Thursday, February 11, 2016

The wrong way to decrypt engrams in The Taken King

Ok so in vanilla Destiny and even in the DLC’s my usual method of opening engrams involved saving up about 40-50+ Rare, Legendary and sometimes Exotic engrams throughout the week and opening them on Friday, timed perfectly with XUR’s arrival. 

This to me was awesome for 2 reasons, one because saving up a whole bunch of engrams and opening them up all at once just felt awesome and I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Secondly there was a popular theory that if you opened engrams on Fridays when XUR had arrived, you had more chances of getting strange coins from rare engrams, and this certainly seemed true for me. So if ever I was low on Strange Coins when XUR arrived this seemed to do the trick and give me just enough to buy some exotic gear from XUR.

Well, since I started playing The Taken King about 2 weeks ago, I thought a similar strategy would be in order and that’s what I did, saved up all rare engrams I got during the week and then proceeded to open all 50+ engrams on Friday when XUR had arrived. Not only did I get ONLY around 2-3 strange coins doing this, but then later found out that this was the WORST possible way to decrypt engrams in Destiny Year 2.

Why decrypting a lot of engrams at the same time is bad, especially in The Taken King you ask?

Well the Cryptarch works a bit differently in The Taken King than in the previous DLC’s or vanilla Destiny. Before it was mostly RNG and the Cryptarch usually tried to screw you over anyways, so opening more at once seemed more fun and probably also had a better chance at giving you good gear.

In The Taken King expansion however the Cryptarch looks at your light level and then there is a fairly large chance that he will decrypt something that is higher than you current light level.

Why is this important?

To increase your light level as fast as possible of course. In The Taken King after you reach the max level of 40 all your experience goes towards gaining motes of light, which are quite important, but that’s a story for another time. So after you are the max level of 40 in The Taken King the only thing that matters is your light level. Your light level is an average of attack/defense stats of all the weapons and armor you have equipped and this includes a ghost shell and a class specific relic now. So if your light level is around 270 and you take something to the Cryptarch to decrypt it, he is likely to give you something similar in light level or higher. This is not ALWAYS the case, but more likely than not the Cryptarch seems generous these days, at least for me.

What is the correct way to decrypt engrams?

So a popular strategy, which I only came across AFTER I had already wasted about 50 engrams is to decrypt ONE engram and then check if its light level is higher than the current item of the same slot you have equipped. If it is, then replace the item with the new one the Cryptarch gave you and THEN decrypt another engram. If it is a lower light level you can either dismantle it and move on to decrypting your second engram.

You do this essentially opening ONE engram at a time and checking the light level and then opening another and so on and so forth, gradually increasing your light level in a matter of minutes, quite smart really.

So you can still save up tons of engrams during the week but then when you get to the Cryptarch open them one at a time and check the item level. It’s a much more tedious method and a real buzzkill in my opinion but it’ll help you get raid ready MUCH faster or to that coveted 320.

At the end of the day though, they are YOUR engrams and you can damn well do WHATEVER YOU want with them and don’t let me or anyone else tell you otherwise. This is just a tip for those who are trying desperately to get to 290+ light levels or want a method to do so in the shortest time possible. Now that both my characters are 295+ I still open engrams the old fashioned way, which involves 40-50 at a time and it's STILL a lot of fun!

Posted below is a video of me literally wasting a TON of engrams by opening them up all at once and so I made a video on how NOT to decrypt engrams in The Taken King, especially if you are racing to get to above 295 light levels.

Let me know if you found this method useful or if you already knew about it, as well as which method of opening engrams you prefer, down in the comments section below.



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