Plugged In

Crucible Chronicles — An open letter to Bungie

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

Vol. 9


Greetings, Guardians. With this entry of Crucible Chronicles, I’m deviating a little from the regular format. While I recently got my Luna’s Howl (finally! more deets next time) and have been having a great time with the game, the new Annual Pass content — Season of the Drifter — gives me, and many others, cause for concern. Thus I’ve written this letter to Bungie, detailing those concerns. Please feel free to pass it along to anyone and everyone you think might share some or all of them. Now is the time to speak up and let our voices be heard on the future of this game we love so much.

An open letter to Bungie:

Cozmo, Dmg, DeeJ, and anyone else from Bungie who might see this:

Please let me start by saying I unabashedly love Destiny 2, and have had — and am still having — a blast playing it. I’ve made some good friends, had some great times, achieved things I never would’ve thought possible given my age and experience (or lack thereof) in shooters, and have even been able to spend a lot of time playing with my son, a monster PvP player who lives in a different state, hundreds of miles from me. D2 has brought us closer together, and I will be forever thankful for that. All this being said, I have some deep concerns over the game’s future, specifically, PvP.

A little more than a year ago, Destiny 2’s Crucible grabbed hold of me like no PvP game ever has. Fast forward to now, and I’m still having a ton of fun in PvP, but it’s clear that many players aren’t. In no particular order, here are some thoughts I’ve had on this. I hope you’ll consider them, and pass them along to the devs.

Comp needs more and better loot. Trials had complete sets of unique loot. Comp doesn’t. One new pinnacle smg isn’t enough. I’m talking tons of weapons, complete sets of armor, emblems, shaders, sparrows, ghost shells, all of it. Loot is at the core of this game. Why not put more of it in comp to entice folks to play? Perhaps a boosted chance for exotic drops, or the chance to get enhanced armor perks, or even pinnacle armor? There are many cool places the devs could go with this. But Destiny, at its heart of hearts, is a loot-based game. This isn’t Overwatch; a rank badge and a golden gun (or the D2 equivalents) simply won’t be enough to incentivize long-term investment in a competitive playlist.

Super balancing is all out of whack. Top-Tree Tether is still a meme, while meanwhile, Spectral blades is ridiculously tanky and lasts for quite a long time. Blade Barrage kills behind walls, and tracking on Sentinel Shield is absurd. On Jan. 12, we were told the Moebius Quiver changes are just the beginning. A little more than two months later and we’ve heard nothing about possible changes to Deadfall — which is the Tether that’s by far more often used in Crucible.

Continuing on the subject of Supers, in general they are too easy to get and use. With the right armor pieces, perks, and stacked Super mods, I’m seeing people get supers in under a minute. This is ridiculous and really, really bad for Crucible. If I wanted constant supers, I’d just play Mayhem (which I rarely do … because I like actually having to earn supers).

Coming from a player who has Luna’s, I think it and Not Forgotten are not good for the game. At this point, they’re repelling more players from Crucible than they are enticing into it. They are absurdly powerful, laughably easy to use, and probably need a slight nerf.

And now, the million-dollar question: Why is there — besides the Recluse — zero Crucible content in Season of the Drifter? Even PvE players at least got a new horde mode. Is Bungie intentionally abandoning PvP? Because for many devoted Crucible players like myself, that’s what it’s starting to feel like. No new maps, modes, loot — in fact, practically nothing for PvP in this update. Why not throw us a bone and port a map or two over from D1? I mean, they already exist. I can only guess, but I bet bringing old maps from D1 to D2 is a fraction of the cost of designing and building a new map from scratch.

It’s now been more than six months since we’ve had a major sandbox update or new Crucible maps, and, with the total absence of such in SotD, we’re looking at the prospect of at least nine (!) months without these things. Any meta, in any live service game, is going to get really, really stale in that amount of time. The almost total neglect for PvP is starting to become quite conspicuous. And from what I’ve seen on Twitter, YouTube, and the Destiny 2 forums, I’m far from the only player who’s noticed it.

When Forsaken dropped, with all of its wonderful and inspiring changes to PvP, more than a million Guardians were playing Crucible daily. Now, that’s down to 300K on a good day (the Thorn quest and its effects on Crucible notwithstanding). We were told we’d have more frequent updates, and better communication from the sandbox and Crucible team(s). In actuality, we’ve seen very little of either. The PvP community may be smaller than the PvE community, but we are no less passionate, no less devoted, and our number is not insignificant. We bought Destiny 2, and its attendant expansions, on the premise that Crucible (as distinct from Gambit) would continue to be a core part of the game, with regular support from the developers. Right now — with Trials killed off, quickplay ignored, and comp practically on life support — it sure doesn’t feel like PvP is valued by the devs. In fact, never mind valued; it honestly now feels like Bungie barely even acknowledges PvP.

I like Gambit, but it will never, ever take the place of PvP (and though some players believe it is, Gambit is not really PvP, at least, not to me, or to the vast majority of folks I play with). In your fervent, almost desperate need to get — or, frankly, force — Guardians to play more Gambit, please don’t forget about your devoted, passionate PvP community. I love this game, and will be here until you unplug the Crucible servers. I just hope that’s much further down the road than it now feels it will be. Thank you for reading and considering this.

Fight forever!