Destiny: The Year One Primer – PvE Post Game (Part 2 of 3)

Hello Guardians!

So…..hopefully you read Part 1 to aid you in your quest to reach level 20. You still have work ahead of you if you want to reach your full potential, but there’s nothing wrong with a little help lightening the load. So PvE players…..get your notebooks out. It’s time to explore the world of Destiny after level 20. We will not be discussing anything PvP related today class, but your day will come to learn all about that.

Let’s talk a little about how you level up after 20. All of your leveling is now tied to light, which is only found on armor. Every 12 points of light gives you a level. So to reach level 34, you need 168 light points, or 4 pieces of armor that have 42 light. There are 3 ways to bring armor to 42 light.

  • Earn it from the Prison of Elders (PoE) by playing either level 32 or 35. This gives you an armor core you can trade for a piece of armor. This armor is already at light level 42.
  • Ascend any legendary armor. All legendary armor maxes out at 36 or less light. That is, unless you earn an Etheric light. Using this can push it to 42, regardless of what the original max was. Etheric light can be earned by finishing lvl 34 or 35 PoE, given as a nightfall drop, or earned in the…..wait, that’s PvP. I’ll get back to the last way in Part 3.
  • Ascend any Exotic armor. If you have an Exotic piece of armor that maxes at less than 42, a second exotic shard can push it to 42.

Ok, so now we have our goal. You need to figure out the fastest way to earn 4 pieces of armor that are at least legendary class, and get them to 42. There are a ton of ways to accomplish this, but we want to be as efficient as possible. Now keep in mind, we’re writing this to show you how you can do this on your own. It’s completely possible that you may be able to skip some steps if you find other ways to get the armor. For instance, you may get a legendary engram while playing. I can’t really tell you to bank on that, but if it happens it will definitely speed you up. Let’s get started.


Vanguard Rank 2. Told you it was important.

Now, remember when I told you to aim for Vanguard level 2? This is why. If you were diligent about playing the strike playlist, you should have quite a few marks by the time you hit level 20. At Vanguard level 2, you can buy legendary armor from the vendor. Each piece has 36 light (as of the HoW expansion, above pic is from TDB.) By buying legendary armor now, you could conceivably skip from level 20 straight to 32. The problem is, you can only earn 100 marks per week. This only allows you to buy one armor piece. It would take you 3-4 weeks to just buy the armor pieces straight up. That’s not efficient. So we’re gonna aim for 3. This will get you to level 29, which sets you up for the next steps. 3 legendary armor pieces will cost 225 marks total, unless you decide to buy a helmet. Here’s a tip. Don’t decide to buy a helmet. So Step 1 is to earn 225 marks. You have a few options here. You can keep playing strike playlists, farm public events, or do the level 22 daily heroic missions. You should have had a decent amount of marks by the time you reached level 20, so this step shouldn’t take long at all. You max out at 200 marks, so once you hit that number go buy 1 legendary armor piece from the vendor. I would suggest boots. Then earn your last 25 and hold on to that 150.


Either buy an exotic helmet, or you can take a chance on the Exotic Helmet engrams if available.

Now level 29 will allow you to play a higher strike playlist, but fuck all that. No need. Our next step will be to buy a piece of exotic armor from Xur. We all know he is only around on the weekends, so keep that in mind. I would suggest you refrain from buying the 3 legendary pieces until you see what Xur has to offer, In a perfect world, you would buy a helmet from him since the legendary ones cost 150 marks at the vendor. This would allow you to get a helmet from Xur and then use the remaining marks to get 2 more legendary armor pieces. So if Xur has Exotic helmets for sale (or Exotic Engrams are an option although you may get an exotic for the wrong character) go ahead and spend the 13 Strange coins to get one. Now if you have the Helmet, and 3 legendary pieces, you should be able to max out at 32. But wait Jerz! What if I don’t have 13 Strange coins? It’s highly likely you don’t, so you have a couple options.

  • If Xur is selling the helmet, immediately go buy a legendary piece for each other slot. This will get you to at least 29 when all 3 are maxed. At that level you can complete the Weekly Heroic on its max level to earn 9 Strange coins. To get the other 4 if you don’t have them, I would suggest either farming engrams (which sometimes give you coins) or running the level 28 PoE (which usually gives you about 2-4 coins at the end.) Then go back and buy the helmet.
  • You could always forego the exotic and just go for a legendary helmet. In this scenario you would either have to earn 150 more marks to get it, or rely on a random drop. At 29 you could possibly get random drops from the Nightfall, Weekly Heroic, lvl 28 PoE (big treasure), or the lvl 28 Strike playlist.

So after you have made your choice on how to get to 32 and executed said plan, you only have 2 levels to go. Here’s where having the exotic would save you some time. It’s likely you have the means to push that exotic helmet (if you listened to me) to 42, so you should be halfway to level 33 at this point. The quickest way to get to 34 without getting lucky (assuming you only have one character) is by playing PoE. Every week, Variks offers an armor piece that starts at 42 light. All you would have to do is beat the level 32 PoE each week and trade the armor core for the piece. Once you have the 3 pieces to replace your non 42 light armor, you would hit level 34. But what if you have multiple characters Jerz? Well…..the answer depends on their levels. I would assume you would level them together, so if they are all around the same level you just saved some time. You could simply buy that first piece of armor to get you to 33. Do the same for your second character. Run both level 33 characters through the 34 PoE, and use the 2 etheric lights to ascend your first character’s other 2 pieces of armor. Voila, you’re at 34. If you were wondering how people reached level 34 the same day House of Wolves came out, now you know. It’s also worth noting that without playing PvP or getting lucky with Nightfall drops, the PoE is the ONLY WAY to reach level 34. Remember that.


He’s standing between you and level 34. Get to it.

Now I have typed 1140 words at this point. Many of you are either confused at this point, or tired of reading. So here are the cliff notes.

Quick Reference Guide

1. Earn 75 marks and buy Legendary Boots.

2. Earn another 150 marks.

3. Earn 13 Strange coins and buy Exotic Helmet from Xur. Use 150 marks to get Legendary Chest Armor and Gauntlets.

4. Use PoE to get to 34. (Either multiple characters or one.)

Remember, this is pretty much the quickest way to get to 34 if you don’t get lucky with drops. At any point you could luck into a legendary piece of armor (or an etheric light via the Nightfall) and speed this whole process up. This guide will help you figure out what to do in the event this happens to you. So if you luck into a legendary chest piece? You need 75 less marks. Get an exotic helmet from the lvl 28 PoE by farming strange coins? Congrats, you no longer need the coins! So just apply those random situations to the plan at hand and adjust accordingly.

Also, I am not pretending to have all the answers to Destiny. So if anyone reading knows of a faster way to get from 20 to 34 (that doesn’t involve PvP or random drops) feel free to let me know. I’ll amend this and give you full credit. Hopefully his will help you Guardians get to max level as fast as possible. That way you can start complaining there is nothing to do even faster! Happy gaming everyone. Look out for Part 3 when we will deal with how to level up using PvP.

One thought on “Destiny: The Year One Primer – PvE Post Game (Part 2 of 3)

  1. Pingback: Destiny: The Year One Primer – PvP Post Game (Part 3 of 3) | Ourcade Games

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