Destiny Newbie’s Guide to Strikes

Destiny Newbie’s Guide to Strikes by RyoxSinfar

It doesn’t matter to me that you’re new or inexperienced or just suck at games. It is fine. Also I realize that if you are level 24 you may have actually reached that while only playing PvP. This could be one of your first strikes!

Here are the very basic things expected from you when it comes to the majority of Co-op content:

  1. Follow the white arrow on your minimap. I feel this is acceptable since you had to figure it out for previous missions anyway.
  2. Do as I do. Vaguely. You can’t know what to do but you can try and follow the example of someone who seems to.
  3. Shoot your gun. Its okay if you get a lot less kills, do less damage, or miss a lot. But keep those bullets flying and give it your best try. In truth you are helping a lot more than you think or that the numbers at the end imply.

There that is all you need to satisfy me as your teammate (and I can be a real dick at times).

I know I have been nervous about playing games I knew little about and worried about pissing off experienced players. I imagine lots of people think they are being judged. Frankly you probably are, but the people who are judging you are also very likely judgingeverybody. That 13 year old with a thing for housewives and single mothers isn’t picky, he just is looking for the first excuse to mouth off.

Recently I ran a Devil’s Lair strike while level 8 with a new character and my teammates were level 7 and level 8. It was immediately clear that they were new to the mission since they followed me closely, even if sidetracked a little bit. I stopped at one point to swap my abilities and they stopped right behind me. It was pretty adorable. They had no idea what they were doing and I did the vast majority of the damage/killing but because they mostly stayed near me, shot their guns, and revived each other it was a fantastic experience. Didn’t matter how much they died either. Revived, back to action.

Don’t panic, just enjoy.

Here are some things that may be helpful to know when doing co-op content. A lot of this people learned through word of mouth or constantly reading this subreddit.

  1. Be the level of the content. This is especially the case if you are a new player or don’t have great skills (which is okay!). If you do a level 24 strike with a level 22 character you automatically do 40% less damage to enemies and taken 40% more damage from enemies. It is more than just the equipment you have. And no, a level 26 character in a level 24 strike does not get similar bonus damage. No, there is no way to magically know this but as you can see it is important.
  2. Anti-cheese. Cheesing is when you find a way to guarantee a simple victory. Such as finding a place the boss can’t hit you but you can still hit him. Often for boss fights this is the entryway. However these locations often have an “anti-cheese” mechanic which involves the spawning of enemies that wouldn’t spawn otherwise. Do you like to hide in the doorway for Devil’s Lair? You know those enemies that spawn to the left of the doorway? They don’t spawn if you don’t sit in there. Again, no way to magically know this.
  3. Be watchful for subtle communication. By this I mean if you are in the doorway to the boss area in Devil’s Lair and I am jumping up and down from inside and keep waving at you, then shooting you followed by the shooting the ground at my feet, then running up and punching you and running back inside, then running up and blocking your view while jumping before running back inside and waving, then throwing grenades at your location and shooting the ground around my feet, and immediately stop every time you exit the room, I may be trying to communicate something. I know this can easily look like trolling but I will do my best to start simple and work up. This also follows with the rule of “do as I do”. If everyone is doing something you aren’t doing and someone is doing weird stuff in front of you, you might want to try doing that thing. Especially if you keep dying.
  4. If the boss causes big explosions, stay the heck away from me. A lot of bosses do AoE damage with their attacks. Most are smaller in size, some attacks can instantly kill everyone in the area. Accidents happen but this can prevent having to start the fight over. Don’t feel too bad if it happens though, it is a very easy mistake to make, even if you are communicating verbally.
  5. Do not melee the boss. This is my favorite rule to break but one day I swear I will melee kill that hover tank. Bosses have AoE “ground stomps” that hurt everything near them. This prevents someone from just getting in their face and running around them faster than the AI will turn. You can survive in some instances but as a general rule… keep the heck away. This rule still applies if your abilities require you to get close to do damage and even if you have bonuses that protect you during. I assure you, you will feel less “bad ass” when you finish and the enemy is staring at you with half his health left.
  6. Don’t be a hero. If you’re the last person left in a strike then run and hide. If enemies catch you then just keep hiding until your teammates are able to respawn themselves in 30 seconds. Do not backtrack through the map as there can be various consequences. There are usually larger rocks or barriers you can hide behind for a few moments. When enemies get close dart out and find another hiding spot. Note: Harder content will have different rules for reviving. But as of September 30th 2014 any strike from the playlists (the one next to the PvP mission selector which gives you a random strike) will let a teammate revive themselves after a countdown. I’ll add another part below for this higher level content.
  7. Newly added: Goblin and Hobgoblin weak spots are their glowing stomachs Yeah I bet some of you are surprised. Someone had to tell me this one a bit ago. You can destroy their heads by shooting them there. This disables their special abilities and I believe stops them from shooting as well. They will then remind you of robot skeleton terminator as they just walk towards you to melee you. Usually I just shoot for the glowing weak spot but taking off heads is very satisfying.

As you can see, not too tough. Some people may think some of those are obvious, but it won’t be obvious for everyone. Also this is may be a lot of info. Don’t be afraid to just save this post and take it in pieces.

How bout some random “advanced” stuff to know for co-op or in general. Mostly these are things that aren’t critical to be aware of, but can help fine tune things.

  1. Enemy shields are weak to a certain element. I may have surprised you there. Look at the color of the enemy shield. Is it purple? Then it is weak to void damage (purple swirl symbol on some guns). Orange means weak to solar damage (Orange flame symbol on some guns). Blue means weak to arc damage (Blue swirl symbol that has pointy bits.). You’ll notice that shields go down much faster with the right element. This only counts for the shields though, not their health.
  2. You can’t hit enemies for bonus damage when their shield is up. You may notice that hitting a wizard with a headshot doesn’t cause extra damage sometimes. This means his shield is up. Once his shield is destroyed his head will be vulnerable, but not before. So don’t worry as much about precision until then.
  3. The words on the left side of the screen indicate that you have an effect on you. Like if something sets you on fire you’ll see “Burning”. If you walk into the dark clouds that wizards make you’ll see “Poisoned”. If you have a weapon damage buff from a Defender you’ll see “Weapons of Light”. The vast majority of the time it isn’t critical that you know what it means, but it is good to be aware of.
  4. Be a little aware of what other players can do. There is a list of subclasses here you can read through. If you don’t want to read much at least take a look at these two abilities. First is Defender’s Ward of Dawn (Marked with a number 4) as well as the 3 abilities listed below it. The purple bubble you see will sometimes give you a buff! It is important to know that the bubble will stop enemy bullets/grenades but will also stop teammate’s as well! So no shooting through it! I’ll add a comment to the post to elaborate on that. Also Sunsinger’s Song of Flame (listed as number 9). If a team member has this ability chosen then anyone near him will have their abilities charge up faster while it lasts (supers, grenades, melee). However they’d have to choose this option over another, so no guarantee.
  5. When in doubt run away. Running away is great. Not just because you get farther away from things that cause pain. Imagine you have a pile of 10 muddy puppies. They see you and you are now surrounded by 10 muddy puppies yipping and jumping on your legs. You need to hose them off. You have the hose but your surrounded, so you have to keep turning and half muddy puppies keep getting away and you are getting yourself soaked. Instead you briskly walk 10ft away. They come barreling after you. Some may veer off a bit but overall they’ll come right to you in a rough line. Fastest in the front, slowest in the back. You can now easily and efficiently hose the line of puppies without them getting you muddy. The fastest are hosed first and as more come you continue to hose them. In the same way you can run away, turn, shoot/reload/shoot, turn, run, turn back, shoot/reload/shoot, repeat. You can also waylay your puppies with a big bucket of water whenever it fills up and easily get a lot more puppies with the water. Generally speaking you’ll want to stay in the area when running. Either to the other side of the area or even in a circle around the area your in. Don’t backtrack through the map as there can be consequences.

Okay last some things to know for the more advanced content. Most of this you can’t do until you are level 22 or higher. There is also no automatic matchmaking, you find your own team. This is important for Daily Heroic Missions, the Weekly Strike, Nightfall strike, and the Queen’s Wrath missions while available. I’m skipping the raid since if you want help on that you should look up guides specifically for it.

  1. Look up guides specifically for what you are doing. Daily heroic missions, weekly strikes, and nightfall strikes all change regularly. People love posting new helpful guides for dealing with them in easy (or cheesy) ways as they swap out. You’ll probably stop reading them when you get more comfortable though, or not, up to you. However I’d really encourage you to figure them out yourself eventually. Dying just means another chance at getting loot from kills after all.
  2. Modifiers. All the gameplay modes I listed have random skull modifiers. A list is available here. Either Heroic, Epic, or Nightfall will always be present depending on the content/difficulty you are doing. When your fireteam (or just you) has the mission selected you can see the skulls in the lower left corner before selecting deploy. Hover over them to get brief descriptions. When you enter into one of the harder game modes you should bring up your ghost (same screen you use to jump on your vehicle) and there will be skulls in the lower left corner. You can’t hover over them at this point though so you’ll need to know what the symbols mean from looks. I will clarify what a few of the skulls mean. First is “angry” which says enemies won’t flinch. Flinching is when you are hitting an enemy and they suddenly stagger a bit or look like they were suddenly punched in the face. They stand still for a moment and won’t attack during this moment. So the “angry” modifier means that won’t happen. Second are the “burns” these are Void Burn, Solar Burn, and Arc Burn. It says “____ damage from any source is greatly increased”. That means if Arc Burn is active any arc damage you do (from grenades, supers, or guns) will be multiplied by THREE. It also means that the damage enemies do to you that are arc damage (for example those homing electric bullets from the Fallen or the electric grenades) will be multiplied by THREE. So if you use the correct element you can cut through things like a hot knife through butter, but if you take even a decent hit from that element you’ll be the toast.
  3. When playing with Epic and Nightfall difficulty modifiers teammates cannot revive themselves. You have to revive them. So if they (or you) die in the middle of a pile of enemies you are forcing someone to come get you most likely. Additionally when under the Nightfall modifier if the entire team dies you are thrown back INTO ORBIT. That means you start completely over. Died to the final boss? Too bad, you are starting from the beginning.
  4. There are websites that help you find groups for advanced content. I haven’t tried any myself yet but don’t be afraid to give it a go! Just listen to whoever is giving instructions and if people are being jerks remember that your playing the game to have fun, you don’t need to dump fuel on the fire, just leave and find another group (or let whoever is leading deal with them if possible).
  5. Failing isn’t a bad thing. You are sometimes going to lose, screw up, or die. There may be content that is too tough for you even with people giving you help. It is okay. Take a break, maybe try and get some better gear and practice on something simpler then try again later. Watch some videos to help familiarize yourself with content. Frankly this is a video game, and it is meant to be fun. The only “failure” I consider possible in a video game has more to do with attitude than skill.
  6. Better gear will be added later. This is common enough to assume it to be the case. Eventually gear that let’s use be even higher level will be available. New items with more powerful abilities will be added. At that point you might try something again and finally be able to beat it. Is it “the easy way out”? You might consider it that but the goal of playing games is entertainment and fun. So just like failure, “winning” is more about attitude than anything. Also developers usually release new and harder content when more powerful gear comes out… so gear up and get ready for something tougher!
  7. In Nightfall you can send the party to orbit by running ahead! Technically this will happen in any strike. You know when you enter into an area during a strike and the skull briefly appears on the screen and it says “Respawn restricted”? That means your in your own little pocket world. Only your fireteam can enter your pocket world. Until they follow you into it they don’t technically exist. They aren’t in the pocket world yet. The screen saying you failed along with the “statistics” only ever appears when everyone in your pocket world is dead. That doesn’t mean your fireteam needs to die, just the people in the pocket world. So if you are the only one currently in it, and you die, the game considers the whole team to be dead. If you run ahead and die in Nightfall this will mean that the entire fireteam is sent back to orbit! Also yes in some strikes you will exit pocket worlds and then re-enter new ones a few minutes later. So this can happen more often than just at the start!

Oh and one last thing I learned today, though I didn’t intend to include PvP stuff. But the point is that if you are close to a teammate when they pick up heavy ammo an extra bundle of heavy ammo will appear for you as well. So let teammates get close if you are about to pick it up. One person firing a rocket launcher is good, three is much better.

Hope you enjoyed your wall of text and remember that not everyone expects you to be a master of the game. Also in a few months when this all seems obvious, be sure to remember how much you had to read to learn all you know before being frustrated with others!

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One Response to “Destiny Newbie’s Guide to Strikes”

  1. Thanks
    Most helpful

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