This is a post I had planned on making for awhile, and now that we are a little less than a month away from the PC launch… I figure the timing works fairly well. At this point I have leveled and geared three characters through Destiny 2 on the PS4 and during that time I have sorted out some of the things that work and some of the things that don’t. My first trip through any game is a meandery mess as I let myself get distracted by every little bauble that comes across my path. Quite honestly… this is fine because I enjoy the hell out of that first trip. If you also like to sometimes revel in being inefficient… then by all means please ignore anything I am about to write. However more than anything this is my game plan for how I intend on leveling during the PC release and how I intend to claw my way back to the relative positive I currently am on the PS4. This is going to be a much different experience for me than someone starting out in Destiny 2 for the first time. Not only did I have the experience of playing over 500 hours of the first game… I also now have this bundle of experience playing on the PS4 which I have sorta used like a beta test environment. When I pulled up my Warlock and Hunter I tested out some of these methods, and have reached a point where I think I am good with a clear path going forward.
The natural path through the game is to follow the main story quest and then add in as much side content as you can along the way. My first trip through the game I did all of this and dinged 20 well before finishing the main story arc. My friends however focused on only the main story and wound up beating the game around level 15 leading them to do a bunch of grinding to open up the end game. Firstly you have to understand that grinds are more or less fun for me… and Destiny 2 has a grind that is better than any I have seen in a long time in the form of the Heroic Public Events. Public Events spawn at regular intervals and as you open a planet up you are going to notice that at least one is up at pretty much all times. Titan the second planet you reach seems to have the best public event grind available, largely because Titan as a whole is very small surface area wise… but has a bunch of added complexity in the form of overlapping Z axis areas. There are three public event areas that spawn in the planet… One in Sirens Watch and two in the sections known as The Rig. These are either going to be Fallen Weapons Exchange… aka Fallen Walkers or Witches’ Ritual. Both of these are extremely easy to convert from a normal Public Event to a Heroic, and I highly suggest you check out the guide I posted some days back on how to convert each event. In addition to public events there are five or six high value target spawns that appear in this relatively small area as well as countless chests and harvestables making Titan an amazingly compact farming destination.
So my goal come Destiny 2 PC release is to push my way through the European Dead Zone as fast as I can, and then get to Titan. After a mission or two the planet opens up completely and instead of following the main story… I am going to farm my little heart out on Titan until I hit level 20. Now I just did this method on my Hunter that I leveled on Saturday, and through level 10 I was managing to get a full level off of each Heroic Public Event. From 10 to 20 it took roughly two events per level, but considering you are able to hop back and forth between the events easily this went fast as well. During the bits of downtime I hunted chests and high value targets… basically anything that I thought might give me some blue gear drops, glimmer or experience. Now the reason why I grind to 20 on Titan is that it is extremely fast, but also pushes me into endgame power levels as quick as possible. I noticed while playing the main story content, that these missions seem to drop a significant number of pieces of gear… considerably more than just wandering around the open world. Ultimately the name of the game is trying to get to 260 power as soon as humanly possible from blue drops. Putting my leveling in on Titan lets me start doing this as I work my way through the rest of the story quest. The other benefit of this process is that it gives you a nice stack of faction tokens that you can cash in once you actually hit 260… in order to boost you to 265.
From there we start to enter the dark territory of the slow endgame grind. The primary means of jumping over this is going to be utilizing the “powerful gear” quests that are available once a week and give you luminous engrams. The other primary means of defeating this curve are to find pieces of gear that have legendary mods installed in them. Hoard these like they are the most precious thing in the universe, because until you get to 280 power your only means of getting them is going to be pure dumb luck from either a random legendary gear drop… or from turning in weapon parts to get packages from Banshee. Once you have a full set of items with legendary mods… you can begin to start infusing your way to the next goal which is 270. It is my intent not to turn in any luminous engrams until I have reached 270 on my first character. This is likely going to mean a bunch of grinding to get items with legendary mods in them, but ultimately I am trying to get as high of power as I can in that first week… and there are limited number of luminous engrams that I can get per character. You can get one for each of the following activities…
- Crucible Call to Arms – This has taken between 8 and 10 Crucible matches on average for me.
- Clan XP – Get 5000 xp… if you follow this method the first one will be a gimme since all of the story missions will count towards this.
- Flashpoint – Do 3 Heroic Events on the weekly planet… or 6 regular events or a combination of them.
- Nightfall – This is not always the easiest of engrams but if you have a group capable worth doing.
- Raid – This again requires a full team of six players, and is just a bonus to the actual reward which is raid loot.
The other part of my plan… is to push up my Hunter and Warlock as quickly as possible… potentially before I even start decoding Luminous Engrams on the Titan. I would love to be able to keep all three classes at roughly the same gear level so that I functionally get three times the engrams each week. With the PS4/Xbox One launch there were a bunch of players doing a thing where they created three of exactly the same class so that every piece of gear could transfer to the new character and keep pushing the total power levels higher. That trick has been officially broken by Bungie because their intent is for us to play individual classes instead of duplicates. However in my experience after running Titan, Warlock and Hunter together is that the luminous engrams seem to benefit all three. Sure the armor pieces won’t transfer over, but the weapons absolutely will… which will allow you to start getting higher gear to drop… which will allow you to start slowly infusing up the gear you already had on that character. In truth, once I hit 265ish on the Titan I plan on starting the Warlock and pushing it to 20 as soon as possible then handing over the weapons I have been using on the Titan to help push up the new characters power level faster. Once again when I get the Warlock to 265… I plan on doing the same to the Hunter and then and only then once I have a trio of characters… do I intend to start decoding those luminous engrams. The piece of knowledge that we have learned since the launch of the PS4 is that you can let those engrams sit on the vendors up to the point of the reset…. and then instead of losing them the game just automatically decodes them for you. Basically you are at no risk of running into issues by letting them sit there, and waste potential power levels if you decode them too early.
Ultimately my goal is to exit that first week of Destiny 2 on the PC with a Titan, Warlock and Hunter completely leveled and farm up three sets of luminous engrams. This might be insane and it might be a hell of a lot of work… but considering how fast the Warlock and Hunter went… that initial character seems to be the challenge. The other benefit I have going into the PC release is that I already know which weapons I like and need to hold onto… and which ones I can shard because I just don’t enjoy whatever it is that weapon is doing. Similarly I know which pieces of gear I should probably go after on each class, and what talent trees I favor to unlock first. I carry into this new release a bunch of ancestral knowledge that is going to hopefully make the transition path smoother. Now everything I said today… I ultimately suggest you ignore on your first time through the game. I had this amazing voyage of discovery when I first set forth into the new areas of Destiny 2, and I don’t want to rob anyone else of that experience. That said… I have had that moment and I just want to push up characters so I can be ready for everything that the PC release is going to offer. I’ve had my moment of wandering around in awe of everything… and am ready to buckle down and push like mad to get where I want to be. My goal is to break the 280 light barrier in that first week, which is going to depend on a lot of luck. Considering four weeks into the game I am just in the mid 290s… it is probably going to be a challenge to get there again but one I am ready for.