Although common sense would suggest that Bungie intended for the Crota's End Raid in Destiny to be more difficult than the Vault of Glass, it would appear Guardians found a way to thwart that plan. At least in the Destiny universe, it's called cheesing, and it can make defeating Crota extremely easy if you're up for it.
Today, we're going to provide you with a legitimate walkthrough on how to take down Crota the intended way, but we'll also make note of a few shortcuts in case you're looking to blast through this as quickly as possible.
This is the first place you'll be after leaving the Orbit screen, and it's by far the easiest part of the Raid. Just have your fireteam members walk into the circle until a bridge forms in front of you. When it's in place, cross it and drop through the hole to reach the next phase.
When you land, you'll see a lamp off in the distance in front of you. Turn to your left and walk until you reach a wall, then turn right and move along the wall until you reach a door on the left. Inside that door will be a chest that can contain Radiant Materials, a Crota's End class item or a random Exotic Weapon. You can only get this chest once per week, and it may not spawn in that door, but instead another one further along the same wall. To simplify things, check the door we described, then kill yourself if it's not there. Keep doing this until you see the chest spawn in that room. Again, this can only be done once per week, with the week resetting Tuesday at 4:00 AM EST.
With the chest out of the way, you'll need to get busy making your way through the darkness. The kicker here is that as you move from one lamp to another, a modifier called the Weight of Darkness will be applied to every member of your fireteam, and it can stack up to 10 times. This is lifted by moving to and standing next to one of the lamps. When the Weight of Darkness is lifted, make your way to the next lamp, fighting off hoards of enemies as you go.
Tip: Lamps can only absorb so much of the Weight of Darkness, after which point they explode. You need to be gone when that happens.
After the final lamp there will be another circle on the ground, not unlike the one you dealt with at the beginning of the Raid. Stand in the circle to form a bridge, then have your fireteam make their way to the light. Of course you'll have to deal with Knights and Ogres, but as long as one member of your team makes it to the end of the light, the entire fireteam will progress to the next portion of the raid.
How to Cheese It: If you have a skilled member of your fireteam running the Hunter class and Bladedancer subclass, have them go through this part of the Raid alone. The rest of your team can wait at the point that you first enter the Abyss. The Hunter can use the various ways he or she can go invisible to move from one lamp to another, completely avoiding most of the enemies that a full fireteam would have to deal with. Once they progress through this portion of the Raid, the entire fireteam will be reunited at the next phase.
File this under complicated rather than difficult unless you cheese it, which just makes it downright easy.
The area is divided into two platforms that can be connected by forming a bridge. The bridge is formed by standing in one of the two circles that sit on either end of it. Flanking each circle are totems, one on the left side of the circle and one on the right. On the starting side of the bridge will be a Swordbearer, and on the far side will be a Gatekeeper that can only be killed with the sword.
To begin, one player must step into the circle to begin forming the bridge, an action that will trigger some enemies to spawn. While one fireteam member sits in the circle, two more players must stand next to the totems on either side of it - one player on the left totem and one on the right. This will prevent the totems from exploding. At the same time, your fireteam needs to take out the Swordbearer, timing it so he falls just as the bridge is formed. One player must pick up the sword, then cross the bridge and kill the Gatekeeper with it. The sword will only last for one minute, which is why timing is important.
Tip: Only someone carrying the sword can cross the bridge. Anyone else will be killed instantly.
Now for the fun part, which is repeating the process two more times until three members of your fireteam are at the far side of the bridge. When this happens, those three members will split up, with one standing in the circle on that side and the other two at the totems to the left and right. The three (or however many remaining players there are) will focus only on killing the Swordbearer, then crossing the bridge to meet up with their team.
When all fireteam members are across the bridge safely (haha), two Ogres will spawn, as well as a bunch of other creatures. Take out the Ogres to clear the area and open a large central door.
How to Cheese It: As soon as you enter the area, have your fireteam members enter the large room and climb up on top of some pillars at the back. Have one fireteam member trigger the enemies by entering the circle outside the room, at which point they will join the rest of the fireteam on top of the pillars. Stay there for a few moments, causing all the enemies (except the Swordbearer) to disappear to the opposite side of the bridge.
Your fireteam can now head out to the area with the circle and totems, but have each of them sit on one of the pillars just before the bridge. This will keep them safe from the Swordbearer. Focus your fire and attention on the enemies across the bridge, and eventually the two Ogres will spawn. Once they are both dead, all members of your fireteam can cross the bridge without having to carry the sword. Once you reach the other side, have each member of the team jump off the cliff and kill themselves before starting the final portion of the Gatekeeper section.
When the big door opens, there is a limited amount of time to make it to the next chest. In order to get there, have your fireteam quickly eliminate a gauntlet of Thralls and Cursed Thralls, as well as Shriekers. The second Shrieker must be killed in order to lower an invisible barrier, at which point one member of your team must quickly go through door and open the chest. This will allow the remaining members of your squad to catch up and claim the chest loot as well. If the first player doesn't make it through the door in time it will close before anyone can claim the Radiant Materials inside.
Ir Yût, the Deathsinger
In our opinion, this is easily the most difficult part of the Raid, although a strong fireteam of people who know what they're doing will make things much easier.
As you enter the area there will be a staircase to the left and another to the right. These lead to the Deathsinger, who oddly enough requires you to do a few things before you get the privilege of killing it. Initially, have one member of your fireteam go up each set of stairs (one person left and one right), with the remaining four players splitting into teams of two and heading to the platforms in the opposite corners of the room.
Tip: If any player on your fireteam is attacked by a Hive enemy on the bottom level, or even attacks an enemy on the bottom level, a three-minute timer will kick in, and the Deathsinger must be dead before it expires. The timer will show on your HUD during the final 30 seconds.
The players who go up the stairs only need to peek in at the Deathsinger, which will cause a Wizard to emerge on each side. Retreat back to the platforms with your teammates, then use Solar damage to take each of the Wizards down.
With the Wizards down, have half your team go in the left door and half in the right door. Two members should focus on crowd control on either side, while the third takes out a Shrieker, granting access to the Deathsinger. Once the Deathsinger is exposed, have everyone hit it with everything they have. After the Deathsinger is dead, take some time to kill all the Knights lurking about, eventually finishing this portion of the raid.
How to Cheese It: None that we know of. Get to work, Guardian.
Crota, Son of Oryx
You'll start in the room that the Deathsinger previously occupied, and you need to have every member of your fireteam stand next to the crystal in the middle. This will trigger the doorways to close via an invisible barrier, and enemies will spawn on the opposite side. After a short time the barriers will come down, at which point you must defeat the onslaught of enemies. This is best done by having three team members on either side.
During the battle against Crota, there will be a modifier that stops members of your fireteam from regenerating any health. This is called the Presence of Crota. If a member dies, Crota will summon his oversoul, at which point your entire fireteam will be killed in 10 seconds. You can try to fight the oversoul, but it's a very tall order. If you really need to regenerate health, take note of the Chalice of Light that is underneath Crota. Holding this will regenerate your health, but we found it best to just not get hurt.
Now for the fun part - killing Crota. This is done by having members of your fireteam bring his shield down, a task that can be accomplished with normal weapons. When the shield goes down, Crota will drop to one knee, allowing one player to approach and attack him with a sword that can be obtained from a Swordbearer. It's important that the player who has the sword coordinates with their team to ensure that Crota falls to one knee just before they attack, since he'll only remain down for about five seconds. Make sure your sword carrier is away from Crota before he gets back up, otherwise they'll die, Crota will summon his oversoul, and you get the idea. Just keep bringing Crota's shield down and attack him with the sword until he dies.
How to Cheese It: There is a way, but replace cheese with the word exploit. While we don't mind helping players find inventive ways to beat difficult tasks, exploits (such as messing with your Internet connection) are a little too far out there for our comfort, and will most likely be patched sooner than later. Just take Crota down in the manner that we described above. It's honestly not much more difficult than the exploit.