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Destiny 2: The Final Shape Legendary Campaign Tips (No Spoilers)

What you need to know about Bungie's latest campaign effort.

Having just finished the new Final Shape campaign, I can thankfully say that it’s one of Bungie’s best. Since this is the conclusion to a ten-year story, they really had to bring it together and it seems like they did. Fantastic missions, engaging cutscenes I actually didn’t want to skip, and a great balance of challenge and reward make this one of the best experiences I’ve had in Destiny.

At one point it felt like Bungie had given up on campaigns entirely (Beyond Light was and still is a disgracefully bad experience to play through), but then Witch Queen reminded me how good they could be. Then, of course, Lightfall happened. And after a six-month delay, tons of controversial behind-the-scenes events, and what felt like the longest season ever, it’s nice to say it was worth it.

In this article I’ll provide a few tips, answer a couple questions, and give an overview of a few things I found interesting about the Final Shape campaign. Let’s get right to it with a discussion of what difficulty you should play it on.

This guide contains no major story spoilers. There are spoilers for mechanics, subclasses, and perhaps some very minor story spoilers related to those things. But no boss names, nothing about the final mission, and no post-raid information is included here.

Legendary vs Normal Difficulty

The first question you’ll probably have in The Final Shape is “should I do legendary or normal campaign?” Well, the answer is pretty simple. If you plan to keep playing after completing the campaign (especially if you want to do the raid or other endgame content), you’ll definitely want to do legendary. When you complete the campaign on legendary difficulty, you’re rewarded with a full set of 1960 armor (enough to raise you to high enough level to do most endgame content) and a choice between two new Exotic armor pieces for your class. Normal difficulty is much easier, obviously, but it doesn’t give nearly as many rewards.

Difficulty Scaling (Solo vs Fireteam)

One thing we don’t usually see in Destiny is content that scales up in difficulty depending on how many players are in the activity. Usually you have a set difficulty and that’s it. But with the campaign, it can often be easier to complete missions by yourself due to this. Since having extra people on your team raises the difficulty, sometimes it’s just easier to go about it alone. I personally did about two or three of the missions solo before deciding to call in some help, because there are a few missions that feel just exhausting solo.

The main reason to go into some of these missions (or all of them even) with a fireteam is all the traps, tripmines, and other “surprise death” methods that Bungie filled the campaign with. After enough deaths to these kinds of traps (and of course, to the architects), I decided to call it a day and go back to the LFG for the rest. It just makes things easier when one death doesn’t cause a wipe. Yeah, if you want the biggest challenge you should play solo. You can learn how to avoid the traps and stay alive, but personally I just didn’t see the point. This one comes down to personal preference, but I think you’ll get a better overall experience playing with a fireteam, even with the difficulty scaling.

Prismatic Wells and Transcendence

Prismatic serves a few purposes throughout the campaign. While the most exciting thing about Prismatic is the new subclass and ability to mix-and-match abilities from the light and darkness, you’ll also have to utilize it to defeat certain enemies. Occasionally in each mission you’ll come across “Bound” enemies that glow with a purple/blue aura, and to do any damage to them at all you’ll have to activate transcendence first.

You can activate transcendence in two ways. The first is by standing on Prismatic Wells that can be found on the ground in every area which requires transcendence. These appear as pink/purple spots on the ground, and whenever you stand on them your transcendence bar (right below the super bar) rapidly fills. However, once you have the Prismatic subclass unlocked, you can do it without these wells. The transcendence bar is actually two meters–one for the light, one for darkness. To charge the light bar, you’ll have to do damage with light energy sources, and the same for the darkness. Doing damage with Kinetic sources fills both bars, but much slower.

Once the meter is full, use whatever keybind is assigned to transcendence for you (on keyboard it’s “B” by default) to activate it. From there, just do damage however you want!

Dealing with Tormentors

As always the last few years, Bungie loves Tormentors. If an activity is promised to be difficult, you can bet that Tormentors will be everywhere. But dealing with them ranges from being easy all the way to absolutely a nightmare depending on how you approach them. For whatever reason, it’s completely possible to blind Tormentors. That means that a simple Disorienting Grenade from any capable special Grenade Launcher can take them out of the fight. This doesn’t work as well if there’s also tons of ads attacking you, but if you can fight the Tormentor 1-on-1 or take the time to shoot it often enough, this is a perfect strategy. When playing solo this is a little harder, but fireteams should absolutely take advantage of this weakspot.

Notable Mechanics from Previous Expansions

Bungie did something really cool throughout this campaign by forcing us to utilize what we’ve learned in the past to progress. They balanced this by not requiring these mechanics to be done perfectly or as precisely as they originally were, but it’s awesome to see many of them back for the first time in years. While they’re usually explained, thanks to server issues or just the too-quick nature of informative pop-ups in this game, it’s not hard to miss them, though.

Darkness Plates and Icons of Light from Root of Nightmares

If you’ve played the Root of Nightmares raid, these little plates with orbs of darkness over them will look familiar. In the first mission, you’ll have to kill a Taken enemy and take the Icon of Light they drop to the plate and shoot the darkness orb. This allows you to reveal a hidden path and make it usable, which is required to progress. You’ll also be using versions of this mechanic for several other puzzles and even to stay alive, so it’s important not to forget about them.

Motes of Light/Dark from Prophecy

In “Exegesis” and several other missions, you’ll have to kill Taken Knights which drop Motes of either Light or Dark. Just like in the “Prophecy” dungeon, you’ll have to take these Motes to a glowing podium and deposit them. This is used in this campaign to either finish a puzzle or unlock a door/entrance, and while they don’t come up often, I actually think they’re better used here than they were originally as more of a puzzle mechanic than during a boss fight.

Relic Shield from Vault of Glass

The Relic Shield from VOG has made many returns to Destiny, so it’s no surprise to see it back at the end. This time, we’ll be using our trusty Shield to produce Light Motes that will get used for the various Prophecy-style puzzles. You will also have to use it to destroy the shields on several enemies. The Relic Shield also comes into play later in the final mission, but I don’t want to say anything about that mission to avoid spoilers, and its use is explained in-game so there’s no real need to.

Symbols and Glyphs from Vow of the Disciple

If there’s anything Bungie loves, it’s weird symbols. Luckily, the ones they chose to bring back this time were more like the ones from VOW, not Last Wish (the things I’ve heard people say for callouts in Last Wish runs are simply unfathomable and often unspeakable). At the end of the day, all you really have to do for symbol puzzles is remember what ones show up, which can be helped by typing them out in chat (if on PC). Once you get the hang of these parts they’re really easy, as long as nobody forgets their symbol.

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