Note: This article is a continuation of my previous post, Destiny Raid Diary I: Let’s Do This.
The team was handsomely rewarded for vanquishing the Templar. Some much-needed Ascendant Shards would further level up my Armamentarium chest piece, though I was holding out for something slightly more special.
As a small nook poked out from the Templar boss area, we figured it must be the next passage to take; the central cube revealed a small opening in its side. Everyone was a in a crouch position for a long time with so little room to move, like a bunch of ants trying to navigate the inside of their hill.
It was dark – really dark. The team was in single file and the only thing I knew was that we were going down – into what, I didn’t know.
Stage Three: Evading Gorgons, Loot, and Vanishing Stairs:
Right when I was thinking: “when is this crouching going to end?”, the ground gave way and I landed on a ledge. It wasn’t a huge drop but it was enough to get startled.
There was another ledge a bit lower, and one after that, and another after that. In fact, there were about a dozen ledges leading to the bottom. The drop was straight down, but everyone ignored the safety of the platforms and used their double-jumps just before landing on the surface.
There was no going back as the climb back up was too great. A shallow stream in a huge cavern, with three alternate routes, was the only way to progress.
Our team leader knew of a chest, up high, which would guarantee the group good loot. Again, first-person platforming was required – but made all the more easy thanks to the Titan’s ‘increased height’ perk for jumping.
The chest sat below golden light and yielded Ascendant Energy for me. Though I failed to get a weapon, I upgraded the damage output of my Prestige IV void machine gun. A few members bragged about their spoils as we made our way back to ground level.
But we weren’t done. Upon finding another chest, taking the right-hand path, I got more Ascendant Energy – apparently common, as all but one member obtained the same loot.
“The next part is easy if we stick together,” said the leader. We had to navigate the Gorgons’ Labyrinth. If the Gorgons, a souped-up version of Harpies, spotted anyone, the whole team died; the pressure was on.
Again, the fireteam were single file in a crouched position. Sneaking our way to the left, then up the middle, then to the right. Keeping quiet was a high priority, so slides and double-jumps were a big no-no. The Gorgons’ numbers weren’t overwhelming but they kept a tight watch on all pathways, advancing forwards and then back again.
Nobody got separated and we all arrived at the next trial. Arriving at a cliff face there was a gap to the next pathway of gigantic proportions. I spotted the vanishing platforms, proving a pain to jumping to at the right moment.
I was the last to make it across and it was slightly amusing watching everybody sitting down and dancing inside a Ward of Dawn. Timing the initial jump right before the middle platform appeared was difficult, followed by a quick landing to regain some boost power.
Boosting around the ledge was no trouble, despite the nearby wall (which can push you off) and bottomless drop. With all members accounted for, the final test was upon us.
Stage Four: The Gatekeeper, Separate Squads, and Defeating Atheon:
Entering the Vault of Glass for the first time was a great feeling, I have to say. But there was a welcoming party waiting for us and shit just got real.
The fireteam cleared the room of all enemies with no problems. However, that was just a taste of what was to come, as a robot named The Gatekeeper had appeared in the centre of the Vault and spawned a shitload of Vex – from caves on the left, right, and out of portals on either side.
The sync plates from the opening phase reared their ugly head again, as it was time to control a point and destroy all oncoming Vex. Goblins were no match for my Suros Regime and when the plate was secured our team suddenly halved.
I had no idea what just happened and started to get a little flustered. Our team leader, a Hunter and a Warlock had gone into a portal in order to grab a relic to damage The Gatekeeper. That proved almost instantaneous, as he was defeated within a couple of minutes. Another checkpoint earned, another tough challenge to come.
My headset was a constant buzz of chatter and from here specific squads were set up. “Team Portal” would accompany the relic holder inside a second portal to retrieve a second relic, I was told. All the while, ‘Team Conflux” would defend a point from Vex – mostly Minotaurs – and prevent any sacrifices to the conflux.
Whilst I was pleased not to have the responsibility of relic holder, my enthusiasm took a hit when I was chosen to defend the point. Myself, another Titan and a Warlock were shouting enemy locations constantly. They never let up and converged from every angle. So stressful.
Team Conflux was close to death when Team Portal arrived. Their entrance was even more epic when two Warlocks instantly used Nova Bombs to clear the battlefield. Those members still active were cleansed by the relic pronto and the fight continued.
Silencing the Vex’s leftovers from the conflux battle gave more loot in the form of Ascendant Shards. I felt very unlucky as a few screams of legendary weapons and armour filled my ears. Bright side, though: another checkpoint acquired.
The final struggle in the Vault of Glass was Atheon. This fucker proved extremely tough to beat. Not because of excessive health points, or overpowered attacks, but because of the sheer amount of co-ordination and communication required within the team.
I was given a quick run-down of what would follow: Mars equals left plate, Venus equals right plate and destroy any Oracles if you get teleported.
Atheon soon teleported three Guardians and the deafening sound of Venus had me running. I was ready but, in the heat of the moment, I realised I’d run to the wrong side! My teammates stood atop a pillar away from the kamikaze Harpies, called Supplicants, but it was okay; for this wave, I gave support from afar.
Team Portal came through just in time, three heading for a nearby platform and three others supporting from the back columns. A Time’s Vengeance buff, as well as my Weapons of Light shield, gave Team Platform huge amounts of damage. Team Column also voiced their satisfaction, reeling off sniper hits in excess of 8,000 to both Atheon and Supplicants coming from the flanks. Two-second cool downs gave the team free rein of their abilities and there were grenades constantly being flung at Atheon.
But his shield sprang back up and three random Guardians were sent to another location. I was one of them, shouted out “Venus!” and instantly began chucking grenades at oncoming Vex – a Minotaur, in particular – as well as looking for Oracles throughout the map.
One cleansing teammates, one on enemies, another on Oracles; the teams were in sync now. All Oracles had been dispatched and moving through the portal proved a disorientating experience. I just stood still and waited to be cleansed again.
After picking off Vex stragglers both teams returned to previous positions ready for Time’s Vengeance to kick in. After numerous attempts took us a while to have a second crack at Atheon – the adrenaline was real and it was heart-pumping stuff.
Our buffs ran out and we figured one more round would wrap it up. I was teleported again and, like before, shouted “Mars!” and sought to damaging the Minotaur and keeping an eye on Oracles. My ammo was low, with an empty auto rifle and machine gun, but got the last Oracle with two fusion rifle bursts left.
Morale was at a high when Team Portal appeared. Team Vault’s sync plate was about to be overrun and required immediate support. Ammo synthesis on my Suros was followed by a quick cleanse from the relic holder, as the Vex were cleared out and we made our final push.
When Atheon went down from the barrage of explosions I was ecstatic – as was everyone else – and a dance party immediately followed. I had just completed Destiny’s end game and was justly rewarded for it: A void auto rifle, a new class item and an outfit shader.
The Vault of Glass isn’t the most challenging co-op experience I’ve had. But I can definitely say it’s enjoyable, hectic and highly satisfying in that final area.
As Parts I and II were done in separate sessions, with Part II completed post-Atheon patch, there are some gamers out there I’d like to thank for guiding me through Destiny’s first Raid:
Part I: Let’s Do This
- HD RuThLeSs
- Koalaa Net
- Mendicant Biias
- Mr Sonic X
Part Two: Let’s Finish This
- Blueberry xX
- MercyGod X
- I SonOfAthens I
- I SonOfSparta I
- Trey Bae
As for you, the reader, thanks for making it all the way down to the bottom of the post. If you anything to say about this post, or about your first Raid, please leave them in the comments below! – HW