So now having completed the Leviathan Raid in Destiny 2 with two different groups – I was the only common denominator across both groups – I wanted to share my thoughts on each section of the raid, and then of course the raid as a whole.
Raid Opening – Standards
Let’s be honest – the best and worst part of the raid experience is here. The best part – it is fighting. Your first time through you don’t realize that besides the Baths, and of course Calus, this is the most fighting you will actually do. The worst – well, this is the most fighting you will actually do, and the funny part is you don’t even have to do it. Yes, first time you get a powerful engram, but if you know the underbelly, you don’t even have to do it the first time. If you don’t know this, you are doing this part between every round.
Hands down my favorite part of the raid – an almost perfect mix of mechanics and fighting. In short, it is a decent mini-DPS check for those having to kill Bathers on their own, which is essentially everyone once. Yes, you can run around and kill them slowly – or kite them around until the guy or gal coming to take your place on the plate shows up, but it lets you know that your load out and gear are up to snuff when you can take out the bathers with no problem.
The dogs! Probably the single must frustrating section for those on the raids first day – except for those who overthought the Gauntlet. Not much fighting – a lot of moving together and coordinating – i.e. 2 stacks we go half way on your dogs health, 3 stacks or more we kill… etc. That’s really about it. Easy to screw up, but even in that, there is no need to do a one phase kill of all dogs – it gains you maybe ten minutes for a normal raid team. I have also found it is no problem to one phase no matter the make up of your team – but if you do have 6 Titans… two stacks and go.
Easily the most frustrating part for my weekend raid group. However, now that it have been completed and the strategy is set, just like the rest of the raid up to this point, no big deal, pretty simple to get through. A lot of teams overthought this one at first, but once the mechanics where understood, it was a matter of assigning players in your fire team to positions. To be honest, the hardest part for my weekend groups was the final race which sends all six players through the actual gauntlet part of the gauntlet – but again, once we nailed down a strategy, no issues.
Up to this point – Through the Pools, Gardens and Gauntlet (which do rotate on a weekly reset basis) – the raid is pretty simple once you get down the strategy and no longer have to explain the mechanics to new members… even then, seriously, the first three part are pretty easy. (the rib on new players was a joke… seriously)
Calus – The Final Battle
Again, mechanics plays a huge part in the final raid encounter, as well as strategy. Who is going to stay in the throne room versus who is going to stay in the shadow zone. Hell, how many people will go into the shadow zone… three or four? What weapons to use, etc. Fighting skill also comes into play, especially for those who remain in the throne room when the others stay in the shadow zone. Even in the shadow zone the players need to be quick on the trigger to kill on the ground psions who will knock you over the barrier and get you killed. Its a battle where you need to even plan revive priorities… i.e. shadow zone folks revive first, and throne room guys as a last resort. Its a battle that has its on glitches and bugs (though I confess I have not really experienced any that I know of – I have always been able to change something to fix what could have been a bug or glitch – I do believe those people who claim to have experienced glitches). This battle had all the thought out mechanics of any final raid battle in Destiny… and in my opinion, did it just as well, if not better then the previous four raids. (Hands down a million times better then Prison of Elders – though PoE had a lot more fighting).
People complaining about the mechanics of this fight must have forgotten about Vault of Glass, where three RANDOM people get teleported and must use a relic and fight their way through. Take Crota, which was so glitchy at first we ended up 9the community) by glitching his ass with someone taking out a LAN cable. Prison of Elders – not a raid, but end game content in place of a raid… which was okay but not really. Oryx… most extreme mechanics up to that point. I didn’t play Rise of Iron.. but I think you get my point. Everyone complains about the raid when it first comes out… its too hard, to mechanic heavy, too many enemies… but eventually, once it is figured out, we all begin to chase the speed runners. In other words… this is just Destiny as usual.
I want to point out, I do not 100% agree with how the loot system works – i think you should get a guaranteed weapon drop from one phase of the raid, with a guaranteed armor drop from another. I do like the token system, but I still think you should get a definite drop from at least two phases of the raid. I would say 2nd phase you have to complete (which rotates) gives armor while Calus should give a weapon. I also wish Bungie would implement some sort of smart loot system where the game doesn’t give as many duplicates – both for raid gear and other stuff. Beyond this, I do like the token system – especially since it makes you beat the raid before you can actually use them. Meaning, you can’t just cheese over and over and turn in your tokens, you must beat the raid at least once on one character for them to be useful.
Now on the gear – its no different then the gear you have drop in the world outside the raid… in fact, a lot of people don’t even like the stats on the armor at all. There is also no raid or cabal specific perks on anything, which I feel is a huge mistake on Bungie’s part. There is also nothing real special about any of the weapons you can get… Ghost Primus is good, but if you have Origin Story not necessary. I haven’t found anyone who actually likes the pulse rifle. The raid rocket is essentially a slower reloading version of Curtain Call. The raid scout rifle, the Conspirator, is probably the best overall weapon, followed by the sword, to come out of the raid. Even the exotic shotgun, which you need to complete the raid for the quest to continue, doesn’t get a lot of love… yet (through the upgrade process, the thought is it will continue to get better).
Ratings – By Section and Overall
Standards – A+
Pools – A+
Gardens – A-
Gauntlet – B+
Calus – A-
Compared to the other raids – keeping in mind I didn’t play Rise of Iron – I still put Vault of Glass as number one, I put this one up there with King’s Fall, and of course I put Crota last. The only thing, for me, worse then Crota’s End would be Prison of Elders – but to be honest, it wasn’t really that bad, but we all wanted a raid! The one thing I do like about this raid is that you essentially cannot be carried – you must play your part and you must play it well – not perfect, but well.
I wanted to hate this raid because it wasn’t a traditional Destiny raid – there isn’t a ton of fighting, but after understanding each section and getting several completions, I realize that the raid as a whole has grown on me. to be honest, the normal mode does not feel as difficult as VoG did, and the puzzles will never be as annoying as the jumping sections of King’s Fall. As to the glitches and the mechanics, I only ask that you search your memory and go back to all of the previous raids.
I want to say thank you to both of the teams I have run with and will continue to do so. Especially those who stuck around even though I know certain parts became extremely frustrating.