When the Destiny 2 PC beta finally kicked off, it inadvertently renewed a debate about aim assist on controllers. The problem wasn't that controller users would get a legup, but that mouse and keyboard users could enable aim assist by using certain adapters.
That was back in August. But wind the clock forward to October, and the aim assist hasn't been changed.
For those confused, here's the general principle. On PC, most users will use a mouse and keyboard and the aim is completely determined by the user. Those using controllers, on PC or console, get a degree of aim assist that can vary depending on the weapon. Bad Juju from Destiny 1, for instance, was notoriously generous; hand cannons, not so much.
Normally, the game would detect whenever you start using a controller versus KB+M. But through the use of specialist adapters, like the XIM4, it's possible to trick the game into thinking you're using a controller - when you're really using a mouse and keyboard. And when the game thinks you're using a controller, that means you get the aim assist that comes with it.
Destiny 2 landing on PC has been a godsend for players who missed out the first time around. But it's also sparked a debate over the last couple of days over the strength of aim assist for controllers, not just because it exists, but because it might also inadvertently help out those playing with mouse and keyboard as well.
Of course, getting such a setup going is easier said than done. For one, XIM4 adapters cost $US125 online exc. shipping, or around $200 locally through eBay right now. On top of that, it's not an immediate plug and play device.
Adapters like these - and I've written about a similar one for getting Xbox pads to work with the PS4 - requires a bit of tweaking to get right. Going through an adapter also adds some input lag, although under 10ms according to tests done by YouTuber Battle(non)sense.
Image: Youtube (Battle(non)sense)
Another thing to note is that the recoil changes for weapons depending on what input you're using. Take the auto rifle, for instance. On console, and when using a controller, the recoil pattern is vertical. But when using a mouse and keyboard, the recoil pattern is more scattershot, more akin to rifles from other PC games (but not as heavy as, say, Counter-Strike).
So it's easy to understand the general arguments against aim assist on PC. That's not helpful for gamers who need controllers for accessibility reasons, or those playing in a living room environment (like those with setups for room-scale VR). But the general gist is that if it means some players don't get to abuse a potential in-built aimbot, everyone is better off.
But in an interview with The Telegraph, Bungie's PC project lead David Shaw confirmed that aim assist wasn't being changed:
"So, we heard feedback on that and we're definitely listening and we'll continue to listen going forward, but right now we are planning to ship the controller similar to how it was in the beta," Shaw said.
"We think our controls on the controller are pretty good, and people seem to like them, and we think that the PC players should have the ability to play that way if that's their choice."
In short: Bungie are aware of the complaints, but don't think it it's quite the issue that some users are making it out to be. And that's understandable: if you want to play on mouse and keyboard, you probably don't want to be plugging your gear into dongles that cost hundreds of dollars just for a brief benefit in raids or Crucible.
Plus, Bungie can always leverage Blizzard's experience with Overwatch to balance the PC version independently from consoles. Whether that results in a hard fix for aim assist down the road, or some kind of detection within the Warden anti-cheat software, only Bungie knows.
But for at least this week, the situation remains exactly as it was in the beta. Expect a lot of salt in the EDZ, in other words.