Destiny lacks a true PvP endgame. But that all changes when House of Wolves delivers the Trials of Osiris.
Destiny hasn’t been great for PvP fans. Crucible is fun, and Iron Banner offers some good loot, but in general PvP is unrewarding for overall progression and disconnected from the already criticised lore and storytelling of the wider game.
House of Wolves, the second expansion, aims to change that. In other reports published today, I’ve already talked about the new maps, which are of course very welcome, and how increased rewards and a new mode put Destiny PvP back in the spotlight.
The ace up Bungie’s sleeve, however, is definitely the Trials of Osiris. This new weekly event provides an arena in which the very best players will be elevated above the rest of the pack. It provides a proving ground for those who have trained and are ready to be tested. It is not for beginners.
If this sounds grim to you, go do something else. Casual players, defined here as “anybody not howling for the win with every breath”, are not welcome, or catered to, here. Please enjoy literally anything else the game has to offer.
The Trials of Osiris will run every weekend. Unlike the Iron Banner, or various factions in Destiny, it does not employ a reputation system. Rather than grinding for reputation, rising through the ranks through sheer determination if necessary, you’ll be judged on your performance, and every weekend, you’ll have to start the process all over again.
If this sounds grim to you, go do something else. Seriously. Raids. Strikes. Story Missions. The Prison of Elders. Vanilla Crucible. Iron Banner. Anything but this dog-eat-dog affair where killing, and victory, are all that matters. Casual players, defined here as “anybody not howling for the win with every breath”, are not welcome, or catered to, here.
I’m sorry. This is the situation. Please enjoy literally anything else the game has to offer.
How Trials of Osiris works
To enter the trials of Osiris you must also obtain a Trials Passage. This Quest inventory item can be purchased from Brother Vance for a really negligible amount, and you get one straight off the bat when you kick off House of Wolves’ storyline. Getting in is not hard.
Staying in? That’s hard.
Trials of Osiris is played in Elimination mode only and employs a three strikes, nine goals system. If you lose three times, or win nine times, your current Trials Passage will expire, and you’ll need to obtain a new one to try again. You progress will completely reset each time. Passage trials themselves will expire at the end of every event, so you can’t hold onto a few wins to give you a boost at the start of the next weekend.
If you manage to get even two wins, and hand over heart, many of you just will not manage it, you can take your Trials Passage to Brother Vance and purchase (again, for a ridiculously piddling amount) a rewards package. There are reward packages for two, five and eight wins. Bungie refused to say if there’s an additional reward for nine wins but I imagine that if anybody ever manages it then yes, there will be some form of acknowledgement.
To help you out, Brother Vance offers a couple of boosters for sale. One will give you an immediate win mark on your Trials Passage, so you only need one more to get the first reward tier. Another will cancel out one loss, which is handy if you’re close to being knocked out.
There is no matchmaking for Trials of Osiris; you must bring a pre-made fireteam of three with you. Like Iron Banner, power levels matter, so bring your very best gear.
Speaking of which:
Dat Egyptian set
Trials of Osiris is an end game activity and as such it offers level 34 equipment sets. Perhaps more importantly, now that we can ascend all our gear to level 34, it offers unique equipment you cannot score anywhere else.
All those beautiful Egyptian-style armour pieces you’ve seen so far can only be obtained at the Trials. There is no exception. I didn’t get to see the new gear, but Bungie did say it will be PvP-oriented, so expect perks and stats that combine to make you a Guardian to be feared in the Crucible. Those Anubis ears are going to be a symbol of dread.
Some of this gear will drop randomly during Trials of Osiris, and given the increased reward rates introduced to all PvP in House of Wolves, you’ve got a good chance of getting them. You can also purchase some pieces from Brother Vance with Passage Coins, a new currency found mostly in trials of Osiris but occasionally in other PvP activities.
There are two tiers of Trials of Osiris gear, though, and the best equipment can only be obtained by by hitting reward tiers on your Trials Passage. You can collect one reward package from each tier you manage to unlock (that’s two, five and eight wins, for those who’ve forgotten already) for each Trial Passage you attempt. If you earn a five wins reward package, you’ll get that week’s featured weapon. If you manage eight, you’ll score that week’s featured armour item.
I have no doubt that Trials of Osiris is the new endgame for hardcore PvP players. It will make use of their skills in a way the unranked wilds of Crucible has not. It rewards them with gear that advertises their skill to everyone – and that gear will be rare indeed, so it will genuinely be something to be proud of.
I have to say, though, it’s not going to be fun for everyone. When you come up against a better crew than you, you’re going to get absolutely steamrolled. It’s going to be slaughter. The problem with intense competition is that someone has to lose in order for someone else to win. With only three strikes each Trials Passage, and the promise of very rare loot for hitting eight wins, there’s going to be a lot of frustrated losers out there. Expect forums to light up with rage.
Rage is born of passion, and that’s what the Trials of Osiris will inspire. Nobody could call this boring.
Destiny: House of Wolves launches on May 19.
Brenna Hillier recently visited Bungie’s studio in Seattle to preview House of Wolves. Activision provided flights, accommodation and hospitality.