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Bungie's teaser for Destiny: The Taken King shows off Year Two's big improvements

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Destiny is getting a major overhaul with the release of its upcoming expansion, The Taken King, sweeping changes that Bungie is referring to as "Destiny Year Two." As the above teaser trailer shows, big changes are in store for Bungie's shared-world shooter, many of which appear to be substantial quality-of-life improvements for longtime players.

The teaser video, which was released to hype up tomorrow's Twitch livestream for The Taken King, shows off the new Light system and level cap; the abandonment of Crucible and Vanguard Marks in favor of Legendary Marks; and new Faction allegiances, alongside some of the rewards that appear to come with those allegiances.

Bungie also teases new blueprints for exotic gear, shader collections, an equippable artifact and more. There's a peek at The Taken King's campaign, which centers on Oryx, father of Crota, and a taste of some additional dialogue from Nathan Fillion as Hunter Vanguard Cayde-6.

Let's take a look at some of the notable changes shown in the teaser.

Bungie's doing away with Destiny's current Light-based leveling system for something less dependent on random equipment drops. Light in The Taking King will instead be "an average of the attack and defense values across all of your currently equipped gear," according to the trailer. A higher Light score will improve your Guardian's damage output and defense.

Destiny's factions will get a bit more useful in Year Two, as players can now pledge their allegiance to one of the game's factions per week. Supporting those factions will net Guardians some faction-themed gear; the teaser trailer shows Future War Cult-branded armor, weapons and ships.

Here we see Lord Shaxx accepting the new, streamlined Legendary Marks for Destiny: The Taken King gear. Looks like Shaxx will sell Ghost shells as part of his inventory.

A peek at the exotic weapons blueprint collection shows "Year 1" and "Year 2" exotics, including an interesting weapon popping up: that 4th Horseman exotic shotgun, a PlayStation timed-exclusive weapon that's been around since year one, shows up with a Taken King badge and gets filed under "Year 2."

Bungie plans to dive more deeply into Destiny: The Taken King and Year Two improvements during a livestream on Twitch this Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. PT. That presentation is the first of three planned Twitch streams Bungie will air in advance of The Taken King's launch on Sept. 15.