Feature Article

Destiny 2 Solstice Of Heroes 2021: EAZ Tips, Armor Upgrades

Your guide to upgrading Solstice armor, collecting and using elemental orbs, and more.

Solstice of Heroes is here again to Destiny 2, ushering in summer with another big holiday event to finish the Season of the Splicer. This year's event again centers around obtaining and upgrading a series of Solstice armor for Titans, Hunters, and Warlocks (with extensive grinding along the way), and also involves returning to the floating islands of the European Aerial Zone.

This year's Solstice of Heroes seems to be pretty much the same as the 2020 event--and we have some tips from last year on how to quickly upgrade your armor, how to get the most out of your EAZ runs, and how elemental orbs and buffs work. There's also a new Legendary shotgun, Compass Rose, for you to earn through the event. It's easy to get, but once you have it, you'll want to spend some time finding the best possible stat rolls for the gun.

You can kick off the event by visiting Eva Levante to get a new quest called "The Solstice Begins." She'll give you your first piece of Solstice armor, a helmet, which starts at the rank "Renewed." Finish a run in the EAZ, which you can activate beside the big statue, to get the rest of the armor. You'll need to return to Eva and meditate at the statue to get your full set of armor. Complete her steps to earn your first Compass Rose, and you'll be free to jump into the Solstice, tune up your armor by completing its objectives, and uncover more loot along the way.

Understanding The EAZ

As the name suggests, the European Aerial Zone features a lot in common with the European Dead Zone, at least in terms of visuals. The "aerial" part of the name comes in when you look at how the area is laid out--this is the most vertically oriented area in Destiny. The area has small groups of floating islands surrounding the outside, but the landmass is primarily composed of familiar EDZ elements. However, the ruined cityscape has you going through buildings and ascending to rooftops quite frequently. It's a much different way of navigating the world than we're accustomed to, and you'll want to do what you can to familiarize yourself with the general layout. It's easy to get lost and generally waste time, and speed is the name of the game.

A run through the EAZ consists of a few rounds:

  • Kill as many minibosses as you can within the time limit
  • Kill the boss
  • Unlock the hidden chests within the time limit
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You'll want to focus on the miniboss targets throughout the first section; it's easy to get distracted by small skirmishes that don't matter, and you're on the clock. You'll find miniboss targets marked on your heads-up display as soon as they spawn in, and they come in pairs, usually on opposite sides of the map from one another. Having your team of three split up and take out as many minibosses as possible seemingly dictates the number of chests that open once you kill the boss. The boss fights are relatively straightforward encounters.

Meanwhile, you'll also see "Prismatic Taken" appear throughout your fights in the EAZ. Kill these Taken bosses and they'll drop elemental orbs that will instantly empower you. More on that in a moment.

Once you've slain the boss, a chest will appear nearby. Open it to trigger a countdown before a series of chests spawn around the map--the total number is dictated by how many minibosses you were able to kill. In the past, these chests were not marked on your HUD, but mercifully, they now stay marked on your screen. Still, they'll be scattered around the area, so you'll need to split up, because you only have a limited time to open as many chests as possible. Any player who opens the chest earns the rewards for everyone in the group, so you don't need to worry about hitting up each one yourself.

Note that Sparrows work in the EAZ, so you can use them to quickly reposition around the large area to unlock as many chests as possible.

Solstice Packages And Key Fragments

You should earn at least one Solstice Package from each EAZ run, along with a series of Solstice Key Fragments, which allow you to open the packages and get the loot inside. The packages seem to consist of a variety of random gear and items, including planetary materials and armor. You'll need 15 key fragments in order to open a package. While you can earn key fragments from the EAZ, there are other ways to stock up on them, including completing patrols, public events, and Solstice bounties.

Upgrading Solstice Armor

You'll need to complete one run of the EAZ after talking with Eva Levante to get hold of this year's Solstice armor. Once you have it, you'll see that each piece has a bunch of objectives required for upgrading it.

These objectives run the gamut--some are tied to running through the EAZ and opening the aforementioned chests, while others ask you to generate elemental orbs (more on those below), complete public events, kill opposing players, or open those Solstice Packages. The specific objectives vary by class as well. The key thing to be aware of with these is that you need to have the armor equipped in order to register progress.

Bungie has shared info on one piece of the process: upgrading your armor to its final level, "Magnificent." To do that, you'll need to complete a handful of higher-level objectives.

You can also purchase new Armor Accelerators from Eva once you've fully upgraded a set of Solstice armor. These are meant to decrease the amount of grinding you'll need to do if you mean to unlock your Solstice armor for more than one character. You'll need to get your first set normally, but once you have it, buy Eva's accelerators to cut the amount of time it'll take to unlock more sets.

How Elemental Orbs And Empowerment Buffs Work

One of the core parts of Solstice of Heroes is the element of the day, and the accompanying elemental orbs that can be generated. Throughout the event, a specific element will be chosen each day--Arc, Void, Solar, or Stasis--and as you earn elemental kills (meaning final blows with an elemental weapon or ability), corresponding orbs will be dropped on the ground. Pick up 30 orbs the match the element of the day, and you'll receive a temporary buff, Empowerment, that grants you a different effect. There are also "PRISM" days, where you can earn any of the Elemental buffs, but only the orbs matching your subclass will count. Here's how Bungie describes each of the Elemental buffs:

Solar Elemental Buff

  • Equip your Solar subclass and weapons to generate Solar orbs. Then, collect them to wield their Solar elemental power. While empowered, Guardians emit a burning wave of energy that damages anything around them.

Void Elemental Buff

  • Equip your Void subclass and weapons to generate Void orbs. Then, collect them to wield their Void elemental power. Crouch while empowered to become invisible and gain Truesight plus enhanced ability regeneration.

Arc Elemental Buff

  • Equip your Arc subclass and weapons to generate Arc orbs. Then, collect them to wield their Arc elemental power. While empowered, Guardians move with enhanced speed and deal greater melee and Sword damage.

There's also a buff for Stasis, but Bungie hasn't run down exactly what it does for your character--so you'll have to track down the orbs in-game and find out.

Once your Empowerment buff activates, your stack of orbs--designated in the bottom left of the screen by "Elemental Charge" followed by the number you've collected--will be consumed. However, you can begin picking up orbs while Empowerment is active.

As noted above, these orbs are also tied to the Solstice armor objectives. You can luckily create whatever type of orb you need for these objectives regardless of the daily element, but if you're looking to collect orbs, you'll need to be fast. Unlike Orbs of Light, these elemental orbs disappear fairly quickly.

Also bear in mind that all of this is true across the game. While the elemental buffs aren't available in Gambit Prime or Competitive playlists, they are present everywhere else. As such, you don't have to rely on the EAZ to generate the orbs you need for armor objectives. In fact, based on what we've seen so far, your best bet for rapidly acquiring orbs might be Heroic public events, particularly those in confined spaces.

Solstice has only gotten underway, and we'll report back with more information as we further learn how everything works. This is all now live for all Destiny 2 players, as is a slate of event-specific items that can be bought from the Eververse store.


mrblondex

Chris Pereira

Chris Pereira is a senior editor and the global head of news. He's been covering the video game industry professionally for 14 years and now coordinates news and other editorial content on GameSpot. He likes Twin Peaks, The X-Files (before it was bad), and serial commas.

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