Tag Archives: shadowkeep

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

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: 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

Your Destiny 2 To-Do List For This Weekend

We’re about to begin the final weekend before Destiny 2‘s big expansion, Shadowkeep, launches, and it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little listless.

One of the nice things about Destiny is how it’s always endeavored to offer something for every style of play, and as a result, everyone plays at their own pace. In that spirit, I’ve got three categories of tips for you: Some general things everyone should do, a few tips for the hardcore, and finally, a few pointers for less intensive players.

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Tips For Everyone

  • Don’t try and raise your power. This is kind of counterintuitive to how Destiny works, since the primary goal of the game is finding better gear that raises your stats, but come Shadowkeep, the current power level ceiling is going to be the new floor, and everyone’s going to rocket up to 750 power. So, while you will almost certainly climb a little bit as you naturally play, don’t make it your goal. Just do what’s interesting.
  • Don’t infuse anything. That big power jump also applies to all of your gear, so there’s no point in wasting materials to upgrade weapons or armor unless you absolutely need them for something you plan to do this weekend, specifically.
  • Break down your cosmetics. We’ve known this for at least a month now, but it bears repeating: break down all the cosmetics you aren’t using for Bright Dust, stat. (Bright Dust, remember, is a currency used exclusively for cosmetics and earned through play, unlike Silver, which is bought with real money.) After next week, cosmetics will instead break down into legendary shards, and you can pull previously owned cosmetics from your collections menu with the requisite materials—so you’re essentially sitting on free Bright Dust. Cash in!
  • Also mods. Mods are converting from one-time-use to permanent unlocks in Shadowkeep, so you’ll only ever need one. If you have multiple mods of one type, break them down now, and stock up on Mod Components—they’ll come in handy as mods are about to become very important.
  • You’ve finished the campaigns, right? A hiccup of the Destiny 2 base game going free-to-play means that, if you haven’t completed any of the story campaigns—the base game’s Red War, its Curse of Osiris and Warmind expansions, or Forsaken—your progress will be reset. Thankfully, they’re all short, so if you’re midway through any of them, you can probably knock them out this weekend. And if you can’t do that, each planet in Destiny 2 will be unlocked via experience points, not campaign progress, so don’t sweat it.
  • Ignore armor. Armor is going to change completely once Shadowkeep drops, don’t even bother.
  • Remember: You can’t play the game on Monday. Destiny 2 is shutting down for a full 24 hours before Shadowkeep’s global launch on October 1, from 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m EST on Monday until the weekly reset at the same time Tuesday. Make sure you wrap up your affairs by Sunday night, or at the very latest, early Monday morning.

Tips For The Hardcore

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  • Farm Everything. If you’re a hardcore Destiny player, you probably have loads of materials in your inventory, but do a sweep and make sure your coffers are full—the economy’s changing, and it’s nice to stay liquid. Stock up on anything you can think of: planetary materials like Dusklight Shards and Microphasic Datalattice, upgrade materials like Legendary Shards and Enhancement Cores, and make sure you’re carrying the maximum amount of Glimmer.
  • Fill Out Your Arsenal. Maybe you have everything you think you need to handle whatever Shadowkeep throws your way, but are you sure? Just about every type of weapon is going to perform a little differently when the expansion hits, so you need to be thinking about versatility, and be ready to experiment. Which is fun! And even more fun if you’re prepared. Make sure you don’t have any blatant holes in your arsenal, and maybe spend some time chasing down weapons you didn’t really think highly of before. They could end up being your new favorite in Shadowkeep’s earliest hours.
  • Consider Stocking Up On Bounties. This tip comes via Datto’s brief-but-excellent guide to Shadowkeep prep. Spend some time completing bounties this weekend, and don’t cash them in. This way, you bank a bunch of readily available experience points that will level up your seasonal artifact and also might come with some sweet new loot that scales to Shadowkeep’s higher power levels. The viability of this trick wasn’t known when Datto made his video, but Bungie confirmed Thursday afternoon that most bounties will still be honored, with the exception of Crucible, Vanguard, and Gambit bounties.

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Tips For Everyone Else

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  • If you’re returning, just dip into the most recent stuff. The last year of Destiny 2 is a bit overwhelming for lapsed players, but since Bungie made last year’s Annual Pass content free this week, you might want to check it out. You need to be level 30 for these extras. I recommend you focus on the Season of Opulence stuff, which is kicked off by talking to Benedict 99-40, a robot tucked away in the Tower Annex. It’s the most well-rounded of the last year’s three updates, with a grind that feels fair and a killer activity, The Menagerie, attached. And like all of last year’s Annual Pass content, it’ll still be here when Shadowkeep launches, regardless of whether or not you buy the expansion.
  • If you crave direction, find a weapon you want and go for it. There are a lot of performance tweaks inbound with Shadowkeep, so there’s no must-have gear, but there is a wide range of interesting weapons to pursue, some of which might make you play in a way you don’t normally play. Get some friends together and try a big exotic quest for a gun you didn’t think you could get, like the Lumina healing hand cannon. Look at your Lore Books, and figure out where the missing pages might be. Make your own goals, and surprise yourself.
  • Think about friends who might be into joining you. While lots of exciting new stuff is exclusive to Shadowkeep, the Destiny 2 base game is also getting an upgrade and going free-to-play alongside the Shadowkeep launch, so it’s the perfect time to recruit some pals. They won’t be able to do everything with you, but they’ll have free access to every destination, so they’ll definitely be able to come along on the grind.
  • If you need help, ask for it! The Destiny community has by and large maintained a pretty positive atmosphere, and is full of people willing to help solo players do things they can’t pull off alone. Consider this weekend as a time to make friends and mix it up, so you won’t be going into Shadowkeep alone.

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That’s all I have for you right now. See you on the moon next week.

Source: Kotaku.com

Destiny’s Warlock Outfits Are Still Way Too Corny

Let me tell you about some pants. They’re a soft sort of charcoal, not really grey, not really black, straight cut, good with sneakers or dress shoes, relaxed but not too relaxed. They’re good pants; I know this because two people complimented them on the same day. This makes me a style king, or at the very least a style duke. But in Destiny 2, a video game where you can shop for lots of pants by shooting aliens in the face, no one is complimenting me. Because I play a Warlock, and Warlock fashion kind of sucks right now.

It wasn’t always this way. When Destiny 2 launched in 2017, bringing a whole new slate of gear with it, things looked pretty cool. You know how every six months some style magazines say “this season we’re throwing out all the rules” for whatever hot new trend is hitting the runway? (It’s a thing, trust me.) It was like that. And then it got…really boring.

I am not the only one who thinks this. Destiny players regularly complain about how washed Warlocks look in this game, with unimaginative robes that also hide whatever fresh kicks you’re wearing and “bonds” that look like iPhone exercise bands. Few Warlocks are out there feelin’ very saucy. Other Destiny players have to look at my Guardian, and most days I feel bad for them. Have you seen the Warlock’s Thorium Holt armor? It’s exclusive to PlayStation, and when you look at it, it’s pretty easy to see why: It looks like you’re wearing a PlayStation. The first one.

Within the community, a common response to this frequent Warlock complaint is that armor is kind of unimpressive across the board in Destiny 2 when compared to the first Destiny, and sure. I get it. We’re all trying to survive out here. But intersectionality is important, and if Warlocks start to look cooler, so will everyone else. A rising tide lifts all ships.

I don’t want much, really. Mostly just variety. Looking “cool” is a subjective thing based on whatever you think accentuates a person’s sense of confidence in an enviable way. In real life, “cool” depends about as much on the wearer as much as what as worn, but in Destiny, where everyone moves like coked-out hamsters with enough firepower to level a small nation, attitude is out of the mix entirely. You can focus purely on aesthetics, and they can get outrageous or muted. I just don’t know if Destiny really knows how to move beyond its initial Warlock mandate: “robes are cool.”

What, exactly, is going on here? Explicame este bufanda.

Generally speaking, I think most science fiction, regardless of the medium it’s in, is bad at fashion. The scene is just too indebted to the robed space wizards of Star Wars and the militarist/corporate futures of Alien or Battlestar Galactica. It’s robes and military gear all the way down. In space, no one hears a Supreme drop.

It doesn’t help that Destiny is structured in a way that can make it hard to really feel good about anything you’re wearing unless you’re a dedicated player. The way I play Destiny—mostly solo, mostly without raiding—I tend to end up on the lower end of the power curve, with gear just good enough to participate in most activities, but weak enough that I’m continually finding better stuff. This means I don’t have any real builds beyond picking whatever gear I currently have that’s best suited for the activity I’m about to start.

Because of this, my Guardian’s style is best described as “getting by.” I don’t bother with shaders to change the color scheme on any gear because I’ll almost certainly be moving on to something else within a week. Unless of course, I get something with a hideous default color scheme that I cannot bear to look at, like my current hand cannon of choice, Service Revolver. That default orange and blue color scheme? Sorry, fellow ‘Cuse fans, it’s got to go.

When it comes to role-playing games and the games inspired by them, this is to be expected. As your character levels up, you’re continually rewarded with more powerful skills and gear, which tickles your lizard brain and also encourages you to experiment with weapons and skills you might not otherwise touch. It’s understood that your appearance might not be ideal, but it’s okay—you’re leveling. It’s not going to last long.

Any of you watch that show Riverdale?

Then in the “endgame,” you have a good sense of what you like, and you can work towards achieving the most perfect version of your character, optimized to make them better at all the things you like doing. But in live-service games like Destiny 2, you can find yourself like me, “leveling” indefinitely as the game keeps growing and adding new things to do with more powerful gear to reward you with. It’s hard to focus on fashion when you’re just trying to keep up, but also frustrating, because I’d like to look cool, and I do not look cool.

I am aware that Destiny allows you to “infuse” armor, letting you use new high-power armor you don’t want to boost the old armor that you do. The problem here is that it is too expensive to do regularly, requiring a host of materials that, given recent changes to Destiny’s economy, are now in short supply. Besides, if I’m infusing anything in this game, I’m infusing weapons, which are far more useful to keep up-to-date.

There’s reason to believe that the forthcoming Shadowkeep expansion will help in this regard, but also reason to believe it will not. On the one hand, the new “Armor 2.0” plan seeks to divorce cosmetics from performance, which is good for players in my position. On the other hand, cosmetics are the stock and trade of the game’s microtransaction-fueled Eververse Store, and it’s easy to imagine a future where the coolest looks are mostly obtained by the people who pay for them.

The planned changes to the Eververse store seem to hint at this, since once Shadowkeep drops, all armor sold there will become “universal ornaments” applicable to any Legendary piece of armor in the game. Currently, the store’s armor is tied to character class and comes with its own set of perks (their power level is determined by what you choose to infuse them with). Like this set, which you can purchase now if you want to look like a Wild Thornberry.

There’s no way this is going to get as many compliments as my very cool pants.

Source: Kotaku.com

Destiny 2’s Seasons Will Work Much Differently This Year

Image: Bungie

Destiny 2 is about to get some big changes with its forthcoming Shadowkeep expansion, out October 1. Changes so big that developer Bungie has chosen to slowly tell us about them piecemeal, in lengthy blog posts from the game’s director, Luke Smith.

This week, Smith published a post outlining Destiny’s new approach to its seasonal structure, and its changes are substantial. Here’s how the lay of the land will look once Shadowkeep launches:

  • Seasons will now have a more predictable structure, each with a unique activity that will earn you seasonal loot, and some kind of effect on the game world. In the Season of the Undying that begins October 1st, for example, Vex will invade the Moon, presumably for story reasons, and when that season is over, they will be gone, that story wrapped.
  • There are now four seasons per year instead of three, each 10 weeks long. In addition, players can buy into individual seasons for $10 instead of being forced into buying an annual pass if they want to participate at all.
  • Seasons will now come with Seasonal Ranks that will reward specific loot at given tiers. There’s a free track and a premium one for people who buy the season—naturally, the premium one has more rewards that you can earn faster.
  • Only paid players will get access to each seasonal event, where the season’s best loot will drop—or at least better rolls of that season’s loot.
  • The new Seasonal Artifact (which all players will receive) allows players to unlock seasonal mods that are account-wide, letting players choose from a set of unique buffs that, while currently a mystery, might be a little more experimental than the standard mods that improve cooldowns or buff weapon accuracy. The artifact can also be leveled up to increase the power it adds to your character, and has no level cap. Every season will have a new Artifact, and the old one will become obsolete.

Throughout the post, Smith notes that the nitty-gritty of some of these plans are fluid and subject to change—like, for example, the rate at which free players may earn loot, and how Destiny 2 might offer Seasonal Rank boosts to let you catch up to other players. (Smith says currently the plan may be to offer rank boosts in the final weeks of a season for late adopters.) There’s a lot to be wary of, but few things about Destiny have ever really sounded good on paper—especially when Smith frustratingly alludes to unnamed new features that can’t yet be revealed because of spoilers.

Image: Bungie

It all might make a little more sense with an example. Here’s how Smith sees it playing out, using the previous year of Destiny 2 content to illustrate the coming changes. It all begins with a countdown timer to a season’s start, culminating in the arrival of Ada-1 and the Season of the Forge.

The Season Pass in the Director is updated, the rewards are revealed, and now Ada and players begin a Season-long experience of refining forges in the world, completing bounties, finding materials, working on Black Armory armor sets, and taking on the new raid, Scourge of the Past. In a twist, Datto and his group are the first to finish.

As players work together to forge weapons early in the track, smithing and building new ones, the room around Ada begins to change. The schematic data from players’ work is resulting in new weapons and mods for players to create. These weapons and mods don’t all require playing the Seasonal activity—some of them are found in new encounters within strikes, some of them are forged in Last Wish (like the Alchemy Lab in Blackwing Lair).

Very late in the Season, players notice Ada’s room looks like it’s being packed up. She’s leaving. The schematics that sat behind her are missing. Over the course of a few weeks, she packs her equipment and, in an event similar to her arrival, she vanishes. Ada, her wares, and her forges are gone.

Banshee-44 reminds players that even though Ada is gone, she left him the schematics for her weapons and armor, and he’ll be rotating them through over time.

We’ve got another full month to go before Shadowkeep. That’s a lot of time to learn even more stuff, like how they’ll fix Strike Playlists so I don’t have to run The Arms Dealer every single time.

Source: Kotaku.com

Before Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Here’s What You Need To Know About Eris Morn

Image: Bungie

When Destiny launched in 2014, it wasn’t really a place you went for rich, interesting characters. Sure, they were around, but it would take some time before they’d be fleshed out. Commander Zavala, Ikora Rey, and of course, Cayde-6 are all much more memorable now than they were five years ago. That’s not just because of familiarity—Bungie’s writers did the work, fleshing these folks out from their barebones introductions. But there are some characters that have largely been left alone, and with its forthcoming Shadowkeep expansion, which launches on October 1, Destiny 2 is revisiting one of its most controversial and compelling characters, Eris Morn. It’s the perfect time, then, to catch up on her story.

In some ways, Eris is a symbol of the old Destiny—pretentious, overly severe, and with zero self-awareness. She arrived in the game with the first expansion, The Dark Below (December 2014), an update most famous for breaking the Destiny endgame and making it very clear that the game needed to work out some pretty big problems. This made her something of a bitter pill to swallow for Destiny players, which was a shame because, as anyone who read that game’s Grimoire cards could find, her backstory was truly haunting, one of the darkest turns lurking in Destiny’s hidden lore.

Eris Who?

Thanks to fan projects like the Ishtar Collective, you can read all of the lore from Destiny/Destiny 2 and piece together her story. After first contact between Earth and the Hive took place on the Moon, Eris Morn became one of the Guardians at the forefront of the fight, determined to discover how to beat them. She formed what’s often referred to as “the first fireteam” that ventured into the Moon’s Hellmouth (the first Destiny really went for it) in a vain effort to kill the Hive prince Crota.

Unlike most of her fireteam, Morn survived, but only by hiding in the Hellmouth for an unspecified but very long time, during which she lost her Ghost and possibly her mind. Despite suspicions from other characters that her time among the Hive had corrupted her, she is also one of the only living Hive experts, and helps give Guardians like you the knowledge you need to beat Crota, and later his father Oryx.

That was it. Eris Morn, it is implied, continues to be active in the field working for the Vanguard Warlock Ikora Rey as one of her Hidden—a scattered network of informants that periodically send dispatches you can read about in lore entries—but the wheels of Destiny’s lore began to shift as the sequel came around in 2017, and the game took on a very different direction.

So Why Do I Need To Know This Now?

Destiny 2 really seemed like it was done with Eris Morn, and that move made sense. She was a good poster child for the least fun era of the game, a relic from when nothing in Destiny made sense and yet we still couldn’t stop playing. Quippy, charismatic characters like Cayde-6 took the forefront for Destiny 2. Often, the other characters would even poke fun at Eris Morn—and, by extension, the first Destiny’s bone-dry plot.

The main story of the game also couldn’t have been further from all this Hive stuff anyway: Destiny 2 has largely been about the Guardians’ struggle against a Cabal invasion led by Ghaul, commander of the Red Legion. Known as the Red War, it’s a straightforward story of death and rebirth, a soft reboot that doesn’t mess with what worked (mostly everything from The Taken King onward) and de-emphasizes a lot of muddled ideas so they could be workshopped into something more satisfying (like the vague proper nouns of Darkness and Light and just what they mean in the game’s fiction).

In Forsaken, Destiny 2’s first major expansion that launched in the fall of 2018, some of those older ideas return—and Eris Morn is hiding among them, if you know where to look. (The answer to where to look is “lore books,” a new take on the first game’s Grimoire Cards, only this time you can actually read them in the game.) While the main campaign of Forsaken is a space Western revenge tale where you seek justice for the murder of fan-favorite character Cayde-6, these books hint at something far more complex—a story of madness and unseen manipulators, working to unknown ends.

Okay, How Deep Does This Rabbit Hole Go?

Here’s what we know for sure, per the official Shadowkeep page: Eris Morn got curious, and once again, something has awakened on the Moon. They’re called Nightmares, and honestly, they just sound like an excuse to remix foes you’ve already fought. Pretty hum-drum. If you’ve been reading the lore though? There’s enough there to make you think you might find Pepe Silvia lurking underneath it all.

One of the biggest questions in Destiny lore right now is who the real puppetmaster is, or at least the biggest bad in the known hierarchy. Forsaken seemed to have a clear villain in the Awoken prince Uldren Sov, who appeared to be corrupted by the darkness.

Play through the Forsaken campaign and that story gets neatly resolved, only to be complicated by the endgame that takes players to the Dreaming City, where they puzzle over mysteries, take on challenges, and beat the Last Wish raid, learning that Uldren was not corrupted but controlled by a wish-granting ancient dragon called Riven of a Thousand Voices. Riven herself is corrupted by the Taken, which ties Forsaken all the way back to The Taken King and introduces dozens of questions that we’d be here all day puzzling over if we wanted to.

Then, a cutscene added to Destiny 2 a few months after Forsaken’s launch revealed a Ghost reviving Uldren, who may now have to take the role of a Guardian, and will almost certainly play a pivotal role in story events to come.

The important thing to note is that if the Taken play a role, then the Hive are involved, and if the Hive are involved… Eris Morn won’t be far.

Is There One Big Destiny Villain?

What’s neat about diving into all these disparate story threads is that, while at times it’s frustrating and wholly ancillary to the experience of actually playing Destiny, a lot of it seems to be pushing the game’s story in the direction of one big primary threat, one overarching villain who manipulates and upsets the various factions in the game’s universe in ways that give players a variety of interesting things to shoot.

So if you ascribe to a Unified Theory of Destiny Villains, you can read the whole game as the story of the fight between the family of Oryx, The Taken King, and the Guardians.

This is why the Destiny fan community is trying to piece together everything they can about a character known as Savathûn the Witch-Queen, Oryx’s sister. Savathûn has not appeared in-game as of yet, but she’s been mentioned in The Taken King Grimoire cards and her name pops up in various corners of both Destiny and Destiny 2–on patrol, in enemy titles, dialogue snippets, and lore entries. Eris Morn is a big part of one of them.

The lore book “Truth to Power” presents itself as a dispatch from Eris Morn, at first telling you about her personal backstory growing up in St. Petersburg, Russia long ago. But as you go through the story, it becomes apparent that something’s amiss, and it’s never really clear who you’re hearing from—at one point it might be an AI, at another it might be an agent of Savathûn, all of them describing the machinations of the Taken in the Dreaming City, and how they relate to a grander scheme. The final dispatch, however, claims that they all really were from Eris all along, leaving you unsure what to believe—especially since Morn claims they are all forgeries in another, related lore entry.

How can I prove to you that I’m really Eris Morn? Not Medusa, not Riven, not Quria, not Dûl Incaru, not the Witch-Queen Herself? I don’t know. Will you believe me? Will you scour these pages for proof or disproof … Will this manuscript become the foundation of another teetering edifice of theory and anticipation?

Truth To Power, Part 10: It’s just me

Of late, Destiny’s lore has become fond of unreliable narrators. If Destiny’s main plots are straightforward sci-fi adventures, then the ancillary plots that spiral out of its lore books are a pile of non-linear detective work, an array of documents that may or may not be related with a confounding level of plausible deniability baked in.

You could dismiss Eris, and everything about her, as a pile of gobbledygook you need not pay mind to as you spelunk the moon and kill space zombies when Shadowkeep drops in October. But there’s a lot of room for payoff here, a possible resolution to one of Destiny’s grandest tragedies—the story of a woman who went to war and was completely broken, but still helped vanquish one of the universe’s greatest threats even as her colleagues doubted her sanity. Her impact is immeasurable, but her reputation is also irreparably damaged—and that might be played against us.

Destiny 2 has been experimenting with giving players choices, and basic as those choices currently are, you can get a lot of mileage out of a simple question. A question like: when Eris Morn comes back, will you trust her?

Source: Kotaku.com

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Delayed Two Weeks

There are some big changes coming to Destiny 2 with its next expansion, Shadowkeep, and those changes are going to take a little more time to get here. Today, Bungie announced that Shadowkeep and the new, free-to-play version of Destiny 2, New Light, are being delayed from September 17 to October 1.

“Being independent means that the future of Destiny 2 is entirely on our team,” the developers wrote in an announcement Thursday. “It also means that we’re agile enough to choose to do what’s best for the game and our players, even if it’s the hard choice.”

The delay also means a few more dates are getting shuffled around on the Destiny road map. The race for World First on Shadowkeep’s forthcoming raid will begin on October 5, the weekend immediately after the new launch date. In the meantime, the ongoing Moments of Triumph challenge will be extended through September 17, and an additional Iron Banner Crucible event will be held the week of September 17. Cross save will be coming “later this summer,” with no specific date other than “ahead of Shadowkeep.”

It’s definitely a drag, but hey—it’s not like there isn’t loads of Destiny 2 stuff to do in the meantime.

Shadowkeep’s delay also moves it slightly away from some other shooters. Gears 5 is slated for September 10, and Borderlands 3 is on for September 13. The new October 1 date puts the expansion out right before October 4‘s Ghost Recon Breakpoint.

Source: Kotaku.com

Destiny 2 Leak Reveals Shadowkeep Expansion, Set On The Moon

A spanking hot new leak has revealed the next Destiny 2 expansion, and it’s set in the place from which wizards come. Shadowkeep, which will take Destiny players back to the moon, will go live this fall.

Bungie plans to officially reveal Shadowkeep during a livestream on Thursday afternoon, but word has leaked out today thanks to dataminers digging through the PC files in today’s big Destiny 2 update, Season of Opulence. (The above screen is likely meant to pop up when you log into the game after Shadowkeep is unveiled on Thursday.) The moon was one of Destiny 1‘s major locations, but has not yet made an appearance in the sequel, which came out in 2017.

The pre-E3 leaks never end! More coming during Bungie’s stream on Thursday.

Source: Kotaku.com