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    Destiny

    Game » consists of 25 releases. Released Sep 09, 2014

    Shoot your way across the solar system to level up and collect new loot in this multiplayer-focused first-person shooter from Bungie and Activision.

    How to Level Efficiently in Rise of Iron (Updated 10/18)

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    Avatar image for hestilllives19
    Hestilllives19

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    #1  Edited By Hestilllives19

    A lot of this is information prior to 10/18. Look at the bottom for current Advice, but browse this as it will be referenced there.

    First and foremost, I want to admit. I made a ton of mistakes yesterday. Therefor I am only sitting at around 354 Light Level right now (9/22), update 387 on all 3 characters (10/17). This is primarily due to me not understanding the major changes they made to the Light Leveling System for Rise of Iron. So in an attempt to prevent others here from making those same mistakes I wanted to create a Guide per say of what I learned, through Trial and Error, mostly Error, yesterday, and how not to make the same mistakes that I did. Another huge thing to note, before going into this guide, is that 370 is the recommended Light Level for Wrath of The Machine Normal, even if you can currently get to 388 (only 11 players at 388 in Destiny right now 10/17), so keep this in mind. The final encounter of WotM is 380 on Normal Mode. Without further ado, here goes.

    For the purposes of this guide, I'm going to assume you came into Rise of Iron at 335 with 200 Legendary Marks and a fair amount of normal Destiny materials. If you didn't, all of these same principle's apply, they just might take you longer. One of the first things to note, if you have multiple characters, is to focus first on the character you play the most often as boosting a 2nd and 3rd character is easy due to the 1 to 1 infusion system, so waiting until at least hitting 365 is more beneficial. So grind that character as high as possible first. Throughout this entire process, while it should be obvious, keep any Legendary/Exotic Engrams (up to 365 and 356+ for Exotic) for a slot that is relatively close to your current Light Level. You can use those later when that slot "falls behind" to make larger gains to that slot using a method I call the Rule of 5.

    1. Go through the story missions per normal. Once finished with those go directly to The Tower. It is likely you have been getting Rare's throughout the story, you should have been putting those on to upgrade your light as you went forward, since gear didn't really matter, especially before decrypting anything (ALWAYS have max Light when you know you are about to obtain loot). It is likely that you are at 340, or close to, since 340 is the highest light Rare Engrams can decrypt to.

    2. Now, use your Legendary Marks to purchase Vendor gear at 350. Keep in mind that if you have a Legendary Class Engram, you can trade it to Shiro for a 350 Class item for only 5,000 Glimmer, otherwise you will have to spend 20 Motes and 60 Marks to the Speaker. Ghost, Class Item, Boots, Chest, and Arms are 75 Marks each from a Vendor. Buy whatever is your lowest in slot gear first, thereby increasing your Light by the most. The goal would be to buy all 350 gear from Vendors, but that would take 935 Legendary Marks. It's highly unlikely you have access to that. So Do Not buy Weapons or a Helmet, just use 340 Rares in those slots. Doing this should still let you hit the 345ish range for only 300-360 Legendary Marks, which is much more obtainable via Public Events (15 first time each day on each character if you have 3, plus a Legendary Engram), Daily Story/Crucible (15 each), Weekly Heroic (3x10), Weekly Crucible (3x10), and Quest Rewards. You have a Weekly potential of at least 585 Legendary Marks plus any you brought into the DLC to begin with and a few extra's from one time Quest completions. So this should be easy to do for anyone within the week, or those with 200 on Day 1, in a few days. Update: Xur sells his gear at 350 Light Level. These items can easily be purchased to save Legendary Marks for Strange Coins and then infused into existing gear. On September 23rd he has brought a Helmet, Chest, Boots, and Primary Weapon. That drops the Legendary Mark total to Infuse down from 425 to only 12 Marks and 62 Strange Coins. It's a pretty fantastic deal and upgrades 4 of your 10 slots to 350. For reference I gained about 200 Strange Coins just this past week since Xur left last week, so those should be easy to come by.Also, now that Xur comes, my recommendations for what to spend Legendary Marks on at the Vendor changes a bit. Ghost and Class Items are of utmost priority now, simply because Xur can bring Helmets, Chests, Gloves, Boots, and all Weapon types. So buy those items first, it order to not waste Legendary Marks.

    3. After the tower go finish the Quest Champion of Light. Finishing this unlocks the Iron Lords Legacy Token, and will allow you to get your hands on one of the new Artifacts at 350 Light. I'm trying to be as vague as possible, as to not spoil anything other than the Quest name, but getting a 350 Artifact is tough, and these are the easiest guaranteed way to hit 350 in that slot. Another thing to note is that this Artifact can be switched between characters as well, so it will allow you to only need 1 Artifact rather than 3, or 1 on each character. I currently use Skorri, as it is ok for PvP but amazing in PvE. When your Super is charged, it charges the other players Super 50% faster.

    4. This is when you need to focus of upgrading specific weapons. Week 1's Weekly Heroic was Arc Burn. That means you want to pick a weapon selection of Arc Weapons to focus on Upgrading at this point. Zhalo Supercell, if you have it, is the ideal Exotic here, especially with the Arc Burn. The next step should be obvious, grind Weekly Heroics until you hit the 365 mark. At 365, you will no longer be obtaining a benefit from Grinding the Weekly Heroic. One major thing of note, Omnigul can be farmed if you see that strike in the Heroic playlist. Ominigul Farm was patched on 9/29. This is no longer a viable strategy, after more than a year. Just knock out those Heroics. This is where you want to start using your Legendary Engrams and the Rule of 5. Basically you just wait to pop an Engram of a certain type, say Boots, until that slot falls behind your current Light Level by 5+ Levels. This will allow you to slingshot your level up whenever popping an Engram. Do this whenever you notice any 1 slot behind the others by a significant amount. Another thing to note is Bungie purposefully slowed progression in this level range, 350-365. You will only get a 50% chance at a 1-2 Light Level increase here. It's the worst part of the grind you will go through. Light Level increases normalizes past 365 again. It's a frustrating thing Bungie decided to do, but it is what it is.

    5. This is the huge mistake I made. Save materials until after you hit 365 for buying Faction Packages. Using Heavy Ammo, Motes of Light, Armor/Weapon Parts, Destinations Materials, etc to level up Factions prior to 365 is an absolute waste of them since Weekly Heroics cap at 365 and Faction Packages cap at 385. Go through as much Materials spending as your heart desires at this point (don't spend all of your Motes of Light though, those are incredibly useful for both Exotic Shard buying and leveling gear by burning them). Equip the upgrades immediately no matter the stats, as each one will help your get your Light Level up. Keep in mind Exotic Class Items increase Reputation gains from Factions like Dead Orbit, thus using less of your materials per Faction Package. You can look at this from two perspectives now. You are close to Raid ready already at 365, you can either push for Light Level, or go for gear that helps your character long term. If going for Light Level buy the package that corresponds to what you need most. If going for long term, like myself, buy packages from a Vendor with great Base stat weapons. All factions have a few good base stat weapons, so this has more to do with preference. I choose Dead Orbit looking for a perfect Shotgun and Scout Rifle. Future War Cult has a great Pulse Rifle and Fusion Rifle, and New Monarchy has a great Sniper Rifle and Auto Rifle. Another thing to remember, is like I mentioned at the top, 370 is the Recommended Light Level for Wrath of the Machine on Normal, so at 365 you are almost there.

    6. After you have exhausted all of the materials you are willing to spend, this is when it's time to start breaking out those Exotic Engrams. These should be used just like Legendary Engrams were, only for your lowest in slot gear first. In other words, if your boots are 361, and you are pushing 368, it's time to upgrade your boots, but if you already have 369 boots, using the Exotic Boot engram now is nothing short of wasting it entirely. Be smart about when to utilize your Exotic Engrams. Do Not go and blow all of them on this step. Save some for later if you can, it will save you a lot of time. By using the Rule of 5 you will generally use your Exotics quite effectively as well, as each one will net you at least half of a full Light Level.

    7. After 365, the amount of activities that grant you 385 gear starts to get slimmer. Skeleton keys are one way, but they are very rare. You may also want to keep at least 1 as the Thorn bounty requires at least 1. But if you've been playing Heroic Strikes, you've probably obtained one or two of these. They reward boss specific rewards from a Chest at the end of a strike. You can hold up to 5 Skeleton keys per character, and 5 stored in the Vault, or at max 20 Skeleton Keys. Put your first 5 keys in the Vault, then move them to a secondary character, and tertiary character for the next set of 5. If you have that many, using some earlier before 365 wouldn't hurt anything as doing an extra 20 strikes would be very time consuming, but this allows you to always burn one after this point when you are doing any strike. But lets be real here, I've found 2 in probably 100 Heroics strikes, you likely won't even get close to 20.

    8. Nightfalls. They are listed as 360 but I recommend waiting until late in the week, or once you've hit past 365 so that you get the most from your rewards as they go to the full 385. But whatever you do, Do Not let the week skip you by without doing it. It's a great place to get Exotics and a Light Level increase from drops. Unless you have luck like me and get 18 Strange coins or 11 3 of Coins from it. I did get a fancy dance from it this week though, yippee. Prior to 10-18, the Nightfall is 1 of only 4 places to get 385+ gear as well, so keep that in mind. The other two places are Trials of Osiris, Iron Banner, and Exotic Engrams. Though Exotic Engrams turn into 385+ the least so just save those until after the 10-18 update. This information will be irrelevant tomorrow.

    9. Queens Wrath also drop gear at what I'm told is 385 quality. Along those same lines Challenge of Elders drops gear up to 365, so you can knock out an Elder Sigil before 365, and the bounties for Queens Wrath after and hopefully level up that faction for a free Faction Armor package. Varicks packages are at 385 though since it's kind of a Faction.

    10. Court of Oryx. This is by far the worst, most tedious, and least likely thing for me to actually do. But Artifacts are by far the hardest thing to come by past 365. Unless you get lucky, it will likely be your worst in class item. Now Court itself Will Not get you an Artifact unlike last week. But leveling up Eris seems to grant Artifacts about 75% of the time. So grind out Court of Orxy until you earn an Eris Package and hope you are lucky enough to earn a Level equivalent Artifact (Keep in mind normal Faction Package frequently drop both Ghosts and Class Items so those shouldn't be an issue). The key here is getting an Eris bounty for Court of Oryx. It should pop within your first few Runes. Finishing those 3-4 bounties in a row will net you most of a level from Eris. Then use charged Antiquated Runes for 100 XP each to finish out your level. It seems worse than it is, just keep in mind you may get screwed by that 25% RNG and get a Class Item instead.

    11. Character switching. Now it's time to complete both 8 & 9 on your 2nd and 3rd characters. If you have excess gear near the end of switching characters for every slot, save them up for your other characters. Then use the gear you get there to infuse your next, and your last character back into your main. This is only true for Class Specific items, as Weapons/Ghost/Iron Artifacts should always be upgraded since they can just be transferred to another character straight across. Doing this will drastically improve the speed at which you level, make sure you only do this with the last piece of gear, as not keeping gear up to date so to speak only means you next pieces won't be as high of Light Level and you are losing out on LL for no reason.

    12. Since Wrath of the Machine launched, if you find yourself able to complete the Raid, follow the bold strategy on 11 for your next character before he enters the Raid. This will dramatically improve your Light Level for each subsequent completion of the Raid, and if completed 3 times this weekend, will easily net you 3 close to 385 characters, even from a 365 starting point. This ideology holds for whenever you are able to complete the Raid, or parts of it, and are running multiple characters. It piggybacks the gains of one character to the next. Another viable strategy is to save some of your Materials and buy Faction Packages after the Raid for infusion into your other characters. This would allow you to make big gains on that character, plus infuse a 2nd to that level. Or a mixed strategy of equiping the highest light gear temporarily while buying Faction Packages, and then infusing the absolute highest level gear into that 2nd character when done. Hopefully this idea makes sense though, boosting your 2nd character to as high or higher than the one you are working on before doing any content, it allows that character to make much larger gains that would otherwise be possible.

    13. Trials of Osiris is easily the best way to improve your Light Level. You can get LL 385+ capable gear as drops for wins randomly, an Armor at 5 wins, a Weapon at 7 wins, and a random reward for completing the Gold tier bounty. For those hardcore players like myself, The Lighthouse grants 1 Armor, 1 Weapon, and a high chance at another Exotic. This is only for going 9-0 on your card though, so expect some extreme top of line PvP competition around games 8 & 9. This is where players like myself, il_Exile_li, AcidBrandon, Veggiesbro, Pyrodactyl, and Zevvion all lose games often. For reference I'm sitting on a 1.83 K/D this week in Trials, going 49-17, most of those losses were around the 8/9 wins on the card. Though I was able to already finish my 3 Lighthouse runs last night and help on 1 more so far. So, like I said, very stiff Crucible competition.

    14. For those not wanting to subject themselves to the Lighthouse grind each weekend, Iron Banner is up starting 10/4. This is another great way to get 385+ gear. You get a package at rank 3 & 5. It's also likely you will receive frequent drops of the Auto Rifle, Shotgun, Class Item, and Gauntlets. There are also 4 bounties to complete that also drop 385+ gear. Iron Banner Inventory is 350 gear. Those items are able to be purchased for Legendary Marks, and are much cheaper than Vendor sold items. It is much easier now to level to Rank 5, as they changed the progression mechanics for Rise of Iron. It took me about 15-20 games on my first character to hit Rank 5, then about 10 games for Rank 5 on 2nd and 3rd characters. Your mileage may vary though.

    15. Another 385 capable gear drop each week is the Weekly Shaxx bounty. It is based on 1 playlist and requires at least 7 games, many weeks several more games than that. But you have to have completed the Y2 Shaxx questline to start those bounties, as I confirmed with a friend who hadn't completed that yet the other day.

    10/18

    Maximum light is being increased from 385 (some were able to obtain 388) to 400. Activities Light Level's will be changes as follows

    • Rare Engrams in the Siva Strike Playlist will drop at up to 365 Light.
    • Archon's Forge, Heroic Siva Strike Playlist, and Legendary Engrams will now go up to 385 Light.
    • Strike Hoards (skeleton key rewards), Nightfall, Exotic Engrams, Trials of Osiris, Crucible Legendaries, and Iron Banner now go up to 400 Light.
    • Archon's Forge has added Ghosts/Artifacts to it's drops, and they drop up to 400 Light. Faction Package Ghost rewards have been increased and Artifact drops from Eris have been increased as well.
    • It is unknown whether or not Faction Package rewards will stay at 385 or go up to 400 Light, as Bungie did not specify that they would be altered, only that Ghosts would drop more frequently. Though this change would be meaningless if they don't drop up to 400 Light rewards. Faction Reward go up to 390 Light.
    • It is assumed Wrath of the Machine Normal still drops 385 gear and Heroic drops 400 Light gear. We do not know how Heroic drops will work yet though, if it will be double drops of Heroic quality or similar to King's Fall where it gives you the Normal and Heroic drops for completing the Heroic first for the week. I assume the latter. It is also unknown whether or not Fragment Chests will drop Normal or Heroic quality (385/400) gear. I hope for Heroic, but fear Normal, as that is how they handled King's Fall with Moldering Shards. On Heroic you will obtain 1 reward for completion of an event (Vosik, Death Zamboni, and Aksis Phase 1 & 2) on Heroic, but also a Normal drop at 385 if you hadn't completed that yet for the week. Two Chests will spawn, both labeled. The one on the Right will always be the Heroic Chest and give out Heroic Rewards for 1 Key, so do not waste key's on the Normal mode chest from Heroic. It will only drop 385 loot. As a side note, only Vosik works for 3 of Coins, so keep that in mind.
    • Wrath of the Machine, Trials of Osiris and Iron Banner are said to increase Light more rapidly now when compared how it has been, so since it has seemed to be about 4 Light higher than your LL, expect 5-6 from those activities or a higher chance of a 4 guarantee rather than 1-4 possible like now. (Further experimentation would be needed to test this but it appears to still be a range, yet that range is higher than it previously was, I've seen up to 5 levels higher than LL drop)

    All of this information comes from the Weekly Update on 10/13. And now some from actual playtests.

    Current Advice 280-385

    1. Follow Steps 1-4, only adjusting to what the Weekly Heroic modifiers may be. Keep in mind if you are unable to hit 350 to do the Heroic you can just jump in to the regular Siva Strike Playlist now and it will drop up to 365 LL rewards. Specifically though focus on buying Xur's inventory on the weekends and infusing that gear into your Legendaries up to 350, finishing the Champion of Light Quest, ideally for a Skorri Artifact if available, and finishing Daily Public Events, Crucible, and Story so that you can buy your way to 350 quickly with Legendary Marks.
    2. Use the Heroic Siva Strike Playlist and Archon's Forge together to both break up the boredom of just doing Strikes over and over and to obtain loot you may be lacking in. Played enough, you should be able to quickly enough hit that 385 mark.
    3. Remember the Rule of 5 is key here, use your Legendary Engrams strategically.
    4. Try to save up any Exotic Engrams, and the Legendary Engrams that will not help you Level because that slot is already higher than you as they may decrypt into Exotics when you are past 385. Also save as much materials for use to level up factions. Ghosts that give Glimmer for Fallen and Spinmetal for Cosmodrome Engrams are ideal as they will allow you to buy Armor/Weapon Parts and trade in excess Spinmetal to a faction for Rep between 385-390. Strange Coins can be used to buy both 3 of Coins and Heavy Ammo Synthesis. Motes of Light can also be used to level up a Faction, but I Do Not recommend going under 300, as those can be very useful in leveling gear.

    Advice 385-400

    A lot of people may be wondering how to get from 385 or like me, 387, to 400, before they start the Heroic Wrath of the Machine today. This is what I will be doing, and my advice to you as well. I know that my Ghost/Artifact are holding me back right now at 387 and them being only 385 each. So I'm going to go to Archon's Forge and do that with some friends hopefully before we get a Raid group together. Once I upgrade those slots I'm going back to the tower to open my Faction Packages. It is likely they will no longer be capped at 385. Some on Reddit are suggesting they will go up to 390 now (this was in fact True, faction capped at 390 10/19) since that is what the Armory now suggests. I don't know, but I will be saving the ones I already have until after the patch. Hopefully those will be at least 390. After opening my Faction Packages I am going to open my Legendary Engrams. Some of them may, or may not turn into Exotics. I have a lot saved up so a few might. If you were like me you saved a few Exotic Gauntlets. I will check to see if my Gauntlets have fallen behind on my character, though I think they sit at 387 right now. Next I will turn in any bounties that give 400 quality gear like Trials of Osiris Gold or Shaxx bounties. Then onto Exotic Engrams that have fallen behind by 2 or more levels. Once I've done that I'm moving over to do a Nightfall on that character. Again checking to see where my Gauntlets are in relation to my other gear and burning an Exotic if needed. Then if my Raid Group is ready I'm going to run the Raid. All along the way I will infuse Exotics, and wear any Legendaries when I will receive loot, thereby keeping those Legendaries to infuse into another character (this only applies to Armor, as Weapons, Ghost, and Artifacts can all transfer between characters so those will be infused immediately). This hopefully means that my 2nd character to do these activities this week will start at or around the same Light Level as I achieve with my 1st character, as described back in step 11 in the original guide. If ever my Gauntlets or Ghost/Artifact start falling behind I will use an Exotic or run Archon's Forge. Using this method, and hopefully having access to some Exotic Gauntlets from Xur over the weekend you should be able to hit 400 this week. I also plan to hit up Trials of Osiris on Friday on all 3 characters. At this point that is all speculative, specifically Faction Packages. We will see how that plays out later today. I just wanted to give you guys a heads up about my plans and some advice on what to concentrate on. (I followed this strategy up to finishing the Raid, I hit 393 before the Raid, but we only got to Vosik's and ran out of time before completing the encounter 10/19)

    1. If your Ghost/Artifact is behind other gear, go do Archon's Forge. Shiro bounty completion grant a lot of Vanguard Rep and can reward Vanguard Items as well. Complete as many of these as possible during this step.
    2. Open any Faction Packages outstanding. This is also the time to level up Factions with Materials if you have them. Factions go up to 390 so do this until you have all slots at 390, or at least most slots at that point (again only if you have the materials to spare). This also includes turning in any bounties you have saved, like Trials of Osiris or Shaxx Weekly.
    3. Decrypt Legendary Engrams.
    4. Start Decrypting Exotic Engrams that have fallen behind other gear as needed.
    5. Go do a Nightfall. (Always pop 3 of Coins if available, this shouldn't need to be said though)
    6. Run Heroic Wrath of the Machine.
    7. Keep Legendary Armor for infusion on 2nd Characters, while infusing Weapons, Ghost, and Artifact. Equip said Legendary gear before obtaining any loot. Freely infuse any 2nd drops of equal or lower quality.
    8. Run Trials of Osiris this weekend.
    9. When Iron Banner becomes available again, run that if you still need Light increase up to 400.
    10. Rinse and repeat any of these activities in any order, checking to see if you need to do Archon's Forge for Ghost/Artifact/Class Item at any time they fall behind. It's the quickest way to obtain these 3 items. Be mindful of time investment opportunity cost though. 1 drop from the Nightfall may not be worth the investment this week (Solar/Grounded/Shield Brothers), since it is rather difficult and can take a lot of time. Likewise the Rift Crucible Weekly Shaxx bounty can probably wait unless you have nothing better to do at the time. But if you do, like always, use 3 of Coins every game to make the time investment worth it more.

    I hope these tips help some of you. I know I personally didn't follow these, and have wasted around 20 Exotic Engrams and 1,200 Heavy Ammo Synthesis buying Faction Packages far too early. It's not a huge deal (I'm currently 384 on multiple characters 10/2) but I hope this prevents anyone else from making some of the silly mistakes I made yesterday. All in all I hope you guys enjoy Rise of Iron as much as I have been, whether that's by pushing Light as hard as possible or not caring one flip about it and just doing the Story and Quest stuff. Either way hopefully this Guide gives you some perspective on how to Grind more efficiently when you need to.

    Edit: A lot of this information comes from both Bungie's Patch Update for Rise of Iron, GernaderJake's 385 in Day 1 video, and prior knowledge about how to level in Destiny with previous Expansions. Some of the information posted was inaccurate, but that was corrected on 10/3. This now includes almost 2 weeks of my Rise of Iron experience and hitting 384 on multiple characters. It was again updated on 10/17 to even more accurately depict how to level in Rise of Iron and reflect some of the changes being made for 10/18 (See section on 10/18). Then again to address the changes made on 10/18 that hadn't taken effect until I was at home and unable to update this due to, you know, playing Destiny (10/19).

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    Zevvion

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    #2  Edited By Zevvion

    I think it's important to note that leveling is purposefully slow after you reach around 350. I went from 334 to 350 in a couple of hours. I took last night and the entire day today to reach 359. It's going to be a drag because engrams are no longer a source of leveling at all (they have 50% chance to decrypt at 1-2 light level higher than your current, otherwise identical light level). You should grind strikes and/or Crucible matches to level up and it will take a while. I don't think there is any point in waiting with decrypting engrams at all. If you hit 350, they basically won't raise your light level. Before that, they will still come in 5 light levels higher than what you are regularly.

    EDIT: What I'm saying is, I don't think it makes sense to recommend people to hang on to engrams for later. This is what will happen in practice after you've reached 350: Say your light level is 350, any legendary engram you decrypt has 50% chance to be 350. The other 50% chance is for it to be 351 or 352. At the same time, Rares that you collect during Strikes can be like 355. Thus, no point to hang on to stuff. Use it before you reach 350.

    Also, Dunemarchers are amazing in the Crucible and the Nightfall while being underleveled was actually tons of fun.

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    ImpendingFoil

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    Exquisite.

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    GValo

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    #4  Edited By GValo

    Jesus, it's 360 now? I feel like I've been stuck at 312 for ages. Then again I don't play PvP and usually just run around solo so I've never done the raids. Maybe I should just drop out now

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    Zevvion

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    @gvalo said:

    Jesus, it's 360 now? I feel like I've been stuck at 312 for ages. Then again I don't play PvP and usually just run around solo so I've never done the raids. Maybe I should just drop out now

    It's 385 and you're not doing Raids? You're missing some of the best parts man!

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    deactivated-61665c8292280

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    @hestilllives19: If your last couple of written walkthroughs are telling of anything, it's that you are the Iron Lord this forum deserves. Great work, dude. Seriously impressive stuff.

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    GValo

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    @zevvion: I watched the raid streams so I know what goes down. I didn't get back into Destiny until about 3-4 months ago. I had the game at launch and was super unhappy with it. which was my own fault. I went media-dark on it after the first or second time they were on stage and didn't know it had completely changed from a story about knights defending earth.

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    Hestilllives19

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    #8  Edited By Hestilllives19

    @zevvion: Following this guide to the letter would get you to 385 this week (if you prepared and are able to finish the Raid). But I agree with you for the most part, putting off stuff like the Nightfall until after 365 is only if hitting 385 this week is your goal. Most people won't even get through enough of the content this week and would just be forfeiting doing the Nightfall altogether, which is something I highly recommend against. My biggest take away from what I learned is that you need to start buying the Vendor gear as early as possible, then get to grinding out the Weekly Strikes. Weekly Strikes provide the largest meaningful progression right now up to 365. The method for Character Swapping is also huge. I will likely buy Vendor Packages with Strange Coins turned into Heavy Synth this weekend before Switching. As far as using Engrams in lowest in slot spaces goes, that is just the smartest, most efficient way to get Light Level up. Number 6 explains exactly why doing that with both Legendaries prior to 365 and Exotics after 365 is smart. Even if you get a same Light Level, say 367, gear, if your Chest was only 360 then you just gained 7 Light or almost a full LL. Just popping Engrams willy nilly results in making almost zero LL increase and maybe 1-2 Light increase if you get lucky, and an item lower than your current item level frequently. In my opinion, that is a complete waste of that Engram, either way you slice it. That's coming from someone who 100% hasn't been doing that, and feels a bit stupid about it. I highly recommend being careful and observant about that, as not doing that will likely give away 5 free overall Light Levels in a Night if you aren't careful. BTW, Faction Packages have the same issue at 350-365, the 50% chance to be 1-2 levels higher than your current Light Level.

    But like I said, at the same time, do not neglect to finish content in an effort to maximize Light Level. In Destiny, with Weekly Resets, that's just leaving food on the table so to speak, and you definitely don't want to do that. And more than anything, enjoy yourself. Grinding Light for grinding's sake isn't fun. So be smart while you have to grind, but go about enjoying Rise of Iron in whatever way you so desire. At least that's how I look at it.

    Edit: Also of note, Gear is decrypting at up to 387 that I've seen so far, so 385 may not actually be a Hard Capped Light Level right now.

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    ll_Exile_ll

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    There is no way the raid goes up to 385 on normal. That would be 25 light above the recommended. The last room will be 375 at the absolute maximum. The equivalent of 2.5 levels ahead of the recommended light level would be worse than even Crota's End was, and they've learned from that mistake.

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    pyrodactyl

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    #10  Edited By pyrodactyl

    That sure is a lot of tips. To sum up the most important though:

    Always wear the highest lvl gear you have. Even if it's blue and you don't want to infuse it in a purple for a 1-2 lvls improvement.

    Buy a lvl 350 ghost from a vendor.

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    Hestilllives19

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    #11  Edited By Hestilllives19

    @ll_exile_ll: I don't know, wasn't the recommended for King's Fall Normal originally 290? That last boss encounter then was 310. Which would be 20 light above the recommended. You could be right that 385 is too much, I kind of already thought that myself, but it's what a lot of people are expecting since that's the current cap. I won't be surprised anyways if that is the case. Keep in mind the soft cap right now is kind of at 365 though, so that's kind of where I think they expect Raiders to be this Friday. Though I also wouldn't be surprised by 360-380 for Normal, and 380-400 for Hard. Those seem like pretty round numbers. But if that was the case why wouldn't we just be stuck at 380 cap right now and 400 cap on Hard launch. Granted all of this is massive speculation, as there is no way to know until Friday.

    @inevpatoria: Thanks, that actually means a lot.

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    ll_Exile_ll

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    @ll_exile_ll: I don't know, wasn't the recommended for King's Fall Normal originally 290? That last boss encounter then was 310. Which would be 20 light above the recommended. You could be right that 385 is too much, I kind of already thought that myself, but it's what a lot of people are expecting since that's the current cap. I won't be surprised anyways if that is the case. Keep in mind the soft cap right now is kind of at 365 though, so that's kind of where I think they expect Raiders to be this Friday. Though I also wouldn't be surprised by 360-380 for Normal, and 380-400 for Hard. Those seem like pretty round numbers. But if that was the case why wouldn't we just be stuck at 380 cap right now and 400 cap on Hard launch. Granted all of this is massive speculation, as there is no way to know until Friday.

    @inevpatoria: Thanks, that actually means a lot.

    Normal King's Fall was listed as recommended 290. The early encounters were 280, the middle was 290, and the final room was 300. Vault of Glass was similar, listed as level 26, early encounters were 25, end encounters were 27. Crota's End was the odd one out with its dumb delta scaling, being listed at level 30, starting at level 30, and ramping up to 32 by the end. I highly doubt they do something like that again.

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    mordukai

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    @zevvion said:
    @gvalo said:

    Jesus, it's 360 now? I feel like I've been stuck at 312 for ages. Then again I don't play PvP and usually just run around solo so I've never done the raids. Maybe I should just drop out now

    It's 385 and you're not doing Raids? You're missing some of the best parts man!

    I'm also at the same boat. I think it's about time I just drop out. I have zero desire to do anything crucible related and currently I don't have hours to spend on raids. If I get about an hour or two of gaming a day I can consider myself lucky. Not a big deal, the game has reached a point where it's just a long drag for me. Time to move on.

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    Zevvion

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    @hestilllives19: Yeah, but who has a piece of gear that falls 20 light behind your other stuff? Realistically, your lowest light stuff will undoubtedly be your Artifact and Ghost nearly at all times, and you can't get engrams for those (unless any armor engram can technically decrypt into an Artifact but heck that's such a small ass chance that isn't worth planning for).

    @ll_exile_ll The difference is it's highly likely people go into this Raid being 365 or roughly around there. People went into King's Fall being 285ish for the most part. I don't know if they planned for that.

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    ll_Exile_ll

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    @zevvion said:

    @hestilllives19: Yeah, but who has a piece of gear that falls 20 light behind your other stuff? Realistically, your lowest light stuff will undoubtedly be your Artifact and Ghost nearly at all times, and you can't get engrams for those (unless any armor engram can technically decrypt into an Artifact but heck that's such a small ass chance that isn't worth planning for).

    @ll_exile_ll The difference is it's highly likely people go into this Raid being 365 or roughly around there. People went into King's Fall being 285ish for the most part. I don't know if they planned for that.

    I mean, the activity recommends 360 light. If the final encounter is 385, someone entering the raid at the recommended level will be at around 40% effectiveness. One would assume that entering the activity at the recommended level gives players a reasonable capability to complete the raid. Unless you're guaranteed to gain a minimum of 10 light levels over the course of a single run, it would be insane to expect people to complete an activity listed at 360 with enemies reaching as high as 385.

    No matter the light level players are expected to be able to reach by the raid's release day, the listed light level has to mean something. If it says 360, you have to be able to complete it by going in at 360. Going back to the Crota's End method of scaling would be a huge a step backwards. You could actually be a level that was allowed to enter that raid and have the enemies be immune by the end. That is bad design and they should not do it again.

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    mpdebo

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    @hestilllives19: This is a great read and very well made.

    My only input would be on point #2, isn't it better to spent the marks on ghosts and class items (I THINK they are cheapest at the Speaker)? My thinking is that ghosts are difficult to find at higher light seeing as they don't drop from engrams and the legendary engrams you turn into Shiro can be decrypted up to 365 so it would be better to decrypt them once you are over 350 light.

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    Hestilllives19

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    #17  Edited By Hestilllives19

    @zevvion: I'm not saying gear that falls 20 behind, that would = 2 full light levels. But I frequently last night was infusing gear when it was 5-7, basically making up half a level with each infusion. And you aren't kidding about the Artifacts, mine is killing me right now. Though I did hit 360 last night finally. Made zero progression, then we got lucky and got Omnigul. Took us awhile to get a Farming strategy down. Then 30 minutes later I was Light Level 360 from 354. That is by far the best way to level if you can do, though I highly underestimated the difficulty. Doing it with a Nightstalker, Stormcaller, and Striker is tougher than you'd think. You are better off with two Stormcallers honestly. I'm seriously considering using my infusion fuel from last night to upgrade my Warlock so I can do it with him tonight, because I feel like I was holding us back. Make sure you tether the ground in front of her, for anyone not familiar with the Omnigul farming method. Our Nightstalker didn't know that and I didn't see he was shooting Omnigul directly. She would just run straight up the hill tethered. Legendary Machine Guns were huge in DPS and I think we might try using two 4th Horseman's next time and a Zhalo for ads. Kill the Wizards at back quickly too because they will mess you up quick. Sorry, I know that's a bit off topic, but I really had it on my mind from last night.

    @ll_exile_ll: Yeah, the more you say that I think your right about 290/300 and 310/320 on King's Fall. I'm going to be real surprised though how it works, they capped gear at 300 for King's Fall before the Raid last year and now the "soft" cap is at 365 before the Raid launches. It will be extremely interesting to see what the enemy levels are tomorrow either way. If the cap is only at 370, I have a feeling some group is going to trivialize it (everything but the mechanics of it) having all 6 members at 385 right now, which I know several of the streamer crews are set for already. I could see them doing 360, 365, 370, and 375 enemies in 4 sections like you suggested pretty easily though (assuming there are 4 distinct encounters). Then change that to 385, 390, 395, and 400 for the Hard Raid. That would make sense I guess. It would only be a 15 light difference for each and recommended for Hard would be 385.

    @mpdebo: Yeah, buying a Ghost and Class Item was implied with that but I updated it to clarify. 75 marks x 4 (Ghost, Boots, Chest, and Gloves) = 300 Marks plus either the Class item trade for Glimmer without Marks or one purchased from the Speaker for 60 Marks and 20 Motes of Light = 360 Marks. As far as whether or not to use the Legendary Class item with Shiro, I'd say do it. Marks are actually harder to come by than Class Items for Heroic Strikes during the 365 march. But if you have a ton of Marks by all means buy the one from the Speaker instead, just don't not get a Chest to get that class item, that make sense. I bought one for 60 Marks because I didn't have an Engram, and most will be in that situation too. So it's likely you will have to spend to 360 Marks either way anyways.

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    ripelivejam

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    #18  Edited By ripelivejam

    is it just me or is everyone here speaking in tongues?

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    Hestilllives19

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    @ripelivejam: With Destiny and RPG's like this, sometimes it can feel that way, because they are very complicated most of the time. Did you have a specific question? I might be able to answer it for you.

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    Zevvion

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    @hestilllives19:I hit 360 about half an hour after I started playing today. I did about 3 hours of Strikes after that and I am still 360. RNG can still be a bitch, no method is guaranteed to get you anything.

    @ll_exile_ll I understand and agree with what you're saying, but my point is that I don't actually put full faith in Bungie for common sense. They have made mistakes with every release without fail. Some of them really, really dumb because of the fact they were essentially repeats of past mistakes. The new decryption cap of engrams has me convinced the possibility exists that they might not want players to be able to finish the Raid this week (smoothly) and instead want you to grind for gear up to the final boss, until you're high enough light to pull it off. You can call it unlikely, but I'm not so sure about that. I think at this point it's pretty clear that Rise of Iron is not nearly as big of a release as Taken King was (though I do love what's in here for sure) but it also seems they want to make another year by kicking this thing off. I think them trying to stretch content anywhere they can is actually rather likely.

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    Hestilllives19

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    #21  Edited By Hestilllives19

    @zevvion: Speaking of the grind to 365 and what I was saying about Omnigul. I've since found out that you can actually just load into the 320 variant of Omnigul itself and do it like you use to be able to, with Razelighters, Gjallarhorns, Sleeper Simulants, Celestial Nighthawks, etc. Burning her there is much easier than the Weekly Heroic and still rewards you with 365 potential Rare's. I plan on doing that tonight for sure to hit 365 on each character.

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    Hestilllives19

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    #22  Edited By Hestilllives19

    PSA: Word of advice for those of you that still haven't hit 350 because of Legendary Marks. Xur is selling a Warlock set of new Boots, Twilight Garrison Chest piece for Titan, and the Celestial Nighthawk for Hunters. That's a Helmet, Chest and Boots. Those would cost 275 Marks to purchase from Vendors. From Xur it's 36 Strange Coins and 9 Legendary Marks for Infusion. This is the perfect time to hit 350 if you have 36 Strange Coins. It will only cost you the 36 Strange Coins and 9 Marks, plus 75 Marks for Ghost, plus 75 Marks for Gloves, and either 60 Marks plus 20 Motes of Light or trading a Legendary Class Engram and 5,000 Glimmer for that Class Item. Then all you need are weapons. A 350 Monte Carlo is also being sold by Xur for I think 23 Strange Coins, so that's another 350 slot for only 23 Strange Coins and 3 Legendary Marks. All in all Xur is the best way to try and hit 350, especially today since he brought a different slot for each character.

    I've updated the main article to reflect this. "Update: Xur sells his gear at 350 Light Level, these items can easily be purchased to save Legendary Marks for Strange Coins and then infused into existing gear. On September 23rd he has brought a Helmet, Chest, Boots, and Primary Weapon. That drops the Legendary Mark total to Infuse down from 425 to only 12 Marks and 62 Strange Coins. It's a pretty fantastic deal and upgrades 4 of your 10 slots to 350. For reference I gained about 200 Strange Coins just this past week since Xur left last week, so those should be easy to come by."

    Edit: Also, it is possible by doing the hidden boss on today's Daily Story, Paradox, to get 3 Legendary Engrams and the 15 Marks, plus 45 Marks and 3 more Legendary Engrams for finishing a Public Event on each Character. That's a total of 6 Legendary Engrams and 60 Marks, easily doable in about an hour. Pretty good haul for that time investment. I didn't know until just now that you could do a Public Event on each character Daily for 15 Marks. That brings you Weekly potential for Marks up to 600.

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    Hestilllives19

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    This has been updated as of 10/3 with the most up to date information that I know of. It should be very accurate at this point outside of Iron Banner info, as that hasn't launched yet. I will update that tomorrow when I get a chance.

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    deactivated-61665c8292280

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    @hestilllives19 said:

    This has been updated as of 10/3 with the most up to date information that I know of. It should be very accurate at this point outside of Iron Banner info, as that hasn't launched yet. I will update that tomorrow when I get a chance.

    Are Weekly Strikes still the best way to power to that 365 benchmark? And can you clarify exotic usage? Should I decrypt them between 365 and 380? Or after?

    EDIT: Sorry, just re-read the original post, so disregard that first question.

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    Hestilllives19

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    #25  Edited By Hestilllives19

    @inevpatoria: So use Exotic Engrams anytime after hitting 365, but use them sparingly. I made reference to the rule of 5 in the post. Say you are sitting at Light Level 368. You have 3 Exotic Engrams sitting in the Vault. A Boot, a Primary, and a Heavy. Your highest Primary is 367, your Boots are 369, and your Heavy is 362. Only use the Heavy Exotic Engram, as it will likely decrypt somewhere between 367-372, hopefully closer to the 372 mark. For this illustrations sake, say it did decrypt to 372. Compare that to if you had decrypted your Boots and gotten 372, you made a jump of 10 Light as opposed to 3. Which would have sent your overall Light Level to 369 as opposed to still sitting at 368. If you do this for all of your Exotic Engrams when those slots fall behind so to speak, you will get a lot more out of your Exotics, and save yourself several Light Levels on your way to 385. Hopefully that makes sense.

    Edit: Also, to kind of answer your not a question, it depends on your LL and the modifiers on the Weekly Heroic. It they are anti-player modifiers (they haven't been so far) like Trickle, I would just pick your favorite Strikes and set them to Heroic (320). Those actually drop 365 capable Rares as well, and the Skeleton Chest still open at 365+. It also allows you to pick your poison so to speak, instead of being randomly thrown into any strike.

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    deactivated-61665c8292280

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    @hestilllives19 said:

    @inevpatoria: So use Exotic Engrams anytime after hitting 365, but use them sparingly. I made reference to the rule of 5 in the post. Say you are sitting at Light Level 368. You have 3 Exotic Engrams sitting in the Vault. A Boot, a Primary, and a Heavy. Your highest Primary is 367, your Boots are 369, and your Heavy is 362. Only use the Heavy Exotic Engram, as it will likely decrypt somewhere between 367-372, hopefully closer to the 372 mark. For this illustrations sake, say it did decrypt to 372. Compare that to if you had decrypted your Boots and gotten 372, you made a jump of 10 Light as opposed to 3. Which would have sent your overall Light Level to 369 as opposed to still sitting at 368. If you do this for all of your Exotic Engrams when those slots fall behind so to speak, you will get a lot more out of your Exotics, and save yourself several Light Levels on your way to 385. Hopefully that makes sense.

    Edit: Also, to kind of answer your not a question, it depends on your LL and the modifiers on the Weekly Heroic. It they are anti-player modifiers (they haven't been so far) like Trickle, I would just pick your favorite Strikes and set them to Heroic (320). Those actually drop 365 capable Rares as well, and the Skeleton Chest still open at 365+. It also allows you to pick your poison so to speak, instead of being randomly thrown into any strike.

    That's super helpful, man. Seriously, thank you.

    Really good to know we can choose our own strikes -- our fireteam was humbled pretty soundly by the Cabal Brothers strike last night. This week's Solar Burn modifier is mostly a great roll but can lead to overwhelming encounters with the right circumstances.

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    Hestilllives19

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    @inevpatoria: Yeah, the new Sepiks Perfected strike on Solar Burn is an actual Nightmare. It's up there with a few of the encounters with Arc last week. I'm sure there are some Nightmarish Void Strikes as well. Honestly just having Small Arms and something like Catapult make the Weekly Heroic and Nightfall much easier than Burns now that we don't have Elemental Primaries. Catapult might be my favorite modifier, my Voidwalker with Nothing Manacles loves it.

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    Strangestories

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    #28  Edited By Strangestories

    My best upgrades are coming from Iron Banner right now. I boosted from 342 to 448 last night just from the sheer amount of stuff you get from the actual matches, the bounties, and the questline. Plus the weapons look so cool.

    Maybe I'm misremembering The Taken King, but the light grind in this expansion feels way slower. That might be because heroic strikes are 350 and it's kind of a pain to get even to that level. It doesn't help that I got reaaaally bad rolls on the rares I got from the campaign; every single one was 320 whereas my partner got up to 335 on their campaign playthrough.

    Anyways, I'm trying to get raid-ready but even knowing what I have to do it's taking forever.

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    Hestilllives19

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    @strangestories: I assume you mean 348. Iron Banner is very helpful, especially after 365. If you cannot get the Heroics done, try just doing 320 Stikes from the director. They drop 365 capable gear just like the heroics. They also actually count for Iron Banner Book unlike the heroics. Though this weeks Heroic is great if you are on either a Warlock or Hunter. Try an Embrace the Void build on Voidwalker if you are a Warlock, it's top tier this week. Instant grenade recharge and Nova Bombs wreck entire rooms. Nightstalkers pair well with a Voidwalker partner as well. Defender is fine, but it's better at slower paced fights whereas Voidwalker can quickly crush swaths of enemies this week which helps with the speed at which you want to complete multiple Heroic Strikes. Small Arms is also great as it allows pretty much any Primary to wreck shop. Hand Cannons and Scouts should 1 shot almost any normal enemies. In other words this is a great week to level up. The modifiers are pretty generous. Add to that Iron Banner and it's a pretty good week to put some time in to getting leveled.

    The biggest reason leveling feels slower is that everything is incremental based, whereas in The Taken King, you could run the Raid underleveled, get High Light Level Gear (above Recommended) instantly. Raid gear does drop at a minimum of 365, but it's very hard to get past the first Aksis fight at below 365. Outside of the Raid everything only drops a few Light higher than your overall Light Level, which is what has slowed progression down so much. The best advice I can give it to keep equiping your higher LL Rares from Strikes and don't waste your Legendary Engrams. Use the rule of 5 (explained in the original post) on Legendary Engrams between 351-365. Do the same with Exotic Engrams once you pass 365. I know it's tempting to just pop Exotics as soon as you get them to see what they are, but you are losing infusion Light doing so. Just keep in mind you will probably have to run 20-30 Strikes to get around the 365 Mark. Good luck though.

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    Stop420Snitchin

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    How on earth do I even get past 353? I'm staring to burn our on crucible and I'll puke if I run another strike.

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    Hestilllives19

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    @stop420snitchin: Are you infusing or equiping the Rares you get? It's a slow grind but you should be making progress in 2-3 slots per strike. Make sure you are doing the daily Public event as well and saving those Legendaries until that slot falls behind. It should decrypt at or above your current Light Level. So if say your boots are 352, don't use a Legendary Boot Engram until you hit Light Level 357 or so, so that you get about 5 level on that slot at least. Do that same thing for every Legendary Engram until you hit 365.

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    deanoxd

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    #32  Edited By deanoxd

    @stop420snitchin: the only way is to level iron banner to 5, and grinding strikes with three of coins to level vanguard and your faction rep, don't decrypt exotic engrams until 365. Infuse or equip the highest light level gear you have, so that you RNG on rep package's can give you the highest light level gear. For FYI I am 385 and haven't even run the strike yet, been playing ROI since release.

    P.S also be selective on which loot chests you open with skeleton keys, but don't hold on to them use them when you get them.

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    Hestilllives19

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    #33  Edited By Hestilllives19

    This guide has been updated as of 10/17 for the information released on Friday. It should be up to date. Check out the information specifically added under 10/18 for the changes on Light Level activities.

    Edit: For those that don't feel like scrolling to the top.

    10/18

    Maximum light is being increased from 385 (some were able to obtain 388) to 400. Activities Light Level's will be changes as follows

    • Rare Engrams in the Siva Strike Playlist will drop at up to 365 Light.
    • Archon's Forge, Heroic Siva Strike Playlist, and Legendary Engrams will now go up to 385 Light.
    • Strike Hoards (skeleton key rewards), Nightfall, Exotic Engrams, Trials of Osiris, Crucible Legendaries, and Iron Banner now go up to 400 Light.
    • Archon's Forge has added Ghosts/Artifacts to it's drops, and they drop up to 400 Light. Faction Package Ghost rewards have been increased and Artifact drops from Eris have been increased as well.
    • It is unknown whether or not Faction Package rewards will stay at 385 or go up to 400 Light, as Bungie did not specify that they would be altered, only that Ghosts would drop more frequently. Though this change would be meaningless if they don't drop up to 400 Light rewards.
    • It is assumed Wrath of the Machine Normal still drops 385 gear and Heroic drops 400 Light gear. We do not know how Heroic drops will work yet though, if it will be double drops of Heroic quality or similar to King's Fall where it gives you the Normal and Heroic drops for completing the Heroic first for the week. I assume the latter. It is also unknown whether or not Fragment Chests will drop Normal or Heroic quality (385/400) gear. I hope for Heroic, but fear Normal, as that is how they handled King's Fall with Moldering Shards.
    • Wrath of the Machine, Trials of Osiris and Iron Banner are said to increase Light more rapidly now when compared how it has been, so since it has seemed to be about 4 Light higher than your LL, expect 5-6 from those activities or a higher chance of a 4 guarantee rather than 1-4 possible like now.

    All of this information comes from the Weekly Update on 10/13.

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    Darkecho117

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    @hestilllives19: Just want to say thanks for putting this all together. It's really useful to have this all spelled out in one place for quick reference.

    Looking forward to seeing the heroic version of the raid this week!

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    Hestilllives19

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    #35  Edited By Hestilllives19

    I added some speculative advice for after the patch today about how to reach 400 and what my plans are.

    Speculative Advice 385-400

    A lot of people may be wondering how to get from 385 or like me, 387, to 400, before they start the Heroic Wrath of the Machine today. This is what I will be doing, and my advice to you as well. I know that my Ghost/Artifact are holding me back right now at 387 and them being only 385 each. So I'm going to go to Archon's Forge and do that with some friends hopefully before we get a Raid group together. Once I upgrade those slots I'm going back to the tower to open my Faction Packages. It is likely they will no longer be capped at 385. Some on Reddit are suggesting they will go up to 390 now since that is what the Armory now suggests. I don't know, but I will be saving the ones I already have until after the patch. Hopefully those will be at least 390. After opening my Faction Packages I am going to open my Legendary Engrams. Some of them may, or may not turn into Exotics. I have a lot saved up so a few might. If you were like me you saved a few Exotic Gauntlets. I will check to see if my Gauntlets have fallen behind on my character, though I think they sit at 387 right now. Next I will turn in any bounties that give 400 quality gear like Trials of Osiris Gold or Shaxx bounties. Then onto Exotic Engrams that have fallen behind by 2 or more levels. Once I've done that I'm moving over to do a Nightfall on that character. Again checking to see where my Gauntlets are in relation to my other gear and burning an Exotic if needed. Then if my Raid Group is ready I'm going to run the Raid. All along the way I will infuse Exotics, and wear any Legendaries when I will receive loot, thereby keeping those Legendaries to infuse into another character (this only applies to Armor, as Weapons, Ghost, and Artifacts can all transfer between characters so those will be infused immediately). This hopefully means that my 2nd character to do these activities this week will start at or around the same Light Level as I achieve with my 1st character, as described back in step 11 in the original guide. If ever my Gauntlets or Ghost/Artifact start falling behind I will use an Exotic or run Archon's Forge. Using this method, and hopefully having access to some Exotic Gauntlets from Xur over the weekend you should be able to hit 400 this week. I also plan to hit up Trials of Osiris on Friday on all 3 characters. At this point that is all speculative, specifically Faction Packages. We will see how that plays out later today. I just wanted to give you guys a heads up about my plans and some advice on what to concentrate on.

    1. If your Ghost/Artifact is behind other gear, go do Archon's Forge.
    2. Open any Faction Packages outstanding. This includes any bounties you have saved, like Trials of Osiris or Shaxx Weekly.
    3. Decrypt Legendary Engrams
    4. Start Decrypting Exotic Engrams that have fallen behind other gear as needed.
    5. Go do a Nightfall. (Always pop 3 of Coins if available, this shouldn't need to be said though)
    6. Run Heroic Wrath of the Machine
    7. Keep Legendary Armor for infusion on 2nd Characters, while infusing Weapons, Ghost, and Artifact. Equip said Legendary gear before obtaining any loot. Freely infuse any 2nd drops of equal or lower quality.
    8. Run Trials of Osiris this weekend.

    That's my advice in a nutshell. The order of how I plan to tackle the week on each character. Also, don't feel like you have to do all of these things. I am going to, but feel free to jump into Heroic Wrath at 385. I'm not going to, but I know a lot of people will. So if your group is, don't feel like you have to do any of these before just jumping into that. Most of this can be done if 15 mintues just from the Tower before the Raid though while people are getting ready, just fyi. Everything outside of Archon's Forge and a Nightfall. Good luck guys.

    Edit: So Bungie's Update just deployed. The changes to Light Level WILL NOT deploy until the Heroic Raid launches at 2pm Pacific Time. So keep this in mind.

    Update: This is no longer Speculative Advice as Faction Package did indeed drop at 390 light. I followed this strategy up to the Raid yesterday and hit 393 before entering. Though we didn't have much time and failed to complete Vosik within said timeframe so I didn't really obtain any meaningful progression beyond this. 10/19

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    Zevvion

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    I think there are some minor flaws with the way people approach leveling after the patch. I was 391 half an hour after it launched and I'm currently almost 397. That's without doing the Heroic Raid yet. I seem to be the highest level guy on my list who hasn't done Heroic and even out of the people that did only 2 outlevel me. In the meantime, I've been having bad luck leveling up, so I think I did it right.

    First, if you aren't 385 go do Heroic Strikes or if your Ghost, Artifact or Class Item is holding you back do Archon's Forge. Do not do anything else until you're 385. Once you hit that, open up Faction Packages. These go up to 390 while Heroic Strikes and non-Ghost/Artifact/Class Item from Archon's Forge cap at 385 so it's a waste to open them before that because you won't make use of their level potential and instead just get a drop that you could've gotten elsewhere easily.

    Next, decrypt Exotic Engrams you've saved up or acquired during your Heroic Strikes. Use one at a time and always use one for a slot you're low in. Say you have everything at 390 but your boots are 386. Decrypt Exotic Boots first. Equip or infuse them, then decrypt something else. Make changes one at a time. I was in the Tower for 20 minutes doing this one at a time, but leveled from 386 to 391 just there. I had more Exotic Engrams but my Ghost and Artifact were falling behind, so stop decrypting. It's never any use decrypting something for a slot you are not lacking in. Always chase the lowest light slot. Otherwise you'll waste level potential (Exotics decrypt up to 400 Light. If you are 390 but have your helmet at 393 it's a huge waste decrypting an Exotic Helmet Engram because it'll likely drop at 390-393 and only has a marginal chance of decrypting higher than that. If you save it until you're 394 you'll get a 394-397 using that same engram).

    I did some Forge to obtain Ghost and Artifact, then went back to decrypting Exotics resulting in 394. Then I did some Strikes, opened to Strike loot for slots I was lacking in, obtained some more Exotics and whoop almost 397.

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    Hestilllives19

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    #37  Edited By Hestilllives19

    @zevvion: How many Exotic's had you saved? I only had 6 Gauntlets, 2 Specials, 1 Heavy, 1 Primary, 1 Helmet, and 1 Chest. All the rest of mine, about 15 were Legendaries, none of which turned Exotic. I did however have the best luck in Archon's Forge. I got a 395 Artifact and 393 Ghost, plus an amazing But Not Forgotten roll with Braced Frame, Quick Draw, Snapshot, and Hidden Hand. We haven't gotten into the Raid really as we ran out of time quickly at Vosik, but I did get a Helmet to drop at 397 from the first Exotic Chest, my best gear so far.

    Edit: Also, you should open Faction Packages as you go. Those DO NOT stack so if you earn more than 1 you will only be able to open 1. But do not blow materials on those anymore until after you hit 385, that's correct.

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    Zevvion

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    @hestilllives19: I had about 6 of each. 10 or so for some slots. It's great going into the Raid just now at 396 because we made it up to Aksis in our first session and everything dropped at 400 for me.

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    emtee

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    Currently everything on my character is 385. I have Exotic engrams for secondary, heavy, and chest. Does it really matter which one I decrypt first?

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    Hestilllives19

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    @emtee: Technically no, they should all have equal chance to go up to about 389 each roughly. But I would suggest putting time into Faction Packages if possible, Archon's Forge, Trials, Heroic Raid, Nightfall (maybe not this week, it's very difficult), Skeleton Keys, and Decrypting any Legendaries before using those Exotic Engrams. Exotic Engrams are the last resort in my opinion. They should be used very deliberately to level up a specific slot as they are the only guarantee for slots. Especially if you are 385 across the board, there are a ton of places to make progress without using them. That said using all 3 would likely guarantee you 386 right now, so it's your call, but they could be worth more if you wait until those are your worst slots and you gain more than 1-4 Light per Engram.

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    deactivated-61665c8292280

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    @emtee said:

    Currently everything on my character is 385. I have Exotic engrams for secondary, heavy, and chest. Does it really matter which one I decrypt first?

    I've been reading lots of chatter recommending you save your chest engrams until you absolutely need them. Post-385 very few activities reliably award chests at or above that light level.

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    Hestilllives19

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    #42  Edited By Hestilllives19

    @inevpatoria: In my experience Heavy Weapons are the hardest thing to come by right now. That's the one of his 3 I would hold onto the most tightly to be honest. You can pretty much only get Heavy from Exotics, lucky Zamboni Heroic drop, specific Strikes with a Skeleton key, Nightfall, or Crucible drop. Ghost/Artifact/Class items are some of the easiest now with them dropping from Archon's Forge. But Chest, Boots, and Gauntlets can be tough to come by at times too. Though I seem to get a lot of those just by playing Trials if that's your thing, because they drop frequently as post game rewards up to 400. Primary and Secondary weapon drops are pretty plentiful as well.

    For reference, someone made an image guide on reddit, here is the link.

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    Zevvion

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    Why are people saying chest and heavy are much harder to come by? Doesn't seem true. You can guaranteed get a primary or a helmet from a Skeleton chest, all the others are variance. Exotic engrams are random, no specific slot has a higher drop rate than any other. Nothing in the Raid is that much more favorable than anything else. Seems like a strong 33-50% chance for any slot. It's just going to be different for everyone what slot is keeping them back because of variance. That's why you hear people say completely different things. You just need to chase your weakest slot and hope the RNG aspect will be nice on you. That's pretty much it.

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    Hestilllives19

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    @zevvion: Because Skeleton Keys are the hardest thing in the game to come by right now. Your more likely to receive an Exotic Engram of every type before even 1 Skeleton Key. Heavy slots do not drop from Trials. It's also only 1 of the possible 3 drops from Zamboni. And as a Crucible drop is complete RNG. That's why I say it's the hardest slot to find right now.

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    emtee

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    @hestilllives19: I have a few purples I can use first, but I thought they stopped at 385?

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    Zevvion

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    @emtee said:

    @hestilllives19: I have a few purples I can use first, but I thought they stopped at 385?

    Yes.

    @zevvion: Because Skeleton Keys are the hardest thing in the game to come by right now. Your more likely to receive an Exotic Engram of every type before even 1 Skeleton Key. Heavy slots do not drop from Trials. It's also only 1 of the possible 3 drops from Zamboni. And as a Crucible drop is complete RNG. That's why I say it's the hardest slot to find right now.

    Did you run Strikes lately? I am positive they have increased the droprate of them. A couple things make me confident of that, mostly that Skeleton Keys used to be exclusively a drop on the floor in the shape of a common engram that you had to pick up. Right now, Skeleton Keys also drop like rewards from Archon's Forge or the old Raids do: immediately added to your inventory. When Rise of Iron came out, I received 6 Skeleton Keys over the course of two weeks of very intensive play. Most likely well over 100 Strikes. Lately, I've gotten 10 keys over the course of 40 Strikes. 9 of them dropped as immediately added, only one was on the floor. I'm pretty sure the immediate add is entirely new and seems much more consistent and frequent.

    As for Heavy not dropping in Trials, no idea about that. But that's hardly a strong reason to say they are much scarcer of a slot in general. You get that at 7 wins, something most people don't achieve. I'd actually argue the vast majority of people are much better off playing regular Crucible. They'd get a Legendary drop about one in 5-6 games that way.

    But I recommend just doing Strikes and using Three of Coins. I've gotten all my characters on 400 within a couple days because I saved up Exotics. Also being smart about decrypting them is key. There's no point decrypting all of them immediately. Always one at a time, try to increase your light before you decrypt another. Then doing Archon's Forge for Ghost/Artifact/Class Item as it starts falling behind.

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    Hestilllives19

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    @emtee: Legendaries themselves stop at 385, correct. But they have a good chance to decrypt into Exotics. Those Exotics would then be up to 400. Seems to be 1 in 10-15 or so, at least in my experience. So if you still have a bunch, they are worth decrypting first. Just on the off chance they turn into an Exotic.

    @zevvion: If that's the case, that is literally a stealth patch that they never once mentioned in patch notes. I get nothing out of Heroic Strikes, therefor haven't run them in weeks, but since launch I only got 1 Skeleton Key to drop and 2 from the Quest. I could go do that Quest on that last character for another, and I might soon to try and hit 400 on my Warlock finally. But I can't really recommend someone go after Skeleton Keys since the only thing I ever see anyone say is how obscenely rare they are, especially when it's backed up by the fact that I've only gotten 1 in well over 200 Strikes since ROI came out. Granted that hasn't been in the past two weeks or so, more than 1 for the package each week, but unless they made a change and didn't put it in the patch notes (very possible) nothing has changed about Skeleton Keys.

    I also have a hard time recommending people play regular Crucible. Most Giantbomb users do not play PvP. It's also very hit or miss what kind of experience Destiny base Crucible is for people right now, primarily dependent on what SBMM tier they are in. I do very little if any solo Crucible outside of Trials, primarily due to the fact that I'm am in the highest tier of matchmaking. It takes 3-4 minutes to find matches, and is often populated by Murdaro, Luminosity48, PureChill420, Grimm_Vvas, IFrostBolt, ItsPowPow, XDarkharXD, ThunderBurrito, Viole, I-_-MACM-_-I-, Zombalomb, Cimbol_, TodaysAgenda, SS_Pups, amorvillano, garrettfell, flacoscott, Thwek, and Tkizzer. All of those guys are top 100 players I've played in the last month or so. Regular Crucible is zero fun for me, pretty much ever. I only really do Iron Banner and even then usually only with a large group of 4+. SMBB since last December has literally ruined regular Crucible for me.

    Edit: According to a few people on Reddit, only seen it on one thread, what your saying does appear to be true though. They also claimed higher drop rates in the Siva Strike playlist over the Heroic. No idea if any of that is true though at all. Likely it's the same.

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    Zevvion

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    @hestilllives19: I'm telling you it's true. Go run some Strikes and leave the loot from the boss on the floor until it says mission complete and starts the timer. It will be added to your inventory automatically if one dropped, while they can also still drop from the boss itself like before. The latter still being extremely rare, but the former seems to happen once every 7ish Strikes. As for it dropping more on 320 than Heroic, hard to say if it's true because we're talking about randomness and in the grand scheme of things my sample for that is way low. But in my own experience it does seem true. Not to mention the fact that you can run the easier Strikes much faster too, so in that sense you should get more of them in the same time span.

    As for skill based match making, it's broken as balls. I'm an average player and I get matched with the people you're talking about, in addition to a lot of others with much better stats than me. 1.8K/D's are pretty common opponents for me and the 2+ ones aren't rare either. If I go boot up Skirmish now solo, I have a 90% loss rate. Even against other solo opponents.

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    Hestilllives19

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    #49  Edited By Hestilllives19

    @zevvion: Like I said I don't doubt they did change that, but they didn't put that in any patch notes ever, which is strange as much as people have been railing against Skeleton Keys. But other than Skeleton Keys themselves I get no rewards from Heroics. Considering I barely get Trials/Heroic Raids/Nightfalls and a few Archon's Forges in each week playing 20-30 hrs, I honestly don't even really have the time for Strikes either. As for SBMM, if you've put any significant amount of time into Destiny's Crucible and maintained a positive K/D during it, right now Crucible is near unplayable solo. It's just a lag filled mess of highly skilled (1.5 K/D Trials players minimum) that teleport around the map and shoot you through walls. Not fun at all. 100% agree.

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    JasonMasters

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    This expansion sounds like a bummer :(

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