Destiny's February update includes a host of tweaks to how the Crucible works, including a new option for lone-wolf play and an attempt to insulate players from people who have laggy connections, developer Bungie announced today.
First up is an ammo adjustment. In an effort to increase the use of primary weapons in the Crucible, Bungie is changing all three-on-three gametypes (Trials of Osiris, Skirmish, Salvage, Elimination and any rotating playlists) so that players will no longer spawn with special ammo — they'll have to wait for it to appear.
The next change appears to be inspired by player complaints about last week's Iron Banner event, which featured the Rift gametype. Since Rift requires cooperation between teammates, solo players grouped onto a squad tended to fare poorly when matched up against a fireteam. Bungie is introducing "freelance" playlists, which will be accessible only by players who aren't in a fireteam. They'll be available for both three-on-three (Elimination, Salvage, Skirmish) and six-on-six (Clash, Control, Rift) matches.
Bungie debuted connection-focused matchmaking settings during the last Iron Banner. That matchmaking update is now active for Control, Rumble and Skirmish, and will be implemented for Trials of Osiris starting tomorrow. However, Bungie said it's limited by its Destiny tools: The studio can only enable the new settings on five playlists at a time. Crimson Doubles — the new mode for this month's Valentine's-themed Crimson Days event — and Clash are next on the list. In a future update, Bungie plans to apply the settings to all of the Crucible.
The final Crucible update in Destiny's v2.1.1 patch is something Bungie is calling "Damage Referee." The feature is designed to ensure that players with good connections have a good experience, while players with poor connections have a bad experience. At the moment, people stuck playing opponents who have slow connections sometimes find that the game unfairly prioritizes the latter group.
"If your connection is bad, we'll be giving you even more reasons to improve it," said Paul Lewellen, a networking engineer at Bungie. "Expect to lose fights a lot more often, even if you think you shot first or escaped behind cover in time. Things will get much better once you fix your connection, but at least you'll receive fewer angry messages in the meantime."
Destiny's February update will also fix some problems with the King's Fall raid: namely, a camera bug in the Daughters of Oryx fight, and an issue in the Oryx encounter with Ogres that teleport. The update will go live Feb. 9, and Crimson Days will begin once it does.