It’s been over a month since Destiny’s Crota’s End raid launched, and initially the experience posed a new challenge to players. However, before too long players were able to complete the entire raid by themselves, and it didn’t matter what class they were.
For Crota’s End hard mode, Destiny promised a new challenge, one that gamers would likely not be able to complete solo. And, having experienced the hard mode raid earlier today, we can safely say the difficulty curve is pretty steep. Not impossible, mind you, but challenging enough that Destiny fireteams will need to be on their A-game to complete it.
So what’s different in hard mode Crota’s End? Actually, not a whole lot. The experience itself is still the same, with four basic sections, but each of those sections is significantly more difficult than in normal mode. Still, there are some changes so here’s what’s different.
1. The Abyss
Crota’s End Hard Mode carries a level 33 difficulty, so every enemy throughout the raid will be that much stronger. In The Abyss, that means the thralls hit harder and they have more health. And instead of Cursed Thralls walking around in the dark, this raid features Hallowed Thralls (the ones with yellow health/armor) with more devastating explosions.
Similarly, all of the important enemies of The Abyss – the knight that sits halfway through and the ogres that spawn while building the bridge – have yellow health as well. They will require more damage to take down and will be able to take players down in just a few hits.
Aside from that, though, The Abyss is still the same, and any who make it through will have a chance of earning the Oversoul Edict legendary pulse rifle.
2. The Bridge
Again, the enemies in here are level 33 and take/do more damage. The Swordbearers will also be tougher to kill, as will the Gatekeepers on the other side of the bridge. However, instead of just a Gatekeeper spawning with each Swordbearer, a Hallowed Knight (yellow heath) spawns as well. In essence, players will need to deal with more challenging enemies on both sides of the bridge, including the ogres that spawn and trigger section completion.
Getting through this section has a chance at giving players the Abyss Defiant auto rifle.
3. The Deathsinger
As if this section wasn’t difficult enough, the Ir Yut fight now features the stronger enemies. Outside of that, though it’s mostly the same encounter, with the only major difference being that Ir Yut triggers her insta-kill song as soon as the last Shrieker goes down. That means, teams only have 30 seconds from the time they gain access to Ir Yut to kill her. And yes, you still need to stay alive after killing Ir Yut until the objective is complete.
As this is an exotic drop opportunity, it doesn’t appear that Ir Yut drops any raid weapons.
For the most part, the first three sections of Crota’s End Hard Mode are doable, potentially even solo-able, but the Crota fight is difficult with a capital D. As some had predicted, the Chalice of Light is gone, meaning players have no basic way to regenerate their health. There are plenty of armor, ability, and weapon options that do give some health, but players should still expect to be on the verge of death throughout the entire encounter. And again, the enemies will take more damage and they will deal out more as well.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, every time a Swordbearer spawns a Gatekeeper also will spawn in the central hallway. But, taking down the Gatekeeper is ill advised. Even if the sword holder does kill him, so much time is wasted that you will have barely any time for Crota.
The challenge only increases with the addition of yellow health hive boomers and a hive wizard that spawns in place of the knight. They are more of a nuisance than anything really, but will need coordination to take down. No more single player focusing on boomers. Then, once the team has downed all those enemies they can focus on Crota.
Downing Crota, as one might expect, takes more hits and dealing with the ogres is more challenging, but most of the fight, outside of those small changes, is the same. The only major point of note is that once Crota gets under 5% health he will ‘Enrage’ and spawn endless Oversouls. Basically, once those last few hits go in, the team needs to finish him off within that same sword run or they are done.
Downing the Hive God, however, will deliver the most rewards, including a new shader, sparrow, and the chance at two legendary weapons: the Hand of Crota hand cannon and the Fang of Ir Yut scout rifle.
Although the lack of genuine innovation is likely to disappoint some, it’s hard to deny Bungie didn’t deliver a more challenging raid. Yes, there are still ways to solo parts of the raid, but we do not see anyone completing the whole thing by themselves. Then again, the Destiny fan base continues to surprise us, and we’re sure they will uncover plenty of unique strategies and tricks before too long.
How have your attempts at Crota’s End hard mode gone? Did you notice any additional challenges?