March 12 marked the return of the beloved Trials of Osiris PvP game mode in Destiny 2. But for the first weekend, Bungie couldn’t disable players’ Artifact power in time — resulting in some players who had time to grind Destiny before the weekend having a huge advantage in PvP. But as of a hotfix on Thursday morning, Artifact power is now disabled in Trials of Osiris and Destiny 2’s Iron Banner game mode.
Trials of Osiris and Iron Banner both factor power — how good a Guardian’s gear is — into how much damage players deal or take. Normally this wouldn’t be too much of an issue. As long as players are playing Destiny, they’re gaining power, and shouldn’t struggle too hard against slightly over-leveled players.
However, the Artifact system introduced in last fall’s Shadowkeep expansion allows players to farm power indefinitely. Gear has a limit — for example, players can only reach power 1,010 this season. But by turning in bounties or grinding Destiny activities, dedicated players could achieve a bonus 20 or more power by the end of the season. Without disabling this ability, Trials would quickly become a battle for who has the most time, rather than which team has the most skilled players.
During last week’s debut, I personally ran into several teams with Guardians at 1,015-1,020 power. Despite grinding for gear all week (on only one of my three characters), I found myself just under 1,000 going into my Trials runs. The mode was mostly fine, but going against a team with three Guardians at well over 1,000 light was frustrating. I could count the amount of extra bullets I needed to kill them, and how much quicker they could kill me. It was noticeable, and made at least some of my losses in the high-intensity mode that much more frustrating.
But with hotfix 126.96.36.199 — which comes one day before the second weekend of Trials goes live — players will only be able to rely on their gear level, not the infinite Artifact power. The only bad side? Now players who weren’t able to go Flawless (seven wins and no losses) last weekend, like myself, don’t have any excuses for round two.