Month: October 2014

Destiny’s Crucible: Adapt, Practice or Die

The Traveler via Tumblr

In case you were wondering, yes, I am playing Destiny (a lot) and have ignored my blog for too long. Destiny is a very addicting game with a strong emphasis on the long term gaming realm that I am not used to. While I would love to review Destiny’s massive array of content, I want to focus on the Crucible instead.

The Crucible is Destiny’s Player-vs-Player (PVP) game mode where you and a team of 3 or 6 compete in different gametypes against one another. You unlock the Crucible once you reach level 5. It is not mandatory to play, but one major reason why you should consider participating in the Crucible is for Crucible Marks and Reputation, which can help you purchase better weapons and armor.

Currently, I have played four different gametypes: Clash, Control, Salvage and Skirmish. Clash is your regular team deathmatch where the team with the most kills wins. Control pits two teams of six against each other and the objective is to take control of three capture points. The longer you hold the capture points, the closer your team gets to winning; the first to 20,000 points wins. Salvage is similar to Control where you capture points, or relics in this case, but it is 3v3 and you can revive fallen comrades. If you are not revived, you can respawn after a longer timelimit. Finally, Skirmish is basically a 3v3 team deathmatch in which you can revive fallen comrades. However, if you do not get revived, you must wait 5 seconds until you can revive manually. There are two more gametypes with various maps you can play on, but I have not touched them and will not talk about them in this post.

Note: My current stats are below. I have accumulated nearly 7 and a half hours into the Crucible. That may not seem like much, but I believe the allotted time is sufficient.

My Crucible Stats

My Crucible Stats

Now that the basics are out of the way, I want to focus on three valuable lessons you must learn when participating in the Crucible: Adapt, Practice and Death. It would be too easy to relay tips on how to play in Destiny’s Crucible. Instead, you need to understand there is more than learning how to play after an individual. My three lessons will teach you how to create your own playstyle in the Crucible.

Learn to Adapt

Destiny was created by Bungie, which in turn made the magnificent series called Halo. Halo’s PVP is one of the best I have played in my gaming career. Halo is well balanced, but it did not happen overnight; weapons needed tinkering, glitches needed fixing, so on and so forth.

Many people are comparing Destiny’s PVP to Halo’s. While I can see similarities, I want you to know that Destiny is balanced, very similarly how Halo was balanced in the beginning. Destiny is already releasing patches that are balancing the weapons and powers, but even without those, the game is well-balanced. This brings me to the first lesson: you have to adapt to the players and environment around you to succeed in the Crucible. Trust me, a person playing at level 5 can destroy s level 20-something player by adapting.

The second match I played in the Crucible sparked my interest with Destiny’s PVP. I was level 6 or 7 at the time and finished the match with 16 kills and a 1.45 kill/death ratio. In the gif below, you can see how easy it is to take on higher level opponents when adapting to your weapon and environment.

2nd Match 3 Kills

My Second Match with 3 Easy Kills

Once you reach level 5, you have three weapons at minimum: your primary weapon (scout rifle, hand cannon, fusion rifle, or auto rifle), grenades and a super ability. I will touch briefly on the differences between classes, but not too much since I have not played as Hunter or Titan enough to fully understand them. Remember those three weapons because you can compete with the best.

Weapon Stats

When playing in the Crucible where level advantage is turned off, everyones weapon has the same stats to an extent. For example, the damage is all the same among each player. What does matter the impact a weapon may have and the upgraded stats that come with the weapon. The only modifiers that do carry over is your weapon upgrades such as faster reloading, more ammo carried, etc.

Red Death Stats via Video Games Blogger

One thing to point out is that weapons with a faster fire rate tend to do less damage, while slower fire rate tend to do more. That is one way Bungie has balanced the weapons in Destiny. I prefer faster guns because the more bullets I can land, the shorter lifespan my enemy has. For example, a Scout Rifle can take you down in two or three headshots, while a Pulse Rifle may take nine or twelve rounds (which is roughly three or four shots since three-shot burst).

The Auto and Pulse Rifle

When it comes to primary guns, the Auto and Pulse Rifle are by far the easiest to adapt to. The Auto Rifle is like any other automatic gun. Keep this in mind: the more stable the gun, the easier it is to get more headshots on the enemy. I like to use a Pulse Rifle more, but I do have a backup Auto Rifle just in case.

If you played Halo, the Pulse Rifle will feel just like the DMR with better stats (depending on the weapon you find/buy). The three-shot burst makes it easy to get headshots and this weapon is great from long range. If you find a Pulse Rifle like mine below, the fire rate makes the rifle act like an Auto Rifle in some aspects.

Pick Your Poison by Softpedia

These two primary weapons are simple to get used to. If you have a ton of enemies coming at you, the Auto Rifle may be best. For game types on smaller maps, the Auto Rifle is your best friend. For longer range maps, the Pulse Rifle could be your best bet. It all depends on how well you adapt to the environments and your ability to aim a weapon.

Secondary Can Be Mandatory

Your secondary weapons are the Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, and Fusion Rifle. Each weapon is much stronger than your primary, but are a little harder to use. They also require green ammo when playing in the Crucible, which spawns regularly so it never feels like you will run out.

Out of the three secondary weapons, the two easiest to use are the Shotgun and Fusion Rifle. However, there is a time to use the Sniper Rifle as well. You can easily adapt to the Shotgun and Fusion Rifle on smaller maps, while larger maps may require the Sniper Rifle. I prefer to use the Fusion and Sniper Rifle because I am terrible at the Shotgun. There are three combos I want to touch on that can be easy to use: the shotty combo, fusion spray and sniping sniper.

Shotty Combo

Nice Shot…Gun! via XPress

If you play in the Crucible, you will see this combination a lot. People will shoot first and melee as fast as possible. This is undoubtedly, the most frustrating thing I see in the Crucible. If you want to use it, by all means get yelled at by a bystander you will not listen to anyway. However, if you are like me and want to avoid this happening to you, try one of these simple methods:

  1. Shoot first, dodge and melee. If you can get their shield completely down, a melee hit will kill them.
  2. Shoot from long distances. Never stop shooting whatever weapon you own since it will make them move slower. Remember not to follow them because they are trying to set you up for failure.
  3. Run. Simple as that, just run away.

Fusion Spray

Another frustration with Destiny is their Fusion Rifles. This weapon is usually a one-hit, instant kill. In reality, each shot consists of multiple bullets and the charge rate is different for every gun. The faster the charge rate, the better chance one has to kill their enemy. One method to this weapon is to constantly keep a soft hold on the trigger. You can charge a little, then let go, but it gives you an upper hand if an enemy pops up from behind a corner. If you miss them, there is a good chance you will die. I have not seen a charge rate fast enough to get two shots off before an enemy hits you at least three or four times.

If your opponent is using one, make sure you try and dodge it. Reason being that if one or two of the bullets miss you, you have a chance to counter. Dodge by moving around as much as possible and close-in on your enemy. You will have a chance to melee twice before they get the second shot off.

Sniping Sniper

Incredible Sniping via NeoGaf

Depending on the environment, the Sniper Rifle can be your best friend (you can substitute the Scout or Pulse Rifle for the Sniper Rifle, so bare that in mind). I try not to use the Sniper Rifle unless I am playing on larger maps. When you are aiming down the scope, you lose your hud which reveals enemy positions. Try to only aim whenever you spot someone. If you are in a sniping duel with an enemy, do your best to move around. They may be standing still and in a good position, but find cover; take pop-shots at the head to finish him off.

The Super is Your Friend

The Super ability is not a crutch, but a very unique weapon that can turn the game around. Your ability must recharge after each use. You can do that by picking up random orbs of light from other teammates using their Super ability, killing enemies, or increasing your intellect through your armor stats. Once your super is charged, use it and make sure it hits. I find that the more offensive Super abilities work best in the Crucible, but I recommend trying each one to see what works best for you and your team.

Remember, try not to set up the kills for your Super ability since that can be a waste of time. You will be able to use your Super at least twice, so use them wisely. The best times I find when using one is when I am in a tight situation. For example, my Warlock can clear out an entire room with his Super ability. As you can see from the video below, using my super was quintessential for my survival.

Each class in Destiny has two different Super abilities. The three that are easiest to use is the Hunter’s Arc Blade, the Warlock’s Nova Bomb and the Titan’s Fist of Havoc. Those three super abilities can be tweaked with higher levels, but you do not need them to be fully maxed out to destroy your enemies.

The Bladedancer via NeoGaf

The Hunter’s Bladedancer increases your speed so you can cut down enemies quickly. It throws you into a third person point-of-view that helps you find enemies running around Be careful though since this Super ability can be countered very easily. If someone is far enough away, they can shoot you down with ease. The Arc Blade is best used in close quarters, especially in Control matches.

Warlock’s Nova Bomb via Finlay’s Blog

The Warlock’s Nova Bomb is a massive blast that can wipe your enemies from existence. If they are grouped together, throw the Nova Bomb and watch them all perish. Since this ability arches in the air, it is best to aim with caution. The further you want the bomb to go, make sure you aim a little higher to reach its destination (unless you upgrade your skill to go in a straight line). The bomb works great in every type of matchmaking.

Titan’s Fist of Havoc via NeoGaf

The Titan’s Fist of Havoc is similar to the Nova Bomb. It creates a massive blast area and destroys all the surrounding enemies within its blast radius. The key difference is that you jump very high into the air and once you land, your Super ability creates a large lightning storm. The best part about this Super ability is that it stays active even when it is done. Lightning bolts will shoot from the ground still causing damage to everyone that is around it. The Fist of Havoc is great in any matchmaking situation.

Practice Makes Better

If you choose not to adapt to the Crucible, the next best thing to do is practice. As I stated earlier, a higher level opponent is no powerful than you, unless you practice and form your own strategies.

Note: Not all these strategies will work, but if you practice, you can develop your own. I am not a professional in the Crucible. My stats may not look exceptional, but I am better than the average player. In all seriousness, I observe my tendencies as well as my teammates when participating in the Crucible to form these strategies.

Precision is Key

One of the most difficult primary weapons to use in the Crucible is the Hand Cannon, which is why I did not mention it during my primary weapon discussion from before. The Hand Cannon is not easy to adapt to, but if you practice with it, you can develop into a deadly gunslinger.

The Hand Cannon requires a precision shot to work effectively; aka aim for the head no matter what. This primary weapon can be one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal because of its huge impact stat. Also, if your Hand Cannon has a larger magazine and faster reload, this weapon can be monstrous against any opponent.

It takes a lot practice to fully handle the powerful Hand Cannon; it is not easy to aim this beast of a gun. If you miss your first shot, there is a good chance you will die by your third. Usually, two shot will destroy the shield surrounding your enemies. After that, you need one headshot to finish them off. Practice, practice, practice if you want to see better results in the Crucible with this gun. It is also worth noting that if you use the Hunter’s Golden Gun Super ability with the Hand Cannon, it is one-shot instant kill even with a shield in the way. This combo does not require complete precision, but make sure you do not miss body shots at the very least.

Grenade Out

Every character comes equip with three unique grenades that can be super effective once you figure out the timing. I do not learn toward one grenade over the others, but I make sure to know their full potential. If you see a gathering of enemies, instead of jumping out from cover in a blaze of glory, plan your attack. Throw a grenade close to their feet and lure them to another spot. This will create havoc among them and they start to spread out; now they are easier targets.

On a positive note, grenades are easy to practice with. Do not throw one when you see one red meter show up on your hud, make accurate throws that will disrupt your opponent. Plus, grenades can work like the shotty combo I described earlier. Throw a grenade at an enemy, run in and melee them quickly; it is that simple. You may take some damage, but there is a higher chance of getting a kill than death.

All I Do Is Glide

One unique feature in Crucible the jumping mechanics. Depending on what class you are, you will be able to jump or glide. I want to focus on gliding right now. Gliding may seem like a way to move around the map or jump over rocks, but there is more to it; this skill takes a lot of practice to master. I still find myself jumping around like an idiot, dodging bullets and waiting for my teammates to arrive to help me. However, doing this will distract the enemy since they are focused only on you. Take quick shots at enemies or melee until your team arrives. The higher your level, the better gliding techniques you will have as your disposal (such as faster or longer flight), but you can still pull off most of these maneuvers at lower levels with practice.

Also, in case you did not know, short bursts with the glide technique can help you move around the map quickly. Instead of running all the time, tap the jump button twice and let go of the glide immediately. This technique is very easy to do and it can help you out of binds. For example, you see three enemies at a control point. They are about to capture it, but you have your Super ability ready to take them out. The point will be captured before you get there if you run on foot, but if you do the glide technique, you will make it with a second to spare.

Death By… What The…?

You will die a lot during the Crucible. One thing I like about Destiny is the fact that you cannot view your Kill/Death ratio anywhere in the game. Instead, you have to use the companion app on the iPhone and Android phones, or look them up on the computer. This was a great idea by Bungie since individual stats are not that important in the Crucible. Sure, it feels good having a positive Kill/Death ratio, but the chance for a weapon drop after every Crucible match is what you should look forward to and the experience that comes with it.

Perfect Use of the Golden Gun via Reddit

Try not to get frustrated each time you die. You will be able to get your revenge through possibly another strategy or by practicing. It is important to note that I prefer having a fireteam of at least 3 when competing in the Crucible. Knowing that at least two people will have your back makes me feel more comfortable. If you do not adapt or practice, you will die a lot. This third lesson is harsh, but must be realized: the Crucible is not easy. It is very well balanced, but if you do not research your weapons and skills, you will never win in the Crucible.

Recommendation

I recommend practicing by yourself, and adapting when you are a with friends. Reason being that you sharpen your skills when your alone but still help out the team when you can. When your friends come along, adapt to the environment and their strategies. If someone is running a Super ability that creates a shield, maybe choose a different Super ability that will clear out a room. There are many techniques, strategies, statistics, maps, and other unique things about the Crucible, and if you adapt and practice, you will find out that the Crucible is one of the best parts about Destiny.

Believe In Your Ghost via Kotaku