JRPG related.I studied photography and the entertainment industry after completing my HSC. I have joined The Nation with a view to providing the best possible objective news coverage and accurate reviews possible. I also write for Highland Arrow from time to time as well as covering and reviewing naughty things for LewdGamer.Hopefully I can help grow the Nation as well as acquire further experience, waffling on about an industry and a media that I absolutely adore. Currently own every major console.

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