A few days ago I wrote a post entitled “How I Should Have Done It” where I attempted to lay out the way I plan on leveling with the release of the PC version. Today I am going to talk a little bit about a brief addendum on how I should have been pushing my light levels all this time. Yes I realize it is now called “power” but after three years of the original Destiny I just cannot bring myself to say that. Functionally for me I have one class that I care about significantly more than the others… and that is Titan. I am what you would call a Titan main, and some other players may or may not have similar inclinations. After 270 the only real way you make forward momentum is through the weekly milestones and the Luminous Engrams that they drop. I am running at least three milestones on each of my three characters, and as a result I am slowly ratcheting up the light levels of them all. However I noticed a pattern… I would start out on my Titan and then slowly work my way through my other two characters and the gains from each would help push up the next character. What I should have done is started doing these every week in effectively reverse order of preference. That way my Titan main gets the maximum benefit from the other two characters Luminous Engrams. Instead what is happening currently is my last string character… usually my hunter… winds up reaping the bounty of potential light level increases because I wind up handing her all of my weapons that got upgraded while pushing the other two characters.
The other thing that I wanted to talk a little bit about this morning is some more of that “Dark Math” that I spoke off some weeks ago. This is one of the things that drives me insane with Destiny 2 is that the math doesn’t always work out like it should. Part of the confusion is that the light level on your character sheet is a lie. What I mean by this is that all of those legendary mods that you may or may not have in your gear are artificially inflating the total. You can use a third party tool like Destiny Item Manager to see what your “base” power level is, but generally speaking it is 5 light lower than what is showing in your character sheet. So right now on my character sheet I show 301 light, and in DIM it is telling me that my actual base level is 296.4. When things get really confusing is that drops don’t work entirely like advertised. In theory as I have seen it explained it should work something like this…
- Blue/Purple Drops/Engrams/Faction Packages — These should drop -5 light levels from whatever your current base power level is.
- Exotic Engrams — These should drop at base light level +5 so effectively somewhere around the same level as shown on character sheet.
- Luminous Engrams/Powerful Rewards — these should drop base light level +10 or 5 over what is shown on your character sheet.
I’ve been told that the Exotic Quests that you can complete reward an item that is 18 levels over your base light, but I didn’t throw that in the bullet point list because I don’t with 100% accuracy that this is actually a thing. The problem is that these are largely just guidelines… and you are going to see +/- 1 level when actually getting gear to drop. For example the above shown engram is decoding at 291 as it should… 296 base light minus 5 gives you 291. However all last night I got handfuls of 290 items instead of 291, and each time I have been at a plateau it sort of fluctuates back and forth between the number it should be and just slightly lower than that number. Its the fudge factor that I find maddening, because no matter how locked down you think you have the formulate there is always this chaotic nature to it. Side note… I am superstitious and feel that Tyra Karn gives me better loot if I go back to the farm and decode my engrams there.
One of the big positives of the night is that I managed to get my first max light item. The only problem is… it is kinda a crappy one. I mean I am not a huge fan of the grenade launchers in Destiny 2, and while there are a few really good ones like Play of the Game… most of them are awkward to actually get to perform. Fighting Lion is one of those awkward to get to perform ones… and even worse it is by some quirk of exotics an energy slot weapon and not a heavy. Sure it is cool to have the damage potential of a heavy weapon in your energy slot… but I like energy weapons. When I am not rocking either The Number or Uriel’s Gift I miss it horribly… so I am largely holding onto this only because it is the highest available light item for that slot I have. I have yet to do the Luminous engrams on my Warlock and I am hoping maybe just maybe I get another max light weapon while doing that. I really need to get some nightfalls in this week because I could use the extra chance at decent gear that they offer.