Destiny's Artifacts are going to get a lot cooler when Rise of Iron comes out next month. Aside from bumping Destiny's Light Level to 400 (eventually) and reworking current Strikes, developer Bungie revealed to Game Informer that the expansion will introduce new class-agnostic items that will significantly change the way you play.
Rise of Iron will add at least eight new Artifacts, each one themed after one of the fallen Iron Lords (Saladin's still alive so he's probably holding onto his). Equipping Jolder's artifact, for instance, will let you sprint again and again without a recharge time, since she was known for charging into battle. Another artifact for an unspecified Iron Lord deactivates your Super Ability but gives you an extra charge for your grenade and melee abilities as well as a significant stat boost.
It doesn't sound like these new Artifacts are Exotic, so you should be able to combine them with other mechanic-altering gear for further shenanigans. This is going to give the meta game for PvE and PvP alike a swift kick in the pants, no doubt. Though the old-style Artifacts from The Taken King, which usually just give you an extra Orb of Light for precision kills or melee attacks or whatever, will still be available if you prefer.
You'll be able to pick up Rise of Iron's new Artifacts from a new character called Tyra Karn. She'll give you work to do out in the new Plaguelands zone (which includes the torn-up Cosmodrome), and completing the assignments will earn you an item you can exchange for one of the three Artifacts Karn will have for sale in any given week. Yes, even after Rise of Iron comes out on September 20, everybody in Destiny will still be a vendor at heart.
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