Here’s how to do the new Altar of Sorrows event in Destiny 2.
The Moon’s haunted. Additionally, the Hive is trying to enhance that haunted-ness by performing a strange new ritual in Sorrow’s Harbor. It’s up to you to stop them in their tracks, but doing so isn’t going to be a walk in the park.
If you’ve ever done Escalation Protocols on Mars, then the Altar of Sorrows is likely to seem very familiar. You’ll have to go through a tiered progression of increasingly more difficult enemies with a timer counting down. If the timer counts to zero, you fail and have to start the previous tier over again. Continue to Tier VII and defeat a final boss and you’ll get a sweet reward.
The biggest difference between Escalation Protocol and Altar of Sorrows is the timer. In Escalation Protocol, the counter starts from a few minutes and then goes to zero for each stage. In Altar of Sorrows, the timer starts at 1 minute and increases by 1 second for every enemy you kill.
However, it can also go down faster if you let a Nightmare reach its objective. Let’s go over how this whole thing works.
Stop The Nightmares
After reaching Sorrow’s Harbor, head to one of those glowing green rifts. This will start the Altar of Sorrows event. You’ll then notice that another nearby rift has started spewing out Hive along with a larger Nightmare enemy. That Nightmare will try to make it from their rift to the one you’re defending. If the Nightmare reaches your rift, then it will take 30 seconds off your timer. If the timer runs out, you lose and have to start over from the most recently-accomplished tier.
Tier I starts with just four Nightmares that you have to defeat. Tier II has five Nightmares, Tier III has six Nightmares, all the way to Tier V which has eight Nightmares. Starting at Tier III you’ll have to take a brief break from Nightmare stomping to go kill a bunch of Wizards that fly out of the rift. The trick here is that the wizards are all invincible until you hit them with Relic Swords, which are obtainable from Relic Knights that also wander out of the rift.
These Wizards appear in the middle of the wave of Nightmares and must be defeated before the Nightmares resume their march. The Wizards will try to evade you, making it essential that you track them down and eliminate them quickly. Tier III has two Wizards that must be eliminated, Tier IV has four Wizards, and Tier V has six Wizards.
Phogoth Is Back, And This Time, He’s Mad
After Tier V comes the sixth and final tier, which is a big boss fight against Phogoth. Again, there’s a timer that counts down requiring that you kill regular mobs while doing damage to Phogoth to prevent the timer from reaching zero.
Phogoth itself isn’t too hard--the problem is the Nightmares that come out during the breaks in damage phases. After you get Phogoth down to one-third health, it’ll become invincible and then a bunch of Nightmares will appear and start heading towards the rifts. Just as with previous tiers, if the Nightmares reach the rifts it will take a HUGE chunk out of your time and will often cause you to fail the event.
Quickly eliminate those Nightmares, then go back to killing Phogoth. It’ll happen again when Phogoth is two-thirds damaged, but the final third is a race to the finish line.
Tools Of The Trade
Altar of Sorrows can become a lot easier with the right arsenal. A good option for killing mobs en masse is Riskrunner. Since these Hive often dole out arc damage, Riskrunner will be charged and killing Acolytes left and right. A good grenade launcher such as The Mountaintop will make killing Nightmares easier along with a build that provides you with plenty of heavy weapon ammo drops.
Completing the Altar of Sorrows to the end will provide you with one of the new Legendary guns: the Blasphemer shotgun, the Apostate sniper rifle, or the Heretic rocket launcher. There’s also the Bane of Crota ghost shell as a possible drop.
Also, be sure to have The Deepening Wake quest up when you start! You have to do 20 Nightmares to get the quest done, which is easily doable even on an unsuccessful run.