Tag Archives: destiny 2

How To Quickly Level Up Your Second (Or Third) Character In Destiny 2

Every video game has its peaks and valleys. A game like Destiny 2—one designed to be played as an ongoing hobby, indefinitely—can have some bigger ones than most. However, putting together a new character in a different class can do a lot to renew your interest in a game that you play regularly whenever you hit a (totally normal) period of malaise. Even in a game as big as Destiny 2, there’s only so much you can do. Wrapping your head around a new way of playing it puts a new spin on everything, and makes it all fresh again.

But if you’re already deep into high-level play with the character you started with, resetting back at zero (or 750, the Power level all Destiny 2 characters now start at) isn’t the most appealing idea. Lucky for you, it’s extremely easy to get a new character up to speed in about 20 minutes. Here’s how.

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First, get your main good and strong.

There’s no real way to quickly level an alt until you have a main character that’s, at the very least, at the soft Power cap of 900. Once you do, you’re going to take three weapons, one for each category (Kinetic, Energy, Power) that are at the highest Power level you can spare, and stash ‘em in your vault. Then, make sure you’ve got a healthy amount of Glimmer and Gunsmith Materials to spend—let’s say 100,000 of the former, and 100 of the latter (but really, you want as much as you can get). Next, make sure your seasonal rank is 10 or higher—15 is better, and 20 is best, but 10 will work just fine (You do not have to pay for the season pass, we’re working with the free tier of rewards here). Now you can log out with this character, and log in with your new Guardian.

Take your alt on a shopping spree.

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Once you’re clear of the opening mission all new characters start with (it’ll take you perhaps 10 minutes tops if you hurry) you’ll find yourself in the Tower with your fresh-faced Guardian. Hustle over to your Vault, and pull out all three weapons you stashed earlier. Their 900-plus Power levels will give you a boost extremely quickly. Now you can go into the Collections menu, which keeps an inventory of every item you’ve discovered in the game, and find the tab for “Leveling” armor for your alt’s class (Hunter/Warlock/Titan).

From here, you can spend Glimmer and Gunsmith Materials to pull out blue (rare) armor at a Power level a few points below your average. And since your average Power is now somewhere around 800, the armor you pull out of your collections will also be somewhere around 800 Power—and significantly higher than the 750 Power armor your alt is currently wearing. You might not realize this at first, because the rare armor in your collection is all set at 750, but once you get a full set, the second set you pull will start to increase in power dramatically, rubberbanding upwards to your character average. Get a full set of armor to raise your Power level even more.

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Set a goal.

Here’s where things can get tedious, so you have to decide what you want to get out of this. If you just want a head start to shave a little time off getting to 900 Power, you’re good to go. Go run a few activities to get a feel for your new Guardian and you’ll hit 900 extremely fast. In fact, I recommend this—after spending time on the slow climb past 900 with my main, seeing numbers leap upwards every time any old piece of gear drops for a new character is really damn satisfying. If you just want to power level, read on.

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Game those numbers.

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This part’s pretty simple, just a little tedious: keep buying armor from your collection. Each new piece will climb in Power until you start getting close to your character’s average Power, where you’ll find diminishing returns. For me, this was when each piece of armor was at 849. (Make sure you clear out your inventory around this point, since it’s probably full.)

Now you want to look at your seasonal rewards—remember, you do not
need to buy a season pass for the “free” tier of rewards (the grey one at the top). Every five seasonal rank levels, you get a piece of armor. For this next step, you’ll want to be at least at rank 10, so you can get two pieces of armor. Only collect one.

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Then go shopping again, pulling armor for every slot until you stop seeing gains. Said gains will only be incremental at this point, but every bit counts. Once you do that, you can get the second piece of seasonal armor you’ve unlocked—it’ll likely be a solid 10 Power above whatever you have currently in its slot.

You can repeat this process once more if you’ve got a seasonal rank of 15, or twice more if you’re at 20 (your seasonal rank is shared across all the characters on your account). Go shopping, inch forward with blue armor, and then make a small leap with a piece of seasonal reward armor. Doing this will get you extremely close, if not right up to, 900 Power without ever leaving the Tower once. If you’re a little bit shy of 900 Power, run a couple activities until you are, because the next steps are wasted on a character that hasn’t hit the soft cap.

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Smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em.

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Here’s where banking a lot of resources will pay off. If you’ve cashed in on a lot of bounties with another character and have a huge stock of Crucible, Vanguard, or Gambit tokens, you’ll want to redeem them with this new character—Engrams rewarded from cashing these in will inch you above 900 if you’ve already hit the cap and you have a 900 Power item for every slot. (Destiny 2 calculates loot using your total possible power, so there’s no need to ever actually equip anything in order to get the best drop. As long as it’s in your inventory, and not your vault, you’re good to go.)

This, of course, is a painstaking and expensive thing to do. But once you hit 900, it’s more or less your only option short of just going out there and playing the game honestly for Powerful Rewards. But there’s one more trick, and you can only pull it off if you have a season pass.

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Every season pass owner has immediate access to a special package that contains the exotic hand cannon Eriana’s Vow, and a full set of the seasonal armor that folks who didn’t pay for the pass had to grind 20 levels for. The neat thing about this is that you get one of these for every character, so even if you redeemed it on your main, you’ll have another waiting for you here.

If you wait until after hitting 900 Power to redeem it, then it will drop at a Power level above 900—which is nice, because the grind past 900 to the cap of 960 is brutal.

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Enjoy your new souped-up Guardian.

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Recently I wrote about how Destiny’s current grind is excessive. I still think that, but I quickly power-leveled a Hunter just now while writing this article in order to make sure that this method was sound, and it got me excited to play all over again. I’ve never really played as a Hunter in Destiny 2, and while I know what they do on an intellectual level, I have no idea how their abilities feel, and how well suited they may or may not be to my gameplay rhythms. It’s exciting, and I can’t wait to find out what it’s like.

Source: Kotaku.com

Red Dead Gunspinner Takes It To The Next Level

Today on Highlight Reel we have Red Dead lizard gunspinners, close calls in Monster Hunter, Witcher 3 deep dives, and much more

Watch the video then talk about your favorite highlight in the comments below. Be sure to check out, like, and share the original videos via the links below. Subscribe to Kotaku on YouTube for more! Catch up on all the episodes on the Highlight Reel Youtube playlist!

Highlight Reel is Kotaku’s regular roundup of great plays, stunts, records and other great moments from around the gaming world. If you record an amazing feat while playing a game (here’s how to record a clip), send it to us with a message confirming that the clip is yours at highlightreel@kotaku.com. Or, if you see a great clip around that isn’t yours, encourage that person to send it in!

Source: Kotaku.com

One Well-Placed Grenade Will Bring Down A Boss In Destiny’s Latest Raid

Once upon a time, Destiny was new, and no one knew what to expect from it. In those halcyon days, the most exciting thing about it was its very first raid, Vault of Glass. It’s still considered one of the best, but there was one problem—a very silly, laughably easy exploit that meant players could make the final boss simply fall off a cliff and die.

Turns out that this five-year-old trick was worth keeping in mind when Destiny’s newest raid, the Garden of Salvation, launched this weekend, as a very similar technique was discovered for dispatching one of its bosses.

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A video put together by the YouTube account Cheese Forever and shared by Eurogamer explains how it’s done. The technique is a little more involved, requiring some careful timing during a precise window, but the basics are the same: You’re sending a raid boss falling to their doom without spending a significant amount of time winnowing down their health. All you need is a well-placed smoke grenade from a Hunter.

Unfortunately, this particular boss isn’t the final encounter, and players will still have to complete the steps necessary to lower the boss’s shields Once that’s done, the game will register its defeat and trigger the end of this encounter.

Like most silly exploits like this, odds are that it’s not a trick that’s long for this world, so if you’re planning on cheesing this boss, do it soon, and maybe with a side of tortilla chips.

Source: Kotaku.com

One Well-Placed Grenade Will Bring Down A Boss In Destiny’s Latest Raid

Once upon a time, Destiny was new, and no one knew what to expect from it. In those halcyon days, the most exciting thing about it was its very first raid, Vault of Glass. It’s still considered one of the best, but there was one problem—a very silly, laughably easy exploit that meant players could make the final boss simply fall off a cliff and die.

Turns out that this five-year-old trick was worth keeping in mind when Destiny’s newest raid, the Garden of Salvation, launched this weekend, as a very similar technique was discovered for dispatching one of its bosses.

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A video put together by the YouTube account Cheese Forever and shared by Eurogamer explains how it’s done. The technique is a little more involved, requiring some careful timing during a precise window, but the basics are the same: You’re sending a raid boss falling to their doom without spending a significant amount of time winnowing down their health. All you need is a well-placed smoke grenade from a Hunter.

Unfortunately, this particular boss isn’t the final encounter, and players will still have to complete the steps necessary to lower the boss’s shields Once that’s done, the game will register its defeat and trigger the end of this encounter.

Like most silly exploits like this, odds are that it’s not a trick that’s long for this world, so if you’re planning on cheesing this boss, do it soon, and maybe with a side of tortilla chips.

Source: Kotaku.com

Someone Please Figure Out What All These Weird Destiny 2 Rabbits Are For

There are more than a few mysteries tucked away in Destiny 2’s Shadowkeep expansion, some more obvious than others. It’s one of my favorite things about the game: You’re wandering around, chasing some bounty or quest, and then you spot something. Something that maybe shouldn’t be there, something that you could interact with somehow if you had the right item, or came at the right time. So let me tell you about some rabbits.

One of the first strange things I noticed in Shadowkeep were these little rabbit figurines. They were like little Funko Pop! Figures, strange little dudes with creepy glowing eyes. I noted them immediately in my Shadowkeep impressions, as did many players, like Kotaku Editor-in-Chief Stephen Totilo, who took the screenshot you see above. Here’s one I found:

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There are nine of these little dudes. It’s not clear what they are here for, but if you play enough, eventually you’ll get an item called a Small Rice Cake as a random drop that you can give to one of the figurines, causing it to disappear and be added to a collection near the Sanctuary base on the Moon. It’s similar to a secret hidden in the Forsaken expansion’s Dreaming City, where cat statues were hidden in various locations. Giving them a random drop called Small Offerings would yield part of a unique armor set.

These figurines don’t do that though—all you get for giving them rice cakes is a chunk of experience. And it seems like there’s a hard cap for how quickly we’ll be able to collect all the rice cakes necessary to gather all the rabbit figurines—players speculate that the rice cake drop is limited to a maximum of three per account per week, one for each character you might have.

This implies that something might happen for players who gather all nine—why else would there be a limit? Why the arbitrary three-week minimum timer? There are also a few other small details tucked away in Shadowkeep that suggests there’s more at play here. First, why rabbits?

The rabbit is associated with Daito, one of the fictional weapon manufacturers in Destiny. Most of their weapons are unremarkable fodder for leveling, but they do make a few exotics, like the Jade Rabbit exotic scout rifle. Daito has a room in the Tower that, upon Shadowkeep’s release, was closed—the implication being whoever set up that room has moved on to the one on the moon for all of the rabbits you’ve gathered.

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This is all very spare, but you can stitch together a bit of a story here. While we don’t know a lot about Daito, the lore entry for the Jade Rabbit rifle is unusual. It’s not a snippet of story or a quote from a character, but an ad for Daito products that aren’t weapons, but pharmaceuticals—products called Lunal and Immortalia, meant to combat the side-effects of all the resurrecting that happens to Guardians.

It’s something that dovetails nicely with the real Jade Rabbit lore—an old folktale about a jade rabbit who lives on the moon, working away at the elixir of immortality.

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Taken in isolation, the lore entry for the Jade Rabbit gun is just a fun bit of allusion to an old folk story. But maybe now, it’s leading to something else, now that the moon has returned to Destiny. It might not be much, mind you—perhaps just a new exotic quest or weapon, perhaps even the Leviathan’s Breath bow quest that’s scheduled to drop on October 22. It might lead to nothing, like the rogue cat statue found hidden beneath the European Aerial Zone. Or maybe it’ll just lead to a very silly joke of little gameplay merit. No one really knows—but Destiny’s coolest parts are often the puzzles—large or small—players that work together to solve. 

Source: Kotaku.com

Destiny 2, As Told By Steam Reviews

It’s not every day that a series with as much legacy and history as Destiny suddenly orbital-drops onto Steam. This has resulted in a horde of Desti-neophytes rushing to see what all the fuss is about. Are they enjoying diving into the deep end of Bungie’s loot ocean of a game, though? Yes and no.

At this point in its life cycle, Destiny 2 is obstinately, maximally itself. This means heaps of lore, stats, currencies, and activities that can lead to a pretty overwhelming experience for newcomers. While many longtime Destiny 2 players are just happy to finally have their favorite shooter-MMO hybrid on Steam, some new players have expressed confusion and even rage over all the things they have to come to grips with upon starting the game. Also, Warframe fans have decided to turn Destiny 2‘s arrival on Steam into some weird tribalistic showdown between two free games that everybody can enjoy? It’s the internet, so I guess I’m not sure what else I was expecting.

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Source: Kotaku.com

Bungie Appears To Be Fixing Destiny 2’s Season Pass Issue That Made Add-On Disappear

Since last week, scores of Destiny 2 fans have been grinding their teeth over the apparent loss of their year’s worth of Season Passes, complaining about a flaw in development studio Bungie’s character transfer feature that cost them $25 to $40 worth of digital stuff. Today, Bungie says it is fixing the problem.

“We have issued a fix for players who accidentally purchased content on an inactive account before enabling Cross Save,” Bungie tweeted this evening. “We have made a one-time attribution to grant the appropriate content.”

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One of the numerous people who had this problem tells Kotaku that their account for the game was fixed earlier today. Another said they don’t see credit for the lost season passes in their game yet.

The issue popped up on Bungie’s message boards on Tuesday and then in Kotaku’s tips inbox (that’s tips@kotaku.com for all the best scoops, please) throughout the weekend.

The issue is complicated, but boils down to:

  • People paid for something;
  • The thing they paid for disappeared;
  • Customer support said they couldn’t do anything about it.

Frustrating! It’s also convoluted, because it involved a bad combination of Destiny 2’s new well-intentioned character transfer system and the game’s latest annual pass, which was bundled with the $60 “digital deluxe” edition of the game’s new Shadowkeep expansion.

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The expansion costs $35 without the deluxe accoutrements, which include a year’s worth of season passes—there are four seasons to a year, even in Destiny, though they name them things like Season of the Undying instead of, you know, Fall. Season passes give players access to extra rewards and a bonus mode, and run $10 per three-month season. Missing out means getting a little less game.

Back in what we here in the real world call the season of summer, Bungie began offering support for cross-saves, a pretty cool option that would henceforth let a person hop between playing on different console and PC platforms while retaining their save progress. Many players began activating this system online in advance of it going live in the game, only to log into Destiny 2 last week to see that it didn’t seem to take.

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We heard from a Destiny fan named Jonathan who had been playing Destiny 2 on his PlayStation 4 and thought he’d set up the cross-save option correctly. While Bungie says today that the fix they issued was for people who hadn’t activated cross-save before purchasing the pass, he said he had gotten confirmation weeks ago that he was fine.

After setting up cross-save, he had bought the Digital Deluxe edition on Steam and tried to boot the game up on his PC. The game started, but his PS4 character wasn’t there. Instead, his PC copy of Destiny 2 was prompting him to start a new character. Realizing the cross-save feature hadn’t worked, he tried to activate it again. That worked. His PS4 character showed up in his Steam game—but without the annual season pass. He saw an option to buy it in the in-game store for 1,000 virtual pieces of silver, or $10.

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As others did before and after him, Jonathan sought help on the official forums. Bungie support reps replied to some people, saying that “Season Passes will be applied to the first account that signs in. If you plan to Cross Save but will use another character set, it’s recommended to set up Cross Save before logging in.”

This frustrated players like Jonathan, who had thought they’d done the cross-save feature correctly. He had an e-mail confirming that. Regardless, he had paid for the annual pass and wanted to use it. For Jonathan and others, the season pass was getting applied to that blank account that they signed into without realizing their character save hadn’t yet transferred over. They didn’t want the season pass for that newbie character. And once they transferred their actual, established character over via cross-save, that season pass wasn’t applied because, as per Bungie, that wasn’t the first account they logged into on the platform for which they’d bought the season pass.

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Jonathan tried getting a refund on the game and repurchasing it, but that didn’t work either. On Friday, he and other players began contacting Kotaku, and we began asking Bungie what was going on.

This evening, we heard a fix might be coming and checked with Jonathan. He had good news. His Destiny 2 account suddenly gained 1,000 extra silver and an indication that he owns the next three season passes to round out the year. He had bit the bullet and spent 1,000 silver yesterday to buy into Season of the Undying, so that extra 1,000 Silver may simply be Bungie making good on the fact that he basically had to buy it twice.

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On Friday, Jonathan was stressed. “As someone with a budget and not a lot of money to spend, I’m extremely frustrated with this and just don’t know where to go with it,” he wrote in an email to Kotaku.

Monday has brought better news for him, and hopefully for other Destiny 2 players with this issue as well.

Source: Kotaku.com

A Dramatic Reading Of The Names Of 400 Guns From Destiny 2

I performed a dramatic reading of the names of 400 guns from Destiny 2. Why did I do this? Well, one reason would be, “Why not?”

With the release of the Shadowkeep expansion, I started the game afresh in solidarity with my friends, who are playing the free-to-play New Light mode. So I haven’t progressed far into the game, and I haven’t accumulated much loot. However, I possess an urgent need to create content.

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Therefore: I read a lot of gun names. For you! (Also, for me. It was fun.)

Bungie, if you’re listening: consider this my audition for the role of Gunfather in Destiny 3.

By the way! If you personally liked, commented, and / or subscribed to our YouTube channel, that would definitely fuel my habit of making a lot more videos like this. I promise you might love it.

There’s even a playlist of all my other videos. Wow!

Source: Kotaku.com

How To Access Destiny 2’s New Vex Offensive Mode

If you have Destiny 2 and can’t figure out how to start the game’s new Vex Offensive, you’re not alone. We were initially vexed, too. (Yes, I’m a dad.).

The Vex Offensive is a six-player co-op mode that’s open to anyone who has the season pass for Destiny 2’s brand new Season of the Undying. That should be everyone who has the game’s new Shadowkeep expansion, as Bungie bundled the first $10 season pass in with that big add-on. Almost all players Moon-hopping through Shadowkeep should be able to access it. Some may not if they’re among the people sending us tips about having season pass issues. Thank you, all, we’re looking into it and will report back when we know more.

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Anyway, the ideas has been that the Vex Offensive and the game’s new raid would go live today, October 5. Go to the game’s map of the Moon, and you might see this:

That’s the Vex Offensive, selectable from a turquoise icon. But it requires completion of “Eyes On The Moon,” and that’s a quest that many players seem to be having trouble finding. They’re tweeting about it. They’re texting about it. Etc.

To get the quest, players need to go the game’s main hub, the Tower, and speak to Ikora Rey. She’s got a new Vex-oriented to-do list for you in the form of a Vex Invasion quest step.

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Once you pick that up, you need to head back to the Moon and then look for lightning storms in the sky. They look like this:

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The catch is that these storms, which represent Vex invasions of the Moon, happen infrequently. I waited 40 minutes for one to begin in the southeastern corner of the map near the big spaceship in the Anchor Of Light region.

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Icons on the Moon map shows potential Vex invasion in three spots, one near where I waited, the other two near Archer’s Line and up north near Hellmouth. You could try driving around to each one, looking for a storm. I just hung out in Anchor of Light, took a phone call, and picked off the handful of Vex who kept spawning in as advance scouts or something. Eventually the storm began.

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Once the storm kicks up, a collective noun of Vex arrive. Ikora’s quest requires you to kill 100 Vex. That comes easily. There are a lot of them. The challenge is in taking down the Gate Lord that spawns as part of the invasion. It’s tough. Beating it seems to clear the invasion wave, triggering another lighting storm elsewhere on the map. Look toward the sky to find it, race over on a Sparrow to reach the new invading Vex forces and repeat. Clear three successive incursions, thereby taking out three Gate Lords, and Ikora’s quest step can be turned in to Eris Morn, the never-cheerful quest-giver on the southern part of the Moon map.

She’s there with some Eyes On The Moon text to read, a raid item to pick up and, voila, the Vex Offensive should now be available.

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The Vex Offensive is all about going to the Black Garden, the bucolic staging ground from where the Vex come. As with much Shadowkeep, it should be another familiar sight for Destiny 1 players.

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The Vex Offensive supports up to six players through matchmaking. The power level recommendation is 750. I went in at 822 or so, matchmade with five players, though from the post-game stats it looks like only four of us were doing anything.

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The mode is fine, not amazing. We blitzed through it in just under 18 minutes. Most of that involved fighting clusters of Vex in various spots as we moved through the Black Garden map. No complicated puzzles. No platforming. Some enemies have Barrier or Overload protections, which you’re warned require mods to overcome, though, as best I could tell, enemies in the Offensive drop guns that can overcome any immunities.

The Offensive climaxed with a fight against the towering Crotheon Gatekeeper. He took a bit of time to beat, but wasn’t too tricky.

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The Offensive drops a lot of gear. I picked up 12 items, two of which were Vex-inspired guns. I also got more Vex armor, which can also be obtained just by leveling through the season pass. Thanks to that loot, I was able to get myself to power level 849. The Offensive also has a weekly progress bar that leads to an unlock of Powerful Gear (Tier 2).

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Through all of this, you can be carrying some Vex Offensive bounties that are offered by Ikora Rey. Many are pretty easy to fulfill just by playing through the mode with the right types of guns equipped. The bounties get you XP and Vex Mind Components which can then be used to buy some Vex-oriented guns, though given that I was earning them just by playing the Offensive, it’s hard to immediately discern if this loop will be very lucrative.

Here’s a gun I got by playing the mode:

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Going back to Ikora post-Offensive also yields a speech from her that seems to hint about what’s coming next during this Season of the Undying.

“I’ve been studying incoming recon data from Luna,” she says. “It all points to the same thing. The Vex have resurrected an ancient Hydra that we call ‘The Undying Mind.’ We’ve fought it many times before. Its primary directive is to take control of the Black Garden. Its secondary directives could result in the destruction of the Traveler. It’s moving between timelines, hiding itself. It’s learned from its past mistakes. But so have we. I’ll come up with a plan. But I need time, and I need more data. I’m counting on you.”

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In other words, Ikora wants us to play more Vex Offensive and kill more Vex.

The Undying Mind was the name of a strike and the boss in that strike in the first Destiny. It sounds like it’s coming back, too.

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According to the Season of Undying event calendar, Vex Offensive: Final Assault will start on November 19, part of development studio Bungie’s efforts to make Destiny an ever-evolving game. Presumably that’ll involve a twist to this mode and perhaps a fulfillment of Ikora Rey’s expectations.

Source: Kotaku.com

A Newcomer’s Guide To Destiny 2

This week, Destiny 2—Bungie’s long-running sci-fi shoot-and-loot extravaganza—got a thorough overhaul. With its Shadowkeep expansion, longtime players were introduced to some pretty extensive changes. For everyone else, Destiny 2: New Light took the base game and made it free-to-play, welcoming a host of new players to join in on the fight.

If you’re one of those new players, Destiny 2 can be daunting—the game tries to explain itself, but it can be impossible to figure out what you’re supposed to actually do. So I tried to sort that out, in as plain English as I can manage.

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And if this seems like a lot, don’t worry—there’s a quick cheat sheet at the end.

You’re playing an MMO.

The biggest hurdle to enjoying Destiny has always been a cognitive one. The game is an excellent first-person shooter, with satisfying gunplay and interesting weaponry and abilities to wield. But in order to enjoy it, you need some direction, and Destiny is frustratingly self-directed. You have to deliberately set your own goals, because while Destiny has had traditional story campaigns that can be replayed at any time, the meat of the experience is outside of them.

Destiny is more like a first-person shooter version of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game like World of WarCraft or Final Fantasy XIV. It’s not as varied—the mission goal in Destiny will always be “shooting things”— but the thinking is similar. You’re not necessarily playing to get to the end of a story, but rather working toward building a character with the perfect set of complementary abilities and weapons for handling different situations suited to your playstyle.

This is what is meant by the word “endgame”—it’s playing until you have the things you need to make your character the best kind of space warrior they can be.

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Do you want to achieve that as a Warlock, summoning waves of lightning from both your hands and your guns? Or do you like being a support player, setting up shields and keeping your allies safe? Maybe you like to dive in recklessly, or keep foes at a distance. Maybe you like some combination of these things. Destiny 2 lets you build a character that excels in your preferred style—if you’re willing to work for it. And since “work” entails some of the most consistently satisfying gunplay in video games right now, it’s not a bad proposition.

Get the Lay of the Land

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Much of what you’ll do in Destiny 2 is divided across nine planets and moons, accessible via the Director, a menu with the map of every in-game location and quest available to you. Each Destination has an open-world Patrol space, full of enemies, treasure chests, and missions or quests you can initiate at will. You’ll rarely visit them without some sort of purpose—instead, you’ll usually start your game from the Tower, a social space full of quest-givers who you can visit to direct your play. Once you’re at a destination, there’s also usually at least one other quest-giver worth seeing for additional goal-setting.

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However, a lot of Destiny 2’s content can’t be accessed from wandering around the open-world zones. Instead, you must queue into them directly via the Director. Those seeking competitive multiplayer must navigate to the Crucible menu, another game mode, Gambit, also has its own dedicated menu, and anyone seeking Strikes, Raids, or dungeons must launch them from the director.

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Similarly, if you want to play the story campaigns, you either must launch them from the Director or visit Amanda Holliday in the Tower’s hanger. Free-to-play players with Destiny 2: New Light have access to three campaigns: The Red War, Curse of Osiris, and Warmind. Of those three, The Red War, which is Destiny 2’s original campaign, is the longest and easily the best. The latter two are brief expansions of little consequence and quite skippable, unless you find the game’s renditions of Mercury or Mars fascinating and want to spend more time in them.

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Anyone who owns the Forsaken or Shadowkeep expansions also has access to their corresponding campaigns—the former can be queued up from the map of the Tangled Shore in the Director, and the latter by speaking to Eris Morn on The Moon. Forsaken’s campaign is a close second to The Red War, while Shadowkeep is best reserved for those interested in jumping into the thick of the current iteration of Destiny 2’s grind for loot.

Regardless of which campaign you play through, you’ll be acquiring new weapons and armor, slowly making your Guardian better.

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Playing with Power.

The next thing you need to understand is what “getting better” means. In Destiny, the best sense you have of that is a number called Power. It’s the biggest, most prominent number you see next to your character in the menu, and thanks to this week’s New Light rework of the game, it now starts at 750. Your weapons and armor also have power ratings, and your Power is the average of everything you have currently equipped.

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This gear also has an assortment of other stats, but initially Power is all that matters, and it’s all that will matter until you raise your overall Power to 900. So, in order to increase your Power—which you need to do in order to take on Destiny’s tougher challenges and earn the best gear—you need to find better gear.

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The best and easiest way for new players to do this is to just play through Destiny 2’s original story campaign, The Red War. It’s the best, most fun campaign, it’s available to free-to-play and paid players alike, and it’s a great way to get a quick tour of most of Destiny’s (really great) scenery, while upping your Power naturally. You can kick it off by talking to Amanda Holliday in the Tower’s Hanger section. (You could also grow in Power relatively quickly by jumping straight into the Crucible and playing lots of competitive multiplayer.)

When your Power hits 900, things change a bit. That’s what’s called the “soft cap”—those loot drops you’d find just through mundane activities won’t really climb above 900, and you shouldn’t get too precious about any of them. Gear of Uncommon (green) or Rare (blue) rarity don’t deserve a second thought—scrap them the instant you have something better. Legendary (purple) and Exotic (yellow) gear is worth holding onto in your vault, as raw materials for figuring out how you want to build your character. They’re exclusively what you want to have as you work towards the actual max Power level of 960.

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To climb that high and take on the game’s biggest challenges, you have to become more discerning in what you do, working towards goals that reward you with “Powerful Gear.” This is where the rhythms of Destiny get a little more idiosyncratic.

Get in the habit.

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Once you understand Destiny’s mentality, you can go about navigating the wealth of activities the game offers. It can be overwhelming and extremely confusing, but let’s start with some definitions. The two biggest buckets Destiny content are sorted in are Player vs. Environment (PvE) and Player vs. Player (PvP).

PvE content is the most varied, but mostly comprises activities where you (either solo or with others) take on hordes of AI enemies. These can be story missions, strikes (like story missions, but longer and made for teams of three), dungeons, quests (multi-step tasks that usually lead to gear you can’t get anywhere else) or unique activities like The Menagerie (a gauntlet of challenges run with a team of fellow Guardians.)

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PvP content is what will send you to the Crucible, Destiny’s hub for competitive multiplayer modes. It is also, blessedly, the one part of Destiny that explains itself adequately. Give each mode a try and see what you like—maybe it’s the tense 3v3 survival mode, or the more conventional team deathmatch. Playing in the Crucible can reward you with pretty good gear you can’t get anywhere else.

Once you’re acquainted with Destiny’s offerings, you need to build a ritual, a set of things you enjoy doing enough to keep coming back to them as you hunt for Powerful Gear—necessary for some of Destiny’s best challenges, like Raids.

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The best way to do this is to get to know the vendors. Each activity type has a character associated with it in the Tower. Gambit has The Drifter, Strikes have Zavala, and the Crucible has Lord Shaxx. Each will offer Bounties—simple tasks you can pick up in exchange for rewards. However, Destiny 2 is built to reward ritual play, and most of these vendors will reward you with Powerful Gear if you complete eight bounties for them in a given week.That’s your bread and butter, the stuff you can count on rewarding you with gear that’ll inch you to the Power level you want to be at.

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You also want to start running higher-tier activities:

The Nightfall is a weekly Strike that you can run at different difficulty tiers, each with their own set of modifiers meant to make it more challenging. Teamwork is more intensive, and on the highest settings, matchmaking is turned off and you have to go in with a team of your own.

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Raids are the most intense activities you can do in Destiny, requiring you to assemble a team of six for a lengthy dungeon crawl full of puzzles and combat challenges unlike anything else in the game. You’ll get unique loot from them, but note that Powerful Gear currently will only come from the latest raid, Garden of Salvation, which opens this weekend.

Seasonal activities are exclusive to Season Pass owners, and will cycle out every season (about 70 days.) These will have unique loot, and like most Destiny content, will be meant to be highly repeatable. However, since this is a new format for Destiny that kicks off this weekend, I can’t say for sure how good a resource it is.

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Stay alert. New quests, challenges, and activities crop up by surprise all the time. The rewards from these are often unique, and if they don’t boost your Power, they’ll at least be interesting, opening up possibilities for different character builds. Keep an eye out.

Manage your quests. In the absence of campaign missions, quests are essentially a to-do list meant to guide your play. Sometimes, instead of loot, you’ll find yourself with a new Quest in your inventory while playing. These often have you do a bunch of busy work for a unique reward. Based on how much time you have to play, you may or may not find them achievable. Ignore the ones you can’t possibly do, and stay abreast of the ones that seem within reach—since most of them involve going to a specific place to kill a certain types of enemies with certain types of weapons, you can find yourself with several quest and Bounty goals overlapping, multiplying the rewards you get for your time.

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Congratulations, you’re a mechanic now.

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One way of thinking about Destiny is to compare it to being really into performance cars. You start with a make and model you think suits you and proceed to make it your own. You make big changes—adding or swapping out parts—and little ones—optimizing said parts and obsessing over stats. Throughout this process, you’re driving your car constantly, seeing how well its suited towards cities, closed courses, and races. Maybe you decide you want to get into drifting, and start working toward an entirely new spec sheet for that.

Playing Destiny is more of a journey than a destination—it’s a big, unwieldy game built atop five years of existing infrastructure and ideas that have been discarded, tweaked, or overhauled significantly across the last half decade. You have to learn its quirks, and work around them to best suit your life.

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To that end, here’s some final thoughts to keep in mind.

  • There’s more than one way to play. This guide is meant to give a little direction on what can be a pretty directionless game. Find what you like to do, and try out loadouts that might make it even more fun. Challenge yourself to earn the top-tier gear best suited for your favorite activity. Read through the lore. Figure out how to find more of it.
  • Get social. Destiny 2’s community has a pretty solid reputation, so if you ask for help—in a forum, on the subreddit, or in-game—you will almost certainly find it. Guides like this are useful, but nothing compares to having someone teach you in person.
  • Don’t forget the campaigns. Talk to Amanda Holliday in the Tower to get started. Destiny isn’t really the kind of game that’s built around story campaigns anymore, but the Red War is a good time, and if that’s all you want to do, you’ll enjoy yourself.
  • Understand the menus. Destiny’s interface is a mess, but you open the menu for things you have or want—your character loadout, consumables, lore you’ve collected, challenges to achieve—and the Director is what you open for things you need to do: Planets to visit, quests to complete, and information about the current season.
  • Learn the schedule. A week in Destiny runs Tuesday-Tuesday, when the servers reset at 1 p.m. EST. After the reset, weekly challenges can be undertaken again for their best rewards. Work out a schedule that maximizes the weekly rewards, and make sure you don’t play lengthy content like Raids that might run past the reset time.
  • Consider reading up. A problem that comes with playing an MMO-style game like this is that they change constantly, and those changes aren’t always communicated in-game. Many times they are communicated by the developers instead. Read updates from Bungie, browse forums, check out the Destiny tag on Kotaku—everyone is figuring this game out together, in real time. That’s part of the fun.

Source: Kotaku.com