Let's talk about the reasons why that's a huge positive for the upcoming title, and why I think it will make both competitive and cooperative players happy.
The issue with Destiny 2's beta experience
After developer Bungie launched Destiny 2's beta last week, many players voiced concerns that the changes made to improve the experience of multiplayer (also known as the Crucible) were negatively impacting the cooperative player vs. environment (PvE) experience. Some examples of this include the reduced effectiveness of grenades, the lack of sufficient ammo (especially power weapon ammo), the slow rate at which abilities recharge, and the low frequency of deploying supercharge powers.
The argument, essentially, is that PvP is being heavily prioritized over PvE, and that it makes Destiny 2's cooperative experience less dynamic and fun.
PvE-specific changes are on the way
Bungie, seeing this response, issued a statement that has assured the Destiny community that they will, in fact, be balancing things differently in PvE than in PvP. Bungie's beta lead Rob Engeln had this to say in Bungie's latest weekly update:
From this, we know that Bungie plans to tweak things like power ammo and grenade mechanics for PvE specifically. This confirms that the community's concerns have been heard, and that Bungie themselves expected and anticipated this response from the beta version of the game, which according to Engeln is months old.
This is a huge step in the right direction, but anecdotally, it seems some feel that separating the two styles of play will make each one feel too different from the other, and would prefer that PvE and PvP stay balanced in the same way. It certainly doesn't do much to retain the "roleplaying" fantasy of an RPG when your abilities are arbitrarily different across game modes.
In this article, I'm going to go over a few reasons why I think that Bungie's decision is and was the correct one.
PvE and PvP: fundamentally different
One major issue with balancing both sides of this equation together is that they are designed with different types of play in mind. In the Crucible player vs. player modes (PvP), you fight with a squad of allies against another squad of enemy Guardians in a small, condensed (and often times symmetric) map. Timing is extremely important; often times the player who shoots first, wins. Movement is also critical, as staying in one place on the map is almost always disadvantageous in almost all situations. Another example of the differences in the modes is the fact that enemies are other humans and not AI-controlled mobs.
Now, compare this to PvE. In story missions and Strikes, you traverse not a small map, but rather an expansive and asymmetric level, complete with numerous different positions to attack from, as well as set pieces and scripted events that can at any time alter the playspace.
Enemies, compared to human players, come in a wide array of archetypes and usually in greater numbers. For example, while all human enemies can be damaged with a firearm anywhere on their body, the Cabal Phalanx wields a shield that they hold in front of them, absorbing all firearm damage.
On top of that, there's a completely different style of design with enemy engagement as well. While you'll always want to always be moving in PvP to avoid being surrounded or attacked while standing still, there are several points in PvE where stopping and successfully holding a position is the best way to defend an objective.
It is these types of core differences in form, flow, and mechanics that make me believe that undeniably, PvE is built from the ground up in a completely different way than PvP is, and why they should be balanced separately.
More sandbox freedom
Another big benefit of separating the balancing is that Destiny's PvE and PvP teams won't have to worry about interfering with each other when they make adjustments or tweaks. If they were kept together, then any balance done to one would impact the other.
For example, let's say that the PvE team decides that auto rifles were too strong of an option against enemies. This would lead to the game being too easy, and thus not being challenging and engaging. To solve this problem, they would reduce the weapon damage of auto rifles, making them useful, but not overpowered.
However, that may not be the case in the Crucible environment. While auto rifles may feel too strong in PvE, their effectiveness might fit perfectly into the balancing of PvP. If PvE and PvP balancing was grouped together, then this nerf would negatively impact the balancing of auto rifles in the Crucible. But if they were kept separate, then the nerf could be applied in the cooperative environment without needing to worry about how it affects PvP, and vice versa.
This gives the development teams for each part of Destiny 2 much more flexibility and freedom.
A more finely tuned experience for all players
Building on my last point, I think that it's important to realize that when the PvE and PvP development teams have more freedom to implement changes to their respective sandboxes, everyone on both sides of the spectrum will win. Bungie will be able to give players that want a polished, fun, and balanced competitive multiplayer experience what they want, while also being able to successfully create a challenging, cooperative and social PvE experience as well.
The two won't interfere with each other, and because of that, all Destiny fans — regardless of what style of gameplay suits your desires. If Bungie executes it properly, it should be a win-win scenario.
Will this style of balancing make each part of the game feel too different?
One concern that players who plan to enjoy both PvE and PvP have is that the separation will make each part of the game feel too different. However, I do not think this will be the case.
Abilities and weapons will have different damage values and cooldowns, sure, but the base player mechanics of aiming, movement, primary, secondary, and power weapons, and types of abilities will remain the same. While the numerical values behind your arsenal will vary between PvE and the Crucible, the basics of Destiny 2 will not — at least as far as we know.
Unless Bungie introduces new, radically different mechanics for each style of play, the game will not feel extremely different. Rather, I think it will feel mostly the same, with some changes made across both PvE and PvP in order to make each play as best as it can.
What's your opinion of this news? Do you think that Bungie is heading in the right direction with Destiny 2? Let me know how you feel in the comments.
Destiny 2 releases September 16th of this year on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and will release on October 24th on Blizzard Entertainment's Battle.net for PC. It will cost $59.99 USD.
Separating PvP and PvE is always the safest choice. Far too many MMOs have been ruined because balancing changes to one gameplay mode inevitably effected the other. It might not please everyone but you'll get more happy folks than angry ones in the end.
Not so sure. The MMO crowd don't and never will look at PVP the same way the Halo/COD crowd view it. With MMOs it is supposed to replicate the exact same character development and playstyle as the PVE experience. Otherwise its no longer about taking your character into battle. The PVE side may as well not exist. As from my experience MMO players won't the experience the same across both. Unlike non MMO shooters.
Of course the changes shouldn't be so major that the two modes don't resemble each other at all. But, no matter what MMO I play, the complaint about "ruining PvE for the sake of PvP" and vice versa has never changed. I ran into it all the time in WoW, especially as a hunter main. Same for Aion, Guild Wars (although they separated PvP and PvE from the getgo and it's relatively balanced), and others. There tend to be a lot of people who only play either or with some in the middle who like both. Destiny is trying to be more of an MMO than most shooters and they wouldn't be making this separation without a good reason.
I'm glad they are balancing pve separate from pvp.
Where did you find this info? I haven't read anything about it on the DTG subreddit or bungie.net...
I think this just refers to the part of last weeks twab where they said they already adjusted some stuff in builds after the beta build...
Destiny (1) used to have some differences in PvE & PvP balances nearer the beginning, and it became somewhat frustrating when they stopped doing that (e.g. With Truth now having only 1 rocket in a clip sucks for PvE but understandable for PvP). So hopefully they do keep them separate.
I don't think Bungie was talking about real separation here.
The only things they talked about were more ammo drops in general, guaranteed ammo drops from certain enemies in pve, as well as scaling boss health and damage numbers.
To me this sounds like we will get the same system as in D1 and not a real separation.
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