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Bungie's adding a new 'Mercy Rule' to Destiny's Crucible to reduce big blowouts

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

Crucible master Lord Shaxx says Destiny's competitive multiplayer mode has "no place for mercy," but with next week's 2.0 update to the game, Bungie will show new levels of compassion for players who find themselves on the losing end of big blowouts.

Bungie will introduce a new "Mercy Rule" in Crucible matches as of Sept. 8. The rule is designed to quickly end matches in which the score difference between the winning team and losing team is so great that there's no hope of winning, where the losing team might be suffering so badly that the game's no longer fun. Bungie hopes the rule will end bad matches as quickly as possible, discourage quitting and prevent players from joining in-progress blowouts.

"When the Mercy Rule hits, Shaxx will call out the end of the match," Destiny senior designer Andrew Weldon wrote on Bungie's website. "We immediately disable join in progress to prevent any additional players from joining the game (if anyone has dropped already) and reset the game clock to :10 seconds. After those 10 seconds, the match will end normally. All players will receive their end of match rewards and return to matchmaking."

Weldon said the new rule is "good at identifying games that get out of hand early, but not necessarily games that pull away late." Bungie will monitor the Mercy Rule's effectiveness over time and adjust its behavior accordingly.

The rule won't apply to Elimination and Trials of Osiris playlists, Weldon noted. Bungie developer Derek Carroll mentioned on Twitter today that the Trials of Osiris mode, which debuted with the House of Wolves add-on, will be going away temporarily but will return to Destiny later this year "better than ever."

Bungie will update Destiny to version 2.0 next Tuesday, Sept. 8, one week prior to the Sept. 15 launch of the game's major expansion, The Taken King. Starting Sept. 8, Destiny players will be able to try out the game's new multiplayer maps and modes for a week, even if they don't have The Taken King.

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