Bungie was back with their This Week At Bungie Update this week giving us details on Trials Labs, plus fixes and bugs in the game. Today I’m going to go through all the latest news, so you are kept up to date.
These experimental weekends will allow us to test out targeted changes to the game mode and collect data and feedback on what works and what should remain an abomination of science. In keeping with our Trials revamp this Season, we are sticking to our “test and learn” mindset not only with Labs, but also with matchmaking, rewards, and other quality of life improvements.
This week, the normal Trials of Osiris playlist is replaced with Trials Labs: Capture Zone. This new mode is still Elimination, with the following changes:
- 30 seconds after the round starts, a capture zone is enabled. Players can capture this zone to win the round – or just eliminate the other team like normal.
- The capture zone has a waypoint from round start, including a countdown timer, so everyone will know exactly when and where it will be.
- The capture zone starts in the middle of the map in the first round and changes location each round.
- The team who just lost gets the advantaged spawn location.
Also for this week, double Trials rank points for every match! If you are feeling the blues of Fabled and Mythic, this is a great week to reset!
ARE YOU FLAWLESS?
We tried something new for Trials this past weekend, something that has been requested in feedback since Trials launched back in Destiny 1. We tested out separating off flawless players (and their fireteams) from players who hadn’t yet gone flawless that week. Before we discuss what to expect this week (and in the future) we’d like to talk about the goals we have for matchmaking in Trials of Osiris and look at some key data points for the first two weeks.
One of the main changes we made with Trials this Season was to allow solo and duo players to queue up. This had two main benefits:
It allowed players a low barrier of entry and expectation to try the mode out.
And more importantly, it increased the population enough that fireteams of mid-skilled players landed more wins than if they only matched against other mid-skilled or high-skilled teams.
Solo players are a key to the entire system working. For example, in our first week, a whopping 54% were full fireteams vs. solos/duos. Cut to this week, where only 45% were fireteams vs. solos/duos — a pretty sharp drop.
To get enough solo players in, we need to offer rewards that are good enough and matchmaking that feels reasonable regardless of skill level. Right now, we have engrams that you can grind for, as well as attractive seven-win rewards, but only if you win.
KEEP SOLO PLAYERS PLAYING
We learned a lot from the first two weeks of solo matchmaking.
Solo Wins: 23% of games
Blowouts (5-0 Losses): 38% of games
Most worryingly, the blowout rate for solo players went steadily up over the weekend. But then in the second weekend, the matchmaking changes pushed that rate back down.
Solo Wins: 36% of games
Blowouts (5-0 Losses): 29% of games
This feels a lot better for solo players, but obviously it had some side effects for fireteams of mid-to-high skill. Long-term, we are looking to keep the solo win-rate above 30% and solo-fireteam blowouts under 33%.
KEEP GAME QUALITY HIGH (MAKE SURE MORE MATCHES FEEL COMPETITIVE, ESPECIALLY AT SEVEN WINS.)
We talked about blowouts as one way of looking for competitive matches. We also consider 5-1 matches as non-competitive. The sweet spot is really between 5-2 and 5-4. Those matches tend to feel good while playing, even if you end up losing.
In Week 1, we saw 60% of matches end at either 5-0 or 5-1. In Week 2, the number of non-competitive matches dropped to 52% — a nice improvement, but we would like to see this number drop to 30-40% over the long-term.
KEEP MATCHMAKING TIMES LOW
One of our biggest goals is to keep matchmaking times low while still getting matches with good connections and a competitive outcome. We always keep an eye on matchmaking times whenever we make serious changes to the matchmaking landscape.
In both weeks, average matchmaking times were pretty steady at just under 50 seconds per match. The only reason it was even that high was because players who started off on a terrible streak would end up in a matchmaking pool below the base pool that only looked for other players who had started off losing 10 rounds in a row. It’s a very small pool with matchmaking times that last over four minutes before the system gives up and expands back to the base pool.
We are going to be adjusting how the matchmaking help applies so no one gets stuck in the smaller matchmaking pool going forward.
OTHER THINGS THAT WORKED
We had just over 700k players this weekend – only 50k fewer players than Week 1. This is higher than expected, given a normal drop-off after launch combined with Distant Shore being a less popular map. Plus, we had 253k players go flawless!
Games were 10% longer, mostly due to more competitive games.
THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK
We saw 34% less matches played overall, and the number of matches post-flawless dropped by 45%.
We had reports of significant numbers of players resetting 5-0 or 6-0 cards, but we saw around 16k total cards that were reset while flawless but under seven wins. Given the vast number of games and cards played (2.7m cards started this week), this isn’t a lot, but it is something we are watching, as it is unhealthy for the mode if it becomes more common.
Normally, we see nearly 50% of the players who go flawless doing so with someone else who is already flawless. Last week, it was 56%! This can either be a traditional “carry” or just playing with friends. That number dropped to 16% this week, which is unacceptably low for ‘friendgame’ content.
To address this, we are making two changes in Week 3:
We are waiting until the Sunday morning reset(10:00 AM PT) to enable the flawless pool. This serves as a middle ground between Week 1 and Week 2, and as the semi-permanent placement for enabling the flawless pool. As always, we will be looking at both analytics and feedback – so keep telling us what is working and what isn’t!
We are working on some deeper matchmaking solutions which we hope lets us remove the flawless pool. Look out for more info in mid/late October.
We are turning off matchmaking help until you have played at least two matches during the weekend.
In addition to the previously announced changes:
Players will no longer get Special ammo replenished when being revived.
Adding “Hold” functionality to purchase gear from Saint-14 to prevent accidental purchases.
Weapons received from the Reputation Rank Reward track on Saint-14 will now have their Masterwork Slots active. Previous weapons obtained won’t receive a Masterwork Slot.
Unfortunately, while we previously announced that we would be removing the matchmaking counter for this week, this change wasn’t quite able to make the 220.127.116.11 patch.
Looking further forward:
We expect to take another swing at matchmaking to keep some of the solo/lower skill protections from Week 2 without strongly negatively affecting flawless players.
We are looking at adjustments to rewards for round and match wins on seven-win cards.
Other than that, updates and Trials TWAB reports will be less common as we get Trials into a more stable state.
Iron Banner is back next week, so after Trials Labs: Capture Zone, Trials takes a week off and will return October 8!
ON THE COVER
Earlier today, we announced our first digital fashion magazine dedicated to showcasing the frabjous style of Guardians. This is your time to shine, in the first edition of Threads of Light.
We partnered with three Guardians who had previously created their own fashion looks to highlight on our first cover. They posed for our cameras and outlined their looks for you to recreate. The next time you’re on the red carpet, be ready to answer the question “Who are you wearing?” with either Numley, Muffinbandit, or Vanguard Vogue.
Your inner vanity might be whispering, “Hey, I want to be on the cover!” If you fancy your Guardian posing for the next edition of Threads of Light, we have good news for you. It’s time for another fashion show!
Similar to previous shows of fashion, we will be hunting for looks that catch our eye and sharing them on our suite of social channels across the globe. All you have to do to enter is share a shot of your Guardian’s appearance page and use #ThreadsOfLight on Instagram or Twitter. You can also tag @DestinyTheGame or our account for your region.
We will be picking winners until September 30, they will pick one of each class to be on the next cover of Threads of Light sometime in the next few months. Everyone we feature will still get the fashion show emblem, but only one Hunter, Titan, and Warlock will make it on the next cover.
Start digging through your wardrobes and creating your look. Good luck on the runway!
Let me know what you think of the latest Destiny 2 news.
That’s it for this update about Trials Labs and Threads of Light. For more Destiny 2 content like this check out This Week In Video Games on YouTube and subscribe today.