#Destiny2: Getting to 300+ WITHOUT Exotics/’Powerful’ Gear

In a previous entry I tried to describe in detail about my specific strategy for leveling, and I think I’ve got a pretty clearer way to describe how you can level slowly toward 300 and up, without even needing exotics in the first place.

Once you get up to around 265, your blues and purples seem to stop dropping at higher levels and actually seem to only drop at LOWER levels, and all of your token rep rewards all seem to stop being higher around there, too.

What if you could have the same level of anticipation about BLUE engrams might be, that you do with exotics?

For simplicity’s sake, imagine that you have only a single piece of gear, like Legs, that affects your total ‘Power’ (which I will call Light here) level.

If you have 265 Legs, and blues/purples and rewards are only dropping at 262-ish, then inspect the Leg piece in detail. Chances are, you have a purple mod on them, diving you a +5 boost — so ACTUALLY, the leg piece is only 260, with a +5 bonus, and you’re mistakenly looking at the 265 as the real light level.

If there is a purple mod on item that is rated at 265, think of it actually as 260 +5.

The engrams that are dropping at 261 are actually higher than your “260 +5”, so infusing a 261 onto your “260 +5” will make it now “261 +5” for a total of 266.

Now that your leg piece is 266 total, but actually “261 +5”, engrams will begin dropping at 262 or so. Use that 262 to infuse to your “261 +5” and it will become a “262 +5” for 267 total.

Now you have a reason to be glad at getting even any blue engram, and you can get higher and higher just by only grinding on blues.

Since legs are only one of 17 pieces (Helmet, Arms, Chest, Legs, Mark, AutoR, HandC, Sidearm, Pulse, Scout, Sub, Shotty, Fusion, Snipe, Rocket, Nader), you might think you have a TON of grinding to do, to make EACH piece get the next-higher level once it moves up, but:

That’s where the tokens come in. SAVE your tokens and Gunsmith materials for when you notice the blue engrams dropping at the next higher number, so that you can go to one of these vendor reps who will drop their rewards at that level, so you can have a pretty good chance at getting the ones you need to push the base level higher.

They key is to remember that your purple-modded items are actually only “+5” boosted, so the real light level is -5 below it. When you get a blue engram of that armor or weapon type, you can infuse it to the purple-modded item to increase the -5 level up a few points gradually.

I personally keep on-hand one of each type of weapon, even ones I hate like sidearms, so that I can upgrade the light level for that piece to possibly count toward the total better, but that’s not necessary.

The good thing about getting exotics, is that they will leap the light level of your dedicated piece a LOT higher than just one level at a time, and may actually influence the total light level average much higher so that all of your engrams may even skip a level or two instead of going one level at a time progressively upward, but I think it is important to understand the basic nature of why they do.


Detailed Explanation of Getting 265+ Light in Destiny 2

(Despite the switch from D1’s Light to D2’s Power terms, I’ll still use Light in this article. I also use purple and yellow for ease of reference.)

You’ll notice at about 265 light, that engrams will stop dropping at higher and higher light numbers like before, and will only drop up to approx 265 so that you hit kind of a wall and can’t seem to increase the number any higher. Blues and purples will actually still increase, but only for a certain reason.

What you need to do now is focus on getting a dedicated set of purple/yellow armor and weapons that you plan to stick with. Lock them so you won’t delete them (or if you find a different one you like, lock the new one and break down the old one). In terms of weapons, it might be better to keep at least one purple of each kind of weapon (hand cannon, auto rifle, etc) even if you don’t prefer to use that certain kind.

Once you have your dedicated set, view each of the pieces in detail and remember which ones have blue mods and which have purple mods. By now you should have plenty of blue mods in your inventory, and a scattering of purple mods. Your first goal is to try to add purple mods to every piece in your dedicated set.

If you’re stuck at 265, modding all of your pieces with purple mods will bring your total light up to 270. Once you begin to approach modding all of your gear pieces with purples, you will begin to notice that blues and purple engrams will start dropping at 266 and 267.

Now, to explain the next part: imagine riding on a horse, while holding a long stick with a carrot dangling on the end in front of the horse, so that the horse will move forward, wanting to walk toward the carrot but not be able to ever reach it.

Your horse is your 265 light that engrams drop at, and the carrot is the 270 average of your gear with mods.

As the average rises, the engram-drop level also rises, so be sure to use all of those engram-drops to infuse your gear.

You might be thinking, “Why would I want a 266 engram if the piece is modded to 270?” The answer is because you’re actually at only 265 + 5, because the mod is extending your light level forward. If you use the 266 engram to infuse into your 265 + 5 dedicated piece, then the mod will stay in place and you’ll have a 266 + 5 piece for 271.

Once you approach an average of 271, engrams will begin dropping at 267.

Remember that all of your dedicated set is actually only 265 with a +5 mod. You do actually want those 266 and 267 engrams so that you can raise the dedicated set up to a higher base light + mod. Before you break them down, go thru each of your dedicated set and see if any are available to raise higher, and do it.. THEN break down the extras.

As long as you keep dangling the carrot in front of the horse, the horse will keep inching forward. That is, as long as you keep infusing your current armor/weaps with current level of blue/purple engrams, that +5 will stay danging in front, and the drop-level of blue/purple engrams will also increase as you go.

If you’re still not getting it, let me try to explain it another way:

Imagine for a moment that your total light level were only based on 1 piece, such as a leg piece, and forget all the others for the moment.

If you have a leg piece a 265, then by this reasoning, your light total light level would be 265. With me so far? At this point, blue engrams should be dropping at 262 or 263, which doesn’t seem like any help.

If you put a purple mod on this leg piece, that will “raise” the light total to 270, and blue engrams will start dropping at around 266 or 267. Still no help, right?

Wrong. Your gear is actually only still at 265, just with a +5 mod on it.

If you ignore the mod, the gear itself is actually only 265, which means that 266 or 267 blue engram that dropped will raise it up 1 or 2 points, to 266.

Since there is a mod on it, the +5 will stay on it, and instead of 270, will be 271 or 272 now.

What you’re upgrading is the “base” light level, not the modded light level. The modded light level is always +5 of the base, so when you have a 270 light piece with a mod on it, the base is actually only 265. When you infuse your 266 engram into it, you now have a 266 base light level, so your new modded light level is 271.

Now that the new modded light level is 271, then engrams will start dropping at 267 and 268. Rinse, repeat. All of those blue engrams that you discarded before were exactly what you did actually need to move up..

Destiny 2 “Sludge Farming” Multiple Farms at Once

As of under a week past launch, I’m up to around 273 (my destiny tracker profile here) and I’ve settled onto what I think is a pretty good farming location where multiple farms can be performed all at the same time.

The location is in the EDZ, northwest of Devrim, and just southwest of The Farm, at The Sludge.

Checklist before I head there:

>> Equip a ghost that offers Gunsmith Telemetry.

I use the Last City shell (offers telemetry for Arc and Solar weapon kills).

As I understand it, it seems like telemetry is similar to how Dusklight shards work with Devrim Kay.. another (and somewhat-slower) way to level up your reputation with them for more rewards in addition to tokens. I’m not sure yet how the telemetry is collected, but it just appears ready to redeem when I get to the Gunsmith. Since the items that gather it (ghost perks, for example) say that it is collect by element-kills (arc, etc), I wonder if it might be every 100 kills and you get one, or based on shielded/priority enemies (kinda like the old ultra requirement for D1), because I seem to have so few when I get back to the gunsmith and there’s no on-screen collection of it once I get one.

Even though I don’t understand yet how telemetry is collected, at least I’ll have it going and ‘farming’ in the background as yet another extra thing to be farming continuously as a side bonus.

>> Buy EDZ Scouting consumables from Cayde-6 in the Tower.

You can use a ghost that shows the location of EDZ cache and resource spots, but then you’d miss out on telemetry. If you’re willing to forego telemetry, then the ghost might be good for you, but just to add to the farming potential, I use a scouting report for detection and a ghost for telemetry. The scouting consumable offers a 4-hour on-screen marker of spots where a cache is located.

It might be worth noting that aiming down scope/iron-sights while this is active does increase the range slightly (but not cross-map distance), but I find it easier to just walk there instead of aiming back and forth.

Now you can head over to The Sludge, which is north-west of Trotsland.

I made this map highlighting points where (in yellow circles) that a cache is most likely to appear.

Points to note on these locations:

> There are more locations than this; this is just ballpark area of where they could be, and represent possibly more than one in that small area.

> The cache near the U/D of “sludge” is underground, and the entrance is ground-level over the cliff to the north, and sometimes a high-profile fallen spawns there (and sometimes get stuck inside) if there are about 4 shanks hanging around right there, shown (without shanks) in zoom-range example.

> There are several possible places for one to spawn at the south-east road.. particularly consider either going up the road a little to check whether one of them is underground (accessible via the nearby north-south-oriented freight container that is partially underground), shown here with zoom-range example.

> There are two possible spots for the cache at the south-west corner: one above the circular container, and one in a little cubby-hole underground accessible via the northwest side of the container.

> There are at least two possible spots for the cache at the southwest bridge that connects to the southern wall, reachable by jumping.

> There are at least two possible spots for the cache near the spawn in the north east corner, along the north wall.

Anyway, if you take this path just by sprinting (not by sparrow), making one complete circuit is enough time (especially while killing enemies to rack up telemetry) for the cache to have changed to a new location by the time you get back around. There are also a lot of Dusklight Shard scattered around in relatively predictable locations, if you’re interested. I just go by sight for Dusklight, but there is a ghost that will detect the location of resources and cache locations both, if telemetry is of no interest to you.

You’ll have the bonus of occasional high-value targets that pop up, in addition to public events that are fairly easy.

As of this post, I tried making an easy before-work 1-hour farming session and ended up with a total haul of 47 EDZ tokens, 1 telemetry, 16R/3L/1E engrams, and 4 public events. Not the greatest haul of tokens/hour compared to the Nessus loading zone trick, but could be partly due to distraction by public events =)

As a reminder, on the Taken public event where there’s a giant floating orb that seems (at first) immune to damage, just dip your guardian inside one of the domes without destroying the dome, and when you pop back out you’ll have about 4 seconds of timer that lets you damage the floating orb. If you kill the orb (it has a percentage health on screen) then the Heroic boss comes out. You only need to kill the Taken boss, not the chain-gun Cabal that also appears. If you have enough people, you don’t even need to bother killing the regular taken or destroying the domes, and can take out the orb and Taken boss in the original event location. Consider equipping grenades that stick and do constant damage while shooting it at the same time, and save your super for the Taken boss.

Did Best Buy Price-Gouge Water? NO. Here’s Why.

During ‘Hurricane Harvey’ in August 2017, a picture went viral that was widely misunderstood to be price-gouging (or inflating the price of something, typically gasoline or basics, unfairly in an area where it has become suddenly scarce), but actually wasn’t even true.

In America, you can often buy cases of bottled water for perhaps even $3 per case of 28 depending in the cheaper brands, so a case of water being sold for $40+ per case might SEEM like price gouging, UNTIL you investigated.

(backup screencap)

The masses who accused Best Buy actually misunderstood what was happening, and their outrage should be directed at themselves for failure to investigate, or simply believing that what was being reported were true without checking.

A concerned citizen took a photograph of a case of bottled water being sold for over $40, but that’s actually the regular price for that many single-unit bottles.

You see, Best Buy doesn’t sell cases of water — they sell electronics like computers and DVDs and such, not necessities for survival like a grocery store might. They stock drinks for customers to impulse-buy, and they sell those by the bottle, not in cases.

Think of buying a $12-pack of sodas, compared to buying from a vending machine. I just called my local supermarket, and their 12-packs of Dr. Pepper are on sale for $2.75, so that’s about 23 cents per can. If you bought 12 cans out of a vending machine for $1.25 each, you would spend $15 — and both of those are the regular price for the place they are sold.

If someone told you they had to pay $40 for a case of water, you might rightly assume the place they bought it from were someone price-gouging water, BUT, if you learned later, that the person who bought the water actually paid the regular price of $1.79 each for 24 individual bottles, then you would be calling the purchaser the idiot, not the seller.

As someone familiar with American retail in-store signing, nowadays you don’t generally just print a document with numbers you typed in — you enter in a product ID to a specific company sign-printing program and enter the quantity, and the computer automatically spits out a pre-formatted sign according to the company’s standardized font size.

The computer the sign was printed on didn’t even have a per-case price to set, because they don’t sell it by the case, so it simply calculated the number in the case times the single bottle price, which came up over $40. This is actually the REGULAR PRICE Best Buy sells bottled water at, hurricane or no hurricane.

Best Buy can’t legitimately be accused of price gouging, because the price would be that high before knowledge of a hurricane even existed. Had there been no hurricane, the water would have still been that price.

Is this 2017 Eclipse Picture Real? NO. Here’s Why.

Making the rounds on Facebook is a picture that is receiving a lot of praise as one of the best 2017 solar eclipse pictures..

(backup screencap)

Except it isn’t one. It was made in 2011 with the program After Effects, by DeviantArt user ObsidianDigital. The version pictured above is rotated 90-degrees to look more like a Jesus-cross shape, but the original is horizontal.

One possible explanation of why so many people were fooled into believing this were an actual photo, might be because thousands of people in the spectrum of religions that esteem Jesus as an important figure (Christianity and Islam, to name two) might be fooled into sharing it because the alternately-oriented version looks like a cross.

It should have been obvious that it were fake anyway, because you would not be able to see any of our side’s surface of the moon due to such massive contrast of the sun compared to any earthshine, and how light doesn’t bend around a celestial object at that severe of a curve. There would have to be a second light source shining at the moon from a different angle, and bright enough to win out the sun’s light, in order to be able to see the ridges of the moon as such.

Frankenscrabbards: DIY 9-board Cooperative Scrabble

Several years ago I invented a 9-board (3×3 grid of Scrabble boards) Scrabble that operates on cooperative rules, as opposed to player-vs-player. It didn’t really catch on among my friends I tried it on, but after mentioning it a few times online, several people have asked me to put the rules online somewhere.. here ya go =)

(caveat: “Scrabble” is a property and trademark of Hasbro, of which I have no connection.)

I started buying old Scrabble board game sets from garage sales, and actually physically cut (gasp!) these boards so that their edges would line of suitably to each other, leaving the borders only on the exterior of the 3×3 grid, and then mixed all of the tiles together, and collected the racks, etc. You need to be familiar with the/your traditional Scrabble rules first, although many of those rules are suspended for this version (such as scoring).

The object of the game is to connect all 9 boards’ center stars to a single branching shape in the fewest total plays. After setting up the boards in their 3×3 configuration:

1. Players each draw (via the standard Scrabble method of selection) 15 tiles for the making of words. Letters may be visible or hidden from other players at the individual player’s discretion.

2. The first nine plays must be played across one of the 9 center stars of each board (and no certain order for which star). Each play is recorded on a separate tally sheet of which word is played, but only scored as 1 for each word (irrespective of the tile value). Only the single word play is counted; for example if POORLY is played horizontally, and EDITED is played horizontally with the first E below the Y (to form YE going down) only EDITED is scored as the 1 for that play.

3. After the 9th play, players may choose whichever board they wish to play a word off of in traditional Scrabble connection style and their words documented as before.

The person who makes a word that connects on board to another becomes the Frank, and the “Frank” figurine (which I made of a picture of Frank Sinatra) is placed before them to indicate their status, and the first two connected boards become the main cluster.

If desired, another tally with a tic-tac-toe shape drawing is kept indicating which boards are connected, as a quick reference.

If someone else makes a word connection between a board and the main cluster, that person now becomes the Frank and is granted ownership of the figure and title.

4. When the final move is played which connects all boards into a single 9-board cluster, the title of ‘Final Frank’ is awarded to that player. The list of which words were played, the date of the game, the names of the players in that match, which player was the Final Frank, and how many words total were played, is kept with the game set in storage between games (and optionally, a photo/drawing of the final layout of the match) for future glory.

Subsequent attempts at this game seek to connect all 9 boards in fewer total words played, but, must be played with the same number of players as before. The title of Final Frank may be upset by a tie on total word scores, as being the most recent Final Frank on that game set.

An example of a tally sheet and game in progress is as follows (but arrange however you wish)..

Was a 13-year-old Mexican Boy Given 20 Years For Defending His Mother? Doubtful. Here’s Why.

On June 16, 2017, a change.org petition was created to advocate for the reduced sentence for a boy who supposedly used his father’s gun to shoot someone he believed was assaulting his mother, in her self defense. According to the petition, the boy received “20 years” in prison for his heroism.

One of the largest spreaders of the story was this tweet:

However, the petition and thereby tweet uses the photograph of a kid from a different story. The kid in the photo was actually from a “Bronx bully” story by this NY Daily News article.

The petition’s source article is in Spanish, but a google search for the photo of the dead assailant from the petition’s source is actually from yet another article reported by this Red-Accion.mx article about someone named Iván Salgado Quintín, who was killed during a bar robbery.

A search for Spanish keywords about the story, brings up this TVNotas.com.mx story, which doesn’t cite any sources and has more ads than sentences. This Provincia.com.mx article also comes up, but both of these only suggest the sentencing will happen in the future, not that it has happened.

This English-translated article seems to be written by a writer named La Polvorita, possibly “Jessica Sanchez” who also uses the same Bronx boy and dead bar thief as images.

This Veobook article, and this Mundo Y Salud article repeat the same basic story, although the latter gives a few more details, but still continues to republish the same fake images.

If such a self-defense shooting did actually occur, and a 13-year old was actually sentenced, then story isn’t very well researched or documented, since it uses 2 different photographs pulled from 2 unrelated articles, perhaps using the cover of Spanish-language translation to thwart fact-checkers. No Mexican officials are listed as announcing results, no national-media journalist articles, no broadcast media articles, no particular court listed, etc.

While I would say it’s entirely possible this /might/ have happened, every reference that I can find to the reporting of it doesn’t really meet genuine journalistic standards and seem to be entirely from gossip sites. Signing the petition wouldn’t do any harm, necessarily, and if true, could do some good if effective toward a real story which I can’t confirm to suit my personal authenticity/fact-checking standards.