As though Bungie couldn’t just take the victory lap that was the new Iron Banner mode Eruption, they’ve made another Destiny PvP misstep with the release of Hotfix 22.214.171.124.
After yesterday’s patch, players found that a few changes had been left out of the patch notes. The initial reports of the Titan Exotic Helm, Loreley Splendor, reducing its healing capabilities literally by half was first spotted moments after the patch went live. Dmg04, Bungie’s Senior Community Manager, took to Twitter to respond to the reports, sharing that the patch note was missed due to a second patch coming later this week and shifting schedules. Hey – no harm, no foul.
What also seems to have been missed in the patch notes has the Destiny PvP community up in arms again: Quitting penalties. By themselves, quitting penalties are actually welcome in just about any online game’s competitive modes, especially those with no join-in-progress. Quitting in these modes nearly guarantees a team will lose the match should their teammates have to log off to take out the trash, do the dishes, or whatever else life might present. These penalties have existed in Destiny 2 for quite some time in modes like Survival, Destiny 2’s main-stay competitive offering.
Unfortunately, this is now being applied to Destiny’s most popular mode, Control. Right now, players are receiving warnings and lockouts if they leave too many games of Control. This is surprising given the mode’s classification and history of being the game’s casual offering, even being separated by classification as Quickplay, rather than Competitive, down to the type of reputation gained from playing matches, regardless of wins or losses. Interestingly, Bungie did mention in the TWAB back on the first of the month that they had intended to talk about adding quitter protection in a future blog post, but it looks like the game managed to beat them to it.
Recently, Bungie caught some grief over their implementation of the controversial Skill-Based-Matchmaking (SBMM) in the Control playlist. Much of the game’s more casual players welcomed the change. The slightly more hardcore audience, however, aren’t nearly as happy. PvP diehards who always found Control to be the go-to playlist to cool off after a night of grinding, testing loadouts, and other shenanigan are now understandably complaining about higher matchmaking times, worse connections, and feeling like they have to try just as hard as they do in Survival or Trials of Osiris, the game’s weekend-only endgame PvP playlist. Worse than these issues, the game has also seen a strong uptick in players leaving matches early when it becomes apparent early on that they’re going to lose, so it doesn’t feel like too much of a reach to imagine why Bungie would do something like this. But, based on player feedback, it’s obvious this wasn’t how the community wanted to see it happen.
Bungie let the community know that yesterday’s patch is not the only one planned: Hotfix 126.96.36.199 is scheduled for tomorrow and hopefully we’ll get some coverage about this change in tomorrow’s TWAB.
It seems likely that this will eventually be reverted as part of Bungie’s on-going commitment to experiment with the PvP side of Destiny in response to fans being frustrated by a lack of content in the last few years. SBMM was the first of these experiments, and they’ve already loosened the lead a bit on it to improve player experiences, so there’s always a chance we see some similar adjustments with the new quitting penalties.