Unless you are looking to earn the Realmwalker Title or complete the Legendary Ley Liner weekly challenge then the rewards offered by this activity aren’t worth the extra effort.
Well, this is awkward.
I’m not really used to a guide being done so quickly. So how about that Traveler, huh? Still round. Look, I need to stall for time because Google’s analytics system basically requires me to hit 500 words to even compete. While I stretch this one-sentence answer out, why don’t we talk about difficulty and how Bungie can approach activities like Master raids or Grandmaster Nightfalls going forward?
In all honesty, I’ve never been against hard content in Destiny 2, but I feel Bungie and the playerbase have suffered a disconnect. When a lot of us say we want “difficult content” it usually doesn’t mean artificially raising the Power Level. This was an issue seen in the Master Vault of Glass, as the encounters themselves really didn’t alter outside of stuffing in a few Champions and making every enemy’s damage overly oppressive. Even though this produces a challenge, it’s not the type a lot of users crave.
See, there’s no real enjoyment in the idea of hiding behind a piece of cover and praying that one bit of splash damage doesn’t obliterate your health bar. It’s not challenging us to think outside of the box or approach encounters differently. Instead, we are put through an endurance test where the only mechanics that truly matter are our Guardian’s Power Level, when you use your Super, and if you have Champion mods equipped. Sure, we have to slightly alter our playstyle, but it’s an adaptation brought on by fear.
Fear that one lone Vandal will instantly kill you if you step out of a Well of Radiance. Fear that if we do not swap Titan Banner Shields at the exact right time everyone will instantly die. Fear that if we don’t instantly kill a Champion it will regenerate all of its health in the blink of an eye. This has been a puzzling design decision ever since Grandmaster Nightfalls and other difficult activities were introduced. Instead of forcing players to deal with new mechanics or unique modifiers, we are fed the same version of tricky PVE content.
This direction gets even odder when you realize that Bungie has done terrific and tough endgame content before in the original Destiny. Take the Hard Mode variant of Destiny’s King’s Fall raid. While the enemies are a bit tougher, the entire difficulty setting isn’t solely defined by their ability to kill players quickly. Instead, new mechanics in every major encounter were introduced, forcing players to adapt and learn. Doing so not only crafted a fresh experience but allowed players to really feel a sense of challenge. Players could master these additional layers of difficulty without leaning heavily on the hide and seek design we see in a lot of activities now.
To be clear, I am not against Bungie raising the Power Level in endgame activities from time to time. In fact, it’s nice to sometimes put your perfectly tuned build against slightly beefier baddies. But this shouldn’t be the be-all-end-all focus for challenging PVE content. The difficulty of content shouldn’t solely be determined by Power Levels, regardless of how hardcore of a player someone is. Make us work for our loot Bungie, but I’d rather not feel like a ran a marathon because I spent 20 minutes dodging Fikrul, the Fanatic’s insta-kill electricity field.
Oh look at the word count, we’ve reached our limit for now. I suppose it’s time to say goodbye until the next Destiny 2 guide. See you around the Tower, Guardian.
Seriously though, just complete the Legendary Astral Alignment once and never play it again like the rest of us.