The Prison of Elders, a cooperative multiplayer experience that is a part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion DLC for Destiny, was revealed today on Bungie’s official Twitch stream. Lead House of Wolves developer Matt Sammons played through the Prison of Elders with Bungie community manager David Dague (DeeJ) and Twitch sensation Professor Broman, answering many of the questions players had about the experience.
The Prison of Elders will be a 3 player cooperative horde-style mode where players battle against the enemies of the Darkness in – you guessed it – the Prison of Elders. In order to unlock access to the Prison, players must complete the story missions that come with the expansion first. Varik from the Fallen House of Judgment is the prison’s warden, and oversees players as they fight through waves of enemies. He speaks through a misshapen Fallen Servitor before each round, and speaks to the guardians throughout the experience.
Each new session of the Prison of Elders will have 5 rounds with 3 waves of enemies, each wave increasing in difficulty. A player can be revived after a short time if they die, but if all players die the round restarts, similar to how raids are structured. In addition to the enemies, players will be given an objective during the 2nd and 3rd wave during each round – this objective varies, and can include killing an VIP enemy before they get to a certain area, or defusing 3 mines with Crucible Control-style capture points. If the players fail to complete an objective, the “Warden’s Punishment” is activated, and all players die and restart at the beginning of the round. At the beginning of each round, one random modifier activates – these modifiers include new ones such as primary weapon buffs, melee buffs for players and enemies, and guardian shield buffs that give players much more shielding capability, but prevents its regeneration. Modifiers from Nightfall activities also appear in the mix, so its sure to be an interesting challenge.
There will be match-making for the Prison of Elders, but there’s a catch: the entire experience is split into different “challenges” with varying levels of difficulty. There will be 6 total challenges that rotate with the Weekly Reset, each with a different name and different enemies presented at different times. There will be one challenge at level 28, which was played during the reveal and has match-making, then there are Level 32, Level 34, and Level 35 challenges, which don’t have match making, so you’ll have to play with friends or use sites like Destiny-LFG to find a group. Its unclear at this point whether each challenge will have the same number of rounds and waves, but they will definitely be increasing in difficulty. And yes, there will be boss fights, so this will prove to be challenging for a variety of players.
So, what enemies make an appearance, you may ask? In the reveal, only the Cabal and Hive made an appearance, but the Vex and the Fallen will each make appearances when the full House of Wolves expansion releases on May 19th. Each enemy has their own “prison room”, which is a large area with elements and features befitting their personality: the Hive has a lot of green elements and the usual green fog emitting from their eggs, and the Cabal is very fiery and industrial-looking. Mines and Web grenades that slow player movement and damage them over time are scattered across each room, so its important to be wary of your step. After the 2nd wave of enemies is cleared, some rooms have “gifts” that are presented by Varik: the Cabal room is one such room, and the gifts can include heavy ammo, or a unique grenade launcher for one player to use. Those were the only gifts shown during the reveal, but there may be more gifts as well.
Sammons, Dague, and Professor Broman failed to get through 4 rounds during the Prison of Elders reveal, getting stuck on the 4th round of Hive enemies with an Arc burn modifier active. However, the Prison of Elders experience looks to be a challenging and fun one (and possibly frustrating). Some players were disappointed that there will be no raid in the House of Wolves expansion, but it seems as though the designers at Bungie are creating a new multiplayer experience that provides just as much, if not more of a challenge and fun factor than the Vault of Glass or Crota’s End raids do. You can play the Prison of Elders as a part of the House of Wolves expansion for Destiny on May 19th.
If you missed the Prison of Elders reveal, catch the video here on Bungie’s Twitch profile. Are you guys excited about the Prison of Elders and House of Wolves? Leave your thoughts and comments below!