Ranked PVP (Competitive Division) coming to Destiny 2

Bungie was back this week with a HUGE update related to changes coming to cruicble in season 19. This including the long awaited addition of a ranked competitive mode, plus a raft of changes across other game modes, which all add up to the biggest changes we’ve seen in PVP for years.

Before we get stuck into the details today, let me know in the comments what you think of the PVP changes, and do you like what you hear, or do Bungie need to do more?

I’m going to focus on the new Competitive Division, but there are other updates from Bungie, which you can check out on Bungie.net

Let’s go over to the update from Bungie from the latest This Week At Bungie.

COMPETITIVE DIVISION

After the changes to Trials of Osiris, Gambit, and Iron Banner the last few Seasons, we knew we had to look at our ranked play experience next. While the Glory playlist had been home to our core 3v3 Skill-based offering for years, it had fallen behind in the rewards department since we sunset the pinnacle weapons and their quests in Beyond Light. Additionally, it was built onto a hybrid Skill/persistence model to enable more players to get to the top ranks than you would normally expect on a bell curve. We knew we had to revisit the reward structure as well as fit the ranking system to more closely reflect player Skill. We also wanted to create something that would be familiar to players of other competitive games in multiple genres while adding our own flair.

Goals for Competitive Division

All players can find a variety of balanced matches and feel competitive.
A player’s PvP division is a core part of their Guardian identity.
Maintain places in the ecosystem to not engage in ranked play but still have decently balanced matches, or to not engage in Skill-based matching at all.

What is Competitive Division?

In Season 19, we are removing Glory and adding a 3v3 Ranked playlist, Competitive Division, which is a true ladder-based system.

There are seven Divisions, each with three subdivisions.

Copper
Bronze
Silver
Gold
Platinum
Adept
Ascendant

Our goal is to provide players with ladders to climb and divisions to achieve, giving a more accurate representation of Skill than our current Glory system. Players who surpass Gold and begin to chip away at Platinum, Adept, and Ascendant will represent some of the best Crucible players that our community has to offer. Let’s talk a bit about how you climb the ladder. This is a higher-level explanation of how things work. We’ll be releasing a Help article closer to launch to go a bit further in-depth.

At the start of the Season, you will begin a “placement series” during which you will not gain any Division Rating for the first seven games. After the seventh game, you complete the placement series and are placed into a division based on Skill:
For the first Season, the highest you can be placed is Gold III. In future Seasons, you will be placed closer to your previous Competitive Division.

As you continue to compete in the Competitive Division, your Division Rating is adjusted based on four major factors:
Match outcome: Whether you win or lose.
Division inflation/deflation: How far above or below your division is compared to your Skill.
Match performance: How well you performed on a match-to-match basis.
Player-to-lobby Skill delta: How your Skill compares to everyone else in the match.

As you earn and lose Division Rating:
If you gain enough Rating to move up between subdivisions (ex., from Gold II to Gold I), you automatically enter the next subdivision. Same goes for moving down subdivisions.
If you gain enough Rating to move up a division (ex., from Gold I to Platinum III), you enter a promotion series, where you must win two out of three games to be promoted to the next division.
Similarly, if you lose enough Rating to move down a division (ex., from Gold III to Silver 1), you enter a relegation series, where you must win two out of three games to remain in your current division.

Upon reaching Gold or higher, your Division Rating is subject to decay on a weekly basis; i.e., you will lose Division Rating if you haven’t played enough matches recently.

Also, we will have a small intro quest that will demonstrate the Competitive Division system and unlock a reward listed later in this TWAB. This quest must be completed once for each account and will be available from Shaxx once you unlock Crucible as a New Light, or immediately for veteran players.

Competitive Division Rewards

Since Competitive division is aimed at drawing a close link between Skill and division, we don’t see division as something to really grind for rewards. We don’t want someone to feel pressure to play tons of games looking for a drop, all while your Division Rating drops and you ruin your division standing. Instead, we want the primary motivator to be your actual division. We aren’t going to be adding any unique grindable rewards outside of those you can get anywhere in Crucible, and really focus our rewards on weekly participation and achieving higher divisions.

Secondly, we are going to be very careful about giving out high-performance rewards for achieving higher divisions. Since these divisions are tightly tied to Skill, some divisions will be completely unattainable to some players, no matter how much they try/play. Having some of the old pinnacle weapons tied to higher Glory had some unfortunate effects on players and led us to eventually add numerous persistence features to the ranking system. To avoid that, we are going to initially keep rewards for achieving a higher division limited to efficiency rewards:

Your current division gives you a multiplier on all Crucible ranks (reputation) earned in Destiny, letting you earn more Crucible engrams, resets, and extra perks on weapons much faster.

Copper and Bronze – 1.0x
Silver – 1.1x
Gold – 1.2x
Platinum – 1.3x
Adept – 1.4x
Ascendant – 1.5x

So, even if you aren’t great at PvP, jumping into Competitive Division and earning/keeping your rank up will help you earn Crucible rewards 10-20% faster than now.
This bonus stacks multiplicatively with both the scheduled Bonus Ranks weeks and the “hidden” bonus in Crucible Labs.
As a note, we are reducing bonus week Crucible rank multipliers from 2.0 to 1.5 in Season 19.
Our goal in the above changes is to reduce the need to wait for Bonus Ranks weeks to get the most out of your Crucible playtime.
With the added bonuses provided by divisions, 95% of players will be earning more reputation over the course of the Season than what’s currently available.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this change to ensure there isn’t any major negative impact on the rewards that players are earning.
We have also moved unique Glory playlist rewards:
MIDA Multi-Tool catalyst is now a rare drop on any win in the Crucible.
One of the best rewards you can get from Competitive division is right in the name.
Your Competitive Division, which you have earned throughout the Season, lets you know where you actually sit in the hierarchy of players better than KDA, win percentage, or a third-party Elo ranking ever could.

Every Thorn Has a Rose

For our weekly participation rewards mentioned above, we are bringing an old favorite back. That’s right, Rose is back for Competitive Division! Rose was originally a Legendary Hand Cannon earned during the Lumina Exotic quest. It has a long history in Destiny, in which it was corrupted then redeemed. It now returns with random rolls and an updated perk pool!

Hybrid: Fires like a 140 RPM Hand Cannon, but allows you to move like a 150 RPM, and has stats that blend the two.
Its perk list is built from popular consistency perks designed to highlight 3v3 play.
Random rolled grips instead of an Origin Trait.
How do you earn it though?
When you complete your Competitive Division intro quest (once per character), you get a drop with the perk selection Rose originally had.
After the intro quest, you have a character-based weekly Competitive Division challenge to earn another roll.
That’s it! Play Competitive Division, earn one roll a week per character!

Future Rewards Updates
We aren’t done here. In the Seasons post-Lightfall, we are expecting to get further cosmetic rewards for Competitive Division.
We are still working out the details of what (you can earn), when (you can start earning them), and how (you earn them). Expect more discussion after Lightfall launches!

TRIALS OF OSIRIS

While Season 19 has much of its focus on general Crucible playlists, matchmaking, and the introduction of Competitive Division, we do have some upkeep planned for Trials of Osiris. For starters, we’re following tradition with two new weapon rewards for players to hunt for. Whether you are hungry for a base model or the fabled Adept variant, we have a new Machine Gun and 140 Hand Cannon up for grabs.

(This is where I’d show you an example image of the Saint-14 Vendor screen, but we don’t want to spoil any gear icon watermarks for the new season just yet.)

Additionally, we’re looking to add FBMM into Trials of Osiris in the future. By introducing these matchmaking changes to the playlist, we’re looking to provide a larger sense of “fairness” for smaller fireteams and eliminate the need for a Freelance node. Solos can match solos or fill in for teams of duos. Fireteams of three will match fireteams of three.

While we won’t have changes to the Flawless pool for Season 19, we are working on a new paradigm that removes the Flawless pool but still provides protection for players working on Trials reputation rewards. Expect more information later in Season 19, as our goal is to have a Trials Labs during Season 20.

FOR THE YEAR OF LIGHTFALL: MAPS

This past year, we saw the return of two Destiny 2 maps (Eternity, Vostok), one map from Destiny 1 (Cathedral of Dusk), and a brand-new map set on Savathûn’s Throne World (Disjunction). Much of our focus for this year of map content was to give players some larger spaces—lanes for sniping, and a bit of range for Pulse Rifles, Scouts, and other ranged options.

For the coming year, we are going to be bringing back two more maps from earlier in Destiny 2, and we’ve just started production on a brand-new map which we expect to be released in the year of Lightfall.

If you have some experience creating gameplay spaces and would like to join us in creating Destiny content, be sure to check out our Careers page. Specifically, keep an eye out for “World Art” listings in the future!

INTRODUCING IRON BANNER: FORTRESS

Back in Season of the Haunted, Saladin re-established the Iron Banner as the twice-a-season PvP celebration for everyone. Guardians from all around wear their flaming Iron Banner armor and compete for the love of competition. Since then, we have brought Rift into Destiny 2 and introduced our first new mode since Team Scorched—Iron Banner: Eruption! We want to continue this tradition of introducing unique spins on existing modes. For Season 19, let us introduce you to Iron Banner: Fortress.

In Iron Banner: Fortress, the core gameplay is capturing and holding zones. If that sounds like Zone Control to you, you’d be right! The real fun begins when Caiatl gets involved, but we’ll leave some of this for you to experience first-hand when Iron Banner: Fortress launches on January 3, 2023. Let’s just say, a few of you may be dying to cap a hill.

Iron Banner Rewards

In Season 19, players can expect to earn a few returning Iron Banner weapons not seen since the earlier days of Destiny 2. If Auto Rifles or Slug Shotguns are your thing, Saladin has something special for you. Updated with random rolls, fresh perks from the last few Seasons, and the Iron Banner Origin Trait, we’re looking forward to seeing what rolls you chase.

That’s not all. It’s been about a year since our last Iron Banner armor refresh. We’ve seen some wonderful themes throughout the years. Inspirations drawn from ages past, focused on the looks of a true warrior. This year, we’ll be returning to some fan favorite sets, coming from an era of a Taken King…

We’re expecting these to be a fun complement to many sets in the game and looking forward to your fashion statements coming out of Iron Banner next Season.

NEW MATCHMAKING TECHNIQUES

Fireteam-Based Matchmaking

Starting in the first week of Season 19, we will be testing a new Quickplay matchmaking parameter that should excite many of you: Fireteam-Based Matchmaking (FBMM). At a high concept, FBMM means that your fireteam’s makeup should match your opponents. If you join a matchmaking queue as a full team of six, you should generally match against another full fireteam. Depending on how long you wait in matchmaking, it might start a match against fireteam of five plus a solo. If you wait longer, you might start against a fireteam of four plus a duo (or two solos). If you are a smaller fireteam, you might match with a larger fireteam against two fireteams of similar sizes, or against all smaller fireteams. As with all of our other matchmaking parameters (as explained in the Season 18 TWAB), FBMM can be as loose or strict as we want. For Quickplay we will be fairly generous, allowing slightly mismatched fireteams if Skill is similar and connections are fast.