Destiny expansion The Dark Below will be available for download on December 10, Activision and Bungie have announced.

The Dark Below is the first expansion to hit the game since it launched in September.

It features all-new weapons and gear to earn through a new story, along with cooperative and multiplayer activities.

Destiny was created as a living universe, which has allowed us to improve the experience post launch in real-time,” said Bungie president Harold Ryan.

“It also gives us insight into the things players are looking for in new content. We’ve seen from feedback that people want new activities, gear and weapons, and of course the immensely popular Raid. The community helps shape our development decisions and that’s really important to us.”

Destiny's first expansion detailed and dated
Destiny's first expansion detailed and dated
Destiny's first expansion detailed and dated
Destiny's first expansion detailed and dated

The new story:

After years hiding amongst the Hive shadows, a new character, Eris, has come forth bearing an ominous warning: The Hive seek to summon a god, Crota, to destroy the Earth. Find Eris in the Tower to take on special quests that include three new missions where you will increase your Light and earn new rewards.

Other additions and changes:

New weapons, armour and gear to earn, including Legendary and Exotic items

Light Level cap raised to 32, and five additional Bounty slots added

A new co-operative Strike, The Will of Crota, pits you and your Fireteam against Omnigul as she works to expand the Hive army at the command of her master, Crota

Three new competitive multiplayer arenas:

Pantheon – set deep within the Black Garden in an ancient Vex temple that features Vex-designed landscapes and tight corridors
Skyshock – an old interplanetary defence array that offers both vehicle and infantry engagements
The Cauldron – an abandoned Hive ritual site that offers close-quarter combat

New six-player Raid, Crota’s End, set deep within the depths of the Hellmouth

PlayStation platforms will also get access to an exclusive co-operative Strike called The Undying Mind, as well as exotic weapon, and more (PlayStation platforms get timed exclusives until at least spring 2015)

Ryan told Eurogamer that some criticisms directed at the game were valid.

“There are bits and pieces of the feedback for sure we agree with internally, as far as we wish we had put more time into some areas,” he said.

“We’ve always been very critical of ourselves internally as well at Bungie.”

However, with many players sinking a huge number of hours into the game, Ryan feels Bungie is doing something right.

“When I read a lot of the feedback, and I see it’s after playing for 100 hours, it’s hard not to couch that in, ‘Well, if you played the game for 100 hours … .’ What other game do you play for 100 hours, right?

“As we play the game and test the game, there are all kinds of things we want to improve and evolve, and we are improving them and evolving them over time.”

Players can purchase The Dark Below individually (US$20), or as part of the Destiny Expansion Pass (US$35), which also includes second expansion House of Wolves (release date TBA). Both expansions will be available on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.

Correction: An earlier revision of this story stated the expansion would be available for download on December 9. That is the date in the US. Due to the timezone difference, it will be December 10 in New Zealand.