Published on: Apr 13, 2015 @ 16:57
With just one minute and forty-two seconds of video to go on, the House of Wolves Prologue practically defines the word “teaser”.
Still, as the biggest influx of content to hit Destiny since The Dark Below, we’d be out of our minds to not engage in a little speculation.
Wait, is there a Raid?
House of Wolves will not have a Raid activity. We didn’t make this decision lightly. Our team has been humbled by the reception of Raids in Destiny and we are creating a new Raid for a release later this year.
House of Wolves will have a new cooperative end game activity focused on variety, replayability, and skill – a new battle Arena called The Prison of Elders.
Bungie has now confirmed explicitly that there will be no “raid” as we have previously defined the term. There will be a raid with Comet though, the next major expansion coming in Fall 2015. However, we are now buzzing with excitement over this new “arena” activity.
Guardians have been clamoring for an endurance test à la “horde mode” since the dawn of the game and, absent any information to the contrary, a “battle Arena” seems the most likely venue in which to deliver this PvE mode.
We know there is non-vendor Legendary gear thanks to our database, so you’ve that to look forward to if nothing else. We’re hoping conquering the Prison of Elders will provide a path to this exclusive, stylish gear.
With that said, what can we expect from the Prison of Elders? We have a lot of questions and not a lot of answers, but we do know it’ll be limited to 3 players instead of 6.
Will there be strict checkpoints like VoG and Crota? Could it possibly be performance-based, with the best Guardians receiving the best gear? Will Destiny eschew the gear-dropping in the event itself in lieu of currency that can be exchanged for the armor from a vendor in the Reef? If this is the case, how will the rolls be determined?
Reddit user Themiffins thinks it may be something akin to Crusaders’ Coliseum from WoW, a raid that takes place in an arena setting, essentially fighting waves of bosses. It would make sense, seeing as the Prison of Elders is known to contain many royals from the House of Wolves. Perhaps we’ll be fighting them, with the final boss being a Prime Servitor?
Kaliks Prime is the former prime Servitor of the House of Wolves in The Reef. After the Queen of the Reef murdered the house’s Kell, Kaliks went into hiding and the Awoken are currently hunting him.
What we do know is that feedback from Bungie’s leading developers has indicated their interest in making progression and rewards less arbitrary and more respectful of time investment.
We feel hopeful that House of Wolves will reflect this design philosophy in letting Guardians “get to the good stuff” faster.
Are we a part of the story?
Another tricky question to answer. Indications from the theatrical trailer are that we are being brought in as the strong arm of the Queen herself — mercenaries who are exacting precise revenge for the actions of the treacherous Fallen cowards. The betrayal the Queen mentioned, the anguished screams of the Awoken who fell victim to the Fallen, and the steely gaze of the monarch in her decision to declare open season on her enemies, even at the expense of her isolationist ideology, all suggest we’ll have a cathartic – if violent – role in bringing justice to a people.
But what does this mean for our Guardian? Will we forge relationships with some of the benighted citizens? Will we assist in reconstruction and defense, or be exterminators who are simply in it for the gear?
There are lots of avenues for the narrative to take, and one can only hope that House of Wolves can bring a personal, interactive element to a story format that has grown a little stale. With no disrespect to the stellar voiceovers, there’s only so much dramatic tension that can be wrung out of a one-sided story.
We will have to see if House of Wolves puts the idea of “forging your own path” back into the limelight.
What else can we look forward to?
Aside from the myriad of questions we have about The Arena, there are a few things we know for sure. We can expect that there will be a “social space” in the Reef. It could very well be a second Tower of sorts, providing access to House of Wolves-specific vendors and a new set of merchants and quest-givers.
After all, it doesn’t make much sense for the Queen to suddenly appear in the Tower, when she has her own people to worry about. Will there be an open chat? More emotes? Activities or games? Only time will tell.
The second thing we know is the return of Queen’s Wrath. The bounty-focused event that was put “back in the oven” by developers a while ago, is slated to return at just the right moment. If it in any way resembles its predecessor, expect to see longer bounties, assassination missions, and high-quality gear that is available to those who earn satisfactory reputation with the Queen herself.
Although the event was met with a fairly warm reception the first time around, many agreed the bounty format simply constituted “more of the same” and grew tiresome when combined with the usual bounties available from the Vanguard. I’d bet the Queen’s Wrath will surprise us in all the right ways.
Finally, we’ve got the usual assortment of Expansion goodies: “New weapons, new armor, new missions, new Crucible maps, and a new strike.” You can take a look at what content has been divulged over here, but keep in mind that some of the stats and perks are placeholders.
Thankfully, Bungie has given us these information release dates ahead of time, so we know just when to start embracing the hype.