23 Things Every New Destiny Player Should Know pt4

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Part 4: Leveling and End Game

It doesn’t take that long to hit the XP level cap in Destiny (at least as of House of Wolves), but after that the real fun of “End Game” activities begin. There is a lot to absorb, and it can feel overwhelming at first, so check out these tips on the most important things to focus on.

Destiny Crest of Alpha Lupi

19. Light it up

It might come as a surprise when you hit level 20, but all further leveling up is just based on the “Light Level” of your gear. The simple formula Bungie seems to be sticking with is to allow faction vendors to sell gear that is slightly less than max level, and then require end game grinding to make it the last bit of the way to get max level gear. This means that when you hit 20, you should start grinding either Crucible or Vanguard faction rep until you can buy a full set of vendor gear (usually augmented with one Exotic from Xur). From their you can get the rest of the way to max by grinding Nightfall Strikes, Iron Banner, and whatever the latest end game content is.

20. Leveling gear

It is very important to equip unleveled before turning in bounties. Bounties give significantly more experience than most other activities, and are thus one of the best ways to level gear. If the gear you are using is maxed, when you turn in bounties that XP is just wasted. You’ll pretty much always have gear to level up, so be sure to switch to it before you turn anything in. The aforementioned awesome Destiny Item Manager makes this a breeze, as you can designate loadouts to switch to for gear leveling. Note also that leveled gear sometimes provide more materials when it is dismantled. This means that it is usually worthwhile to level up green items before dismantling them.

Destiny Nightfall Strike

21. I made a few… modifications

For the foreseeable future, most end game content is simply “regular” game content with modifiers. Modifiers are akin to skulls in the Halo series, except that you tend to have indirect or completely no control over which modifiers are enabled other than sometimes selecting a “level” of difficulty. The more challenging end game content like Nightfall Strikes may have many modifiers on at the same time. Most of them can be used to your advantage, if you have the right gear and adjust your playstyle (for example, switch to Arc weapons when the “Arc Burn” modifier is active). Conversely, if you ignore the modifiers, you may find Nightfall’s or other end game content to seem impossibly hard.

22. Harder = better, usually

The loot tables for most activities are increased when you set them to the hardest difficulty. In particular, the hardest setting for the Weekly Strike will reward 9 Strange Coins, and that will add up fast across multiple characters if you make a habit of doing it every week. Hard Mode Raids also typically reward with better gear, and certain gear can only be obtained from HM.

Destiny Blade Dancer

23. Elemental is Instrumental

Many enemies have elemental shields, and these play a key role in making the game harder at higher levels. There are three elemental types: Solar (red), Arc (blue), and Void (purple). At first, low level enemies may lack shields, or will have tissue paper thin shields that melt away when any damage is applied. As you reach higher levels, you’ll find that elemental shields become nearly impervious to all damage types except the type that matches. Harder levels also sometimes feature “burns” which increase the effectiveness of a damage type. This means that in addition to learning the enemy shield elemental types, you’ll also want to note the damage type they use and prioritize targets that match the burn (before they prioritize you).

I hope you found these tips helpful. If there are others I’ve missed, please leave a comment! Thanks again to all of the helpful folks at /r/DestinyTheGame for suggesting many of the tips on this list.

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