Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Road to Destiny... Pt.4: The Crucible - PvP

The Future. Touched by the Light of The Traveler, we have braved the Stars. But an ancient Darkness is coming to end us all...

Destiny...The Place you will come to Rule. And Own. But not Teabag.

The Beta is near, and after showing you some of the Alpha's Solo and Co-Op Activities in my last post, let's take a look at the Competitive Multiplayer:

"The Crucible": It's Player-versus-Player Warfare - Train for the "Fight for the Light" by shooting other people that Fight for the Light. It totally makes sense.

Then again, PvP never had to make sense. It's about the friendly, competitive challenge that engaging another human-controlled player inevitably comes with. It's definitely not about owning people, or tea-bagging them into rage-quitting. Thing to note here: No corpses in Destiny - No Tea-Bagging. All that's left after a kill is a lone Ghost, one of each Guardians' floating robotic helpers - you might even be able to get revived, although that never happened in the Alpha to my knowledge.

Yes, you play with your own Guardian, with your own weapons, your own gear. No more Red vs. Blue. You also have access to your full inventory, and can change gear, weapons and even class ability upgrades at any time during the match. But don't you worry about high-level players having access to much better gear. Destiny is not Battlefield, after all. "Level Advantages (like higher Damage or better Protection from high Level Gear are) Disabled".

In short, this means, that in The Crucible, a level 20 gun will do the same basic damage as a level 1 gun, while level 1 Head Armor will offer the same protection as its level 20 counterpart. It's a very nice way to level the playing field, while still retaining your individual play-style preferences.

Now, there are small differences, since the bonus stats of Uncommon and Rarer Gear are still in effect, and weapon upgrades, like scopes, that are unlocked by using a single weapon quite a lot, can give the more experienced player slight advantages. But if there's one thing Bungie is good at, it's matchmaking - something we've had to experience in the steep decline of match-making from Halo Reach (Bungie) to Halo 4 (343 Studios) - so the chances of level 20s battling level 5s are pretty slim.
As to what game modes will be available, the Alpha only had one ("Control" certain static areas on the map and kill enemies for points), but teased with icons of at least 5 more. One can safely assume that the (sad) staple of FPS Player-vs-Player "Team Deathmatch" will be present. Possibly there might be a "Free-for-All" Everyone kills Everyone game mode, as well. Hell, if Halo is any indication, two of the other icons may even just be "Big Team" Versions of Control and TDM, increasing the usual 6v6 into 12v12. 

Something I am personally hoping for, is a mode that combines different game modes, like Killzone's Warzones or Ghost Recon Future Soldier's Conflict. Control was a lot of fun, but I like variety plus fun even better.

The two Maps in the Alpha were called "Rust Lands" - a relatively small, no-vehicle map in a dilapidated industry/warehouse area on Earth - and "First Light" - a bigger map, with both spawning offensive vehicles and use of your own speed bike, plus several threatening turrets on the Moon's surface.

The gameplay on each map differed accordingly, but take a look for yourself in the video montages below.

And before anyone worries, I am, at best, mediocre in PvP, yet I never really felt helpless, nor frustrated. And best of all: (almost) no more Bunny-Hopping. If you ever played Halo games, you will be familiar with the concept of simply hopping everywhere. Thankfully, with the new double jump feature, that was almost completely absent from MP. In the 20 or so matches I played, I saw a single guy hopping up and down behind some cover.

And there you have it. All the things you could do... in the ALPHA. Yes, all caps. It deserves it. There were full Xbox 360 and PS3 games that had less content (Homefront, anyone?). If the Alpha is just a part of what the full game will have to offer, I honestly cannot wait for September.
So... you know. Wake me up, when September comes...

Seriously, though, Destiny is shaping up very nicely, indeed. If you get a chance to pre-order, see for yourself in the upcoming Beta, starting July 17th on PS3 and PS4, and the end of July on Xbox One, Xbox 360.

This marks the end of my four-part Destiny Blog Series. If you missed one, click the following links to get touched by the Light (ooohhh, that sounds dirty!):

Part 1: Destiny - First Look Alpha Impressions
Part 2: Destiny - Who you are and where you gather...
Part 3: Destiny - Things to do, Things to Kill...

For all your Playstation or Xbox or PC Gaming needs, especially the European needs, head over to Amazon UK - best deals in Europe (mostly). For TV or Movie Streaming needs, as well. Yes, I do buy there myself. Exclusively. Unless I find a better deal, elsewhere... 

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