Destiny Endgame Guide by Hirmetrium
I wanted to help some folks out who aren’t necessarily sure what the optimal progression in the game is. I’ve read a lot of half-assed guides and comments, and wanted to make a plain, easy to read and understand guide to what it is you should do in Destiny to advance. I know others will also chip in, because Reddit is awesome.
So here it is:
I am sub level 20, what should I be doing?
- Enjoying the game. The story should be progressed, and as you do you should level nicely. You get a good gun at the end.
- Play at the hardest difficulty and get used to it. If you can, level with someone else, because that REALLY helps. I personally did all the content on a planet before moving on, and was massively over-leveled by the end (making it easier in the long run).
- If you have vanguard armoury, pick up one of the guns ASAP, it will help you level.
- Materials : End-game legendary (purple) / exotic (yellow) requires various stuff, like Spin-metal. Collect it if you see it. Don’t worry about hording it – that comes later. Every little helps!
- Chests: If you see one, open it. Why not?
- Bounties : These give you massive EXP boosts and rep gains. Do them ASAP, every day. Go out of your way to do them. They are great.
- Crucible: It’s great fun and gives some nice EXP along with the Bounties, but they can be rubbish. Avoid Fusion Rifle and Buckshot sprees, they are impossible to do with the netcode as it is (unless you are exceptionally luckly). You’ll start earning Crucible Marks and Rep too – which can be useful later on.
I’m level 20! What do I do now?
As you leveled, no doubt the game has given you some messages about some stuff. Maybe you tried that stuff, great. Here’s a breakdown of it:
- Events : Things that happen in the overworld. They give you rewards like “Shards” or “Energy” – these are crucial end-game. Keep them. The first time you complete an event every day, you get a bonus in the mail. As such, Events could be considered “dailies” – do them first thing as part of your day cycle. Event clock: http://destinypublicevents.com/
- Daily Heroic Story : Do this at the highest difficulty you can. It gives more ascendant shards and energy – you need as much as you can get.
- Weekly Heroic Strike : Do this to get strange coins. You get 3 per difficulty – if you do the highest difficulty you get the 6 coins from the two others, so again run this as high as you can. These can be used to buy exotics. You want 13 ASAP. Save them. Careful of the modifiers – (arc, void, solar)burns will make it VERY DIFFICULT and easy to die. At the moment, it has 2 maximum – Heroic (many yellows) and one extra. At the moment its angry (unflinching enemies)
- Vanguard Strikes : These come at various difficulties – it rewards you with marks and rep, both highly desirable (at first). Do “Tiger” (level 24) as soon as your light is improving (22-23). Most enemies are red and easy to kill. Anything less is inefficient – you get less rep and marks. You’ll get some nice blue gear as rewards, which is how you will gear for now. This is the most important part – it gets your vanguard rep up, and gets you marks for gear. It gives you blues so you continue to progress to light 24.
- Crucible: You can keep earning marks and reputation in this to support your normal play. This will pay off when you join a faction, as the marks will purchase the gear.
- Reputation : Extra rep can be gained through patrols and material exchanges, including for the factions. If you can spare the mats, this is a good rep booster too.
- EatDrinkBoogie says: >I recommend the Rocketyard chest run on Earth. 100 spinmetal/hour is pretty doable (10 marks), and with a little luck you can get some nice engrams and rare materials from the chests.
You’ll now likely have picked up some blue gear and decoded it. That’s great – upgrade it ASAP, it will give you more “Light”. Look at the “requires level” part. If it isn’t require 20, it’s not the best you can get out of your blues. Vanguard Strike (Tiger) will give you excellent blues, and is well worth doing. This, and upgrades will close the gap quickly.
Yeah I’m level 24! Now what?
Your at the bleeding edge of progression now. Your should be decked out in blues from the strikes playlist. Check your faction rep by going to your vanguard mentor. Your maybe close to rank 1, rank 2 if you farmed a lot. The easy part is over – the hard part begins.
- Work on that Vanguard rep! You want it to be rank 2 so you can get the armour, and at Rank 3 you’ll get a free legendary weapon. Patrols, Strikes and Bounties all reward little bits of reputation, and add up.
- You should have a lot of marks and coins by now. Don’t worry if you don’t – keep playing and you’ll get them.
- Wait until the weekend. Xur appears on Friday. Look at his wares – does he had a good exotic armour piece? Buy it. It will cost 13 strange coins for armour – a heafty but worthy purchase. This is the center-piece of your progression, and will get you into the endgame.
- If you don’t have enough coins, run your weekly at a higher difficulty, if you can. If will net you another 3 coins. A group of well coordinated 24’s can hit 26 fairly well. Once again: careful of the modifiers – (arc, void, solar)burns will make it VERY DIFFICULT and easy to die.
- When you have your Xur/Exotic piece, time to see you Vanguard trainer. You can get a piece of purple gear for 65 vanguard marks at Vanguard rank 2 – you should of hit this running Tiger Regularly. If not..
- Queen Event – Starting this week, the Queen of the Reef will be holding an event that promises a “Unique Legendary”. Great huh?
- Helmets are 120 marks. It’s a waste at this stage – save for it later, or hope your super lucky and get a purple. Keep your blue and rock the 1/2/1 blue/purple/yellow combo.
- With two purples and an exotic, you’ll have Light 26. That’s 13 coins and 130 marks in total (split in crucible or vanguard – I personally had two week of vanguard so got 2x vanguard gear). As long as your last blue is fully upgraded this is good. Look to the next section.
This sounds dull. What else is there?
Alternative progression IS available. Their called FACTIONS. There’s three of them. With the admittance price of 2500 Glimmer, you can dedicate yourself to either: New Monarchy, Future War Cult, Dead Orbit. The best faction guides I have found are below: Destiny Vanguard, Faction Rep and Vanguard Marks Guide
Taravagian notes :
It is a very good idea not to join a faction until at least rank 2 vanguard. You will want to spend your vanguard marks at some point. They have several uses that a lot of people seem to overlook, so even if you’re not impressed with their weapons/armor on your main, there are a couple big reasons to invest:
- Gearing your alts. Even if you don’t like the vanguard armor for your main, you can buy legendary armor from the other two mentors and transfer it to your alts. In as little as two days (if you’re mindful of the weekly server reset), you can have enough marks to buy three legendaries for an alt, and potentially the fourth piece can be an Exotic from Xûr. That’ll instantly take your alt from 20 to 25, and perhaps up to 27 once you get all the non-ascendant armor upgrades. Quick and easy raid-ready alts, with basically no opportunity cost.
- Ascendants! Even if you don’t plan on using alts (WHY?) you should use your vanguard marks for something, right? Best thing to do is buy any of the 65 mark armor pieces, and dismantle them for ascendant materials. Why would you pass up on a chance for several additional quick and easy guaranteed ascendants every week?
I’ve made it to level 26. Now what?
You’re as far as this guide can take you. I myself am level 26.
Remember – you will replace things very quickly. Try not to get too attached to anything, as it could be replaced as early as your next session. You could do Vault of Glass as soon as you hit 26 and suddenly replace EVERYTHING – including your exotic! As such, always think very carefully before spending ascendant shards on legendary armour – because it will get replaced very soon.
- Next up, you need to upgrade your gear with all the materials you’ve saved. You need to collect more of those materials using the various methods posted around the reddit/youtube. search material farm guide.
- You can also do Vault of Glass – a 6 man raid. Hit up Destinylfg.net to find some team-mates. This will net you light 30 gear, and some of the best weapons in the game. The second half needs light 27 – this requires full legendary gear or 3xleg+1exotic, all with a handful of upgrades.
- Ascendant Shards are now the most valuable thing in the game to you. Congrats, go back to the earlier events to farm them.
- Weekly Nightfall events are now your target. These are brutal, heavily modified missions which award legendaries, exotics, and ascendant stuff in large quantities. These are your end-game, along with raids.
What about PvP?
I’ve already seen this and thought I would address it: PvP sucks. It’s slow, painful, and while its good for some “bounties on the side” and a bit of extra exp when your hanging around for friends, its actually god-awful for endgame progression. Unless your lucky of course. Having watching a friend get Icebreaker and numerous legendaries, and me get jack shit, I can’t recommend it.
I guess what I’m saying is – PvP if you want to and you find it fun (like I do) but don’t rely on it for end-game gear. You’ll wait a LONG time, in my opinion. The rewards are completely random and RNG, and, in my case, I’ve gotten very little. You occasionally get a nice blue weapon or armour piece however. If you were to PVP for gear, do it as soon as you hit 20, and consider a faction before you do (see faction guides).
PvP is necessary for Crucible marks, which purchase faction gear. This can certainly boost you up very quickly – you’ll have full purples w/ exotic and a gun very fast.
It’s also the primary method of earning faction rep – but it is faster earned in PvE with patrol spamming. Factions are optimal when you do both PvE and PvP combined – its double the rep gain against a normal faction.
- Vanguard Marks: To spend these, you need rank 2, preferably rank 3 (opens up sparrows and weapons). They can’t be spent anywhere else, so not having these ranks will block the use of these. You’ll get plenty of them too – so definitely worth investing the time.
- Crucible Marks: Valuable to all – the Crucible vendors and Factions only take these. While you get stuff in the post for your ranking up, remember you can buy things as well. Or save them for a nice gun too!
- Materials: Spin-metal, Helium Filaments, Geoff-Spirit-Bloom (wait, what?), Relic Iron are all highly valuable items. Why? They have two great purposes: 1. Upgrading Legendary gear (weapons AND armour) 2. Resource exchange for reputation. They require a lot of work to get, and best look up one of the chest farming runs.
- Ascendant Shards: Used in armour upgrades. Very rare and valuable, you can get them through Events, Event dailies (the mail you get after), Daily Heroic Stories @ level 26/28, and sometimes from engrams or as a Nightfall strike reward.
- Ascendant Energy: Used in weapon upgrades. Rare, but less valuable (you have 4x armour pieces to 3x weapons), you can get them through Events, Event dailies (the mail you get after), Daily Heroic Stories @ level 26/28, and sometimes from engrams or as a Nightfall strike reward.
At Rank 3 for any faction (vanguard/crucible/factions), you are sent a legendary weapon. Every rank after, (4, 5, 6 etc) you’ll get another legendary item (not an engram) in the post. Some people suggest as soon as you hit 20, dedicating yourself to FWC/NM/DO – why? because you hit these ranks faster and get better weapons/armour sooner. It’s something worth considering, but you will loose out on vanguard armour, and your vanguard marks are worthless if you don’t rep up vanguard – whereas factions use crucible marks.
In the interest of min-maxing, I would hit rank 2 or 3 with vanguard, then immediately faction up – this means you can still save and spend vanguard marks on anything (like sparrows or guns at rank 3) and still collect and use them – while crucible marks can go on faction gear. You get the best of both this way.
Getting armour is easier than getting weapons at the moment – as such, you want to be gaining ranks with ANY faction as fast as possible – which is why you dedicate, because then your total PvP and PvE rep combines. If your completing all 12 bounties in a day, thats a hell of a lot of rep your earning, and will get you a good way through a rank to your next “free” weapon.
A very effective min-max – with Rank 2 in a faction, and Xur, if he’s selling a Helmet – you can equip this, and with only 195 marks (or 130 of one and 65 of the other) you can full gear. No Helmet from Xur? 120+130 will also net you your gear in two weeks, without Xur.
Further reading: Destiny Post Level 20 Things To Do
I’ll be back to update this tomorrow when we understand the Queen event.
EDIT: Based on feedback, I’ve put a lot more detail about PvP in. People are right – the Crucible is good, its just very, very grindy. The marks are also required for Faction gear – making it a necessary part of end-game progression.Other Destiny Articles
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