If you’re looking for a quick way to level up your Guardian in preparation for the upcoming raid in the newly released Destiny expansion, “Rise of Iron,” you could do worse than heading into the war-torn Plaguelands to try out the Archon’s Forge.
In the new arena challenge area, located in the lava-filled Archon’s Keep, players can join a loose group of Guardians to take down waves of enemies and earn loot. If you’re familiar with the last Destiny expansion, “The Taken King,” you may recognize “Archon’s Forge” as being similar to the Court of Oryx, an area on the Dreadnaught ship where players teamed up for quick boss fights against groups of gimmicky enemies. But Court of Oryx required a lot of strategic play, since each boss fight carried a specific requirements to complete. Archon’s Forge, on the other hand, offers more of a fast-paced free-for-all.
Especially in the early days of “Rise of Iron,” Archon’s Forge can be a bit daunting — it’s fully possible to stumble into a battle far beyond your Light level and get trampled by tough enemies, and you can’t even activate the Forge yourself until you’ve beaten the story campaign. But with a few quick tips, you can bend the Archon’s Forge to your will, and earn some great rewards.
How to Activate Archon’s Forge
You’ll find the Archon’s Forge in the Plaguelands while on Patrol — it’s the big room with the domes in it. To activate it and make enemies come fight you, you’ll need SIVA offerings. These random drops appear in your inventory, and are plugged into a console just outside the Forge itself to activate the big fight. What kind of SIVA offering you plug in affects what you’ll deal with in the battle. They come in three difficulty flavors — Fused (easiest), Enhanced (moderate) and Perfected (hard). The difficulty also aligns to the rarity of the drop.
Seemingly, you can earn SIVA Offerings from Splicer enemies in the Plaguelands. Drops seem random, although the rates seem higher when you’re killing Majors, the tougher enemies with the yellow health bars. Here’s the important thing: You can only hang on to one SIVA offering at a time, which means if you grab a common one, you’ll miss the opportunity to pick a rarer variety later.
If you want to save SIVA offerings, you can hold onto a few by spreading them out among multiple characters. Assuming you have three active characters, you can hold up to four at a time (including one in your Vault). A handy way to move them around is to transfer Offerings with apps like Ishtar Commander to save you trips back to the Tower. (Update: Looks like Bungie has killed this capability. You can still have one SIVA Offering on each character, but now you’ll have to transfer them manually, which is a pain).
Know what you’re getting into
It’s easy to overlook a crucial piece of information when you head to the Forge, and that’s the difficulty of what you’re about to get into. Each SIVA Offering includes a recommended Light level for the battle. You would be wise to grab the appropriate gear before jumping in, because these battles can get tough in a hurry. In the early days of the expansion, it’s very likely you can stumble into an Archon’s Forge battle you can’t handle and, without a lot of help from other players, you might get steamrolled. Fused Offerings suggest a Light level of 320, Enhanced Offerings suggest 340, and Perfected Offerings suggest 360, the same number as the Nightfall Strike and “Wrath of the Machine” raid.
SIVA Offerings are also named based the kind of encounter they’re going to summon in the forge. A Fused Dreg offering, for instance, is going to be very heavily on basic Fallen grunts, and everything that comes with them — namely melee attacks, grenades, and pistol attacks. If you use a Servitor Offering, on the other hand, the battle will change significantly. There are five different types of offerings for each level, bringing the total to 15 variations.
The more guns, the better
This may seem like a no-brainer — Archon’s Forge is a public event, after all, and that means it’s meant to be played with other people — but even at lower difficulty levels, it can be tough to handle alone or even with just a friend. No matter what kind of enemies you have to fight, Archon’s Forge’s biggest challenge is the sheer number of enemies it throws at you, so more guns are very helpful.
What’s more, time is a factor. You need to progress through the challenge at a certain speed or faster to earn “boons” along the way. Those boons, like the opportunity to grab the Iron Lord’s battle-axe you get to try out during the final mission of the “Rise of Iron” story campaign, can make the final wave of an Archon’s Forge battle into a fast-paced smash-fest.
You won’t get them, though, if you’re too slow in fighting through a challenge. You only have five minutes to beat any given Archon’s Forge. It’s worth noting also that if you die while fighting an Archon’s Forge battle on your own, you’ll fail it. Hang around and wait for other people to show up, or bring buddies.