Destiny Focus: Tricks of the Trade

06 Tricks of the Trade

By now, you may have sampled much of what the Destiny Beta has to offer.

Old Russia is no longer an uncharted, desolate wasteland, rather it’s your own personal stomping ground in the never-ending quest to find the best loot that the game has to offer. You’ve killed Riksis the Devil Archon, Sepiks Prime and the Devil Walker several times over, whilst dancing over their defeated corpses without hesitation. You’ve been killed after driving a Shrike off a cliff, been vaporised by an Ogre’s face-blast and even torn asunder by a Hallowed Knight, and inevitably, you’ve been left wanting more.

Shooting and looting my way through Old Russia again has been great, but with my desire to play the full game having already been affirmed by the Alpha, the Destiny Beta has only sought to help me familiarize myself with the games core mechanics once more. And yet with so many smaller details falling by the wayside as I hone my knowledge of skill-trees, The Crucible and the lore of the land, I thought that it would be helpful to compile a list of ten such details, all of which have helped me immensely on my journey. So here they are, my ten tricks of the trade for turning a good Guardian, into a great one. May they guide you towards the light, forevermore.

1. A Greater Challenge

In the Destiny Alpha, you had the choice of playing a story mission on ‘hard’ mode should you desire a greater challenge. In the Beta, you still have this option, however it seems that the extra difficulty is directly proportional to your current level. For example, as a level 8 Hunter, I can play the final story mission on either ‘Normal level 5’ or ‘Normal level 7’ difficulty. Whether or not Bungie will reinstate fixed mission difficulties remains to be seen, but for now, you can change mission difficulty by selecting it prior to launching your ship into orbit.*

2. Improving the Cryptarch

The more Encoded Engrams that you ask The Cryptarch to decode, the more he will advance in level. Eventually, levelling-up The Cryptarch will become a necessity anyway, with him only being able to decode rarer Engrams at a higher level. Although decoding Engrams is largely based on the luck of the draw, the consensus is that the higher your Cryptarch level, the more likely you are to gain a rare item following a decoding. Remember, the more Engrams he decodes, the higher level he will be, so don’t stop farming those Engrams if you want your Cryptarch to be as exceptional as possible.**

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3. Your Vault & You

The Vault is located inside a large strut at the very front of The Tower. In it, you’re given plenty of room to store a large amount of items you may not need right now. Not only that, but The Vault allows you to switch items between characters, meaning that a gun your Hunter might not be able to make use of could still be utilized by your Titan. And of course, with Bungie having yet failed to confirm whether or not the Beta level cap will be increased, it’s also the perfect place to store over-levelled gear that may be of use later on.

4. On the Importance of Impact

A common misconception with The Crucible is that the higher damage stat your weapon has, the better it will perform. This isn’t entirely true, with your weapons raw damage in The Crucible being determined largely by the ‘Impact’ stat. There is a mode where the overall damage stat does come into play, however. In ‘Iron Banner’, your complete defense rating and weapon stats are factored in, with the cumulative strength of your gear playing a large part in how well you perform.

5.  A Closer Look

The Tower is littered with vendors trying to peddle obscenely high-level items that are, as of yet, completely unobtainable. Don’t let that stop you from having a closer look, though. Vendor weapons, like all weapons in the game, can be closely scrutinized by pressing the ‘Details’ button, which then lets you to analyse its overall usefulness. This also comes in handy for taking a look at the skill-tree of a weapon before you buy it, allowing you to make doubly sure that it’s worth shelling out the Glimmer for.

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6. Emblems of Triumph

Each class has its own set of three emblems to choose from that alter the appearance of your player-card. Should you find the present options a little stale however, then there are a few ways of getting a new one. Firstly, you can pay a visit to the Guardian Outfitter, located on the left side of The Tower. Here, she will have several uncommon emblems for sale all at prices ranging from 500 Glimmer and above. Your other option is to head over to Saladin during the Iron Banner events. With Saladin, you can find a rare emblem available for 1,000 Glimmer, as well as a few uncommon class items.

7. Mark of the Unbroken

The Mark of the Unbroken is a bounty that goes by the name of ‘The Undying’. The bounty asks that you play a full match of The Crucible, scoring a minimum of seven kills and not dying. Although I haven’t achieved this with the bounty active, I have earned the Mark of the Unbroken twice, so I thought I’d share a few tips towards attaining it. The first time I earned it was on First Light, utilizing an Interceptor to take a seven-kill swing, before outlasting the match in my own base. I earned my second Unbroken medal on Blind Watch, using the Scout Rifle to pin down anyone trying to take C-point. Although I came close to dying a few times, sticking to high ground whilst keeping a firm eye on my radar helped me run down the clock and successfully meet the requirements of the medal once again.

8. Keeping an Eye Out

This may sound completely obvious, but you’d be surprised to see how little certain Crucible players actively look at their radar. Remember, a solid red segment means that an enemy is close to you and on your level, whilst a hollow one means that they’re close to you, but either above or below you. And as an added tip, keep in mind that crouching, as well as slightly improving your accuracy, also reduces the ‘ping’ of your radar emission, which is useful if you’re trying to stay completely incognito for a few moments.***

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9. Killing from Cover

In both The Crucible and regular PvE modes, taking cover behind something and then aiming down the sights of your weapon will allow you to peer over cover and shoot. Especially helpful for when your pinned down by a mass of enemies, this tactic is great for when you’re shields are low but you need to still dish out some suppressive fire.

10. The Bounty Boost

And finally, if you’re looking to quickly improve your uncommon items, then you’ll want to bear the following in mind. As you know, the only items that you can upgrade are ones categorized as uncommon or higher. In order to do this, you need to simply use your items in the field, with their stats gradually increasing the more you do. However, if you’re looking to quickly improve several uncommon items at once, then all you need to do is cash in a bounty or two. After you’ve completed the constraints of a bounty, don your Guardian in as much uncommon loot as possible. Then, as you turn the bounty in, several items should level up together, the bounty having given your Guardian a powerful push in the right direction.

*Thanks to /u/Zachsfunk49 on /r/DestinyTheGame for the research regarding ‘The Postmaster’.
**Thanks to /u/POKEYCLYDE on /r/DestinyTheGame for unraveling the Engram mystery.

***Lastly, thanks to /u/Derringer on /r/DestinyTheGame for the heads up.