A Personal Epiphany During Day of the New Iron Banner / Long Live the Sweaty

A brief background of my Destiny career:

One of 2,109 DTR50 Trials of Osiris players (globally, both systems, as of October 15, 2015). Control is my most-played playlist, with 1,124 games. My Hunter is my present main, and was my first class. I’ve been a semi-competitive FPS gamer, starting with Command & Conquer Renegade and Counter-Strike 1.5. I started playing Destiny on Cyber Monday 2014. My stats, by playlist.

By the time that The Trials of Osiris started on May 22, 2015, I’d logged between 210 and 250 hours in the Crucible. The introduction of ToO and Elimination was exciting, because it provided possibilities for intensely competitive gameplay. PullRequest and I decided that we’d shoot for a DestinyTracker True Skill rating of 50 in Trials of Osiris.

During that grind to ToO DTR50, I had the privilege of playing with other serious PvP players, but we also ran into every cheap mechanic out there. Quick revive, Blink / Slide-shotgun, double Firebolt, head-glitch, Swarm grenade Super glitch, Final Round Efrideet’s Spear … You name it, we’d seen it. Chances are that you have, too. I’m proud to say that we’ve overcome most of the cheap tactics through strategic gameplay, earning the right to teabag back those who teabagged us.

As I grew prouder of my rising stats, I did things to protect them. I switched predominately to running a high-armor Warlock Voidwalker build, and clung to The Ram for protection against the Thorn’s deadly 2-shot KO. To maximize my personal killing potential, I ran The Last Word and Her Benevolence (Shortgaze, Hidden Hand, Unflinching, and Snapshot).

At the drop of 2.0, we felt the Crucible out anew. The maps were fresh and more detailed. The nerf to Final Round and various weapon balance modifications put a smile on my face, after I’d accepted that The Last Word was nothing like the gun it once was.

Things began to take a turn last week with the introduction of the Eirene RR4 with Luck in the Chamber. I encountered it in a few Skirmish matches. When the dust settled, I was left with a sour taste in my mouth. I couldn’t quite pin it until tonight.

I started the day having just reached Rank 2 with the Iron Banner. I played a couple of Iron Banner matches earlier in the evening, with NDS_TaLoN and some of his friends. Upon completing my 19th King’s Fall raid with PullRequest, zachvice, and some of willmanning’s crew, I decided to wrap up the night with a bit more Iron Banner. I entered matchmaking with a fireteam of six, invited by duckyisbeast who I’d met a few months into Y1.

Word broke earlier in the day of a game-breaking Hunter Nightstalker Quiver glitch. This, coupled with the arguably OP Titan Sunbreaker Super, made for some real asshattery. I started as a Hunter Gunslinger, and wound up raining arrows on a couple of particularly testy teams. We ended up with a W-L record of 4-3. By the end of those seven matches, I felt burnt out. It didn’t feel right to retaliate against exploiters with exploits of my own.

My frustration with Destiny today lies in a couple of places. On the one hand, you have the small proportion of the population that relies on the cheap trick to get the job done. Thing is, most non-casual players are advantage players. We’re going to do what it takes to get the win, even if someone else thinks it’s unfair. Queue the trite expression: all is fair in love and in war.

On the other hand, you’ve got Bungie. They’ve built a terrific game, but one gets the feeling that they’re not entirely sure what to do with it. Blunders like the universal Black Spindle downgrade hint at this, though the Crucible Radio talk with Jon Weisnewski suggest that the architects remain hard at work. I am cautiously optimistic that the introduction of micro transactions through Eververse Trading could translate into Bungie-backed real-money tournaments, further enriching the game at its highest level. We have the technology, and the hype machine stands at the ready.

Given that I can’t tell other people how to play the game, and don’t have any pull over at Bungie, the best that I can do is to change my own approach to the Crucible. I know that we can expect a relatively quick hotfix to address the Hunter Nightstalker Quiver glitch, and countless rounds of game balances to come. By the tail end of Year 2, the game’s nine subclasses will reach closer to parity.

Until then, Crucible aficionados have their place at /r/CruciblePlaybook and /r/DestinySweatyLFG. Because in a sweaty, you’ll at least get a fair fight, even if it’s one-sided.