Plugged In

Crucible Chronicles — An introduction

Being a true account of the author’s trials and travails in Destiny 2 PvP

Vol. 1

Greetings, Guardians! With this week being the one-year anniversary of Destiny 2’s release, and with the massive Forsaken expansion having been released this past Tuesday, I thought this was as fine a time as any to debut my Destiny 2 PvP blog, Crucible Chronicles.

I started playing Destiny 2 around December of 2017. Admittedly, I was playing catch-up. The only other modern shooter I’d played is Overwatch, which really isn’t a shooter in the strictest sense, but is rather a MOBA cleverly disguised as a shooter. The last pure console shooter I’d played before D2 was, well … Goldeneye, on the Nintendo 64. That’s right, I missed roughly 20 years of shooters — Call of Duty, Halo, and everything else along those lines.

However, I have long greatly enjoyed the competitive aspect of gaming; I envisioned a competitive scene for Super Smash Bros. (the original, not Melee, thank you very much) long before such a scene existed (or at least, before I knew of it). I enjoy platformers, RPGs and adventures, but real-time PvP has always been my bread and butter.

And that includes shooters. I can still remember in the late ‘90s playing my friend Mike in 1v1 matches of Doom 2 on PC. The details are foggy, but we had to connect through DOS over dial-up, and it was generally pretty rough around the edges. Sometimes, one of us would drag a computer to the other’s house and we’d have serial cable matches. After the Doom 2 days came a bit of Unreal Tournament and Quake. Around that time I got much more heavily involved in music, so gaming gradually took a back seat until I wasn’t even buying new consoles. All of that changed a little more than a year ago.

I never played the first Destiny; indeed, I didn’t even own a gaming console for the better part of that game’s lifecycle. In the summer of 2016, a good friend brought his PS4 over with Destiny. Perhaps not insignificantly, on that night, I didn’t play in the Crucible; my friend had never touched PvP during D1, as he was convinced any PvP mode (in any shooter) would be entirely populated by 15-year-old tryhards with lifetime k/d’s of 6.5. So, we stayed strictly within the realm of PvE. I thought it was cool, but after that night didn’t give it much thought.

Then, in late 2016, I saw my brother-in-law play Overwatch on PC, and I was blown away. “Holy s**t,” I thought, “I have to play this game.” My son, who was 16 at the time, lived several states away and gamed on Xbox One. I figured playing Overwatch, besides being loads of fun, would also be a great chance to hang out with him (albeit digitally) more often. So, in early 2017, I got an Xbox and Overwatch, which I put around 300 hours into in the space of the following 10 months (Zenyatta main!). He eventually got into Overwatch, too, and we often played together. On one visit, I watched him play Destiny PvP for a while, but still, it didn’t grab hold of me.

In late 2017, that same friend, in town once again, brought his PS4 and Destiny 2 over. We played some PvE, but most importantly I entered, for the first time, the Crucible, and had an absolute blast. I knew right then that I’d have to get the game. And I had a feeling that it might end up supplanting Overwatch.

That premonition was accurate. Nearly nine months later, Destiny 2 PvP is where the vast majority of my gaming time goes. My wife and I have recently been playing through The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but the rest of my gaming time is invested in D2 (except for the occasional local multiplayer on Smash Bros. and the little-known James Bond 007: Nightfire, when friends/family come in from out of town).

So, from whence comes this blog? I was invited by my Gazette-Mail colleague Jeff Rider, of Plugged In fame, to write about gaming. And in the realm of gaming, Destiny 2 PvP is what I do. I’m the kind of person who wants to play one competitive game and master it (or at least come as close as I can), rather than dabble in three or four. And Destiny 2 — with its flawless shooter mechanics, dark-sci-fi-mixed-with-space-magic aesthetic, and captivating lore — suits me perfectly.

Writing about this game that I love sounded fun, but beyond that, I realized I could approach it from a unique angle. I spend a lot of time on YouTube, Destiny Tracker and watching videos on tips, weapon and armor reviews, researching different gear, and keeping up with the game in general. And in watching D2 YouTubers, a common thing I have noticed is this: All of the biggest and best of them are amazing players. Deicyide, True Vanguard, CammyCakes, Aztecross, Drewsky, BRAVExHERO and Fallout Plays are among my favorites, and although their styles of content creation greatly differ, there is a single unifying thread: These guys are monsters in the Crucible. And sometimes, I wonder if they’ve perhaps forgotten (or maybe never really knew) what it’s like to be merely an average player, albeit one who is working to improve.

So, Crucible Chronicles is for you, the everyman/woman of Destiny 2 PvP. It’s for those whose K/D is just as often below 1.0 as it is above; for those who routinely pop their Super only to get melted by a guy with a fusion rifle; for those who sometimes push, while critically wounded, into a 1v3 and then get salty over getting killed; for those who excitedly pick up power ammo, charge around a corner, and get Nova Bombed before firing a single shot.

I will, of course, discuss Destiny 2’s PvE, as it, too, is part of the game. But the main focus here will be on my experience in the Crucible, the Destiny 2 Player-versus-Player environment, on my quest for fun, great matches, relentless improvement and hopefully someday, with persistence and just a bit of luck, mastery.