Trials has long been a controversial game mode, both in the original Destiny and currently in Destiny 2. Most players despise it and refuse to play, leaving the mode to only the sweatiest PvP folk. Last weekend, however, a carrot was dangled in front of the Destiny 2 player base in the form of a nice Pulse Rifle. Rather than play Trials properly, however, most Guardians simply jumped off a cliff to get their 10 losses and claim their participation prize, myself included.
For those unaware, Trials is a competitive PvP activity that is designed to reward the highest skilled players for going on a flawless run of seven consecutive wins. However, most players are never going flawless in Trials, so Bungie had to offer loot to PvP cannon fodder like myself in order to give the elite something to shoot at. Unfortunately, table scraps from Trials pros aren’t typically enough to pull players into an experience that can only be described as gross for most.
According to Destiny Trials Report, the activity has been hovering around 100,000 players per week across all platforms for several weeks. In September of last year that number was closer to 150,000 players per week. Last weekend, however, more than 300,000 players played Trials. There were two reasons for this, neither of which involved the game mode getting any better.
The reward for racking up 10 losses – or three wins – in Trials last weekend was The Messenger, a highly regarded Legendary Pulse Rifle with the potential for some killer rolls. Players wanted it, and it didn’t take them long to figure out how to get it without enduring the soul-sucking experience that is Trials for a few hours. They simply jumped off a cliff to their death immediately upon spawning into the map. My team and I burned through a game of Trials in about three minutes simply by jumping off the map as soon as we spawned in. About 30 minutes later, that sweet gun was ours.
What does it say about a game mode when players would rather spend 30 minutes jumping to their deaths than playing the activity? Aren’t these activities supposed to be fun? Are they only supposed to be fun for the elite players in the community? No, that isn’t a position Bungie would take, except that by offering only a fraction of the player base elite loot that’s exactly what they’ve inadvertently done. Trials gear is some of the most sought after in the game, and while you can earn some by racking up wins but falling short of flawless, most Guardians will never reach that level, no matter how much they practice.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all about rewarding players for going flawless, but maybe dial it down a little. I recall seeing players wearing an emblem they’d earned by going solo-flawless in the Prophecy Dungeon and working on my own build to attempt it. That was all it took; a cosmetic. Make the Trials armor and weapons available to anyone who plays enough, regardless of their skill. Reserve items such as emblems, emotes, ornaments, and titles for those who go flawless. Offer players like myself meaningful loot just for spending an hour in there and doing our best, and the number of players in Trials will swell.
I want to play Trials, but I’m not about to get my space teeth kicked in for an hour every week just for a chance at a decent roll of a gun that doesn’t matter in PvE. My playing time will be spent in activities that will give me the best loot I can reasonably earn based on my skill because I need it. The best of the best don’t need exclusive access to top-tier loot; they’re already the best. They need bragging rights, not a gear advantage over those that already struggle to compete with them.
It will be interesting to see where Bungie takes Trials from here. They may not say so publicly, but I hope internally they realize what huge pain point it is to the bulk of their players. Until they do, you can expect the Trials population to fluctuate depending on how many base jumpers want a shiny new gun.
Bill Lavoy posted a new article, Destiny 2 players would rather jump off a cliff than play Trials
I have never understood how a company that made Halo could make a game that sucked so bad. The first Destiny was a grindfest and boring. Didn't bother with Destiny 2.
Obviously our opinions are subjective, but the game doesn't suck. The gun play, visuals, movement, and lore are all fantastic. There are countless amazing things in that game. As evident from my article, there are some very questionable decisions, but overall it's a great game – if you're into it, obviously – that could be even better, in my opinion.
Made an account just so I could comment here for the first time ever.
I am sad that I missed this. I would love an opportunity again to jump off a cliff to get a gun, regardless of what it's best for.
Here are the reasons why:
1. I have played Trials a few times, if it's not cheaters, it's absolute straight killers, nobody does Trials for fun or just for laughs. Its a lifestyle.
2. There is no skill-based match-making that I am aware of; the system is not a system. Call of Duty has a better system. SICK BURN @Bungo
3. If there was any way to give a passive-aggressive finger to all those Trials try-hards, let's do it, AS A COMMUNITY.
Call to action:
Everyone who reads this, next weekend and every weekend, que up for trials and kill yourself repeatedly to get that 10 loss streak going. Record it, stream it and upload it to Bungo who will do absolutely nothing because they will think activity = big success.
PS I love Destiny 2 and its gameplay, I just hate its story, pvp and pve content. But hey, no monthly subscription yet!