Dude. This place is shiny in the right light. Calus really likes to live it up, doesn’t he? He may have just overdone it, however, with all that gold thrown around his “palace.” Oye!
Okay, so this raid? It’s kind of fun. It’s not just a string of bosses that you better be able to do enough DPS to take down within a certain amount of time. That being said… it can also be more aggravating than anything else. What in the hell do I mean by that? Puzzles. Kind of like puzzles. This raid is definitely mechanics heavy, and that makes it both fun and frustrating.Let me start off by saying that this place is bloody huge. Don’t run off away from your Fireteam. You might just get lost. Seriously. Don’t wander.
Okay, so we get this little scene when we fly into the raid. It shows you just how huge this place really is. And you know what? There’s another path below where your feet just hit the floor, but we’ll talk about that later.
Here’s a couple of important things to note before you really get into this thing.
- Revive Tokens – You yourself can only revive another Guardian once per encounter. That means that you can only have 6 deaths total per encounter for a full Fireteam. Keep that in mind when you’re working on the strategy that works for you. Your Fireteam really needs to work on staying alive. Period. That’s the beginning of any strategy here. No matter what.
- Heav… Power Weapons – Now, I’ve only made it past the Baths, so I can’t really speak for the rest of the raid, yet, but it feels like close quarters combat is a big thing here. That being said… my shotgun has been my friend so far. It doesn’t melt things as well as I would like, but it certainly does what I need it to do. The new methods of setting your loadout for Destiny 2 really make it seem like you can make things work however you want. However, I’m sure there are certain loadouts that will end up being much more efficient than others.
- Speaking of Power Weapons… You’ll need to make sure that you’re shooting at orange bar enemies. These guys will drop Power Ammo for you most of the time. Of course, this does not mean all of the time. Remember that we don’t have synths anymore, so use your important ammo sparingly unless there is an excess of ammo lying around.
- You will have to do the opening area 4 times in total. Once to open each Trial area and then once to open the way to the throne room.
- There is a “shortcut” to skip the opening area, but this will only work if you have completed opening the door for the particular trial that you need to head to. Meaning… this is how your checkpoints work. Essentially… Let’s say that you’ve made it to the Pleasure Garden but you’ve got to call it a night. You can leave and come back, but you’ll end up back where you started originally. This actually scared a lot of people into thinking there were no checkpoints at all. Well, you drop down and pull some levers, then go back up and find a certain place. You navigate through some tunnels and you can skip all that craziness that is the center area. It works rather nice methinks.
- Audio Cues are your friend! In some encounters anyway.
- Edit: It now seems as though the encounters are on a rotation. The first three will not always be in the same order as what we experienced during launch week.
What else? Oh. Well. Let’s just get on with it.
This place is easy, but let’s go over it a touch anyway. You land in and you’re on a long path. You’ll see some Cabal in the distance. Leave these guys alone unless you need the Power ammo that they can drop. They won’t attack you, so it’s safe to pass them by. Continue on up the stairs to either side until you come to a landing with an opening. Go through the door and enter the man-cannons. This will shoot you rather higher into the air, but that’s fine. You can land relatively easily on the next area that you need to be at. Again, don’t shoot the Cabal unless you need Power ammo.
These guys will kill you, so… just skip them and move on to the Castellum
Here’s where the fun begins.
There are four main doors here that you will have to open as you progress through this raid. Yes, you’ll be returning here several times just to progress further. It’s not as bad as it sounds.
The first area in front of you contains the first door that leads to the Baths. This is your first Trial.
This will be on the ground in front of the doors. Keep this Sun symbol in mind as you’ll see it throughout the raid.
There should be Cabal hanging around it. Split into a group of 4 and a group of 2. The 4 need to stay here and defend this spot.
One of the 2 will be responsible for carrying the standard that they are going to grab. Look at the Sun Seal. You’ll initiate the event once you walk over it. At that point there will be an image projecting from one of the three corners of the triangle. I’m not entirely sure of the order, but I’m betting that it’s going to start you off with Beast. Probably wrong.
Anyway, not to get off track, but you really need to know where each of the 4 standards will spawn. We’ll call the locations Left, Front, Mid, and Right for now. Left is Sun, Front is Chalice, Mid is Beast, and Right is Blades. Got that? Good. I was going to draw you a map, but my map making skills really suck. So deal with this.
Alright! Beast! The two who were split off the main group will find the Beast seal in the middle area of the Castellum. You’ll have to fight off a few Cabal. A Standard Bearer will spawn. Defeat him and his standard will be able to be picked up. Oh, it’s planted into the seal with some translucent goo around it. Take this back to where the rest of your fireteam is fighting and walk over where the image of the Beast is. You should have slammed it into position. Done. Do that two more times for the corresponding images of Blades and Chalice. Unless, that is, your fireteam allows one or two of the standards that you’ve already brought in to be stolen. Then you’ll have to go and get another standard or two to replace the lost ones before getting your final standard to complete this encounter.
Oh, the 4 people who were defending that area? Keep on your toes. There are certain orange bar Cabal that can and will steal the standards back if they get close enough to touch it. You don’t really want this to happen, so fight like hell to keep it from happening. Assign one of your 4 to be on Councillor duty. This person will pay attention to the text that pops up above your Super bar. It will say something about a Councillor appearing. Find this guy. He’ll be a Psion floating slightly off the ground and surrounded by a sphere. Don’t shoot it. It won’t do you any good. Run up inside that sphere and punch the Psion. This Psion is shielding the standard stealing Cabal preventing it from taking any damage at all. Your fireteam will have an easier job of protecting the standards if you remove these Psions from the equation.
All that done? Good. Go get your chest and move on. The first chest will normally give you a Powerful Engram on your first clear, so enjoy that. Oh, and before I forget…
I’ll try to get better images than these. Silly Twitch VoDs… Each time you come back to the Castellum will work in the same manner. It’ll just be a different door that leads you to somewhere new.
Think back. Dig deep. Remember King’s Fall? This is Totems Redux. Kind of. Sorta. You’ll see what I mean.
Let’s start by saying, as politely as I can, STAY OUT OF THE DAMN WATER UNLESS YOU HAVE PSIONIC PROTECTION! Um… the water is lava?
It hurts and it will kill you. Eventually.
OKAY! Let’s begin. Split into two 3 person teams. Half go left, half go right. Determine who will be standing on the outside plates. There are 4 of them. Front right, back right, front left, and back left. Got that settled? Good. The two remaining people go to the middle. There’s another plate there. Determine who is going to be the one to begin the encounter. The other one of you goes back to Right (or Left) after jumping onto the middle plate to get the Psionic Protection buff. Because I said so. The one who is starting the encounter will be going back to the left (or right…).
Have all of the plate people jump on their plates at roughly the same time to start the encounter. Everyone should have Psionic Protection at this point. This will drain while you are standing in the waters which actually includes the plates. The four people on their plates will stay on their plates. A Bather will climb up the pit in front of each of them. You will need to quickly dispatch this Cabal unit. They can make very short work of you. I mean it. Grenade to their face while they’re climbing, then kinetic or energy to their face until they jump out. Finish up with some Power to the face again if necessary.
Okay, your fugly bather is dead. This is what we did when we completed it…
3 to each side. 1 per plate. 2 go to the middle to get their buff. 1 of these two will stay there and the other goes to the Right Front plate. These two who start in the middle are floaters. I’m tired, so hang on. I’m getting there…
Okay, so the 5 people who are assigned to plates jump on to get started. the 4 people on the outside plates kill their bathers. The one who was on the middle plate needs to go to the Front Left plate. The people at the Front Left and Front Right plates will switch with the floaters as soon as the first bather is dead. The floaters will now man those front plates while the two people who were there go to the middle to refresh their Psionic Protection. These two will two relieve the Rear plate holders who will then go to the middle to refresh their Psionic Protection buffs. These two will then relieve the floaters who are still on the Front plates. Does all of this make sense? It’s a rotation on each side. Just remember to kill your bather before you switch. Like I said, remember the Totems in King’s Fall…
Right, so you’re do your rotations and the chains are moving. Listen closely for a chime. Gong. Some kind of melodic type sound. When you hear this EVERYONE goes to the center room. 4 of you will jump on the plate and begin shooting the 3 clusters of censors that are hanging in the two front corners and the rear middle of the room. Destroy as many as you can. Be aware, though, that you will need to jump off and then back into the middle plate in order to renew your Psionic Protection. It will wear out and you will start taking damage. The other two people will be controlling ads which will include those annoying bathers again.
The Wardcliff Coil can help take out those censors since it will damage all of them in a single cluster in one volley.
Don’t worry if you don’t get all of the censors destroyed in one go. Just return to your assigned spots and do it again. It really shouldn’t take you more than two phases to clear this trial.
Once your done, go back to the Castellum.
The Pleasure Gardens
Pleasure Gardens my ass.
I’m not sure how many hours exactly we spent trying to clear this trial, but it had to be at least 10. TEN HOURS! But, we finally got it done. This one gets a little bit tricky. I’ll say that this place reminds me of a beefier Gorgon’s Labrynth. You’re going to have so much fun here! I promise!
Okay, walk down the ramp and clear all of the Cabal and their dogs in the area. It’s not a horrible idea to wipe and repeat this in order to get all filled up on Power ammo and whatnot.
Remember that little tidbit for when you wipe a few times and are all out of ammo. K? Onwards!
Walk around the arena. Learn the layout of the land. There are 8 “flowers” that you’re going to need to know the locations of. We’ll call them R1, R2, R3, Crack, Trees, L1, L2, and L3. And directions are looking out from the Safe Room. Yup. There’s a safe room again. Thanks, Vosik. You YouTube watching bastard of… nevermind.
Safe Room! Keep this location in your mind at all times. As the name implies, you’re safe in here during times in which the hounds spot you and start their ungodly howling, which ends up wiping you if you’re not in the safe room.
You will start this encounter on top of the Safe Room. There is a doorway and there are two Prism Weapons. 4 of you will stand on the circular doorway. The other two of you will be picking up a Prism Weapon. You Prism people have the job of helping to guide the other four to the glowing purple flowers. You’ve just got to guide them and keep them from getting spotted by prowling hounds, charge their spores, and burn snipers that come out when you charge those spores. Eh, minor tasks.
Those of you with spores… Your job is to carry those spores to the purple glowing flowers, not get seen by the hounds, gather around the purple flowers (touch the butt…), and move as a pack from flower to flower.
Why are we going to the flowers? So you can get a spore damage buff. Why do we need that? So you kick the living shit out of those damnable Cabal hounds, that’s why! Now don’t ask again. Got it? Good…
Each time that four of you gather around a flower and one of the Prism Weapons hits it, you’ll get 12 stacks of a spore damage buff. Ideally, you want to hit at least x48. x60 is much, much better and I’ll explain why. This buff will allow you to kill each of the 6 hounds that are prowling the Gardens. That is how you complete this encounter. There are several different strategies out there, and we tried all kinds of different ways to get through it. How did we do it? We found out that one particular path is perfect to get 4-5 flowers easily, which allowed us to kill every hound in one phase.
Know why we ended up trying that? Because we got tired of the encounter. We were done with it I think. It was seriously time for us to be done with it, so we figured that we’d go all out and see if we could take them all out. We did it on the second try.
Okay, let’s touch on those flowers again. If you walk to the right, hugging the right wall, you’ll come across things that look like this.
Label them as you will. We called them R1, R2, R3, Crack, Trees, L1, L2, and L3. What path did we take? Well, you’ve got to know that the flowers are not necessarily on a random spawn. When you start, the first two flowers that will be active will be either R1 and L2 or R2 and L1. Once you use one of those you’ll have to go to the other one if there isn’t one active that is close by. Now, there is a tiny little not very important trick that you can do here that will REALLY help you out. Did I say tiny little not very important? Yeah, screw that straight to hell.
If the first flower is R1, kill yourselves. Wipe. Ignore everything and restart!
If the first flower is L1, then you are golden. Trust me. I really wish that I could create a map for you to look at, but listen to this.
This will be your order: L1, R2, R3, Trees, (Crack or L2).
So, you start off. Your spore bearers drop down and immediately run to L1 to get the buff. Go back to the safe room and head through the middle. Hug the wall of the crack. There is a small gap between that wall and a tree. Don’t go through the Crack. Go around it! Turn right and wait for your prism bearer to tell you it’s clear. When it’s clear, walk to R2 and get that additional buff. Hug the right wall. You’ll sit still for a moment between the wall and a boulder. You will move to R3 when the prism bearer tells you it’s clear. From there, go back to the middle area, right next to the Crack. You’ll want to move quickly to the Trees flower and get the buff from there. Here is where the next one varies. It will either be the Crack or L2. For us it was L2 on our successful attempt. Easier to beeline from the Trees to L2. Thinking on it, both L2 and the Crack were active.
At this point, everyone splits off and heads off to find their assigned hound to kill it. x60 will be more than enough to wipe those annoying hounds off the map. Here’s a video of our successful run.
Never you mind that I looked like I was lost once we started going after the hounds… Mine pathed straight to Cutter and he took it out relatively quickly, but his didn’t path to the trees until Cutter had already left and gone to help somewhere else. Crazy…
I suppose that I should have mentioned that you need to assign a different hound to each fireteam member. I would suggest, and I mean no disrespect against anyone with this suggestion. Put your lowest DPS on R1 and R2. Put your fastest moving people at R3 and L3. Put your highest DPS on R2 and Trees. Why? If your lowest DPS guys cannot seem to take out their hounds, then they’re the closest to the safe room if they need to escape. If the guys at R3 and L3 can’t seem to take out their hounds, then they can make it back to the safe room since they move the fastest (in theory). Your highest DPS guys can help out in either direction if necessary. If you cannot get the hounds down, then everyone is going to have to haul ass back to the safe room so that you guys can go back out and try to finish them off with another round.
There is a problem with that however. If you kill any hounds during the first phase, then you’ll have much less time during the next phase to get your spore buffs before the hounds get restless. You have approximately two and a half minutes during phase one to get your buffs. I think. I’m not really sure to be honest, but it’s something like that. Needless to say, it’s going to be a lot harder to do what you need to do if you kill hounds during phase one and have to move on to phase two.
Okay, my brain is pretty much fried while typing all of this up on way too little sleep. Plus. I’m at work. That’s enough of a headache with dealing with customers, typing this up, keeping up with college football…
Onward to the Gauntlet! And then Calus himself! Hopefully tonight.