'Destiny 2': Thorn vs. The Last Word
Welcome to the PvP Grind.
I have been playing the game of Destiny since The Dark Below. Typically, I am a Solo PvE Player. Rarely do I play PvP for a couple of reasons. First, there is no Story behind PvP. You simply run around trying to kill other Guardians. And Guardians are more shrewd than PvE enemies. I would die, a lot. Often times, soon after I regen.
However, I purchased the Annual Pass a few weeks ago because I wanted to play "Season of the Drifter." Along with new content, I decided to pursue the Exotic Hand Cannon called Thorn.
Well... I thought I was on my way getting this Weapon. Following the Quest Steps. Unfortunately, there was a huge hurdle. I had to reach 100% Progress by killing Guardians in PvP. When you are killed, you lose Progress. So, how did it go for me?
After the first couple of Matches, I found myself around 3% to 5%. Then, I had a decent match or two which got me to 21%. I started in Iron Banner, then switched to Quickplay in the Crucible and back, again. I progressed to 41%... 58%. Then, I had an awesome match and hit 71%
I was cautiously optimistic for the first night of the PvP Grind. I should have gone to bed and stayed at 71%. I thought, just one more match. Well, I steadily lost Progress until I ended the night at 58%. My goodness, that didn't end well.
The next night, which was Friday night, I began where I left off in Iron Banner. My Progress fell back even more to around 44% after a few Matches. I felt stunned and began to give up hope of getting Thorn. Still, I had picked up all the Bounties for Iron Banner and was making Progress with completing those, so I decided to keep going.
A few matches later, something had happened. I had played so much PvP I started to develop a rhythm and strategy that seemed to work fairly well. Climbed up to 58% again, then had a pretty darn good Match in Iron Banner and hit 75%.
I hesitated after that match. Do I keep going and risk falling behind again or do I try (again) to keep the momentum up? I had to push forward, especially since I was so close to completing a handful of Iron Banner Bounties. Two matches. I told myself I'd do two matches and see if I needed to stop for the night depending on what the outcome was.
First match: I couldn't believe it. I had an awesome match. Probably the best PvP match of my Guardian Life. 17 Kills. K/D Ratio of 2.43. I can't remember how many Kill Streaks. My Team came back and won by one Point. I checked my Progress: 99% I almost fell off my chair. I decided to employ the same strategy and play style again.
Second Match: About four minutes into the match, I hit 100% and was able to coast the rest of the way without worrying about dying.
By the way, there's something I could have mentioned earlier. This Quest Step to 100% in PvP is not the Quest Step to get the Thorn. Yes. I looked over YouTube Videos in the middle of all this and found out I was doing the wrong Quest. The Quest Step I was doing went towards The Last Word.
So, I stopped in the middle of Progressing towards 100% and followed the steps to launch the Thorn Quest. From watching YouTube videos, I found out that the Thorn Quest also has a PvP aspect around the fourth Step in the Quest. So, I completed the first three steps on Friday night, then jumped back into Iron Banner to progress towards both weapons at the same time.
This weapon helped me turn the tide in pursuit of 100% progress in The Last Word Quest. The two Main Perks on mine are Zen Moment & Rampage. This weapon was introduced in the Forsaken DLC.
The IKELOS Hand Cannon is useful for the Thorn Quest because you need Void and Hand Cannon Kills in PvP. Needless to say, I was thrilled when the PvP aspect of these Quests were done. But I also came out of this a much better PvP Player. Would I do that all over again? No. Would I have grinded to 100% if I would have known I was on the wrong Quest from the Start? No. But I fell into having two coveted Exotic Hand Cannons. At a price...
There was one more huge problem, which I ran into Saturday night. The PvP Quest Step for Thorn was much easier to achieve compared to The Last Word. However, the final Quest Step for Thorn was to tackle an enhanced Strike called, The Chasm of Screams with deadly modifiers on it.
The first modifier is called Blackout, which means your radar does not work. When the Thrall run up to you, it's difficult to tell which direction they're coming from. This, coupled with the second Modifier which boosted their melee damage simply meant I died a whole lot from Thrall melees. The third modifier increases all incoming Elemental damage and enemies did not flinch when being damaged. Meaning you can throw the house at them and they'll keep charging at you just the same.
Combined with the fact that this Strike has a Recommended Light Level of 660 and my Warlock was only 6 points higher than this, I died a lot. Most of the Strike is not too bad until my team of three reached the final Boss. We kept dying on the final Stage, so much so we silently considered Quitting on several occasions. Finally, after the subtle adjustments in Strategy were simply not working, I suggested that I run around and Regen on my own while the other two in my Squad stick together. I was hoping to pull attention of the Boss and Thrall in two directions..
It almost worked the first time around, but we still Wiped. Yet, that's the farthest we had gotten in the final part. A couple more tries, a few close calls...
Yes. 2 hours. 39 minutes. 2 seconds. To do a 15-20 minute Strike. I never want to do that again. Not that close to Recommended Light Level. But Shout-Out to the other two guys in the Squad, whom I found on PlayStation Network's Destiny Community. It's the first time we've met, but since we all had a Mic, it was easy to communicate.
Tictac_wizard bought his Titan's Shield which blocked a ton of enemies and generated an insane amount of Orbs while doing it. FOXMULDER399 switched to a Celestial Nighthawk and Whisper of the Worm to do massive damage while tictac_wizard defended him. And, again, I pulled quite a few minions away from them, caused considerable damage on the Boss with a Scout Rifle, and used the Nova Bombs to help clear powerful Hive Knights.
I never want to do that, again.
The primary weapon in the Strike was Crimson because of the Health Regen & Magazine Refill on Precision Kills. But this Scout Rifle helped me deal more damage than the Pulse Rifle previously shown in the Energy Weapon Slot. I would have liked to increase the Light Level of this Weapon, but I was low on Enhancement Cores needed to Infuse it further.
As far as the Comparison: Thorn vs. The Last Word...
This is the drop I received. Thorn is similar to a normal Hand Cannon in the way is fires. Yet, each Kill leaves behind a floating Green Orb that puts 4 to 5 bullets back in your Magazine. These Orbs will come to you if you're close enough to them. So, if you play aggressively and pick up these Green Orbs (which disappear after a short time), you won't have to Reload this Weapon very often. In some cases, not at all.
Plus, it comes with the D1 Perk, Mark of the Devourer, which deals Damage over time. On standard minions, one body shot with this burn effect will kill them.
The final Quest Step for The Last Word is fairly easy. I only died once and that was on the last part of the Step. Overall, you get a break after that grind to 100% Progress in PvP.
The weapon itself is quite different from typical Hand Cannons. Fast! The Rate-of-Fire feels like it's through the roof. But you only have 8 in the magazine, while Thorn has 9 in each Clip. It's a heavy-hitter. I tested it in PvE. The enemies get hit so hard so fast, it's tough for them to recover their balance and attack you.
In PvP, I've been killed by The Last Word. A lot. Same reason. High impact. Fast. You're dead before you can aim or figure out where the shots are coming from.
It doesn't matter where you are, what you're doing. PvE. PvP. The Hammerhead is a must-have Power Weapon in Destiny 2. Although it does not have the Elemental Chain Damage like the Exotic Machine Gun, the Thunderlord, it hits just as hard. Range. Stability. Reload speed! Has it all.
My roll on this weapon is Tap the Trigger and Surrounded. Okay perks. More effective in PvE when getting swarmed by Hive.
The Tuesday Reset is approaching. If you want this heavy weapon, Ada-1 still has the powerful machine gun frame for you to pick up at the Tower. And the Black Armory Weapons (like Hammerhead) are only available to Annual Pass Owners.
Whew! I know I covered a lot of material, but I hope you enjoyed the read.
About the author
Limited & Open Edition Fine Art Photography. Creative Writing: Poetry, Fiction, & Screenplays. He enjoys the Storytelling aspect of gameplay and Cinematics, which inspire new Visual & Written Projects.