Destiny - What to Do After Level 20 - Prima Games

Destiny – What to Do After Level 20

by Prima Games Staff

There has been a large surge of new players roaming around the Destiny universe lately. We’re not just talking about low level Guardians who might have other high level characters, either. We’re talking about players with Grimoire scores that are so low they have to be brand new to the game. It makes sense, with everyone in the Destiny loop believing that The Taken King will be the best content that game has seen so far, there are bound to more gamers joining the fight with each passing day.

The question that many of those new players have, is what should they do when they hit level 20? They’ve worked their way through the story missions (non DLC), and now they are left wondering where to go from here. They aren’t a high enough level to do the Nightfall, or even the Weekly Heroic for that matter. They definitely can’t step into the Prison of Elders, and Raids require a six-person Fireteam and Guardians in at least the level 25 range.

We’ve made this trip several times ourselves, so today we wanted to organize our thoughts on how you can find new and exciting things to participate in, all the while gaining those light levels that will unlock even more content.

Assess Your Light Level

Viewing Your Gear in Destiny

From level 1 to level 20 you are only worried about XP. This is earned through bounties, in the Crucible, and by completing story missions. When you hit level 20 your rank is no longer tied to this XP system, but is instead increased by a mechanic called Light.

Each piece of armor that you are wearing can hold a minimum and maximum amount of Light. Typically when you first get the armor, the Light will be at its minimum. As you gain XP (it’s now tied to upgrading your weapons and armor) you will unlock upgrades for that armor, and those upgrades will increase your Light. When you calculate the total amount of Light you have between each of your four armor pieces that will tell you the rank of your Guardian.

We’re not going to go through all of the Light levels here, but you can visit our Light level guide to see where you stand, and how much you require to rank up.

Increase Your Light Level

The Bounty Tracker in Destiny

As we’ve discussed, increasing your rank beyond level 20 is all about the Light that your armor can hold. Rare armor (blue) can’t hold as much as Legendary (purple), so your goal should be to get your hands on as much Legendary armor as possible. This can happen through random drops, but it can also happen by ranking up your Vanguard reputation and earning Vanguard Marks. This will allow you to purchase better armor from either the Hunter, Titan or Warlock Vanguard, depending on what type of character you are using.

The easiest way to increase your Vanguard reputation is by visiting the Bounty Tracker at the Tower each day, picking up the bounties and completing them. Some will be difficult, but others will be as simple as beating a story mission, or killing 20 enemies without them dealing damage to you. After you go on a Patrol on one of the four planets and knock a few of these bounties off, you can return them to the Bounty Tracker at the Tower. When you turn them in you will see your Vanguard reputation increase.

The other thing you should be doing is participating in the Strike playlists that you can find when you are in Orbit. There are quite a few of them, so just choose the highest one you can possibly get into. This tends to be a maximum of three levels higher than what you are currently at. For example, if you are a level 25 Guardian, you can get into the Vanguard Dragon Strike playlist (level 28), and each Strike that you complete will give you six Vanguard Marks (and a shot at Legendary and Exotic gear). The goal here is to earn a total of 75 so that you can visit your Hunter, Titan or Warlock Vanguard and buy a new piece of Legendary (purple) armor.

Once you have a full set of purple armor on (or three pieces of Legendary and one Exotic), you then have to find armor that has a maximum Light level of 42. Either that or you have to upgrade your current Legendary armor to 42 pieces of Light each. You can read more about that in the link above regarding your Light level, as explaining it here would be skipping ahead quite a few steps.

Visit the Prison of Elders

You can head to the Reef the moment you reach level 20, but the activities there are intended for those who are of a higher rank. Typically you’ll want to be at least level 28 to be competitive in those modes. If you have managed to grind your way to that level by doing bounties and participating in Strikes, your next objective will be to complete the House of Wolves story missions. We won’t go into details here, but you can read our full walkthrough on the House of Wolves at your leisure.

When you have completed the House of Wolves story missions you can then enter the Prison of Elders, and the lowest level activity is 28. Sure, you can get in there at level 25, but it will be very difficult if you don’t have two higher level Guardians to carry you. The reasons you want to do this after you hit 28 and have completed the House of Wolves story missions are important.

First of all, when the House of Wolves story arc is done, you will get a Treasure Key for your troubles. This key will unlock a chest after you are done the level 28 Prison of Elders, and that chest will give you an Exotic. If you don’t already have one, it is an easy way to get your first. It won’t drop an Exotic every time you run the Prison of Elders, just your first time in the activity on each of your three characters. As for why you want to be level 28, that’s just about ensuring that you can be competitive in the mode.

The Daily, Weekly and Nightfall

The Hall of Guardians in Destiny

As soon as you hit level 28 or 29 there is a whole batch of new activities that you can take part in. The first is the Daily Heroic Mission. This will just be a story mission that is a much higher level than you saw the first time you completed it, and it may even have some modifiers. The key here is that it gives you some XP to rank up your weapons and armor, and you get an Engram for you troubles. This Engram could contain an item (purple armor) that helps you increase your rank further.

The second activity is the Weekly Heroic Strike, which typically isn’t that bad. The reason for this is that automatic matchmaking is turned on, so even if you don’t have friends that play you will get teamed up with other random Guardians. If you can do this mission on the hardest difficulty, go for it. This will earn you nine Strange Coins, the currency that Xur accepts for his Exotics when he shows up at the Tower each Friday morning. Buying things from Xur is a great way to bump your rank up, as well as get your hands on some pretty awesome weapons.

The Nightfall is a completely different beast. Some weeks it’s extremely hard for almost anyone, and other weeks it’s fairly straightforward. The reason you want to complete this activity is because of the rewards. You’ll get 500 Vanguard reputation for finishing it, plus you get a crack at some really great, including an Exotic. You can even earn the Gjallarhorn here, which is easily the most sought after weapon in Destiny.

A Real Life Guardian

Once you can complete the daily and weekly activities, you’re pretty much on your way to being the worst nightmare of any Fallen Captain in the galaxy. If you want to keep progressing you’ll need to keep working through the Prison of Elders, although you’ll be doing the level 32, 34 and 35. You’ll also want to take part in the Vault of Glass and Crota’s End Raids, each of which will drop specific weapons that you can’t find anywhere else.

Truth be told, there is a lot of content that you have to work through. Far too much for us to detail in just one article (that’s why you should visit our Destiny game hub). If you’ve come this far, however, you likely need to spend some time over on the Destiny Reddit. There are a lot of ever-changing, behind the scenes mechanics that you’ll need to keep up with, and you’ll find no shortage of players who are eager to help you out.

That right there pretty much brings this full circle. Once you are hanging out around or above level 30 you are bound to bump into players who are level 1 and 2, and with Grimoire scores that indicate they are in fact new to the game. Just like someone pointed out that Gold Chest for you, be sure to take a minute to slay that Knight that is a wet paper bag to a level 34, but a brick wall to someone new. Pay it forward. Teach someone a cheese spot, or help a random kill one of the wolves. We all need to work together, because when Oryx shows up, all bets are off.

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