Destiny 2’s weekend player-versus-player event, Trials of the Nine, is now live, and the best thing about it so far is the spectacular way in which it introduces the competitors to each other.
For the uninitiated, Trials of the Nine is Destiny 2’s replacement for the original Destiny’s Trials of Osiris. Available only on weekends for 72 hours — from 10 a.m. PT on Fridays until the same time on Mondays — Trials of Osiris was a high-stakes three-on-three elimination mode in which teams attempted to win nine matches before they lost three. This time around, it lasts for a bit longer: until the weekly reset at 2 a.m. PDT / 1 a.m. PST on Tuesday.
Trials of the Nine, like all Crucible modes in Destiny 2, is a four-on-four affair. There are a few other major changes from Trials of Osiris. Level advantages are disabled — in other words, your gear stats don’t matter — and you need seven wins instead of nine to complete a Trials run. Bungie also did away with the Passage Card system; you just receive tokens after each match (unless you lose the first one, which kicks you back to orbit). The Emissary of the Nine is the vendor for the event, and they hang out in the Third Spire, a social area that is accessible only after winning at least one Trials match.
Each Trials match is split into rounds; the first team to take six rounds wins the match. Once you die in a round, you can’t respawn; you can only be revived by a teammate. The map and gametype will change every week, although the gametype will always be from the Competitive playlist: either Countdown or Survival. Destiny 2’s inaugural Trials event is set on Eternity, a new Crucible map located in a place that the game refers to as an Unknown Space. Note that gear loadouts are locked in Trials of the Nine — you can’t change your gear at all during a match, not even between rounds.
You may initially find that you don’t have access to Trials of the Nine. The first impediment is finding a fireteam — there’s no matchmaking for teammates, so you need to put together a group of four people in order to play. There are also three prerequisites for Trials access: You need to have finished the campaign; you must have completed the Call to Arms milestone for Lord Shaxx at least once; and you need a power level of at least 260.
As you can imagine, Trials is an intense mode where teamwork and communication are vital in coordinating strategies. Across all Crucible offerings, Destiny 2 provides a lot more information to players, and knowledge is power in Trials. To that end, every Trials match begins with a cutscene that introduces each of the eight players. The screen shows the player using one of their emotes, and also lists key information about what they’re bringing to the table: their subclass, their weapon loadout and any exotic armor they’re wearing. It’s informative, and it pumps you up before the match!
Trials offers tough competition, and it can get frustrating pretty quickly. But we were excited to see the intro every time! You can see one in the video above. For more on Destiny 2, read our review-in-progress and check out our massive FAQ.