Destiny: the best strikes, bounties and raid for loot
Time is money, as the saying goes. In Destiny, though, time is loot, meaning that hours-long sessions should never go to waste. Sure, after reaching Level 40 your Guardian no longer needs XP to progress at his/her core. Still, Motes of Light, Strange Coins and the likelihood of Exotic Armour/Weapon drops are rewards that are always useful. So, here’s our shortlist of the most lucrative activities across Mars, Venus, Earth and its Moon.
Don’t forget to visit the Bounty Tracker in the Tower or Reef every single day that you log in. This has become routine to players who, once upon a time, needed all the XP they could get to level up armour and weapons (190,000 XP to fully upgrade an exotic weapon), but often overlooked by newcomers. So bag them all, may as well, but be wise after that to combine patrols with enemy types mentioned such as the Cabal on Mars, Vex on Venus, Hive on the Moon and Fallen in and around the Cosmodrome.
Vanguard bounties are often mopped up over the course of your regular PvE outings for the evening. Crucible bounties require more skill in specific playlists to accrue but solid players have a chance of cashing in a handful from just one game: Team That Works Together, Press The Advantage and Backstabber, for example, claimed with a Fireteam of two or more.
Best Story Missions
Whether you’re looking to farm for Engrams or aiming to meet some kind of kill quota for Quests such as the exotic swords and The First Curse hand cannon, there are two places you should know. The Dark Beyond mission on the Moon is the most tried and true, it’s played until the cut-scene showing the dead guardian after which Hive flood through the big doors. Shoot everything except the knights, then let them kill you. Rinse and repeat for as long as it takes to meet whichever quota is on your bounties or current Quest.
Siege of the Warmind is a better alternative we’ve found, however, located on Earth. The hall leading to Rasputin’s chamber is rampant with Hive thrall, acolytes and knights. Hose them all down in the ways described by your to-do list and simply hop over a barrier to your doom to reset. Don’t kill the knight waiting outside Rasputin’s chamber as this will progress to the next checkpoint.
Strikes have always been a good way to boost XP and gather an armful of Engrams, but since The Taken King launched the Strikes have become the most enjoyable, loot-worthy activities there are. This is partially because there are now exclusive guns and armour to acquire from the following: Undying Mind (Mark of the Undying Mind), Fallen S.A.B.E.R (Devouring Maw Warlock helm, Baron’s Ambition heavy machine gun), Sunless Cell (Darkblade Titan Helm, Darkblade’s Spite fusion rifle), Shield Brothers (Mau’ual’s Maulers Titan gauntlets, Treads Upon Stars scout rifle), Echo Chamber (Theosyion Vibrasse Warlock gloves), The Shadow Thief (Cloak of Taniks for Hunters), Will of Crota (Omnigal Bond, Grasp of Marok pulse rifle), Dust Palace (Solar-Void-Arc Flayer mantles for Hunters).
The Does Not Bow auto rifle and Imago Loop hand cannon are obtained from any Fallen or Vex strike respectively. Mainly, though, completing heroic strikes gives you a barrow load of blues and a chunk of XP. Remember that staying on the same playlist without quitting leads to a streak bonus, so set aside a good hour or so to reap the maximum benefits.
Best PVP Playlist
Despite Bungie’s best efforts to balance the XP gains across all playlists, Control generally remains the most beneficial. It’s partly why Iron Banner was always so successful too, since the harsh kill/death business of straightforward Clash was tempered by the team-win aspect of capturing and holding zones.
The Taken King also brought with it the Mayhem playlists, which are always worth looking out for on the Director. “Embrace the chaos” in modes that greatly decrease the cooldown times for Super, Melee and Grenade recharge while boosting the rate of Special and Heavy ammo spawns. Points are doubled too, placing you on the fast track to a ton of XP. Double- or triple-kills are easier to acquire since this is Super central. Finally, as folks are currently discovering in Iron Banner, Rift is awesome for high-scoring potential, although only if you have a team that’s communicating well, tricky with randoms.
Best Patrol Area
If you’re simply looking to boost Vanguard/Faction reputation, the best place to go is the the Cosmodrome. There is a loop that you can follow in pursuit of VIP missions (displayed by your Ghost as a star icon), starting in the Steppes. VIP missions from here take you to the Divide. If there are no VIP missions just grab a regular ‘kill all enemies’ or ‘scout/scan’ type mission and head to the Divide anyhow. VIP missions in the Divide are located within the Divide. Again, if there are no VIP missions in the Divide, grab a regular mission but scoot over to the Rocket Yard. If you find a VIP mission in the Rocket Yard, it’ll take you to the Refinery. Wrap this up and head back to Orbit, then descend back to the Steppes.
It’s the grindiest grind there is in Destiny, but beats sitting in Orbit waiting for the raid to happen.
Last but not least, one of the blessings of the King’s Fall Raid is that it delivers XP. Previous raids the Vault of Glass and Crota’s End were oddly restricting in this regard, probably owing to the high value of their loot tables. Now folks are being sent in to the Dreadnaught over and over in pursuit of higher Light level gear, at least all the time spent shooting adds results in watching the XP bar at the bottom of the screen rapidly rising.
It’s a bitter-sweet state of affairs to put it mildly, but in PvE, the best place to be is still with pals bringing down Oryx.