With Destiny 2 being the free PlayStation Plus game for September, there will be plenty of new fans hopping into the game right before Forsaken launches. With the DLC launching next week, we compiled a guide containing everything new and returning players need to know about the game currently and what players should know going into Forsaken on September 4.
Picking and Playing a Class
The first, and biggest, choice a player makes when they first log into Destiny 2 is picking a class. There are three classes in Destiny: Warlock, Hunter, and Titan. Each of these three classes has a different playstyle and abilities. Unlike most RPGs, players aren’t locked into a specific “role” when picking a class, as Destiny 2’s gameplay is fluid enough that any class can offer various benefits both solo and as a team. Weapons are not class-restricted, so there’s no need to worry about picking a class that revolves around gunplay.
Each class features three subclasses which give players different Super abilities. The subclasses have their own skill trees to give players different abilities. Players can create three characters, so they can create one of each class to experience everything Destiny 2 has to offer, but which should players pick first? The easy answer is whichever sounds the most fun, as all three can be incredibly useful in any activity, especially with Forsaken adding new subclass trees.
Starting with Warlocks, this class is best compared to the standard mage from other RPGs. Warlocks harness the Light as a Mage harnesses magic, to create powerful and unique abilities. Warlocks can also play a support role, as their class ability drops a rift that can either heal or give increased damage to those standing in it. The subclasses for Warlocks are Voidwalker, Dawnblade, and Stormcaller.
Hunters are the nimble, fast-moving class in Destiny 2. Their Dodge class ability allows them to roll out of (or into) enemy range to either reload their weapons or recharge their melee ability. Each of the three subclasses is based around a different archetype which makes the Hunter very versatile. The subclasses for Hunters are Gunslinger, Arcstrider, and Nightstalker.
Titans are the tanks of Destiny 2, especially considering their class ability allows them to summon a barricade to block incoming damage. These resilient Guardians typically serve as the frontline for many encounters. The subclasses for Titans are Striker, Sentinel, and Sunbreaker.
Enjoy the Campaign
In the beginning of Destiny 2, every player should enjoy the campaign. Unlike the original Destiny’s campaign, Destiny 2’s campaign is more enjoyable and easier to follow. The story of the Red War is actually one of the better stories Bungie has written in Destiny. Missions like Homecoming, 1AU, and Utopia make for some of the most memorable missions in Destiny history. Enjoy the ride through the journey of the Guardian who fights against Dominus Ghaul and his Red Legion.
If players own the two DLC packs, Curse of Osiris and Warmind, then players will have two extra campaigns to run through, both shorter than the Red War campaign. While Curse of Osiris left a sour taste in many fans’ mouths, Warmind was a great step in the right direction for the series. If players want the full picture of Forsaken, players will want to run through these stories. With the Vanguard leaders playing an important role in Forsaken, getting to know them a little better will make Forsaken much more impactful. The campaign is also a great first step toward getting Power Level increases, as it could carry players a good way toward the soft cap.
Complete Adventures and World Quests
As players work through the campaigns, new side quests will appear on the destination maps called Adventures, which are marked with an orange icon with a white sword. These missions add to the story of the destination and give players some nice rewards. Early-on, adventures are a great way to level up and get starter gear. Some adventures even give upgrade points that can be used to unlock subclass abilities. Bungie has stated that Adventures will be acquired differently in Forsaken, but they have not said if this will be retroactive to the old adventures. Try picking up adventures as they appear to get some good experience and loot.
World Quests appear on each destination after players complete the main campaign. These quests, marked with a blue banner icon, are multi-step quests that can reward players with nice gear or even powerful exotics. World Quests are a great way to get some powerful gear after completing the campaign, so make sure to pick them up after completing the base campaign!
Don’t Get Too Attached to Gear
When progressing through the campaigns, especially after the launch of Forsaken, the gear you earn along your journey won’t last very long until you reach higher levels. Year one legendary gear that drops from the Red War and DLC campaigns can be brought up to year two for a cost, but they lack some of the benefits of the randomly rolled gear that drops in Forsaken. Gear comes in several different rarities, Common (white), Uncommon (green), Rare (blue), Legendary (purple), and Exotic (yellow), anything below Legendary is not worth hanging onto and can be dismantled if it is not a higher level than the gear players currently have equipped.
Legendary and Exotic gear is worth hanging onto, especially exotics. Legendary gear in Forsaken will feature random rolls, so each copy of a weapon or armor piece could be different from the last. The first Better Devils hand cannon players get may have terrible rolls, but the next may be the best roll in the history of Destiny. If a weapon or armor piece drops at a higher power level than what players currently have, they should hold onto it to increase the power level of future drops. However, if it is of no use to the player, legendary weapons and armor can be dismantled for legendary shards and Gunsmith materials.
How to Be a Powerful Guardian
The primary focus of Destiny 2 is getting powerful gear to increase a guardian’s Power Level. Destiny 2 has two different levels: one for experience and one for gear. While the XP cap is much easier to hit, raising Power Level is a whole different beast. The gear players earn through various activities has a Power Level, and the power level of both the player’s armor and weapons is averaged out to calculate the total Power level. Destiny 2 calculates a player’s potential power when determining rewards, giving players drops that are based on what a player’s max power would be if they were wearing their highest power gear.
Certain activities call for higher Power gear, such as raids or Nightfall strikes. Players typically can hit the game’s soft cap by doing any activity and then focusing on Milestones (now called Challenges in Forsaken) that reward Powerful Gear for getting past the soft cap. In Forsaken, there will be plenty of challenges that reward Powerful Gear to boost a player’s Power Level. Likewise, when participating in activities that are a higher recommended Power than the player is currently at, the rewards will be even better and give a greater boost to power.
After player’s get close to the hard cap on Power, it’s all about fine-tuning loadouts to fit each type of activity. With random rolls back in the game, players will be doing a lot of fine-tuning when not working on the Power Grind. To level up quickly, play the campaigns in Destiny 2 to get near the soft cap, then work on playing Strikes close to the player’s current light level to get a boost of gear. Once players are at the soft cap, focus on Challenges to get Powerful Gear that will push you past the soft cap.
Challenges (and Milestones)
After completing the campaigns for Destiny 2 and the three DLCs, players will shift their focus toward the Challenges in the game that reward Powerful Gear. Milestones as year one players knew them are no more, save for Clan XP. Challenges are the new version of Milestones, and some reset on a different cycle.
On the Director, players will notice several different star icons at various activities and destinations. This indicates that there is something going on there that will net players powerful gear. Players who are determined to get their Power Level up as quick as possible may want to wait until they near the soft Power cap in Forsaken before taking on these activities to maximize Power gains. Players can have four daily milestones at a time, so players should clear them out as to not miss out on rewards.
Infusion is a system in Destiny 2 that allows players to boost the Power Level of a specific legendary or exotic weapon or armor piece by consuming another weapon or armor piece that is a higher Power Level than the one being infused. The item being consumed is lost in the process, but the infused gear will now be at the Power Level that the dismantled gear was. This allows players to boost specific pieces of gear to higher Power by consuming lower tier or poorly-rolled gear.
With Update 2.0.0, Bungie completely changed how Infusion works in Destiny 2. Previously, players had to have the same archetype of weapon to infuse it to higher light levels – so players could only infuse auto rifles into auto rifles, snipers into snipers, and so on. Now, players can infuse any weapon or armor piece so long as the piece that is being infused is in the same slot as the piece being consumed. So if players want to boost their Borealis sniper rifle to a higher Power Level, they can infuse any gun into it so long as it is also in the secondary slot.
Infusion also comes at a price – a much higher price than it did in year one. To infuse a piece of gear into another, it will cost Glimmer, legendary shards, and planetary materials. The exact amount of each of these is dependent on the type of gear. If players are infusing a duplicate piece of gear, for example a Better Devils into a Better Devils, then it will only cost Glimmer. There are plenty of Ghost shells out there that will help players track down planetary materials, and doing the Flashpoint Challenge will also reward a ton of materials as well.
The Mod System is also changing drastically with Forsaken. Both weapons and armor can hold mods which can help players fine-tune their playstyle. Bungie has stated that, unlike year one, year two mods will be rarer and have a more meaningful impact on the game. Players can acquire mods in a couple of ways. For one, mods can be purchased from Banshee-44, the Gunsmith, for mod components. Returning players will find their old mods useless and can therefore dismantle them for components. New players may have to rely on finding mods in the wild.
The second, and most interesting, way to find mods is through random drops. All exotic armor will have a chance to have a mod already installed. Non-raid year two weapons may have a chance to have a mod installed in it already, but not legendary gear purchased from vendors. If a player dismantles the weapon or armor, it will drop the mod so players can socket it into a different piece of gear. This makes players evaluate if they would rather have the weapon or the mod. Banshee rotates weapon and armor mods daily in his inventory, so make sure to check back frequently to find the best mods out there.
Breaking Down the New Weapon System
As with many things in Destiny 2, the Weapon System also changed with Update 2.0.0. To understand the new weapon system, one must understand the weapon types. There are three main categories of weapon types: Kinetic, Energy, and Power. Kinetic weapons do not deal elemental damage (arc, solar, void). This makes them ineffective at breaking enemy shields, but they deal large amounts of precision damage to enemies after their shield is down. Energy weapons excel at breaking shields. If a shield is broken with a matching element, the enemy’s shield will explode, damaging any nearby enemies. Power weapons have elements as well, but they specialize in dealing massive amounts of damage or clearing out waves of low-tier enemies.
There are three ammo types in Destiny 2 now: Primary, Special, and Heavy. Primary ammo weapons can be found in either the Kinetic or Energy slot, depending on if they are elemental or Kinetic. Kinetic will always be in the first slot while energy will always be in the second. Their ammo type is determined by a weapon’s archetype (i.e. auto rifle, pulse rifle). Power weapons will always use Heavy ammo. Players can run two primary weapons, one primary and one secondary, or two secondaries if they want to. Specific exotic weapons break this system due to how powerful they are, like the Whisper of the Worm exotic sniper or Tractor Cannon, which are locked to the Power slot.
Heroic Public Events
Public Events pop up on each of the game’s destinations and serve as a great source of experience and gear. In fact, Public Events are one of the best ways to get some exotic engrams! The events are marked on the map for each destination and rotate on a timer. While players can just blow through the events with ease, there are secret objective that will make the event harder for a chance at better rewards. Here is how to trigger each Heroic Public Event:
- Cabal Excavation: A Cabal drill will land, and players must stand around in the ring to capture the drill. To make this one heroic, players will need to shoot down the Thresher ship that spawns in after players reach 30% completion on the event. Shooting down the event will trigger a boss to spawn in and once players defeat him then the Heroic rewards are theirs.
- Glimmer Extraction: Fallen ketches will spawn in and drop off a Glimmer drill. The drill will move to a new location if players defeat the four drill guardians. At each location, before defeating the last guardian, players must destroy a small metallic Glimmer extractor that spawns at each location. Destroying one at each of the three locations the drill goes to triggers the Heroic version. To complete the Heroic version, players must stand within the pile of Glimmer and protect it until it reaches 100%.
- Injection Rig: A giant red Cabal structure will drop down from the sky and players must defeat three Psions and a Cabal boss to complete the event. After defeating a Psion, a shield will come over the rig and it will deal solar damage to anyone in the bubble. During this time, vents will open up on the rig that players must destroy to make it heroic. There are three vents on the top tier, three in the middle tier, and one on the bottom that opens at random. Players must destroy all vents before defeating the third Psion to make the event Heroic.
- Ether Resupply: A large Prime Servitor will spawn in, and players must deal enough damage to spawn in smaller Servitors that will shield the boss. Defeating the servitors before the boss consumes them will make the event Heroic. One servitor will spawn in, followed by three more at the next damage tier. All must be defeated quickly to get the Heroic version.
- Vex Construct: This public event tasks players with preventing Vex from sacrificing themselves to a conflux. After the event begins, one player should guard the conflux while others follow the white beams to three separate plates that must be captured like a control point. After the third plate is captured, the event becomes Heroic. Players must then keep defending the conflux against harder Vex.
- Taken Blight: Perhaps the event that most people fail to make Heroic, this public event spawns a massive taken blight protected by a shield alongside smaller taken blights. Players must deal enough damage to the large blight to spawn the Heroic boss. To damage the big blight, players must walk into one of the smaller blights and the walk out to get the “Blight Receding” buff. While the buff is active, players can damage the large blight by shooting it. Do not deal damage to any Taken enemies in the area as that will progress the event without making it Heroic. Just keep stepping in and out of the blights to deal damage to the major blight to spawn the Blightkeeper Heroic boss.
- Fallen Armory: A Fallen Captain and some low-tier enemies will spawn in on a dropship. Defeat them to spawn a Fallen Walker. Players will notice that around the Walker are three bubbles containing Scorch Cannons. Players must open up all three bubbles to make the event Heroic. To open them, deal damage to the boss until it drops three Arc Charges. Deposit the charges in the terminals (there are two at each bubble) to bring the bubble down. After the boss drops the second wave of Arc charges, and players deposit them to open the last bubble, the event becomes Heroic and a second Walker spawns in.
- Witches’ Ritual: This event is all about standing on two plates in the middle of the Hive ritual. Standing on the plates brings down the shields of the two Wizards performing the ritual. Defeat them to trigger the portal in the center of the room. Players will notice two crystals above the portal protected by shields. Keep standing on the plates to bring those shields down as well. Destroy the crystals by shooting them to make the event Heroic. The crystals must be destroyed before the glyphs on the two portal pillars reach the top.
- Defend the Warsat: On Mars, a Warsat will fall from orbit and crash-land on the planet. Players must scan and then defend the Warsat. After a few seconds, players will notice three Hive Shriekers spawn in closed above where the Valkyrie normally spawns. While defending the Warsat, two Wizards will come in and fill the Warsat’s area with poison. Defeat the two Wizards to cause one of the Shriekers to open up. To make the event Heroic, all three Shriekers must be defeated before the Warsat is complete. In total, there will be three waves of Wizards, one for each Shrieker. Defeat them quickly to avoid missing the Heroic Event.
There will be new public events for the Dreaming City and the Tangled Shore, which will likely have heroic versions as well.
One of the new features added in Destiny 2 was the in-game integration of clans. Clans offer a good source of gear, experience, and friendship. Players will definitely want to join up with a clan in Forsaken, as Bungie is making big changes to how Clans will work in year two. In year two, clans will have bounties and rewards tied to playing with clanmates. Heading over to Reddit or the Bungie website is a great way to start tracking down a clan to play with for the big expansion.
The most rewarding and exciting content Destiny 2 has to offer is the raid. Raids in Destiny 2 are six-person cooperative activities that require players to work together and coordinate to take down challenging bosses or solve complex puzzles. Currently, Destiny 2 has one full-scale raid in the form of the Leviathan, and two raid lairs (smaller-scale raids) with Eater of Worlds and Spire of Stars. With Forsaken, Bungie is releasing Last Wish, which is supposed to be an epic raid with more bosses than any raid in Destiny history. Players will want to team up with friends or clanmates to make sure they experience this pinnacle endgame activity.
Outside of Last Wish, players can explore the Dreaming City, which will be a dedicated endgame exploration patrol zone. The Dreaming City is reportedly filled to the brim with secrets and puzzles waiting to be solved, so even if players don’t want to dive into the heart of the city for Last Wish, there will be plenty to do when players reach higher Power levels.
Those are the basics of Destiny 2 and just about everything any new or returning player may need to know to get started in the ever-growing universe that Bungie is creating. The big thing to remember is to have fun, however players deem fit. If someone wants to grind max power as quickly
as possible, Bungie has created an avenue for that. If players just want to casually grind power over time, that’s okay too. Destiny 2 has a little bit of everything for every type of player. With Forsaken getting ready to launch, the game is about to get a whole lot bigger no matter how players decide to play in Forsaken and beyond.
Destiny 2: Forsaken launches September 4 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.