Bender's Breakdown: Destiny's House of Wolves First Look

Earlier this week on Bungie's official Twitch channel, Destiny fans were treated to their first look at the new Reef social space that will be included in the House of Wolves expansion, launching on May 19th. Although many details about the new content were withheld, there was still a lot to get excited about.  

The new social space, called the Vestian Outpost, is quite different from The Tower that we all know and love on Earth. Whereas The Tower is clean and shiny, the Outpost has more of a grimy, industrial look, bathed in the purple glow of the Reef. It's here that we will find new vendors offering story missions, bounties and gear. The key story character this time around is named Petra Venj, an emissary for the Queen of the Awoken. You may remember her from the Queen's Wrath event several months ago. Petra plays basically the same role that Eris Morn did for The Dark Below expansion; she doles out the story missions and also offers bounties. No new details were given about the story missions themselves, but as you complete Petra's bounties, you build up a new type of reputation called Queen's Wrath. This reputation gain will eventually yield access to new emblems, armor shaders, and even ships. Do you remember those cool ships that the Queen's guards were zipping around in when you first visited the Reef? They will soon be yours. 

The new 3-player cooperative activity, the Prison of Elders, will allow Guardians to earn a full set of armor that can be maxed out at light level 34. What this activity actually is, however, still remains a mystery as we await the Prison’s full reveal on May 6th. The only thing we know is the fact that there will be a limit to the number of times we can complete the Prison of Elders each week. The warden of the Prison of Elders, and the one who will be dispensing the rewards, is Variks, a member of the Fallen who is still loyal to the Queen. 

For those Guardians who are more competitive, a new PvP activity will also become available with the House of Wolves — entitled Trials of Osiris — which will be available to play every weekend with its own set of rewards to be earned. We will learn more about this activity next week. 

The Vestian Outpost will also feature some familiar characters, including a bounty tracker bot, a post master and a Cryptarch. So, you might be wondering, will we ever need to return to The Tower? Absolutely! Some exciting new quality-of-life features are coming to The Tower alongside the new expansion. 

Many Guardians were understandably upset when the armor sets introduced in The Dark Below essentially rendered the previous raid gear ineffective. That mistake is being rectified when House of Wolves launches, as Guardians will able to upgrade any Legendary weapon or armor piece to the maximum level. This can be done by means of a new material called Etheric Light, which can be obtained through various endgame activities, such as the Prison of Elders, Trials of Osiris, Iron Banner and Nightfall Strikes. 

In addition, the Gunsmith and the Speaker will soon have new roles to play. The Speaker will now allow Guardians to exchange ascendant materials, either as a one-to-one swap (energy for shards and vice-versa) or as a trade for glimmer or motes of light. Most exciting of all, any Legendary weapons obtained from the new expansion content can be taken to the Gunsmith in The Tower to be reforged. This will allow players who are unhappy with the bonuses offered by their current weapon to "re-roll" that weapon, yielding a new set of randomly-generated perks. The reforging process can be done as often as desired, provided the players have the required materials, but it should be noted that this process will reset the progression of the reforged weapon. 

It's clear from these changes that Bungie has learned from the mistakes they made with The Dark Below expansion, and they are listening to player feedback. I look forward to learning more details about the House of Wolves as they are revealed. 

What do you think of these new developments? Are you excited about the House of Wolves, or is the lack of a raid a deal breaker for you? Let us know in the comments.