UPDATE: It turns out that this new trick is very achievable with any of the classes (and Hunter may in fact be the toughest to pull off, no less). During last night’s weekly raid runs with my regular group, we tried the cheese on a few different Guardians in a variety of ways. Our Warlock had the easiest time getting up there, with the Titan a close second. (Thank you to commenter Trent Hilker and others for pointing it out!)
ORIGINAL POST: So you’re sad that you can’t leap past the first section of Destiny‘s Crota’s End raid for some easy loot drops now that Bungie’s latest patch is live, right? Well here’s some good news: You can. Provided you’ve got a Hunter with a near-maxed Gunslinger class and a weapon with the Lightweight (+2 agility) perk, that is.
Related: Destiny: The Dark Below DLC review
Let’s back up and bring everyone who’s not familiar with Destiny up to speed. If you want to skip right to the good stuff, just scroll down to the big, bold-faced letters that spell out “THE GOOD STUFF.”
Crota’s End is the raid — a challenging, multi-part mission with the game’s rarest loot rewards — that was added in Destiny‘s first expansion, The Dark Below. The original game included another raid, Vault of Glass. Much like Crota is now, the young, post-launch Vault was subject to close scrutinization by players, and many cheats (or “cheeses,” as they’re often called) were discovered that developer Bungie quickly moved to patch.
Prior to the latest patch, players had figured out how to cheese their way through three of Crota’s four main sections (including the final boss fight) using a variety of techniques. The first of those is particularly hilarious. Crota’s End starts with players huddled beneath a circle of light in a massive, pitch-black chamber. Their ability to jump and sprint is limited by a “Weight of Darkness” debuff that can only be removed temporarily by standing in the glow of lamps, which are scattered throughout the chamber in a way that traces a rough path through the space.
The lamps only glow faintly from a distance, and they don’t activate to the point of scrubbing away Weight of Darkness until players get close enough. Even then, a lamp is only on for maybe 10 seconds before its white glow changes to orange for a few brief moments before the whole thing releases a forceful, damaging explosion.
Before the patch, the lamps had enough oomph to launch any nearby players a considerable distance. It’s dangerous to get separated from your team in this part of the raid: Hordes of weak, melee-only enemies rush in from all sides, bottomless pits line the floor of the chamber, and its impossible to see much of anything thanks to a combination of darkness and uneven terrain.
The blast served another purpose, however. Some crafty players figured out that a lone Guardian standing in juuuust the right spot could use the blast to launch themselves to another part of the chamber, closer to the end. And thanks to the way this part of the raid is designed, the spawning hordes of enemies don’t follow. The result is just one of Destiny‘s little magical unintended moments. Observe:
Pretty great, right? There’s a bit more to this part of the cheese, as you can see, but the first part is definitely the most complicated. Not only do you have to survive those first two lamps, but you’ve also got to get up on that big rock and find just the right position for the blast to catch you. It’s very easy to misjudge and land in the midst of a surprised yet delighted group of baddies. Still, it’s hilarious, and relatively easy.
Or it was. Bungie’s hotfix, and imminent patch changed all of that. But in every loss lies a lesson, in every defeat, a small victory.
We’ve lost the glorious exploding lamp cheese, that threw so many Guardians up into the heavens in their endless pursuit of kickass raid gear (or maybe once, for the love of all that is holy, a god&%#@, mother$*&@ing Gjallahorn), but we’ve replaced it with… well, jumping. That’s it. One, single jump.
So now that you know what the hell is going on here, let’s get to…
THE GOOD STUFF
It might be tough to tell in the video of the original cheese, but that lantern actually blasts you a very short distance, horizontally. There’s a wall, maybe three-quarters of a jump length behind the rock that you camp out on, and the blast pushes you to the top of that wall. Someone discovered that the right combination of character, skills, and gear — namely a Hunter Gunslinger with maxed agility and any weapon that includes the Lightweight perk (the legendary Murmur fusion rifle that Eris Morn gives you for completing The Dark Below‘s story missions has it) — provides enough jumping power to reach the top of that wall unassisted.
It’s still not simple. You’ve got to get past the first lamp, make it to the second lamp, and clamber up the rock, same as before. You’ve then got to wait at the rock’s highest point, and be close enough to the lantern that its light still wipes away Weight of Darkness. And finally, once the Weight is gone completely, you’ve got to get the jump right, and do all of that lead-in stuff before the lamp explodes. It took me a couple tries to get the timing right (and realize that I needed Gunslinger rather than Bladedancer), but it worked.
That’s all. If you were just here to learn the new cheese, now you have it. Go forth and pull your easy raid drops. I’m going to keep talking about Destiny though.
Make no mistake: Bungie’s going to find a way to fix this one too. It’s just a new talking point in the fascinating conversation that continues to unfold between this game’s fans and its creator.
An oddity of Destiny‘s scope hasn’t ever existed in the realm of blockbuster first-person shooters. It reaches (with arguable success) for the depth of a game like World of Warcraft, which peaked at 12 million subscribers in 2010, five years after it launched. Destiny hit 13 million players before the end of December 2014, three months after the game’s release.
That’s a whole lot of voices, and a whole lot of mouths to feed with sweet, sweet loot. A game like Destiny or WoW is defined by its long-term hooks. Both of these are massively multiplayer online games, and hooks like the raid (Warcraft has them too) are there to offer the steepest challenge for the greatest reward. It’s a badge of honor that the absolute best of the best players get to wear.
So in allowing lower-level players to quickly boost their way to the highest levels, Crota’s End quickly became just another loot grinder. You’re not supposed to see level 27s running around with those level 30 rare drops like the Hunger of Crota rocket launcher. It cheapens the journey required to get that gear in the first place.
So have your fun with the cheats, but the next time you find yourself asking why Bungie would stamp out in a patch the one thing that makes your Destiny journey a little easier when there are so many other things to fix (I sure did when the hotfix went live!), give some consideration to the bigger picture. Do you really want to get all the best loot immediately? Isn’t the road you take to get there half the fun?