So you've already got a full set of legendary armour pieces and maybe even an exotic. Who knows, maybe you have Raid gear too! But the point is that for you the armour grind is over, at least until there's something new to lust after. At this stage, having put dozens of hours into the game, you are probably about to be offered an exotic bounty if you haven't been already.
There is no way to guarantee receiving an exotic bounty - all we know is that there is a small chance of being offered one when you cash in a completed bounty with Xander 99-40. When it does happen, though, you will be offered a choice of three. But which bounty to choose?
Before we begin, it's worth noting that while there are five exotic bounties for you to discover in Destiny at the time of writing, there will be others in future and there are far more than five exotic weapons in the game. Keep an eye out for Xur, Agent of the Nine, who sells the others on rotation in exchange for Strange Coin, while you can also receive them as random loot drops in Crucible and Raids.
Exotic weapon bounties are broken into multiple parts, some of which can be very difficult to complete. At best they will be extremely time-consuming. So unless you know which one you are accepting, you can end up doing an awful lot of busywork or else just get completely stuck and you may end up with a weapon you don't really like at the end of it. So make sure that you know what you're getting yourself into before accepting an exotic bounty.
A Dubious Task - Invective exotic shotgun
1) Talk to Ikora Rey.
2) Complete five Strikes without dying.
3) Talk to Ikora Rey again.
4) Earn a kill/death spread of 25 in the Crucible. (This means playing Crucible until you have gained 25 more kills than deaths over the course of a few games. Assists also count.)
5) Talk to Ikora Rey again.
6) Complete a weekly challenge - either Weekly Heroic or Nightfall Strike.
7) Talk to Ikora Rey again.
8) Buy an Invective component from the Gunsmith for 50 special weapon ammo packs. (If you need to buy these it costs 12,500 Glimmer, so be prepared.)
9) Talk to Ikora Rey to receive Invective.
The first stage of this bounty - completing five Strikes without dying - is a little tedious, but if you pick a low-level task like Devils' Lair or Summoning Pits and work in a fireteam then you should be OK. Please don't just spawn into a matchmade Strike and not contribute. (If you do that then you are subhuman scum!) The Crucible part is not too hard either providing you can put a run of decent games together. The Weekly Heroic is probably hardest, but by now you should be capable. And getting 12,500 Glimmer is trivial - if you are running short, just do some other activities with the Glimmer-gain buffs active for the local race you're fighting to speed things up.
Invective is a nice shotgun. The reload is slow and it has a hell of a kick, but it's also amazingly powerful and the ability to regenerate ammunition is a real boon - as is the full auto capability, providing you can master it. Invective is not as novel as Universal Remote, the shotgun you can use as a primary weapon, but it's good nonetheless, especially in the Crucible.
A Light in the Dark - Thorn exotic hand cannon
1) Complete The Summoning Pits Strike on the Moon.
2) Earn 500 points by killing Hive enemies on the Moon. (2 points per kill. Majors give 20 points, Ultras give 50.)
3) Use Void Damage to kill Guardians in the Crucible. (Need 500 points. 5 points per kill with Void damage, 2 lost per death.)
4) Buy an Infusion of Light from the Speaker for one Mote of Light.
5) Talk to Ikora Rey.
6) Kill Xyor, the Unwed, in a special level 26 version of The Summoning Pits. (This version of the Strike is only available when this bounty is active. Xyor appears in the third wave of arrivals from Tombships, so you need the boss to stay alive long enough for this to happen.)
7) Talk to the Speaker to obtain Thorn.
This bounty can really hold you up. The initial parts are easy enough, but the Crucible demand is frustrating for a couple of reasons. First, you may not have a favoured weapon that deals Void damage, so you may need to scratch around for that. Second, the fact your progress is pegged back by death means you need to achieve a fairly positive kill/death ratio in your matches in order to get closer to success, while any off days count heavily against you. Finally, hanging around in the Summoning Pits boss fight long enough for Xyor to arrive, then defeating him, can take a while to pull off.
Once you have Thorn, you will be disappointed by the clip size - just six rounds - while reload time is also a pain. But it is another great-looking gun and the damage it deals is substantial, particularly once it's upgraded so that bullets linger in enemies and deal residual damage.
A Voice in the Wilderness - Super Good Advice exotic machine gun
1) Find A Mournful Gun by opening loot caches on Mars.
2) Talk to the Gunsmith.
3) Buy an ammunition module from Xur for 1 Strange Coin.
4) Kill 500 enemies with a Machine Gun. (Kills give 1 point, headshots and sprees 3 points. Rocket launcher kills remove 5 points.)
5) Talk to the Gunsmith to receive Super Good Advice.
Sometimes there is minor variation in how this bounty unfolds, but it's pretty similar to the above in each case, and ranks among the most straightforward exotic bounties, although as with the others it can be a little time-consuming.
Super Good Advice is not the most exciting weapon in the game, but once upgraded you will find that rounds which miss their target are returned to the clip, which is certainly a boon in both PVP and PVE. All the same, this feels like a bounty to complete after the others.
Shattered Memory Fragment - Pocket Infinity exotic fusion rifle
1) Pick up a Damaged Ghost in the Shattered Coast area. (Save yourself some time by watching a video showing where.)
2) Kill a Vex Gate Lord on Heroic difficulty. (Do this by playing through the Eye of a Gate Lord story mission on a higher setting.)
3) Talk to the Speaker.
4) Talk to the Gunsmith.
5) Dismantle 10 rare or higher quality fusion rifles.
6) Talk to the Gunsmith again.
7) Kill 200 enemies in Weekly Nightfall Strikes using fusion rifles.
8) Talk to the Gunsmith to receive Pocket Infinity.
The Shattered Memory Fragment bounty is pretty straightforward but if you've played a decent amount of Destiny then you will immediately be able to tell which bit will hold you up: dismantling 10 rare or higher quality fusion rifles. Unless you have been extremely prescient and clung on to pretty much every rare and legendary fusion rifle you've ever received in a drop, you are not going to have enough. The good news is that the Gunsmith sells them every so often. The bad news is that it's only every three nights at 11pm UTC, as discovered by this helpful Redditor. (Update: This info seems to be out of date, but the good news is there is an alert service set up by another avid player that will notify you when the Gunsmith has rare fusion rifles in stock.)
Apart from that, the other steps are pretty simple. The Weekly Nightfall Strike can be a ridiculous undertaking, but if you are well prepared - e.g. with weapons that suit the enemy weaknesses that week and a couple of buddies in your fireteam - you can chew up a lot of enemies quite quickly. Besides, you don't have to complete the Strike, merely kill 200 enemies during it.
Pocket Infinity, which you receive for completing the bounty, has some drawbacks - charge time, in particular - but it's the only fusion rifle with an auto-fire setting and this is a wonderful novelty. Essentially you hold the trigger to charge up and then if you don't release the trigger it will empty the entire clip in one burst. Glorious against tougher enemies.
Toland's Legacy - Bad Juju exotic pulse rifle
1) Complete a Weekly Heroic or Nightfall Strike. (The Tiger Strike playlist also works.)
2) Talk to Ikora Rey.
3) Complete 25 additional Strikes on any difficulty.
4) Talk to Ikora Rey again.
5) Talk to the Gunsmith.
6) Visit Xur, Agent of the Nine, and buy a Darkness-infused weapon frame for 1 Strange Coin. (You can only do this having completed the previous steps.)
7) Talk to the Gunsmith again.
8) Gather 10,000 points in Crucible matches. (A Titan or Hunter kill or assist is worth 25 points, a Warlock kill or assist is worth 50.)
9) Talk to the Gunsmith to receive Bad Juju.
The Toland's Legacy exotic bounty is not too difficult to complete but it is a heck of a grind. The first step is the hardest, but as long as you have a couple of friends to help out then the Weekly Heroic Strike on basic difficulty shouldn't hold you up long.
Then the next step is the most painful: complete 25 Strikes. You can do this on any difficulty, so frankly it's just time-consuming. The fastest Strike to run in the game is The Summoning Pits, which has only two battles that you have to complete to continue: the fight at the doorway in the room where you fought the Swarm Princes in the Sword of Crota story mission, then the boss fight with Phogoth, the Untamed. With a bit of practice and a willing fireteam - we did it all with matchmaking - it's possible to get your par time for this Strike down to less than 15 minutes. But even 15 minutes starts to feel like a long time when you have to do it 25 times over. (It's also worth considering that you need to get these Strikes finished in time for Xur, who is only in the Tower from Friday 10am GMT to Sunday at the same time.)
The penultimate step is the most enjoyable, because it's just about playing the game. Go forth into Crucible and kill lots of people, with no penalties for deaths or poor ratios or anything like that. Our preferred method was playing Control matches and just hovering around claimed control points until the enemy comes calling, but you will make steady progress regardless.
Once complete, you end up with Bad Juju, the exotic pulse rifle. This weapon looks fantastic and once fully upgraded it packs a wallop, which is handy if you're just headshotting PVE mobs, but the clip size is extremely small, necessitating a hell of a lot of reloads. One of the upgrades is an "instant reload", but it isn't quite that straightforward - it means you get some ammo back after every kill, although this is still handy. Overall this is a gun that needs a tweak. The good news is that Bungie has already said it will receive one in due course, so it may be worth grabbing it anyway and holding on for that buff.