Ahead of Destiny's February Update, Bungie Outlines More Multiplayer Changes

New Crucible playlists, no more special ammo at the start of some matches, and other details.


With the February update for Destiny coming next week, Bungie today offered some teases of changes it'll make, as well as more updates and improvements on the way for Crucible.

The Vienna Singer
The Vienna Singer

In the latest Bungie Weekly Update--which has been rebranded as "This Week at Bungie" to avoid confusion with patch notes--the studio discussed two new Crucible playlists on the way: Freelance 6v6 and Freelance 3v3. As the name suggests, these are playlists that only allow players to join individually--you can't come in with a fireteam.

This is meant to "facilitate an even playing field," as you won't end up in a situation where players joining together for the first time face off against a coordinated group of six friends. The playlists are also meant to offer a "much more diverse experience," as they'll feature multiple modes with all of their maps. The 6v6 mode includes Clash, Control, and Rift, while 3v3 has Salvage, Skirmish, and Elimination.

Another change on the Crucible side of Destiny involves special ammo. In all 3v3 modes, players will no longer start off the game with any, meaning you won't find yourself getting sniped before the match really gets started.

"The PvP team wanted to increase the use of primary weapons, especially at match-start," explains senior designer Derek Carroll. "Sniper rifles and shotguns, in particular, inspire great happiness or sadness depending on which end of the weapon you find yourself. We wanted to somewhat delay that gratification (and sadification)."

This change won't affect Rumble or any 6v6 modes because Carroll says "the larger gametypes are generally less sensitive to initial conditions, which gives us more freedom to have special weapons going from the beginning." Additionally, the smaller modes like Skirmish are deemed "a bit more hardcore, with more weight applied to each player in the match, so we felt we could try pushing primary weapons for those initial engagements."

Updates to improve latency in Crucible matches continue to be rolled out to more playlists, with the upcoming Trials of Osiris set to be next. From there, Crimson Doubles (the new Valentine's Day mode coming soon) and Clash are next.

Yet another step being taken to improve Crucible performance is something called the Damage Referee. Networking engineer Paul Lewellen explains this is the codename "for upcoming changes to the way Destiny handles things that can go wrong when you’re playing games online. Our goal is to give you a better experience in the Crucible when there are Internet problems outside of your control."

In terms of PvE, there's not much new to be talked about, as Bungie is waiting until next week to offer patch notes for the February update. Today's post does say that the update fixes a camera issue during the Daughters of Oryx section of the King's Fall raid and addresses issues with teleporting ogres during the Oryx fight. Also, it should now be easier to get your hands on the Vienna Singer ship when Lost to Light is the daily heroic story mission.

February's update launches on February 9 at 10 AM PST. It brings with it the aforementioned Valentine's Day event and accompanying 2v2 game mode, among other things still to be announced.

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