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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

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

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

See How The Moon Changed From Destiny To Destiny 2

Since Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is allowing players to go back to the Moon, we thought we’d make a comparison video showing how some of the staple locations have changed from the original Destiny.

  • Hellmouth has some interesting, subtle changes, with what used to be minor cracks in the ground now being deep troughs.
  • The change to Anchor of Light is the most dramatic, with an entire ship crash-landing into it.
  • The Gateway and Archer’s Line are pretty much the same, which is pleasantly nostalgic.

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There are new locations as well.

To make this comparison work, we sped up some gameplay slightly here and there. The focus is to show how the moon has changed, from the 2014 original to the place players can visit in its sequels 2019 expansion.

Alanah Pearce has been writing and making videos about video games for almost a decade, which is very financially at odds with her life goal; to go to space. Please tweet her words of encouragement here: https://www.twitter.com/Charalanahzard 

Source: Kotaku.com

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Is Full Of Mysteries That Will Kick Your Ass

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is a lot to take in. In one fell swoop, the expansion resets player progression, institutes a new seasonal model for live events, and adds a wealth of new content. It’s going to take some time to get a grasp of the scope of things. Online, ever-changing games like this are less like cars and more like big old boats, or what I imagine boats to be like—too big to notice tiny changes in until you become deeply familiar with the bones of the thing. Massive shifts appear, to the naked eye, to not be happening at all.

Right now, Destiny 2 has some bigger problems: After clogged servers kept players from logging in today, Bungie shut it all down for emergency maintenance. Once you manage to log on to Shadowkeep, there’s plenty new that you’ll notice immediately. A lot of it, you probably have been expecting, given Bungie’s slow-burn divulging of details over the last few months. But contemplating these changes from afar and having them in your hands are two very different experiences. Consider these off-the-cuff impressions—I’ve hardly scratched the surface of things and I have a lot of questions, but I’m certain that I’ll be playing a lot of Shadowkeep.

Remember when this game was hard?

For the most part, Destiny is a pretty easy game, even for a solo player. If you didn’t take on its top-tier challenges—raids, Nightfall strikes, the Reckoning—it was kind of laughably easy. You had your preferred loadout for rinsing through scrubs, and when the big boys came to say hello, you had an answer ready.

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Now that power levels are reset? You’re a scrub. You are washed. At least, on Shadowkeep’s new remixed version of the Moon, you are. You will regularly stumble across areas patrolled by enemies that are roughly 100 power above you, which is the threshold where you flat-out can’t damage them. It’s a bucket of cold water to the face.

It’s also a way to gate progress, to keep you from delving too deep into the Moon or its mysteries too soon.

Hope you love mysteries.

In its return to the Moon, a locale players haven’t visited since the first Destiny, Shadowkeep repaints it with the layer of opaque mystery that became a trademark of some of the best Destiny destinations, like the Dreadnaught in The Taken King or The Dreaming City in Forsaken. Keep a sharp eye out and you’ll see little figurines that you can’t yet interact with,, bits of bone that unlock lore, or areas that are walled off by a forcefield.

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You’ll also stumble on things you just plain don’t expect, like this ship corridor that looks straight out of an Alien film.

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Exploring is always the best part of a new Destiny expansion.

I’m worried about the grind.

Shadowkeep is revamping the entire in-game economy, re-introducing formerly deprecated materials and making relatively useless currencies relevant again. It’s going to take some time for players to run up against any pain points in the new economic landscape as they loot and upgrade their way across the solar system, but I’m a little worried that things are looking a bit more grindy.

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This will be hard to sort out for sure, as everyone will be leveling over the next few days, churning through whatever gear will raise their power level from 750 to the new soft cap of 900 . Part of the reason I feel this way is due to the new armor system. On paper, it is very cool, allowing you to swap out mods that help spec your armor for certain builds. But it also seems like it will get expensive in the long run.

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Mods cost energy, and each piece of armor has an energy budget from 1 to 10. When you pick up a new piece of armor, it’s assigned a random energy value, which you can then upgrade using Glimmer and Legendary Shards. It’s not much—upgrading my boots from 2 energy to 3 costs 500 Glimmer and 1 Legendary Shard. But imagine doing that multiple times, for multiple pieces of armor. It’s a whole new, massive resource sink.

It might be offset by another new thing, though.

Seasonal rewards are extremely compelling.

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This is probably not a surprise, since Destiny 2’s seasonal reward structure echoes Fortnite’s Battle Pass, and the Battle Pass is an incredibly effective way to monetize free games. If you’re not familiar with either, here’s the gist:

For the current 70-day “season” of Destiny 2, there are two rewards tracks: one for people who have a season pass, and one for those who do not. Everyone who plays Destiny 2 earns experience, which goes towards your Season Rank. Achieve a new Season Rank, and you’ll get rewards—everyone on the “free” track gets the reward, and season pass owners also get a fancy bonus reward.

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The nice thing about it is that the seasonal rewards seem to include a lot of upgrade materials, which might offset the need to constantly farm what you need to keep your gear in tip-top shape. Season pass owners get lots more of this stuff, which might prove that the free tier offerings are negligible. Again, I’m worried about the grind.

At the very least, Destiny 2 does an excellent job of explaining what’s included in a season for those who have a pass and those who do not. There are no surprises.

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Everything’s different now.

Shadowkeep’s changes and tweaks are pervasive, and this makes it hard to catalogue and evaluate them. Gun performance is different across the board, the difference between base and critical damage is different, the Crucible has been reworked, and there’s a new schedule of live events that might change how the rest of the game’s older destinations might play out.

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I’m still too early in the story to really say much about it other than this: It is about as amusingly portentous as anything involving Eris Morn, the game’s most goth character. It also almost immediately sends you on one of Destiny’s favorite kinds of time-killing quests: “Go charge this artifact by doing busywork.”

Said busywork is more interesting than it previously was. Instead of boring patrol beacons that trigger repeatable vanilla missions, the Moon is full of these haunted blood-ghosts that ask you to kill their nightmare, which is pretty damn metal.

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As you’ve probably put together by now: Moon’s haunted. I’m into it though, and can’t wait to dive into more. As soon as these servers come back online.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Destiny 2 Patch Changes A Lot Of The Game’s Most Familiar Menus

Destiny 2‘s big New Light overhaul today boosts all existing players to power level 750. It also may slightly adjust your progression. Here are some things that stood out at first glance when I logged into the game with my character today.

First, there’s the character screen, now complete with Sparrow vehicle and Ghost along with lots more stats and an inventory slot for the new Seasonal Artifacts. Compare that to how my character looked yesterday morning, before the game’s servers went down to prep for today’s update.

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Quite the power level boost, as you can see, from 471 to 750 and a boost of Bright Dust from 70 to 870 (I had pre-ordered the new Shadowkeep expansion, complete with the new annual pass, so it’s possible the Bright Dust increase is due to that).

Drop down to the lower part of the character screen, where you can select your Sparrow and your spaceship, and you’ll now also see an option to equip a finisher. These are the new combat moves added with the expansion and sold in the in-game store.

My Hunter has a forward-spinning attack by default.

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I had finished the game’s original campaign and the main campaigns of the Curse of Osiris and Warmind expansions. I had only played the first two missions of the campaign from last year’s Forsaken expansion, and, as Bungie warned, my progress on that one was rewound. I’ll have to start over from its first mission if I want to complete it. (The post-campaign quests I unlocked for the other expansion campaigns remain available to me, so the game definitely was just checking if you got to the end of the main questline as opposed to doing all of each expansion’s side stuff).

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The game’s map is much more open to me than it had been. While I’d not unlocked Forsaken’s Dreaming City, it’s now available for me to explore. And even though I lost my Forsaken campaign progress, I can still visit its opening Tangles Shore zone and its quest-giver, the Spider. I even still have some bounties he gave me.

The top row is what unlocks if you’re playing without paying extra. The bottom row is what also unlocks if you have the season pass.

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Bungie is pushing its store harder than before, adding it as a tab from the game’s main Director map. There’s also now a tab for Seasons, which is the Fortnite Battle Pass-style stream of unlocks that players get for plugging away at Destiny for the next 70 days.

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The main event of today’s new Destiny 2 offerings is the Shadowkeep expansion, which I’ve not yet started. We’ll have impressions on that soon, but there are also other things to poke at, including new quests in the Tower to reach power level 900 and one to try out the new finisher.

I can try for that power level 900 quest as long as those servers hold up…

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We’ll have more about Destiny 2‘s changes, including impressions of the new armor system, the Shadowkeep expansion and more in the coming days.

Source: Kotaku.com

Here’s How Bungie Changed The Beginning Of Destiny 2

One of the more exciting things about Destiny 2’s Shadowkeep expansion is how its release will be accompanied by a free-to-play version of the base Destiny 2 experience. Dubbed Destiny 2: New Light, the new version aims to bring in new players and offer them a generous helping of the Destiny 2 experience, but even faster than before. It’s been a little unclear how that will actually work, but new preview footage from New Light released today shows how it works.

Here’s IGN’s video preview, which shows off the first 25 minutes of the game.

Like we’ve known for some time, New Light will start all players with the opening mission from the first Destiny, waking them up at the Russian Cosmodrome after they choose a character class and customize their look. That mission leads to them finding a ship, fighting alien forces known as the Fallen and flying to the game’s main hub, the Tower.

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This is not at all how Destiny 2 used to begin. Anyone who played the game since it launched in 2017 first experienced an attack on the Tower by the forces of the warlord Ghaul. The attack knocked the Guardian down to the Earth surface below, stripping them of most of their power and flowed into a campaign that only brought them back to the Tower at the very end.

In the revised New Light version, you’re safe in the Tower once you get there. That location functions as a social hub where Destiny players collect most of their missions and interact with fellow players. From there, you’re free to do anything available to you.

What we learn from preview videos like this one is that when new players arrive at the Tower, they’re given a “New Light” quest chain that asks them to do a few basic things: Go on a multiplayer Strike, visit Earth, the first available destination for player-vs-environment missions, complete a few bounties, and ultimately raise your character’s power level from the new base 750 up to 770.

However, that’s just recommended. You could, if you chose to, jump into the PvP Crucible once you get to the tower, and go a few rounds. Or you could try the PvE/PvP hybrid Gambit, which is excellent. Or you could kick off the story campaign to Destiny 2, the Red War—it’s not clear how you do this from the video, but a Bungie rep confirmed to Kotaku that New Light players can begin the Red War campaign as soon as they get to the tower by talking to Amanda Holliday, the shipwright who resides in the hanger.

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There are a lot of things to do in the tower thanks to the fact that Destiny has had its initial release and first two expansions, leading to numerous questlines which have gone free-to-play with the switch to New Light.

In the coming days, a lot of buzz around Destiny 2 will naturally gravitate to all the new things in Shadowkeep, but it’s also worth noting how smart a rework of the base game New Light looks like it’s shaping up to be. New players won’t be able to do absolutely everything—while Forsaken destinations like the Tangled Shore and the Dreaming City are available to New Light players, story missions and Forsaken loot won’t be, and each destination will unlock after reaching certain experience thresholds—it looks like a great way to ease new players in without overwhelming them or feeling too restrictive.

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Hopefully New Light works as well as advertised, because I could use a few extra folks to squad up with, even if they aren’t quite ready to spend the money necessary to delve into Shadowkeep.

Source: Kotaku.com