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Destiny players didn't have much trouble with the hard mode for Crota's End. The first Fireteam to clear the raid managed to do so in just under 30 minutes.

Bungie confirmed the world-first kill over Twitter yesterday afternoon. Here's the list of participating players and their stats:
Several other teams managed to complete the Crota's End hard mode within an hour of release. Bungie plans to reveal the top five during their new Weekly Update later today.

The hard mode of Crota's End boosts the enemies' levels up to 33. The encounters have been tweaked here and there to make them more difficult as well. Crota, the final boss, seems to have received the most changes. Gatekeepers have been added to that fight and the Knights are now Majors. The Chalice of Light, an item that allows players to heal themselves, has been removed entirely from that battle.

Those changes apparently weren't enough to stop players, though. It took them a lot less time to master the hard mode of Crota's End than it did to initially beat it on normal mode. The world-first kill of normal mode took 6 hours. On the bright side, it doesn't look like anyone's beaten hard mode by themselves yet.

Players who defeat hard mode can reap some incredible rewards. There are four new Legendary weapons to earn through the raid. Crota also has a chance to drop the Crux of Crota, an item that upgrades Eidolon Ally to the Exotic level Necrochasm Legendary armor, a new ship, and a shader round out hard mode's loot pool.

Now that Crota's End hard mode has been mastered, players are coming up with ways to complete it as quickly and easily as possible. Here's one video (via Reddit) outlining a speedy way to defeat Crota himself:

For players who can't watch YouTube videos at work, another Reddit user provided a short text summary of the strategy:
1. Take care of enemies in first room

2. Stand top middle, which is the outside ledge of the window you spawn at

3. All take out sword bearer

4. A Titan pops bubble on the right boomer tower

5. Sword bearer gets three damage phases

6. Rotate back into the room you spawn while Crota is on right

7. When Crota returns centre, back outside to the window ledge and repeat above method

Destiny players will have a long time to farm Crota's End hard mode for loot. House of Wolves, the second expansion for the game, supposedly won't be out until March.
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