The Destiny 2 Beta ended on Thursday, what can we glean from the changes made to the PC Beta? What do we think still needs to be addressed?
With our recent overview on “What We Know About Destiny 2“, we take a look at the changes seen in the PC version of the game.
PC Beta Changes
The the most noticeable change to the game’s mechanics is that you now get your super between minutes 5 and 8 of a Crucible (PvP) game. You can even get a second super if you are playing well enough. In the console beta, everyone got their supers in the last 90 seconds. This change has meant that you get to use your super more tactically, and timing is everything.
In PvE, instead of getting one or maybe two supers in the strike, you are now able to get up to five similar to Destiny 1. Being in a Fireteam gave you the opportunity to effectively chain supers because of the reworking behind orbs of light. Getting kills and assists also gives you an increased chunk of super energy.
Supers are more widely available with increased super energy for guardians kills and kills against the “Minions of the Darkness”. They have increased the overall recharge rate also so you can have more fun pretending to be Captain America.
In the console beta, you would literally get one grenade and two melee charges per game. Luckily, this isn’t the case anymore. Titans will spawn with two grenade charges when using Fists of Havoc (or Fists of Panic if you’re a Destin 1 veteran) which makes their lightning/pulse grenades extremely strong for controlling those tight spaces.
I did a test in PvE and found that my grenades would recharge in just over-one-and-a-half-minutes. This is a hell of an increase over the first beta where I would get 2 grenades in a twenty-minute strike. The recharge rate is also massively increased in PvP with averaging 4 grenades per game.
Your rift/barricade/dodge recharge has been accelerated a monstrous amount as well, having had it come up around a minute after using it. This made defending a control point or a plant-point in countdown a huge amount easier, particularly as a Warlock.
The final increase that happened was the melee recharge rate. It too has a recharge of around the 1.5-minute mark. The biggest change to this though is that shoulder-charge will only be available if you have a melee charge and said charge will be consumed upon landing a hit.
Abilities have had their recharge rates buffed across the board in comparison to the console beta. The buffs are different in PvP and PvE as Bungie want to place emphasis on gun-fights in the Crucible. In Destiny 1, Crucible was basically one long stream of grenade spams and shoulder-charging. These changes are incredibly welcome ones.
Bungie did change one thing about weaponry in time for the PC beta: Power Ammo drops from all yellow enemies. At least in theory. I found that it was about an 88% drop rate (over all yellow enemies in more than 300 strike runs). This is awesome because who doesn’t love throwing rockets around?!
The one thing I did hope they would buff though, was left alone. I found myself on a couple of occasions running completely dry on all ammo, particularly during the boss fight in the Inverted Spire strike. I was running the “Better Devils” hand cannon and the “Black Scorpion SR4” scout rifle and making sure I was hitting critical shots wherever possible. Despite this approach to the fights, I was frequently running extremely low on ammunition. Don’t even bother using Submachine Guns, the only decent one that I came across was the Exotic one that the Warlocks were given.
I do love that shotguns, fusion rifles and sniper rifles are classified as “Power Weapons”. In Crucible and Iron Banner I was getting sick to death of being sniped or being blown away by a shotgun-wielding, blinking Hunter. I feel that the game is a lot more balanced for PvP now and there is a huge variety of armaments available, even just what we saw in the beta.
Changes and Improvements, We Would Like To See
There are still a few things that I hope have been changed for the launch of Destiny 2. Some of them are small things – little tweaks really. There are some things that I think will be a detriment to the game should they not be addressed.
There are a few things that need to be addressed here, the first of which is the Crucible matchmaking system. I often found that I was topping games (see screenshot for my personal best) or I was getting annihilated and there was no middle ground. I think of the 500-ish games that I played, I only had a handful of games that were close. Hopefully there will be a skill-based matchmaking system that takes locations into account as well. There’s not really much fun in winning 100-20 every game or losing by the same margin.
PvE matchmaking needs to be addressed also. I was frequently doing the Inverted Spire strike either solo or with one other player after having players drop for whatever reason. It was very rare to see anyone dropping into the strike which was frustrating when I’d just spent 10 minutes getting to the boss just to quit out and start all over again.
Filling empty slots was also an issue in Crucible, often a player would drop from the team if we were getting smashed. People would leave the opposing team if they were getting rolled (I made more than a few rage-quit) and the game would then be played out with one team with one or more players down. Only about 1 in 3 games that this happened in did the teams get reinforcements, which is pathetic. It’s even worse when you think that the new mode “Countdown” shows real competitive tournament potential.
While I understand the reasoning behind 4-man teams, I still think Control, Slash, Supremacy and other gametypes from the original Destiny need more players. In control, I frequently found myself running around for a whole minute looking for someone to kill. Starting with point A or C pre-captured was a good move though as it made players fight over B or rush their opponent’s point. Maybe it was just the map that was available but I couldn’t help feeling that the map just felt a little empty.
I really hope that they keep the competitive core of the game to 4-player teams but I hope that they introduce other game modes with more players in the game. Something like a straight-up Team Deathmatch will not work with only 4 players per team.
My biggest issue with PvE is the lack of ammunition. As I mentioned above, the amount of times that I would be low or out of ammo for one or both of my weapons was a joke. It may have been because I was inevitably the one in the team that was clearing trash with my Better Devils but regardless of the reason, I just felt that I was constantly having to look around for ammo. It makes playing through PvE more than a bit irritating.
The other issue I have with PvE is the amount of attacks you can unload with a super. I feel that having to wait for my super for longer than I did in Destiny 1 should make my super that much more powerful. Having to hit trash enemies with my Dawn Blade more than once is frustrating. If I’m going to have to two-hit-kill enemies with my super, why can I only clear 4 enemies at a time with it?
Not only the above issues with the supers, I have a specific point of contention with the Hunter’s “Golden Gun”. That point is why the hell don’t things explode when I kill them with Golden Guns like they used to? There’s about a 10-second timer, in which you’re expected to unload SIX shots accurately. Not only do the shots do less damage that the Titan’s shield when it’s thrown, the super fizzles out much faster. Not cool Bungie, not cool.
Overall, I was in love with the Destiny 2 beta on PC. It runs extremely smooth in comparison to other current-generation games and requires less beefy equipment to get it to its best. Combined with the fact that if you have the Xbox One X, PS4 Pro or a good enough PC, you can run it is 4k resolution makes Destiny 2 jaw-droppingly beautiful before you take the scenery and effects into account. Once you look at the “No Mans’ Sky”-esque landscapes, it’s easy to get caught, staring slack-jawed at the world around you.
The enemies are more intelligent and the way they behave in combat is much more intuitive, they even change their attacks based on the weaponry you’re using. Combat is a lot more challenging as even the lowest enemies can quickly tear down your defenses. So many times, I died in the strike to a group of enemies that seemed to register my threat level and focused their fire. The bigger enemies take more of a beating and deal a massive amount more damage and require you to use team-fire or power weapons to take them out.
Bungie’s sequel to the hit game “Destiny” feels like a much better game. This is probably linked to the decision to drop the older consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3) so they can focus on making a beautiful, smooth and engrossing game. The story missions are steeped in lore that you pick up as you go along. With 30 hours of PvE content at launch you’re sure to waste hours exploring the lost sector, grinding strikes, raiding or just popping other Guardian’s heads in Crucible. Personally, I can’t wait for Destiny 2 to launch in 5 days time!
On console that is. The PC version launches next month (almost 2 additional months later), on the 24th of October.
Will you be getting it on Console or PC? With the PS4 getting lots of true exclusive content, the Xbox One X version almost assuredly being the better looking/running console version, and the PC version easily outclassing both. It should make the decision interesting for those who have all of the platforms mentioned. Let us know in the comments below.