How’s Trials? (Destiny)

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, April 07, 2020, 00:07 (59 days ago) @ cheapLEY

The game mode itself is fantastic, just as it was in D1. But the whole loot/reward ecosystem around the mode is a train wreck IMO.

As you already mentioned in your reply to Squid, the matchmaking being card based is a mistake. I’ll die on that hill. Trials was at its very best when it originally launched with purely connection-based matchmaking. It gave the start of every match an extra bit of “let’s see what kind of team we’re up against” tension, and it made each and every card feel different. Sometimes you’d get crushed on your very first game, and other times you’d get lucky with 4-5 fairly easy games in a row. And most importantly, it gave hope to those less-than-too-tier teams. Even if you weren’t the best players out there, you still felt like if you played enough cards on enough weekends, you just might get that lucky streak and make it to the Lighthouse. And that feeling kept players of vastly different skill levels playing, which kept the playlist healthy... until Bungie changed the matchmaking, and the playlist population began a steady nosedive over the course of D1Y2. I don’t know who’s decision it was to bring back Trials with card-based matchmaking, but they dropped the ball big time.

Another big problem is the loot/rewards situation. First, there are no adept weapons. This is such a huge oversight, I can only imagine that Bungie just couldn’t scrape together the resources to make them. Because I simply can’t believe that anyone at Bungie would think that no adept weapons is actually a good idea. Getting to the lighthouse in D1 felt special for several reasons, but the adept weapons were arguably the single biggest draw, especially for repeat flawless cards. They were the main reason people kept going back week after week. So without adept weapons, or a similarly enticing reward, there’s little actual incentive to get to the Lighthouse beyond the experience of going there, which won’t last very long.

Then there’s the whole token farming fiasco where top-tier teams have been repeatedly resetting their cards to farm tokens and keep their loot pool limited to one of the weapons they’re chasing, because that’s actually more rewarding than going to the Lighthouse. This made it common for teams who were just starting their cards to go up against teams that were on 20 game win streaks, but were still in the early-card matchmaking pool because they kept resetting.

Finally, as bad as all this is, none of it works. Disconnects are rampant, and there’s a bug with the weekly reset which can prevent your character from getting any drops if you happen to play Trials on a Friday, or possibly even for the whole weekend. Just this Friday, I got to 5 wins on my Hunter and got no drops. The bug also prevented me from spending my tokens, even though I’d gotten past the 3-win threshold. So I jumped back in tonight, but the bug persisted. Since my Hunter was just toast for the weekend, I switched to my Titan. Got disconnected 2 games in a row, and then Destiny full-blown crashed, so I gave up. 60+ tokens in my inventory that’ll disappear without me being able to spend them, and 3-4 hours playing Trials this weekend with nothing to show for it.

BUT... all that said, the mode is still freaking awesome. I have a blast playing it with friends. It’s just so poorly implemented. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I’m just baffled by how badly Bungie bungled this one. The only part of it that’s good is the mode itself, which is literally copy and pasted from D1. No design work needed there. But everything that they did have to do work on, they messed up. And then shipped it broken, to boot :-/

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