So the “loot cave” is gone in Destiny, meaning that the standard farming model made popular in Diablo II of walking to one spot and farming tons of loot is gone. Everyone right now is saluting the cave with a strong hand as it goes away into the distance, but that doesn’t mean that farming isn’t a thing.
The key to farming in Destiny now is to play the game, as tough as that sounds. The loot cave nerf was implemented with promises of alternative increases in loot drops, but those weren’t included in the latest patch. So the only way right now to farm loot is to go to other substandard caves (there is one on Venus but good luck not having everyone and their brother walk by).
Here are the alternatives to loot caves during periods of time when there isn’t a simply “set it and forget it” farming method of laying down on your couch and spraying bullets into the abyss.
Mob Heavy Missions
Missions in which there are a lot of enemies that spawn that you can deal with are probably the most preferred method, simply because there is a lot of enemies spawning and you can deal with them. It’s sort of the same premise of the loot cave, except you have to leave the mission and restart it.
Most missions can count for this, obviously, the general idea being you have two options: doing the mission all the way through to collect the mission complete rewards as well, or getting to a checkpoint where the enemies spawn, kill almost all of the enemies, collect the loot, then die (respawning at the checkpoint) or load out and back in.
The first is preferred with a group, the second is preferred solo, since obviously getting everyone in the group to restart at checkpoint is tough and you can clear through maps easily with a team.
As of writing this, the best suggest map is The Dark Beyond on the moon, where you get to the area before you fight the wizard. A group of Thralls rush you, you can kill them, die, then restart again with another group of thralls rushing you.
So strike missions are sort of repeatable missions that just let you farm loot / kill mobs / collect rewards. The difficulty right now is a bit high, but obviously Bungie is working on it and has announced very publicly they’re aware that they need to make them a bit more user friendly.
I’d keep my finger on the pulse of the game to watch for when the Strike nerf comes so that you can load up a Strike Playlist (Vanguard Strikes) with some friends and just farm the maps endlessly while trying to get as much reward as you can.
This is the hardest method, but will result in the best results, as in you getting the exact weapon, armor, shader, whatever you want. So there are various vendors in the Tower that you can earn rep with, ranging from the reps from the various classes to other random NPCs. You can farm rep with them through various tasks, farming marks, doing bounties, or decrypting Engrams, depending on the specific reputation.
This is a long and drawn out process that involves a lot of work. When you reach the required rank for the weapon you want, you can then buy it, and it’s yours! That simple.
Without a loot cave, it can seem like there isn’t much to do in Destiny, but it’s sort of the opposite. It’s now time to go out and play the game. Some may argue that they don’t have the time to farm, but ultimately as long as you play, you’re going to either earn rep or drops in some capacity, and everyone else is on the same playing field - so get to playing!