Destiny reborn: why PvP is the new place to be

By Paul Davies, Friday, 26 February 2016 14:46 GMT

The King’s Fall Raid is so 2015. The Destiny end game for 2016 is all about the PvP.

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“Destiny PvP is practically a brand new game for anyone that has so far burned 100s of hours almost solely into PvE.”

Destiny’s PvP mode, Crucible, has a long standing reputation for sucking ass. A lag-ridden shotgun-fest worsened by the cheats, it’s been played by mainly desperate/bored Guardians seeking prestige among the otherwise well thought-out multiplayer scenarios. Since The Taken King, however, strides have been made to ensure that Destiny PvP is all it should be – especially given Bungie’s great heritage in this area (Halo, lest we forget). There have been high points and lows since September, but after the 17 February update PvP has noticeably improved.

It’s just in time too. The PvE end game has been pretty much exhausted, speaking personally, but also it seems on behalf of many Guardians who’ve played predominantly for the reward of a team-oriented escapade well executed. But while banging our collective heads against the Oryx encounter, with teleporting Ogres oh my (okay, they’re fixed now but whatever), the world of Destiny PvP has been patched up, polished and presented anew. And, it’s GREAT.

Bungie has backed away from purely skill based match-making (SBMM) enforced in January to place the emphasis where it should be, on connection quality. Casual (less skilled) players may occasionally encounter ‘MLG’ guys and learn some harsh lessons, but the majority vote for a slicker school of hard knocks has at last been recognised. To be fair, it’s what Bungie originally presented with the hardcore 3V3 mode Trials of Osiris.

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DESTINY REBORN

I’m not even gonna try to understate this; Destiny PvP is practically a brand new game for anyone that has so far burned 100s of hours almost solely into PvE. While you were away, Crucible has evolved into an intelligently structured experience. Quests retain the narrative style of the story missions, complementing Bounties that encourage experimentation with weapon types and sub-class capabilities.

If you’ve been feeling stuck in a rut with Destiny, PvP is undoubtedly the way forward. Not least because you’re straightaway presented with a colossal range of weapons and armour. Guns you once classed as garbage for King’s Fall are tailor made for murdering fools in PvP. Armour attributes that made no sense for parties in Golgoroth’s cellar come into their own.

If only to save your Slack conversations from endless ‘I’ll go blessings, you go weapons’, and ‘really, I just need that frickin hat’, please consider all this that’s available to you:

THOSE GAME MODES

Vanilla Crucible – multiplayer meets space magic
Destiny PvP is a multi-layered learning process, analogies are hard to hit upon but we’ll give you Super Smash Bros as opposed to Super Street Fighter IV. The supercharged Guardians make it seem silly, but when you get right into it, the good players are still the ones with a ridiculous good aim and unbreakable levels of concentration. When it clicks, it’s awesome.

Trials of Osiris – 3v3 ultimate end game
Bring your best two guys with you for the ultimate versus challenge in the game. Your goal is to earn a trip to Mercury, a place called the Lighthouse – essentially Destiny’s VIP Lounge, with exclusive loot. This is about bragging rights. If you can humiliate foes in the Trials and earn yourself nine straight wins, you are the best of the best, no questions need asking.

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Iron Banner – don’t hide your light under a bushel
From a PvP POV, every second of your investment of time in Destiny has led to this moment. Your Light Level counts, that’s true, but these 6v6 battles are tactical throw-downs played at breakneck speed. Everything you know about your weapons, ammo and sub-class is brought to bear under the judgmental eye of Lord Saladin. The ceremonial loot is to die for.

Shaxx Weekly – bounties to hone your skills
Easily the most welcome addition to Destiny to have arrived with The Taken King. The Quest line that begins with Crucible Forged (collected from Lord Shaxx) instructs players across all areas of PvP, along the way building confidence with unfamiliar weapon types and adapting to team-based strategy. Upon completion, Shaxx offers new Crucible Bounties each week.

THEM GUNS

Doctrine of Passing (Legendary Auto Rifle)
Obtained only via the Trials of Osiris, this is a beast of an auto rifle whose barebones statistics are basically one great big lie from what we can tell – other than ridiculous ROF. The DOP boasts the fastest Time to Kill in Destiny, sharing the Persistence perk of exotic auto rifle Zhalo Supercell. The latter is also a menace in PvP lately for similar reasons.

MIDA Multi-Tool (Exotic Scout Rifle)
An old favourite, but with the current damage/drop-off balance in Destiny PvP the MIDA is causing all kinds of upset. It feels like a rapid-fire sniper rifle, picking off unsuspecting long-range targets before they realise what’s hitting them. The MIDA perk itself, which boosts agility, in turn makes you that much harder to hit from range. Also, permanent radar.

Hereafter (Exotic Sniper Rifle)
It’s impact rating is nowhere near Black Spindle, which has become the ‘darling of the King’s Fall Raid’ or something like that. But whereas the Spindle is a slow-to-aim powerhouse with convenient auto-reload that’s great for boss fights, the Hereafter finds targets fast with low zoom and Linear Compensator perk to make aiming much easier at speed.

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1000-Yard Stare (Legendary Sniper Rifle)
If you’re rocking a primary exotic, the 1000-Yard Stare, which is very easy to come by with a solid roll – heck, the stock Vanguard example is decent enough. If you manage to get one with Shortgaze and Spray and Play, this is the most fun you’re ever going to have with a sniper rifle, period. The Hereafter’s aim-assists aren’t there, but you’re not going to care.

Swords (Legendary, or Exotic)
Successfully wielding a sword in PvP is just too much awesome to describe in so many words. In PvE, swords are kind of fun and effective too against certain larger targets – very handy in the Oryx encounter if you’re the runner. However, in Crucible a confident player that knows the map can make a mockery of guys aiming rockets or HMGs. Love it!

Truth (Exotic Rocket Launcher)
Now that Gjallarhorn is no longer hogging the limelight, and rightly so, attention is back on Truth as the most desirable Year One exotic in PvP. These perks are frankly unbeatable: Grenades & Horseshoes for proximity-based detonation, married with Prototype Seeker to lock onto targets, and Javelin for speed of delivery. Oh, those distant cries of anguish!

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