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Destiny's next expansion replaces Dinklage and makes elite weapons obsolete

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's next expansion, The Taken King, will make some massive changes to the way the entire game works, including its progression system, missions and weapons, according to the cover story for Game Informer's September issue.

When Destiny debuted last September, its level cap was 30 — the first 20 were standard levels achieved by earning experience points, and an armor attribute called Light was required for all levels above 20. Destiny's first expansion, The Dark Below, increased the cap to 32 in December, and May's House of Wolves expansion brought it to 34.

Game Informer reports that The Taken King will raise Destiny's level cap to 40, and that the expansion will restructure the entire progression system as well. Leveling will no longer be tied to Light; instead, you'll simply reach new levels by earning experience all the way from the beginning of the game to level 40. As you rank up, you'll unlock the ability to use new weapons and armor, which will still provide power gains. In addition, Destiny developer Bungie is tweaking the game's loot algorithm to take your existing gear into account, so you'll receive fewer duplicate items and more gear that's better than what you have.

The Taken King will recast Destiny's Ghost, replacing the much-maligned Peter Dinklage with veteran voice actor Nolan North, according to Game Informer. North plays the role of Ghost in The Taken King's missions, and Bungie had him re-record all of Dinklage's existing dialogue, too — the expansion completely replaces Dinklage's performance with North's, eliminating the Game of Thrones star from Destiny entirely.

Game Informer also reports that the legendary gear players have come to know and love — items that Bungie is referring to as "Year One" weapons and armor — won't get any stronger than it is now. The Taken King will kick off the second year of Destiny, and while Game Informer says Year One gear will suffice for the early part of the expansion, "dozens" of new Year Two weapons and armor pieces will quickly eclipse the existing items. Say goodbye to your 365-attack Fatebringers and Found Verdicts, Guardians.

"There are definitely some weapons that you are going to find better versions of — there's going to be something that replaces that sniper rifle that you love," said Luke Smith, creative director on The Taken King, in an interview with Game Informer.

Destiny: The Taken King will be released Sept. 15 on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. For more details, check out Game Informer's full cover story.

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