Destiny 2’s latest extension dropped its first big secret on Tuesday. After the game’s weekly rest, players discovered clues in the European Dead Zone that led to a new exotic mission. I finished it earlier today and can confirm that it is a certified banger.
Spoiler warning: As with all new Destiny 2 secrets, this mission is best experienced fresh. Simply go to the “Gulch” in the EDZ and start poking around and you’ll eventually find your first clue. But if you don’t care about spoilers and want help with the mission, go ahead.
Shortly after the first weekly reset since Light fall launched, players discovered a new mission where word quickly spread on Twitter and that Fate subreddit. It’s called //NODE.OVRD.AVALON// and revolves around diving into an unstable Vex network to investigate the source of a strange message: Avalon. Remember Asher Mir, everyone’s favorite grumbled Warlock from IO? As previously teased at the end of Season of the Splicer, he is still alive and needs our help.
Read more: 14 things I love about Destiny 2: Lightfall
The new exotic mission is basically a Season of the Splicer Expunge mission crossed with the old Pyramidion Raid from back in the day Fate 2 first launched. You’ll platform through a Vex network, fight a host of harpies and minotaurs, solve some light puzzles, and eventually take down a strangely corrupt version of Brakion, the boss from the original Pyramidion raid.
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Succeed and you’ll receive the craftable glaive Vexcalibur, which nullifies allies and makes cool noises. I’m still feeling how good the new exotic is, but the secret mission to get it is excellent, especially when played as a three-player fire team. This is how you do it.
Go to the Gulch in the EDZ and collect the six Vex dice
This part is straightforward. When you land, go to the small island across the road where the solitaire is stationed to find the first cube. From there, you have 30 seconds to find each successive one until you’ve grabbed all six and decoded the coordinates. When you’re done, a passage will open on your map here:
Enter and follow the path to the end where you’ll find the blue harpy and unlock the mission node on the map to start at any time.
The mission says the recommended Power is 1800, but it will make anyone who plays it at least 1790, so no need to grind before trying it.
Just know you’re in for a tough time if you try to go solo. Whichever loadout you choose, you’ll want a lot of crowd-control and melee weapons like a shotgun, fusion rifle, or grenade launcher. Most of the Vex enemy shields are invalid.
How to enter Vex keys
After starting the mission, you’ll encounter a very short maze area that you’ll eventually find your way out of to reach the first main encounter. This is where you learn the core mechanics of the mission, which revolves around finding patterns of shapes and destroying the Vex shapes that appear in the corresponding order.
The Vex nodes will always create a pyramid, diamond or cube, and a smaller series of red nodes in the surrounding environment will tell you the order in which to destroy them. If you’re playing alone, you’ll have to do all the work, but if you’re in a group, it is best if one person finds the pattern and enters the code while the other two players kill enemies. There are three rooms in this followed by a wave of enemies before you enter the second phase of the mission.
Beware of the deletion protocol
After a short platforming section, you’ll come to another arena full of Vex enemies. This time some of them will drop purple shards that you can collect and deposit in the central Vex node. Doing so will release the force field and let you hide under the floor while the Vex network wipes everything out.
You’ll have to do this a lot of times, but it’s not too bad. At one point, you’ll fight a Hydra mini-boss. With three players it went down pretty easily.
Follow Asher Mir’s shout until you get to the boss
After the Deletion Protocol section, you’ll have to do some more platforming. The only real challenge here is to take it slow and watch for the ledges that will lead you deeper into the network. Eventually you’ll reach the final battle arena where you’ll face the boss, a giant hobgoblin in the vein of Brakion.
It starts out just like the Pyramidion encounter, but this time each damage phase will be punctuated by having to enter multiple Vex codes. As the boss sits up on his platform encased in a protective barrier, you’ll need to find the symbol patterns in the wells to the right or left of the arena and then enter them into the central Vex node.
If you are alone, good luck. However, if you are part of a group, I again recommend that one person enter the codes while the others clear the room. A ton of Vex spawn in battle and things can get out of hand very quickly. Once the match is over, it’s time to go back to ROET and claim your prize.
Use Vexcalibur to kill more Vex
After grabbing the Vexcalibur, you can unlock its pattern and start farming the rest of the exotic mission. To unlock additional crafting options, use the glaive to kill a ton of Vex. Fortunately, the new patrol zone Neomuna is perfect for this. If you haven’t been doing the Terminal Overload activity there, now is the perfect time.
This is where I am right now. I’ve never been a fan of glaives, but I’m already in love with the look and feel of Vexcalibur (and the name). We’ll see in the coming days and weeks if it finds a place in players’ arsenals or is just a fond memory from an old friend. Hopefully this means we’ll find out more about Asher Mir soon. Meanwhile, //NODE.OVRD.AVALON// is already a great addition to one Fate 2 expansion that is steadily growing on me.