After using Destiny’s famous reset day to taken down Oryx I came to a conclusion about what King’s Fall brings to the table in the Taken King. A few of us were wandering around the Dreadnaught in the aftermath of our raid victory and the sharp drop in excitement and intensity made me realize something. Not that there is anything wrong with less involved missions and activities, but it highlighted just how good every square inch of the new raid really is.
The first thing that always becomes abundantly clear in the raids is that teamwork is absolutely necessary. King’s Fall is far and away the most involved, creative, and best raid out of three. Every single section, with the exception of the jump puzzles, is only passable with a well organized group that is working in almost perfect synchronization. The reason this makes the Taken King raid so much fun is that everyone fills a role. Regardless of what position you play if you make a mistake it becomes abundantly clear that you are playing a pivotal part in the success of your team. This makes everyone feel more satisfaction, excitement, and pressure as things struggle to move forward. If all players are more invested then the content and game are more gripping and satisfying. The other thing that became very clear in the new raid is the specific subclasses and their perks, grenades, and supers end up serving very specific purposes giving more weight and importance to planning and figuring out the best strategy and path to victory. All of this makes the experience of just beating a boss and getting a checkpoint incredibly rewarding.
To a certain degree the Shield Brothers fight is the only piece of the Taken King content that feels somewhat strategy oriented. Most of the new bosses are doable with little to no communication even though they are far better and more engaging than all of the previous boss fights. The King’s Fall raid requires so much fine tuning and planning that weapons, supers, and even grenade types feel more meaningful and impactful over what happens. It also demands more though and problem solving so players have to more engaged as they observe what works, doesn’t work, or what needs tweaked. There is nothing wrong with linear missions that end in a boss fight, but the puzzle solving, buffs, and specific items in the raid boss fights needs to start showing up in other missions. I actually think having “raid strikes” where sections of the old or current raid are run as strikes. Bungie could even develop strikes and missions with similar mechanics and elements that are found in the raids. This could allow for more unique reward systems.
Something really cool they could add with raid style strikes would be to have luck buffs in relation to how quickly you beat them. Given that success in the Taken King raid hinges on players fine tuning the timing of the mechanics, damage buffs, and enemy attacks, re-running a “raid strike” until you finally figure out the quickest route to victory would be a fun challenge each week, especially if it meant better chances at good loot. Another thing they could add is a “flawless buff” to increase item drops, motivating players to both play quickly and efficiently but also safe and smart enough to keep from dying. This would pair well with a good risk/reward mechanic of placing runes, weapons, or mounted guns to offer significant damage buffs and advantages at the risk of dying while going for them and losing the “flawless buff”. I think the old raids are ripe for sections to be re-tooled or re-run as a form of “raid strike”, giving the bosses, different fighting mechanics, and well designed environments a show of adrenaline and fun.
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