Destiny’s new levelling system after the April update means that reaching max Light could take just a few weeks, with significant gains after mere days.
Destiny April update: a guide to hitting light level 335
At last, the levelling system in Destiny makes logical sense. Even with the inevitable RNG heartaches, progression is now swift and assured. The effort you put in will soon earn the rewards that are much deserved. Best of all, our chances of attaining Light 335 are not inextricably linked to the most punishing of end-game activities. If you told Oryx to flip off a long time ago, there’s no need to humble yourself by crawling back cap in hand. Screw him.
Basically this: Remember how, with the arrival of the Taken King, we learned how to boost the Light level of engrams decrypted by Master Rahool? A similar rule applies to increasing the Light level of all loot drops, including faction packages, after update 2.2.0.
In case you’ve forgotten because there no longer seemed to be a need, engrams have a tendency to decrypt at a higher Light level than your Guardian. In the same way, though with a much greater rate of success, loot from the new Challenge of Elders and Court of Oryx, exotic engrams and faction packages are being found to arrive at five levels above your current Light level. They sometimes drop lower, but usually around four or five.
To give an example of how this works, if a Light 322 Guardian clears a Tier 3 Court of Oryx boss, there is a very good chance (happened to us twice in less than an hour) that you’ll receive a Light 326 or 327 artifact. Or, upon ranking up with the Gunsmith after casually road-testing his prototype guns, a Light 322 Guardian could claim a package containing a weapon of Light 326 or 327. The key phrase Bungie is applying to all of this remains ‘up to’, but this new system really does adhere to the higher mark. If you use this wisely, levelling up can be done very quickly depending on the amount of time and effort involved.
"Any exotic engrams you acquire from farming Three of Coins will decrypt at up to five Light levels higher, with no limit to how often you wish to revisit the Prison of Elders, run Raids or grind Strikes to kill bosses."
The most liberating message of all here is that you absolutely will reach Light 335, no matter how badly treated you are by RNG. Which means you can now just relax and enjoy yourself. It doesn’t need to be a helmet awarded from hard mode Oryx encounters any more to push that Light level higher (something that rarely ever dropped in the first place). If you’re using Three of Coins to good effect during Vanguard Strikes, Prison of Elders or the Raid, exotics will always deliver something closer to five levels higher, to infuse into some relevant gear. Let’s just say that a 326 No Land Beyond that resulted from a Level 41 PoE boss was swiftly applied to the Doctrine of Passing absolutely no regrets.
Briefly, then: Rewards from completing the Challenge of Elders Sigil high score of 30,000 and cumulative weekly high score of 90,000 will guarantee up a five Light levels higher weapon and armour respectively from Variks in the Reef. Any exotic engrams you acquire from farming Three of Coins will decrypt at up to five Light levels higher, with no limit to how often you wish to revisit the Prison of Elders, run Raids or grind Strikes to kill bosses. Increased reputation gains across the board mean that faction packages from Dead Orbit, New Monarchy, Future War Cult, Eris, Gunsmith, Vanguard and Shaxx give you something greater than you currently own. Hanging out at the Court of Oryx and helping with Tier 3 bosses, an activity which is noticeably much busier again after the update, will hand you artifacts of up to five Light levels higher.
It shouldn’t take a genius to realise that by applying all your best gear before claiming any faction package or handing over any exotic engram to Rahool, climbing toward 330 is doable within days. After that, chances of claiming 335 gear by the same method is the final step.
Don’t overlook the fact that all armour and artifacts from one class can be infused into another, meaning that a high-level Warlock can boost a weaker Hunter’s level too. As each of your characters becomes stronger, use them to run the Strikes or Raid to benefit from the higher Light level drops, such as the Hood of Malok which landed for us at 323 on day one. Using your alts to boost Light level; chuck all your best weapons and gear onto them.
To significantly accelerate the process, the King’s Fall Raid Challenge mode drops loot at up to 10 points higher than your current grade. If you’re up for the effort this takes you will be richly rewarded in a short space of time by infusing across all three alts as mentioned above.
Without a doubt, Bungie’s greatest contribution to all this is allowing infusion to grant 100 percent of the Light from the infused item. So there’s no painful, incremental upgrading of gear to the detriment of the items you already own. You can go right ahead and grab a 280 exotic blueprint and bounce this up to the new Light level of a weapon or armour you don’t need.
Best of all, not even reading too much between the lines, Guardians are no longer forced into banging our heads against a brick wall called King’s Fall Raid. Light 335 is attainable from almost every activity now in Destiny, as long as you use your time wisely and make every last piece of gear work to your advantage. Also, that guy parading the highest Light level? He’s basically got more time on his hands than you. Don’t sweat it. You’ll get there.