The Age of Triumph

Destiny, part 15

So, with the recent announcement of Destiny 2, Bungie decided to give Destiny a proper send off, with style.  Over the course of the last month, every week one of the four raids has been the featured raid.  What does that mean?  Well, if you complete each of the challenges in the raids it means extra loot drops and new ornaments for the Age of Triumph armor pieces as well as new exotics.  On top of that, they’ve finally brought back elemental primary weapons in the form of Adept weapons from each raid (the aforementioned “new” exotics) as well as raising the Light Level for the featured raids to 390.  The difficulty feels like being back in Year One all over again and for the most part I’m enjoying every minute of it.

The first week of the Age of Triumph introduced us to a 390 version of Crota’s End (why they didn’t start things off with Vault of Glass as it was the first raid in Destiny, I don’t know) and also brought us a new modifier for Nightfall:  Daybreak.

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(Pictured here: armor from Crota’s End with full ornaments)

Daybreak means that everyone’s super charges ridiculously fast, so it made doing the Nightfall that first week rather enjoyable despite having all 3 burns active.  As for the 390 Crota’s End, that was interesting to say the least.  All of our old exploits have finally been patched out after 3 years:  no more flying across the bridge gap while the rest of the team stays on the other side and wipes, no more running the lamps solo, no more killing Crota in one sword, no nothing.  The lamps must (well, not must, should) now be run as a group to help fight off the increased amount of Thrall.  That was a “fun” learning experience to say the least.  After that, the bridge must be formed the legit way.  No big deal.  Then came both of the challenges for 390 Crota:

  • Deathsinger Challenge – kill ir-Yut last after killing all the other adds in the room, but you must use a Hive sword dropped by the last ogre.
  • Crota Challenge – use different Fireteam members to bear the sword.  No one person may hold the sword twice and dropping the sword to do something else counts against the challenge.

Needless to say, the Deathsinger Challenge was an anxiety fueled nightmare the first time we tried it.  We have to split into 3 teams of 2 (2 people each on the left and right wizard/shrieker combos and 2 others out in the central area killing everything out there in sight.  If more than 2 people die, it’s a party wipe as all hands need to be on deck to fight off the adds and the eventual 3 ogres that spawn at the end, one of which will drop the Hive sword needed to kill the Deathsinger.  Even if she’s at full health, one swipe is all it takes to kill her and then, challenge complete!  Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, my record in the Age of Triumph book (more on the new book later) is 2 minutes 11 seconds for Deathsinger’s Challenge.  To be successful, you have to complete the challenge in under 2 minutes.  Hopefully the next time Crota’s End is featured I’ll get it.

The Crota Challenge was a bit easier to handle, even if the mechanics of the fight have been altered.  In order to succeed, different people in the Fireteam have to be the sword bearer.  So far, we’ve been able to do it in 3 swords.  The fight mechanics have been changed a bit too:  sword bearer grabs the sword and the chalice, calls for the team to shoot Crota with rockets, then when he goes down the sword bearer attacks and then backs off just like before.  Then after that is the twist: once Crota gets back up, the fireteam has to shoot him with rockets then immediately switch to sniper rifles because he activates the Oversoul and it must be stopped in order for the fight to continue.  If you don’t stop the Oversoul, it’s a party wipe.  Once the Oversoul is stopped and the sword bearer attacks then backs off, it’s back into the crystal chamber as before.  Then after sword #2 is change #2 to the fight: the party must then split into 2 teams of 3 and duck into the base of the right and left towers to deal with the ogres as that phase has been moved up a step in the sequence.  After the ogres, the fight goes on to sword #3 and hopefully, Crota’s demise and a nice pile of loot.  At the time of this writing this is the only 390 raid that I’ve managed to complete all the challenges.

One humorous incident of note with this raid:  upon our first completion, everyone on the team switched characters for an immediate second run.  Hilarity ensued as our team consisted of 5 Defender Titans and one Nightstalker Hunter.  Needless to say once we got to the end of the lantern maze, we were pretty much invincible on the final plate before exiting into the next room.

Age of Triumph week 2 saw the Vault of Glass come to the spotlight and brought with it 2 new challenges for the community to deal with:

  • Templar Challenge – keep the Templar from teleporting (a bit easier said than done)
  • Atheon Challenge – every member of the Fireteam must shoot and kill 1 Oracle when Atheon opens the Timestream and splits the team in two.

The Templar Challenge isn’t really that bad as long as you can keep the team alive during the continuous onslaught of Vex while wailing on the Templar.  As for the Atheon Challenge, this has to be one of the 2 most sinister raid challenges in Destiny (the other being the Golgoroth Challenge in King’s Fall) and is sadly on the list of challenges I have yet to successfully complete.

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(Pictured here: armor from Vault of Glass with full ornaments)

Age of Triumph week 3 saw my favorite raid, King’s Fall, take center stage, but this was met with some bittersweet reception by others as they apparently still find the raid to “take too long” and “is too complicated/complex” but those are the very reasons why I enjoy this raid.  I was a little happy and a bit disappointed that the same 3 challenges from Year Two were put into effect for the featured raid slot:

  • Warpriest Challenge – no one on the fireteam can have the damage bubble more than once
  • Golgoroth Challenge – everyone on the fireteam must hold his gaze during every damage phase
  • Oryx Challenge – detonate all 16 bombs at the same time then kill Oryx.

I was happy to see that the challenges were already ones that we knew how to do, but a bit disappointed that they didn’t come up with something new (and that Golgoroth’s challenge hadn’t died in a fire like I would have hoped) but it is what it is.

After several days of total failure and some heated words in the thick of battle, I was not able to complete the raid like I would have liked.  I took my reward of a couple of Adept weapons and a couple pieces of Warlock armor and called it a day.  Hopefully the next time that it’s featured we’ll have more success.

 

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(Pictured here: armor from King’s Fall with full ornaments)

That brings us to this, week 4 of the Age of Triumph an the featured raid of Wrath of the Machine.  The challenges:

  • Vosik Challenge – use one of the last 2 SIVA bombs to close the door to the clean room during the end of the round.
  • Aksis Challenge – kill everything in the room, don’t die, make sure you stun Aksis, make dinner, take a shower, try to balance your work and social life and shove a broom up your ass and sweep in your spare time (in other words I don’t know how this one works)

Have, on my part, been met unanswered as I don’t particularly care for this raid and I don’t really know why.  I guess because I just don’t really find it fulfilling like the others; there’s nothing new to learn even in 390 mode as it’s just additional irritation on top of being an anxiety fueled nightmare even on normal mode.  I’m sure with the window of time we have until Destiny 2 (September 8th) I’ll just have to suck it up and do the raid and challenges whether I want to or not (especially if I’m going to get those new Adept weapons.)

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(Pictured here: armor from Wrath of the Machine with full ornaments)

At the time of this writing, I have acquired 4 out of the (I think) 16 new Exotic weapons but I hope to get them all before the end of Destiny’s life.  We haven’t reach a consensus as to whether or not we’ll keep playing once part 2 is released, so I might have time to get them, I might not.  If I don’t I won’t cry about it since nothing from Destiny is going to carry over to part 2.  Still not sure how I feel about that, but, it is what it is.  Maybe Bungie will make something that’s so great that we won’t want to go back, or maybe it will fail spectacularly and will be the final nail in the coffin.  All we can do now is wait and see.

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On launch day for the Age of Triumph, a new 13 page book was introduced for us to chip away at, only this time instead of intangible in-game rewards for our accomplishments we are met with a new carrot on the stick: a shirt with our gamertag on it!  I didn’t really care about this at first, but at the time of this writing I’ve reached the final rank in the book (rank 7) and I’m at 96% complete.  You can still get the shirt without “completing” the book, the catch is that the price tag is astronomical ($777,777.77 without the discount code you get from the Age of Triumph book versus $20 with the code.)  If I do succeed in getting the code from the book and decide to buy the shirt, I’ll most likely put it in a shadowbox and hang it on the wall instead of actually wearing it.  I just hope I don’t have to actually do everything in the book because I could care less about the Trials of Osiris and Crucible pages and I’m hesitant to delete my alternate Warlock for a new Hunter.  So if those 3 pages are out, that leaves me with trying to finish the Raid page and the Warlock page if possible.  I’ll see what happens in the coming weeks, stay tuned.

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