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Destiny's big 2.0 update is now live, and here's what it gives you (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.

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Destiny developer Bungie released the game's massive version 2.0 update today, delivering a host of major changes a week before the launch of Destiny: The Taken King.

The required v2.0 update is a colossal one, weighing in at 18 GB on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and 10 GB on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Players on PS3 will need closer to 20 GB of free hard drive space for the patch, since the console has to have enough space to extract the download package before it can install the content.

Aside from replacing Peter Dinklage's performance as Ghost with a re-recording by Nolan North, update 2.0 won't provide new content to Destiny players — they'll have to buy The Taken King to get new missions, strikes, weapons, armor and more. But people will be able to sample The Taken King's new Crucible maps and modes free for the next week.

The patch does include significant overhauls of major Destiny systems such as quests, leveling, inventory and bounties. It adds a "Quests" tab to the interface, making it easier to keep track of in-progress bounties (now up to 16) and quests. Players can choose up to four items to track in the in-game Ghost screen. And they can turn in completed bounties right from the Quests page, without having to visit the Tower or the Vestian Outpost.

As of Destiny 2.0, Guardians' Light is no longer tied to their level. Players can increase their level all the way to 34 — and, once The Taken King launches, to the new level cap of 40 — simply by earning experience points. Your level just gates your access to content now: For example, you still have to reach level 20 to use legendary weapons. Light is an average of the attack and defense values across your weapons and armor. That value determines the difficulty of a particular activity, and thus, your survivability: If you're at 180 Light, you won't do much damage to enemies in a 240 Light activity, and they'll kill you very quickly.

Update 2.0 also makes it easier to manage your items. It doubles the vault space to 72 slots each for weapons and armor. You'll still have space for only 36 items, but the new Collections feature — which condenses collectible items like ships, emblems and shaders into kiosks in the Tower — reduces the need for those slots. Exotic weapons and armor will each get their own kiosks in the Hall of Guardians, allowing players to duplicate any exotics in their possession across multiple characters. And as Bungie announced last week, any in-progress bounties for exotic weapons will be automatically completed with the update.

The launch of The Taken King will eliminate separate currencies for PvE and PvP modes with Destiny 2.0: Groups of 50 Vanguard Marks and Crucible Marks will be turned into Vanguard and Crucible commendations, respectively, and you'll buy items with Legendary Marks. As of the 2.0 patch, armor pieces are now upgraded with Armor Material, which replaces class-specific items like Sapphire Wire.

Destiny 2.0 also makes a bunch of tweaks to weapon balance, nerfing go-to guns like Thorn and Gjallarhorn. And it normalizes the attack values on weapons: The cap for Year One weapons was 365 and it's now 170, although the actual damage the weapons do hasn't changed. (Defense values for armor have been normalized on the same scale.) The Speaker is selling new Ghost Shells, which now factor into your Light value. Starting tomorrow, Sept. 9, Guardians will be able to earn reputation with the Gunsmith by field-testing his weapons.

All of the aforementioned changes are available for all Destiny players, regardless of whether they buy The Taken King. We'll update this post once Bungie publishes the full patch notes for update 2.0. The expansion launches Sept. 15, one week from today.

Update: Here are the full patch notes for the 2.0 update, though Bungie noted that additional patch notes will arrive at 2 a.m. PT on Sept. 15 with the launch of The Taken King. Check out the post for details on tweaks to all three classes, as well as a laundry list of changes to individual weapons, armor pieces and perks. We've picked out a few notable ones below:

  • Burn (Arc, Void, Solar) Skulls now only increases player damage by 2x (down from 3x). Combatant damage to player is unchanged at 3x.
  • Many pieces of Exotic Armor now recolor when a Shader is applied
  • Eris reputation can now be earned weekly by killing bosses in the Crota's End raid, or through new methods to be discovered in The Taken King’s new destination
  • Cinematics can now be skipped
  • House of Wolves maps (Widow's Court, Black Shield, Thieves' Den) are now available to all Destiny players
  • Year 1 Platform-exclusive maps (The Timekeeper, Exodus Blue) are now available to all Destiny players

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