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The year of change for 'Destiny' starts next week

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Developer Bungie is treating Destiny a lot like an MMO and come next Tuesday the game shifts into version 2.0, what the studio is effectively referring to as "year two" for the game. There are a ton of changes coming, and even if you don't snag the kick-off expansion pack "The Taken King," you'll be able to benefit from them. Bungie's latest blog post gets into the nitty-gritty, but we're going to keep it mostly high-level here. First up: new modes and new maps for the game's adversarial multiplayer mode, Crucible, are out now but unless you buy the next expansion, will disappear once "King" launches in earnest next week. A new subclass for your character is available as well. Everyone, not just "House of Wolves" and "Dark Below" purchasers, will get the benefit of an increased level cap (bumping up to 34), but again, buying "King" will increase it further (to 40).

And in an effort to make hitting that ceiling less arduous, Destiny's arcane end-game leveling system doesn't rely on armor stats anymore. Instead, simply doing quests and earning experience points will let everyone max their Guardian's abilities from here on out. The way bounties, weapon upgrades and a few other things have been streamlined, too. Like I said, there are scads of other improvements coming next week and even as detailed as Bungie's latest blog post is, the developer says that more details will hit next week when it releases the full patch notes for Destiny 2.0. Maybe use this long holiday weekend to scrape some of the rust off of your trigger fingers -- from the sounds of it, you'll need to come Tuesday.

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