It’s now been over a week since the leak, and subsequent (albeit tentative) confirmation, of the next genuine piece of DLC for Destiny: “Rise of Iron.” Other than the photo and a few scant details confirmed by sources, there’s very little known about this next major content update. However, with E3 only a couple weeks away, we’ll find out very soon both the premise and promise of this new addition to the game. For right now, though, let’s put on our spinmetal hats and start thinking about what could be coming down the pipeline, as well as what we in the community want next.
“Only the strong are welcome here.”
Soon after the image leaked, sources close to Bungie confirmed that the expansion was real. There’s still been nothing official from the company, but it’s widely predicted that Bungie will officially unveil the new content at E3. Players may remember that it was around this time last year that promotional materials for “The Taken King” expansion leaked; it was subsequently shown at E3 and was released a mere 3 months later. I can tell you that the player base is most certainly keeping their fingers crossed for Bungie to follow the same trend this year.
So let’s take a look at what we do know. First, we have to admire that this image is METAL AS ALL HELL: A Titan carrying a two-handed flaming hammer (or axe), standing among a pack of wolves and snow-covered ruins. After basking in its glory (and some sick guitar riffs), the community has started to infer a good amount from what’s being pictured:
- The character in the center looks to be Lord Saladin. From the very beginning of the game, he’s been a mysterious figure; only showing up once a month to hold the Iron Banner PVP event within the game. The lore lists Saladin as one of the great heroes in the game, and he holds these special events both to honor the Iron Lords (heroes who fell in defense of The City) and as training for some future battle.
- The location where he’s standing is Earth, so it’s implying that the new content will either take place on or expand the current Earth environments. Some sources are also saying that, similar to “The Taken King,”, a brand new location will be added as well.
- The pack of wolves around Saladin seems to hint (along with the title), that we may finally discover the Iron Wolves. The Wolves were a group of nine Guardians that came together for The City’s successful defense against the Fallen armies. Under an ironwood tree, they pledged an unbreakable oath and then mysteriously disappeared into the wilderness. Nothing more is known about them in all the lore to this point, so this expansion may finally shed some light on this group of heroes and what they’ve been up to since they last fought The Darkness.
- The flaming hammer (or axe) could be a new weapon that we discover over the course of the new content. The last expansion introduced swords as the first melee weapons in the game; these new weapons could provide either an expansion on or counterbalance to what’s to come.
- While not pictured, multiple sources have also confirmed that there will be a new raid with this content as well –this one being Fallen-centric.
While simply getting more content will be great, it’s also important that we see what type of content we get. Will they expand out the endgame, both for PVP and PVE? Will there be more Exotic weapons and armor to chase after, whether they be items carried over from Year 1 or brand new? Will there be new areas and maps to play on? New and expanded story and lore?
Going by their past track record, Bungie will probably check off all those boxes in the affirmative and probably go even further. But as any MMO player can tell you, it’s extremely important that not only do they simply present more to do but ideally they’ll also keep making quality-of-life changes and improvements to keep us invested. If your gameplay and systems are broken or not working as intended, all the shiny content in the world won’t keep players from sticking around.
In these massively multiplayer games, the player base inevitably sticks to the newest content and forgoes the older. While the older content may still be fun to play, it doesn’t generate the same rewards that you want to be able to progress. Destiny has touched on this a bit with recent quest lines having you go through older maps, missions, and content in order to get new powerful gear. Hopefully they keep that trend going since it was a lot of fun going through there with both older and newer players: it’s fun to witness someone’s run through Vault of Glass the first time, and even better when you see that the developers are tweaking and adding to the mysterious elements of the environment for us older players as well.
This will be the first big content drop in just about a year, and Bungie has a lot of eyes focused on what’s coming next. We’re excited, we’re hungry, and we’re ready to keep pushing back against the Darkness. Let’s rise, Guardians.