Posted on September 11, 2014, Phil Hornshaw The Destiny Diaries – Day 2: Hell is Other People in the Crucible
The Destiny Diaries is a daily retelling of the experiences of GameFront’s days in Destiny, imparting our impressions as we work through the game for the first time. Check back each day for a new episode, and stay tuned for a full review next week.
Don’t miss The Destiny Diaries – Day 1: Dinklage the Inscrutable, The Destiny Diaries – Day 3: Saving Private Heaney, The Destiny Dairies – Day 4: In Which I Read All Those Grimoire Cards and The Destiny Diaries – Day 5: No More Worlds to Conquer.
I love Destiny’s PvP arena, the Crucible.
I hate Destiny’s PvP arena, the Crucible.
Most of my entire second day in Destiny was dedicated to introducing other players to the incontrovertible skill of the Hunter they would come to know as “The Czarina.” (It’s worth noting that in addition to being the Czar of Russia, I am also now the self-styled Supreme Chancellor of The Moon, since I killed, like, so many of those Hive things, you guys.)
This did not go completely to plan. Also, no one called my character The Czarina.
The Crucible is basically Halo multiplayer by way of Call of Duty (I know, I had to contain my shock as well, given the developer’s pedigree), but with a ton of weird little elements mixed in. All your abilities from the campaign transfer over to PvP — in fact, you continue to accrue experience points during PvP that unlock new abilities. So you have everything: your entire slate of primary weapons, of which I carry an auto-rifle, a single-action “scout” rifle, and a “hand cannon,” which has me spouting “Do you feel lucky?!” with every kill; your entire slate of “special” weapons, which includes my kick-ass “you’d be electrocuted if you were still alive” sniper rifle, a close-quarters slow-as-molasses shotgun, and a couple of “fusion rifles” that fire superheated bursts of Deadly Science; and all your “heavy” weapons, consisting of a pile of rocket launchers and machine guns, which I’d arrange into a throne if I could (free DLC idea, Bungie).
You also have access to your grenade ability, which you can tune to a number of varieties as you level up. And (if you’re a Hunter) your throwing knife, which I’m not sure why that’d be a good idea but it’s cool as hell (and somewhat humiliating) when you bust it out and kill someone with it. Oh, and you have a “supercharge” class ability that opens up every once in a while. Mine is the “Golden Gun,” a one-hit death machine on a short timer.
Put another way: You have a ton of crap and so does everyone else and that makes it nearly impossible to anticipate what the fool you’re fighting is about to do.
If you have no idea how to fight other players, you definitely want to learn by being forced to stand still on an important spot. It really lets you get a nice feel for the way other people’s bullets mangle your spongy flesh.
Destiny looks to limit your access to some of this junk through ammo scarcity and timers. For example, you have to seek out special weapon ammo if you mean to snipe, and heavy weapon ammo only appears at set intervals. Heavy ammo doesn’t stick with you between respawns, either, so you need to grab it and use it as if it were a weapon drop in (ahem) another shooter franchise.
So them’s the ground rules, and they take a bit of getting used to. Any engagement could be completely crazy given the other player’s class (which is not immediately apparent), their loadout (which is in no way apparent), where their cooldown timers are, and most importantly, whether they see you first. You have a bullshit motion tracker that gives you only the most rudimentary “you’re about to die!” warnings, and the rest is up to you.
Delaying my entry into the Crucible by a day was probably my first mistake, as I was instantly thrown into battles with levels ranging from 5, when Crucible first becomes available, to, like, 22, which I didn’t even realize was possible. That’s okay, though, because Destiny looks to ease your transition into fighting other players — which is in no way like the story campaign in the slightest — by hooking you up with randoms and dropping you into the most team-centric and infuriating of all game modes.
I’m talking, of course, about control point games, in which players capture and hold specific territory. If you have no idea how to fight other players, you definitely want to learn by being forced to stand still on an important spot. It really lets you get a nice feel for the way other people’s bullets mangle your spongy flesh. I mean just look at those gorgeous ragdoll physics.