Way back in June, the first Shadowkeep reveal stream talked about a lot of stuff, but one thing that Bungie wanted to make sure stood out was that they heard the complaints that Destiny 2’s PvP Crucible content was getting a short shrift.
Justin Truman a production director at Bungie admitted that “I think we underserved PvP in the last year, that was a mistake with how we planned out the Annual Pass. We’re going to correct that starting in Season 8.”
Season 8 of course was the Season of the Undying, the season that released alongside the Destiny 2: Shadowkeep expansion.
It wouldn’t be fair to say that the release of Shadowkeep and Season of the Undying did nothing for PvP, but it hardly feels like Crucible is being treated as an equal partner as PvE in Destiny 2.
Shadowkeep brought back a few Destiny 1 maps that people really liked, a much-requested solo queue for Competitive mode, tweaked a few things such as simplifying the playlists and changing comp to be 3v3, but that’s about it.
Those changes felt more like tweaks that were long overdue and not really a wishlist of new things to get super excited for. Every season, Bungie releases meaningful PvE content but Crucible and PvP always feel like an afterthought.
In fact Shadowkeep, if anything, added to the stress of Crucible players.
The fantasy of Destiny 2 (which is still just fantasy) is that you could be a strictly PvE or PvP player and still have a complete game experience.
With Shadowkeep though, Bungie added a new masterworking system for armor which requires rare materials that can only be obtained via PvE activities. There’s currently no way for PvP players to masterwork their gear, and fully explore armor build possibilities introduced in armor 2.0 without playing PvE.
Bungie has tried really hard to hype Iron Banner up to be the event for PvP players to get excited over each season.
There’s nothing wrong with Iron Banner but it just isn’t capable of carrying all the hopes and dreams of PvP players on its own. At its core, it’s a Quickplay game mode that’s not much different than regular control. Sure, power is enabled, but most players by the time Iron Banner rolls around are close to the cap anyway, especially nowadays since it was made easier.
What PvP fans in Destiny 2 have been begging Bungie for over a year now is the return of Trials; the premiere Destiny PvP activity that was the official try hard mode of Destiny.
Destiny 1 had the Trials of Osiris, and while it had its issues, it was generally beloved by the PvP community. Destiny 2 had for a short time something called Trials of the Nine, but it wasn’t nearly as fun during the dark ages of double primaries and changed too much from Trials of Osiris, so Bungie pulled the plug on it quickly and put it on ice.
On ice is where it has stayed for many seasons now. Shadowkeep introduced an Elimination Labs Crucible playlist to test various versions of the popular Destiny 1 playmode, to see what players liked best within the framework of Destiny 2.
Considering not much really happened in Season 8 for PvP players despite what Bungie said, and that Bungie revealed that Osiris would play a major part in Season of Dawn, many players understandably got excited heading into today that Trials might finally be ready to make its big return to Destiny 2.
The Twitch reveal stream today was flooded with Trials hype but anyone hoping for Trials news was left disappointed.
In fact, not only is Trials not coming back it appears, the only mention of PvP during the reveal stream at all was the reminder that the Destiny 1 map Rusted Lands would be returning. *Queue the Sad Trombone emote here*
Well, maybe Bungie just kind of forgot to talk about PvP during the Season of Dawn reveal stream and all the good stuff would be talked about later? If you’re an optimist that’s maybe what you’d tell yourself.
Following very visual disappointment on social media about the stream, especially when it comes to PvP, Bungie community manager Dmg04 took to Twitter to clarify some (maybe all?) of what is planned for PvP & Crucible during Season of Dawn.
None of that is hype-worthy, it’s just stuff you do if you at least care about something at least the minimum amount just above announcing that you’re ceasing ongoing support or just going to delete Crucible altogether.
It doesn’t even come close to a “renewed focus.” In fact, even if there were Trials of Osiris or Nine queued up for this season, that would just be bringing something that was already in the game and should have never been removed, back into the game, but that’s been the story of Destiny 2 at its worst.
Crucible fans are used to getting so little that even bringing back Trials would likely sustain them for a whole year, but Bungie has yet to meet that standard and it’s very reasonable for hardcore PvP players to feel slighted.
The renewed focus has yet to arrive to Destiny 2, and at this point, it just feels like a lie. Maybe one day PvP players can look forward to a reveal stream like the one we got today and expect new and exciting additions on par with PvE, but it appears we’re still a ways off from that day.