Real talk for a second: I’m not sure if Bungie cares about PvP in Destiny 2 anymore.
While Beyond Light has certainly been a treat for Destiny’s wider PvE community, the dedicated PvPers in Destiny are feeling more than merely neglected. They’re feeling outright forgotten.
I say that not as a PvP Guardian, by the way. I vastly preferred Destiny 2’s PvE content well before Beyond Light, but stepping into the Crucible or doing my weekly Gambit bounties weren’t really a chore. I enjoyed Destiny 2’s PvP side as a break from the usual monster-slaying or just as a chance to get something new and cool to fuel my future monster slaying.
But then Beyond Light hit and… wow. Not only has the Crucible not seen a new map since Shadowkeep, but it’s also had tons of old maps removed. Stasis has completely shattered the meta and made most of the old Light-based subclasses useless at best and a liability at worst. Trials is, well, Trials, and also suffering from an onslaught of cheaters. I can’t remember the last Iron Banner game I’ve played that didn’t end in one side getting mercied, and after reaching the Pinnacle cap, I’ve just stopped playing Iron Banner since there’s barely any loot worth grinding for anyways.
It’s bad. It’s really bad. And so far, Season 13 doesn’t look like it’s going to make things any better.
Stasis is perhaps the biggest reason I actively avoid PvP these days. Stasis feels great in PvE, but terrible in PvP. Being frozen is just the same as being dead but with extra steps. Worse, Stasis can freeze Guardians in the middle of their supers, turning a humble Duskfield Grenade into a super-stopper. A well-timed Revenant melee can kill multiple Guardians at once, normally a power that’s reserved for a subclass super ability.
It really makes me wonder if Bungie even bothered playtesting Stasis against other Light-based subclasses. It seems like this problem would have been blindingly apparent with even a tiny amount of feedback.
Bungie has acknowledged that Stasis has turned into a problem in the Crucible and also taken some actions to reign them in, but they really haven’t addressed the core problems with Stasis, namely, minor Stasis abilities can stop Light-based supers and also kill multiple guardians per use. Stasis will continue to maintain utter dominance in the Crucible for Season 13 with no end in sight.
No Maps, No Loot, No Point
If you’re not tired of getting killed by Stasis every single Crucible match, you’re definitely tired of playing on the same few maps over and over again. Beyond Light vaulted 11 Crucible maps, taking out any sense of variety for longtime Crucible players. It’s been over a year now since a new map was added to the rotation, and it’s this more than anything that’s causing a lot of Destiny 2’s PvP crowd to find new games.
Go onto the Gambit side and things are even worse. Gambit has NEVER received a new map, and the recent changes to the format has made it so that most games I play are blowouts. There’s no back-and-forth, no ability to come back when you’re already behind. There’s no reason to play Gambit at all except for the weekly bright dust bounties and maybe that Adored skin.
Iron Banner at least has more relevance since you can get Pinnacle-level drops from it, but after you hit the power cap, why bother? Iron Banner has received two new weapons since Beyond Light’s arrival and one of them had to be made relevant by removing True Prophecy from the world loot pool!
If you’re into true competitive PvP, there’s no reason at all to play Survival anymore. It used to be that Guardians would grind out game after game in the Glory playlist to acquire sought-after weapons like Mountaintop and Recluse, but now you can just buy those guns from the Lost Lights Exotic Archive. Not that you’d bother since they’re all sunset, which is an argument for another article.
A Stale Meta
And then there’s Trials of Osiris. Trials has always been an unforgiving game mode at the best of times, but there’s virtually no reason to play as a casual. You’re just going to get matched against a Flawless team with Adept weapons and get blown out. Worse, if you don’t have Felwinter’s Lie or you haven’t purchased Beyond Light, then you’re missing the two most important weapons in a PvP player’s arsenal.
There’s also less effort being put into keeping the PvP meta fresh and exciting. It used to be that there would be a mid-season take on problem guns to shake things up, but 120 Hand Cannons and Felwinter’s Lie quickly became the dominant meta after the launch of Beyond Light and there’s been no effort to curb their power since.
A stale meta and no new blood means that Trials of Osiris player counts have been falling for weeks. Sure, next season will bring a few new weapons and some new armor, but new loot doesn’t address the problem: veterans are bored and bad players aren’t incentivized to play for loot they’ll never get.
Where’s The Love For PvP?
But you know what sucks the most? Bungie removed skill-based matchmaking last summer, and ever since then the matches I play have just been ludicrously unfair. Top-level players are getting matched against brand new Guardians or players like me, and we’re just getting creamed. I can’t remember the last time I’ve played an Iron Banner match that didn’t end in a mercy ruling.
All of this, the lack of maps, lack of new loot, completely unbalanced Stasis, and removal of skill-based matchmaking just points to a complete lack of resources aimed at maintaining the health of Destiny 2’s PvP game modes.
Unless Season of the Chosen has a lot more surprises in store for us, it looks like another three months of utter neglect for PvP in Destiny 2. I wonder at what point will Bungie just admit they’ve given up on PvP entirely?
Next: Destiny 2: What Shadowkeep Can Teach Us About Expectations In Beyond Light
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