Three Destiny Bonus Challenge Raid Chests for the Vault of Glass
I recently read Kirk Hamilton’s interview with Luke Smith, the lead designer of the Vault of Glass. In the interview, there were comments that I felt potentially offered a few helpful insights into the hunt for more raid chests. (http://tmi.kotaku.com/q-a-the-lead-designer-of-destinys-vault-of-glass-1647227058)
Although I give my opinion of the specific location and trigger criteria for chest #6, my thoughts are nothing ground breaking or original, a lot has been said out there in the vastness of the internet, but I wanted to share to create more dialogue among my fellow like-minded Guardians. Like all of you, I enjoy a good puzzle.
A CRITERIA FOR RAID CHESTS
Luke Smith: “We actually got some custom support to make sure that, unlike other areas of the game, when you activate a chest, where they can go away or dissolve if you're in the activity, the raid chests will stay open and they won't dissolve. If you're running a little bit behind getting to one, it'll still be there.”
So, if A equals B, and B equals C, then A equals C:
A) All raid chests will not dissolve (fact).
B) The spirit bloom chest will dissolve (fact).
C) Therefore, the spirit bloom chest is not a raid chest.
(Incidentally, I personally believe that the existence of the spirit bloom chest is to serve the game design function of providing an incentive “prompt” to re-explore the spirit bloom cave so that the “rabbit hole” that is revealed after the Templar’s defeat is eventually found.)
RAID CHEST COUNT
So not counting the spirit bloom chest, there are only four known raid chests.
Chest #1: Award after defending the three plates to open the vault’s front door. Found above the hidden entrance to alternative path to the Templar.
Chest #2: Bonus Award not discovered. Possibly found in alternative path #1.
Chest #3: Award after defeating the Templar. Found at the cave located at the front of the Gorgon area.
Chest #4: Bonus Award if the Templar is defeated without teleporting. Found using alternative path #2 (“spirit bloom”).
Chest #5: Award by evading the Gorgons gaze. Found in the Gorgon area to the right.
Chest #6: Bonus Award not discovered. Possibly found in alternative path #3.
Chest #7: ?
How can I be specific about the number of chests and exactly which number is missing? I try to base my speculation on game design and philosophy so that I’m not completely pulling theories out of my ass. I don’t want to be wasting time chasing phantoms and figments of wild imagination.
THREE ALTERNATIVE PATHS: DESIGN AND FUNCTION
There are three major stages in the Vault of Glass before Atheon. There is a “linear path” that runs through them that “naturally” draws players to the final Atheon stage. However, more importantly, there are three alternative paths to the “natural path.”
Stage #1 - Defend the Plates
Natural Path #1: Through the cave entrance. Naturally leads to the discovery of Chest #1.
Alternative Path #1: Through the entrance that is hidden in yellow mist beneath Chest #1.
Stage #2 - Defeat the Templar
Natural Path #2: Through the gate behind the Templar. Naturally leads to the discovery of Chest #3.
Alternative Path #2: Through the hole in the floor that opens up in the spirit bloom cave. Leads to hidden Chest #4.
Stage #3 - Evade the Gorgons
Natural Path #3: Through the labyrinth to the first “disappearing columns” jump puzzle. Naturally leads to the discovery of Chest #5.
Alternative Path #3: Through the cave to the left at the beginning of the first jump puzzle which leads to the second jump puzzle.
So why have alternative paths? Certainly it’s fun to discover and explore something new. But, more importantly, alternative paths also provide a special area to place hidden chests like chest #4. But why hide the chests? Because they are conditional rewards.
I personally believe the alternate path is the “true” path because it offers all the rewards. The natural path skips some rewards.
I've also observed the Vault behaves differently when going through the alternative paths. The center conflux immediately activates when passing through alt path #1 and the second jump puzzle activates when passing through alt path #3. Also, are red lights found exclusively along the true path?
Not only are the alt paths the true path, but they also could become a conditional requirement for chest #6 or #7
BONUS CHALLENGE CHESTS
Chest #2, #4, and #6 are what I consider bonus challenge chests.
Chest #4 is a reward for preventing the Templar from teleporting. A task made more challenging with the release of four minotaurs each time a guardian occupies the Templar’s teleport ring of light.
And chest #4 is located in alternative path #2. Both are rewards for those guardians who put more effort into the vault. This is consistent with game design and philosophy.
So does the existence of alternative paths #1 and #3 prove the existence of chest #2 and #6? Maybe. For me, a compelling question would be, Why spend the money to develop areas if they only provide a second route to a known destination? Are they really simply for exploration and eye candy?
My current opinion is chest #6 will be revealed at the portal near the front of Atheon’s door. Thus far, game design suggests that all chests, including the spirit bloom chest, can be simultaneously surrounded by all six raid members. The group experience is paramount to game philosophy (read Luke’s interview). Therefore, another criteria for a chest location is simultaneous access by all three guardian types. My vault team members already tested this theory on the portal. We successfully had a Hunter, Warlock, and Titan dancing on it; albeit, no chest. Incidentally, another criteria, being able to return to the path that leads to Atheon without dying.
The Templar’s bonus challenge has been accomplished. So what are the remaining possible two bonus challenges?
It’s been suggested that there are possible clues in the end screen menu that displays after everyone dies at each stage. Bungie needs to be able to track the successful completion of each bonus challenge and therefore needs to store those results in a database. However, this data may or may not be revealed publicly on screen. In the case of the Templar bonus challenge, the Templar does display the amount of teleports. Therefore, the simple algorithm would be, “If teleport equals zero, reveal bonus chest #2.”
Alternative Path #1
So what data can be saved and checked for bonus challenge #1? I have not seen data supporting the (interesting and good) suggestion that no plates be taken over by a minotaur. There also has been reports of a melodic chime if this is successfully completed. I have yet to test these myself, but I’m sure it’s been done by now. And yet nothing has been found in alternative path #1 that I know of. Perhaps a hidden access opens up similar to the spirit bloom cave?
Alternative Path #3
As far as the Gorgons, players have suggested and attempted various amounts of Gorgon killings. However, it may not be the amount killed, but rather the amount NOT killed. In the database, there is the number of gorgons killed (or not), number of times detected, and the time spent in the Gorgon area.
So a possible conditional trigger is, “If zero gorgons are killed, there are zero detections, and the time is below x amount, then reveal chest #6 at the portal.”
FINAL THOUGHTS - CHEST #7?
Currently, I’m skeptical of a seventh chest. The current rationale is weak.
First, the obvious and most oft cited, the recurring number motif of 5 and 7. There are five golden chests on each planet, there are seven oracles, etc. etc.
However, it is possible to deviate from this motif because the Vault of Glass has its own dedicated design team. Although they may try to honor and maintain design consistency, they did create a distinctly separate area in Destiny all of its own. Therefore, there could be six chests to symbolically represent the team of six Guardians. Or simply five. Which means there is at least one more chest and disproves my alternative path theory (although the fifth would appear at the portal, there would be no chest in alternative path #1 which seems like a lot of wasted money for such a large area).
Second, the end menu screen freezes and does not do the standard mission end count down. This could be a bug that is at the bottom of the list of a busy Bungie programmer. Or not.
There is an interesting hole in the Atheon area that a single player can fit inside that one of my raid mates accidentally fell into a few weeks ago. Feels very much like the rabbit hole in the spirit bloom cave. It's located at the far right side, high above the venus portal. It has a different texture than the stone around it. I wonder if it opens up after a flawless or one Atheon teleport?
Thanks for reading and sharing.