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Some major changes coming to Destiny PvP

The changes are focused on Special Ammo in 3v3 gametypes and the matchmaking process across multiple gametypes.

Destiny, a game that seemingly righted the ship in September 2015 with The Taken King expansion, has been plagued by a lack of new content and myriad problems with the game's PvP component for the last few months.

Some of these issues were addressed in a new "This Week At Bungie," which was formerly called the 'weekly update'. These include changes to Special Weapon ammo and matchmaking.

Special ammo is used in weapons like sniper rifles, shotguns, sidearms, and fusion rifles, and players always started a match with some Special ammo. This will no longer be the case in the more competitive 3v3 modes. The 3v3 playlists include skirmish, salvage, and elimination playlists. The Trials of Osiris elimination variant that runs on the weekend is also subject to this change.

"The PvP team wanted to increase the use of Primary weapons, especially at match-start," Derek Carroll, Senior Designer at Bungie, said. "Sniper rifles and shotguns, in particular, inspire great happiness or sadness depending on which end of the weapon you find yourself. We wanted to somewhat delay at gratification."

Players will still be able to pick up special ammo from crates distributed around the many PvP maps, but will no longer be able to stake out a sniper lane right away.

Destiny: The Taken King

This change will not be implemented into the 6v6 playlists that Destiny offers.

"The larger gametypes are generally less sensitive to initial conditions," Carroll said, "which gives us more freedom to have Special Weapons going from the beginning."

This issue is one many of the Destiny community have been asking to be addressed, and it is not the first time that Special Weapon ammo has been tinkered with. One update in 2015 reduced starting Special Weapon ammo and changed the way players interacted with it throughout the match.

Hopefully, this update makes the beginning of matches a little more interesting, as anyone that has played the Trials of Osiris knows that most matches start with someone scoping down a lane with sniper rifle in hand. These weapons are situational, but extremely powerful. 

The other major change to PvP mentioned in the update concerned matchmaking. When The Taken King was released, the matchmaking in PvP was changed to favor skill over connection speed, in order to prevent lopsided games. Sadly, games were notoriously laggy and full of other bugs. Bodies would stand in place after being killed or fail to disappear on the ground, and sometimes players would even die unexpectedly for no apparent reason. So now, about half the playlists are back to favoring connection over purely skill-based matchmaking with more on the way.

Bungie also stated that there will be other features implemented to reduce lag in the games, and that players with quality connections will not be punished as often when facing a laggy player. More details about that and several new playlists for solo players can be found in the update.

The last few months have been tumultuous for Bungie and Destiny, with multiple issues involving communication within the company and with the community. Here is to hoping that Bungie can engage the Destiny community, and maybe provide the community with some idea of what might come next for them.

Published Feb. 5th 2016

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