It seems the Crucible Strike Team have been hard at work and continue to do so even amidst troubles at Bungie. Thankfully, Season 23’s massive list of crucible tweaks and changes are a step in the right direction for the PvP community.
Bungie’s Crucible Strike Team has continued to work diligently to satisfy the needs of their community. Part of all that they’ve been working on is coming in Destiny 2’s season 23, Season of the Wish. That said, Bungie is still iterating on the changes they made in Season 22 and so we should expect back-and-forth adjustments. It’s good to see that after Bungie’s layoffs that the Crucible Strike Team seems to still be in a healthy enough position to still deliver on their vision of a better, healthier Crucible.
The biggest changes coming in season 23 involve the addition of new playlists and alterations to current ones. Part of those new playlists includes a new 3v3 unranked — I like the idea of having a new smaller unranked mode with gameplay that’s like Competitive and Trials, but with matchmaking that suits the more casual crowd. I know myself and a good amount of Crucible enjoyers will appreciate the extra options here.
Beyond the unranked trials-like 3v3 option, the 6v6 mode’s matchmaking will be tuned to be less skill-based and more equal between, skill, latency, and connection. Matchmaking in Destiny 2 is pretty divisive with a lot of people liking purely connection based matchmaking so that unranked is less sweaty. While others like skill-based matchmaking so that they aren’t always stomped on by players who are that much better.
Here, Bungie seems to have found a middle ground where they blend the various kinds of matchmaking to keep skill balanced involved but not so much so that every match is a sweatfest. This I approve of since the best matchmaking is also the most nuanced, while at the same time ensuring the most amount of people get to enjoy every mode at every skill level.
For a long time now, many have been wanting a larger variety of Crucible nodes to be available more often. With Season 23 having seven PvP nodes to choose from with varying gameplay and matchmaking, each node destination represents a very unique style of Crucible gameplay. Did I forget to mention the 6v6 Unranked node will also feature Sparrow Control? What used to be a bug, is now a feature! Good on Bungie for listening and embracing what players enjoy. Here’s hoping we can get Sparrow Racing from Destiny 1 next!
It’s a shame that Rift is being benched, but I can understand why Bungie may be worried about splitting the PvP community too thin between too many different matchmaking nodes. That said, it will be refreshing to see Checkmate Control graduate from Crucible Labs to become the primary Control gametype for a few weeks after Season 23’s launch.
The playerbase seems to have really enjoyed the longer time-to-kill, wider skill gaps, and earnable Special ammo that you don’t lose on death. It is really cool to see Checkmate being applied to more Crucible modes and I applaud Bungie for creating a new style of Control that feels so fresh with meaningful gameplay.
Bungie also seems to be working on the matchmaking backend too, with changes to the way matchmaking determines your skill versus other players. The changes will allow for more variance between how matchmaking judges your current skill from match to match because not everyone is going to be using a meta build all the time or wants to play at their best constantly. After all, some of us have weird builds that don’t get us lots of kills but are still really fun to play.
Now, Trials of Osiris is getting some expanded weekly rewards that should entice some more players to give it a shot. Trials is certainly for the sweatiest of players but that doesn’t mean people who struggle going Flawless shouldn’t be rewarded for getting as far as they can for each week. Where the real rewards now lie in Season 23 is Competitive with Bungie’s big brain move to let players focus and earn very competitive weapons like Rose and Mercurial Overreach.
The ability to reacquire some of the strongest weapons from Competitive Crucible’s past is a nice quality of life feature for the many players who likely missed out. Bungie seems to be going all out for Season 23 in many ways. Here’s hoping it will be enough to weather the extra few months Bungie needs to polish The Final Shape.
Part of the Crucible’s biggest issue over the years has been stagnation in one form or another. Whether it’s maps, modes, or the sandbox itself, players can feel when one has been present and unchanged for far too long. After reviewing a lot of the changes coming in Season 23, it looks like Bungie’s Crucible Strike team is successfully tackling every part of PvP that was beginning to stagnate.
I know a lot of what I’ve talked about here will bring me back into the competitive fold. So, I imagine this update will do the same for many more players and that’s always a good thing. Beyond Season of the Wish’s sweeping Crucible changes, the true worth of Bungie’s Crucible Strike team will be in how they are able to continue their delivery of fresh modes and maps to the PvP ecosystem. If they can pull that off up to and through The Final Shape, then Destiny 2’s Crucible may live up to and exceed when it peaked in Destiny 1.
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