This Friday, Bungie will roll out matchmaking assistance for Destiny 2’s hardcore mode, Trials of Osiris. The intent, basically, is to make the multiplayer gauntlet a bit more fair for Guardians who continuously get thrashed. You’ll never believe this, I know, but some players are pissed about the prospect of being put into games with people of similar skill.
Trials of Osiris, for those who don’t know, is Destiny 2’s high-risk, high-reward competitive mode that Bungie reintroduced to Destiny 2 last March. Teams of three compete against each other for loot and other rewards. By racking up seven subsequent wins — going “flawless,” in Destiny parlance — you get to hang at a fancy lighthouse.
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Trials went on hiatus earlier this summer but returned last weekend in a revamped state, one intended to lower its notoriously high barrier to entry. Bungie’s continuing to roll out changes to make the mode more approachable as time has gone on. The latest internal blog post, This Week At Bungie, has community manager Cozmo_BNG detailing how Trials will now feature a “flawless pool.” Starting this afternoon, once you hit a 7–0 record, you’ll be placed in a matchmaking pool with others who hit that record. You will remain in that pool until the game’s weekly reset. That change goes into effect later this afternoon.
What’s more, Bungie will start quietly assisting losing players on the backend. “We are enabling some matchmaking help if someone runs into several blowout matches,” Cozmo_BNG wrote. “This temporary help mechanic clears up once they start winning again, so don’t think someone will cheese a flawless by tanking for a few games and then have a weekend of smooth sailing.”
Bungie did not detail what that help looks like, and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Kotaku.
Last weekend, about 750,000 Destiny 2 players participated in Trials. Of those, roughly a third (237,000) came away with a victory.
Critics fear that the new system could still easily be gamed. For instance, a team could hit six wins, purposefully lose the seventh game, and continue to stomp in the standard matchmaking pool. And those who hit seven subsequent wins but are — let’s put this charitably — decent players, rather than gods on Earth and all the other Destiny 2 planets, would get locked into a matchmaking pool against players of higher skill level. (Those who are “carried” by their team would also find themselves outmatched in skill.)
Curiously, gamers don’t always want skill-based matchmaking. As a Vice report detailed last year, even some of the best first-person shooter players in the world rail against what they perceive to be a system that promotes fairness over fun. Sometimes the godlike players just want to stomp the newbies endlessly, rather than only sometimes. (In reality, most every first-person shooter features skill-based matchmaking, even in the unranked and noncompetitive modes!)
In any case, these new changes to Trials of Osiris are by no means permanent.
“We will be watching both analytics and feedback — and trying to balance fast matches with good matches across the playerbase,” Cozmo_BNG said in a tweet. “Definitely not set in stone forever.”