Destiny 2 – Crucible Update from Joe Blackburn (PVP Maps, New Modes, Rift Returning, Trials Reboot)

In a surprise move today Joe Blackburn, Assistant Game Director of Destiny 2 at Bungie, gave the community an update via a thread on Twitter. We haven’t heard too much about PVP for some time (except the big balance patch this season, which shouldn’t be overlooked), and Joe dropped a bunch of new details on what Bungie has planned for PVP improvements in Destiny 2. Today I’m going to go over everything Joe mentioned, plus summarising the main details of the thread, as well as looking at a potential timeline for the future.

First of all, let’s have a look at the thread from Joe. This was posted approximately 5pm British Summer Time here in the UK.

Joe Blackburn @joegoroth on Twitter at 5.04pm said:

Ahead of the showcase this month, I wanted to take a little time to talk about Destiny PVP.

Competitive modes are part of what makes this game special. I can’t imagine a version of Destiny 2 that doesn’t involve getting a sweet new gun and taking it for a spin in the crucible.

This year the team has spent a lot of our future facing effort on plussing up the current crucible experience. You’ve seen some of this already in Stasis balancing, reputation updates, and shifting weapon metas.

Next season, you’ll continue to see this effort with not only changes to 3-peaking but also what the team has been planning for the revamp of Trials of Osiris (tune in 8/24 for more info).

We’ve gotta keep our foot on the gas when it comes to revitalizing pvp pursuits and keeping gameplay metas fresh. This isn’t something we’ll ever be “done” with. But we know we also have room to grow when it comes to new maps and modes.

The first half of 2021 we’ve been working on the foundation, but now we’re spinning up teams on new maps and modes.

We believe in this investment, but it is going to take some time before you start seeing results in game.

The ultimate goal here is consistency. If you play pvp, the team wants you to understand that you will be getting new maps and modes every year, and that the cadence of those coming out feels predictable.

But in order to get to predictable, we need to open the faucet again.

New maps take time to get right, so to open the faucet for S16, the team is working on porting two vaulted Destiny 2 maps to be compatible with our engine updates.

When we upgraded our engine with Beyond Light it means we had to hand port all of our Destiny 2 maps and modes. So, while it may seem from the outside like we’re just pushing a button there’s a significant lift from the team to get more of this content back in rotation.

After reprised maps in season 16, season 17 will come with a brand-new map. There are a bunch of new environments in Destiny 2, and we’re excited to start bringing them into the crucible.

Finally, after those 3 maps are added to the rotation in 16 and 17, we will be remastering a Destiny 1 map and bringing it to Destiny 2 for the first time in season

All this effort is going to be done in parallel with the team looking to fund the far future with a predictable roadmap of maps in Lightfall and beyond.

But maps are just part of the recipe here, we also know we need to support modes.

There are three main efforts going on behind the scenes here.

First, the team is investigating getting Rift in Destiny 2 next year. It’s been too long since we’ve dunked on some guardians. The Destiny Sandbox has sped up in Destiny 2, so right now the team is validating that the mode still holds up with our new gameplay.

Second, the team is working on multiple brand-new modes for 2022. We aren’t quite ready to spoil these yet, but we’re excited to offer new twists and rules to the ways you can make shaxx proud.

Finally, after the dust settles on the Trials update in s15, we want to look at what other broad systemic improvements the PVP ecosystem needs. We want to provide something on the scale of this trials rework to players every year.

So, this tweet thread has turned into a tweet novel, but I wanted to make sure we shed some light to what’s going on behind the scenes here. Overall, we’re still very interested in growing the amount of Destiny we make every year.

One way to hold me accountable by looking at our careers page. We’re looking for env artists, gameplay designers, lighting artists, and more to help improve our pvp output. We know you want more Destiny and we are committed to growing the team that’s going to make that possible.

It’s always risky to talk about what’s in the oven as dates and specifics might change, but it’s been a while since we’ve talked pvp and we want players to know that we’re working on content for all those guardians who like to spend time with Shaxx and the Redjacks.

I’ll try and have a go at summarising the top points from the thread here:

  • Bungie have been working on ‘plussing up’ the current crucible experience, we’ve seen that witht he recent balance patch for Stasis in cruicble.
  • 3 peaking changes coming next season
  • We’re getting an update on the Trials revamp on 24th August. This sounds like its coming next season in Season 15, but we’ll know more at the Witch Queen showcase later in August.
  • Balancing Crucible is an ongoing activity that is never ‘done’
  • New teams have been spun up to work on new maps and new modes (notice plural on both statements)
  • Bungie are looking for consistency when it comes to improvements – new maps and modes every year, which are delivered in a predictable cadence (this has been lacking in the last couple of major DLCs, particularly with Beyond Light)
  • New maps are going to take time to get right, so to bridge the gap there’s 2 maps returning from the Destiny Content Vault in Season 16 (I am guessing these are two maps that went away with Beyond Light)
  • Season 17 will see a brand new PVP map set in a new environment that’s in Destiny 2 (We don’t yet know which environment this is, but Europa could be a good candidate)
  • Season 18 will see a remastered map returning from Destiny 1
  • Rift is returning in 2022, pending a speed check in the current sandbox (Destiny 2 has sped up since Rift went away)
  • Bungie want to provide something on the scale of the Trials rework every year
  • Joe acknowledges it’s difficult to talk about things that are ‘in the oven’ but wanted to be open and transparent about upcoming crucible improvements.

That’s pretty much it. There’s a lot of information there, and the most information we’ve had about Cruicble for some time. Massive thank you to Joe for the update, it’s what Destiny 2 PVP players have wanted for the longest time – and this makes me extra hyped for that Witch Queen showcase coming on 24th August. We should be getting info on the Witch Queen, Season 15 PLUS a Trials Revamp… which is very exciting stuff.

Let me know in the comments what you want to see from a Trials Revamp, plus which vaulted Destiny 2 maps do you want to see come back!

That’s it for this report on the Crucible Update from Joe Blackburn at Bungie. For more Destiny 2 content like this check out This Week In Video Games on YouTube and subscribe today.