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Bungie bans 'toxic' players from Destiny matchmaking, making some strikes easier

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Bungie says it's working to improve the player experience in Destiny's strikes and raids in a number of ways: tackling the worst bugs that affect raid bosses, making some strike bosses a little easier and banning some toxic players from matchmaking with others. In a new weekly update, Bungie goes into how those specific changes will affect Destiny.

At the top of the list are bug fixes related to boss encounters with Crota and Atheon, as well as the minions that players have to contend with in raid boss fights. That should make those raids a little easier, or at least less frustrating, when those fixes hit in version 1.1.2 of Destiny.

Bungie is also making two strike bosses, Valus Ta'Aurc (pictured above) and the Psion Flayers, a little easier too. The bosses of Destiny's Cerberus Vae III and Dust Palace strikes on Mars are being tweaked in an effort to get more players to complete those long, difficult missions.

"Our goal was to ease the difficulty for the least-completed strikes," Bungie production engineer Brenton Woodrow said. "In order to do this, we focused on the final boss encounters, which were fairly lengthy on higher tiers. We addressed this by reducing the strength for several of the major combatants. We also felt that the bosses themselves could use some tweaking. We reduced Valus Ta'Aurc's health by a third and reduced the Psion Flayers' shields by about 15 percent. We locked these changes after several playtests with the designers and feel that they bring these encounters in line with the rest of the Strikes."

Finally, Bungie said it's temporarily "a small number of the most toxic players from matchmaking," due to chronic idling in competitive and cooperative multiplayer.

"Sitting idle in Strikes and PvP has been on our radar for a while now, but it's become clear that a small number of the worst idlers are responsible for damaging the experiences of thousands of other players," Bungie's John Hopson said. "One player not contributing in an activity might seem like a small thing, but it can make a Weekly Heroic Strike unbeatable or make a Crucible match unwinnable. Those little bits of damage to the experiences other players adds up over time."

Gameplay Overview archive: Destiny Final (2014)

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