Destiny 2Bungie

It’s that time again. I have spent the last three days doing almost nothing but playing Destiny 2’s new Forsaken expansion, other than sleeping and eating. And honestly, not very much of either of those. I’ve poured all my time into a single character, my Titan, and soon it’ll be time to start on the others, but 25-30 hours in, I’m still not out of stuff to do on a single character. There’s a lot here.

I know that some of you probably do not play video games for a living, so you may be just starting out or waiting until the weekend to play. Well, after 30 hours, I think I have some initial advice to give you, some tips about the game, and leveling and loot and so on that you should probably know heading in.

Here are ten things I wish I knew when I started Destiny 2: Forsaken.

Destiny 2Bungie

1. Say Goodbye To 98% Of Your Old Gear

Look, I get it. You’ve been playing for a year, you have assembled your favorite legendary weapons and armor, masterworked them, the whole nine yards. But trust me when I say that whatever you think you’re going to save, you’re not.

It’s not just that there’s new gear to get, it’s that almost all of your old gear is functionally useless because the weapons do not come with a bonus perk that all new drops have in the Forsaken era, and your armor does not have two sets of switchable perks that are essential in making true “builds” now.

Sure, keep your favorites for nostalgia, but in the last 30 hours of gameplay, I used my old gear for about twenty minutes before vaulting nearly all of it and switching to Forsaken-era stuff with all the random rolls and bonus perks. I understand how it kind of sucks to leave all that behind, but the new collections feature allows you to scrap everything you’ve been hoarding in your vault and pull it out later if you really want it again, and it’s time to move forward. The exception here are exotics, as weapons have not changed and you can infuse them to new levels, and exotic armor you already own has indeed been granted new “rolled” perks, so you can infuse and use that too. Just…don’t stay attached to your old legendary stuff.

2. The Soft Cap Is 500 Power

The new “ultimate” power cap in Forsaken is 600 power, but the “soft cap,” meaning the one you can get to relatively quickly, is 500. That process to get to 500 is probably going to be you constantly swapping out blue and legendary gear every twenty minutes or so, because blue drops will keep increasing your power very quickly, and you can beat all the story content with blue weapons and armor and just a handful of legendaries.

I would not invest too much in infusion until you hit 500. Infusion is really expensive now, and you will hit 500 just through random drops alone, drops that will be good enough to get you through story content and to that cap, and afterward, things change, which I’ll get to in a bit.

Destiny 2Bungie

3. Don’t Expect The Return Of A Vocal Guardian

A brief note on the story. While I won’t get into spoilers here, I know that many players were excited to hear their Guardian speak again in the last trailer for a game, but don’t go into the campaign expecting some big return to having a vocal Guardian.

For reasons that remain inexplicable to me, outside of the line from the trailer, your Guardian speaks exactly one other word, “Deal!” when talking to Spider about finding Uldren’s location. But during Cayde’s death, the final confrontation at the end, they say nothing. I’m going to rant about this later, but don’t be like me, don’t get your hopes up.

4. Loot Drops Will Get Better At Level 50

One thing I found strange was that even though I completed a bounty or two for legendaries, and got some from turning in tokens and weapon parts, I never got any to drop in the wild, when previously, they were all over the place.

While loot drops have been nerfed somewhat, ie. you will get fewer drops, but more meaningful ones, I will say that things will get better once you hit the new leveling cap of 50. When you get to that point A) legendary loot will start dropping in the wild (most drop as items, not encrypted engrams now), and B) you will then get access to an entire ocean of “powerful engrams” that are legendaries that will increase your power level. I’ll go into detail on that in a second. Just know that if you think your drops suck throughout the campaign, they get better eventually.

Destiny 2Bungie

5. Hold Off On Going Crazy With Masterworks For Now

It now costs a lot of shards and masterwork cores to take weapons from level 1 to a level 10 masterwork, more so than we saw before under the old system. I just want to say that as excited as you are about random rolls, you may want to hold off going too crazy with masterworks right away.

I made the mistake of taking a few items to level 10 pretty early on, only to find that I had much better drops later and wished I had those cores back to use on something else. There is a lot of gear in this expansion, more so than I would have imagined, so I would wait a while until you have amassed a large collection and know what is truly your favorite gun. After 30 hours, I only feel like I’m just now getting to the point where I can commit to masterworks I probably won’t regret later, but it’s up to you.

6. Infuse Gear With The Same Name For Cheap

First of all, I would avoid infusing most gear for as long as possible, given that I have a hunch that Bungie may adjust some things about it, including the fact that it takes masterwork cores to do it, which seems crazy.

Second of all, you need to know that if you infuse two of the exact same items, it only costs 5,000 glimmer, no shards, no planetary materials, no cores. I have done nothing but this kind of infusion so far, and it’s allowed me to keep my piles of currency intact, and I’m still 510 power. You will get a lot of double drops, and as such, you can use them to upgrade the other, keeping the one that has the better perks. I infused the same grenade launcher about five times with Vanguard drops from Zavala, for instance. You may want to spend all that currency later, but for now, I would just either swap in your more powerful gear that drops and use it, or I would only infuse items with the same name.

Destiny 2Bungie

7. Pull Collection Items To Speed Up Leveling To Cap

Before you hit the soft cap of 500, there’s a trick you can use if you find that one of your items is lagging far behind the others, which is pulling your drops’ power down. Because of the new collections feature, you can pull copies of recently dropped gear out of there. And if one item is way far behind, the copy you pull may be a lot higher than it. Do that, and the rest of your drops will start increasing at a normal pace again. You can’t do this forever, but it’s a neat trick to use early on in the game, at least.

8. Don’t Forget That There Are Bounties For Literally Everything Now

Bungie reintroduced some bounties in an update not that long ago, but what you may not realize is that bounties are literally everywhere now, and a primary means of getting XP, rank, tokens and loot. Remember that whatever activity you’re doing, there are probably bounties for it. There are:

  • Vanguard strike bounties
  • Crucible bounties
  • Eververse bounties (for bright dust)
  • Gambit bounties
  • Planetary location bounties
  • Tangled Shore WANTED bounties for Spider
  • Dreaming City special bounties for Petra

As I said, a lot of bounties. Some contain legendary gear as prizes, some even contain powerful engrams. Many reset every day at 1 PM ET, some every week on Tuesday. Do not miss them.

Destiny 2Bungie

9. Don’t Hold Your Breath For An Avalanche Of Exotics

Bungie is doing its best to make exotics not just feel truly exotic now, but also be very rare again. Destiny 2 allowed you to amass all exotics in relatively short order if you were playing enough, but things have changed. In 30 hours, I only have three exotics. Two came from powerful engrams, one was the Ace of Spades exotic quest. No more farming public events for exotic engrams. They’re going to come either through powerful engrams, possibly bounties, very rarely turning in tokens, exotic quests, or Xur, who arrives every Friday. And they’re not going to show up often. I think this is a change for the best, as it makes each new exotic drop feel special, rather than borderline useless like they’ve been for a long while now.

10. Endgame Leveling Is Going To Work A Bit Differently Now

Before we go, just a brief primer on how things work post 500. Leveling will slow way down, and blues will no longer be useful to you. Most gear will drop at 500, but you now have access to a collection of objectives that will give you powerful engrams that drops about 5 power about your current level.

Many of these are weekly tasks that will reset every Tuesday. There are old ones like running strikes or playing crucible matches, but also new ones like playing Gambit or completing 20 bounties for Ikora or doing Petra bounties. Some things are daily, like a rotating challenge that has you doing just one activity a day, one strike, one game of Gambit, etc, and those will reset every four days. Even the Cryptarch is getting in the action, as every day he will give you a buff that will allow one Prime Engram to drop in the wild that will be above your power level. The point is, there are a lot more paths to level up, even if wild loot drops are somewhat less than they used to be. I don’t know what the second “cap” is for leveling yet, and if you’ll need endgame activities to push you to 600, but for now, this is how things are going to work, and the highest enemies I’ve seen so far in the Dreaming City are 560. Not sure what the Raid will launch at.

So, those are my ten things, but I’m sure I will have more to share in the future. If you have any specific questions that weren’t addressed here, you can hit me up on Twitter. Happy hunting.


Here’s how to make the new Tangled Shore public events heroic (Dreaming City to come)

Here’s how to get your other two new subclasses after the campaign.

Here’s some advice on how not to screw up Gambit.

Follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Read my new sci-fi novel HEROKILLER, which combines my love of fighting games and action movies. I also wrote The Earthborn Trilogy.

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