When Destiny 2 first launched in September 2017, the Crucible was not in the best shape. All of PvP was designed for 4v4 instead of the standard 6v6 from Destiny 1 , heavy ammo and supers were extremely limited, and there were very few incentives to commit to playing a lot of PvP. But over the course of the game’s first year, a lot of corrections were made to the Crucible to make it a much more enjoyable experience.
However, in Year 2, the Crucible got less attention in comparison to the rest of the game. And many of those Year 1 changes that were made to fix the game’s initial issues have been left unmodified while other parts of the game have continued to progress, resulting in some new issues developing in PvP.
he good news is that the overall situation is much better than the early days of Destiny 2 , and with a few adjustments, the Crucible could turn into a much more fun and rewarding place to play.
Early in Destiny 2 , heavy ammo was intentionally scarce. But that led to an issue in part due to the game’s initial weapon system, which moved many of the weapons that were formerly in the secondary slot like snipers and shotguns into the power weapon slot. In order to get to play with those weapons, players needed heavy ammo. But with a very limited supply of it, PvP became mostly centered around duels with primary weapons instead of being able to use harder hitting weapons.
One of the changes made to fix the issue was to make heavy ammo spawn more frequently. But the frequency of heavy ammo spawns has become an issue due to the Forsaken expansion completely reworking the weapon slots, putting snipers, shotguns, and fusion rifles back into the Kinetic and Energy slots; further compounded with the addition of extremely effective power weapons like heavy machine guns with their deep ammo reserves.
Heavy ammo spawn frequency needs to be dialed back, not as drastically as it was in the early days of Destiny 2 , but where heavy ammo becomes something for teams to fight over and then expend relatively quickly. Spawn rates similar to those in Destiny 1 seem to be a better direction for the game at this point. Right now it is way too easy to keep heavy ammo for a long time over the course of a match, even being able to use one fill-up of heavy ammo to then set up an easy takeover of the next heavy ammo spawn, leading to a snowball effect of a team getting every box of heavy ammo throughout the match.
Like heavy ammo, supers were also scarce in the early days of the Crucible in Destiny 2 . Except for really good players who could generate more super energy per match by getting a lot of kills, most players would get one super per match. That took a lot of the power fantasy out of the Crucible, so the game made the change to grant more super energy. Once again, a great change when it was first made, but with players now able to stack five Super mods on their armor to drastically increase the charge rate of their supers, plus many powerful roaming supers that are hard to shutdown, the Crucible is often a constant string of supers a few minutes into the match.
Thankfully it sounds like roaming supers will be getting a bit of a nerf in the upcoming Shadowkeep expansion, which will hopefully help a lot of this issue. Supers such as bottom tree Striker Titan and bottom tree Dawnblade can be strung together with regenerating energy upon kill to wipe entire teams or even kill the same player twice with the same super. Reining in those supers just a bit could go a long way in making the Crucible more enjoyable, letting players get more out of the gun-game instead of a match turning into constant supers (or running away from them).
Super mods will hopefully also see a bit of an adjustment with the release of Armor 2.0 in Shadowkeep, allowing the game to find a bit more balance and options when it comes to the choice of mods to use in PvP. Because Super mods can have such a drastic effect on the game, there is little reason to run anything else, so some more variety in mods would be good to see.
The Competitive playlist received some great changes in Year 1 to make it more relevant, most notably the Glory ranking system and each season’s Crucible pinnacle weapons being tied to the playlist. However, at this point, Competitive feels like it only exists as a way to earn those pinnacle weapons.
Outside of offering some objective-based game modes that are not in Quick Play, Competitive feels less unique than ever. And outside of that seasonal grind for a pinnacle weapon, there is virtually no reason for players to engage with it. It feels like unless there are big plans to do something really special and unique with the playlist, it would better to see it retired.
And in place of it…
Not Trials of the Nine, which was the PvP endgame playlist that launched with Destiny 2 , which was very much just the Competitive playlist with special rewards tied to it. Destiny 2 needs to see the return of a competitive, high-stakes 3v3 Elimination mode that Destiny 1 had in Trials of Osiris.
Trials of the Nine went on indefinite hiatus back in Season 4 and has yet to return to the game. It would be great to see the Crucible’s pinnacle rewards tied to a new playlist or weekly activity like Trials of Osiris. While developer Bungie has seemed reluctant to bring back a copy of Trials of Osiris to Destiny 2 , there was something special about the weekly ritual of the highly-competitive mode. Seeing its return, or a version of Trials that is very similar, would be a great step forward for the competitive side of the game.
But there’s no telling when Trials could return, with Bungie saying that Trials is not returning in Shadowkeep and it may not even be in the plans for Year 3.
An underlying issue to the overabundance of heavy ammo, the ability to traverse the map with roaming supers so quickly, the underwhelming feeling of some of the game’s weapon classes, and more is the fact that the majority of Destiny 2 's maps were designed for 4v4 player counts from the original format of the Crucible at launch. The game needs more arenas that are a better fit for 6v6 games.
Even if Bungie brought back more of Destiny 1 's maps such as Twilight Gap, Rusted Lands, Frontier, Asylum, Blind Watch, and the Anomaly, instead of designing brand new maps, that would greatly widen the map sizes available to players on maps that are proven to work for 6v6 modes. Thankfully, the ViDoc for Shadowkeep makes it look as though an updated version of Widow’s Court is returning this fall. Hopefully, more like it will come to the game in Year 3.
Destiny 2 is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.