Destiny’s Wrath of the Machine hard mode doesn’t change enough, but that’s okay

It’s already a great raid

Hard mode for Destiny‘s latest raid dropped this week. Some of you haven’t finished normal yet (I’m a maniac, so I did my 15th clear this week). And that’s okay! Because you’ll have plenty of time to do it given that there doesn’t seem to be anything substantial in the pipeline outside of time wasting micro-events until Destiny 2.

Given that the hard mode patch made it easier than ever to gear up, you should give it a go though once you reach 385 Light at minimum (really, if you know the mechanics, you can go in a little lower) — it’s not wildly different, but it’s still a blast.

Remember how Vosik had three bombs to throw each round — meaning, only three people needed to throw? Now there’s six, and everyone has to toss them in unison to damage his shield (you also have to slide into the blast doors, which doesn’t make that much difference). Constant bomb throwing is hectic, especially during the Shank phase, when Exploder enemies are always in danger of causing a wipe due to extra hard mode damage (remember: you can’t resurrect in hard mode unless you’re a Sunsinger Warlock with an active super). People often hit the adds in the middle with a bomb causing an errant throw and forcing another bomb phase (which can be countered by throwing at an arc from the left or right of the center), or are swarmed by high-level enemies, which causes the most strife for groups. As a tip, everyone can run back to the middle to throw, so take your time clearing the monitor, and then breach and clear your way to your side.

Note that in this Guardian’s opinion, he’s the hardest battle in hard mode — because once you’ve cleared him, it’s basically smooth sailing from there (yes, even Aksis). You actually get more time to do the Siege Engine confrontation, and you can easily finish it by hanging back before grabbing the parts, killing all the adds you can, and then destroying the new Spider Tank at the top of the ramp. Aksis phase one is also nearly the same, there’s just turrets to deal with now in each section that need to be brought down every 20 seconds or so. I just told everyone in our group who was a bomb thrower to get their turrets down first before chucking and we were good (you can line of sight them — or, shoot them without them shooting you — easily, on the left or right behind the servers where the Captain spawns).

Aksis phase two is another near facsimile, where you just have three rounds of bomb throwing like the last part of phase one. There’s more going on, and any deaths basically mean a wipe (or you should just wipe it if it’s early), but that’s it. Empowered players still just need to communicate and get where they need to be. Even with six bombs to throw on Volsik, as you can probably tell by now, hard mode (heroic) is all very similar. And that’s pretty much fine with me. Wrath of the Machine is a fantastic raid that I’m still not tired of even after running it three times a week for over a month, and hard mode is bringing all sorts of new little nuances into the mix.

Challenges aren’t in quite yet, but you can probably expect them to shake up the existing fights just enough to keep you on your toes for a few months. How long Wrath will last months from now without a major new update is yet to be seen. I just hope it’s not as poorly done as the re-hashed April 2016 content.

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!