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Destiny 2’s biggest PvP problems are finally being addressed

Lord Shaxx should be pleased

Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris - two Guardians shooting in the Crucible Image: Bungie

Bungie will begin to improve Destiny 2’s player-versus-player experiences later this year, assistant game director Joe Blackburn wrote in a new blog. The team plans to eliminate obnoxious practices like “three-peeking,” and will balance subclasses, increase security, and overhaul the Trials of Osiris reward structure.

First up is the removal of three-peeking. Three-peeking is a unique cheese tactic in Destiny 2 that utilizes swords and emotes. When Destiny players pull out a sword — even when they don’t have ammo — or use an in-game emote, the game switches to a third-person camera. This isn’t an issue in most activities, but in competitive multiplayer matches, it allows players to peek around corners. With Destiny being a first-person game, three-peeking provides players with a lot of additional intel about where their enemies are. Everyone can do three-peeking, but it’s viewed as a cheap or “try-hard” tactic in the community — and moreover, Bungie never intended for this tactic to exist.

To solve this issue, said Blackburn, players will no longer be able to pull out “third person weapons” (interesting wording, considering swords are the only third-person weapon at the moment) if they don’t have ammo. Bungie will also disable emotes in the competitive playlist and in Trials of Osiris. Players will still be able to use swords in these modes, but only when they have ammo, which is very rare. Blackburn said this change will take effect for Destiny 2 season 15, which will likely go live this fall.

Bungie also plans to balance the Stasis and Light subclasses. Since its introduction in Beyond Light, Stasis has dominated the Crucible. It’s too strong for Bungie’s liking — and that of the Destiny community — so the studio will rein it in a bit while increasing the potency of the underused Arc, Solar, and Void subclasses.

Destiny 2 Titan activating their Stasis Super
The Behemoth Titan getting ready to pummel some foes — or fellow Guardians.
Image: Bungie

Blackburn went into detail on the major changes to each Stasis subclass, and mentioned that these changes will also target players who get frozen by enemy Stasis powers, making it more likely for them to survive the experience. Blackburn noted Stasis should still feel powerful in PvE after these changes — that’s Bungie’s goal, at least.

Cheating is another big issue within Destiny PvP, and while Blackburn didn’t announce any incoming anti-cheat software, he did reveal plans to combat the problem. He said Bungie plans to double the size of its security team over the next 12 months, as well as survey players to better understand what’s going on in-game. Most notably, the studio has started to take legal action against some cheating sites and software.

While it’s not normally worth speculating, anti-cheat strategies are something Bungie has reason to speak broadly about, rather than giving details. In the past, Bungie developers have told Polygon that they won’t share specific details, in an effort to stay a step ahead of the cheaters.

Cheating primarily impacts the Trials of Osiris playlist, but that isn’t the mode’s only issue. Blackburn finished his segment on PvP by detailing a host of changes coming to what he called the “Trials of Osiris reward structure.”

The first one is pretty ambiguous: to “improve the overall health of the Trials matchmaking pool, both by incentivizing a wider audience to engage, and better defining separation of skill tiers.” This seems to suggest that players can expect matchmaking that feels more akin to their skill level, rather than the baddie/streamer/cheater roulette that Trials is now.

Blackburn said Bungie also plans to reorganize rewards, giving players incentives to not reset their Trials of Osiris card if they get a loss. Normally, players reset when they lose, as that means they can’t go Flawless and get the best rewards. And given that Trials of Osiris’ matchmaking system tries to match players with a similar number of wins, the first or second match of every card has a massive population, making it more random. Blackburn said that in his ideal world, players should have some reason to keep pushing forward after a loss — which would also prevent them from flooding the no- or low-win card players.

Interestingly, Blackburn also mentioned a desire to let solo players adventure through Trials of Osiris. The mode currently requires three players in a premade Fireteam to participate.

With Trials as it stands, it’s very difficult for an average or even good Destiny player to get a Flawless ticket each week, even with hours of play. These changes aren’t too specific, but addressing matchmaking complaints should go a long way toward solving some of the mode’s primary issues.

All of these Crucible changes should be encouraging to players, as the past few months have seen a lot of PvP-related complaints. While Bungie has a lot of promises to fulfill over the next year or so, this certainly shows that player concerns aren’t falling on deaf ears.

In its developer blog post, Bungie also revealed plans to remove its weapon sunsetting system, and announced a delay for The Witch Queen expansion.

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