With the launch of Lightfall and the start of the Season of Defiance, the developers of Destiny 2 decided to include a semi-secret mission by the name of //NODE.OVRD.AVALON//. And as with any secret mission, the reward is worth the secrecy, as it takes you through an unstable Vex network to claim the brand new Vexcalibur, an exotic craftable glaive - as well as its 3 catalysts. If you’re ready to cut through your enemies and shield your allies, head over to the EDZ’s Gulch and read on.
When your guardian approaches the Gulch in the EDZ, be on the lookout for Vex cubes. There are a total of 6. When you collect the first one, you will get a code with 5 missing sections and a 30-second timer. Every time you collect another Vex cube, another section is revealed and the timer is reset. If you get all of the cubes before the timer ends, a cave entrance will open. You can find this cave by looking for a storm of Vex energy in the sky, centered around the cave. Located deep within the cave is the Harpy who acts as the quest giver for //NODE.OVRD.AVALON//, which can be undertaken with a 3-person fireteam and has a recommended power of 1800, but will boost your level to a minimum of 1790 while in the mission. Once you accept the mission, you’ll be transported to a mission-exclusive area and let loose in a small vex maze. Your fireteam will need to crawl through a small opening in the wall and follow the liquid energy river to a small crack in the wall. Following this path will take you to the first encounter of the mission.
The purpose of this encounter is to introduce you to the Vex code mechanic. Several waves of Vex enemies will spawn, and the only way to leave the room is to correctly enter 3 Vex codes, each longer than the last. Vex codes are read from top to bottom and consist of vibrant purple polygons. To enter a Vex code, you must head to the central console pillar and shoot the correct polygons one at a time. The first code is 3 polygons long, and the last is 5 polygons long. Once every Vex code has been entered, your fire team can progress to the next phase of the encounter, with another series of Vex codes to enter and waves of enemies to defeat. Once the final series of codes are entered, the encounter is complete, and your fireteam can make their way to the second encounter after a brief platforming section.
The second encounter brings with it a new mechanic: Data gathering. The second your team enters the arena, a timer starts ticking down. Before it reaches 0, your team needs to collect data from killing Dataholders, and bring it to a conflux, much like Gambit. If you gather enough data, a small well will open up. Your fireteam needs to jump in this well before the timer reaches 0 or they will be deleted. Rinse and repeat this process until the boss of the encounter, the Data Nullifier, shows their face. Fight them until they retreat, then it’s back to Data collection. Rinse and repeat this process until you nullify the Data Nullifier, and the path toward the boss is revealed.
Variant Stalker Brakion, Repurposed Mind, is a boss of three stages, both in the mechanics' sense as well as the literal sense. In the first stage, all you need to worry about is damage; get them down before they down you. When they teleport away, your fireteam follows, heading to the next stage. This new map has much more cover, and the Repurposed Mind is behind cover as well. In order to drop their shield, you need to kill the Encryption Daemon to reveal a Vex code hidden somewhere on the map. Enter the code into the Vex console and the Repurposed Mind’s shield will drop. Fight them until they retreat to the final stage, then follow them up for one last all-out brawl between your team and Brakion. When they fall, you take Vexcalibur as your well-earned reward.
Head to the war table to wrap up this stage of the mission and claim Vexcalibur. This also gives you the next stage of the exotic catalyst mission, Authorization Override. Kill Vex with Vexcalibur until this stage of the mission is complete, and you will be given the Authorization Override mod for Vexcalibur. With this, it’s time to complete the Legendary version of the //NODE.OVRD.AVALON// mission. While completing this version, be on the lookout for a green button in the Vex maze, as this unlocks a hidden chest found in the maze. The chest is protected by a Vex shield that can be bypassed via the Authorization Override mod. Inside the chest is the M1R Distribution Matrix II, an upgraded version of one of Vexcalibur’s traits. To then obtain the 1st of 3 catalysts, continue through the Legendary mission to the end, and claim it from the final chest. This first catalyst is Immovable Refit, and the as-of-yet unavailable catalysts are Robber Refit and Feedback Refit. Presumably, the other two catalysts will become available as we progress through the season. So until they do, happy hunting Guardians.