This article is part of our Personal Playthrough series.
I know, I know. You were burned by the original launch of Destiny 2. You got bored (we all did). You weren’t pleased by the expansions (no one was). You felt betrayed by Bungie, who you put your trust during the first year of the game’s release. Now you don’t even wanna hear about the new expansion. But just hear me out!
In the time that you’ve been away, Bungie has slowly (emphasis on the slow) been improving on their game. In short, they’ve managed to add in everything that they inexplicably took out between Year 3 of Destiny and Year 1 of Destiny 2. All those gripes we had upon the launch of this game have been all but answered by this point.
Crucible is back to 6v6 (except for the competitive playlist, where it’s still 4v4). Oh yeah, there’s a departed ranked playlist for Crucible now that has its own ranking system and exclusive that you receive upon hitting a certain threshold. There’s actually stuff to do now. Secret quests, nightfall exclusive loot, and more. And that’s all before even diving into Forsaken, as the expansion exponentially increased the amount of things to do. I played for eight hours yesterday and didn’t even scratch the surface of what there is to do in this game. Let that sink in for a minute.
Quite simply, the product that we’ve got now is nothing at all like the initial product we were given this time last year. As such, I would recommend that any Destiny fan pick up this expansion and dive in. Even if you aren’t totally sold yet and don’t wanna buy the full annual pass (which I’ll get to a bit later), just pick up the expansion itself and join us on the ride.
I wanna jump into Forsaken, now what?
Okay, so now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you to pick up Forsaken, you’re wondering what to do next. You haven’t touched the game since last October when everyone started to burn out. You have no idea what’s what. No worries, dear reader, because I’m here to help.
Before firing up the Forsaken campaign, you’ve got a choice to make. Before I get into that choice, note that whichever one you choose, you will have to buy both expansions from the first year in order play Forsaken. What you do with those expansion is what we’ll get into right now.
Do you care about the story from the previous two expansions that were released, Curse of Osiris and Warmind? A secondary question to that is even if you don’t care about the story, are you a completionist who cares about unlocking every single thing in a game?
If the answer to both of these is no, then your road to start Forsaken will be very easy. If you have a character that isn’t yet at max level or light, there will be a little icon next to them on the character select screen that will solve all your problems. This is called a Spark of Light. Buying Forsaken grants each player one of these (only if you’re below max level, as if you’re already at the previous max level, this option won’t be needed) bad boys. Using it on a character will bring them up to the previous level max of 30, allowing you to easily get back into the content.
Now, if you care about the story, or if you care about unlocking everything the game has to offer, Spark of Light isn’t the way to go. While using one will make it as if you’ve completed all the story missions, which allows you to start Forsaken, you won’t get actual credit for doing so.
You see, Forsaken brings about Triumphs, which are basically achievements. Everything from Crucible kills to kills with certain supers to the story are included here. If you use a Spark of Light, you won’t get the Triumphs for doing the previous story missions, meaning you’ll forever be staring a blank space and will never be able to fully max out your Triumphs.* Not only that, but you won’t get to experience the lore that comes from those stories. Full disclosure, the stories aren’t amazing. But they’re interesting nonetheless and you get some background on key characters in the Destiny universe. Plus, the story modes give some cool character specific exotics and everyone likes exotics, right? As such, this is the method that I would recommend to everyone.
*You might be asking, “Why should I care about Triumphs?” Well, dear reader, completing all the Triumphs from certain sections (Lore, Crucible, Gambit, and Destinations) will net you an exclusive title. These will appear under your name when people see you out and about. It seems like a small thing, but it’s something that a small percentage of players will have since they take quite a bit to complete. They’re so exclusive that Bungie is actually giving them World’s First treatment, so if you can manage to get one first, you’ll be immortalized and recognized by Bungie.
Now, be mindful that when you choose this method, you’ll need to do a bit of grinding to get yourself up to the current power level. The story mode alone will get you part of the way there, but you’ll need to do a bit of legwork outside of the story to get yourself fully ready to start Forsaken.
The best method to do this is public events or crucible. They both give nice rewards in the most efficient way possible. For this week especially, you’ll want to go do some public events in the EDZ to complete this week’s Flashpoint which grants “Powerful Gear,” meaning it’ll be much higher than your current power level. When it comes to the Crucible, you’ve got both daily (one match) and weekly (five matches) quests that give legendary gear. It won’t be as high as the Flashpoint gear, but it’s something.
Once you do enough of these to get yourself as high as possible, you’re ready to dive into Forsaken.
I’m all caught up to Forsaken, now what?
Now that you’re all caught up and ready for Forsaken, it’s time to start the grind. The method in which you should best spend your time in the new expansion is fairly simple and comes in just a few short steps.
- Do the campaign.
- Get yourself up to level 50.
- Obtain gear until you reach the soft level cap of 500.
- Do all your "Powerful Rewards" quests.
- Experience the true endgame.
Yep, that’s it. Finishing the campaign alone will bump you pretty high since it’s not your typical campaign. You’ve got missions like other story modes, but this one gets a bit more open-ended at a certain point, which allows to do some real exploring to raise your power level that you wouldn’t normally get in a usual story mode.
Speaking of power levels, I should probably mention the new max levels. The new max character level is 50 and 600 for power level. Right now, though, the soft cap is 500, which means people won’t hit 600 for weeks after the raid is out and people starting farming it week after week. So yeah, your level 20 character with probably 300 power has quite the journey ahead!
Once the story mode is finished up, leveling up is just like in previous iterations of the game. Except this time around, we’ve got more than just public events.
Upon finishing the game, you’ll gain access to the Dreaming City, which is a brand-new endgame destination with a ridiculous amount of stuff to do. There’s the usual public events, sure. But there’s also a bevy of new endgame activities to complete. In the spirit of exploration and discovery, I won’t talk about what those activities are, but I can assure you that they are both very hard and very fun.
In addition to just straight leveling your character, there’s still plenty to do with Forsaken. From getting all your Triumphs completed to completing all the Lore tabs (yeah, Grimoire is kind of back in the form of the Lore tab on your character screen) to filling up your collection (every gun that you can get is listed in your collection screen so you know exactly what’s still out there to get), there’s plenty of things to sink your time into here. That’s all without even touching Gambit, the new PvE/PvP hybrid game mode that is a ton of fun (and has its own ranking system to get into) or the new raid that will be released next Friday.
So there you have it. This is the perfect time to get back into Destiny and with this handy-dandy guide, you’ve got all the tools needed to make your journey a seamless and (somewhat) easy one.
Eyes up, Guardian. Good time are ahead.