All Skulls, Nightfall Strikes

Published on: Sep 12, 2014 @ 21:37

Some of this information can also be found in the official strategy guide. 

There are two main factors that influence the difficulty of a mission in PvE: the level of the mission and the Skulls active for that mission.

Mission level is set to a certain baseline for Story missions and Strikes, but once you hit 20, all missions can be scaled up to (and beyond) Level 20.

There is also a special set of Vanguard Strikes that allow you to play a random Strike at Level 18, 20, 22, or 24.

Two Skulls in particular serve as a sort of mission-wide difficulty setting—the Heroic and Epic Skulls.

On Heroic, encounters are changed, and all enemies are more dangerous.

On Epic, the encounters are changed, adversaries are yet more dangerous, and an additional enemy combatant for each race in the game gains a new elemental shield. On top of that, elemental shields take 50% less damage if you hit them with the wrong element.

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The difficulty tier for a mission sets the base level of aggression for all of the enemies in a mission. This affects how fast, accurate, and dangerous the basic foes you encounter are.

Also, all adversaries improve their basic behaviors: dodging your gunfire, diving away from grenades, suppressing you in cover with weapons or grenades, flanking you, chasing you behind cover, rushing you in melee, hiding and retreating to recover shields, or jumping away if suddenly ambushed. The specific behavior depends on the exact enemy type you are battling, but all of them are more dangerous on higher-difficulty missions.

Majors and Ultras

Majors and Ultras are the special hardened versions of normal enemies that you may encounter during a mission.

Majors show up with a yellow nameplate. They have more health, possess stronger shields that recharge faster, and are more aggressive and dangerous than their normal brethren. You may see these foes show up in the game with a name like “Elite Fallen Captain,” but you can always identify them by their nameplate color.

Ultras appear with a skull mark on their nameplate. They are tougher still than Majors and more dangerous, and all of them have a 360-degree knockback to push you away if you get too close.

Enemy Behavior

The difficulty tier for a mission sets the base level of aggression for all of the enemies in a mission. This affects how fast, accurate, and dangerous the basic foes you encounter are.

Also, all adversaries improve their basic behaviors: dodging your gunfire, diving away from grenades, suppressing you in cover with weapons or grenades, flanking you, chasing you behind cover, rushing you in melee, hiding and retreating to recover shields, or jumping away if suddenly ambushed. The specific behavior depends on the exact enemy type you are battling, but all of them are more dangerous on higher-difficulty missions.

Skulls

Skulls act as special difficulty modifiers for PvE missions. These added effects are on top of the basic difficulty for any mission in the game at any level. If you tackle a Strike that is three levels above you and has multiple Skulls active, expect a very, very tough fight.

Image Skull Effect
Juggler No ammo drops for your equipped weapon.
Anger Issues Minions of the Darkness display heightened aggression.
Angry Angry Minions of the Darkness won’t flinch, even after massive damage.
Arc Burn Arc damage from any source is greatly increased.
Solar Solar Burn Solar damage from any source is greatly increased.
Void Burn Void damage from any source is greatly increased.
Light Lightswitch Minions of the Darkness deal much more melee damage.
Night Nightfall You will face a relentless army that has never known defeat. If all players die, you will be returned to orbit.
heroic Heroic Enemies appear in greater numbers and are more aggressive.
Epic Heavily shielded and highly aggressive enemies appear in great numbers.

Special daily and weekly missions can often have Skulls active. You can also adjust the difficulty on a mission to change its level and sometimes the Skulls that it has active.

During a Nightfall mission, if your entire Fireteam wipes, you are returned to orbit instantly. You only get one shot at these missions, so play smart!

By completing the Weekly Nightfall Strike, you’ll receive an XP bonus until the weekly reset and blue flames for the duration of the bonus!

Nightfall

If you were wondering about some of the recent Destiny stats, this cool infographic from DestinyDB gives us a lot of interesting information about Destiny’s players:

PlanetDestiny
Check out forums.planetdestiny.com if you'd like to talk to others about Destiny in a friendly and welcoming community! :)

LATEST POSTS BY AUTHOR

  • Russell Stuever

    They are not called “Skulls”. The correct term is “Mission Modifiers”. I understand why you chose this term; however, it will confuse non-Halo players.

    • They are called Skulls, this information was taken directly from the official strategy guide.

      • Russell Stuever

        No where in the game are they referred to as Skulls. Never.

        • In the strategy guide that’s what they’re called, http://i5.minus.com/iv97q4KyCEiyD.png

        • chris

          you should check the guide buddy if you read it you would know

        • Thomas Harrison

          im playing the game and it kinda does say skulls so….

      • Emmett Gulley

        I can confirm they are indeed called Skulls, I have the strategy guide right in front of me Russell

  • Max117

    It seems like additional missions-strikes, etc. will be mostly the only way to keep player fan base in the future… Fan base will die quickly, like Halo 4 (IMO)

    • Tony Carty

      Yeah, I’m already starting to get a little bored.. Hit 27 yesterday and well there’s not much to do anymore.. Legendary engrams turn into blue items at the cryptark, obtaining ascendant shards are an utter ball ache to upgrade said legendary armor, then trekking around patrol to find materials that you need every hour or so as something else needs upgrading… To much grind to be honest and the fun factor is soon wearing off.. I can see me dropping this when I get back to work

      • chris

        well thats why bungie said they made this game for only people that understand end game grinds and since you are giving up I can tell that you haven’t understood that idea nor have you done 90s in WoW but to each their own

        • Tony Carty

          If you been doing 90s in WoW.. sorry mate but you need a life, but like you said… Each to their own??

          Maybe bungie made the biggest mistake of releasing a game with so much content left out, only to be released 3 months later?? Have you glitched yet, half the areas that are blocked out are actually finished, with mobs ready and even dead ghosts etc, they just don’t want us to have them.. I actually love Destiny, all I am saying is that there honestly isn’t really “that” much in terms of content that you get without grinding a fair bit compared to all the hype that was created, it actually seems pretty unfinished 🙂

          • Thomas Harrison

            pardon me but i believe you’ve not achieved the best destiny has to offer yet just wait till the 16th to make your judgements

          • Thomas Harrison

            and then there’s December but you have to realize that bungie has made a slow release game i mean they predicted with the amount of content they have and are making for this game it will last about 10 years for the average gamer but maybe a shorter time for people that can get to level 27 in a mere week

          • chris

            Sorry mate but i make $72,000 a year at a corporate best buy job while going to school full time and im only 21 so there is that as well as WoW has a program where you can buy a 90 and play with friends so there is also that but clearly you can’t understand basic logic as stated by your stupid comment of someone playing a game and saying they have no life so you should try coming at me with a stronger argument than complain about a game just released
            Also on the content being blocked off that was VERY obvious when you bought the game because it is more so a platform than a game right now meaning that they want people to get to know the base of the game and play it for a bit while they slowly unveil new things such as the raids Tuesday or the story mode being continued about once a month which starts the following Tuesday but my guess is you won’t get what I and just about all the other people are trying to explain to you since you are clearly ignorant but oh well we will all have fun while you go play your Call Of Duty AW

          • Tony Carty

            I didn’t ask for your yearly income, or how good you are at the young age of 21.. Everything else you have said is pretty valid.. Apart from one thing, you degrading me by tarring me with the COD brush… I wouldn’t touch that piece of shit with someone else’s shovel.. I knew exactly what to expect from Destiny and they did deliver.. Thomas got it spot on, maybe I hit the game to hard in the first week.. No need to get so hostile, I’ve seen my mate playing WoW an yeah he doesn’t have much of a life outside of raiding, so maybe you can give me your secret of juggling a high paid job while in full time school AND being able to sink time for games?? I see this isn’t going anywhere, but thank you Thomas for not being an ass.. As for you chris.. Keep your head up bungies ass 😉

          • chris

            Well it is funny how you were the one to start shit by saying I have no life for one thing while I only play it about 10 hours a month but I can still understand the concept of grinding probably because my IQ is above that of a down syndrome monkey unlike you since you clearly don’t understand that you HAVE to grind a game to get good at it and get the full amount out of it such as WoW and it is funny that your on a website FOR GAMING and calling people no lives because they PLAY GAMES your a real smart one I bet your adopted parents are glad they didn’t drop you down the steps when they had the chance

          • Tony Carty

            You’re a real good one with the insults ain’t you. Did I touch a nerve saying you have no life? Keep throwing them cause all you are to me is some prick “somewhere” in the world.. And it means nothing to me, anything that you say. I don’t even need to justify myself, I just find it amusing to be honest. And also where are all the other gamers who are bothered about me saying “YOU” have no life?? Ahhh that’s right, nowhere because it was specifically said to you 🙂 keep it up kid, pick something else from my reply and try and slate that.. Give me something else to laugh at.

  • Michael Loomis

    Wow! Only 177 over 25? I feel special as im 26!

  • ElekTriX

    Guys, by the way, even though it would be equivalent to Mythic difficulty in Halo, the name of the ‘Mythic’ skill you were referring to is actually called ‘Epic’ in Destiny.

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