Vault of Glass/Walkthrough
The Vault of Glass can be broken up into multiple stages, each with a different puzzle and/or boss encounter. There are no objective markers or instructions on how to complete the Vault within the game. Note that the Raid may be entered by as little as one player, but six is recommended if not necessary to complete. The minimum recommended Level that players should be is 26 on Normal difficulty, and weapons that do Void damage are recommended, as they will come in handy for dropping Minotaur shields.
On Hard Mode, revival is disabled. While inside Darkness Zones, fallen Guardians cannot be revived by their teammates. Anyone who dies will stay dead until the remaining team members complete the current Raid phase or wipe and revert to the last checkpoint. Sunsinger Warlocks can still use Radiance to self-revive.
Stage 1: Waking Ruins
Players spawn in an open area outside the Vault's entrance littered with Vex ruins. The goal is to open the gate by assembling a Spire, which acts as a key. The Spire is built by having all three Sync Plates in the area continuously active for a period of five minutes. Sync Plates are initially activated by clearing them of enemies and standing on them. Once activated, waves of Vex enemies will spawn at points near the Sync Plates and attempt to deactivate them. Players must destroy the Vex before they can force Guardians away from Sync Plates, or the Spire's construction will reverse.
As a puzzle, this stage is fairly simple. The most significant threat to the Sync Plates are powerful Minotaur variants called Praetorians. Once a Praetorian spawns, it will rapidly advance toward the nearest Sync Plate. Players should focus on destroying Praetorians above all else so that the Spire is not interrupted as they are the only units that can capture Plates, the adds being shields and cannon fodder. When the Spire is complete, it will link with the Vault portal and open it, allowing the party to proceed.
This Plate is to the left of where players first spawn in the the Waking Ruins. This area is in a half-tunnel of stone and machinery, with two waves of Vex spawning. One of these waves comes from the open plain and appear relatively far away. The other is directly behind the Plate, near the path up to the Center Plate. This Plate can be easily reached.
Much of this plate is taken up by a greebled stone block of Vex machinery, which is both helpful and a nuisance; a single player can stand atop the block and snipe enemies, but Vex can sneak up on unwary players. A team of two players is recommended to guard this Plate. More competent players with an awareness of what is around them can guard this Plate alone while the second player can relieve others as needed, but lack of open spaces mean the Vex can outmaneuver defenders if left unattended. Sufficient weaponry, of all types, and of the correct elemental damage can mitigate this.
This plate is in an open space directly before the Vault, with Vex attacking from below players' line-of-sight. Vex spawn on both sides, between Left and Right Plates adjacent to the Center, and can often be handled by other player teams. Still, a wary eye is needed to ensure that Praetorians and Major Harpies do not sneak up; Hobgoblins can also be a problem.
This Plate is perhaps the easiest of the lot to handle. A single player, armed with one or two Void weapons, can deal with the Vex that spawn from either end with ease, freeing up the other player to help out other teams. Its advantage over the other two is that it is an open space free of obstructions, unlike the Left Plate, and with enemies able to be easily seen, unlike the Center Plate. However it cannot be reached easily from the ground unless one jumps on a block of rock first, unlike the Left Plate.
Stage 2: The Trial of Kabr / Templar's Well
Follow the passageway down. Along the way the players will come across their first chest full of either Ascendant Energy or Raid-specific gear, though the former is more likely than the latter. Off to the side of this platform, and down, is a special tunnel a little ways below, hidden by greenery; by timing the jump players can easily make it to the underground tunnel. With some trial-and-error players can skip the platforming and appear to the left of the Templar's Well, although it takes time to navigate.
If players ignore the underground tunnel and continue down the passageway there will be a series of platforms to jump down on first before entering the first major room. A sniper can be left on the initial platform before the Well to deal with Hobgoblins that spawn on distant rocks, although this is not recommended unless they have an awareness of what is around them.
This is the area of the first boss, but the boss will not be open to attack yet. Firstly, the players must eliminate all the lesser enemies. Be warned, there are also a unique Vex type called Fanatics in this room—these are headless Goblins that glow and sparkle green, much like ordinary Goblins who have been decapitated; if the player touches them, or steps into the green pools they leave behind when destroyed, the player gets the Mark of Negation, and has a few seconds before they are killed by the Templar's Ritual of Negation. Players who are debuffed need to enter the pool of light in the middle of the map to cleanse themselves; be warned that this takes a small amount of damage. The pool will disappear if used too many times.
After a few waves, the players are prompted to defend the Vex Conflux that spawns toward the front of the room where the players enter, and then later on, two more Confluxes on the left and right sides of the room, from Vex attempting to sacrifice themselves; and finally, all three Confluxes. Each Conflux will allow four sacrifices before the mission fails. Vex will appear in three places: the middle, and a cave area near each of latter two Confluxes toward the rear of the map. Following each wave a header will appear in the left corner of your screen saying "The Templar summons its legions". This spawns a massive number of Fanatics in the center area. Fanatics are very aggressive and will not hesitate to confront the player head on so it is important to corral them in the center area without touching the green pools they leave behind. Also important is that many yellow bar Axis Harpies spawn at this time at the sides of the room which are deadly even on their own. As the Legion phase concludes, enemies will disappear and the next Confluxes spawn in.
Once the final set of Confluxes have been successfully defended, players will be prompted to kill a Vex enemy called the Oracle. Oracles will spawn in one of seven places, three on each side and one in the middle, and every time an Oracle spawns, it makes a distinct musical sound (possibly based on the C Lydian-Mixolydian scale), lower notes appearing first and higher notes appearing last. Before they spawn there will be a preview of where they appear. Where the Oracles spawn depends on their specific note:
Players need to kill all the Oracles that spawn as quickly as possible (ten to fifteen seconds is the limit) or they will be Marked for Negation. Hobgoblins will appear on the edges of the map, far out on distant platforms, so be careful of stray sniper shots. If a player sniper has successfully managed to stay alive, and conserved their ammo well, they can deal with the Hobgoblins, although wariness and caution is required.
Stage 3: The Templar
After defeating the Oracles, the players will reach a checkpoint and have a break to reorganize before the boss fight. The pool of light will disappear, and in its place will be a Relic called The Aegis, a wieldable shield forged by Kabr, the Legionless. Once a player picks it up the Templar will appear.
The Relic has two melee attacks (one being a dash-attack, the other a "death-from-above" style-attack if the player jumps in the air), a cleansing attack bound to the grenade button, and a Super attack—the only way to take down the Templar's shield. The Relic also has a shield similar to Ward of Dawn when the cleanse affect is active, blocking all outside attacks and allowing those inside to shoot. Once the cleansing is used there will be a cooldown, its length based on how long the cleanse was used, preventing the holder from activating it again until it is recharged.
If anyone drops the Relic someone else needs to pick it up in five seconds or else the "Curse of the Aegis" will eliminate all players. The Templar has a full shield surrounding it that cannot be damaged with any weapon except for the Relic's Super, which can be charged fairly quickly by attacking the Major Harpies in the room, which spawn in great numbers. The Super appears as either a wave or a bubble of projectile energy, depending how close one is to the Templar.
Once the Templar's shield is down, it will summon a red bubble around every player. Players should avoid firing rockets at the bubble, as it will explode inside and kill them. Instead they should attack it with their primary weapons or a Solar-damage non-explosive weapon. After a few seconds the Templar will attempt to teleport to another part of the room and get its shield back. To prevent the Templar from teleporting, one player stands in the red circle that appears on the radar, manifesting as a pillar of light in a circle, which marks where the Templar will appear. If the players do succeed in preventing the Templar from teleporting a Minotaur will spawn. Fortunately the Relic is fairly effective against them.
Teleporting will make Oracles appear in the room, though in the same spots as before. The Oracles spawn in seven waves—each one fifty seconds after the other, with the final two a full minute—the first and second waves start with three Oracles, third and fourth with five, and sixth and seventh with a total of nine. Each Ritual of Negation's length cast by the Templar depends on the wave: twenty seconds for the first two, with five added on for the others. If the players do not dispatch the Oracles quickly enough, getting the Mark of Negation debuff if they fail, the only way to cleanse themselves is with the Relic's grenade ability. (Note: the Relic's cleanse has a cooldown, so use sparingly and time it right.)
It is better to let the other players handle the Oracles, as the player with the Relic will have a hard time dispatching them; however the Relic can one-shot Oracles easily. Instead, that person should focus on the weaker enemies to build up their Super. If the players do not kill the Templar within seven to eight minutes it will become enraged, and summon a large number of enemies and more Oracles. By this point, the encounter will become too difficult as the Oracles will keep reappearing and Marking everyone for Negation. It is best to finish off the Templar before it can become enraged.
On Hard Mode, two Oracles will initially spawn. If neither are killed in time players will be Marked with Negation twice.
Stage 4: The Gorgons' Labyrinth
The players will enter a room with a very large drop to the bottom. Jump down, then double-jump before hitting the bottom to negate fall damage.
This next part will require high coordination and quick reactions. The maze ahead is filled with glowing silver-white Harpies called Gorgons. Gorgons will kill the entire party in five seconds if they spot them, so the party needs to exit the labyrinth without being seen.
If, for whatever reason, it is not possible to avoid or hide from a Gorgon, the next best thing is to turn away and avoid its gaze; looking down at the ground is recommended. If, as is often the case, players cannot avoid a Gorgon's Gaze a lot of firepower is needed to completely destroy the Harpy before it wipes the party. Rocket launchers, grenades, and Supers are all recommended to take it out. Once the Gorgon is destroyed a message will appear saying, "The Gorgons grow more stronger". It is possible to kill all nine Gorgons at once, though generally only some will be destroyed at a time.
To complete this puzzle the party must move left from the large rock near where you fall down the chasm; once you find the large hall to the left, enter, and climb to the top of the other large rock in the middle of the room and wait until the two Gorgons are clear to the right. Once they have moved out of range jump down to where they were and keep moving until you find a small alcove on the right. Once there just hug the right wall until you find a hole in the wall. If a Hunter has the Nightstalker subclass equipped a Smoke bomb can disguise the party for a few seconds.
Another point of note is that if you head right from the large rock in the chasm and move through the tunnels without being seen there is a white room that contains a chest with high quality materials, either Ascendant Energy, Shards, or Raid-specific gear. Also noted that in the beginning of the labyrinth, where the river along the bottom goes back into the cliff, there is a small cliff hole that you can jump into. Enter this hole and follow the cavern to find another chest.
On Hard Mode there are four permanent Gorgons watching specific parts of the map, further limiting where the party may go.
Stage 5: Jumping Puzzle
After exiting the Gorgons' Labyrinth, the next room is a large, bottomless chamber with a platform nearby. Standing on the platform will summon a new platform, but will also make the current platform disappear in a few seconds. The party needs to jump from platform to platform until they can reach the narrow ledge on the other side, then follow it until they reach a doorway to the right in a recessed chamber. If players have sufficient patience they can navigate all the way down to the recessed chamber, although this is not recommended.
More daring players can attempt to jump once a sufficient way through to the ledge on the furthest side of the room, though careful timing is needed so Lift or double-jump can slow players. From there careful navigation along the ledge will take you to the platform that leads into the Glass Throne.
There are a few recommendations for this section of the Raid:
There is an alternate route of platforms that spawn directly to the opposite side. To get there, approach the edge of the beginning of the area and jump up into a cave that is up to the left and proceed through the cave. The platform will spawn directly beneath it.
Stage 6: Awaken the Glass Throne
For this stage you are required to kill the first of three Gatekeepers—high-level Hydras without a shield—and open both of the portals within the final room. Once the Gatekeeper is defeated, players must activate one of two (or both) Sync Plates, which will in turn open the corresponding portals. Both portals are guarded by high-level Goblins and Hobgoblins but they can be dispatched by activating the portals which kills them.
Once a portal is open players will need to enter the portal, kill the Gatekeeper within and retrieve the Relic—the Aegis—then return through the portal. When the Gatekeeper, either Precursor or Descendant depending on which portal gone through, guarding it is killed a debuff called "Marked by the Void" will appear on the portal team and will remain as long as they are in the portal. This debuff will gradually cloud a player's vision until the screen is completely black, but can be removed by the cleanse function of the Relic (Note: the debuff can also do damage to players if they manage to stay alive with the debuff for an extended period of time). This must be done on both portals on either side of the room. It is recommended that the Relic holder of the first team accompanies the second group, which will make this process go much faster. If a Praetorian succeeds in capturing one of the Plates and prevents its reopening, an Oracle will spawn above the portal. If it is not destroyed in time the players will wipe and a message will appear, saying "You are forever lost in the dark corners of time."
While this is happening players outside the portals will need to defend the Plate next to the portal to keep it open, and defend the Conflux that appears in the center of the room once the Relic from the one portal is retrieved. Once both Relics are retrieved and the Conflux is completely built players will need to defend against Minotaurs from both portals and from the main room; once this is complete this stage is done.
Stage 7: Atheon, Time's Conflux
For this section the final boss will appear: Atheon, Time's Conflux. Periodically he will teleport Guardians to a point in time, either past or future versions of the Vault, where they must pick up a Relic and destroy seven red Oracles. On Hard Mode Atheon will also Detain Guardians not sent into the portals. The away team will face either three Descendant Hobgoblins if in the past or two Precursor Goblins and a Praetorian if in the future. The Relic holder can destroy them in one hit while the other two players shoot the Oracles. Caution must be observed as the player's screen will eventually go black; using the Relic's cleanse will wipe the darkness away.
In the meantime the Guardians left behind in the Vault will face Atheon and Supplicants, special Harpies that explode upon death or within close proximity to a player. While Atheon is summoning Supplicants it will stand still, allowing damage to be done. Players will need to stand on one of the corresponding Sync Plates that opens the portal which releases the trapped players. When they reappear a message will show, saying, "Guardians make their own fate."
Once the teleported Guardians have exited the portal Atheon will be extremely vulnerable to damage due to a buff called "Time's Vengeance", which greatly reduces all cooldowns, allowing the Relic's shield ability to be used constantly to protect against Atheon's attacks, as well as greatly increasing damage to Atheon for thirty seconds. When the buff is ended, hide until an away team is teleported, and repeat the process until Atheon is defeated.
Like the Templar, he will also become enraged after eight minutes if Guardians take too long to defeat him, a warning appearing after seven minutes will appear to indicate this.
Once Atheon is defeated the Raid party will not return to orbit after a set limit of twenty seconds but rather five minutes. This is because of time being broken inside the Vault with Time's Conflux's defeat. Guardians could explore the Glass Throne or return to orbit.
Hard Mode Only