We have made progress with the Destiny raiding. A week or so ago we did a six hour raiding stretch which got some good results. We spent about four hours of it on Vault of Glass. We have had everything up to Atheon, the final boss, on farm so we charged through and stood before the crystalline one himself.
I liked the Atheon fight, it exemplifies everything that is great about Destiny raids and makes them feel very different to the other raids I’ve done (which I admit are primarily pre-first expansion Warcraft). They have a whole complex series of events and coordinations going on and all this is linked with a great deal of movement. This is the main difference between my two raiding experiences. Warcraft was always relatively static, it was positioning in terms of where you stood, possibly with the odd shuffle to the left. Destiny is different. You move all over the place. In the Atheon fight half your team goes through portals to spend time away on Mars and Venus to collect a relic that allows you to seriously damage Atheon. I was always speculating they would split the team in future raids and they did it in the first one.
It took us a few attempts to get it all coordinated as there is a lot of moving parts but we took Atheon down. Okay, we’re over levelled and over geared for the raid, but it’s still challenging enough in terms of pulling off the mechanics of it all. It’s also not as if we are so over levelled we can literally stand against the enemies with impunity. It was great fun. We even got an exotic (I got a hand cannon I’ll never use) and two people got the funky void energy firing auto rifle.
The good thing about doing the raid is Bungie have altered how equipment works in the next expansion so all legendary and exotic weapons can be upgraded washout losing any of the levelling up you’ve done. In the first expansion you could only upgrade exotics and then you’d have to level them up again. This means any interesting gear from Vault of Glass isn’t necessarily old and useless. If that fancy void firing auto rifle is something that proves useful when House of Wolves comes out you can upgrade it to expansion II power levels. True, you need some sort of new material to do it, but it’s a great option. It’s a sort of ‘no equipment left behind rule’.
We then went on to Crota’s End. We made progress there as well as I think we increased our odds of getting to through the lamps and into the second section. I probably wouldn’t say that’s on farm yet, but the odds are much better. The key seemed to be to keep moving and not stand around at the lamps for too long. In short, allow the debuff to build as you can run quite happily until it gets to the tenth layer. Have to admit, I’ve still not mastered it. I often don’t make it through the lamps, but it might be the case enough of the team do. I think a combination of my lack of fast moving thumbs, combined with the fact I do have the lowest agility class, is letting me down a bit. A few people have more agile hunters combined with a scout rifle that allows them to move even faster..very helpful in the lamps. Next time I’m going to try a shotgun strategy, we’ll see if that improves things.
As for the next section of Crota’s End, getting across the bridge either singularly or in groups, we’ve not mastered it yet but the fight in motion feels more controlled and less hectic meaning it is just going to be practice and it has a sense of inevitability about it.
All this is resulting in me appreciation different types of weapons, some of them I’ve had the opportunity to obtain and I’ve not taken the opportunity. I’ve already talked about the Icebreaker exotic sniper rifle changes the game quite a bit, to the extent it squeezes virtually any other exotic out of the offensive slot. I am now coming around to appreciating Shotguns a bit more, a weapon that I’ve not bothered with at all as I always figured why bother when there is fusion rifles? Well, they’ve upped their damage to ridiculous amounts and in some circumstances when the enemy is going to be in a position to mob you they are potentially a good thing. This can be the case during the lamps in Crota’s End. I had the chance to do the Exotic Bounty for the fancy shotgun that has regenerating ammo like Icebraker a while back and I really should have done that. If there is one exotic I wish I had it is probably that fancy shotgun to swap Icebreaker out for occasionally.
Basically, no matter how unlikely it is you’ll ever use an exotic, take it and bank it as you never know. So, this is what I’ve done with the exotic hand cannon I have from Vault of Glass. I can’t see me ever using it and becoming a hand cannon wanker, but neither is it doing any harm in that bank slot…