Destiny Level 20 Tips

Destiny Level 20 Tips by ricepanda

Here’s a bunch of helpful tips that I think would help a lot of players figure out endgame. There are way too many people wasting time playing the RNG game and farming chests for engrams when there are reliable ways to get things done in a relatively timely manner.

I do not have the actual Mark reward values as I was capped before I did anything else.

I am updating as I find more important things to add and making changes as needed.

Edit: Will be adding Vault of Glass information/advice/guidelines; my group made it to the last boss and decided to call it a night (it’s pretty tough!).

—- Gear and Leveling Up —-

  • After hitting level 20, you need the Light stat to progress in levels. This is available on Rare or higher quality armor pieces (excluding Class armor). A level 20 Rare armor piece will max out at 15 Light points (Armor gains Light with each Armor Upgrade); finding a full set of Rare armor will allow you to be able to reach 60 Light points, bringing you to Level 24.
  • Legendary and Exotic armor are the only way to get past Level 24. You can acquire Legendary armor (without inefficiently farming for Engrams) by grinding reputation and earning Vanguard or Crucible marks. Once you’ve done all the available daily/weekly events, you can continue grinding reputation by doing patrol missions and grind marks via the Strike playlist.
  • Getting past Level 20 or the Level 24 plateau is NOT based solely on RNG, nor do you need a legendary/exotic drop to happen for you to progress. You need only spend more time with the game, taking advantage of all the resources available to you.
  • Picking up Exotic armor is best done by buying them from Zur, the special black market vendor that appears on Fridays and Saturdays. He uses Strange Coins and Motes of Light as currency. Take note that the Exotic Armor Engram will give you an Exotic, but for any of the three classes.
  • Motes of Light are generally found random through Rare Engrams and at the end screen of Missions/Strikes/Crucible, but are fairly common if you play the game a lot. You can also find them in the random spawn chests, but not commonly enough to dedicate time to farming chests only. *Tip thanks to Nodrod: Motes of Light are also gained when you earn sufficient XP after Level 20. Check your progress by hovering over the Level 20 next to your subclass.
  • Strange Coins are awarded through the Weekly Heroic Strike and are found at end screens as well. Your first Public Event of the day may also reward you with a Strange Coin or a Mote of Light.
  • Players are only able to wear one Exotic Weapon and one Exotic Armor at a time. Be wary of buying an Exotic Armor that has features that are meaningless to you, as you would probably rather have one that has useful features and might be in a different armor slot.
  • Your gun’s attack stat is not the only part in play for your attack damage on an enemy. It only looks at the level of the enemy you are attacking and adjusts your damage accordingly; on top of the level difference factor. Impact is the main damage stat in play for you. This is very apparent when testing weapons in PVP.
  • Once you’re finding Level 20 weapons, do not dismantle weapons of an element that you do not have yet. It is important for high-end content that you have multiple elements available for you. Fusion Rifles, Rocket Launchers and Machine Guns will be your friend there. Sniper Rifles are niche, but they have their uses.
  • Ascendant Shards are your only way of getting past Level 27. Legendary and Exotic armor requires 6/8 Shards per Armor Upgrade, respectively. Same with weapons, only they use Ascendant Energy. Your first Public Event of the day will reward you with either of these, normally. The Daily Heroic Story event also awards these, but only on the harder difficulties.

— Grinding Reputation and Marks —

  • The reputation grind is not exactly easy, nor is it staggeringly difficult. You need 1500 Rep to reach Rank 1, 2000 for Rank 2 and 2500 for Rank 3. You will need to take advantage of Bounties that refresh every 12 hours and the Daily/Weekly events. Patrol Missions award 10 for the majority of them and 25 for the “valuable target” missions. I’ve personally found the best place to grind Patrol Missions out are on Venus. If you are able to complete the Nightfall Strike, do so and gain the XP and Reputation bonus buff. It gives you a 20% gain for Reputation.
  • Marks don’t exactly come in huge numbers, either. You get 3 Edit: 6 per Level 24 Strike, which usually averages out to be 20 minutes long, longer if you are inexperienced with specific Strikes. You also get marks from Public Events, which are on what seems to be a spawn timer. You can take advantage of these popping up when you are doing Patrol Missions.
  • Your Crucible marks are most efficiently used by gaining reputation with one of the other three factions: New Monarchy, Future War Cult or Dead Orbit. They each have their own specific stats and each do not have all weapon types; for example Future War Cult only has Intelligence and Discipline gear and does not have an Auto Rifle. Your class/build might choose one faction over the other, so look at it before you choose a faction to grind rep for.
  • Grinding rep with these outside factions requires you to buy their class item. Once you are wearing it, ALL reputation gains go toward that faction instead of what it would normally go to. Games in the Crucible will give you rep for that faction and so will Patrol Missions, Bounties, Strike Playlists, etc. It is more efficient to buy faction gear than it is to buy Crucible gear because there are technically many more sources for faction rep than there is for Crucible rep.

— High Level PVE Content —

  • The Weekly Heroic Strike and the Daily Heroic Story events are tiered in that there are multiple difficulties and multiple rewards. The rewards are cumulative, so if you are able to complete the most difficult one, you gain all the rewards of the previous levels. The Daily Heroic Story totals out at 2 Ascendant materials and the Weekly Heroic Strike totals out at 9 Strange coins alongside their Rep/Mark rewards.
  • Once you are doing Level 26/28 content, you will notice that there are a staggering amount of enemies that come with shields that “Resist” your shots. You are still doing damage, but you do very little. What you need to do is hit them with a weapon that does damage based on that shield’s element. Blue shields take more damage from Arc weapons. Red shields take more damage from Fire Solar weapons. Purple shields take more damage from Void weapons. Fusion Rifles are your best friend for taking out enemy shields quickly. Sniper Rifles work okay. Elements are fairly predictable for each enemy type: Fallen will use Arc, Hive will use Fire Solar and Vex will use Void. However, they all have one unit that will be shielded of a different element; in this week’s Nightfall Strike in Devil’s Lair, the Shanks were using Fire Solar shields. Bring multiple elements. Try to coordinate with your Fireteam.
  • There is an extremely strong emphasis on playing it safe and avoiding death in Nightfall Strikes. This is because the Nightfall modifier forces you into Orbit once everyone on your team is dead. This means utilizing cover as much as possible, taking shots at the enemy while they aren’t shooting back and making sure your fireteam is in a formation that is tight enough to quickly revive someone if needed, but separated enough to avoid sharing enemy AOE damage.
  • Sometimes you just have to lame it out. If you don’t have the gear or don’t know how to survive, resort to finding different ways to deal with the encounter. For example, for acquiring Thorn (Exotic Handcannon), the last step of the Exotic Bounty chain is to run a difficult, modified Summoning Pits encounter. People have found that the best way is to have one person sit and hide behind the door of the final boss while the other two fight, die, respawn, repeat. A similar type of “lame it out” strategy was also used to allow a Fireteam consisting of Level 25/26 players to defeat the first Weekly Nightfall Strike. Don’t fight hard, fight smart.

— Vault of Glass —

So this section is going to be a little different since it’s less tips and more of a guide.

First things first, fireteam composition. There isn’t anything you specifically need to bring; everyone needs to be 26-27 (with appropriate level weaponry) or higher for damage efficiency and everyone should know how to dodge/take cover shots from bosses like the Nexus Mind. There will be classes you might want to bring, like Sunslingers for the self revive and Bladedancers to revive people that are surrounded by enemies. Defender Titans will save you in a pinch as well. Bring Void elemental weapons. They are key in this Raid.Everyone should have a Void long-range weapon, be it a rocket launcher or a sniper rifle. Void shotguns will help too, but shotguns of any kind might be fine. The reason for these will be apparent later on.

The Front Door

The very first encounter of the Raid is literally the front door. There are three seals on the ground that you need to hold against waves of Vex for what seems to be several minutes, ranging from 5-10; depending on how well you hold those seals. Basic Vex enemies, all red health except for a Void shielded Minotaur that will run into the seal and attack everyone inside of it, forcing you to lose control of the seal. You do not want to let them into the capture point. Holding these seals will cause a Spire to slowly appear, which is the key that unlocks the front door.

Split into three groups of two, ideally each of the groups will have one person equipped with a sniper rifle and the other a void shotgun. Void shotguns are awesome to stagger the Minotaurs and deplete their shields. Sniper rifles will help you support another seal that isn’t doing too hot. It is unclear at this point whether or not losing control of the seal either just halts progress or causes your progress to regress.

The Templar

The second encounter is the Templar. Before you actually fight him there is a series of “Defend the Conflux” missions. They’re fairly easy, just split the fireteam up accordingly. There is a new enemy named Fanatic, these guys will run directly at you and attack you. On death, they leave behind a green pool that “Marks you for Negation”.

During the Defend the Conflux segment, the Templar will cast something called Pact of Negation (might be wrong on the name, but you’ll know what it is as the game will announce it in red text). If you are marked for Negation when the Pact is done, you die. There is a pool in the center of the arena that glows white. You can cleanse yourself there, but it’s best to just be attentive and avoid the Fanatics, as we found that it stops glowing/cleansinging at some point during the fight.

After several iterations of “Defend the Conflux”, you fight the Templar and his Oracles (and endless amounts of super weak Harpies). The Templar will be completely shielded and immune to everything and everyone. His attacks are similar to that of the Nexus Mind and he will hit hard; take cover accordingly. You will notice there’s a Relic on the ground, it’s a shield that has a Super ability that should be charged up by beating down Harpies. If you drop this shield after picking it up, it MUST be picked up within 5-10 seconds or everyone in the raid dies.

Using the Relic’s super ability on the Templar will cause him to drop his shield, but he will retaliate by imprisoning several fireteam members within a red bubble. You will need to shoot your way out of it or you will die. Important to note that if the Templar imprisons you while you are in the air, you will fall out of it. The game detects that your red bubble prison is still up while you are outside of it and it will subsequently kill you. If your Relic user is about to burst the Templar’s shield with the super, be on the ground. While the shield is down, you will need to focus your damage on the boss.

When fighting the Templar himself, he will call out “Oracles” (this will happen even while the Templar’s shield is down, so make sure your fireteam isn’t tunnelvisioning on the boss). These are balls of varying light throughout the Raid, in this fight they are yellow. When the fight starts you will hear a series of musical notes, with glowing balls of light that show up briefly and despawn; this is to indicate the six or seven possible spawn points: one in the back center, three in the left area and three in the right area. You might need to attempt the fight once or twice before getting a hang of each spawn point (and positioning your fireteam properly to be able to spot them as soon as they spawn and call for assistance). Almost immediately after, Oracles will begin to spawn and stay on the map.

When an Oracle spawns, you will hear a musical note to announce it. This is when your fireteam needs to look around to spot it and kill it. Generally one person can take it down with a decent Autorifle, but taking it down faster with multiple people to get back into the fight quicker is ideal. If you take too long to kill an Oracle, it will Mark the entire fireteam for Negation.

Once you have this pattern down, rinse repeat to kill him. If you take too long, there is an enrage timer. He doesn’t specifically do more damage, but he will spawn in Minotaurs at an increasingly difficult to keep up with pace.

The Labyrinth

This is pretty easy. For the loot chest in this encounter, stick to the right wall. You’ll find a vault door. You can’t miss it. The exit is on the left from your checkpoint. If you’re following the water, you’re going the wrong way. There are several rock formations in a large room, jump on top of these and follow them until you see pillars, one marked with a white lightbar. The exit is on the right side of the pillar with the lightbar, in a small passageway that is kind of well-hidden. You’ll know you’ve found it when you see a small room with blue light.

The Platform Puzzle

If you can get really good distance/lift with your jump, you can skip a giant part of this. If not, it’s two platforms forward, one back and the rest will go toward the ledge on the other side of the chasm. It’s the same pattern, every time.

The Gatekeepers

This fight starts off with one Gatekeeper, who must be killed before you can move onto the next phase of the fight. There are only Hobgoblins and Goblins with him, so this is phase is fairly easy and straightforward: kill his minions and then kill him.

You’ll notice that there are two gates (exactly the same as the ones you destroyed during Venus/Mars story missions). These need to be activated by capturing their respective seal points, below the stairs behind each gate. Inside these gates is one gatekeeper that needs to be killed to spawn a relic that is used for the next part of the fight; however as soon as you kill one, it puts a Mark of the Void debuff on everyone that is still inside either portal. The trick around to dealing with the debuff is to send one (or two) people through each portal and have them both coordinate killing the gatekeepers, picking up the relics and running out of the portal before cleansing himself.

As this is going on inside the portals; there are waves of Vex attacking those outside of the portal, trying to take control of the activation seals. Minotaurs begin spawning at shorter intervals as the encounter drags on. Your portal groups will need to work fast to make this easier on the raid. If they gain control of a seal and a portal goes down, everyone inside of it is dead. If your teammates are inside holding a relic as the portal goes down, the relic is dropped and everyone, including those outside, dies

Once the relics are outside and everyone is cleansed; a Conflux/Structure spawns in the center of the arena, between both gates towards the large inactive gate on the other side of the arena. You will need to defend this and clear out all enemies that spawn; including many minotaurs. Be sure to use the ground slam ability of the shield relics; jump into the air and hit R2/RT. This will have your Guardian slam into the ground with the shield and do an AOE attack that does decent damage and staggers every enemy within the AOE.

Aetheon, The Final Boss

writeup soon. we didn’t finish the boss but the general strategy was there

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