The weekend vendor and pick up a sweet scout rifle from Destiny

 Every Friday is a holiday when you’re a Destiny fan. That’s when Xur, Agent of the Nine, appears in a random part of the game’s Tower social hub to peddle his rare weapons and armor. As long as you have enough Strange Coins, a rare currency that can be earned by completing Weekly Heroic Strikes, Xur has the goods for you. Destiny power leveling also can help you.

Xur deals in Destiny’s so-called “exotic” gear. In a game ruled by random loot drops from virtually any scenario, exotics are the most sought-after of them all. They’re also the only class of gear in the game with usage restrictions; namely, you can only have one exotic armor piece and one exotic weapon equipped at any given moment.

Xur’s in the Tower from 4 a.m. ET on Friday to 4 a.m. ET on Sunday. This week, he’s very easy to find next to the Crucible quartermaster. When you spawn in the Tower, just run straight across the courtyard and down the stairs. Xur’s on the left side of the first room that you come to, before the second set of stairs.

  • Mk. 44 Stand Asides (Titan boots) – If you’re a Titan that loves the Striker subclass and uses the Shoulder Charge attack, this one’s for you. The key upgrade, “Be Somewhere Else,” boosts the duration of Shoulder Charge by a few seconds. There’s also a separate upgrade that increases the Titan’s heavy ammo carry capacity. These boots require an extremely specific build, since Shoulder Charge is an optional upgrade that can only be equipped at the expense of other upgrades. For some tips on creating a Striker upgrade setup that works well with Shoulder Charge, check out this great build guide from Reddit user Eterya. Cost: 13 Strange Coins
  • Skull of Dire Ahamkara (Warlock helmet) – This handy helmet for the Warlock’s Voidwalker subclass comes with three key upgrades. The star is “Delusions of Grandeur,” which reduces the damage take while the Voidwalker fires off a Nova Bomb super (Nova Bomb has a brief wind-up animation that leaves the Warlock vulnerable). The same upgrade also increases the efficacy of the Energy Drain melee attack’s “siphon” capabilities (which reduces grenade recharge time). The two other unique upgrades are complementary; one increases the distance of grenade throws and the other replenishes extra Super energy with every grenade kill. Cost: 13 Strange Coins
  • MIDA Multi-Tool (scout rifle) – Scout rifles are Destiny’s most potent medium-to-long-range primary weapon, and MIDA Multi-Tool is designed to facilitate putting extra distance between players and their foes. The upgrade that the rifle is named for boosts the user’s movement speed (you walk as fast as the standard sprint) and adds a hair-trigger for increased rate of fire (scout rifles are semi-automatic). MIDA Multi-Tool also comes with the “Third Eye” upgrade, which keeps the on-screen radar active when you aim down the sights. This is definitely one of the better exotic weapons in the game, even if you’re generally not a fan of scout rifles. Cost: 23 Strange Coins
  • Exotic chestpiece engram – Destiny’s engrams are unidentified gear that spit out a random item when “decoded” by the Cryptarch vendor in the Tower. Xur occasionally sells exotic engrams in exchange for another rare currency, “Motes of Light.” It’s always a roll of the dice when you buy an exotic engram. Given that Destiny’s next expansion, House of Wolves, is out on May 19, it’s probably a good idea to hang onto your Motes and wait to see what the DLC brings. Cost: 23 Motes of Light
  • Exotic Shard – This crafting material was introduced alongside Destiny’s first expansion pack, The Dark Below. One is required to fully upgrade any exotic gear, weapon and armor both. You can always get a “free” exotic shard when you dismantling an exotic, but Xur sells them every week. Cost: 7 Strange Coins

In addition to the gear, Xur also peddles a rotating stock of consumables every week. For this week, he’s got Auto Rifle Telemetry, Shotgun Cannon Telemetry and Machine Gun Telemetry (temporarily increases the XP gains on the designated weapon class) in bundles of five, for 1 Strange Coin apiece; a Plasma Drive that boosts the speed and durability of rare Sparrows (Destiny’s speeder bikes), for 23 Strange Coins; an Emerald Coil, which works the same as a Plasma Drive but also adds a green contrail to the Sparrow, also for 23 Strange Coins; and bundles of five Heavy Ammo Synthesis (ammo packs, y’all), for 1 Strange Coin.

If you want to dive even deeper on the relative value of Xur’s offering this week, head over to the Destiny subreddit. User aWrySharK provides weekly analysis that breaks down the stat rolls on each armor piece, complete with recommendations covering what’s worth it and what’s not. Check out this week’s rundown right here.

Release date set for fall 2015 or early 2016?

Bungie confirmed back in November, as cited by Cinema Blend, that they were already producing the next game in the “Destiny” franchise. Many fans have speculated that the company was referring to “Destiny 2” and not a spin-off title or a DLC.

According to the website, Bungie is moving with a 10-year plan for “Destiny.” It is not clear if this 10-year plan would revolve around just one game or if several titles would fit together to tell one large story.

IBTimes reported that “Destiny 2” will allow players to move their characters and progression, including their gear, from the first game to the next. If the report is accurate, then this would make the transition more transparent and seamless while staying true to the 10-year plan for the game’s evolving storyline.

There is no official announcement regarding the release of “Destiny 2,” but the popular rumor spreading across the Internet is that the second game will come out in 2016 since “The House of Wolves,” the latest DLC for the first title, will be released in the middle of 2015.

However, Venture Capital Post surmises that “Destiny 2” may come out earlier than expected. According to the report, game publisher Activision has announced that players can look forward to another “Destiny”-related title coming out this fall. With no official word on a spin-off title or DLC after “The House of Wolves,” it very well may be “Destiny 2.”

Launching “Destiny 2” just a year after the first game may not be an entirely bad move for the company (the original “Destiny” was released in September last year). Annual/ bi-annual releases have worked for the “Halo” and “Call of Duty” franchises, and it may be the same model that Bungie is looking forward to with “Destiny 2.”

Neither Bungie nor Activision have confirmed the rumored release dates for “Destiny 2.”

Upcoming Nightfall And Heroic Strikes Detailed From Destiny

Reddit user Megamanexe4 has been up to his usual data mining activities in an attempt to try and find out more about upcoming gameplay details for Destiny. Such is his reliable nature, he has managed to turn up the Strike missions for next week, both of which we will detail below for you.

Though despite his efforts, it would appear that he can no longer get accurate returns on predicting Xur’s upcoming stock, this is thought to be caused by alleged changes in how Bungie operates Xur now. A translation from his original post, which is in Japanese, reads “Apparently he can’t query for single items in Xur inventory anymore, whenever he tries the server just returns the same items from this week, all he can do now is predict the Exotic Engram and some of the items in the Upgrade Exotic list.”

The translation goes on to talk about his thoughts on the recent difficulties, saying “He’s not sure if this happens because Bungie is controlling Xur directly or because of the server side changes that have been implemented recently, but if this happens again next week, or the following, he’ll most likely be unable to predict Xur anymore.”

Now, regarding those Strikes. Next week fireteams of 1 to 3 players can take to the Ocean of Storms on the Moon Nightfall Strike where they will take part in a Very Hard difficulty Strike Mission. As per usual, players can expect modifiers to be in play, this time around there are the Epic, Nightfall, Arc Burn, Lightswitch and Angry modifiers in effect.

On the other end of the spectrum in the Weekly Heroic Strike, players will be taking to the Ocean of Storms on the Moon for a Hard difficulty Strike Mission that will have only the Heroic and Arc Burn modifiers in effect. Rewards for this mission include Strange Coins, Cryptarch Engrams, Vanguard Marks and Vanguard Reputation.

Some of the items in the Upgrade Exotic list (rest of the items such as Exotic Gear are similar to what Xur had on 20th March, 2015):

27th, March 2015:

 

3rd April 2015:

Next Week’s Heroic and Nightfall Strikes:

Destiny Share Must Deliver In Its ‘House of Wolves’ Expansion

Despite being all anyone could talk about in 2014, Destiny chatter has been relatively quiet so far this year. After the December release of The Dark Below, once that content was complete, all that was left was the eternal grind and periodic events like the Iron Banner. But now, we’re moving closer toward the spring release of the game’s next expansion, House of Wolves, and with it, there are fresh things to discuss.

House of Wolves represents the second half of the season pass DLC for the original game, and is the last officially announced piece of content for Destiny as of the moment. If a leaked schedule is to be believed, Destiny is planning a massive “Comet” expansion this fall, with more DLC to follow after that, and Destiny 2 the next year. But for now, we only have the Wolves.

It can be expected that the amount of content won’t differ that much from The Dark Below, which contained three story missions, one Strike (two for PlayStation), a Raid, three multiplayer maps, new weapons and armor, and a new level cap of 32. Destiny power leveling make upgrade more easy. There may be a tiny bit of variance, but it’s a safe bet the $20 DLC won’t contain anything truly earth-shattering like a new planet or spaceship dogfights. But within this general framework, there are still a lot of things Bungie needs to get right, improving on both the original game, and the last bit of DLC.

 

More (Any) Cutscenes

One of the more disappointing parts of The Dark Below was that despite the fact that there was a new storyline to pursue, the rise of Crota, it was told in such a limited fashion. The new missions are given via a new Tower vendor, who is the only character given any voicework at all in the expansion. Past that, there isn’t so much as a solitary cutscene before, during, or after any mission. Destiny needed to improve its storytelling from the initial release, but no one imagined it would actually get worse with DLC. Given that the Wolves storyline involves the Awoken Queen of the Reef, I have to imagine this will be rectified, but please, give more than one character some lines.

 

Tower Conversations

I previously wrote a lengthy post about how Destiny is in desperate need of a “lore patch” to improve its world-building and storytelling. The list of proposed changes was quite extensive, and I wouldn’t expect all of them to be implemented here, but maybe just…this one? Right now, all Tower vendors are simply that, vendors. All the characters you can interact with exist only to sell you something while uttering one liners, and the only other time you hear their voices is out in the wild when they give you eight-word bounty assignments or brief you on Strikes (for the five hundredth time).

 

No Exotic Wipes

As we move into gameplay, it’s clear that the biggest mistake that needs to be rectified from The Dark Below is that under no circumstances, should XP be wiped from gear. Despite there being “new” versions of exotics that can be taken to a new max level, there is absolutely no reason to reset their progress back to zero after a trade-in, wiping away potentially dozens of hours of use in an instant, and forcing players to now start from scratch for a third time on each of them. The solution is obvious, and should have been the last time around.

 

Less Xur Responsibility

While I like the concept of Xur, the weekend-only, “randomized” vendor, the game has become too centered on him. Xur now sells 1) exotic armor and weapons 2) exotic engrams 3) exotic shards used to upgrade exotics 4) ammo synths and 5) exotic trade-in upgrades. It’s just too much. Allow players to upgrade any exotic at their respective vanguard, and take the not-needed randomness out of waiting for Xur to stock the right upgrade.

 

More Fun Goose Chase

One thing I thought The Dark Below did right was its rather fun post-story mission bounty quest that sent players around to fill an urn with dead Hive, culminating in a challenging final mission and a (somewhat) useful gear reward. We need more cool little treasure hunts like this, and more actual exotic bounties to boot. They’re mysterious, challenging and engaging all at the same time, and Destiny needs more of them (but no mandatory PvP objectives please).

 

Don’t Negate Crota’s End

This is an offshoot of the “progress wipe” complaint, where players who had played the Vault of Glass on repeat for weeks suddenly found their efforts pointless after the release of The Dark Below. On day one, the vendors started selling Legendary gear as good as or better than their own. Given that Crota’s End has been even more of a slog as players try to reach the new cap, there are going to be riots in the streets if vendor items immediately outclass all their raid gear yet again.

 

Challenges, Not Brick Walls

Crota’s End also brought with it the death of “challenge,” replacing it instead with “difficulty,” which sounds similar, but isn’t. The hard mode of Crota’s End was indeed hard, but not in a fun way. Rather Bungie simply overleveled all enemies to the point where the biggest challenge was simply that players would die in a few hits and the Hive’s health was now best measured in minutes. The Vault of Glass has a much more thoughtfully built hard mode, and it would be nice to return to that philosophy rather than just turning a dial up to eleven and throwing players into a thresher.

 

Creative Bosses

To date, nearly every single boss in Destiny is a just giant version of an existing enemy. Even if the battles themselves are serviceable, the lack of creativity in design is just astounding. If House of Wolves debuts and the bosses are either giant Dregs or Shanks, I’m going to lose it. I’m not asking for Zelda-level creativity here, but please, design something that isn’t just an existing enemy model scaled up by 400%.

 

No PlayStation-Only Strike

First Xbox had five strikes to PlayStation’s six. Then it was six to eight. Now, if the trend continues, it will be seven to ten, in favor of Sony. In a playlist with so few options to begin with, this creates a repetitive, empirically worse experience for one console and it’s only getting more pronounced as time goes on. I may be biased because I play Strikes more than anything else, but it’s getting tiresome that this exclusive deal is locking a great deal of quality content away from a huge portion of the playerbase.

I could probably keep going, but I want to keep my expectations at least somewhat reasonable here. Feel free to add in your own suggestions in the comments, and we’ll probably hear something official from Bungie soon enough.

Destiny share how to solo Weekly Heroics again

Bungie thinks that they’re doing what their players want, but that couldn’t be further from the truth after Destiny’s last patch. The update removed the option to solo one of the games hardest recurring challenges, with tough players now having to partner up with random folk to take on Weekly Heroics. The good news is that there’s a workaround for now. The bad news is that it probably won’t be around for long.

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Right now you’re forced to enter matchmaking when attempting to take on Weekly Heroic, which is great if you and a bunch of friends found it hard to pair up in the past. It’s not so great if you’re used to tacking them alone, as this option is no longer available. You can, however, use the system clock on your console to somehow bypass the need to join other random players, as described in the video below.

You won’t be able to keep your friend out of your game (if you’re anti-social like that) but at least you’re not forced to pair up with other players if yo don’t want to. That’s ultimately what Destiny power leveling want right now, except that Bungie keeps implementing half measures. Yes, the community demanded matchmaking for Weekly strikes. But the same vocal group didn’t explicitly ask for solo strikes to be removed as a consequence.

Problem is, Bungie will probably find a way to get you back to playing by their rules in no time, so take advantage of this little trick until then. Note that if you’re on Xbox One, this won’t work at all. The console locks you out of the system clock if you’re connected to Xbox Live, so you’re out of luck on that front. But for the other three platforms, you should be fine for now.

If you’re still exploring Destiny’s limited galaxy, what would you like to see more of? Or do you just want Bungie to be less restrictive?

Destiny: Finally Adds Mobile Vault Management

With the app, players can either ‘Equip’, ‘Move to Vault’, or ‘Take from Vault’ all with a few button presses. Taking from and moving to the vault can be done at any time, but equipping requires the player not be in a combat space. In the case of consumables and items with a number count, the app and website will ask how many of the item players want to transfer, meaning players can grab a small portion of their heavy ammo stack.destiny

While it may not seem like it at first glance, this is a big change for regular Destiny players, especially those with multiple characters. Having to pop in and out of the Tower – while waiting through those agonizing loading screens – has been a huge time waster, but no longer!

Although it’s unclear what took Bungie so long to implement a Vault management feature, the good news is it’s finally here. Having to manage three characters’ inventories and weapons was, admittedly, a slight inconvenience but there was nothing worse than jumping into a raid and realizing you left an important weapon behind. Now, you can pop open the app and put that gun right into your inventory.

Overall, it’s been a pretty big week for Destiny players thanks to this new feature and update 1.1.1.However, with so much time having passed without meaningful updates we’re sure plenty have already moved on. They’ll see these new features and think, “I wish that had been there when I was playing.”

What do you think of the Vault management feature? What other features would you like to see added to the Destiny app?

Destiny Share “House of Wolves” May Add a New Social Space

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There has been so much information coming out on Destiny‘s “House of Wolves” expansion that I feel like I’ve already played it. But, that hasn’t stopped Reddit user megamanexe4, the person behind the previous info leaks, from posting even more uncovered data onto the internet.

Apparently, megamanexe4 found an image that seems to indicate a new social hub will be coming with the “House of Wolves” DLC. The image shows that a new location in The Reef will be called “Reef Social Space,” possibly meaning a new area that would be similar to The Tower. No other descriptions on the location were found.

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What do you think of the mysterious new space? Would you want another non-combat area in Destiny? Let us know in the comments.

Destiny Share Vault Transfers Can Even Be Done In The Middle Of Combat

Bungie rolled out an update for Destiny’s companion app for Android, iOS and the web today that makes managing your in-game inventory a lot easier. Using the app, players can now swap items from their Vault between their characters on the fly, making it much less time confusing to, say, move your Ice Breaker around.

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Destiny power leveling companion app now has the option to move items to and take items from the Vault. App users will just need to go into their gear and inventory tabs to move things around; the option to transfer items to and from the Vault can’t be accessed through the app’s Tower Map, however.

Bungie’s Chris Gossett envisioned a few scenarios in which that new addition will be particularly helpful. “Oops, you’re halfway through the Daily Story Mission and realize you need that Fusion Rifle with Void,” Gossett said. “No worries, it’s just a couple clicks away.”

Or maybe you’re “on the bus and want to manage gear between a couple characters. Use the app to move stuff around and jump right into the action as soon as you get home.”

Today’s Bungie weekly update also has details on a new type of multiplayer feature: Inferno playlists. The new playlists, which hit the Crucible on March 3, changes how some Control games work by removing the tracker that shows the location of nearby enemy players. Inferno playlists also have simplified scoring in an effort to emphasize kills and objectives. There’s less heavy ammo in Inferno, as players will only get one drop per match and dead players won’t drop heavy ammo bricks. Finally, in Inferno Control games, capture points are captured faster.

“We’re hoping this change will provoke players to rely even more on certain skills like map knowledge, teamwork, good positioning, successfully flanking opponents, using jumps to set up ambushes, catching audio cues like footsteps, and using friendly nameplate UI as clues toward enemy position,” said designer Leif Johansen. “Lack of Tracker should also indirectly reduce the effectiveness of Supers and Heavies, and make the mode more about basic gunplay.”