When the major Destiny 2 expansion, Beyond Light, hits this September, the game will actually be getting smaller instead of larger. By a long shot. In order to stay ahead of ever-stacking technical systems, Bungie has announced that with the new expansion, many planets currently in the game will go into the “Destiny Content Vault”. Included in this vaulting of old content is Io, Titan, Mercury, Mars, and Leviathan along with all of their associated activities.
Thankfully, many players have been able to experience much of what these worlds have to offer. Between the plethora of missions, strikes, lost sectors, exotics, adventures, and more, these planets will take with them a wide variety of what made Destiny 2 so amazing in the first place. Here are five activities that you should absolutely make sure you try before these planets go away for a yet-to-be-determined amount of time.
The Whisper (Io)
In the summer of 2018, Destiny 2 was in a rough spot. The vanilla version of the game had come and gone and the two subsequent expansions, Curse of Osiris and Warmind, failed to deliver the meaningful endgame players had come to love from Destiny 1. Guardians were aching for the secret sauce of what made Destiny great, and on July 17th, 2018, they finally got it. Without saying a word, Bungie introduced a secret quest through Public Events on Io. Kill the right enemies and enter the Taken portal and you were there.
Once initiated players are teleported to the mouth of the Grove of Ulan-Tan lost sector with a 20 minute clock counting down. What follows is a race to the finish through an incredible sequence of jumping puzzles and thrilling enemy encounters. This all culminates in a nail-biting triple boss fight that requires a great deal of skill and strategy in order to overcome. Once players clear the bosses, though, they are awarded with the powerful Whisper of the Worm sniper rifle. A callback to the Black Spindle from the original game.
These days, players can simply click on the Whisper mission from the Io map to get started. If you haven’t yet, find a couple friends and dive in. Whisper represents the absolute best of what Bungie knows how to create. Tight spaces followed by grand cathedrals of rock and ledges. The shrinking and expanding nature of Whisper bolsters its grand scale and missing out on this mission would be missing out on what defines greatness in the Destiny 2 universe all together.
Ace of Spades Quest (Io, Titan)
We all loved Cayde-6. All of us. Losing him to kick off the Forsaken campaign was a blow we’ll never forget. It also, however, allowed us to get a far deeper look into the caring, joking, mischievous Guardian that he really was.
To honor his memory, Banshee-44 (the weapon vendor in the tower) sends us on a quest to remake Cayde’s Ace of Spades hand cannon. Throughout the quest line, players will carry out bounties pertaining to the archetype as well as find Cayde’s hidden stashes around the system. The quest culminates in the “Ace in the Hole” quest which unlocks a bunch of audio logs that give Cayde’s final goodbyes to all the other major characters in the story such as Zavala, Ikora, the Drifter, and more.
Cayde is gone and he does not wish to come back. There will be no Cayde-7 and we need to accept that. As a part of the catharsis, I feel it’s extremely important for all players to listen to his final will and testament and carry his cherished weapon with honor. He’s coming home, Ace. We’ll see you soon.
The Leviathan Raid
The Leviathan is many things. It has two full raids, two raid lairs, The Menagerie, and the Triumph Hall all packed into one unfathomably large ship currently consuming Nessus. But one activity stands above the rest: The Leviathan Raid. The OG. Released soon after the launch of vanilla Destiny, Leviathan defines “opulence”.
Emperor Calus, leader of the Cabal has cordially invited all Guardians to his ships so that he might better understand the nature of our being. This raid is not some incursion, or big bad boss that we have to dispel to save humanity. No. Calus is quite literally toying with us to see how strong we are and if we are worthy of his interest.
The entire ship is brimming with beautiful golden surfaces flanked by deep royal purple and stark white ornamentation. Every corner is carefully decorated with flourishing plants and succulent fruits waiting to be eaten by the Emperor. Encounters take place in steaming bath houses, lush gardens, and throne rooms overflowing with indulgences.
The rewards from the raid are also wonderful. I can’t say with a straight face that players should chase the loot, though, due to it all being sunset, but there is a possibility that you could use it as a transmog later so throw it in your vault!
In addition to gear, Leviathan also had an entire explorable underbelly that players might not ever see if they didn’t know where to look. Pulling the correct switches in the right places in the right order, gave players access to a network of vents and tunnels below the deck of the ship. Within this labyrinth were new enemies, hidden chests, and many other extremely cool secrets.
Finally, Leviathan comes from a time when raids also had Prestige versions. These encounters had extra mechanics, challenges, and much stronger enemies for players with perfect kits and high levels of communication and coordination. I will always look back on The Leviathan fondly.
The Other Side
I know I JUST said that the Leviathan raid should be your focus for that ship but bear with me. During the Season of Opulence (Summer 2019), Guardians were granted access to the Tribute Hall. This was Calus’s way of congratulating us for all of our incredible deeds that he had witnessed.
Unfortunately, Calus made a mistake. During this time, he also tried to harness the power of the Hive and apply it to his own legions. This led to us having to save the whole system from his miscalculations in the Crown of Sorrow raid.
One side-effect of his mistakes was that a tear in the dimensional fabric inside the Tribute Hall appeared. Upon entering, the familiar voice of Toland the Shattered greets guardians with a fateful warning. Once again in his ethereal glowing form, Toland is our guide towards capturing and harnessing an old power that seeks death and destruction.
The Other Side mission is one that can be carried out by up to three Guardians at once, but I HIGHLY recommend going into this one solo. Even better if you have completed the Leviathan raid beforehand.
The mission actually takes you through major encounters of the Leviathan raid, but from within the Ascendant Realm. Floating rocks, distorted gravity, and Taken enemies are everywhere. You’ll even get a special triumph if you can make it through solo without dying!
Red War Campaign
While this one seems like the most obvious, it is also the most important. The Red War represents the stepping stone from which Destiny 2 launched in 2017. It wasn’t perfect, but Ghaul was an intimidating, if not one-dimensional villain. Losing our Light at the beginning of the story was shocking and extremely jarring considering how powerful Guardians have always felt.
It was the climbing back from that loss that was so wonderful, though. In the original version of the campaign, Guardians earned the different sub-classes back one at a time through lore heavy missions that brought them in contact with shards of the broken Traveler.
The Red War is also the only time in the game where players get to experience the Almighty, the giant Red Legion ship that recently crashed into Earth during Season of the Worthy. There was always a great opportunity for the Almighty to become an incredible patrol zone akin to the Dreadnaught from the Taken King expansion of Destiny, but alas, it was not meant to be.
If you somehow haven’t yet gotten to the Red War campaign, please. I urge you. Go talk to Amanda in the hanger and boot it up. It’s not terribly long, but there are some incredible sequences on every planet across the system and you will learn so much about what it means to be a Guardian.
There is an endless list of other experiences that all Guardians should try before Beyond Light drops this fall. It’s an unfortunate truth that not everyone will get to everything. Please, if you have the fireteam, make sure to try to get into every raid and every lair. Some of the encounters have some wild mechanics and all Guardians are better for having conquered them.
Do your best to do as many Adventures as possible. These are short mini missions that give insight into some crazy lore implications not seen anywhere else in the game.
Finally, I highly recommend completing as many exotic quests as possible before the expansion hits. Bungie has stated that no exotics will be lost in the vaulting. For now, many are tied to fun and interesting quests with novel locations. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that this will be the case later. History shows us that many will just be put into the general loot pool. This makes them harder to acquire later in a much less interesting fashion.
Best of luck in completing all of these tasks, Guardians. Destiny is a wide, wonderful game, and we’re far from done with new content for this season as well. There’s a lot to do and many Guardians to do it with. Eyes up!