As you can surmise from my first impressions here, I think that Destiny: The Taken King is an invaluable evolution of Destiny, offering up hours upon hours of new content along with some much-needed late game direction through the new quest system. The Taken King’s crown, however, is the King’s Fall raid, which players are able to play at light level 290.
It’s quite the crawl, levelling your character’s gear up to 290 light. Luckily, armour and weapon drops are now modified by your current gear, meaning you should steadily gain better gear. Once you finally exceed 290, you’re good to start finding raiding buddies.
It’s obviously best to play the raid with friends, but for people who don’t have Destiny players at your level on your friends list, the Destiny LFGs (Looking For Groups/Games) let you either search for groups needing extra bodies, or put out your own LFG message, inviting players to message and join your fireteam.
As someone with a couple of friends at raiding level, the LFGs has been a valuable resource for finding players. Messages tend to come in very quickly, and for the most part, players have been polite and communicative.
Speaking of communication, you’ll need to talk to each other in order to coordinate your team and solve the puzzles in King’s Fall. If you’re uncomfortable speaking too much, you can nominate yourself for positions where you’re not going to have to speak too frequently, but a certain amount of chat is needed no matter which role you’re occupying.
I’d recommend that the first time you raid, you do so with a group of players who have not played the raid yet. A big part of the fun is working out just how to beat each encounter, with most of the raid revolving around interacting with the environment, gaining and passing on buffs in order to damage enemies. There are some devilishly hard fights, and some real head-scratchers, but with some trial and error your team should manage to work out how to beat each fight. There are very fiddly sections where a small mistake of a single player can cause a wipe, but in my experience people are understanding and patient.
Breaking up the puzzle fights are some pleasingly challenging platforming sections, which make use of a mix of narrow ledges, invisible platforms, and mobile platforms. While I found these sections a fun change of pace, a couple members of the team really struggled, which somewhat harmed the pace of the raid as the majority of the team waited for stragglers to catch up. We were only waiting for a few minutes, but the stragglers did start to get frustrated. While I personally don’t mind first person platforming, the inherent failure of the camera to accurately portray your exact spatial position probably means that precise platforming isn’t the best inclusion to the raid. I really can’t blame some people for struggling.
Another issue that a lot of people might run into is that, on the lower end of level 290 gear, players’ DPS output might not be up to scratch. There are certain sections of the raid where you either have a limited number of attack windows on a boss, or you need to deal enough damage to a critical area of a boss in order to stagger their “everything dies now” attack. We found in these sections that weapons alone weren’t always quite enough, so we had to rely on some team members’ supers, like weapons of light from titans or the hunters’ tether or golden gun in order to reach the needed DPS. This means you’ll probably need players of a certain class or sub-class to avoid struggling in these sections, but thankfully LFG lets you specify what classes you need.
All in all, I think that King’s Fall is an excellent endgame activity with real legs. It’s varied, long, and above all, fun. While some may have issues with platforming sections and some mechanics are a little bit overused, it’s well worth getting together a team and throwing yourself up against Destiny’s greatest challenge. You’ll work hard for each step, but I think that’s what makes it so rewarding.
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