Does Destiny: The Dark Below Rise to the Occasion?
by GhostKnight

The Dark Below is the first DLC to be released for Destiny, which has been out since December 9th. This expansion has added three new story missions, one strike, and one raid. You also get nifty new armor, weapons, shaders, emblems, ships etc.

Also a new member has been added to the tower, Eris Morn a guardian, who has been changed by the darkness and now looks similar to a hive- with three green eyes and darkness pouring out of them. She gives you a story mission which is needed in order to unlock the new strike. If you finish the missions, you get a fusion that can switch between solar and arc damage- yes it can switch damage types.She also gives you a bounty which has you killing many hives, and in different ways- with the help of Xur you can complete this quest and earn gauntlets from her. On top of that, she gives you bounties everyday, that can be finished and turned in to earn rep with her- which let you buy class items, emblems, and shaders among other items (including black wax idols).

This expansion added a new enemy who will spawn in patrol, called the Blades of Crota- which spawn on earth and the moon. They are hive ultras, which for those of you that don't know; ultras are the same as majors, they have yellow health but, they have a shield as well. These blades are knights that carry a sword, when killed they drop the sword and you can pick up this sword and kill enemies with it for a limited time.

On top of this, these blades can also drop a white weapon called the Husk of the Pit, DO NOT dismantle this weapon, it will turn into a exotic weapon if you follow its upgrade path.You first have to buy a embalming orb from Eris, which you have to be level 3 rep. with her to do so, then you have to kill hive ‘till the upgrade is unlocked. Then the weapons becomes the Eidolon Ally, a Legendary weapon which then has a normal upgrade path, until the final upgrade- which you need the Crux of Crota, that can only be gotten from Crota's End on hard. Then the weapon will turn into the Necrochasm, an exotic auto rifle.

Speaking of the hard raid, this raid will bring the legendary primary weapons as rewards- many people already have all the weapons that the raid can currently give you: Black Hammer (sniper), Hunger of Crota (rocket launcher), Light of the abyss (fusion rifle), Swordbreaker (shotgun), and song of Ir Yut. Plus, when you first beat Crota, you will get a shader and an emblem- you can also get a ship from this raid. Now I'm not going to break down the whole raid but, I will say it is very fast paced- “in your face” action, and can be at times- much harder then the Vault of Glass, especially the Crota fight.

Now onto what Xur is offering since the new expansion, which lets us get to level 32 with all armor- having to have a 36 light score, which you can only get from the raid. Now if you already have an exotic and wish it had 36 light, fear not Xur lets you upgrade your old exotics armor, or weapons to the new levels- armor will now start with 30 light, and go to 36. Weapons will start at 300 damage, and go to 331. One thing to remember if you do upgrade it will reset the item, thusly the item will have to be upgraded again- unless you just get lucky and get an exotic armor piece, or weapon (from any number of items that let you earn such). Now, exotics have a new way of being upgraded, they no longer need shards or energy; they just need materials, glimmer, and an exotic shard for the last upgrade. You can get these materials from Xur, for strange coins or break down your exotic (if you get a double of something, etc).

The expansion also added three new crucible maps- now I'm not much of a crucible player, but I have played them a little so I can give ya’ll some insight. First you have Cauldron: which has an entry room with multiple (entry) points, then you have the spawn points on the outside of this central room, so overall it's a smaller map- with many fights happening in the middle. Next we have SkyShock: which is the opposite of the last map, a very large, open map- so break out those snipers, which seems tactically sound but, we all know there will be those die hard shotguns, who will find a way to use their shotguns in the map. Next you have Pantheon: which is another small map but, is sectioned off into smaller side areas and paths, with one big death area in the middle- yes, death area, the grenades and supers don't stop flying in this area, or snipers trying to shoot you as you spawn- I would just avoid, to be honest.

The expansion also made all the weeklies go to level 30, as max, and the raid itself starts at level 30- with enemies being 32 by the time you finish, which can be a pain to deal with if you're not at least a 30. Don’t get me wrong, I'm not saying you can't do it as a 29, it will just be even harder.

Next the Vanguards have gotten an upgrade, as have their factions. The Vanguard have gotten all new gear, all having 33 light in it, so you can reach 31 by just buying all Vanguard gear. Same for the other factions, which their armor has not changed, just their light has increased- also, the same goes for the crucible’s new armor and weapons. So, all you that grinded the vault every week with multiple characters trying to get level 30, well that was for nothing, because you can buy gear that gets you to 31, thanks bungie. The exotics the vault gives you are not upgraded, neither is the normal armor or weapons, they are still good though- especially for the Nightfall. One other thing I know, many people know all the glitches to Crota's End; using the second lamp to get to the second level of the first part. There are many different ways to glitch out the bridge fight to just kill the enemies on the other side. Of course, there are the final boss fight glitches: ranging from getting rid of the presence of Crota, to glitching him in the down state. Yes, these make the raid easier, I have done them all, but I also have beaten the whole thing without glitches many of times. I personally think that nothing feels better than beating this raid without them plus, you form a strong bond with your team- and you're all better players from it. Also Crota is not hard to beat, just watch videos, learn,and play the raid- listen to people make call outs, and help each other. It’s your choice though, and doing it with or without glitches doesn't change whether you get better reward, or not. Getting good rewards in Destiny is luck- it is a random number generator that decides what you get, I have gotten the same thing many of times from raids, strikes, etc. There is no helping this, Bungie won't change it, just like they won't put in a trading system. These are all things us players will just have to learn to live with, if they ever decide to change it.

All that aside, I personally think this expansion was much needed, it added new things that Destiny really needed.

I am looking forward for the next expansion in March the House of Wolves, which is a fallen expansion. Where a house of fallen have betrayed the Awoken Queen, and she calls you to fulfill your favor to her, and to take out these fallen. Which if you remember we guardian's owe her cause of the black garden. Which means a lot of fallen are about to die, poor guys (not really) they are annoying.

Dark Below is a new and exciting expansion to Destiny, adding many new things, and more hours of play- overall it was a good addition to Destiny.

Thank you for reading fellow guardians- I'll see you out there fighting the darkness.

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