Destiny 2: Beyond Light Impressions & Grind

The new Destiny 2 expansion launched on November 10th. It introduced a “new” element called Stasis. It came after an extended season, s12 Arrivals, and after a long content drought. Did it live up to the hype and expectations? Read on to find out more.

I’ve put about 1500h into Destiny 2 since last year. I’ve gotten all of the raid exotics last season, thanks to the RNG protection that was introduced into the raids which are getting vaulted. I was grinding out Last Wish each week 3 times for a chance at 1K Voices and eventually got it on my 8th clear.

Once the shine of newness has worn off, you can take a clear look at what was being offered. Europa is gorgeous. It makes me not want to play anywhere else but on this frigid moon. Stasis is cool and overpowered. It makes all of the other classes look boring and outdated. There is a grind involved in unlocking all of the classes on all 3 characters, especially the aspects and fragments, but overall it’s not too bad, especially if you do it on one class only.

The whole aspect and fragment system is really cool. At the time of writing. There’s just one aspect which has been released for each class when Beyond Light released. A new aspect was released on 11/21, when the raid the Deep Stone Crypt was cleared. 8 fragments are available as well.They affect Stasis to a lesser degree than the aspects. I’m enjoying the one for the hunter, the Shatterdive, mainly because you can shatter stasis crystals and it has no cooldown. When I played on Titan, I missed it. Tbh, I’m not sure what’s happening when I use the Titan super. I kept falling off the map during the Eramis boss fight.

I’ve unlocked the Hunter and Titan. I’m on the campaign on my warlock, but I’ve been grinding to get to the hard cap of 1250 intensely. Grinding what you may ask? Well, since there’s no more pinnacles dropping from Garden of Salvation, Prophecy (vaulted for a season), or any other raids/dungeons, it made it a lot more difficult to get higher. The grind is long, to get from 1200 to 1250. The most efficient way of doing so is completing all of your powerful rewards on all characters, then continuing to play one activity for more engrams. I’ve found that crucible is actually the best, especially Survival if you can stomach it with stasis running amok.

I’m around 1254 on my characters, and season rank 94. It’s been 2 weeks. That’s a lot of bounties. Here’s some of the bad of Beyond Light. You’re spending so much time in the “core” playlists getting drops to either equalize your gear score or to get more drops, but these playlists haven’t gotten new maps or strikes (except 1). In fact, they are actually smaller since some of them have been vaulted since the planets have been vaulted. Also, we lost a lot of strikes. This is because we can’t spam anymore tokens at vendors. Vendor packages drop 20 light below your current light level, so you’ll have to grind playlists to get those +0 blue drops to equalize. Thanks to the new ghost system, it’s quite good to get drops in any playlist. Also, they’ve changed the way powerful drops work. Even if you’ve done all of your powerful drops in a playlist, it will continue to drop powerfuls for you, which is cool. But that means (at least for me) 3 matches of crucible, gambit and 3 strikes. Then more of the same to complete 8 bounties per vendor for that powerful drop. On each character…

Also, all of the aspects and fragments need to be grinded out in those playlists. You’re given the choice. I naturally chose gambit and strikes, but it gets quite monotonous. So much so, that I’ve actually gotten bored and started working on the campaign on my alts. I’m actually going to finish up Variks (European Explorer 1 and 2) to get access to the Empire Hunts playlist. You can farm the new exotic sniper rifle Cloud Strike in that.

They’ve also locked the new exotics, Mask of Bakris, Icefall Mantle, Necrotic Grips, etc, behind the solo completion of legendary and master lost sectors. At least it doesn’t need to be flawless. I’ve just gotten to the right level, so I’ll try them out this week. They aren’t a guaranteed drop, but the average is around 7-8 clears at 1250 to get them.

The raid race last Saturday was fun, but I fell asleep watching Clan Redeem and Sweatcicle work on Atraks-1. It launched at 2 am my time. The new raid looks awesome. A few people in my clan have already cleared it. I hope to clear it this weekend. The new scout rifle, the Trustee, looks very cool. There’s a Commemoration, an LMG, and a 180rpm hand cannon. There’s a 72 rpm sniper, a shotgun, a sword, and of course armor. The final chest allows you to farm rolls on previously acquired raid gear by spending spoils of conquest, a material that can only be obtained from raid encounters. All of the new raid gear looks really cool.

The raid race was won by Clan Luminous and Clawtivity, a smaller team of speed runners who beat much bigger teams, like Redeem (33rd) and Math (12th). The encounters look fun and I can’t wait to try them out. The lore behind the raid is also very interesting. There’s an ARG that launched at the same time as the Collector’s Edition of Beyond Light, and it delved into the origin of all exos.

The season pass is a dual purpose shotgun called Duality, which can fire a pellet spread or slugs. It’s OK. I don’t use shottys much, it’s definitely less interesting than Witherhoard, which was one of the most awesome exotics. It had to be disabled for 8 days or so because it was causing infinite damage. The deluxe edition got the exotic pulse rifle No Time to Explain. I like it a lot. It’s awesome. I masterworked it the first weekend.

I’ve switched from an AR main, to a pulse rifle main. It’s just more fun to have range, and pulse rifles are really good. The crucible exclusive pulse Stars in Shadow dropped for me with outlaw and kill clip, so I have an energy pulse as well that won’t be sunset. I want to get rolls with Thresh, a new perk which gives super energy on kills. It’s like a little baby Bad Juju. My go to GL is truthteller with blinding grenades. I don’t have the god roll, but it’s good enough, especially since Witherhoard was disabled for a long time. I’ve also got a wellspring/surplus Hailing Confusion to pair with an exotic heavy. These perks work well to replenish your abilities quickly. That’s great with s stasis build. I’ve gotten a Chain Reaction Crowd Pleaser (heavy GL which only drops in Gambit).

Clearing the DSC opened up the Lament exotic quest from Banshee. It’s an easy quest that rewards you with Falling Guillotine’s father: more burst DPS. If you liked Dark Drinker, you’ll definitely enjoy this sword. There a combo that allows you to take down barrier champions. It’s quite risky, but you can take down champions in a few seconds, if used properly (I’m thinking top tree void with Sixth Coyote for the extra dodge and go invisible each time you dodge. This can allow you get up and personal with a champion without them shooting at you.) I’ve played with The Lament a bit. The burst damage is quite insane. You can solo gambit primevals.

I’ve been so busy leveling that I’ve barely leveled up Variks’ Sabotage missions because, guess what? It involves more grinding. In between that and the Fragment missions, which include a lot of stasis grinding in strikes, crucible, and gambit, it’s kind of annoying that those playlists haven’t received many updates. They’ve received some, but not enough to warrant the amount of time I’ve had to put in to get to the hard cap.

But that’s destiny. There’s a lot of grinding involved to get to the endgame.

Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

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