Destiny 2: Prepare For Lightfall

Welcome back Guardians! It’s another month, and we are on the precipice for what may be Bungie’s biggest expansion to Destiny 2 ever, at least on a mechanical and story level. I’ve had a lot of great conversations about the state of Destiny 2 with Mike Burgess on our D2 Podcast HELM to Tower, which if you’re curious you can see here (and on podcast services). The feeling is, if you want to get in on Destiny before this 10-year story arc comes to its full conclusion next year, there is no better time than with Lightfall.

For this rendition of my still-to-be-named Column, I want to talk about some of the things you may want to do before Lightfall launches, starting with the more casual activities and progressing to the more hardcore or resource-heavy preparation. I also want to talk about what you should be doing on Day 1 of Lightfall, where you’ll want to start and hopefully help with some priorities to chase. So let’s get to it!

Getting Ready For Lightfall

The day this goes up we should be just under a week away from the servers of Destiny 2 going offline for the 24-hour downtime before Lightfall. That’s Monday, Feb. 27th at 10am Pacific Time. There is certainly a ton of over-preparing you can do, if you’d like, so like I mentioned before I’ll start with some of the more general things you may want to do, and then escalate up to things that newer players need not worry over. 

Missing Weapons

So “Weapon Crafting” got it’s big introduction when Witch Queen came out, and while some hate the system, some (me) love it, and I want to universally shout-out at least one gun from each of the last four seasons, that may not be easily accessible anymore after Lightfall launches and these seasonal weapons are sunset. Bungie has updated D2 so you can buy one piece of each gun’s pattern every day at respective vendors, as opposed to one a week, which will require you run some of the activities from corresponding seasons. But with the time left, if you’re reading this when it comes out, you still have time to buy out at least one crafting pattern for each season, so here are four guns I recommend getting. You don’t have to craft them now, but you can get the patterns and worry about that later by just dismantling five red border rolls!

Here are the four I’d consider must haves:

Keep in mind, gaining the ability to “buy” these red borders and earn progress toward each pattern will require you to play or have played each respective season, but if you’re trying to get stuff before Lightfall, these are the weapons I’d consider worth it.

Bounty Prep

One of the most quintessential “Destiny 2 Prepper” activities is going to destinations, grabbing and completing bounties from them, and then hoarding them in your quest tab to redeem after the expansion releases. This is absolutely not necessary, in fact, I fettered on putting it this high on the list so as to avoid giving any newer player the fear of having to do tedious bullshit before an expansion… but, here is my thought on it: it’s tradition!

I know it’s kind of silly, and all bounty prep will get you is a bunch of experience points when you redeem them after you’re able to level up again, giving you just a bit of a head start on unlocking Artifact Mod s or items in the season pass. It’s non-essential, absolutely, but I know plenty of newer players that have probably never even done a weekly bounty before. To me, this is the same as wrapping the Christmas presents and putting them under the tree at night. It gives me both dopamine and the warm fuzzies of having something to unwrap upon the New Expansion. 

Weekly bounties, which take maybe 10-20 minutes to complete on each destination, reward thousands and thousands of experience points each, and I say if you’ve never done it before, head over to Europa, The Cosmodrome, and The Dreaming City and grab the weekly bounties to save from those locations. The more seasoned players will likely grab 60 full bounties for each of their three characters, which I don’t even do since I really only play Warlock, but it’s low effort, and if you’re like me and just want to play some Destiny to ward off the lack of sleep the anticipation is giving you, I think it’s a totally fine thing to spend your time doing. 

If you’re looking for specifics, here are the exact bounties you want to keep (not including Clan bounties):

  • Two weekly bounties from The Cosmodrome
  • Four weekly bounties from the Moon, two from Eris Morn, and two from The Lectern.
  • There are seven potential weekly bounties you can get from the Dreaming City, but unfortunately you’ll only be able to get two at this point to save. If you’ve been doing Ascendent Challenges each week for the last five weeks, you can have a total of six Ascendent Challenge weekly bounties, and one additional one for The Blind Well.
  • There are four potential weekly bounties you can get from Europa, but like the Dreaming City, you’ll only have access to two if you hadn’t gotten some before this week.
  • This leaves you with 52 quest slots reasonably available, assuming you have no major quests left to complete. I’d suggest filling these slots with seven daily bounties from Zavala, The Gunsmith, Shax, and The Drifter, making sure to avoid repeatable bounties and only grab daily bounties (these are worth more XP). Don’t get more than seven each because redeeming more can cause problems next season. The remaining 24 bounty slots you can fill with daily bounties from Devrim on the EDZ, Shaw Han in The Cosmodrome, Failsafe on Nessus, or Fynch in Savathun’s Throne World. 
  • The website has dedicated itself to helping you pick out the best bounties and also give you a check up on readiness if you’re a more hardcore player.

I’ll go over when exactly you’ll want to redeem these bounties in the Lightfall Day 1 Gameplan section, but if you want to see all the bounties I’ve prepared, see my accompanying video for this column below!

The Materials Grind

This is where mileage is going to vary quite a bit. I think if you’re pretty new to Destiny, the toughest thing to keep up with is the amount of materials there are and how/where to get them. Luckily, a ton of materials are just getting deleted come Lightfall, streamlining the systems we have now to hopefully be much clearer. Here is what you’ll want to prepare yourself with:

  1. Enhancement cores – these sometimes drop from deleting legendary weapons, and you need them to masterwork weapons. The only way to consistently get these is to play, and save them up.
  2. Enhancement prisms – these are needed to masterwork armor, and I definitely don’t see these lasting many more seasons. You can get them from Nightfalls, and are a grind to get.
  3. Ascendent Shards – probably the most valuable material in Destiny, lovingly called Golf Balls. Only Master content will reward these, and you’re capped at 10. If you’re grinding Master and Grandmaster Nightfalls still, save as many of these as you can for topping off your armor and exotics.
  4. Ascendent Alloy – after Lightfall, this will be the only crafting material for weapons outside of just standard Glimmer and Resonant/Harmonic Alloy. I’ve been using LFG (looking for group) via the Destiny 2 Companion App to find teams to run Master Wellspring, which are pretty quick and reward these regularly. Hopefully there will be new ways to get them in Lightfall. 

The only other material worth mentioning are Upgrade Modules, but luckily you’ll get plenty of those just from playing Lightfall itself, so let’s cover that next!

Lightfall Day 1 Gameplan

Both the Lightfall expansion and its accompanying season, Season of Defiance, will go live at 10am PT on Feb. 28th, and you’ll be able to watch both myself and Mike Burgess, along with our Resident D2 Titan Main Ren team up to play the entire campaign in an all-day stream right when it goes live on Irrational Passions’ official Twitch Channel!

But as for what you need to know, there are some things I want to go over since a lot of folks may have missed the Legendary Campaign with Witch Queen.

Play The Legendary Campaign

You have the choice of playing standard campaign and Legendary, and I highly encourage everyone to play on Legendary, yes even the brand new or more casual players. You can jump down to the easier mode anytime, but let me line up the rewards you’ll get for beating the campaign on Legendary:

  • A Full set of blue gear that is at the “Raid Ready” power level. This is not gear you keep, but can immediately infuse to get your character ready for endgame as soon as you finish the campaign. This was a new feature of Witch Queen, and it is fantastic. Right from the jump you’ll be able to feel pretty caught up with everything.
  • An Exotic of Your Choice. When Witch Queen came out, two exotic armor pieces were added for each character class, one stasis and one not, and with Lightfall, it seems like the same will be true, only one will be Strand, and one will not be. Regardless of what you choose, we’ve been told that the armor will have high stats, and of course immediately unlock for that character.
  • More of the new Strand subclass unlocked for your chosen character. I assume this means you’ll have both aspects and several fragments ready to go when you beat the campaign on Legendary, as opposed to potentially half that amount if you beat the campaign on standard difficulty. We still don’t really know what this means exactly, but consider it more icing on the cake.
  • Double rewards every mission. With the way campaigns work post-Witch Queen, each mission has two to three “major encounters” that, upon completion, will drop a chest with high power gear to help you level as you play the campaign. On Legendary, there are two chests for every character, and they will have more loot and more upgrade modules, so you’ll be able to infuse and move on to the next challenge. On regular difficulty, you may need to take breaks to grind out some more gear to keep your level up.

Obviously with all these rewards, Bungie wants you to play on Legendary, but like I said, you’ll be able to break off and come back if you’re having trouble.

Legendary difficulty scales up with the number of fireteam members, so if you’re running with a group you’re getting the tankiest enemies and the biggest challenge. The campaign will always set you 10 Power Level below every mission, which seems to be how the Neomuna destination patrol difficulty will be set as well. If you’re nervous about it, try patrolling around Neomuna a bit to see how the challenge level treats you.

The only real moments to watch out for are those major encounters, where every member of the fireteam only has one revive token, just like Raids, and if someone is down for longer than 40 seconds, the whole team wipes. It’s certainly a challenge, but it feels fair, and you won’t have to worry about Champions.

Start Season of Defiance

Outside of the Legendary campaign, you want to make sure you start Season of Defiance, or Season 20, as soon as possible. Why? Because once you do, you’ll receive the Artifact for that Season, allowing you to pour your hard-saved experience points into it and unlock as many artifact perks and extra power levels as you can while working your way through the campaign.

If it’s anything like Season of the Risen, which launched alongside Witch Queen, after the first mission of Lightfall you should be able to play the first mission of Defiance. Wherever the vendor is in the H.E.L.M. (it sounds like it will be The War Table) you’ll most likely receive the artifact from them, and at that point it will be safe to cash in your bounties. Remember to leave two or three quest slots open so you’ll be able to start both the campaign and seasonal story. Also remember to redeem your bounties at a destination, not in orbit, so you get the maximum amount of XP.

Keep in mind this really only applies if you’re saving a ton of bounties, but you should try and start the season and get the artifact to receive those passive gains as you play the campaign

Finish Unlocking the Strand Subclass

The only other thing I know I’ll be focusing on for that first big day is unlocking all the fragments for Strand. We’re still not 100% sure on how this will be given out to players, only that it should be a lot smoother than how Stasis was given out. Whatever new activities and the sort that unlock after Lightfall, we’ll all have to figure out and explore together, but getting Strand, whether it be through bounty-style quests or just purchasing those unlocks, you should make it a priority so you don’t have to worry about it later.


That’s really all you need to know going into Lightfall. We’re just over a week away, and I am so excited. Stay tuned to this week’s upcoming H.E.L.M. to Tower for our final thoughts going into the expansion, come hangout with us on Twitch when Lightfall goes live, and most of all, have fun out there Guardian.

See you next month for my full Lightfall review after the raid launches on March 10th!