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Destiny's first expansion, The Dark Below, hits Dec. 9 and raises level cap to 32 (update)

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Destiny will get its first drop of post-launch content Dec. 9, when the game's first expansion, The Dark Below, launches worldwide, developer Bungie announced today.

As announced previously, The Dark Below is one of two expansions that Bungie currently has planned for Destiny; the other is House of Wolves, which will be available in 2015. Each one costs $19.99, and players can pick up Destiny's Expansion Pass to save $5 and get both for $34.99.

The Dark Below will raise the Light level cap from 30 to 32 — with, of course, more endgame gear to earn in order for Guardians to get there — and add five additional bounty slots. Bungie said yesterday that a future patch will increase the number of bounties a Guardian can hold, so it's unclear if Destiny players will need to buy the expansion in order to be able to pick up more bounties. The Dark Below is focused on the Moon, with new story quests and missions that will center around the Hive's effort to summon a god, Crota, to destroy the Earth. Guardians will have to find a new character named Eris in the Tower to begin The Dark Below's missions.

The expansion brings a second raid, Crota's End, into Destiny; it will join the existing Venus raid, the Vault of Glass. Three new Crucible (competitive multiplayer) maps come with The Dark Below: Pantheon, set in a Vex temple with tight corridors in the Black Garden on Mars; Skyshock, which takes place in a planetary defense system and includes vehicles; and The Cauldron, a former Hive ritual site for small firefights.

One new strike, The Will of Crota, is included in The Dark Below on all platforms. Players on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 will get an additional strike called The Undying Mind, which takes place on Mars, and an Exotic weapon. According to Activision, there's more exclusive content yet to be announced for The Dark Below, all of which will remain exclusive to Sony's consoles until fall 2015 at the earliest.

Update: We've included 12 screenshots of The Dark Below. Check them out in the gallery below.

Update 2: This article previously said an Exotic weapon in The Dark Below would be exclusive to PlayStation platforms. An Activision representative reached out to Polygon to note that the press release we were going off of was incorrect in mentioning the weapon. We've edited the story above to reflect this.

Update 3: An Activision representative followed up to say that an Exotic weapon is, indeed, part of the PlayStation-exclusive content in The Dark Below. We've re-edited the story above to reflect this new information.

Update 4: Bungie confirmed on Oct. 31 that all Destiny players will get five more bounty slots alongside the launch of The Dark Below, regardless of whether they buy the expansion. Everyone will also get "some new weapons and armor" and new daily bounties.

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