Destiny: How Light Level Impacts Damage in PvE

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With Destiny finally set to bring its old raids, Vault of Glass, Crota’s End, and King’s Fall, up to current light levels, many players are finally going to experience (or re-experience) some of the game’s best content at their intended difficulty. But while some might think that these raids will be a cakewalk due to past experience, those who remember Year 1 know that every raid can be challenging.

As a small refresher, one Destiny player has put together a video that highlights how damage works relative to a players light level. Some may think that, like most RPGs, the higher a player’s level the more damage they do, but that isn’t entirely the case. In fact, every Destiny encounter, be it a raid, story mission, or new Daybreak strike has a recommended light level, which regulates the level of the enemies in the encounter.

Max Damage in Raids

If players are the recommended light level for that encounter, they will do the maximum amount of damage to any enemy. Any lower than the recommended light level and players do less damage, while enemies pack a greater punch. However, players over the recommended light level won’t do any more damage than those at the recommendation.

Take a look at the video above, which shows that, at light level 170 and against a light level 170 enemy, it doesn't matter how high level weapon you use.

Of course, things get a little more fluid in a raid, which has one recommended light level to start the encounter and several escalating recommendations the deeper players go. In Wrath of the Machine, for example, the recommended light level to start the raid on Normal difficulty is 370 but the recommended light for the final boss fight with Aksis is 380.

Knowing that Vault of Glass, Crota’s End, and King’s Fall will now move up to a recommended light level of 390, it’s safe to assume the final boss fights will recommend 400 light level, Destiny 1’s cap.

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Raid Experience is Key to Challenge Modes

For many Destiny players this information is already known, but for others it will likely change their perspective. While some LFG posts will value a player’s light level over anything else, we’d argue that it is the experience of the player that will help get the job done.

That will be especially true for the two oldest raids in Destiny, Vault of Glass and Crota’s End. Diehards may know the ins and outs of these two raids, but newer players might not know how punishing they can be. Perhaps they only encountered the raid with a seasoned team, or maybe they only did the raid after being way over the recommended light level – whatever the case may be, experience with these raids when they first launched is going to be more helpful.

There are also the updates to raids to consider, specifically the removal of any prior exploits. Some players may not know what it’s like to beat Confluxes from anywhere but the perch, or some players may not know how to actually cross the bridge in Crota’s End. One has to presume that Bungie will force players to complete these encounters as intended, and at a recommended light level of 390, these sections will not likely be cakewalks. And the new challenges will add even more wrinkles to the major boss encounters.

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