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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny (Destiny)

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 14:30 (41 days ago)

I've been thinking a lot lately about the state of the Crucible in Destiny 2, and the competitive playlist in particular. We've had several discussions lately here on the forums about the way Destiny's sandbox (supers and power weapons in particular) effect the PvP experience, and the pros and cons around those systems. I've come to believe that Destiny, as it exists now, is fundamentally anti-competitive. And it is this anti-competitive foundation that is the primary source of all the difficulties in delivering a compelling competitive gamemode. This also raises the question of "should Destiny even attempt to provide a competitive experience"?

I'll dig into all that in a moment, but first I think I should step back and explain some of my definitions for the sake of clarity.

What makes a game "competitive"?

For the sake of this topic, when I'm referring to "competitive", I'm talking about a mindset as much as anything else. A "competitive" player wants to test their skills against other players, and see who wins. A "competitive" player wants to win and have moments where they feel awesome and badass, but they don't want those moments handed to them. They want their sense of accomplishment to come directly from their ability to execute in-game. On the flip side of that coin, they want to know that every defeat comes from being out-played, partially out of a sense of fairness, but also because such defeats present them with an opportunity to learn and improve their own skills. If I know that my death was caused by a mistake that I made, or superior play from my opponent, then I can learn from it.
From this point of view, having a PvP mode does not inherently make it satisfying for players looking to have a "competitive" experience.

Here is where I can point to 2 specific ways in which Destiny is anti-competitive: As we've discussed in earlier threads, Destiny is designed specifically to be a game where the better player does not always win, and therefore defeat is not always a learning opportunity (since you can do everything right within a given encounter and still lose). Too often in the crucible, I die not because I've been outplayed, but because of super-spam or spawning into an enemy rocket, or other such events that I affectionately refer to as "random bullshit" deaths. And when I win, I rarely feel a sense of accomplishment because that victory was at least partially decided by my team's random bullshit scoring more lucky kills than the other team's random bullshit.

With that clarification established, I'll also say this: I believe the vast majority of people who play Destiny are not playing the game with a competitive mindset, nor do they want to be. It's probably a good thing for a game like Destiny to be designed around other goals, rather than building a competitive-minded foundation. And yet, we have a "competitive" playlist, and there does seem to be a small but vocal portion of the player base that would like a competitive experience. So I've been thinking about what it would take to deliver a truly "competitive" game mode within Destiny 2, without interfering with/detracting from the gameplay elements that the majority of the player base enjoys across PvE, Gambit, or Quickplay.

Making a truly "competitive" D2 playlist

To create a proper competitive playlist in D2, we'd need to rework several levels of the current playlist;

1) The in-game combat experience
2) The ranking/matchmaking/player sorting mechanics
3) The loot/progression/ player investment systems.

I'm going to discuss points 1 and 3 first, because they tie into each other directly.

Supers and heavy weapons are both big problems with the current PvP sandbox, from a competitive point of view (special weapons are arguably on this list as well, but to a lesser degree). I'm not going to make any bold claims like "they should be removed from comp" because there may in fact be ways to incorporate them into a comp game mode that doesn't ruin the "competitive" spirit of the match. D1 Trials of Osiris did this very well. Heavy ammo spawns were limited to a single round (which was aptly referred to as the "heavy round"). So for 1 round, the entire dynamic of the match was focused around securing the heavy ammo and using it to maximum effect. Supers were similarly limited. Because of the relatively short rounds, players didn't have time to build and then chain supers for minutes at a time. The first 3-4 rounds would be pure gun-play, and then you'd get a sort of rock/paper/scissors dynamic as various players supers became available. Because most players would only earn 1 super per game, it was important to make it truly count. There was a tactical and strategic element to using supers that barely exists in D2 comp or quickplay. So it is possible to make supers and heavy weapons part of a competitive experience. What needs to be severely reduced is the frequency of "bullshit deaths" that I described above. Unavoidable 1-hit kills should be reduced to an absolute minimum. The focus should be on skillful gunplay, movement, positioning, and teamwork.

With that, I'd like to shift focus towards primary & secondary weapons.

Many competitive-minded players have asked for a comp playlist that features set-loadouts. That runs very much counter to the overall Destiny experience. However, I think it is both a good idea, and an opportunity to do something unique with the loot/reward cycle of the comp playlist. Here's what I propose:

* The D2 Comp playlist should have its own unique, complete loot pool (1 of every weapon type, specifically designed for PvP, and an armor set for each class). All of these items are acquired from a vendor (Shaxx, or a dedicated Comp vendor).

* These weapons and armor sets should be the only gear that can be equipped during a comp match.

If I were a competitive purist, I'd probably say that all this gear should come with set perks and stop there. But for the sake of building a mode that is competitive yet still fits within Destiny, I'll add:

* The vendor versions of these weapons and armor should come with set perks, but once acquired, random-rolled (or semi-random rolled, a la Redrix Broadsword) versions would be added to the post-match loot pool. I think some conditions would need to be added to the armor perks... perhaps every piece of comp armor comes with an enhanced perk, for example. The goal would be to let players chase perks that they want, while avoiding a situation where some comp players have armor that is statistically better than their opponents.

* Comp "pinnacle weapons" should no longer be a thing.

That last point might raise some eyebrows. I'll get into my thinking on that as we go forward into discussing the ranking/matchmaking/player sorting.

Competitive ranks

In any competitive game or sport, it is understood that making some sort of effort to divide players/teams into brackets or leagues facilitates better competition. It's not fun or rewarding for anyone if players of a lower skill are constantly thrown against highly skilled opponents. When that happens, the competition doesn't matter anymore. So some kind of skill-based sorting mechanism should be in place.

As it currently stands, the competitive ranking system does not supplement a competitive experience. There's a lot we don't know about the inner workings of D2's matchmaking, but there are some common beliefs that appear to be at least partially true, so I'll be pulling from that.
By all appearances, a player's comp rank seems to at least partially affect the matchmaking system (meaning players are more likely to be matched against other similarly-ranked players). That would be great, except for a couple factors. First of all, the comp ranks keep resetting. Every few months, players get thrown back down to zero, effectively putting everyone back into the same pool again. Over the next few months, the player pool slowly spread themselves out across the rank ladder. But it can take quite a bit of time before players start to settle into the ranks that reflect their skill level, and then BAM, everything gets reset again.

The other big problem with D2's current comp ranks is that their primary reason for existing is not to sort players appropriately. The ranks exist as a mountain to climb in order to unlock pinnacle weapons. Players strive to reach ranks that may or may not reflect their actual skill level, because they want Recluse or Not Forgotten. So players do whatever they can to climb the rank ladder (get themselves carried, give their account to a more highly-skilled friend, pay a pro), rather than treat the ranks as a sorting mechanism to ensure that they are matched against players in a similar skill bracket.

That's why I think Pinnacle weapons should have nothing to do with the comp playlist. Their inclusion creates priorities that run counter to each other. As I stated near the beginning, the majority of D2 players are not looking for a truly "competitive" experience. Tempting them into the playlist by dangling carrots on sticks in front of them will only force them into an experience they won't enjoy. OR, the comp experience itself would need to be designed in a way that those players will enjoy, ie not a competitive experience. And that leaves players who want a competitive experience out in the cold (which is where the game stands right now, I would argue).

I'm not enough of an expert in this area to say how it "should be done", but my instinct would be to implement skill-based brackets or divisions. The comp playlist could be initially locked behind a "quest" that involves a certain number of qualifying matches to determine the player's ballpark skill level. This quest could also serve to unlock or earn the comp gear, or at least enough of it to enter the playlist (the full armor set, and at least 1 weapon for each slot). From there, players would be matched based on their division, with more finely-tuned skill-based matchmaking working at all times to provide the most closely-matched games possible. Players would be moved up or down divisions as time goes on, based on their performance (a nameplate that shows your comp division could be made available from the comp vendor).

Trials of Osiris

IMO, Trials needs to come back. It was near-perfect when it was first introduced in D1, and it remains the best competitive experience that has ever existed within Destiny (subjective, but a commonly-held opinion). In my reimagined version of the competitive playlist, Trials would come back as a near carbon-copy of its original incarnation, with some modifications:

* Trials would be a recurring weekend event

* Trials would be considered a "competitive" playlist, meaning players would only be able to enter trials with competitive gear equipped.

* Trials would not support matchmaking for teammates, and teams would be matched against each other on a purely random basis (nothing skill-based). This is how it worked when it was first introduced in D1, and it was the most exciting version of Trials. Some cards, you'd get lucky and match against easier teams. Other cards, you'd be less lucky. This gave lower-than-top-tier teams a chance of making it to the lighthouse. This is important, because unlike the rest of the comp playlist, the primary goal during trials is to get a chance at sweet loot!

* The Trials loot pool would be a selection of ornaments for the competitive loot pool. This would give players the ability to get cool looking stuff without compromising the integrity of the competitive sandbox. (I'd be open to an actual set of Trials gear that could be taken back into comp, but the more gear that gets added to the comp playlist, the trickier balancing becomes).

* A flawless Trials card would award a curated/masterworked version of one of the comp weapons, along with a unique ornament, AND a unique visual effect on the ballistics and/or the gun itself. The idea is to have gear that stands out visually in ways that make it look special and cool, both to the player and other players, without effecting actual gameplay.

Conclusion

This is just my attempt to organize and present some thoughts on why I believe Destiny 2 fails to deliver an experience that satisfies competitively-minded players, and some ideas on what might work to create a satisfying competitive playlist within the greater Destiny framework.

Any thoughts/feedback/suggestions?

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That all sounds great.

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 15:15 (41 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY
edited by cheapLEY, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 15:24

It seems to strike a good balance between the gear customization that makes Destiny what it is and also providing a balanced experience.

I have been loving Crucible a lot over the past few seasons. Last night was the least fun I’ve ever had in Crucible. We played that stupid circular Cabal themed map, and I got spawn killed by the same Striker Titan four fucking times. I do not not like being mean, but whoever playtested that Super in its current situation was clearly having a really off day, at the very least.

Destiny has become filled with bullshit. Snipers are frustrating, but when I get killed by one, I can recognize the skill it takes to use one. I know I should’ve been more careful of my lanes and checked the corners. Jotunn, on the other hand, can be used effectively by blind idiots. As can Truth in Gambit.

The power fantasy is an important part of Destiny. I don’t want it to go away. But I don’t think it’s too much to ask to provide a more competitive alternative that can exist in isolation from the rest of the game.

I will always regret missing out in the original Trials era of Destiny PvP. I hope we see it return.

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That all sounds great.

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 16:13 (41 days ago) @ cheapLEY

It seems to strike a good balance between the gear customization that makes Destiny what it is and also providing a balanced experience.

I have been loving Crucible a lot over the past few seasons. Last night was the least fun I’ve ever had in Crucible.

Yeah, I was in the party with you guys while that was going on... you all sounded very unhappy lol

I know I’m beating a bit of a dead horse here, but I think the turning point was when Luna got nerfed. Not because of that nerf exclusively... it was just 1 of several changes that all coincided and shifted the crucible out of what was perhaps the best state it’s ever been in, and into the worst state I can remember.

As I’ve rambled about before, Luna used to be excellent for shutting down Shotgun rushers, it was a great counter to fusion rifles, and it’s original perk gave it a decent chance of shutting down supers. Luna gets nerfed, and now look what’s rampant all over the crucible.

Of course, we also had the introduction of several God-tier special weapons, and an easy way to grind for them with Menagerie. Plus the Lord of Wolves buff, which didn’t help.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 16:08 (41 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I don’t see how you can say supers are anti-competitive.

1. The better team gets more supers over the course of a match.
2. Better players use their supers at better times, and use their supers more skillfully.

You get one shot by a super? Okay… but you have an opportunity to do the same to them.

If you don’t like all the supers, that doesn’t make them anti competitive. It just makes the game more about super management and less about primary shooting. But both types of games are competitive.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 16:34 (41 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I don’t see how you can say supers are anti-competitive.

1. The better team gets more supers over the course of a match.
2. Better players use their supers at better times, and use their supers more skillfully.

You get one shot by a super? Okay… but you have an opportunity to do the same to them.

If you don’t like all the supers, that doesn’t make them anti competitive. It just makes the game more about super management and less about primary shooting. But both types of games are competitive.

Did... did you actually ready my post? :)

The argument isn’t that “supers aren’t competitive”. I specifically described ways in which supers can fit into a competitive game. It’s that supers, as they sit in the current balance of game modes/map size/player count lead to matches where the majority of my deaths are caused by spawning into an enemy super.

Supers themselves are too inherently random in many circumstances. You can fire a blade barrage at a group of 4 people standing out in the open and somehow only kill 2 of them, and then you can fire another barrage at 3 enemies who are all behind cover, and yet they all die.

Then there’s the fact that while supers take *some* skill, they take less skill than anything else. Obviously. That’s why they’re supers. That’s the whole point. They’re supposed to give you an easy way to score a few kills quickly. And that’s fine. But if the goal of a game is to test the skill of the players competing, then anything that flattens that skill gap is anti-competitive, especially when they snowball and become the defining element of every single crucible match.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 18:06 (41 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Did... did you actually ready my post? :)

Every word. Really.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Harmanimus @, Sunday, August 11, 2019, 15:35 (40 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Supers are poorly balanced against the rest of the Sandbox. Supers are also regularly poorly balanced against each other. Supers, in general, could stand much better integration into the Sandbox than they currently have. As it stands, they are counter to competitive balance and probably need a massive overhaul across all supers.

Shadowshot should be a OHK on impact, even with Moebius Quiver, and should much more reliably and quickly suppress enemies. The secondary explosion from Vulcan’s Rage for Titan's should reliably deal damage to the enemy when you get a direct hit with your Hammer. The Titan tree that gets to extend its super duration on kills shouldn't also get health regen on those kills.

That's just a few off the top of my head.

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by Malagate @, Sea of Tranquility, Monday, August 12, 2019, 07:26 (39 days ago) @ Harmanimus

- No text -

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Monday, August 12, 2019, 09:12 (39 days ago) @ Harmanimus

Supers are poorly balanced against the rest of the Sandbox. Supers are also regularly poorly balanced against each other. Supers, in general, could stand much better integration into the Sandbox than they currently have. As it stands, they are counter to competitive balance and probably need a massive overhaul across all supers.

Shadowshot should be a OHK on impact, even with Moebius Quiver, and should much more reliably and quickly suppress enemies. The secondary explosion from Vulcan’s Rage for Titan's should reliably deal damage to the enemy when you get a direct hit with your Hammer. The Titan tree that gets to extend its super duration on kills shouldn't also get health regen on those kills.

That's just a few off the top of my head.

I agree with all of this. Except I will add a minor thing, Striker titan's don't get health regen on kills, they start health regen immediately on kills. That was the first nerf they made after they reworked that super, the second being that they made each kill give you less energy after like 10 kills.

I know, very minor difference, but it makes a huge difference if you are actively getting shot.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Harmanimus @, Monday, August 12, 2019, 13:08 (39 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

I would tend to say not enough of a difference. Almost every titan I see running bottom tree jerks around more than a D1Y1 Bladedancer. Even those few frames of health regen they get makes a noticeable impact on their excess tanking. Under the same logic of removing One Eyed Mask working while in super I would say that the super itself shouldn’t benefit from Reversal.

Alternately, make shoulder charges while your super is active cost more energy on misses. Because the ground covered by spamming that is probably the biggest issue with it in Crucible right now.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Monday, August 12, 2019, 13:42 (39 days ago) @ Harmanimus

Alternately, make shoulder charges while your super is active cost more energy on misses. Because the ground covered by spamming that is probably the biggest issue with it in Crucible right now.

Which is funny because that is the whole reason they changed this striker tree. When you were supering you barely every had the chance to even catch up! I remember spending my entire super just trying to chase someone down. And the only alternative was to do as you say, use the shoulder charge, but took basically the entire super just to catch up, if you were lucky, and then you only got one kill.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by cheapLEY @, Monday, August 12, 2019, 13:55 (39 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

Alternately, make shoulder charges while your super is active cost more energy on misses. Because the ground covered by spamming that is probably the biggest issue with it in Crucible right now.


Which is funny because that is the whole reason they changed this striker tree. When you were supering you barely every had the chance to even catch up! I remember spending my entire super just trying to chase someone down. And the only alternative was to do as you say, use the shoulder charge, but took basically the entire super just to catch up, if you were lucky, and then you only got one kill.

That’s how it should work. If you don’t deploy your super at an opportune time, you shouldn’t just automatically be able to run people down. Give roaming supers a slightly increased sprint speed above non-supered players (increase of 15 percent? 20?) and punish them for spamming attack to increase speed. Certainly allow them to do it, but at increased drain on your super meter.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Monday, August 12, 2019, 14:18 (39 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Alternately, make shoulder charges while your super is active cost more energy on misses. Because the ground covered by spamming that is probably the biggest issue with it in Crucible right now.


Which is funny because that is the whole reason they changed this striker tree. When you were supering you barely every had the chance to even catch up! I remember spending my entire super just trying to chase someone down. And the only alternative was to do as you say, use the shoulder charge, but took basically the entire super just to catch up, if you were lucky, and then you only got one kill.


That’s how it should work. If you don’t deploy your super at an opportune time, you shouldn’t just automatically be able to run people down. Give roaming supers a slightly increased sprint speed above non-supered players (increase of 15 percent? 20?) and punish them for spamming attack to increase speed. Certainly allow them to do it, but at increased drain on your super meter.

But is that true of other supers? Striker has no chance to gain an advantage on enemies while supered. Bladedancer is in the same boat as far as I think can of, but at least it can defend itself. All other roaming supers have an advantage to get kills other than just running people down in plain sight.

I'm not saying that that striker subclass shouldn't be nerfed, but I also don't want it to be nerfed back to its useless old state before they decided to give it some love.

Also, I've said this before, but I don't know why people don't just jump? Titan shoulder charging is notoriously bad at targeting anything that isn't on their horizontal plane. Also, strikers supers are absolutely terrible at turning without slowing down a lot. Also, their camera is limited to a certain angle up and down. I even once used it and went through a teleported on the EAZ and found out that I couldn't actually look at the ground to see when I was going to hit it. I insta killed myself.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Monday, August 12, 2019, 14:50 (39 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

Alternately, make shoulder charges while your super is active cost more energy on misses. Because the ground covered by spamming that is probably the biggest issue with it in Crucible right now.


Which is funny because that is the whole reason they changed this striker tree. When you were supering you barely every had the chance to even catch up! I remember spending my entire super just trying to chase someone down. And the only alternative was to do as you say, use the shoulder charge, but took basically the entire super just to catch up, if you were lucky, and then you only got one kill.


That’s how it should work. If you don’t deploy your super at an opportune time, you shouldn’t just automatically be able to run people down. Give roaming supers a slightly increased sprint speed above non-supered players (increase of 15 percent? 20?) and punish them for spamming attack to increase speed. Certainly allow them to do it, but at increased drain on your super meter.


But is that true of other supers? Striker has no chance to gain an advantage on enemies while supered. Bladedancer is in the same boat as far as I think can of, but at least it can defend itself. All other roaming supers have an advantage to get kills other than just running people down in plain sight.

I'm not saying that that striker subclass shouldn't be nerfed, but I also don't want it to be nerfed back to its useless old state before they decided to give it some love.

Also, I've said this before, but I don't know why people don't just jump? Titan shoulder charging is notoriously bad at targeting anything that isn't on their horizontal plane. Also, strikers supers are absolutely terrible at turning without slowing down a lot. Also, their camera is limited to a certain angle up and down. I even once used it and went through a teleported on the EAZ and found out that I couldn't actually look at the ground to see when I was going to hit it. I insta killed myself.

I’m not convinced that all supers should be balanced with each other in PvP. Maybe it’s ok for bottom-tree strikers to have a less-than stellar super ability (which was the case before they were buffed several months back). Perhaps a more interesting approach would be to gently improve their other subclass tree abilities, giving them a stronger neutral game? That might create a niche appeal for that subclass tree, for certain players or certain situations. It does seem to me that D2 players often choose their subclass based on their super ability above all else, which feels a bit shallow to me.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Harmanimus @, Monday, August 12, 2019, 15:39 (39 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

The thing is that they also got that and the main reason pick it is for the super. Code of the Juggernaut gets health regen on melee kills, improved melee range and damage from critically wounding a target, and instant reloading with a damage buff on melee kills. It has a really strong neutral game if you play to the tree.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Monday, August 12, 2019, 15:52 (39 days ago) @ Harmanimus

The thing is that they also got that and the main reason pick it is for the super. Code of the Juggernaut gets health regen on melee kills, improved melee range and damage from critically wounding a target, and instant reloading with a damage buff on melee kills. It has a really strong neutral game if you play to the tree.

Fair enough... I'm coming from a point of partial ignorance with regards to that specific tree, because I never use it. To me, the top tree's Shoulder Charge ability is too good to pass up. I messed around with bottom tree for a little while when D2 first launched, and my impression was that it had nothing that made up for the lack of shoulder charge, so I quickly ditched it. But hearing that it has a really strong neutral game only makes the broken super even worse lol.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 06:46 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

The thing is that they also got that and the main reason pick it is for the super. Code of the Juggernaut gets health regen on melee kills, improved melee range and damage from critically wounding a target, and instant reloading with a damage buff on melee kills. It has a really strong neutral game if you play to the tree.


Fair enough... I'm coming from a point of partial ignorance with regards to that specific tree, because I never use it. To me, the top tree's Shoulder Charge ability is too good to pass up. I messed around with bottom tree for a little while when D2 first launched, and my impression was that it had nothing that made up for the lack of shoulder charge, so I quickly ditched it. But hearing that it has a really strong neutral game only makes the broken super even worse lol.

Don't listen to him... the abilities are terrible in PvP. If you can manage to get a melee kill without shoulder charge then you should be rewarded. But good luck ever getting a melee kill. Those abilities are made for PvE. It sounds like a great neutral game but it will never happen. Maybe I'm not fully playing into the subclass, which is also called "suicide" :)

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Harmanimus @, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:26 (38 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

Just be aggressive with a shotgun, don’t worry about the OHK with the shotgun just dealing critical damage. Then one-punch the entire enemy team.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:44 (38 days ago) @ Harmanimus

Just be aggressive with a shotgun, don’t worry about the OHK with the shotgun just dealing critical damage. Then one-punch the entire enemy team.

I feel like you are vastly overestimating the ability of an average destiny player to get into shotgun range followed quickly by melee range. And then simply "one-punch the entire enemy team"? I main a Titan but I feel like PC Destiny must be VERY different or you play with really terrible people in PvP. It's hard for me to get into shotgun range and if I do, it's because they let me because they also have a shotgun. If that is the case then they will easily kill me with 1-2 shots before I have a chance to shoot and then melee.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:47 (38 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

Just be aggressive with a shotgun, don’t worry about the OHK with the shotgun just dealing critical damage. Then one-punch the entire enemy team.


I feel like you are vastly overestimating the ability of an average destiny player to get into shotgun range followed quickly by melee range. And then simply "one-punch the entire enemy team"? I main a Titan but I feel like PC Destiny must be VERY different or you play with really terrible people in PvP. It's hard for me to get into shotgun range and if I do, it's because they let me because they also have a shotgun. If that is the case then they will easily kill me with 1-2 shots before I have a chance to shoot and then melee.

Yeah shotgun rushing is kinda like sniping for me... it can be frustrating to go up against someone who’s really good at it, but that’s because... well... they’re really GOOD at it :)

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by cheapLEY @, Monday, August 12, 2019, 16:45 (39 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

That’s the one thing I wanted to mention. You talked earlier about getting cheap kills, and it’s something I don’t really have much experience with. I run top tree tether because of its neutral game (namely invisibility on dodge). And tether is so bad at actually trapping people that I feel like when I do trap someone, it is mostly a skillful play.

I agree that not every super needs to be a super viable PvP build, though. It’s okay to have an obviously PvE focused subclass.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 06:49 (38 days ago) @ cheapLEY

That’s the one thing I wanted to mention. You talked earlier about getting cheap kills, and it’s something I don’t really have much experience with. I run top tree tether because of its neutral game (namely invisibility on dodge). And tether is so bad at actually trapping people that I feel like when I do trap someone, it is mostly a skillful play.

I agree that not every super needs to be a super viable PvP build, though. It’s okay to have an obviously PvE focused subclass.

Yeah, and the Code of the Juggernaut is completely a PvE subclass with the exception of the buff to being about to shoulder charge to gain distance on an enemy. Which, apparently is the only thing people complain about :D

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Malagate @, Sea of Tranquility, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 07:27 (38 days ago) @ cheapLEY

That’s the one thing I wanted to mention. You talked earlier about getting cheap kills, and it’s something I don’t really have much experience with. I run top tree tether because of its neutral game (namely invisibility on dodge). And tether is so bad at actually trapping people that I feel like when I do trap someone, it is mostly a skillful play.

I agree that not every super needs to be a super viable PvP build, though. It’s okay to have an obviously PvE focused subclass.

Top tree tether in PvP is good for point denial in Control, and for shutting down supers either if you know they're coming wayyy beforehand, or if they've just killed you once and you want to prevent them killing you again after you've respawned. And also in Mayhem. Allllll of the Mayhem. Otherwise, it's not worth using in PvP except for the invis.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Harmanimus @, Monday, August 12, 2019, 15:36 (39 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

I will say that dodging is a lot harder to accommodate when playing MKB. I play with about a 5 3/4” 360. I suppose the lack of reticle stickiness and what-not could exacerbate some of the issues. I will say that for roaming supers that have a “melee” build you are limited to comparing Fists of Havoc, Spectral Blades, and Arcstaff. You could include Stormtrance and Novawarp, due to a requirement to close distance. But of the 3 specifically melee options you are right that the Titan tree has the least in the way of options. Two Arcstaff subtrees give you additional defensive options and Spectral Blades has invis.

But I think the point is degrees. Strikers have a shutdown super with Thundercrash. And the only reason to run Code of the Earthshaker is with Skullfort for the strong neutral game with a mostly useless super because it is far less broken than Juggernaut in that regard. Mostly it just gets a shutdown super cast on you because they are afraid you’re using Juggernaut. The aftershocks don’t do enough and there are no maps that get you any benefit for the bonus damage from height.

I personally feel most subclasses need to be reworked. But I also would love to go back to fully customized subclasses.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 06:57 (38 days ago) @ Harmanimus

I will say that dodging is a lot harder to accommodate when playing MKB. I play with about a 5 3/4” 360. I suppose the lack of reticle stickiness and what-not could exacerbate some of the issues. I will say that for roaming supers that have a “melee” build you are limited to comparing Fists of Havoc, Spectral Blades, and Arcstaff. You could include Stormtrance and Novawarp, due to a requirement to close distance. But of the 3 specifically melee options you are right that the Titan tree has the least in the way of options. Two Arcstaff subtrees give you additional defensive options and Spectral Blades has invis.

I agree.

But I think the point is degrees. Strikers have a shutdown super with Thundercrash. And the only reason to run Code of the Earthshaker is with Skullfort for the strong neutral game with a mostly useless super because it is far less broken than Juggernaut in that regard. Mostly it just gets a shutdown super cast on you because they are afraid you’re using Juggernaut. The aftershocks don’t do enough and there are no maps that get you any benefit for the bonus damage from height.

Strikers have:
1. Neutral game (EarthShaker)
2. Shutdown (Thundercrash)
3. Roamer (Juggernaut)

So you are saying that strikers are too powerful because they have a subclass in each category? Or are you saying that Juggernaut is just too powerful compared to the other two? Because I personally think that Juggernaut has a terrible shutdown and neutral game, so it evens out.

I personally feel most subclasses need to be reworked. But I also would love to go back to fully customized subclasses.

I feel like Armor 2.0 might scratch that itch a little bit, but we shall see.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Harmanimus @, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:35 (38 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

No, it has one with a strong Neutral Game, one with a Shutdown Super, and one that has a strong Neutral Game (so long as you aren’t afraid to be close to enemies), can outcompete most other roaming supers due to what is basically a damaging teleport, lasts a really long time even without quality performance, and has an excess of baseline survivability. Perhaps, just perhaps, the playspace is just that much different on PC than consoles that could be it. But I’d guess it is more likely a question of playstyle.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:53 (38 days ago) @ Harmanimus

No, it has one with a strong Neutral Game, one with a Shutdown Super, and one that has a strong Neutral Game (so long as you aren’t afraid to be close to enemies), can outcompete most other roaming supers due to what is basically a damaging teleport, lasts a really long time even without quality performance, and has an excess of baseline survivability. Perhaps, just perhaps, the playspace is just that much different on PC than consoles that could be it. But I’d guess it is more likely a question of playstyle.

I understand play style, but I just don't think a "brawler" play style is doable in PvP. I've really wanted it to be and I've definitely tried. I think two grenades and shoulder charge is far more viable as a neutral game than shotgun/melee. There is just no good way for a titan to close distance.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 10:04 (38 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

No, it has one with a strong Neutral Game, one with a Shutdown Super, and one that has a strong Neutral Game (so long as you aren’t afraid to be close to enemies), can outcompete most other roaming supers due to what is basically a damaging teleport, lasts a really long time even without quality performance, and has an excess of baseline survivability. Perhaps, just perhaps, the playspace is just that much different on PC than consoles that could be it. But I’d guess it is more likely a question of playstyle.


I understand play style, but I just don't think a "brawler" play style is doable in PvP. I've really wanted it to be and I've definitely tried. I think two grenades and shoulder charge is far more viable as a neutral game than shotgun/melee. There is just no good way for a titan to close distance.

I recorded a clip today of a Titan who’s running skills were some of the best I’ve ever seen. He’d run at me, shotgun drawn, and I just couldn’t hit him. He didn’t jump or slide, he just kinda zig-zagged towards me, always changing directions right as I fired. Made me think “boy, I’ve gotta learn how to do that!” :)

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 10:14 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

No, it has one with a strong Neutral Game, one with a Shutdown Super, and one that has a strong Neutral Game (so long as you aren’t afraid to be close to enemies), can outcompete most other roaming supers due to what is basically a damaging teleport, lasts a really long time even without quality performance, and has an excess of baseline survivability. Perhaps, just perhaps, the playspace is just that much different on PC than consoles that could be it. But I’d guess it is more likely a question of playstyle.


I understand play style, but I just don't think a "brawler" play style is doable in PvP. I've really wanted it to be and I've definitely tried. I think two grenades and shoulder charge is far more viable as a neutral game than shotgun/melee. There is just no good way for a titan to close distance.


I recorded a clip today of a Titan who’s running skills were some of the best I’ve ever seen. He’d run at me, shotgun drawn, and I just couldn’t hit him. He didn’t jump or slide, he just kinda zig-zagged towards me, always changing directions right as I fired. Made me think “boy, I’ve gotta learn how to do that!” :)

I would love even the ability to have your character make long wide strides that throw of the players headshots or something! anything. I feel like for as many melee style abilities titans have, they don't really have a chance to get in close.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 11:42 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

No, it has one with a strong Neutral Game, one with a Shutdown Super, and one that has a strong Neutral Game (so long as you aren’t afraid to be close to enemies), can outcompete most other roaming supers due to what is basically a damaging teleport, lasts a really long time even without quality performance, and has an excess of baseline survivability. Perhaps, just perhaps, the playspace is just that much different on PC than consoles that could be it. But I’d guess it is more likely a question of playstyle.


I understand play style, but I just don't think a "brawler" play style is doable in PvP. I've really wanted it to be and I've definitely tried. I think two grenades and shoulder charge is far more viable as a neutral game than shotgun/melee. There is just no good way for a titan to close distance.


I recorded a clip today of a Titan who’s running skills were some of the best I’ve ever seen. He’d run at me, shotgun drawn, and I just couldn’t hit him. He didn’t jump or slide, he just kinda zig-zagged towards me, always changing directions right as I fired. Made me think “boy, I’ve gotta learn how to do that!” :)

But then you'd have to play as a Titan, so I dunno man… :-p

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 16:34 (41 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I still disagree with your base depiction of Destiny combat and not learning from failure... I think you're looking at it too much from a single encounter point of view... but that's the other thread.

But yeah! I like almost all of this. Especially the parts about the semi-set gear and weapons that still retain a good amount of Destiny's variability. What do you think about still allowing all exotics in your competitive games?

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 17:07 (41 days ago) @ Ragashingo

I still disagree with your base depiction of Destiny combat and not learning from failure... I think you're looking at it too much from a single encounter point of view... but that's the other thread.

That’s something I was tempted to get into, but I was worried about rambling too long :)

In my mind, a competitive player is focusing on the game at precisely that level: 1 gunfight at a time. This goes beyond Destiny. This is generally how athletes think during a game or a race. 1 possession at a time. 1 point at a time. 1 foot in front of the other. You don’t focus on “the game”. You focus on the hundreds of little moments that all add up to make the game.

In my experience with sports (both as a player and a fan) that approach is a key part of the competitive mindset. And that’s why, for me and players who approach the game in a similar way, the crucible is such an endless source of frustration at the moment. I’ll average somewhere close to 20-30 kills per game, and 10-15 deaths. And of those 10-15 deaths, roughly half or more are absolutely unavoidable. I’m either getting spawn killed by a super, or an enemy is spawning right behind me, or I’ll get the drop on an opponent, hit them with 2 clean headshots, and they’ll turn and fist-of-panic me out of nowhere. And I’ll dish out similarly cheap kills. At that point, I barely even care if my team wins or looses. The final results are so detached from the moment-to-moment competency of the players, that they no longer matter to me.

I should stress that I know that the way I’m talking about these issues can sound black and white. I don’t feel that way. I know that the team that wins is usually the team that, as a whole, outperformed their opponents. If there’s a scale between “completely random results” and “100% skill based results”, Destiny is probably ~70% towards the skill-based side of the spectrum. But my point is that for players who want a game mode or playlist that caters to a competitive frame of mind, 70% is nowhere near good enough.

And maybe that’s ok. Maybe Destiny doesn’t need to cater to those players. But I think there might be a way to do it without detracting from what the majority of the player base wants from quickplay.

But yeah! I like almost all of this. Especially the parts about the semi-set gear and weapons that still retain a good amount of Destiny's variability. What do you think about still allowing all exotics in your competitive games?

I’m a bit torn on that. I know a lot of hardcore PvP players would miss their Last Words or their MIDAs, but then I think about all the harm that One-Eyed Mask, Gwisin Vest, Lord of Wolves, or Insurmountable Skullfort have caused to the crucible, and I think maybe it’s a good idea to leave them out.

Perhaps there could be a sort of curated list of exotics that are allowed? That way, if there are any outliers that are simply too powerful, they could be excluded from comp instead of waiting 6 months for a nerf to hit?

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 17:15 (41 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Regarding the exotics—I wish Bungie would ditch the Super enhancing or modifying exotics and focus on neutral game exotics instead. Orb enhancing exotics were a bad idea to begin with.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 18:09 (41 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

In my mind, a competitive player is focusing on the game at precisely that level: 1 gunfight at a time. This goes beyond Destiny. This is generally how athletes think during a game or a race. 1 possession at a time. 1 point at a time. 1 foot in front of the other. You don’t focus on “the game”. You focus on the hundreds of little moments that all add up to make the game.

But my point is that for players who want a game mode or playlist that caters to a competitive frame of mind, 70% is nowhere near good enough.

Good points here. And, again, I really like your solutions in your first post. My only fear is that these competitive players are sorta like Halo’s competitive players. They focus so much on absolute encounter to encounter fairness that don’t really want to play Destiny (or Halo) anymore. You get things like Team Swat or MLG rules where most of what made Halo unique (shields, armor abilities, varying grenades, bloom) is disabled. At some point you are playing something so “competitive” that you might as well just build a new game, because you aren’t really playing Halo (or Destiny) anymore. I like your ideas better. They’re something I might want to play as a Destiny player since most all of Destiny’s features remain present. Just wanted to point out the risk of too much per-encounter fairness.

I think it might be interesting to change the rule of Supers for this new Competitive/Trials mode. Instead of “most players only get one Super per game” maybe it would be better to make it official. You get 1 Super per game. On top of that, just give that Super to players at the beginning. Leave it up players when best to use their Super.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 19:21 (41 days ago) @ Ragashingo

I think it might be interesting to change the rule of Supers for this new Competitive/Trials mode. Instead of “most players only get one Super per game” maybe it would be better to make it official. You get 1 Super per game. On top of that, just give that Super to players at the beginning. Leave it up players when best to use their Super.

I think that would be a cool experiment, at the very least. You get one Super for the whole match--use it immediately to get a good lead, or save it for later so you can make the clutch play on the brink of defeat. It would be really interesting.

I understand where Cruel is coming from. There is always the strategy of when and how to use your Super. But they come so frequently (especially when you start chaining) that it almost isn't a consideration anymore.

I also see where you're coming from. Not every single moment has to be exactly even and fair. But I do think it's swung way to far in the "bullshit" direction. Activating a Super should be a power play, and it should give you and advantage. However, I do think that there should be some consideration behind activating a Super, rather it's current form of being an instant "I win!" button. Damage reduction while in Super needs to be pretty drastically lowered--some classes are damn near invulnerable in their activation animation, and that's the opposite of how it should be. Activating your super should be a brief moment of weakness before your power kicks in, so that it negates the panic activation that can save a player from certain death. It should have to be at least slightly strategic.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 19:57 (41 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I think it might be interesting to change the rule of Supers for this new Competitive/Trials mode. Instead of “most players only get one Super per game” maybe it would be better to make it official. You get 1 Super per game. On top of that, just give that Super to players at the beginning. Leave it up players when best to use their Super.


I think that would be a cool experiment, at the very least. You get one Super for the whole match--use it immediately to get a good lead, or save it for later so you can make the clutch play on the brink of defeat. It would be really interesting.

I too think that would be a cool experiment.

One of the reasons I didn’t get into discussions of specific changes to supers in my original post is that it’s tough to judge them in a vacuum. Trials of Osiris changed the dynamic of supers without changing the supers themselves at all. I’d argue that supers right now are overpowered in any context, but I think arguing over the nitty gritty details is putting the cart before the horse. Maybe Finishing Moves will turn out to be an excellent counter to roaming supers, and/or maybe their inclusion will introduce enough of a drain on our super meters that there will be fewer supers popping off all the time.

Anything that reduces bullshit deaths and/or adds a layer of skill and strategy around super usage is good with me :)

I understand where Cruel is coming from. There is always the strategy of when and how to use your Super. But they come so frequently (especially when you start chaining) that it almost isn't a consideration anymore.

I also see where you're coming from. Not every single moment has to be exactly even and fair. But I do think it's swung way to far in the "bullshit" direction. Activating a Super should be a power play, and it should give you and advantage. However, I do think that there should be some consideration behind activating a Super, rather it's current form of being an instant "I win!" button. Damage reduction while in Super needs to be pretty drastically lowered--some classes are damn near invulnerable in their activation animation, and that's the opposite of how it should be. Activating your super should be a brief moment of weakness before your power kicks in, so that it negates the panic activation that can save a player from certain death. It should have to be at least slightly strategic.

I also found the competitive Halo maps, sandbox, and load outs to be dull. I loved the expanded sandbox of big team battle. But as I’ve said before, even when things got crazy and chaotic, Halo rarely left me feeling like “there was nothing I could do”. Destiny gives me that feeling CONSTANTLY.

In the spirit of experimenting, I’d be very curious to see what a competitive Destiny game mode would be like if friendly fire was activated. Might rein-in the indiscriminate super spam :)

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Malagate @, Sea of Tranquility, Monday, August 12, 2019, 07:43 (39 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I think it might be interesting to change the rule of Supers for this new Competitive/Trials mode. Instead of “most players only get one Super per game” maybe it would be better to make it official. You get 1 Super per game. On top of that, just give that Super to players at the beginning. Leave it up players when best to use their Super.


I think that would be a cool experiment, at the very least. You get one Super for the whole match--use it immediately to get a good lead, or save it for later so you can make the clutch play on the brink of defeat. It would be really interesting.

I have a bit of an alternative suggestion here. Problem is it requires reworking the Super system specifically for comp. What if there were an absolute (and static) amount of super energy spread across all players at the start of a match, and based on kills/assists, there was a bit of a tug-of-war for that Light? You kill an enemy, they drop orbs in an amount either depending on the play (eg, more/bigger orbs for precision kills), or keep it simple and just say a player gets cleaned out when they die? Either way, a tug-of-war where players that play shrewdly and collect the most Light are the ones that get Supers. The ultimate point being that one team isn't going to be able to chain their supers and steamroll the game if there's only enough light across the board to have 2-3 active at any given time.


One of the reasons I didn’t get into discussions of specific changes to supers in my original post is that it’s tough to judge them in a vacuum. Trials of Osiris changed the dynamic of supers without changing the supers themselves at all. I’d argue that supers right now are overpowered in any context, but I think arguing over the nitty gritty details is putting the cart before the horse. Maybe Finishing Moves will turn out to be an excellent counter to roaming supers, and/or maybe their inclusion will introduce enough of a drain on our super meters that there will be fewer supers popping off all the time.


In the spirit of experimenting, I’d be very curious to see what a competitive Destiny game mode would be like if friendly fire was activated. Might rein-in the indiscriminate super spam :)

It would be nice if Crucible Labs were worked on a more frequent basis to consider certain mechanics like these. I don't see why tests of Comp mechanics wouldn't benefit from that treatment.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by slycrel ⌂, Sunday, August 11, 2019, 21:28 (40 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I have a bunch of thoughts, but don't know the current meta.. And I'm not actually that competitive anyhow... so I'll just say a couple things.

1- I think you nailed the design problem. How do you make individual firefights meaningful for skilled players when the game is balanced around matches, not individual firefights? This gets more complicated when you realize that anything too far below or above the 50/50 K:D ratio is either boring (too far above) or un-fun (too far below).

2- Giving more to those who have and making the hill to climb steeper for others as time goes on isn't a new problem. Top tier perks should be cosmetic/bragging rights or quality of life type changes -- not better statistically, just more enjoyable. Thinking in terms of the different corporations and how they have differences they bring to the table here... something expected and balanced, but that make the game more enjoyable. (Side note: My favorite weapon of all time might be from a young adult book series -- Excalibur junior, who would make fun of it's wielder and generally be snarky. I was very disappointed in D1 when the HMG that could talk via lore text never actually did...)

3- There really isn't a game mode (that I know of) that really emphasizes 1 on 1 interaction. Everything is built around teams. Until you see new game modes (like trials) that bring that dynamic more to the table, you're not going to see the individual situational competitive field change. There are a few ways to do this, one is resurrecting trials. Another might be something like inverting the ruleset of doubles -- the farther apart you are, the less of a handicap you have. Still another would be a mode that started with supers and gave you a handicap the less super energy you had -- making light a resource you managed, not the auto-fill battery mechanic we have now. Still another would be to sacrifice your super to slow/stop (for a time) progression of the other team's supers. Lots of options on what could be, but really it's just the aggregate balancing rather than the individual balancing that's causing this. I'm sure this is balanced differently in D3 to come, maybe even shadowkeep.

4- I've always been disappointed that ghost rezzing isn't more widely used in PvP. Might just be public matches that make that fall down, but it seems to bring out much more strategy and difficult choices. It is disappointing that more game types aren't in rotation more often.

Pretty long winded for a short reply, I better be done. =)

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Woah, I LOVE that idea...

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Monday, August 12, 2019, 09:24 (39 days ago) @ slycrel

A lot of great thoughts here :)

This in particular really jumped out at me:

another would be a mode that started with supers and gave you a handicap the less super energy you had -- making light a resource you managed, not the auto-fill battery mechanic we have now.

I LOVE this. Some kind of true cost to using a super might add exactly the sort of tactical element that I feel is missing from the current sandbox. It could also create a meaningful distinction between quickplay and comp. Quickplay could be dominated by the crazy, chaotic super spam as it is now, and Comp could be a more thoughtful mode where supers are spent, rather than simply used.

Of course, the devil is in the details. Exactly what kind of effects are applied when a player has a full super would need some thought, experimentation, and careful tuning to get right.

There are exotics in the game right now that give the player faster ability regeneration while their super is full. Perhaps something like that could be applied; faster ability regeneration, or marginally boosted statistics (mobility, resilience, and health regen).

I may be crazy, but I might want something like that to apply to the whole game... PvE and everything. But let's not get carried away :)

ps

Happy belated birthday! Hope you're doing well <3

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, August 11, 2019, 21:40 (40 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

In my mind, a competitive player is focusing on the game at precisely that level: 1 gunfight at a time. This goes beyond Destiny. This is generally how athletes think during a game or a race. 1 possession at a time. 1 point at a time. 1 foot in front of the other. You don’t focus on “the game”. You focus on the hundreds of little moments that all add up to make the game.

I don't think that's true. Part of being a competitive player is thinking many steps ahead of your opponent. If you are only reacting to the the thing immediately in front of you, you will lose to someone who is thinking about what is going to happen in the next minute of the game.

This discounts many things such as super management, heavy control, map control, spawn camping, etc, which win games. Listen to someone like True Vanguard talk about how he plays the game. His thoughts are always on many things at once, even just during a gunfight.

I’ll average somewhere close to 20-30 kills per game, and 10-15 deaths. And of those 10-15 deaths, roughly half or more are absolutely unavoidable.

And how many of your kills were unavoidable for the enemy?

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Monday, August 12, 2019, 15:42 (39 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by CruelLEGACEY, Monday, August 12, 2019, 15:48

In my mind, a competitive player is focusing on the game at precisely that level: 1 gunfight at a time. This goes beyond Destiny. This is generally how athletes think during a game or a race. 1 possession at a time. 1 point at a time. 1 foot in front of the other. You don’t focus on “the game”. You focus on the hundreds of little moments that all add up to make the game.


I don't think that's true.

(Narrator): It is true

Part of being a competitive player is thinking many steps ahead of your opponent. If you are only reacting to the the thing immediately in front of you, you will lose to someone who is thinking about what is going to happen in the next minute of the game.

This discounts many things such as super management, heavy control, map control, spawn camping, etc, which win games. Listen to someone like True Vanguard talk about how he plays the game. His thoughts are always on many things at once, even just during a gunfight.

Here's a quote from an article called "One Play at a Time : Creating Confident and Coachable Players"

"A basketball game isn't just one game – it is maybe a hundred mini-games. Fifty or so on offense, and another fifty on defense. Within each of those battles might be a dozen different decisions, skills, techniques, strategies, and tactics that a player has to execute; and each and every second is an adjustment so that you are in the right stance and spot to get it done. The weight of thinking every single one of those plays can be a heavy burden on a player. Playing them One Play at a Time is much easier. What do they say? "Inch by inch, life's a cinch. Yard by yard it's really hard". Sports is the same way. Simplify it."

As someone who has played under a bunch of different coaches, and couched a couple teams myself, this is stock-standard athletic psychology. Yes, having mid or long term plans and goals is important, but none of that goes ahead of the moment-to-moment focus on beating the opponent(s) standing right in front of you. One of the reasons why practice is so important is that it drills everything into your muscle memory. Not just "how to hit this shot from this distance"... literally everything about what you can and cannot do, moment to moment. How far to the left does the defender need to be before I can get around him to the right? How close to the net does my teammate need to be and at what speed before I can pass the ball so that it will reach him when he's in position to catch the pass and make a shot? These things aren't planned so much as they are remembered. The entire purpose of practice is to get this stuff out of your mind and into your body, so that it happens reflexively without wasting time thinking about it.

The thing is, our bodies are actually a lot faster than our minds. Thinking too much is a great way to slow yourself down and get beaten. You want to push the act of thinking out of your head so you can divert all your mental energy to attention. You don't want to be thinking about where your opponents are, you want to know where they are. Same with your own teammates. And if you find yourself thinking "hmmm... what's the best way for us to position ourselves so that we can have the advantage here?", then you've screwed up. Because your opponents, if they're good, aren't thinking. They already know where you are, and while you're busy thinking they're busy executing something that they've perfected after hundreds or thousands of repetitions, and while you're using mental energy figuring out what is about to happen, they're laser-focused on every pixel of the screen in front of them, and their reflexes and muscle memory are so fast that while you're caught in your head thinking, they're automatically hitting their headshots and wiping your team out.

If you're opponent isn't good, then maybe you'll be able to out-gun them, but it's not because of all the thinking you just did on the fly.

All that other stuff (controlling heavy, spawn camping) are similarly learned behaviors. I could look back at a recording of a game I've played and say things like "now I'm thinking about controlling the heavy spawn, so I move over here... (etc)", but that's not really what's happening. I already know that it's good to control heavy (from past experience) and I know how to do it (based on past experience) and so I'm remembering how to execute all that based on all the factors that come into play (where did I spawn, where are my teammates, where is the enemy). And those are too many variables to have a perfectly memorized solution to every possible instance, so that's again where the "focus on the moment" mentality is front and center. Because that kind of focus is how you stay ready for anything that might happen.

I’ll average somewhere close to 20-30 kills per game, and 10-15 deaths. And of those 10-15 deaths, roughly half or more are absolutely unavoidable.


And how many of your kills were unavoidable for the enemy?

I literally addressed that in the very next sentence :)

I’ll average somewhere close to 20-30 kills per game, and 10-15 deaths. And of those 10-15 deaths, roughly half or more are absolutely unavoidable. I’m either getting spawn killed by a super, or an enemy is spawning right behind me, or I’ll get the drop on an opponent, hit them with 2 clean headshots, and they’ll turn and fist-of-panic me out of nowhere. And I’ll dish out similarly cheap kills

My complaint has never been that I'm losing games due to super spam and heavy weapons. My complaint is that the integrity of the moment to moment competition is steamrolled by all the supers and crap flying around from both sides. Its frustrating to die to, and its hollow to win from.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Harmanimus @, Monday, August 12, 2019, 15:57 (39 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

So, normally I don’t like to take Cody’s side in a discussion. It just feels off. However, while the perspective of focusing on the individual moment may make sense, it is also a very easy way to lose sight of everything else. The whole point of building in your muscle memory and your instinctual actions is so that you free yourself up to play 2-3 minutes out. From an “honestly competitive eSports” perspective, I would say that what wins games in a Quake 1v1 has nothing to do with your moment to moment. It’s all map control and timers. If you are not playing 1 minute ahead of where you are you have already lost.

In the context you provided, though, if you are super in tune with everything going on and focused on the moment and that is how you win, how are you letting yourself get out of position to be panic smashed?

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, August 12, 2019, 16:00 (39 days ago) @ Harmanimus

The whole point of building in your muscle memory and your instinctual actions is so that you free yourself up to play 2-3 minutes out. From an “honestly competitive eSports” perspective, I would say that what wins games in a Quake 1v1 has nothing to do with your moment to moment. It’s all map control and timers. If you are not playing 1 minute ahead of where you are you have already lost.

That's the way I see it. Being able to line up the headshot and the motions to win individual gunfights is what becomes instinctual. Nobody focuses their mental energy on that. It's automatic. They use their mental energy on the higher order stuff.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Monday, August 12, 2019, 16:20 (39 days ago) @ Cody Miller

The whole point of building in your muscle memory and your instinctual actions is so that you free yourself up to play 2-3 minutes out. From an “honestly competitive eSports” perspective, I would say that what wins games in a Quake 1v1 has nothing to do with your moment to moment. It’s all map control and timers. If you are not playing 1 minute ahead of where you are you have already lost.


That's the way I see it. Being able to line up the headshot and the motions to win individual gunfights is what becomes instinctual. Nobody focuses their mental energy on that. It's automatic. They use their mental energy on the higher order stuff.

Again, that's why I stress the importance on focuses mental energy on paying attention. Taking in and processing visual information is actually very taxing to our mental abilities. We selectively tune out most of the visual information coming in so that we can think about other things at the same time. But if you literally try to pay attention to everything you see for just a few minutes, its exhausting.

When I used to play Basketball or Soccer, a massive part of playing well as a team is knowing where your teammates are. And that isn't easy, because at any given moment, you might have your back to half of them. Practice helps with this, because repeating plays helps you familiarize yourself with where your teammates are at all times, even when you can't see them. But during a game, things rarely go precisely as planned (one of the reasons long-term planning isn't particularly helpful). So when I was running up the court, I'd be focused on taking in as much visual information as I could so that my mental simulation of the court was as well informed as possible. As I lost sight of my teammates, I'd track where I thought they were using whatever mental processing I had available. And when I turned for a split second, I'd catch the briefest glimpse of everyone and update my mental simulation of the court. This is a constant process, and it takes a lot of attention and headspace.

Eventually, at pro levels, more and more of this becomes routine to the point where each player can focus a greater portion of their mental energy on the defender right in front of them, and the goal beyond that. It's a process of shrinking your timeframe of attention, because as you get better, the longer-timeframe elements of the game become more and more routine. That, and you have coaches to worry about that stuff :)

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Monday, August 12, 2019, 16:11 (39 days ago) @ Harmanimus

So, normally I don’t like to take Cody’s side in a discussion. It just feels off. However, while the perspective of focusing on the individual moment may make sense, it is also a very easy way to lose sight of everything else. The whole point of building in your muscle memory and your instinctual actions is so that you free yourself up to play 2-3 minutes out. From an “honestly competitive eSports” perspective, I would say that what wins games in a Quake 1v1 has nothing to do with your moment to moment. It’s all map control and timers. If you are not playing 1 minute ahead of where you are you have already lost.

What I'm getting at is that, at high levels, playing 1 minute ahead is trained into you to the point where you're not thinking about it, per say. You're aware of it, you know you're doing it, but it's wrapped up into your moment to moment focus. To be clear, when I say "thinking", I mean actively puzzling something out. It is in your mind, you are aware of it, but it's not something that you're putting much energy towards figuring out. It's more like "I know 300 different ways to secure heavy ammo on this map, which of those methods is best suited to this exact situation?". You pick one and then go.

Now, I'm nowhere near a top-level player, but that is mostly due to the fact that I haven't put in enough time to learn all the variables as well as the top level players (plus I suspect my reflexes wouldn't be quite fast enough to keep up with them).


In the context you provided, though, if you are super in tune with everything going on and focused on the moment and that is how you win, how are you letting yourself get out of position to be panic smashed?

A player who is literally perfectly in tune with everything rarely would be out of position, but I am certainly not that player. And even if I was more that player than I am, Destiny puts you into situations you just can't anticipate your way out of. If you spawn right in front of an enemy super (which happens all the time), there is almost nothing you can do unless you happen to have your own super ready. If you see an enemy on the radar, and you successfully get the drop on them, you often don't have enough time to register important facts like "Hey, its one of their Titans... I already know that one of their titans has their super available, but is it this Titan? I don't know, because the HUD doesn't tell me which Titan has a super, so I guess I just need to hope that it isn't this--- crap."

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Monday, August 12, 2019, 19:43 (39 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

So, normally I don’t like to take Cody’s side in a discussion. It just feels off. However, while the perspective of focusing on the individual moment may make sense, it is also a very easy way to lose sight of everything else. The whole point of building in your muscle memory and your instinctual actions is so that you free yourself up to play 2-3 minutes out. From an “honestly competitive eSports” perspective, I would say that what wins games in a Quake 1v1 has nothing to do with your moment to moment. It’s all map control and timers. If you are not playing 1 minute ahead of where you are you have already lost.


What I'm getting at is that, at high levels, playing 1 minute ahead is trained into you to the point where you're not thinking about it, per say. You're aware of it, you know you're doing it, but it's wrapped up into your moment to moment focus. To be clear, when I say "thinking", I mean actively puzzling something out. It is in your mind, you are aware of it, but it's not something that you're putting much energy towards figuring out. It's more like "I know 300 different ways to secure heavy ammo on this map, which of those methods is best suited to this exact situation?". You pick one and then go.

Now, I'm nowhere near a top-level player, but that is mostly due to the fact that I haven't put in enough time to learn all the variables as well as the top level players (plus I suspect my reflexes wouldn't be quite fast enough to keep up with them).


In the context you provided, though, if you are super in tune with everything going on and focused on the moment and that is how you win, how are you letting yourself get out of position to be panic smashed?


A player who is literally perfectly in tune with everything rarely would be out of position, but I am certainly not that player. And even if I was more that player than I am, Destiny puts you into situations you just can't anticipate your way out of. If you spawn right in front of an enemy super (which happens all the time), there is almost nothing you can do unless you happen to have your own super ready. If you see an enemy on the radar, and you successfully get the drop on them, you often don't have enough time to register important facts like "Hey, its one of their Titans... I already know that one of their titans has their super available, but is it this Titan? I don't know, because the HUD doesn't tell me which Titan has a super, so I guess I just need to hope that it isn't this--- crap."

I, too, agree with Cody. Part of playing Destiny is having a sense of when Supers are becoming ready and not being close enough to a Titan to get smashed. No, you can't always prevent it because you're playing with Humans nearly as good as you are... but your examples make it sound like you're just helpless and completely information starved when neither is true.

And that all plays into this perception that losing to a Super is a significant problem in Destiny. Losing to Supers is part of the game. Your job as a player when you see a Super coming is to either stop it with heavy, or a Super of your own, or through sheer skill... or to taunt, evade, and survive as long as possible to limit that supering player's ability to harm your teammates. Your job when you see that Titan that you're nearly outfought is to not be lured in to an easy death. Or... maybe it is to rush in if you think that he has a Super and that the two of you are far from others so that he'll waste that Super on panic attacking you and be unable to find anyone else.

I think the point the Cody and I are agreeing on here is that Supers are a fundamental part of Destiny's gameplay. They are something to be managed, and saved, and pulled out at the perfect moment, and avoided long enough to save your team from what could be a game ending wipe, and so on. They aren't something that need to be swept under the rug. And that their entire point is to force players to do more than just be good at moment to moment skills like accurately hitting head shots.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by cheapLEY @, Monday, August 12, 2019, 20:17 (39 days ago) @ Ragashingo

That's all well and good, but it becomes irrelevant when a Striker Titan can run around and clear the map three times before their super is done. It's completely broken.

It's also not all that relevant when over half the Supers can be panic-activated to kill whoever is shooting at you instantly.

You can be aware of enemy Supers all you want, but when there are six of them, there's only so much you can do.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Monday, August 12, 2019, 21:18 (39 days ago) @ cheapLEY

That's all well and good, but it becomes irrelevant when a Striker Titan can run around and clear the map three times before their super is done. It's completely broken.

Even if it is broken, it doesn't make what I say irrelevant. Heck, it might make doing things like not rushing to engage or things like leading the enemy away from your team for as long as you can more relevant. Every second you buy against that roaming Super chasing you is another kill and another recharge you might be denying them. And that's a very important part of Destiny.


It's also not all that relevant when over half the Supers can be panic-activated to kill whoever is shooting at you instantly.

You talk like the panic kill is some evil thing that should never exist. I strongly disagree. The player getting a panic kill has to have saved their Super for that moment. They have to forgo kills before then or use it on you and forgo later kills that may be more important than not dying to you. Using a Super to get out of a losing battle is rarely the correct / best time to use it. Most of the time dying to a panic Super is really a victory for you because now that person can't use their Super at a more key moment. Forcing people into wasting their Supers is a minor but important part of Destiny.


You can be aware of enemy Supers all you want, but when there are six of them, there's only so much you can do.

Ok... what is the alternative? Yes, all your enemies have Supers. So do all your teammates. You have one too! Each player will have opportunities to surprise the other, and opportunities to totally turn a game around, and opportunities to screw up and use their Super at that exact, perfectly wrong moment where they get exactly zero kills and feel dumb. That choice of when to use your Super is a huge part of Destiny and the Crucible.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 05:50 (38 days ago) @ Ragashingo

Supers are so strong that them panic killing you isn’t a win. It doesn’t deny them anything. They just kill you and then get to spend the next minute circling the entire map killing everyone else too.

It’s often a better strategy to let them get their killing spree instead of using your super to shut them down, because when they are done you can just go do the same thing. Not to mention super vs super battles are almost always a random shit show with no guarantees. So you can pop your super to shut another one down and then just end up dead because it feels like the super vs super dynamic was given little to no consideration in the design process.

Supers are fun and cool, and there’s definitely a way to have them in PvP that feels fun and cool while also not letting the entire match turn into super spam, which is what we have now.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 07:19 (38 days ago) @ Ragashingo
edited by CruelLEGACEY, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 07:23

That's all well and good, but it becomes irrelevant when a Striker Titan can run around and clear the map three times before their super is done. It's completely broken.


Even if it is broken, it doesn't make what I say irrelevant. Heck, it might make doing things like not rushing to engage or things like leading the enemy away from your team for as long as you can more relevant. Every second you buy against that roaming Super chasing you is another kill and another recharge you might be denying them. And that's a very important part of Destiny.


It's also not all that relevant when over half the Supers can be panic-activated to kill whoever is shooting at you instantly.


You talk like the panic kill is some evil thing that should never exist. I strongly disagree. The player getting a panic kill has to have saved their Super for that moment. They have to forgo kills before then or use it on you and forgo later kills that may be more important than not dying to you. Using a Super to get out of a losing battle is rarely the correct / best time to use it. Most of the time dying to a panic Super is really a victory for you because now that person can't use their Super at a more key moment. Forcing people into wasting their Supers is a minor but important part of Destiny.


You can be aware of enemy Supers all you want, but when there are six of them, there's only so much you can do.


Ok... what is the alternative? Yes, all your enemies have Supers. So do all your teammates. You have one too! Each player will have opportunities to surprise the other, and opportunities to totally turn a game around, and opportunities to screw up and use their Super at that exact, perfectly wrong moment where they get exactly zero kills and feel dumb. That choice of when to use your Super is a huge part of Destiny and the Crucible.

I think you’re going to some great lengths to defend a mechanic by painting it as somehow more deep or strategic than it is. There’s no strategy at play when you spawn 10 feet away from a Titan who is already in mid-air, bringing his fist of panic down on your head. It’s bullshit, plain and simple. The fact that I can turn around and do the same thing doesn’t negate the bullshit. You keep saying “it’s a part of Destiny”, which is obviously true. We’re arguing that it being part of Destiny makes the game worse for us.

If Bungie really wanted Supers to operate on a strategic level, there should be mechanics in play to allow for that. Players who have a super charge available should have some kind of visual tell so I can decide before I engage them whether or not it’s safe to get close. There should be more abilities that can counter, evade, or shut down enemy supers. You talk about things like avoiding enemies who have supers, or leading them away from your teammates, and sometimes that’s a good move. But you also have no control over where you spawn, no control over where your teammates spawn, and no control over where the enemy spawns. Every single crucible match that I play goes through several waves of “just mash the respawn button for the next 30 seconds, because the enemy is spawn camping while chaining supers”.

If you or anyone enjoys how supers play, that’s great! But this discussion is slipping into “don't pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining” territory. Supers in Destiny are like a basketball player who throws a bad shot, then presses a button while the ball is still in mid air that makes the net triple in size. Or a defender who lets their opponent blow past them, so they hit a button which throws a plexiglass wall in front of their own net.
They are abilities that allow ALL players to get more kills with less skillful play than they otherwise could. By definition, they flatten the skill gap.
Yes, good players can use supers more effectively. And yes it is possible to screw up with your super. They don’t remove all skill requirement from the game. But the gap is still made narrower. That is unquestionable. Whether or not that is a good thing is entirely debatable, and largely comes down to personal preference. And as I tried to explain in my original post, for players who approach the game with the sort of competitive mindset that I described, the current prevalence of supers and heavy ammo (and spawn camping, and over-crowded maps, and a laundry list of other minor things) are ruining the crucible.

I’ve approached this whole thing from the perspective that the competitive players are a niche within the community, and what we enjoy is in many ways at odds with the core design of Destiny, and Destiny’s core design should NOT be sacrificed to cater to the noisy competitive minority... but despite all that, I think there is a way to make a game mode and/or playlist that would cater to those players without screwing things up for everyone else :)

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 07:39 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Two things and then I’m out.

1. Bad spawns, not Supers seem to be what you are having the biggest problem with in your scenario. You are too focused on the Super and kinda ignoring the spawn problems that have plagued Bungie multiplayer for two decades. The way you feel about spawning in front of a Striker? I feel the exact same way when I spawn in front of someone, period. It’s the spawn system that’s broken no matter the weapon, ability, or Super that’s ultimately used to finish me off.

2. This is why I’m out:

That is unquestionable.

You’ve jumped from opinion to opinion-expressed-as-fact. There is zero point to continuing this. Thank you for the topic and discussion. Both were enjoyable and you had some great suggestions. I tried much harder to be a valued, good natured participant. But it’s gone wrong now. The skill gap flattening is not unquestionable. You have me, Cody, Harmanimus, and MacAddictXIV who have pushed back against your views on Supers to some extent or another. So, yeah. Lets end it here and reconvene on friendly terms for the next topic.

Good day, sir. :)

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Seriously?

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:37 (38 days ago) @ Ragashingo

2. This is why I’m out:

That is unquestionable.


You’ve jumped from opinion to opinion-expressed-as-fact. There is zero point to continuing this. Thank you for the topic and discussion. Both were enjoyable and you had some great suggestions. I tried much harder to be a valued, good natured participant. But it’s gone wrong now. The skill gap flattening is not unquestionable. You have me, Cody, Harmanimus, and MacAddictXIV who have pushed back against your views on Supers to some extent or another. So, yeah. Lets end it here and reconvene on friendly terms for the next topic.

Good day, sir. :)

Raga, some things are facts. It is easier to get a kill with a super in Destiny than it is to get a kill with a primary or secondary weapon. If you’re really going to plant your flag in opposition to that, then I have no problem standing my ground and saying you are categorically wrong.

I have been mindful and respectful about differences of opinion surrounding this fact. But it is unquestionably a fact. You might feel they are did an interesting layer to the combat, you might like the range of options they provide... all good. But at this point you’re basically coming down on me for pointing out that the sky is blue.

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I said: “Good day, sir.”

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:38 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

- No text -

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Seriously?

by squidnh3, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:47 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Raga, some things are facts. It is easier to get a kill with a super in Destiny than it is to get a kill with a primary or secondary weapon.

That's not what you said was unquestionable. You stated that supers narrowing the skill gap was unquestionable. I agree with Raga - your original statement was extremely questionable, not your amended one.

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Seriously?

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:58 (38 days ago) @ squidnh3

Raga, some things are facts. It is easier to get a kill with a super in Destiny than it is to get a kill with a primary or secondary weapon.


That's not what you said was unquestionable. You stated that supers narrowing the skill gap was unquestionable. I agree with Raga - your original statement was extremely questionable, not your amended one.

They mean the same thing though. If the baseline combat (primary and secondary weapons, basic movement and abilities) requires a certain amount of skill to successfully score a kill, and then another mechanic is added to the mix that requires less skill to get a kill, you have objectively lowered the overall skill gap.

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Seriously?

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 10:24 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Raga, some things are facts. It is easier to get a kill with a super in Destiny than it is to get a kill with a primary or secondary weapon.


That's not what you said was unquestionable. You stated that supers narrowing the skill gap was unquestionable. I agree with Raga - your original statement was extremely questionable, not your amended one.


They mean the same thing though. If the baseline combat (primary and secondary weapons, basic movement and abilities) requires a certain amount of skill to successfully score a kill, and then another mechanic is added to the mix that requires less skill to get a kill, you have objectively lowered the overall skill gap.

On the micro-level of a single encounter, yes, but even there differences in skill can ameliorate the narrowing of that gap--a skilled player might more likely take out a whole team with their super. And it takes a certain amount of skill to survive and position yourselves so that you can chain supers.

I think Raga and Squid are looking more at the macro level.

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This ^

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 10:47 (38 days ago) @ Kermit

- No text -

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Seriously?

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 11:11 (38 days ago) @ Kermit

Raga, some things are facts. It is easier to get a kill with a super in Destiny than it is to get a kill with a primary or secondary weapon.


That's not what you said was unquestionable. You stated that supers narrowing the skill gap was unquestionable. I agree with Raga - your original statement was extremely questionable, not your amended one.


They mean the same thing though. If the baseline combat (primary and secondary weapons, basic movement and abilities) requires a certain amount of skill to successfully score a kill, and then another mechanic is added to the mix that requires less skill to get a kill, you have objectively lowered the overall skill gap.


On the micro-level of a single encounter, yes, but even there differences in skill can ameliorate the narrowing of that gap--a skilled player might more likely take out a whole team with their super. And it takes a certain amount of skill to survive and position yourselves so that you can chain supers.

All true, but the wild-card nature of supers means you could also just get lucky and wipe a whole team with the press of a single button. Or your Super might send you in a funny direction and you go straight into a wall. That’s not necessarily bad (sometimes it’s hilarious). But no matter which way it goes, the results of any given super are just that extra bit out of the player’s hands. And however much skill it takes to survive and chain supers, it takes MORE to survive and win gunfight after gunfight on a relatively even playing field.


I think Raga and Squid are looking more at the macro level.

I agree, but I think there is some conflation happening between “the things we all do to cope with supers” (ie run away, counter with another super, team-shoot and hope for the best) and “more strategy”. Destiny PvP isn’t a particularly strategic game, not until you get to high level play and you’re digging into the nitty gritty of how specific subclasses and exotics play off each other. Micro level stuff. Saying “I have my super but I’ll save it to counter one of their supers” is strategic thinking, yes, but it’s pretty darn shallow (which is not to say that it’s bad or wrong... it’s just an easy, simple choice to make and implement). Destiny PvP is predominantly decided by movement and shooting skills, both as a team and as individuals. And then you have these wild-card super spurts. For some, that’s great. For others, not so much. But I 100% stand by my assertion that supers narrow the skill gap. That’s why they’re in the game at all. They do the same in PvE. They narrow the skill gap in a way that’s fun and explosive and exciting. The “strategy” argument holds more water in PvE, where you’re tackling such huge numbers of enemies, or enemies with so much health, that the exact layering and timing of supers actually makes a big difference.

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Seriously?

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 11:23 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

There’s no way to know this, but . . .

I bet if you removed supers from PvP, the score gaps between better and worse teams would be significantly larger.

Imagine getting stuck at A on Dead Cliffs. Right now you can use a super to bust your way out and either flip the spawns or control B. Without a super that becomes much more difficult. Still possible, but difficult. Supers allow weaker teams to do things like that. That’s a good thing, but it is undeniably narrowing the skill gap.

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Seriously?

by squidnh3, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 11:46 (38 days ago) @ cheapLEY

There’s no way to know this, but . . .

I bet if you removed supers from PvP, the score gaps between better and worse teams would be significantly larger.

It's vaguely do-able, in that you could get two teams of 4 (or 6) together and have them play 100 games, using all the same weapons/classes. Then gave them play another 100 games, but don't use their supers. If one team wins 60/100 games the first set, what happens in the non-super one? Personally, I'd say it could go either way. Do supers allow the weaker team to regain map control? Or do they allow the better team to consolidate their lead, or beat back advances at critical junctures? Does either result say anything about the ease of use of supers?

For me, it's a thought experiment that demonstrates what a worthless and loaded phrase "skill gap" is.

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Seriously?

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 11:56 (38 days ago) @ squidnh3

For me, it's a thought experiment that demonstrates what a worthless and loaded phrase "skill gap" is.

Skill gap is a useful tool for game design, but I don't think it's really being discussed correctly here. Skill gap is the distance between the best and worst players of your game, given a set of players who understand the rules.

Skill gaps are not narrowed by making 'easier' mechanics. Believe it or not, something like the Blue Shell in Mario Kart doesn't itself narrow skills gaps. Generally, small skill gaps are created by:

1. Randomness. High degrees of randomness lower skill gaps because player skill is no longer dictating the outcome.
2. Simple Mechanics. Mechanics which are simple, or lack complex interacting rules tend to create narrow skill gaps. This is because there is only so far you can go in mastering them. The skill gap in checkers is far less than chess. Why? Because it's harder to master chess due to the larger complexity of the rules.

That's really it. If you make a non random game with complex mechanics, it's going to have a large skill gap. Even if you have 'easy kill' moves or buttons!

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Seriously?

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 12:03 (38 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Randomness is key to this discussion.

Supers are so inherently random, especially when we talk about using them as option to shutdown other supers. Will my super beat his? Who the fuck knows, it feels different literally every time. I was using arc staff against a spectral blades the other day. We both used the right trigger attack at the same time. He nearly died. I did die. Why? Fuck if I know! It certainly wasn’t because he was more skillful than I was.

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Seriously?

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 12:11 (38 days ago) @ Cody Miller

For me, it's a thought experiment that demonstrates what a worthless and loaded phrase "skill gap" is.


Skill gap is a useful tool for game design, but I don't think it's really being discussed correctly here. Skill gap is the distance between the best and worst players of your game, given a set of players who understand the rules.

Skill gaps are not narrowed by making 'easier' mechanics. Believe it or not, something like the Blue Shell in Mario Kart doesn't itself narrow skills gaps. Generally, small skill gaps are created by:

1. Randomness. High degrees of randomness lower skill gaps because player skill is no longer dictating the outcome.
2. Simple Mechanics. Mechanics which are simple, or lack complex interacting rules tend to create narrow skill gaps. This is because there is only so far you can go in mastering them. The skill gap in checkers is far less than chess. Why? Because it's harder to master chess due to the larger complexity of the rules.

That's really it. If you make a non random game with complex mechanics, it's going to have a large skill gap. Even if you have 'easy kill' moves or buttons!

These are some good points, but still... I have personally played many Mario kart races where I’ve been in the lead the entire time, right up until the end of the last lap when I get hit by a blue shell and end up finishing 5th. Setting aside any questions about whether or not that’s a good thing, how is it not artificially bringing the lead player down?

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Seriously?

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 12:20 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

For me, it's a thought experiment that demonstrates what a worthless and loaded phrase "skill gap" is.


Skill gap is a useful tool for game design, but I don't think it's really being discussed correctly here. Skill gap is the distance between the best and worst players of your game, given a set of players who understand the rules.

Skill gaps are not narrowed by making 'easier' mechanics. Believe it or not, something like the Blue Shell in Mario Kart doesn't itself narrow skills gaps. Generally, small skill gaps are created by:

1. Randomness. High degrees of randomness lower skill gaps because player skill is no longer dictating the outcome.
2. Simple Mechanics. Mechanics which are simple, or lack complex interacting rules tend to create narrow skill gaps. This is because there is only so far you can go in mastering them. The skill gap in checkers is far less than chess. Why? Because it's harder to master chess due to the larger complexity of the rules.

That's really it. If you make a non random game with complex mechanics, it's going to have a large skill gap. Even if you have 'easy kill' moves or buttons!


These are some good points, but still... I have personally played many Mario kart races where I’ve been in the lead the entire time, right up until the end of the last lap when I get hit by a blue shell and end up finishing 5th. Setting aside any questions about whether or not that’s a good thing, how is it not artificially bringing the lead player down?

The specifics of the implementation matter. On Mario Kart 64, you know exactly who has and can fire a blue shell. You know exactly when they fire it. So you can either get far enough ahead, or dip into 2nd place really quick.

Online it might be a different story because you can’t screenlook and lack the information to counter the shell.

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Seriously?

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 12:01 (38 days ago) @ squidnh3

There’s no way to know this, but . . .

I bet if you removed supers from PvP, the score gaps between better and worse teams would be significantly larger.


It's vaguely do-able, in that you could get two teams of 4 (or 6) together and have them play 100 games, using all the same weapons/classes. Then gave them play another 100 games, but don't use their supers. If one team wins 60/100 games the first set, what happens in the non-super one? Personally, I'd say it could go either way. Do supers allow the weaker team to regain map control? Or do they allow the better team to consolidate their lead, or beat back advances at critical junctures? Does either result say anything about the ease of use of supers?

For me, it's a thought experiment that demonstrates what a worthless and loaded phrase "skill gap" is.

I’m actually not a fan of it either... I keep using it because it gets thrown around often enough that everyone seems to have a decently common understanding of it, but it’s not really a great term for capturing this stuff. And I haven’t been able to think of a simple word or phrase that’s better.

As I’ve said before, my personal problem with supers has nothing to do with the effect they have on the final outcome of a match. I’m more focused on the moment to moment gameplay where positioning and sight lines and map control are all being contested through gunplay and movement, and then this freight train just comes crashing through the whole thing and steamrolls over the part of the game that I love. And some of the supers offer far more reward than risk to the user (which is where the “skill gap” thing comes in, but I agree it doesn’t really capture the point correctly).

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Seriously?

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 12:42 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

then this freight train just comes crashing through the whole thing and steamrolls over the part of the game that I love.

I love this way of describing your frustration with PvP supers. I immediately felt this concept reading it.

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Seriously?

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 20:33 (38 days ago) @ kidtsunami

then this freight train just comes crashing through the whole thing and steamrolls over the part of the game that I love.


I love this way of describing your frustration with PvP supers. I immediately felt this concept reading it.

Boo hiss. Terminal was one of my all-time favorite H2 maps.

Cruel's just greedy. He never wants to lose, even for 10 seconds.

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Seriously?

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 11:36 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

They mean the same thing though. If the baseline combat (primary and secondary weapons, basic movement and abilities) requires a certain amount of skill to successfully score a kill, and then another mechanic is added to the mix that requires less skill to get a kill, you have objectively lowered the overall skill gap.

I believe this is untrue. Even David Sirlin, Mr. 'Playing to Win' himself disputes this.

It's why for the SF2 Turbo remix he made special movies easier to pull off. The idea is that the strategic element of when to use a move is much more important and fun than whether you can do it at all. This philosophy has extended to all subsequent Street Fighter games.

But just because it requires less skill to physically execute the move does not lower the skill gap. The better players are still winning. However with the barrier lowered, what it takes to win shifts. You can't win anymore just because you can get move timings and your opponent can't. You have to outplay them.

I fully believe your real problem is that the game is shifting away from 'pure gunplay determines who wins'.

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Seriously?

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 12:14 (38 days ago) @ Cody Miller

They mean the same thing though. If the baseline combat (primary and secondary weapons, basic movement and abilities) requires a certain amount of skill to successfully score a kill, and then another mechanic is added to the mix that requires less skill to get a kill, you have objectively lowered the overall skill gap.


I believe this is untrue. Even David Sirlin, Mr. 'Playing to Win' himself disputes this.

It's why for the SF2 Turbo remix he made special movies easier to pull off. The idea is that the strategic element of when to use a move is much more important and fun than whether you can do it at all. This philosophy has extended to all subsequent Street Fighter games.

But just because it requires less skill to physically execute the move does not lower the skill gap. The better players are still winning. However with the barrier lowered, what it takes to win shifts. You can't win anymore just because you can get move timings and your opponent can't. You have to outplay them.

The key phrase here is "The better players are still winning." I guess they should win by even more?


I fully believe your real problem is that the game is shifting away from 'pure gunplay determines who wins'.

Is that it? I mean for what games has that ever been true? I thought the issue was that skill should determines who wins. That and he doesn't like unavoidable deaths in a match. From my humble position, I can't relate. I'm like...

[image]

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Seriously?

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 12:31 (38 days ago) @ Kermit

The key phrase here is "The better players are still winning." I guess they should win by even more?

Again, it may not affect win rate at all.

You have only so much attention at a time. So you might be focusing 60% on perfecting and executing the physical motions, and 40% on the mental game. But if the moves are now easier to do, you can swap that attention. 40% physical, 60% mental for example. So if the mental game is sufficiently complex, you haven’t lowered the skill gap at all. You just shifted where player's attention needs to go.

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LOL :)

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 12:46 (38 days ago) @ Kermit

- No text -

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I don’t think “unavoidable deaths” is a thing.

by Harmanimus @, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 15:19 (38 days ago) @ Kermit

- No text -

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I don’t think “unavoidable deaths” is a thing.

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 20:35 (38 days ago) @ Harmanimus

Oh, sure it is. Nova bomb to the face? But that's cruel's word, not mine.

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Seriously?

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 12:45 (38 days ago) @ Cody Miller

They mean the same thing though. If the baseline combat (primary and secondary weapons, basic movement and abilities) requires a certain amount of skill to successfully score a kill, and then another mechanic is added to the mix that requires less skill to get a kill, you have objectively lowered the overall skill gap.


I believe this is untrue. Even David Sirlin, Mr. 'Playing to Win' himself disputes this.

It's why for the SF2 Turbo remix he made special movies easier to pull off. The idea is that the strategic element of when to use a move is much more important and fun than whether you can do it at all. This philosophy has extended to all subsequent Street Fighter games.

But just because it requires less skill to physically execute the move does not lower the skill gap. The better players are still winning. However with the barrier lowered, what it takes to win shifts. You can't win anymore just because you can get move timings and your opponent can't. You have to outplay them.

I fully believe your real problem is that the game is shifting away from 'pure gunplay determines who wins'.

I don’t think you’re making a fair comparison though, because Special Moves in Street Fighter require far more precise timing and anticipation to use effectively. They can also be countered or avoided more consistently and effectively. If we had more counters at our disposal in Destiny, I’d probably be a lot closer to your side of the argument. But right now, certain supers are pretty darn close to a “win button” in any encounter.

That’s not true of all supers. I don’t mind Golden Guns. They’re dangerous AF, but 1 headshot with my sniper rifle, and they’re down. Plus they’re moving normally, so it isn’t exceedingly difficult to do. Other supers, however, are totally forgiving in terms of their activation window, don’t require skillful execution, are super durable, and last for a long time. It’s not impossible to stop them or make a mistake with them, but they’re lightyears beyond anything in Street Fighter.

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Seriously?

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 13:03 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

How many shots do you get now for golden gun? I remembering seeing a teaser vid with more than six.

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Seriously?

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 13:24 (38 days ago) @ Cody Miller

How many shots do you get now for golden gun? I remembering seeing a teaser vid with more than six.

Yeah, I don’t even know what the max is but it’s pretty crazy.

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Seriously?

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 14:28 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I don’t think you’re making a fair comparison though, because Special Moves in Street Fighter require far more precise timing and anticipation to use effectively. They can also be countered or avoided more consistently and effectively. If we had more counters at our disposal in Destiny, I’d probably be a lot closer to your side of the argument. But right now, certain supers are pretty darn close to a “win button” in any encounter.

Try Killer Instinct on XB1. There's a F2P version if you don't have Gamepass.
There is an option to make combos as simple as repeatedly tapping a button. You can hit the once-coveted Ultra Combo with almost zero effort!
Think that's a win-button, though? You're going to get destroyed by medium-difficulty AI, because chaining combos isn't part of the game's challenge, outplaying the enemy is.
Sure, it puts you in a uniquely advantageous position, and if you capitalize on it well, you can do very well... But you can be outplayed to the point where you never even get a decent combo going.

That’s not true of all supers. I don’t mind Golden Guns. They’re dangerous AF, but 1 headshot with my sniper rifle, and they’re down. Plus they’re moving normally, so it isn’t exceedingly difficult to do. Other supers, however, are totally forgiving in terms of their activation window, don’t require skillful execution, are super durable, and last for a long time. It’s not impossible to stop them or make a mistake with them, but they’re lightyears beyond anything in Street Fighter.

A lot of that comes down to player faults, though. Is it the enemy's fault that your team didn't bring a Suppressor? Is it their fault that you didn't control the Heavy ammo? Should the enemy be punished because you decided to team up with randoms without planning accordingly?

Next time, slap on some Peregrine Greaves, and bash a Super's head in. That'll stop yer cryin' real quick.

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Seriously?

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 15:10 (38 days ago) @ Korny

Next time, slap on some Peregrine Greaves, and bash a Super's head in. That'll stop yer cryin' real quick.

There’s the other bullshit part of what’s going on. I would do that, if I could ever get the fucking things to drop. You have an option that literally does not exist for me.

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Fair point, but I bet you dollars to doughnuts...

by Malagate @, Sea of Tranquility, Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 07:28 (37 days ago) @ cheapLEY

...that PG's get added to the Xur rotation once Shadowkeep drops. If he's been selling Forsaken Exotics, it stands to reason he'll carry newer/returning exotics. Especially ones that are/were "recently" meta-forward when that time comes. See the OMG-roll weekend we just had with OEM+Enhanced HC targeting as an example.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 07:41 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

You realize the IS a visual tell letting you know if the enemy has a super charged? Open a custom game sometime with a friend, and watch their name and life indicator change as their super becomes charged.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 07:51 (38 days ago) @ Cody Miller

There was in D1. I’m actually pretty sure it has been removed for D2. I took a look at several of my videos frame by frame where I had sight on an enemy who then cast a Super and I could not find the indicator. It is still present on friendlies but not enemies as far as I could tell.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 08:57 (38 days ago) @ Ragashingo

There was in D1. I’m actually pretty sure it has been removed for D2. I took a look at several of my videos frame by frame where I had sight on an enemy who then cast a Super and I could not find the indicator. It is still present on friendlies but not enemies as far as I could tell.

Wasn’t there an indicator over the enemy’s head that gained a gold border if they had a super or something like that? Or am I misremembering?

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:18 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Yes. The Level box. Just look to your allies when they have their Supers and you’ll see it in an instant. Gold, outward pulsing squares from the level number...but only on friendlies... I think.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:28 (38 days ago) @ Ragashingo

Yes. The Level box. Just look to your allies when they have their Supers and you’ll see it in an instant. Gold, outward pulsing squares from the level number...but only on friendlies... I think.

I’m pretty sure that’s correct. How would you feel about having that HUD effect apply to opponents as well?

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:36 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Yes, I think it should be. Really, since that box only appears when you hover your aim over an enemy and their name fades in, I think there should be an even more obvious effect applies that doesn’t hide itself most of the time. Like just make the entire player glow or something.

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Making a scrunched face at this

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 08:09 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Yes, good players can use supers more effectively. And yes it is possible to screw up with your super. They don’t remove all skill requirement from the game. But the gap is still made narrower. That is unquestionable.

When I'm playing against a superior team, I feel like the gap is made quite a bit wider by supers and their expert use/chaining of them. So there, questioned...

Also you just seem really wound up about getting spawn killed. Having recently had my face smashed in in H1 by some top tier players in a custom game, this is an issue as old as time. Top level play in a spawn based game is going to result in spawn killing unless the games are longer and the maps much larger...

You're pretty amazing at PvP, so I'm not sure where this is coming from. It just sounds like "hey, sometimes I die and I don't feel like it's because they actually out played me" and I'm just all "wow, I wish I was good enough to have that as one of my complaints" and I'm not that bad.

I do like some of your suggestions to make supers even more of a strategic choice to use though.

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Making a scrunched face at this

by Malagate @, Sea of Tranquility, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 08:19 (38 days ago) @ kidtsunami

Yes, good players can use supers more effectively. And yes it is possible to screw up with your super. They don’t remove all skill requirement from the game. But the gap is still made narrower. That is unquestionable.


When I'm playing against a superior team, I feel like the gap is made quite a bit wider by supers and their expert use/chaining of them. So there, questioned...

Also you just seem really wound up about getting spawn killed. Having recently had my face smashed in in H1 by some top tier players in a custom game, this is an issue as old as time. Top level play in a spawn based game is going to result in spawn killing unless the games are longer and the maps much larger...

I think one of the "smallest" tweaks that would have the biggest impact that Bungie could make is to add some conditions to the spawning system. Getting spawn-killed by the Super that *just* killed you is absolutely infuriating. At least adding a rule to the spawning logic that a player that was just killed by a particular active Super spawns as far from that player as allowable by the team spawning rules would help. I would suggest even having players that have been killed by a player on a >10 killstreak be allowed the same mercy.

Alternatively, keeping a player from spawning until the Super that killed them has ended might have the same effect. The challenge would be preventing situations where the other team could leverage the new logic.

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Double-signed

by squidnh3, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 08:35 (38 days ago) @ kidtsunami

You're pretty amazing at PvP, so I'm not sure where this is coming from. It just sounds like "hey, sometimes I die and I don't feel like it's because they actually out played me" and I'm just all "wow, I wish I was good enough to have that as one of my complaints" and I'm not that bad.

I do like some of your suggestions to make supers even more of a strategic choice to use though.

I've been trying to figure out where to jump in on this, but it exploded all over the place. To me, Destiny PvP is a mix of symmetric and asymmetric encounters, and it's your goal to try to skew them in your favor as much as possible. Focusing on any one encounter seems counter-productive to me, and I've found that remaining calm in the face of several unsuccessful encounters to be one of the most important things to focus on in a Destiny match. Good professional baseball players fail like 70% of the time at hitting - any one strikeout is not a big deal, it's how you can skew things in your favor over time.

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Making a scrunched face at this

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 08:55 (38 days ago) @ kidtsunami

Yes, good players can use supers more effectively. And yes it is possible to screw up with your super. They don’t remove all skill requirement from the game. But the gap is still made narrower. That is unquestionable.


When I'm playing against a superior team, I feel like the gap is made quite a bit wider by supers and their expert use/chaining of them. So there, questioned...

Also you just seem really wound up about getting spawn killed. Having recently had my face smashed in in H1 by some top tier players in a custom game, this is an issue as old as time. Top level play in a spawn based game is going to result in spawn killing unless the games are longer and the maps much larger...

You're pretty amazing at PvP, so I'm not sure where this is coming from. It just sounds like "hey, sometimes I die and I don't feel like it's because they actually out played me" and I'm just all "wow, I wish I was good enough to have that as one of my complaints" and I'm not that bad.

I do like some of your suggestions to make supers even more of a strategic choice to use though.

I have no problem with dying/losing. I die plenty of times because I screw up or get outplayed. To me, that’s what the crucible is all about. What I don’t like are the cheap/unavoidable kills, regardless of which direction they’re going. That does cut straight down to a nerve in my brain that triggers a lot of frustration. It’s not because I particularly care about winning or losing from game to game, but I do care about my own performance, developing my skills, and judging how I’m doing against my opponents.

I completely agree with your point about spawn-camping. That’s nothing new. But that’s not exactly a defender of the problem:) I also don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Destiny takes an old problem and makes it far worse.

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Making a scrunched face at this

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 09:33 (38 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Yes, good players can use supers more effectively. And yes it is possible to screw up with your super. They don’t remove all skill requirement from the game. But the gap is still made narrower. That is unquestionable.


When I'm playing against a superior team, I feel like the gap is made quite a bit wider by supers and their expert use/chaining of them. So there, questioned...

Also you just seem really wound up about getting spawn killed. Having recently had my face smashed in in H1 by some top tier players in a custom game, this is an issue as old as time. Top level play in a spawn based game is going to result in spawn killing unless the games are longer and the maps much larger...

You're pretty amazing at PvP, so I'm not sure where this is coming from. It just sounds like "hey, sometimes I die and I don't feel like it's because they actually out played me" and I'm just all "wow, I wish I was good enough to have that as one of my complaints" and I'm not that bad.

I do like some of your suggestions to make supers even more of a strategic choice to use though.


I have no problem with dying/losing. I die plenty of times because I screw up or get outplayed. To me, that’s what the crucible is all about. What I don’t like are the cheap/unavoidable kills, regardless of which direction they’re going. That does cut straight down to a nerve in my brain that triggers a lot of frustration. It’s not because I particularly care about winning or losing from game to game, but I do care about my own performance, developing my skills, and judging how I’m doing against my opponents.

I completely agree with your point about spawn-camping. That’s nothing new. But that’s not exactly a defender of the problem:) I also don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Destiny takes an old problem and makes it far worse.

Yeah, the 6 v 6 on 4 v 4 maps is painful.

As a non-competitive filthy casual...

by Oholiab, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 19:37 (41 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I have nothing to add except to say that your post was thoughtful and well-articulated. I read the entire thing because you captured my interest and held it despite it being a topic to which I cannot readily relate and on which I have little opinion. Well done.

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It's a bummer . . . .

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, August 10, 2019, 21:26 (41 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

When you said you thought you were done with Crucible the other night, it bummed me out. I understand--I'm getting frustrated with the current iteration of Crucible, too.

I had a lot of fun chasing Luna's Howl and Recluse last season, and we played a decent amount of Comp together. It really taught me to enjoy the competitive PvP side of Destiny, and I'm really itching for more.

I can have a decent amount of fun on my own, but playing with other people drastically improves my play. When I go in alone, I'm consistently in the middle of the scoreboard. When I play with a team, I'm pretty often in the top two or three. You, specifically, are good at directing a team. I find that I can execute pretty well when told what to do and where to go, but I don't always have the map awareness and strategy to lead a team on my own.

I'm just bummed that you aren't enjoying Crucible much, as I really enjoy playing with you.

They specifically mentioned talking about PvP soon. I won't hold my breath, but I hope they make some good changes.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by bluerunner @, Music City, Sunday, August 11, 2019, 10:39 (40 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I like a lot of that, but I'm not sure of the limited loadouts. The only way I would be for it is if I had availability of every archetype of every weapon type. Experimenting with weapons is one of the big draws for me. If I am severely limited on weapons I am not as interested. I like to mix things up regularly.

My biggest problem is that supers and power weapons are too prevalent. Like you said, I have fun with the gun play and can analyze why I got beat during that part of the game. As soon as the super trains start I can expect to die 4 or 5 times in a row and I only have a chance to survive if I use my super to stop one of those. I think a few things can be done to help that:
1. Reduce movement speed and duration of roaming supers, especially bottom tree striker. I have been running that lately and I can wipe the other team and then some before running out. There's no reason a roaming super should be able to make a full lap and more around a map.
2. More super shutdown options. This could be either reducing the armor during a super, or incresing weapon damage against supers. I would increase special weapon damage. Give me a fighting chance with a sniper or shotgun to shut down that guy charging at me.
3. Radar indicator for someone who is in super. It really sucks when I'm all set to ambush someone coming sound the corner only to be smashed or slashed by thier super. Some kind of different color or something on the radar to indicate that would help it not feel so cheap when they kill me. Right now, if I see the feed say someone activated a super, I have to run away from every radar blip because I have to assume that is the person in their super.
4. Reduce super charge rate and orb drop rate in crucible. I think 2 supers max per game is enough. I had a guy last night kill me at least 4 separate times with his super. And each time he just came zipping around a corner before I could react.

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Reimagining "competitive" Destiny

by Harmanimus @, Sunday, August 11, 2019, 15:25 (40 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

So recently I've also been considering ways to make a Competitive Playlist more. Well, that. You have some very solid considerations going on here. Removing Pinnacle Weapons from Comp is a great suggestion every time, even if it isn't new.

Some of the considerations I've had is fully separating what is available in Comp gear-wise from the main loot pool, which you brought up. But Personally I'd take it a step further from where you suggest to both ensure a level, skill-focused playing field while also having rewards that are worth having. There are two things I think are most important. This may get a little long, but anyway:

Seven of Cups: or how I think you can make an inherently unbalanced loot pool even.
The concept it to take what was done with the Five of Swords and Nightfalls and apply it to competitive. However, instead of a challenge card you are selecting a Competitive Loadout. Whatever Subclass you have equipped stays equipped, but when you enter Comp your gear is replaced with a (probably not locked) loadout of gear.

Within the interface you have a Kinetic, Energy, and Power slot that you select your weapons out of. Whether there would be one of every archetype covered for each weapon class or a more limited selection could go either way. The important part is that every weapon is a curated roll. My initial consideration was one for each weapon class (this leaves a selection of 15 unique weapons to build your loadout with, 5 in each slot without overlap) but that is also under an assumption of rotating weapons in and out (different weapons archetypes for the weapon classes at roughly 1/3 changing on a regular basis), in part to enforce changes to the meta but also to encourage returning to the playlist. I'll get back to that with the rewards section.

This could also be done with every archetype available at all times. Regardless the point is what follows. Everyone has access to identical weapons, so there is no question of whether someone beat you because they had a better roll. Obviously there is the possibility one weapon is better than another, but that would iron out over the season as the comp meta gets identified. Then the next comp season you would likely see some of the most- and least-used weapons rotate out, with the possibility to come back later.

Then one for each of the four core armor pieces, giving you a selection of your Light/Medium/Heavy options. Your class item doesn't get a slot selection. All armor perks are dictated by your weapon selection and this effect is uniform across all players, i.e., if this season has an Enhanced loader perk for your kinetic weapon and you have a Hand Cannon you have a matching perk, if your friend is using a Pulse Rifle they get a matching perk. There are no exotics and there are no chosen mods.

Dealing Damage: a discussion on the current greatest issue facing Crucible
The second important change is a much more sweeping change to PvP balance. Supers are obviously a big area here. But in general a lot of weapons need to have some adjustments, such as Sidearms and SMGs being better capable of countering Shotguns and Fusions, Auto Rifles being made actually viable, and Pulse Rifles being made slightly less forgiving (Pulse rifle Body shots shouldn't out perform an Auto Rifle, just saying) when not being used with precision.

Specifically in the context of a curated gear list, however, you can specifically balance those weapons and their stats and perks against each other. You can shift the level of viability between weapons allowing for more variety. Instead of running into a team rolling snipers with the highest possible Aim Assist values so they can make flashy montages the viability can be controlled. It can also be changed to keep things fresh.

Supers have been discussed at length all over. And there is no specific singular solution, but a lot of more targeted changes I think need to happen with them. I think supers should get even less damage reduction against abilities. The power fantasy for supers, in order to be healthy for the game, should be about the ability to deal out a lot of damage and rewarding thoughtful use. Right now the power fantasy is tanking damage and being more like a nightmare involving Thomas the Tank Engine charging you in a straight line.

I would say ability damage overall could stand an increase. Grenades specifically. They should be scary. Currently they're treated by most players as a minor inconvenience rather than something that can actually zone someone out, scatter a cluster of enemies, or really soften a target to get finished. In the competitive sphere with clearly defined available gear you can be very targeted in their availability without greatly changing the way the game plays. Like making abilities map pickups or something silly like that.

Also, Power ammo should spawn slightly less often but at two locations that should overall be very hard for any one team to control both of. For comp I would also not have players drop Special ammo, but would have it spawn on the map to enforce movement/map control.

Rewarding Engagement
As has been shown, Destiny players love glowing stuff. They like things that show off. Titles help with that. Flashy gear helps with that. However, as was the case with Trials you need to have a degree of access to the gear or most people won't waste their time and you will have a small player pool and thus no reason to invest in comp. The rewards are what you get to take out of comp instead of things you can bring back into it. Each weapon is a curated roll you can earn over the course of the season through play and the armor set for the season is a reward in two phases: initial ornaments and glowing stuff.

The weapons would be earned through use. Progress is gained with assists, kills, and match completions with the gear equipped. Kills earn faster progress than assists. Wins earn faster progress than losses, but not be an extreme. Progress is accelerated when competing against players who are ranked higher than you, as well as when completing matches as a higher overall rank, even if you lose the match. "Casual engagement" would be enough to earn a couple weapons, while people who can no-life it could probably earn everything.

Perhaps even add an ornament to earn on top by earning a certain number of kills with the weapon in comp. But new weapons would show up. Old ones could come back for ones people didn't get to earn before. Leave the Ornaments to limited time access because people like to brag.

Armor would progress entirely through completions. Wins/losses would both progress the armor ornaments evenly, giving you the class item/boots/gloves/chest/helmet progress we tend to see when gear is given in sequence. These ornaments apply to the regular Crucible armor sets and match the gear you play with in Comp. The glowing stuff would progress faster on wins and quitting out/disconnecting from matches would lose you progress. Glows could either be tied to that seasonal ornament or made open for use on any Crucible/Comp gear/ornament.

Then at the end of the season you can run around in your flashy comp gear with your flashy comp weapons (which are probably good rolls but not going to break the meta) to show off. Or for those players who just wanted to earn the Pulse Rifle because it looked really good they can make progress no matter what while enriching the pool of players.

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