Destiny's Crota's End Hard Mode Changes Revealed: The 4 Biggest Additions To The Raid's New Difficulty Level

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated Jan 21, 2015 05:21 PM EST
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Crota's End Hard Mode was updated into Destiny earlier today, releasing the mysterious new challenges into the game without word from Bungie on what exactly those obstacles are.

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Hard Mode was beaten for the first time in short order: it took this fireteam less than half an hour. The quick finish isn't surprising from the most passionate and dedicated players, and several more squads have completed it since. Teams flooded Destiny attempting to finish as fast as possible while discovering the changes, which add some twists throughout.

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Players documented the Hard Mode additions by playing themselves and watching other streamers, and the Destiny Reddit community has updated the findings through the day. Here are the four biggest changes from Crota's End on Normal:

1. No Reviving Fireteam Members

This is probably the least surprising addition to Hard Mode (perhaps aside from level 33 enemies, which Bungie basically told us about), but it makes a pretty big difference. You'll know from Vault of Glass that one or two members going down can often ruin an attempt, forcing a wipe, and this will now occur much more frequently in Crota's End.

2. Weight Of Darkness Increases Faster In The Abyss

A negative effect called Weight of Darkness plagues players through the first portion of the raid, building throughout as it restricts your jumps and eventually slows you to a crawl. Standing near the lanterns (which eventually explode) still clears this off, and the maximum amount that can apply at once is still Weight of Darkness x 10. That said, the multiplier increases more quickly than it does on Normal, building on players faster and inevitably causing more stragglers to fall victim to the thralls and knights.

3. More Yellow Health Bar Enemies Throughout

The higher level is one thing, but more major or ultra enemies will noticeably increase the difficulty. The Ogres, Cursed Thralls, and Knights in The Abyss are now majors, as are the Boomer Knights and regular Knights during Crota. Hallowed Wizards replace the bridge Knight enemy at Crota as well, and there's now a Gatekeeper during that battle. Yikes. Fortunately, it seems the Gatekeeper does not need to be taken out to down Crota.

4. No Chalice of Light At Crota Fight

The final checkpoint of the raid--the battle against Crota himself--disables health regeneration on Normal, but provides a pickup item for the team to share called the Chalice of Light that can do it for you. The Chalice is gone on Hard Mode, leaving Guardians with only self-shielding or protection abilities to keep themselves alive. Titan bubbles and gear that regenerates health on Orb pickup will be crucial to staying alive.

There are some other additions: a third Shrieker is in the Tunnel, and they will now all respawn as you attempt to run for the closing door. The Deathsinger's Liturgy of Ruin will activate sooner than before, though the timing isn't exactly clear. Crota also enters Enrage at a certain amount of health (around 10 percent) rather than after a specific amount of time, and enemies in general don't flinch from damage.

Can your preferred Fireteam handle the additional challenges? Not everyone can operate as smoothly as the record breakers and other top finishers, but dedication and some skill should get anyone through--good luck.

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