Last night the loot gods were very good to me. Weekly reset is a time where the impossible seems possible… or at the very lease you have a new round of milestones that can reward “powerful gear” otherwise known as Luminous Engrams. For the unindoctrinated… these are a weird cross between purple and gold and contain gear that is always a significant upgrade over whatever you happen to be wearing. This always probably needs to have its own caveat given that when you hit the current hard level cap of 350… this will in theory constantly keep rewarding you maximum power items. These right now seem to be the primary method of moving the needle forward… and I guess that makes sense given that the normal mode of the raid is 260 to 280 power. This makes sense due to the general difficulty increase as you progress through raid bosses and the hope that you will be slotting in items you get on the first few bosses to keep ratcheting your power level as you traverse the content. This is the point where I am going to apologize because I will inevitably for a long time keep calling it Light instead of Power… and while I am trying my best to catch these several of them are going to slip through the cracks. Functionally now that we are all arriving at 265 we are settling in for the long game of slowly incrementing our levels each week through doing events. The folks that are pushing 300 right now did some sheer madness… namely I know it was super popular in the reddit circles to roll 3 of exactly the same class so you could swap gear and get three times the weekly engrams… greatly increasing your chances of moving things forward.
What I did not expect was for Cayde-6 to pay out this week the way that he did. For the also unindoctrinated… once you hit level 20 and complete your main story quest each of the traditional NPCs does a specific thing. Ikora Rey for example lets you replay three missions a week and then in turn rewards engrams based on the faction tokens you get from doing this. Zavala is once again all about the strikes and the nightfall, and Cayde-6 unsurprisingly is all about sending you on a quest to gather up loot he has stashed. He sells 5 maps per week for 5000 glimmer each and they are always going to be in whatever zone happens to be the Flashpoint area. This week for example it was Nessus and when you purchase them a series of Spade icons appear on your map with no real indication of how to actually get there. Other than a few rare cases these icons are “breaking the border” of the map… meaning you need to figure out if they are in a cave system or if you need to climb up somewhere and jump out in what is officially unmarked space of the map. Occasionally there are gimme chests like the one this week that is literally in the middle of a structure that is impossible to miss… but I won’t go into any spoilers about any of them. Last week I got one exotic engram, one legendary… and a bunch of random junk that Cayde-6 will buy back from you… like a Spinfoil Hat. This week was insanely good loot wise because not only did I wind up getting four legendary engrams and one exotic, I also got a 271 weapon. So that means in theory you could possible get power level increasing upgrades from him going forward.
Since I was functionally gifted almost the right number of items for a specific quest… I decided to make last night all about trying to catch up on the various exotic weapon quests. When you finish the main storyline there are a number of blue crown icon quests that start showing up on the various planets. From what I understand each of these ultimately leads to an exotic. I had already been working my way through the one that rewards first the MIDA Mini Tool submachinegun and eventually the MIDA Multi Tool scout rifle made famous in Destiny 1. The quest where I needed all of the engrams however I am still working my way through by doing silly things on Nessus. However one of the first steps in the chain involves going to Master Rahool in the tower and decrypting 5 legendary engrams and 1 exotic engram. The quest itself pays out one legendary engram, so I knew that this was one of those times where it would be easy to move forward in the quest chain since I had everything sitting there and ready to go. The only quest that I have not started is the one for the Rat King, but I will be doing this soon given that I am hearing this is a decent week to try and get through it as one of the steps requires you to make insanely good time in the Nightfall. I feel like I am still making progress, but a lot of that progress is slow and incremental. We’ve entered the cold winter phase of Destiny, when every few points of light requires a large amount of effort. I’m completely fine in this territory because I have been there before, but I am wondering if we end up losing a few people in the post 265 slog.