Whats up! I’m sure many of you are getting started on Destiny 2 this weekend. I’ve been on the sticks hard since Tuesday evening, I managed to squeeze in two fantasy football drafts and a round of golf. Destiny 2 is a complete reset from the first game so newcomers won’t be left in the dust. Destiny 2 plays like its predecessor with a few gameplay tweaks but otherwise the “2" in the name mostly implies content changes. Bungie has masterfully found a way to eliminate the feeling of a grind for Destiny 2. *Spoilers* There may be spoilers in this for some of you, I left out story details, but if any of you are worried then tip 1 is to finish the main campaign first. I do have a few screen shots of gear, npcs, and the first patrol zone in the article.
Destiny 2 is great by the way, I’ll be posting an impressions article some time next week if I can manage to take some time away from playing. Currently my Hunter is sitting around power level 257-260 with a maxed out level (20). For those of you that played Destiny 1 they have basically changed light level to power level, it’s basically the same thing which is a combined score of all the gear your character is wearing. Following these five tips I have a break down of the activities available to you for leveling.
#1 - Finish the Main Campaign First - Play through the main story campaign first either solo or with friends. You can obviously choose to take your time, after you get through the initial tutorial/opening (which is rather long) you are sort of dropped into a world with a ton going on. I’d recommend playing a round a little bit but don’t get hung up on leveling or getting perfect gear off the bat. The main campaign missions are marked with a red mission marker. You should naturally level and hit the max level by the end of the campaign. It will help getting through the first part if you focus on one character, after the main campaign a lot of things unlock and Bungie does a great job of directing you as to what you should be doing next. Don’t feel bad buying items from the NPC’s to raise your power level a little bit or a gun type you’d rather use than what you have equipped. All vendors are constantly switching their inventory and they stop selling gear at power level 200. Also while playing through the main campaign I’d recommend listening to the voice lines from the NPC’s, there is a really good story and world building put in place here by Bungie. They allow you to skip or exit out of the voice dialogue from all of the NPC’s, I’d listen for the great story just as much as the acting they really pulled it off big time.
EDIT - Apparently you don’t need to be wearing your highest gear to have higher gear drop but have it in your inventory, Kirk does a great job of explaining the leveling process here. I’ve hit a wall at 274 light right now, after 265 it gets really hard because the vendor engrams cap out and only start going up again in the mid 270's, mine are dropping at 266 which are still pretty worthless. I would recommend saving any milestone activities that give “Powerful Rewards” for after you’ve hit 265 or so, also make sure to read Kirk’s article he does a better job explaining it than I do. Even though not entirely necessary I would still wear your highest gear to get the highest power level possible.
#2 - Always Wear your highest Power Level Gear - Your “Level” means nothing, your “Power Level” means everything. Every piece of gear has a power level associated with it, you want to always be wearing your highest level gear. Your Guardian’s power level is the average of all of your pieces of gear, so make sure you always have the highest piece equipped in each slot. Your Guardian resists and deals damage based on your total power level, not the individual item’s. Don’t worry about color/rarity of the item, just make sure you are always wearing the highest piece (in each slot). The game is constantly dropping loot for you and it drops based on what power level your character is. Every time you get a new piece of gear I highly recommend stopping and taking a look to see if it is a higher power level than what you currently have equipped. Don’t like the gun you have? Try it out, I’ve gone through many different sets of guns that weren’t optimized for my play style or what I was doing at the time but the higher power level would drop me higher loot. It is actually a pretty ingenious forced way to try out new guns. I’ve found a few gun types that I like much more now because I was forced to use it for its power level. If it’s old salvage it(hold down square on PS4), you get materials for it that can be used to earn more gear (I’ll explain later). The only type of gear you might want to keep is Legendary (Purple) or Exotic (Yellow) because that gear can be leveled up with any other similar piece of gear. Exotics can even be deleted because they can always be repurchased at your vault, Legendary items however are randomized drops so I’d prioritize those over Exotics if you have to.
#3 - Every Activity Rewards you in a Timely Fashion - Every activity now gives you gear to raise your power level. Anything you feel like doing, do it, while wearing your highest level gear. Every activity drops some form of currency or loot that you can use the rank up. The fastest way to level now after beating the main campaign might be from doing activities in the patrol zones. It used to be strikes were the best, now I’d say everything is pretty evenly matched but there is so much going on in the patrol zones you are constantly stumbling onto new activities. You can actually level pretty easily now in Destiny 2 so I wouldn’t feel a rush either. Casual players should have no problem keeping up with hardcore players in terms of power level. I had so much fun waking up this morning and just exploring the patrol zone of Nessus, I kept running from public event to patrol mission to adventure missions to lost sectors. Loot kept dropping and my power level kept rising, always wear your highest level gear.
#4 - Vendors give you the best loot - Every vendor you encounter now has their own form of currency called tokens which are constantly being handed out as rewards along with regular loot. For the most part 20 tokens will raise your reputation level with the corresponding vendor by 1 and they will reward you with a Purple or Legendary Engram. These will generally drop gear for you that is around 5 power levels higher than your current level. If you are in the European Deadzone you will be getting EDZ tokens from almost anything you do ranging from finding chests to public events to completing missions. Return to these vendors and turn in your tokens for a reward. There are tokens for each of the patrol zones, strikes, crucible, and for salvaged gear. Any piece of green or blue gear gives you 1 gunsmith telemetry which is basically a token for the gun smith. Purples give you 3 along with another type of currency called Dark Shards which are used to upgrade your Exotic and Legendary gear. Exotics I believe give you 3 gunsmith telemetry and 5 dark shards. Your gunsmith rank should go up fast if you are always wearing your highest level gear and salvaging your old stuff. I’d try and keep 3 different weapons per slot at all times, otherwise keep salvaging. I’ve gotten most of my favorite weapons from the Gunsmith. You can only claim these rewards once you’ve hit level 20, finishing the campaign should naturally get you there, you might need to do a few public events at the end or in between to get your level up to 20 but it doesn’t take long at all.
#5 - Additional Subclasses Drop Randomly - They drop as random items with obscure names, once you get said item it will appear to the left of your selected subclass with a % meter. You have to fill this meter by just doing activities (it says public events but mine were leveled by just running doing anything really even the main campaign), once it gets to 100% a quest opens in the European Deadzone that once completed unlocks the new subclass. I’d recommend saving some of your ability points and not just maxing out your first subclass, you might find one you like better. The ability points to do take longer to get once you are maxed out at level 20. You don’t want to stuck playing just 1 maxed out subclass.
Here a few things I’ve picked up after a few days with Destiny 2, a lot of these tips only pertain to those of you who have beaten the main campaign or have progressed far enough in it.
Milestones - Not sure what to do? Check your “Milestones” which are opened by pressing L2 in the “Director”, it will pull up a sidebar to the left of your screen showing you a few activities you can accomplish. The rewards from Milestones are probably the best you can get this early in the game, usually an Exotic or Legendary item is involved. I’d recommend doing the “Flashpoint” for the EDZ once it becomes available, it asks you finish five public events in the EDZ, finishing those will net you an exotic and a legendary.
Challenges - These are unlocked after a certain point in the main campaign, any activity has “Challenges” which have basically replaced bounties. Challenges can be seen when you are in any type of activity by pulling up your ghost, strikes, crucible, and patrol zones all have challenges. They change daily, each activity gets 3 at a time and I believe you are rewarded 10 medallions for completing all three. Challenges will be similar to bounties from Destiny 1 such as kill 75 Vex, you don’t have to grab them or turn them on but it is good to check when you are out patrolling or doing strikes because some of them are subclass specific. Once you finish 3 for the day you don’t get more until the reset which is sometime between 12am - 2am PST.
Patrols - Run around do what ever it tells you, if you pull up your ghost after accepting a patrol it will give you more details on how to complete it if you have issues.
Adventures - These are side story missions strewn about Patrol zones, these are story heavy and loot light, they only take anywhere from 10-20 minutes though. These are a lot of fun, I’ve only done a handful but am looking forward to doing more. I’m saving these for later to run through with my friends. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these turn into Exotic quests or hint at locations of exotics.
Public Events - These are constantly going off in patrol zones, they are a great way to level. They occur randomly and actually now show up on your map for you. There will be markers for you and a timer telling you when the event will happen. Public events will usually involve a boss and some light mechanics. Public events can be rather difficult and are much easier done in a group. There are plenty of random people in the patrol zones so finding help won’t be an issue. They will usually give you a bunch of medallions and a few pieces of loot. You can also trigger “Heroic” public events, usually by destroying an object or an enemy that isn’t directly attached to the event. In one of them you need to destroy 1 generator at each of the mining stations (3 total) that are just sitting on the ground. The event will say “Heroic Public Event initiated”, these are extremely difficult.
Lost Sectors - These are strewn about patrol zones and are marked by a tiny rainbow looking glyph. If you see the white glyph the entrance to the Lost Sector is near. Lost sectors will have you exploring some sort of Dark labyrinth. There is a boss at the end that once killed will allow you to loot their chest, similar gear to what you would get from a public event.
Strikes - These are basically guided missions with a big boss fight at the end. These new strikes are a lot of fun and they will match make for your automatically. I’ve gotten a few exotic and legendary engrams from the chests at the end of strikes.
Crucible - Destiny’s PvP mode, it is even better at 4v4. You get loot and medallions just like you would doing any other activity.
Nightfall - This is an amped up version of a strike, only 1 a week. They have managed to make them even more difficult than before. Now they are timed, if you don’t finish it in the time limit you are automatically failed. You don’t get a lot of time either, 10 minutes. These unlock for you at power level 230, it seemed almost impossible for my group at that point though. I’m looking forward to the challenge of completing it. Not sure of the rewards but I’m pretty sure they will be Exotics.
Hope everyone finds this information useful, I’ll have more stuff in the pipe soon! Feel free to add and join up on PSN!
I try writing for TAY and make videos for my YouTube channel for fun. I like playing games and interacting with gaming communities to wind down. You can find me here!
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