Haven Editorial: Destiny DLC: House of Wolves

The newest DLC for Destiny, the most loved/hated game from Bungie, was finally released this past Tuesday after months of waiting. It’s called House of Wolves. This is great news for the developer and players alike, as it now offers a higher “light level” allowing players to reach Level 34. It also features an arena known as the Prison of Elders, and a new PvP mode called the Trials of Osiris. This is all on top of the extra story missions provided.

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Let’s talk about the story first. The House of Wolves is a group of Fallen who belong to the Queen of the Reef. When their former leader, Skolas, breaks free from the Prison of Elders, the Wolves betray the Queen and seek to wreak havoc on the known solar system. Hunting from Earth to the Moon to Venus, our Guardians of Light pursue Skolas in an attempt to capture him again for the Queen. After a run through the Vault of Glass, our heroes find themselves in a showdown versus the Fallen Kell once and for all.

But now let’s get to the real reason you purchased this DLC: The Prison of Elders!!!

The Prison of Elders is Bungie‘s attempt at a Horde/Arena mode. There are 4 random levels of various enemies (Fallen, Vex, Hive, and Cabal) and 4 difficulties to choose from (Lvl’s 28, 32, 34, 35). These missions, while all different in bosses and order, also rotate on a weekly basis to make sure that all players get to experience the entire gamut, and to keep the Prison “fresh”.

Once you complete your run through the Prison of Elders, the Warden offers you a reward. This is where the grind pays off. There are two little chests on either side of a larger treasure chest. The little chests are filled with some decent loot, but nowhere near what you want for all of your hard effort. To open the big chest though, you need a legendary key. You acquire these keys by going to the world in free-play (known as patrol) and hunting down Rogue elements from the House of Wolves. Once you kill them, you find a chest that they’ve left behind, somewhere in your immediate vicinity. If you’re lucky, you’ll be be graced with a Treasure Key, a single-use item for the large chest. Speaking again of the large chest, it’s usually full of legendary gear, exotic weapons, and other rare items. Simply put, this chest is usually worth the effort.

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Finally, The Trials of Osiris. Though it has not actually happened at the time of this writing, the first Trials of Osiris event is scheduled to occur on May 22, 2015. The Trials are essentially an upgrade to the PvP system already in place. Those who play Destiny are already familiar with the Iron Banner Tournament that runs for one week each month, where players actually make use of their armor and weapons’ real value. Trials of Osiris is an elimination style tournament that occurs every weekend with the promise of loot and shiny gear (SHINY!!!), that sports an Egyptian theme. A player and two friends are sent into an encounter. They’ll need 9 team wins to gain access to Gold Tier loot. If they lose three times though, they have to start over (I’m not sure if they can participate again on the same weekend, at the time of this writing). This is an overall interesting addition to player combat in Destiny, as PvP is always one of those systems that gamers either love or hate. Loot may be collected from Brother Vance in the Reef.

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My overall consensus is that House of Wolves is worth the DLC price for those that are playing Destiny already. If you are a new player, this is content that will take you a little bit of time to get to. You’ll need to be approximately Level 28 to fully appreciate it, but between the built-in game content and the first DLC (The Dark Below), it shouldn’t take very long. The best part about House of Wolves is that a new material called Etheric Light is introduced. This allows you to upgrade your previously obsolete gear to playable levels. This means that new players who may or may not have gotten The Dark Below can still expect to come into Destiny and play with the veterans.