Vanguard Strikes is a unique, new 10-person Vanguard mode for DUST 514, where players enter a massive multiplayer arena, fight other players, and attempt to earn Victory Points before the timer runs out. To do this, players must capture control points, hold down hardpoints, and complete other objectives. Despite the mode being brand new, we’ve been able to put together a few basic explanations of what is required to successfully play Vanguard Strikes in DUST 514. Note that these are not ranked or confirmed to be “optimal” methods for winning, but should give new players a good starting point!
It has been a few weeks since the launch of Season of Splicer, the new Season for Vanguard, and we’ve been doing some internal testing of the changes and how they’re affecting the game. We’ve been impressed with the way the new season has been received, with a lot of people playing the game, and a lot of that is down to the new “Story” mode. We’ve been taking a look at how people are getting on with the changes and how we can improve the game, so here’s a look at some of the things we’ve been focussing on.
Story explanations of Vanguard Strikes for new players (current strikes as of Season of Splicer)
The article’s substance
Assassination missions that are part of or linked to a broader narrative campaign are known as Vanguard Strikes. As a result, the mission voice-over often mentions incidents that would have occurred during that campaign.
Unfortunately, many of the campaigns are now unavailable (in the content vault, a paid expansion that you don’t possess, or a prior game). Furthermore, strikes from various time periods are jumbled together into a single playlist with no context. As a result, I felt this overview may be useful.
I’ve also included links to YouTube videos of these strikes in case you can’t see them or don’t recognize the names (not my videos, props to the original creators).
Note to lore masters: For the benefit of novice players, I’ve simplified certain material.
Vanilla Strikes from Destiny 2 (fall 2017)
The Dealer in Arms
- Ships and tanks at a Cabal military facility and airport, Earth, European Dead Zone (EDZ).
- Cabal are the main antagonists (bulky Roman space turtles)
- Background: The story is set during the Russian Civil War (D2 vanilla campaign). Earth has been conquered and occupied by the Cabal. Then we retaliate.
- The strike’s premise was that a senior Cabal “arms dealer” supplied weaponry and logistical assistance to the Cabal’s army on Earth. Your mission is to track him down and kill him before he gets away from Earth.
- Ghost (as usual); Suraya Hawthorne, a human resistance fighter who is now the woman with the hawk in the Tower; and Cayde-6, a lovely rogue and a commander in the Guardian “army” you’re a member of (the leadership of this army is also known as the Vanguard). Cayde-6 was slain in the Forsaken DLC in 2018, if you’re wondering where he is today.
- Effort ties: This operation was part of the Red War campaign to recapture Earth from the Cabal.
- There is no relevance to contemporary events.
The Lake of Shadows is a mysterious place.
- Earth, ruins near the Last City in the European Dead Zone (EDZ).
- The Taken are the main antagonists (enemies covered in glowy Darkness)
- The Taken are a group of indoctrinated warriors that serve the Hive’s different masters. (The Hive are a cult of zombie insect fanatics.) Shouldn’t the Taken have scattered when we killed one of the Hive commanders in D1? Unless a new leader emerges…
- The Taken have penetrated and polluted an ancient filtration facility that provides water to human communities. Conserve water!
- Ghost, Devrim Kay, a sophisticated gentleman Guardian (NPC in D2 vanilla campaign), and Zavala, the bald blue Vanguard commander in the Tower, are all on the comms.
- There are no campaign ties; this was a stand-alone side task in D2.
- Relevance to present events: The Hive leader, Savathun, a.k.a. the Witch Queen of next year’s main DLC, is the current leader of the Taken. The mission communications may sometimes mention Oryx (the former Hive/Taken commander) and the Book of Sorrows, a compendium of lore from D1 that chronicled the Hive’s past.
Crash of Exodus
- Nessus, including adjacent Vex buildings and the wreckage of an ancient colony ship.
- Fallen are the main antagonists (vaguely Predator-looking dudes)
- Nessus is a planetoid in the Solar System’s furthest reaches. It’s also the wreckage of an ancient Earth colony ship that was on its way to the stars. Failsafe is the colony ship’s AI, and it (she?) was injured during the accident. She has gotten glitchy and has a dual personality as a result of decades of solitude. When she switches between being helpful and being caustic, you can hear this. (Note that there is just one character, not two.) This information was gleaned from the now-defunct D2 vanilla campaign.
- The premise is that a gang of Fallen are entering Failsafe’s ruins. You landed to Nessus during the Cabal’s occupation of Earth during the Red War campaign. The Fallen scavengers are attempting to recover technologies from Earth’s Golden Age aboard the colony ship.
- Ghost, Failsafe, and Cayde-6, who was banished on Nessus during the Red War, are on the comms. Failsafe often refers to you as “the Captain,” her nickname.
- Campaign connections: Helping Failsafe, who you met on Nessus during D2 vanilla, is part of the narrative.
- There is no relevance to contemporary events.
The Spire inverted
- Nessus, Cabal drilling sites and bases, and Vex buildings are all in this area.
- Cabal and Vex are the main antagonists (robots that house canisters of time-traveling microorganisms)
- Background: The Vex have taken over Nessus and are converting it into a global supercomputer, as they do with every planet they take over.
- Premise: During the Red War, the Cabal attacked the Solar System and landed on Nessus. They’re excavating underground Vex buildings and installations, but they’re also undermining Nessus’ physical structure, which may lead to its collapse (whoops). Stop the Cabal, then destroy the enormous Vex mainframe robot they were attempting to access for good measure. I mean, why not while you’re here?
- Ghost, Zavala, and Failsafe are on the comms.
- Campaign ties: During D2 vanilla, this was a side quest that tied up loose ends from the Cabal invasion.
- There is no relevance to contemporary events.
DLC for Warmind (spring 2018)
Terminus of Insight
- Nessus, Vex constructions under the ground
- Cabal and certain Vex are the main foes.
- There is no background information.
- The premise is that a Cabal psion (essentially a psychic scientist with weapons) is attempting to recover data from deep below Vex supercomputers. You use bullets to persuade him that this is a terrible idea.
- Ghost, Zavala, and Failsafe are on the comms.
- There were no campaign ties; this was just new/additional material.
- Relevance to current events: None, although there are some deep lore allusions to stuff Ghost says on comms towards the strike’s conclusion (Otzot, OXA, MSund12).
DLC for Forsaken (fall 2018)
- The Jail of Elders, a massive prison constructed by the Awoken—those mythical, magical pastel people who dwell in the Asteroid Belt—is located in the Asteroid Belt (also known as the Reef).
- Vex and Cabal are the main antagonists.
- Background: The Elders’ Prison was a D1 endgame action. During the Forsaken campaign, a jail riot happens, and we return there. (And, yes, this is a jail with trains and inmates armed with firearms.)
- Premise: A Fallen servitor (those big floating purple robo-balls that shield Fallen) has gone haywire inside one cell block. It’s part of the jail control system, so its failure is creating even more havoc. It must be destroyed. (“Have you tried switching it on and off?”)
- On the phone: Ghost; Drifter (the Gambit quest giver and all-around rogue); Variks’ synthetic voice (the voice that talks backwards kind of like Yoda). Variks is a genuine Fallen trickster that used to dwell in the Reef in D1. During the Prison of Elders endgame action in D1, he was on the comms, telling us things like, “Dismantle mines, yes?” and “Your prize awaits!” In this attack, you’re eliminating a haywire servitor that utilizes ancient Variks voice recordings.
- Campaign connections: Forsaken DLC side quest set in the aftermath of the prison uprising.
- Variks ultimately ended up on Europa and became the NPC quest giver in Beyond Light, which is relevant to current events.
- The Tangled Shore (Wild West / Mos Eisley), caverns and tunnels inhabited by the Hive, are located on the Reef.
- Hive is the main enemy (fanatical space zombie-bug race allied with the Darkness)
- Background: A Hive fleet orbiting Saturn crashed here after a war in D1 (partly seen in the intro cinematic of D1’s Taken King DLC).
- Premise: Assassinate a Hive brood overseer who is intruding on Spider’s domain (the gruff Fallen crime boss who is basically Jabba the Hutt).
- Ghost, Spider, on the comms.
- Connections to the Forsaken campaign: Part of the mission to aid Spider, who in turn assists you in the Forsaken campaign.
- Relevance to current events: There is no clear link to current events, but Spider has ties to a new Guardian called Crow (who is a recurring character in the Seasons, currently looking like a Phantom of the Opera dude who hangs out in the staircase in the HELM).
Lair of the Hollowed
- The Tangled Shore, as well as numerous bunkers and fortresses
- Scorn, a horde of undead Fallen, are the main antagonists (yup).
- Background: During the Forsaken campaign, you pursued a gang of Scorn leaders who were responsible for the murder of Cayde-6, a revered rogue and one of the Vanguard commanders.
- Premise: Kill Fikrul, one of the Scorn commanders who has the ability to create undead Scorn.
- On comms: Ghost, Fikrul (taunts you and refers to you as “dead creature” since you, too, are undead and were raised by the Traveler).
- Campaign ties: This character is a part of the Forsaken campaign.
- The Scorn are met during the Presage expedition, when they are also involved in weird and abnormal Darkness experiments.
- The Ascendant Realm and the Dreaming City (forbidden palace of the Awoken in the Reef) (a shadowy, mystical realm only accessible by very powerful beings).
- Taken and some Hive are the main foes.
- Background: During the Forsaken campaign, we discovered that the Dreaming City was home to a powerful monster known as Riven. Riven was corrupted (she was “taken”) by Savathun, the Hive’s Witch Queen. Riven then corrupted the Awoken’s high-ranking sorcerers, known as Techeuns, and the Dreaming City (“the curse”). Two of these Techuens appear in the Last Wish raid. (The Techeuns may also be seen with Queen Mara in D1’s Taken King cinematic.)
- In this attack, the third Techeun is met, defeated, and set free. To do so, go through the palaces of the Awoken and into the Ascendant Realm, where she is hiding.
- Petra Venj, Ghost, on comms (Awoken field leader).
- Campaign ties: In the Dreaming City, Forsaken has a parallel campaign.
- Relevance to current events: In the future seasons and DLCs, we’ll most likely continue the tale of Savathun and the Awoken.
DLC for Shadowkeep (fall 2019)
- Hive fortress on the Moon.
- Hive is the main enemy.
- Background: In the D2 vanilla ending cinematic, a frightening fleet of Pyramid spacecraft was briefly glimpsed on its route to the Solar System. During the Shadowkeep campaign, Eris Morn, a survivor of the Hive wars, finds an old Pyramid spacecraft on the Moon. Because the Hive may be taking strength from the Pyramid, she wants you to eliminate the Hive presence there, which is concentrated on a huge crimson stronghold.
- The premise is that you enter the Hive stronghold and assassinate the Hive’s top commanders. Hashladun, the daughter of a Hive prince who notoriously murdered many of Eris’ companions, is the strike’s last boss.
- Ghost, Zavala, and Eris Morn are on the comms.
- Part of the Shadowkeep campaign, as well as Eris’ continuing battle against the Hive.
- Relevance to current events: From D1 to the future, the tale of the Hive, the Pyramids, and the Darkness is a significant plot thread in Destiny. Although this strike was intended to be a one-off, it is connected to bigger narrative developments. Our past triumphs against prominent Hive leaders like Crota, Oryx, and Omnigul are referred to as Eris. All of this occurred in D1.
DLC “From Beyond Light” (fall 2020)
The Path of Glass
- Vex structures under the ice on Europa.
- Fallen and Vex are the main foes.
- Background: The House of Salvation, a gang of Fallen extremists, has invaded Europa in search of great Darkness relics and technology from an ancient human colony. They’ve also discovered a gateway to the Vex homeworld, which was discovered by a crazed human scientist called Clovis Bray.
- Premise: Elsie Bray (granddaughter of Clovis Bray), a time-traveling adventurer, has asked you to stop the Fallen from using this gateway and subsequently destroy it. She is one of the major NPCs in the Beyond Light DLC, and she is someone we first encountered in the D1 vanilla campaign, when she was simply known as an unidentified “Exo Stranger.”
- Elsie Bray, Ghost, on communications.
- Connections to the campaign: This is part of the Beyond Light campaign.
- Part of the mythology behind the Darkness on Europa and Clovis Bray’s findings there, which is relevant to contemporary events.
The Devil’s Den
- Earth, Cosmodrome, and Fallen Strongholds
- Fallen and Hive are the main foes.
- The advertising was part of the D1 vanilla campaign (yes, D1, not D2). You explored the Cosmodrome as you do today in New Light, then fought the House of Devils, a Fallen group that had assembled there. The strike is shown in D2 without any modifications to the narrative. That’s also why, as was the custom at the time, you hear a mission briefing while loading. Instead, mission briefings are included in the D2 strike gameplay.
- The premise is that you must locate and eliminate the House of Devils’ leadership.
- Ghost and Zavala are on the comms.
- Connections to the campaign: This was a portion of D1’s vanilla campaign, particularly the first arc, which took place on Earth.
- Relevance to current events: This is from a time when the Fallen were depicted as rogue pirates. Different groups have been shown in more depth since Beyond Light and Season of the Splicer, and have even been welcomed by the Guardians. As a result, we dropped the pejorative word “Fallen” in favor of the indigenous name “Eliksni.” When Zavala instructs us to send the Fallen’s souls screaming back to Hell in his mission briefing, he uses a more traditional “good versus evil” tone. (Wow, Zavala, that’s heavy.)
SABER that has fallen to the ground
- The Cosmodrome is located on the planet Earth.
- Fallen are the main antagonists.
- Background: Another strike was imported from D1 “as is,” with no changes to the storyline. We saw numerous bunkers of a planetary defense AI called Rasputin at the Cosmodrome in D1, which were overrun by Fallen and Hive at different times.
- Premise: Assist Rasputin in clearing out Fallen invaders headed by SABER, a hilariously beefed-up shank (the goofy hover-tank boss of the strike).
- Ghost, Zavala, and Rasputin are on the phone (the robotic Russian voice of the defense AI).
- There are no campaign ties; this is a single D1 side quest.
- Relevance to current events: For many gamers who have never played D1, this strike may be very perplexing. Consider this a flashback. It alludes to numerous character and mythology pieces from the past. “There are so few ballet lovers left,” Ghost adds. This is a reference to Russian classical music that Rasputin sometimes plays around its bunkers in the D1 vanilla and D2 vanilla campaigns, none of which will make sense to new players since it’s all been removed. “We don’t want another Omnigul situation,” Zavala said at the outset of the strike. This is a reference to a Hive wizard who was slain in the original version of the Disgraced attack in the Cosmodrome in D1 (she’s now reskinned as Navota in New Light, see below). Rasputin was retconned to be on Mars in the Warmind DLC, rather being on Earth in the Cosmodrome. Of course, Warmind is no longer with us, so there’s not much context for this attack. Prior to Beyond Light, Rasputin assisted in the destruction of a renegade Cabal space station in early 2020. Rasputin also developed a sense of self-awareness.
from the campaign “New Light” (fall 2020)
- The Cosmodrome is located on the planet Earth.
- Hive and Fallen are the main foes.
- Background: The Hive wants to attack Earth and kill the Traveler, a benign space orb. To fight back, the Traveler has revived soldiers known as Guardians. One of them is you.
- Premise: Assassinate Navota, a Hive wizard who has taken up residence at the Cosmodrome, an abandoned human spaceport on Earth, as the campaign’s leader. You’ll also have to battle against Fallen militias holding the Cosmodrome to get to her.
- Ghost, Shaw Han (the New Light campaign’s primary NPC), and Zavala are on the phone.
- Campaign ties: The New Light campaign has come to an end.
- The New Light campaign is a standalone narrative that introduces players to Destiny 2. It has no relevance to current events. This strike is based on a D1 variant. In the previous version, the last boss was a servant of Crota, the Hive prince who invaded the moon and traumatized Eris Morn, and the final boss was a servant of Crota, the Hive prince who invaded the moon and traumatized Eris Morn. Those events are still canon, but they’re mostly lore at this time and aren’t very important to newcomers.
Season of the Chosen (Season of the Chosen) (early 2021)
- Nessus, the massive mobile Cabal headquarters.
- Cabal are the main antagonists.
- Background: During the Season of the Chosen (early 2021), a new Cabal empress called Caiatal attempted to compel mankind to sign a treaty—but only if we agreed to surrender to Cabal control. Caiatal’s demands were rejected by Zavala on behalf of the Vanguard. As a consequence, there was a heated standoff.
- Premise: The diplomatic squabble is settled by ritual battle between the Vanguard champion (we) and a Cabal champion chosen by Caiatal, just as it happens in real life. We must battle our way into the ceremonial arena, murdering everyone who stands in our way before killing the champion.
- Ghost, Zavala, and Caiatal are on the comms (the husky-voiced Empress of the Cabal)
- Campaign ties: The Season of the Chosen narrative comes to a close, with a stalemate ending and a war avoided due to honor and stuff.
- Relevance to current events: Since the Cabal homeworld was destroyed (off-screen) by the Hive, Caiatal may become an ally in the future.
Original source: link
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For the game Destiny 2, write “Story explanations of Vanguard Strikes for novice players (current strikes as of Season of Splicer).”
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