Late last month I was invited to Bellevue, Washington for an early hands with Destiny: Rise of Iron. There are some major additions headed to the game with this expansion. This isn’t just about additional content. It’s also about extensions of current systems. In today’s part one I’m going to cover the new additions to Player versus Player combat in Rise of Iron. Tomorrow will be all about Player versus Environment.
One of our first presentations at Bungie was from Derek Carroll, and Lars Bakken, both of whom are Senior Crucible Designers. Their major contribution to Rise of Iron will introduce two new PvP maps, a new game type, and private matches.
The new game type is known as Supremacy. It has a 6v6 player format. Supremacy sets itself apart from all of the previous PvP game types by having players drop a crest when they die. The opposing team will not score immediately upon killing a guardian. They can only score once they recover the dropped crest. If the guardian that was killed, or a member of their team, recovers the crest first no one scores. This allows you to deny your opponents credit for a kill, even if they killed you.
The crests look similar to engrams. They will fall on the floor once a player dies and physics will affect them. If a player dies on a set of stairs expect their crest to roll downhill. If they are mid jump and die expect the crest to take a bounce. You cannot expect to look for a crest and find it exactly where you killed your enemy. Crests will disappear after a minute. Placing a limited amount of time to recover a crest impresses upon players a sense of urgency to collect them, further adding to the frantic pacing of PvP. There is a chance that if a player dies from a misadventure that you will not be able to recover their crest. While some players could possibly jump from edges to avoid having their crest fall into enemy hands this isn’t something the developers feel is highly likely.
The addition of crests to PvP is exciting. It sets up new strategies for players to think about. It’s possible that it could make solo snipers less effective. If you like to pop your targets from long range chances are you might want to have a buddy close to the kill zone to collect up fallen crests. You could also use a crest as bait for the other team. Kill one person, let their crest lay in wait, then kill any other guardian that comes and tries to deny you the kill.
Apart from the ability to deny your enemies a scoring opportunity crests impact scoring in other ways. If you kill a player and recover the crest you get two points. If you kill a player and one of your teammates recovers the crest you each get one point. If you kill a player and the opposing team recovers the crest you get zero points. This new style made for a lot of fun, and more than a little frustration.
Rise of Iron will also introduce two new maps for guardians to battle it out over. First up was Icarus, Languid Sea, Mercury. This map is a Sony exclusive. If you were hoping for those to go away anytime soon I have some bad news for you. Chances are they will never stop. This one will only be available on the PS4 for the next year. Icarus feels like a modern industrial complex. There is a mix of inside and outside play areas. There are choke points for the enemy to camp. There was also an edge to the map where misadventures can happen.
The Floating Gardens, Pomona Mons, Venus is the second map making its way into Destiny with the Rise of Iron. Compared to Icarus the Floating Gardens is a lusher zone. There is flora to go with the futuristic feel. It looks like ruins of an ancient civilization found in the far future. This map seems to have a few more distant lines of sight than Icarus and would be more suited to a sniper than the previous map. However, I’m sure experienced Destiny snipers will do well on either. Neither PvP map, however, really felt like they tied into the theme of Rise of Iron. Maybe once we learn more about the story it will make sense.
This final bit of news drew the biggest reaction from the crowd of assembled press and YouTube personalities: the announcement of private matches. Bungie chose the name private match over custom match for legitimate reason. In a custom match Bungie believes players would have the expectation that players should be able to mess with gravity, ammo, and change other variables Bungie didn’t grant access to. Instead players will get to choose from the following: 31 maps for PlayStation 4, game type, score limit, time limit, light level, and time of day. I don’t think I ever paid attention to the fact there was a day night cycle in the crucible. You can also select up to 12 players with full voice. Loot drops too. It’s not a lot but there is a chance you can get an item. You can also choose to go into a crucible solo and turn off the HUD and take screen shots. This is something even the non PvP crowd can enjoy. Private matches will be available to everyone that has Destiny on PS4 and XBox One, not just those who buy the expansion.
In case you were wondering will the Iron Banner make its return? Yes, yes it will. It will be available the first week Rise of Iron makes its debut.
That wraps it up for the new additions to PvP. Coming up in a few hours we’ll have part two up and it will go into the new PvE portion of Rise of Iron. What do you think of the changes to PvP so far?