Destiny’s Bizzarre PvP Anomalies

I spoke with a friend of mine and discussed the anomalies of Destinys PvP, most of which might be ignored or outright unknown to the larger community. I wanted to share some of our thoughts online in hopes to find others that might be encountering similar annoyances.

I’ve played too many online FPS titles for well over ten years. I pride myself in knowing I’m really good at them. I say that with pride and without ego. There have been many times where in casual settings I’ve taken on sponsored Counter-Strike clans and “MLG” professionals in Halo. With utmost confidence, I say I never lost. Please understand, nothing was at stake, so in theory players could have gone much easier on me than anticipated. No matter the reason, I’ve had wonderful lan cafe records and even incredibly decent records in online games.

There are some games I’m not good at. For example, I don’t think I’m built for the Metal Gear Solid franchise. I think in concept it’s great, but I don’t find the most recent addition at all fun, and it’s probably because I cannot master stealth mechanics in open greenery or sands. Some people I know can finish missions in mere minutes. I don’t consider myself good at those missions, and I gladly accept that. It took me long periods of time to properly complete some of Batman: Arkham Knights most challenging action sequences. I wasn’t great at those missions, but I had fun doing them. When it comes to online first-person-shooters though, I’m pretty darn good!

I’m good at Destiny. I play casually. I’ve got all the legendary items and exotics I need. I have enough gear for multiple specs. I can spec for PvE and PvP respectfully, but I keep encountering the most bizarre issues in PvP.

My Destiny KDR is awful. I’ve never had such a poor KDR. My win/loss rate is mediocre. I’m not bad at the game, I assure you. I land almost all shots fired and I am destructive in both close quarters and long-range combat. My records say otherwise. If you can relate, you’ll probably want to keep reading why this might be happening to us. If not, I understand. You probably think this is a whiny self-indulgent rant, but I swear, it’s not. I’m not mad or even upset. I actually laughed at this situation.

Here’s what’s been happening in my matches that give me crazy bad results.

  • In almost every crucible match, there is one player that isn’t doing anything. Remember the days when Red vs Blue poked fun at internet gamers who point their cursor at the sky and spin around? Well in my personal experience, I’ve seen things incredibly close in similarity, and on both sides of the aisle. Usually, on my team’s side of the crucible, there is one clown who is standing there, doing absolutely nothing. I thought Bungie implemented a system to boot players like that, but clearly it isn’t in full swing if such code exists. Because of this weird habitual behavior of ghost players, I end up losing matches left and right having “one man down.” Before you cast shame and doubt on me, please realize I do leave the group at the end (I lose with dignity) in attempt to find more respectful gamers. It doesn’t work. There are always ghost players.
  • People don’t use voice chat. I don’t know why. Every console packs one communication device. Whenever I play with companions that have voice enabled, we’re able to strategically plan our attacks and win. That’s rare though. Most times I’m not playing PvP with buddies and have to rely on randos running away from each other who constantly perish. This is all the while one person is standing still.
  • My animations won’t complete on time and it confuses me. I know I already said that it doesn’t make me mad that I lose at ton, but it does make me upset when an animation does not complete. I can’t even replicate it for others, but I see it happen, and it’s odd. Imagine triggering a grenade toss, but the grenade doesn’t throw because your guardian doesn’t feel like completing the pitch. It’s like the guardian grew lazy.  The guardian you’re supposed to keep safe dies. Now before readers claim otherwise, I’ve seen it happen to others and I’ve heard friends scream bloody murder when their animations result in incompletion. It might be such a rare thing that no one cares, but it does take a toll on people. It shouldn’t happen at all.
  • Spawn killing is when you spawn, and you’re shot dead. More than ever I’ve noticed how bad it’s become. By some miracle, I’ll be on the side of a winning team. The one player came back, someone is corralling the players together using voice communications, and every animation goes through full motion. But it’s a sham; the game’s bogus. As the team confronts the enemy, occasionally I’ll be picked off, which is understandable. Sometimes someone’s guardian needs to die, and sometimes that guardian is mine. No problem at all. I patiently wait and return to the game, although a message on the bottom left hand corner demands I wait for a better spawn locale. The wait isn’t awful, and I reanimate, hovering above the ground for a moment. When my feet touch the floor, I hear a rush of bullets whizzing past. I think I have spawn protection so nothing happens for the first millisecond, but that doesn’t last. When the white flashes halt, I momentarily see two to three (never one) opposing guardians standing right in front of me, unloading their arsenal into my guardian’s face. Rinse. Repeat. Bungie’s spawn points need improvements. As someone who has played thousands of joint Halo matches, I’ve seen graveyard camping all too much. It was as simple as playing the game a little too much and memorizing every possible point of contact to gain an impossible amount of kills.
  • Lag kills. I play on a wired fiber optic network. I download and upload things quickly. No other game or service lags in my residence. I wonder if some matches switch to p2p networking unbeknownst to the rest of us. A few times a week I’ll creep up on a guardian that doesn’t know what’s coming. I melee them once or twice, which normally ends up in quick and easy points. While their eyes are glued to a scope, I’ll swing, swing, and swing, making sure to land each hit. The screen moves, the controller shakes, and the sound effects splash across my speakers, but no points pop and the enemy stands. In my most recent backstabbing venture, the guardian turned around after the sixth hit (no exaggeration) and started to duke it out with me. During the entanglement, the opposition was vanishing and appearing behind me. After around twenty smashes, the opponent fell. I was the lucky one that time.

People who aren’t actually playing, lack of communication, glitches, spawn killing and lag make the Destiny competitive sport laughable. It’s imperfect, but it does have me coming back for more. I don’t disagree that people have extraordinary records. Some of us, like myself, meet weirder situations than others. I’ll continue to take the game with a grain of salt and have a less serious attitude toward a meaningless record. It is meaningless, right?

See you in the crucible, guardian.


Walter Winchester