As the dust settles from the recently ended Destiny 2 Beta, players are left to wait until the game’s full console launch in early September to get the complete picture of changes between Destiny 1 and 2. While the beta showed off updates to story content, featured a new strike, and allowed players a brief glimpse at a new social space, it is safe to say that players spent the majority of their time over the weekend battling other guardians in the Crucible.
In the lead up to Bungie’s launch of Destiny 2, information about how the sequel delineates itself from its predecessor has slowly started to become clear. In an interview with IGN’s Destiny podcast, Fireteam Chat, Bungie Community Manager, David “DeeJ” Dague, gave a glimpse into the developer’s philosophy behind some of the changes coming to multiplayer.
When asked about Rumble, the original Destiny’s free-for-all mode, DeeJ responded, “For now, Rumble is gone. The Crucible is unified as a 4v4 engagement. […] Destiny is in many respects a cooperative experience. We want the Crucible to be where teams of players come together to fight together.”
Players who participated in the beta quickly discovered that “come together to fight together” serves as a mantra for the Crucible as a whole. From the familiar, yet altered Control mode to the brand new, fast-paced Countdown mode, guardians that wish to succeed in the Crucible must be willing to function as a team.
Destiny 2’s beta let players get a brief look at the new 4v4 gameplay of Control. In many ways, the mode felt familiar. The objective was still the same — capture and defend three points on the map in order to score. However, removing two guardians from each team completely changed the dynamic of each match. With three points and only four players per side, teams have to be more strategic about where to go on the map. It is nearly impossible for one team to hold all three points at a time, and spreading yourself too thin across the map could mean a quick change in who scores.
The act of capturing points received some tweaks to facilitate more strategic play. In the original Control on Destiny 1, teams captured points more quickly based on the number of guardians within the point itself. Destiny 2 gets rid of this feature, allowing teams to capture the point at the same rate regardless of the number of guardians that occupy it. Now, teams can strategically place guardians to cover flanks and lanes rather than act as sitting ducks within the point while bullets and grenades rain down.
Smaller teams now must rely on the new class skills to provide added support throughout their game. Titans can set up void light walls to protect flanks or provide additional cover for a head on assault, while Warlocks have the ability to lay down light pools that provide AOE healing or damage buff. A well-placed ability by a Titan or Warlock can make all the difference in the world in an intense firefight.
Bungie made a number of changes to the way guardians delve out damage in Destiny 2 as well. Grenades and melees no longer provide one hit kills and one-shot weapons such as shotguns and sniper rifles now belong in the power slot which functions similarly to how heavies did in Destiny 1. Instead, players must rely on steady aim and team kills to take down opponents in the Crucible.
While taking a lone wolf approach in PvP has never been the recommended strategy in Destiny’s multiplayer, Destiny 2 makes it far more vital to roam the map in pairs and packs in order to deal the damage necessary to kill an opponent. Even the language Bungie chose to use when crediting a guardian with a take down reflects the new focus on team play. Rather than the traditional kill/assist language used in the original Destiny, Destiny 2 opts for the more Overwatch-esque “defeat” language. Players receive equal credit for downing an opponent whether they dealt the first half of the damage or the final blow. Removing the emphasis on the final kill shot means guardians can engage an opponent head on and stealing kills feels less cheap. The game rewards everyone for their effort in forcing the fight.
Going it alone is no longer a viable option in Destiny 2’s PvP. The guardians that will succeed across all levels of play will be those who know how to communicate, strategize, and capitalize on the use of abilities and superior gun play. Come together to fight together is a mantra and also the game’s best advice to players that want to dominate their opponents.