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Everything you need to know about what’s coming to ‘Destiny’ in ‘Rise of Iron’

We’re closing in on two years from the initial release of Destiny, developer Bungie’s persistent world shooter. The game has come a helluva long way since September 2014: At first, it was kind of a dull mess wrapped around a solid shooter core. But with the help of two downloadable content add-ons and one major expansion, Destiny has been transformed into a pretty solid game that’s even pretty damn fun.

In its upcoming expansion, Destiny: Rise of Iron, Bungie is out to drop one more big bunch of improvements on players. New missions, new weapons, new systems and new improvements are on the way. Here’s everything awesome that’s coming to Destiny when Rise of Iron drops this next month, along with the most useful info we can give: It’s coming out September 20, and you can buy it as a standalone expansion for $30, or as part of Destiny: The Collection, which compiles the base game and all the expansions, for $60.

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A Brand New Story

Rise of Iron’s biggest change is a new story that adds a list of new stuff for to do in Destiny. The gist of that story is that players will assist Lord Saladin, the character who usually runs the “Iron Banner” multiplayer event in the game’s social hub, the Guardian Tower. The Iron Banner is named for the Iron Lords, a group of space-magic superheroes that fought aliens before the Guardians, or alien-stomping player characters. Unfortunately, those Iron Lords all got wiped out at some point, except for Lord Saladin.

The crux of what wrecked the Iron Lords was nanotechnology called SIVA. When it falls in the hands of the evil scavenger aliens called the Fallen, players have to become Iron Lords themselves to deal with the situation in a new area on Earth called the Plaguelands. Your mission: Recover the tech, destroy the bad guys, and save the solar system from certain destruction (again).

So that means a new story campaign, which will undoubtedly send players through a number of missions to explore all the new content. It’ll also feature new characters and cutscenes, according to Bungie’s video documentaries about the new expansion.

New Places to Go

Rise of Iron will ship with new multiplayer modes and new player-vs-environment stuff to do —like a big new Raid, traditionally the best stuff Destiny has to offer— but beyond that, it also has new locations for players to visit and just, uh, hang out.

The first of those is Felwinter Peak, an Earthside mountaintop where the Iron Lords used to hang before they were all killed, apparently. You will fight the Fallen there — in the middle of a blizzard, which is new for Destiny — but it will also function as a new social hub, like the Tower and Queen’s Bay in the Reef, where you can meet up with other players, switch out gear, visit shops and, most importantly, pick up new quests.

Expansions often bring changes to existing in-game locations, and in Rise of Iron that means changes to the Cosmodrome, the rusting space shipyard players have been running around for two years on Earth. The nanotech SIVA is reshaping the place and the enemies in it in some key ways.

There’s also the Plaguelands, a previously off-limits Earth area near the Cosmodrome. Wrecked by the efforts of a group of the Fallen, the Devils, to locate SIVA, it’s basically a ravaged post-apocalyptic landscape. It’s got lava, it’s got Fallen fortresses, and it’s got gross SIVA nanotech shifting it into something new and creepy. Undoubtedly, players will spend a lot of time there, just like the Dreadnaught location in The Taken King. And, like that place, expect the Plaguelands to pack a bunch of its own unique activities.

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Brand New Things to Do

What kind of activities we talking about? It seems that, like with The Taken King, Bungie is adding a host of new missions at every level of Destiny. The game includes a number of little things to do, like “patrols,” minor on-the-ground missions that increase your standing with certain in-game factions, and “bounties,” collectible mini-missions that have you killing a certain number of enemies or accomplishing certain tasks, and Bungie said there will be new additions to both.

Rise of Iron will also add new and updates “Strikes” —Destiny’s slightly longer, three-player dungeon-type missions. In the new strike, “The Wretched Eye,” players fight SIVA-mutated Fallen in the Plaguelands to disrupt their plants. In addition to the new Strike, Bungie is “reprising” a few older ones, reinvigorating them with new… Something. Bungie said “The Devils’ Lair” and “The Summoning Pits,” two Strikes that have been with Destiny from the beginning, will receive some kind of overhaul. It’s not quite clear how they’ll be changed, but since “The Devils’ Lair” is all about the group of aliens at the heart of the whole SIVA conflict, it makes sense that it would change to reflect their new abilities.

Then there’s the “Raid.” Destiny’s six-player mega-missions usually take hours to complete. With multiple boss fights and vast locations, they’re always the coolest things the game has to offer. They also require the most commitment, because Destiny raids are top-level content—you need to get your character as strong as they can be in order to stand a chance. If you’ve got six friends and enough commitment to get that good, though, Destiny raids are pretty much the most fun the game offers.

Rise of Iron’s new raid is called “Wrath of the Machine” and takes players through a new swath of the Cosmodrome. It’ll take players through the giant wall that rings the Cosmodrome —it’s basically where new players start the game— and eventually on top of it. And of course, you’ll fight multiple awful bosses with idiosyncratic requirements for beating them. Start getting your friends together now.

Lastly, there’s also an area in the Plaguelands for cooperative multiplayer battling called “Archon’s Forge.” Similar to the “Prison of Elders” from The House of Wolves, or the “Court of Oryx” in The Taken King, it’s a Thunderdome-style public boss fight arena where you’ll fight off waves of Fallen to earn special rewards.

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