Rise of Iron hype is hitting a fever pitch and an all-time high as we are 8 days away from launch. I have only been playing Destiny for a few months so I have never been without new content or had moments where I had nothing to do in the game. That is one of the things I love about Destiny. It is a game that is easy to play every day. Especially for streamers such as myself. There is some amazing broadcasters that stream Destiny not only daily, but also for a living. There is so much you can do in this game it is insane. My quest log is always overflowed with missions to complete. Just when I think i’m making a dent in it I will turn a quest in only to have several more pop up. The day to day gunplay and gameplay of Destiny is so phenomenal so this is not an issue at all, rather just another great aspect of the game that makes it so rewarding. So, for players that have been with the game since year one, and might have completed every quest possible, I can imagine that they might even be a little more excited than I am to get new content.

And a lot of content it is! Wether you favor pVp or pVe play, there is a ton of stuff for you here. First off (and the part of the expansion I will probably play first) is the new five mission campaign. We have heard about the Iron Lords before in the past, but not much. For the most part, they remain an enigmatic mystery. We know that most of them were wiped out when eight of the Iron Lords sacrificed themselves to seal away the scourge known as SIVA. One of the last remaining Iron Lords that we know about, Lord Saladin, has spent the years standing sentinel and preparing. Preparing for a day when SIVA returns. With Rise of Iron that day has come. I can’t wait to play through this new story campaign and learn more about the Iron Lords. “We learn of the Iron Lords and what happened to them long ago, when they sacrificed themselves to save humanity,” says game director Christopher Barrett. “In the process of you discovering that story, Lord Saladin enlists you to help bury the past, confront this threat from long ago, and in the process pass the torch, so that you yourself become an Iron Lord.” The expansion will also feature additional missions and quests on top of the five main campaign ones.

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I can’t wait to explore the new social space, Felwinter Peak, which is where the Iron Lords used to be headquartered. I have noticed that ever since the patch went live, you can see on the maps where the new places are at. Felwinter Peak and the Plaguelands are both visable on the Earth map right now. The Plagelands are actually what I am most excited to explore as they are essentially an upgraded version of the cosmodrome. There is a real sense of time passing as the cosmodrome is blanketed in snow and evidence of your past excursions, such as a downed walker, dot the landscape. There are signs that the fallen have been busy during the passage of time as well. There are holes in walls creating new pathways indicating that they probably have been  up to no good and it almost seems that they have been looking for something. And I think it is a pretty safe bet that they either found what they were looking for, or something else entirely.

With Rise of Iron we are also getting a new Strike as well as a new Raid. Honestly I am excited for both, however considering the fact that I have not done a single raid in the almost 300 hours I have spent with the game, I am admittedly looking a little more forward to the Strike as it has matchmaking. I have never done any Raids cause I have never been able to get a full team together. Even though I am part of a clan, it isn’t that big of a clan as of yet and even then all the other members have gone on to other games until the Rise of Iron drops. So with it releasing soon, heres to hoping that our clan gets back into full effect. We are also getting an event called the Archon Forge which I gather is a sort of Arena style mode.

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On the pVp side of things, the first thing worth mentioning is obviously the announcement of the addition of Private Matches. Fans have been clamoring for this mode since day one so it is really amazing to see this come to fruition. I have only recently found my love of pVp again and have been playing it a lot more lately so I am really stoked on the inclusion of this mode as well. Now Guardians will be able to setup the matches themselves picking the combatants, assigning the teams, the map, if light levels are enabled or not, match type, etc. Private Matches is the exact kind of breath of fresh air the pVp needs. Plus, we are also getting 4 new maps with Rise of Iron and Playstation Guardians will be getting an additional exclusive one once again. And if that isn’t enough, there is also going to be a whole new mode called Supremacy which is essentially Kill Confirmed from the Call of Duty series. In Supremacy, when you kill an enemy they will drop an orb that you must collect in order to get the points for the kill. Likewise if you or someone from your team kicks the bucket, you can pick up their orb to deny the opposing team the points for the takedown. This is a fun and entertaining mode in the COD games and I don’t see any reason it should be any different in Destiny. In fact I personally feel that it might even be better. One other thing on the pVp side of things that Bungie has announced is that they have “reinvented the Iron Banner.” They haven’t really elaborated on it more than that so as the time of this writing it is kind of one of those ‘wait and see what we get’ kinds of things.

Of course with all these new modes there is also going to be a ton of new weapons and gear-especially strike and raid specific gear as well as Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris gear. We will also be seeing the return of a lot of year 1 exotics. Add all this up with new reinvented artifacts, ornaments (weapon skins), and a new light level cap and you have to admit that Bungie is ushering in year 3 on a great note. After the recent update we have been able to preview what some of the ornaments will do to some of the weapons and I really like this new customization feature. There is some really amazing looking weapon skins in there already.

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Rise of Iron faces an interesting challenge. Whereas last years The Taken King was roundly praised for its robust collection of content, this new installment builds on the foundation laid down over recent years of experimentation. I feel that this is a major addition to the Destiny canon, even if its scope isn’t that of TTK. This expansion feels like a confident step forward for the Destiny universe, defined by the multitude of choices it offers to its players. Destiny is more than just another game, but rather a hobby in its own right, a community which many interact with on a daily basis. And one that I am definitely proud to say that I am a part of. For more on Rise of Iron in the coming weeks, keep it locked right here on SportsNerdWeb!…CHEERS GUARDIANS!!