This week, Destiny 2 will release its next major update, which will include improvements to Faction Rallies and exotic armor sandbox changes. But the most interesting of the update’s additions is a new feature called Crucible Labs.
In a prior Bungie blog post, the Destiny 2 developer gave a brief overview of Crucible Labs, explaining that it will offer an opportunity for PvP fans to test new features and modes. In essence, this will be a Public Test Realm where players can see how they like a new aspect coming to Crucible and offer their feedback directly to Bungie.
Most assume that this first Crucible Labs iteration will include the multiplayer mode that the Destiny Community Summit members played, which almost all of them left raving about. Clearly the mode is in enough of a playable state that it can get feedback from non-developers, and it seems likely that Crucible Labs will give Bunge the opportunity to further test the mode and see how players feel about it.
But most hope that Crucible Labs won’t be just a beta testing platform, where players can see new modes before they release in a forthcoming DLC expansion. PTRs are used for a wide variety of things in a wide variety of games, but their ultimate goal is to ensure that the developer delivers a balanced experience in a PvP environment. Finding out whether a community likes a mode is still very important, but there are so many other uses for PTRs as well.
There are two main changes that Destiny 2 players hope will be made in the coming expansion and that would be perfect for Crucible Labs. First, is a change to the time to kill (TTK) in PvP. Currently, Destiny 2 PvP revolves around team shooting – having multiple players focus fire on a single opponent. And that opponent, if they are caught in the open, has very few counters beyond running away or accepting their fate.
In Destiny 1, skilled players could actually win fights against multiple players because the TTK was relatively low. Now, a hand cannon can take upwards of four shots to kill, which is a huge departure from the first game.
Crucible Labs would be the perfect place for Bungie to test different changes to weapon balance and damage to get Destiny 2’s Crucible to a place where TTK is low enough that there is counterplay. As it stands right now, players are so desperate for weapons that have low TTK that all you end up seeing is Graviton Lance and Vigilance Wing. Everywhere.
The other changing aspect of Destiny 2 that could appear first in Crucible Labs is the weapon slot changes that Bungie has already teased in its Development Roadmap. Whatever Bungie is doing, whether it is the return of the primary, secondary, heavy system or something completely different, it will likely have a huge impact on PvP. Crucible Labs could help Bungie ensure that there is balance with this new weapon system.
Ultimately, Crucible Labs could be an extremely useful tool for Destiny 2, but only if Bungie really plans to use it as a PTR. We’ll find out Tuesday what exactly the scope of Crucible Labs is; hopefully PvP fans come away excited.
Destiny 2 is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.