Destiny Focus: Twenty & Up

Published on: Sep 21, 2014 @ 12:25

It’s quite fascinating just how much the landscape of Destiny changes once you hit the soft level cap of 20.

It used to be that you’d consider a green Engram a valuable commodity, and that a Bounty was something that you undertook for a little extra EXP every now and then. Now though, things are a little different. Bounties are a necessity for one, especially if you intend to master both of your characters sub-classes. And as for green Engrams, well, not even blue ones can hold a candle to the purple and orange drops that you will be striving for from here on out.

Destiny’s endgame is about the fine-tuning of your character which, unlike everything up until this point, is going to be a rather painstaking process. At times, it’ll be frustrating, grating and even downright annoying, but like many similar games, there’s something to be said for having a character completely decked out in gear you’ve spent a hell of a lot of time acquiring.

Of course, there are more reasons than just a personal sense of completion for beginning your journey towards the very best loot that Destiny has to offer. Firstly, the better your gear is, the higher your Light level will be, with certain activities in Destiny requiring a specific Light level to undertake. For example, if you want to assault the fabled Vault of Glass raid, then you’ll need an arsenal of Legendary gear and around a Light level of 26 before you stand a chance, whilst you’ll be looking for a similar level in order to claim victory over Destiny’s arduous ‘Nightfall’ strikes.

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It’s easy to become daunted by Destiny’s post-level 20 adventure when you factor in the mass of stats, items and activities that are all clamouring for your attention. But to boil it down, it really is all about obtaining the best possible equipment for your Guardian. Lucky for you, there are a fair few ways to do just that.

One of my favourite aspects of Destiny is its multiplayer mode, the Crucible. In the Crucible, you and your team compete in game modes that range from simple death-match pursuits to objective based game types on a series of maps inspired by locations throughout the Destiny universe. As well as being a great source of Crucible Marks, which can be used to purchase certain Legendary items from vendors within the Tower, the Crucible harnesses the randomness of the Destiny loot system by doling out a slew of gear to selected players following the conclusion of each match.

This means that should you have a bad game, you’ll still be just as likely to snag a Legendary engram as the player who finished as the MVP. Although this may seem like a decent way to earn loot, especially if you’re not the strongest of competitors in the Crucible, more often than not you’ll find that good performances tend to go unrewarded, which is why my next suggestion may be more preferable to some.

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‘Farming’ is the act of repeating an action so that it warrants similar results over and over again. In the context of Destiny, this is usually synonymous with finding an enemy spawn point and relentlessly riddling it with bullets in order to attain a quicker drop rate. The way Destiny’s loot system works is that any enemy at any time can drop an item, meaning that it would be most proficient to cull large numbers of them at once rather than singling out specific, high-level bosses.

There are a number of key locations in the Destiny universe that have been highlighted by Redditors and notable YouTuber’s alike, but none is perhaps more notorious than the ‘Treasure Cave’ in the Russian Cosmodrome. Home to a spawn point of Thrall and Hive Acolytes as well as a Public Event location, the Treasure Cave is popular largely due to its risk-free nature as well as quick enemy spawn times. Just remember though, if you’re going to attempt a run at this, always bring a friend. There’s strength in numbers after all.

By now, you may have noticed that decoding blue or purple engrams may not get you what you want. Legendary engrams are hard enough to come by in the first place, and when they decode into a blue item that’s worse than something you already have equipped, well that’s just a kick in the teeth isn’t it? If you’re tired of the grind however and have had your fill of multiplayer, Strikes and story missions, then there is another way to definitely acquire an Exotic item; his name is Xur, Agent of the Nine, and he’s your new best friend.

Xur appears only on Friday, Saturday and the early part of a Sunday, taking up residence in one of many different locations all across the Tower. Xur’s role is simple; he’s an Exotic vendor who simply comes and goes as he pleases, dispensing Exotics to those unlucky enough to never earn one naturally. And even if you see something that you may not want to purchase, then fear not, for Xur will be back in a one week’s time with a whole new inventory. Xur has but one requirement; Strange Coins. Well, Strange Coins and Motes of Light anway, two items that are earned randomly in the field and when decoding engrams. 23 Motes of Light will get you a spin at an Exotic engram, whilst 16 Strange Coins will get you a definitive piece of armour.

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In the constant quest for making your Guardian as strong as they can possibly be, having the absolute best gear is a necessity. And with the Iron Banner slowly edging closer, your Guardian will need to be in top shape in order to compete with the best of them. For now, take solace in the fact that if you’re not one of those players lucky enough to have been inundated with a plethora of Legendary drops in the field, then you’re not alone. Hey, at least we have Xur, right?

Fight on, Guardians.

Ash Wilton
Ash is a Welsh writer who contributes to a number of gaming sites across the net. You can check out more of his work on his own site, which can be found at iamashwilton.com
  • Micah Yang

    Speaking of level 20 Where do I get shaders which I already have (bungie portal) I’ve tried guardian outfitter and special orders but haven’t found it yet.

    • Nater-ater

      You can sometimes get them as a reward from strikes. I got one that way

      • Micah Yang

        Cool which one? Wow I am all over this page

        • Nater-ater

          It was blood pact. Pretty neat, tan as the primary with white detailing

    • chris

      If you are talking about the ones you used codes to redeem then wait a bit cause I was 24ish when I received them randomnly at the special orders person

      • Micah Yang

        Okay thanks, I’m only level 17.

    • Colpoh

      After redeeming the codes i had to go and manually activate some of them in my profile at bungie.net before i recieved them.

      • Micah Yang

        Alright I’ll try that too

  • Micah Yang

    I’m level 17 and i only have greens equipped and only have greens in my inventory. I hate greens. I got a blue primary weapon engram but it was a green. I HATE GREENS!!!

  • Casey

    The Cryptarch needs to buy me dinner and a movie before he effs me on decoding yet again. I hate that guy.

  • Micah Yang

    Meh I’m probably not going to buy from xur just because I think you should earn your exotics. Seriously what hunter doesn’t have mask of the third man?