Xur Week Five: 10/13/17

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This week is an interesting week namely because it answers a question I had rolling around in the back of my head.  Since this is the first week Xur is returning to a planet that he had already been to…  I had wondered if he would always appear in the same place on each planet.  While we may not be absolutely certain… he did in fact appear up in the tree in the Watcher’s Grave area once again.  I am curious to see when he goes to Titan next week…  if they do follow the pattern if he also still appears in the little building that he did last time.  I feel like this is going to be one of those weeks where you are either highly disappointed or really excited based on a handful of variables.  So without further delay, lets rip that wrapping off and see what Xur brought us.

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Every so often in Destiny 1 they had an exotic that equipped in the wrong slot…  No Land Beyond the primary slot sniper or Universal Remote the primary slot shotgun are prime examples.  This weeks bounty is the Fighting Lion… an energy slot grenade launcher that has a significant number of negatives that I feel have been placed on it in order to let it sit in a slot that is easier to get ammo for.  The exotic perk is Delayed Gratification that allows you to do a timed explosion sort of thing where so long as you are holding down the trigger it will bounce the grenade around…  then when you let up off the trigger it will explode.  This continues to go into the generally fiddly and unreliable nature of grenade launchers as a whole that I went into a whole diatribe about yesterday.  The most interesting perk is Thin the Herd which causes direct hits with the grenade to do significantly more damage to enemy shields… and then rapid kills to enemies damaged in this fashion cause the weapon to reload.  Given that this is a single shot weapon… I feel like this is actually the perk we should be caring about.  In function I think this weapon is designed to be a shield stripper and for you to swap over to it… hit an enemy decimating its shield in a single hit and then swap back to your kinetic to kill it quickly so that the weapon reloads and is ready for the next encounter.  I mean this is a cool mechanic, but it also means you are losing one entire weapon slot to effectively a gimmick.  I rely way too much on both my kinetic and energy weapons for moment to moment game play and cannot really afford to have a one hit wonder taking up one of those slots.  Your mileage may vary of course and it is probably still worth a pick up if you have not yet unlocked this item in your collection.

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Peacekeepers are an item that I would have purchased…  were it not for the fact that I literally just got a pair from an engram last night.  The perk on these is interesting in that it effectively gives Sub-Machineguns a stronger version of the cocoon perk.  Effectively Mecha Holster does two things…  firstly it causes submacs to reload when you stow them and secondly it causes submacs to swap instantly.  I feel like this is screaming for a build where you are running two different archetypes of submachinegun in both your kinetic and energy slots.  Were I doing this build I would go with a highly stable 600 rpm weapon like the Antiope-D or the Adjudicator in my kinetic slot, and rock something like the Royal Dispensation II in my energy slot.  This is more than likely a PVP build sort of thing given that submacs akimbo is probably not the best idea for PVE engagements because you lose a lot of utility.  This is a cool item that is inspired by the way Robocop drew his weapon, but it just isn’t good enough to probably get me to stop using the exotics I already have in rotation.  Once again this is another if you don’t already have it, buy it to unlock in your collection sort of setup.

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This week we have yet another repeat in the form of the Wings of Sacred Dawn…  that actually last appeared in Xur’s inventory on week one when we were back here on Nessus.  This still is one of the most ornate chest pieces that I have seen in the game and I know a lot of players seem to rock this almost for looks alone.  I am still not really a fan of the Dawnblade sub class nor am I really a fan of the whole hover in air while hurling blades at your enemy that the Exotic perk gives you.  If you like hanging mid air and performing attacks though then this might be the ideal weapon for you…  for me that just seems to make you a giant target and I absolutely love when a warlock is using this in the crucible for that reason.  It is worth the pick up for the unlock and maybe there will be a situation where this sort of gameplay is really needed in the future.

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Now I present the diamond in the rough…  Knucklehead Radar.  There has been this trend in Destiny 2 of bringing underutilized exotics from Destiny 1 into the game, but this one sort of breaks that pattern.  Knucklehead Radar has always been useful because it grants an insanely good exotic perk in the form of Upgraded Sensor Pack.  What this effectively does is grant you radar 100% of the time regardless if you are aiming down the sight of your kinetic, energy or heavy weapon.  The shine off of this item tarnished a bit during year three, when they introduced the Memory of Gheleon artifact… that effectively did this same thing.  However for now…  this is the only exotic that I use on my Hunter and if you do not already have this in your arsenal you should do whatever it takes to buy this item this week.  Sure there are items that are functionally better in different situations….  but I like the fact that this is legitimately always going to be useful regardless of what sub class you are using or what situation you are in be it PVE or PVP.  One of my favorite Destiny 1 items… and still one of my favorite Destiny 2 items…  I just wish there was an equivalent for Titans.

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Another thing I have started trying to do on my Friday morning post is show of what Xur is selling in Destiny 1, since no one seems to still be doing this thing.  This week he can be located on the Reef, and apparently talked to his Destiny 2 counterpart as he is also offering the Knucklehead Radar.  I am not going to talk a lot about his offerings but instead just list them out for any players who are still trying to complete exotic sets from the first game.

  • Legacy Heavy Weapon Engram – 31 Strange Coins
  • Helm of Inmost Light – Titan Helm – 13 Strange Coins
  • Knucklehead Radar – Hunter Helm – 13 Strange Coins
  • Nothing Manacles – Warlock Gauntlets – 13 Strange Coins
  • Hereafter – Sniper Rifle – 17 Strange Coins
  • Last Word and Sequel Ornament – Hand Cannon – 30 Strange Coins 25 Silver Dust
  • Truth and Prototype Ornament – Rocket Launcher – 30 Strange Coins 25 Silver Dust

Xur Week Four: 10/6/17

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Happy Xursday!  Since this seems to be a fairly popular feature I will be doing a run down of what Xur has this week.  Since the Flashpoint is in the European Dead Zone he is found over in the winding cove area.  For characters who have yet to hit 20… you can get there by just going west out of town and winding along the coastline…  but in truth I would warn against doing this because his items degrade in power based on your level.  This time Xur is a little tricky given that the previous three weeks he has been in some sort of a sheltered area, and this time he is up on top of a cliff that you are going to have to do a bit of wall jumping to get to.  Another thing to watch out for… the area he is in is patrolled by a group of dregs on pikes.  Additionally there may or may not be a public event active at the drop zone in the winding cove area.  Essentially this is probably the most dangerous area Xur has been so far, just be careful if you AFK because Vandals could in fact hit me with their wire rifles from where he is located.

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First off he is offering the Vigilance Wing, a weapon I am extremely excited to see because I have yet to get one from an engram.  This is an odd Osiris themed weapon that you occasionally see in your “killed by” notes in the crucible and now that I see the perks I understand why.  The exotic perk for this weapon is Harsh Truths which does several things.  Firstly it fires a five round burst which is a bit unique because most pulse rifles fire three round bursts, and hakke weapons are the outlier with four round bursts.  A five round burst for reference means a single precision burst kills a second tier mob like a Vandal.  The second part of the perk is that when a nearby ally is killed you gain health regeneration and increased movement speed…  something that happens constantly in the crucible.  Seeing as I just literally got this weapon today I have yet to take it into the crucible so I am uncertain how much difference this makes.  I did however run around the EDZ and complete a public event to get a feel for it and my opinions are a bit mixed.  Statwise it is probably most similar to the Lincoln Green, with a very odd 530 rounds per minute rate of fire and surprisingly high 33 impact for that rpm.  Traditionally the high rate of fire weapons have an extremely poor range but this one has 68 and a medium range sight to go with it making it fairly decent in longer range engagements.  The other side of the coin though is the unique sun themed sight means it is extremely annoying for close range fights.  The last stand perk plays well with harsh truths in that it gives the weapon improved performance if you are the last member of a fire team.  It seems like it is well worth the legendary shards if for no reason other than to get the unlock and a good Kinetic pulse rifle is a bit of a rare item to find.

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The Insurmountable Skullfort is another of a list of items that has returned from Destiny 1.  Its bizarre because almost all of them were considered second tier items, which makes me wonder if the devs were simply unhappy with the amount of play time that they got and carried them over to potentially give them some new life.  Transfusion Matrix causes kills with arc melee abilities to trigger health regeneration and restore melee energy.  What this means in play is that there is a really interesting build you can do with a Striker Titan where you have near 100% up-time of the insanely powerful arc shoulder charge ability.  This is literally the only reason to use this exotic and is probably well worth the pick up so that you have it in case you ever want to try that build out.  Personally since I love my Auto Rifles… I am likely to almost always use the Actium War Rig because it benefits whatever spec I might be in at that time and doesn’t hamper me from switching freely.

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Nezarec’s Sin is another really limited use case item because its exotic perk does one thing.  Abyssal Extractors causes void damage kills to increase your ability energy recharge rate.  I feel like the primary use case for this item is going to be in the crucible and specifically in control or similar modes where you are wanting to stand your ground or camp out a location.  This is of course a useful for Void warlocks, but also is triggered by void weapon damage.  This means you could in theory build a specific layout with a void energy and a void heavy and be constantly dropping your healing puddle on the ground.  I ran this item for a bit of a time and the ability recharge rate increase is significant.  Overall however I tend to prefer Eye of Another World that highlights priority targets and has a flat increase to the recharge rate of melee, grenade and your ability.  The helm however is well worth a pick up in case you really need to be the one providing an on demand puddle.

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And we have our very first repeat item of Xur in Destiny 2.  Foetracer helm was offered in week two and my feelings are probably much the same.  The exotic perk is Relentless Tracker which causes any mob you scope in on to acquire an X target that you can see through obstacles.  Additionally marked targets like this take additional damage when they get to low health range.  This is a generally useful item and I am sure there are specific cases where it is extremely solid especially for low health target damage.  Personally I am a huge fan of Knucklehead Radar because I like having my radar up while I aim down sight regardless of the weapon I am using.  The Foetracer however is probably a much better damage option because at least it does something to increase your output.  I didn’t pick these up in week two, but I did this week largely to get a collection unlock.  Probably a solid item if you are needing a reasonable exotic to use.

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All in all I feel like this was a pretty solid week for Xur.  I’ve been wanting to play with the Vigilance Wing as it is an exotic that I had never seen from an engram, so I am super happy about him offering that.  The two weapons you can get from an engram that I am still missing is the Sweet Business Gatling gun auto rifle, and The Prospector grenade launcher.  As far as armor pieces go… there are still a sizeable number of unlocks on each character that I will hopefully see Xur offering in coming weeks.  I am mildly annoyed that on week four we are already getting duplicates, which reminds me all too much of the number of times we have seen weapons like the Hawkmoon or Last Word being sold.  What are your thoughts?  Are you impressed with what Xur has been offering or are they all old news to you by the time you can get your hand on them?  I am interested in your thoughts.  One last thing… I decided to start including Destiny 1 Xur in these posts because I feel sorta bad about that incarnation stuck in a game that people aren’t hyped about anymore.

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In Destiny 1 Xur is located in the Vanguard area of the Tower.  I am not going to go into a lot of detail on this, but the major items he has to offer…

  • Suros Regime Auto Rifle – 23 Strange Coins
  • ACD/0 Feedback Fence Titan Arms – 13 Strange Coins
  • Celestial Nighthawk Hunter Helm – 13 Strange Coins
  • The Stag Warlock Helm – 13 Strange Coins
  • Legacy Primary Weapon Engram – 31 Strange Coins
  • Monte Carlo Weapon Bundle with Superspy Ornament – 30 Strange Coins and 25 Silver Dust
  • Zhalo Supercell with Not A Toy Ornament – 30 Strange Coins and 25 Silver Dust

Xur Week Two: 9/22/17

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Since I did this last week I thought I would continue with it for at least another week because Xur brought something I had been wanting.  This time around since the weekly flashpoint is Titan, Xur is located on the section of the planet called “The Rig”.  To get here you will have to cross some areas of the map that have lots of mobs on them, but thankfully none of them seem to be willing to follow you into the actual room he is located in.  Previously in Destiny 1 Xur arrived Friday morning and left Saturday at Midnight PST.  This time around that does not seem to be the case because he was up on Nessus until the reset happened Tuesday morning.  I am not sure if this was intentional or some sort of a bug, but regardless I would suggest checking him out today or tomorrow just to make sure.

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This time around he has brought the Wardcliff Coil or for those of us that played Destiny 1 and followed the dataminers…  the Dubious Volley.  Honestly I think Dubious Volley is a much better name for what the weapon does, because it is essentially an anime missile launcher.  What I mean by this is if you have ever seen something along the lines of Robotech where a bay of missiles opens up and then they sorta fire in a bunch of different directions…  that is what this weapon does.  In use from what I understand it feels a lot like a Gjallarhorn that ONLY fires Wolfpack rounds…  but way more of them.  One of the problems I have heard is that as the mini missiles are tracking in… if a mob moves close to you…  it will in fact blow you up too.  This is one of those fabled weapons that we never got in the first game… so I am absolutely picking this up so I can play with it now.

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The Feedback Fence is an item from the first game…  that in truth no one actually used.  There were a few super edge case builds that you needed to run if you were going to optimize this…  which is a bit sad given that they look amazing.  Functionally to make it work you need to run around punching things…  and then letting something else punch you to explode it.  This makes it extremely unpredictable, and not that useful given that the cases you really want to unleash damage on a target…  are most likely cases where they don’t actually melee you.  The number of bosses that reliably melee you is pretty limited.  I would suggest only picking these up if you simply need the light level and using them as infusion fuel.

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Do you like Solar Grenades?  If so then these are probably the gloves for you.  I like grenades quite a bit but in general I am not a fan of the changes to the fire subclass for Warlocks, so as a result I am probably going to give these a pass.  This is the second week in a row that we have had a solar specific item on Xur for Warlocks which is a little disappointing.  I used last weeks chest piece only until I got a legendary chest that I could it into.  All of that said, this does not take away from the fact that this really is a good item.  It increases the duration of your solar grenades and causes solar melee hits to increase grenade energy regeneration.  If you want to be a mad bomber this is probably going to be down your alley.

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Once again I have not even started my Hunter yet so this is an image that I borrowed from the internet, and then overlayed the stat block.  When zooming in on a target this helmet will place a little red X over it.  When that target gets low health you begin dealing significantly more damage to the marked target.  The drawback here is that if you focus on any other targets for any length of time it will shift the X and  that may or may not be what you want to have happen.  Another edge case that is super useful is in the tracking of a mob that might be running from you…  like how some high value targets do these days.  I am personally not that interested in this helm, and plan on just sticking with the chest piece from last week that increases my Arc Strider stuff.  Folks are saying however that this is a really powerful pickup and I can see why because in theory it just gives you bonus damage on a target, which would be nice for boss burn phases once the boss gets within “execute range”.

 

Happy First Xursday!

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One of the tidbits of information that we knew going into Destiny 2 was that Mister Shadow Tentacles himself…  Xur the Agent of the Nine would no longer be showing up in a social space.  That meant that we would need to find him somewhere on a planet.  At first I thought this would be somewhat of a scavenger hunt, where we had to scour the planets to find where he was hiding.  However that does not appear to be the case because they put a familiar IX logo on the director map.  This week Xur is located on Nessus in the Watcher’s Grave area, and in this case he is up high in a tree next to a golden vex scannable item.  The other things that we didn’t know were the level of items he would be bringing….  and the cost.  We knew that legendary shards would be the universal currency for lots of different things and now replace the familiar chase item…  Strange Coins.  It appears that everything is 270 and I have verified with a few videos of Xur that regardless of the players power level he seems to be handing out that same static level.  The basic set up is similar to Destiny 1 in that he is bringing a single weapon and a piece of armor for each class.  This week we have…

  • Merciless – Fusion Rifle – 29 Legendary Shards
  • Raiden Flux – Hunter Chest – 23 Legendary Shards
  • Doom Fang Pauldrons – Titan Arms – 23 Legendary Shards
  • Wings of Sacred Dawn – Warlock Chest – 23 Legendary Shards

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If you only have the Legendary Shards to pick up a single item… I would say buy this thing.  I was lucky enough to get it as an Exotic Engram drop while leveling… and this thing is amazing.  It has a weird perk on it that speeds up the recharge rate until you get a kill.  This combined with a perk that increases your damage if you reload after getting that kill..   makes it a machine to melt mobs.  Especially on bosses the fact that it keeps getting faster lets you pour some insane damage into the boss in a very short period of time.  This thing completely decimates the ship that flys in on the Cabal extraction event for example.  This was one of the first legendaries that I infused up, simply because I like using it that much.

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I went ahead and picked these up because I didn’t already have them.  Effectively when you are in your super mode… kills with the shield bash reset the cooldown of your shield throw.  I could definitely see this being useful since in general you only get one throw per sentinel super.  Similarly melee kills help give you super energy… and since I run around punching everything already this should be a good exotic for me.  The only problem is…  I am currently using another exotic just for the light levels so in theory I need to find something to replace it with before I can rock these.

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For the Warlock Xur is selling the Wings of Sacred Dawn, which is one of the fanciest chest slot items I have seen in game so far.  The truth is however that I largely just bought this for the item level to help give my Warlock I am currently leveling a power boost, so I can start double dipping on those sweet sweet powerful engrams.  The perk is Tome of Dawn, which causes you to suspend midair while aiming while you are in your super.  Precision hits extend this effects duration allowing you to stay up in the air frozen longer.  Since I don’t really like Dawnblade as a subclass and went Voidwalker the moment I got it as a drop and have never looked back…  this really is all about the 270 light level for me and nothing else.  If you like Dawnblade your mileage may vary.

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I had to swipe an image of this one online, because I have not even begun to start my Hunter leveling…  since it is probably the class I like the least in Destiny 2.  I went ahead and picked this up however because I had the shards…  and once again it will be a power level boost when I finally get around to leveling and equipping a third class.  The perk on the item is called Synapse Junctions…  which causes quick successive attacks with Arc Staff to increase damage output and the duration of your super.  In truth this is probably a good item for me since I mostly like the Arc Staff super ability.  Again however…  its really about the 270 light.

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One of the slight disappointments comes not from the exotics themselves…  because I really do think that he brought a decent load out of items.  What I am a little disappointed in is the fact that he ONLY brought the exotics.  Previously in Destiny 1 there were a ton of other items that he sold…  most of which are no longer still in the game.  What I would have loved to see him sell in their place however were maybe some really nice gear mods to help those players who have yet to hit that 280 plateau get there.  Additionally I would have loved to see him offer Fireteam Medallions as an alternate way other than Eververse dust currency to get them, since they appear to be the replacement for three of coins.  The best method of getting Exotic engrams appears to be running one of those and chaining heroic events.  Speaking of which… I need to do a lot more of that.  Anyways regardless of anything else… I am just happy to see the Friday tradition of finding Xur continue into this new game.