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Destiny patch 2.0 is officially here and, with it, the team at Bungie has given the popular first-person shooter quite an overhaul. Some changes have turned out to be a welcome improvement while others are a bit of a disappointment. On the whole, though, it looks like 2.0 is paving the way to an even brighter future for Destiny.

If you’ve been playing Destiny since day one, no doubt the recently launched (and utterly massive) 2.0 update was a bit jarring. There are tons of small touches you’ll discover, from a new menu score to a brand new galaxy map that’s a bit easier to read. Drop by the Tower and you’ll find more “stuff” piled up here and there, as well as more moving NPC characters that help make the social hub feel a bit more lively.

We’ve touched on most of what update 2.0 has to offer in preview posts but, now that we’ve spent some actual time with the update, we thought we’d give an early analysis of some of the more major tweaks that have been introduced to the game.

Weapon adjustments
I’m sure there are folks out there who will disagree with this one, but I’m A-OK with the changes that have been made to Destiny’s arsenal in update 2.0. Hand cannons still pack a mean punch in close to mid-range battles, but they no longer have the ability to easily snap off headshots at great distances. Shotguns don’t pack quite as mean a punch in PvE affairs, but they still get the job done. Also, assault rifles are a viable option once again, meaning I’ll finally be using my beloved Hard Light more often.

The nice thing about weapon tweaks is that we’re about to get a whole new arsenal thrown in our faces with The Taken King, so having fan-favorite weapons behave differently won’t be that big a deal once we’re questing after the new loot. Also, these kinds of adjustments are being made frequently so, if anything still feels too unbalanced, Bungie is likely to address it in the near future.

Class items/Ghost shells
That’s right, your class items and Ghost shells now offer defense perks and special abilities. I’m actually split on this one. Having ghost shells is a great addition to Destiny and is something that’s been mysteriously missing from the game’s first year.

Unfortunately, I’m not nearly as keen on class items having stats. Destiny allows quite a bit of customization, so players usually take pride in how their avatar looks when they’re shooting aliens in the face. Class items, like the Hunter’s cloak, help complete that outfit by giving you a bit more control over the look without affecting the stats. Now that these items offer a defense boost, though, players will be chasing after the gear with the best stats rather than trying to make their Guardian look unique. My favorite cloaks, for instance, offer a defense of three. Cloaks that I’m not fond of offer a defense of 160. That’s kind of a problem in my book. I offer this solution: Two slots for class items. One is for the item you’re actually wearing and the other is for the one you show off to the world. Actually, that might be a good idea for all pieces of armor…Just a thought, Bungie.

Nolan-bot
I’m one of those people who actually liked Peter Dinklage’s run as Ghost in Destiny. Some of his delivery didn’t match the moment in gameplay, but I’m not sure that was entirely his fault. Now that Nolan North has taken over, I’m still not used to the sudden change in roles. To his credit, though, North’s performance seems fine. He’s got a few new lines thrown in here and there and he offers an almost childlike air to the role that’s definitely more lively than what Dinklage had to offer. If I can just get the image of C-3P0 out of my head every time Ghost speaks nowadays, I’m sure this transition will be a smooth one.

Inventory
Oddly, this is one of the best parts of 2.0. Not only do I have tons more room for random crap I probably don’t need, but now emblems and shaders have been given a second home where they no longer take up unnecessary space. Make sure you’ve got a few you like handy and just straight-up delete the rest. Your entire collection of emblems and shaders is now stored on a pair of kiosks near the Speaker, where you can grab any of them anytime you want to make a change.

Similarly, any exotic gear you’ve collected in the past (and maybe accidentally deleted) are stored on kiosks near the Hall of Guardians. You can see what you’ve got, get tips on how to get what you’re missing and, for a fee, make a copy of any exotic gear you’ve ever had in your inventory.

Quests
Another huge improvement is the way you can now keep track of all of your ongoing missions and bounties. A Quests page has been added to the menu that shows you, at a glance, all the different things you could be working on. That’s nice and all, but what I really like about the new Quest system is the ability to track up to four missions at a single time. Now, instead of having to go into your menu and tab over a couple pages to see how many more headshots you need to get to finish off a mission, you can just tap the touchpad and your Ghost will display a quartet of tracked missions. Super convenient and just one of the many small touches that 2.0 has introduced to make Destiny a better, more user-friendly game.

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