This Week in Destiny - 11/09/2023

Nov 9, 2023 - Destiny 2 Team

This Week in Destiny, we get back up.

Last week was a tough week. We appreciate all of you who’ve shared your kindness and empathy toward those affected and those at the studio.

We talked a little about Our Path Forward to The Final Shape last week. We will continue to give it our all, and we have confidence that The Final Shape will be an expansion everyone will want to experience. There will be Episodes to follow with more adventures to be had. As tough as these past few weeks have been, we’re as determined as ever to make Destiny 2 the best game it can be for our players.

We’ve got some more topics in this TWID to get to, but also want to thank you for all of the support you continue to show us.

Let's get back to it. 

Topics for this week:

  • Season of the Wish announcement
  • Crucible Strike Team updates
  • Season 23 Ritual weapon preview
  • Weapon pool updates


One Final Wish 

Earlier this week, we watched as many solved the final puzzle of the Imbaru Engine, a treacherous vault deep within Savathûn’s Spire. After obtaining an uncorrupted Ahamkara egg, the Guardian deciphered the information the Witch Queen promised: The pattern in her wings showed us the undiscovered Fifteenth Wish, a means to enter the portal the Witness made into the Traveler.  

This one you shall cherish. Season of the Wish arrives on November 28.  


Crucible Strike Team Update 

Earlier this year, we shared the news of our Crucible Strike Team’s efforts to improve the overall PvP experience. Since then, we’ve shared several updates, including info on spawning changes, matchmaking tweaks, and more. Today, we’re taking a look at new team announcements before exploring Season 23’s changes to the Crucible Playlist experience and the continued goals of this initiative.  

The Road to Season 23 

Crucible Strike Team: Hey everyone, we are here to give you an update on our efforts to update the Crucible experience. Let’s preface by clarifying that these are not all the things that we’re working on, nor are they all that will be shipping with Season 23. That said, these are all features that we feel will have the most significant impact on the overall Crucible experience. 

These features include:  

  • Rewards 
  • Matchmaking 
  • Playlists 
  • Modes 

Our goal is to steer the Crucible experience in a direction that satisfies our most dedicated PvP players. Our updates won’t all be perfect, but we will be iterating. We are actively taking feedback and data from forums, social media, survey results, and analytics to drive our decision-making process. Some changes will be more immediate (e.g., Checkmate tuning), while others will take time to process (e.g., spawning data). Let’s take a few steps back to the October 12 TWID, where we talked about some mid-Season patch changes, including Checkmate, matchmaking, and spawning. These changes went live on October 17. 

To recap: 

  • Checkmate – We reduced Heavy ammo spawn frequency and increased the score to win in Checkmate Control. 
  • Matchmaking – We compressed the skill band, effectively loosening the parameters of skill-based matchmaking for the Control playlist.  
  • Spawning – We made some targeted adjustments to spawn points in Altar of Flame and Cauldron.  

At the time of writing this, we’re still gathering data on the spawning changes, so we won’t be taking any immediate action. But on the topic of Checkmate and matchmaking, we are actively iterating, based on feedback and analytics within the Season.  

  • Checkmate – We just tuned Bows and Hand Cannons (again) in this week’s patch. We wanted to reduce the damage that Bows deal overall and to reduce the damage Hand Cannons deal on body shots, while keeping their optimal time-to-kill as it is now. This will make them far less forgiving when missing headshots than they currently are in Checkmate, giving them a more appropriate risk-reward balance. That should also give other weapons more room to compete. 
  • Matchmaking – While skill compression is functioning as expected (matchmaking times are normalizing as match skill deltas are widening), this is affecting a greater number of lower-skill players than intended. In general, expect some back-and-forth adjustments as we fine-tune the configuration.  

All that said, enough about Season 22. Let’s look further ahead! 

Let’s Talk Playlists 

One of the first things you’ll notice in Season 23 are updates to the Crucible menu. We’re: 

  • Reintroducing a new 3v3 Quickplay node. 
  • Introducing a new 6v6 Quickplay node that consists of 6v6 Party and Relentless. 
  • Rotating Control modes(?!) in a new 6v6 Unranked playlist. 
  • Revising which modes rotate through each node.  

The updated nodes will prioritize different matchmaking elements, integrate varied gameplay rotations, and some will host PvP events like Iron Banner or Trials of Osiris. Here’s how each node functions: 

  • 3v3 Quickplay 
    • Prioritizes connection and latency.  

    • Rotates through weekly modes. 

    • Will start in Season 23 with Elimination and Showdown. 

    • Trials take over this node when active. 

  • 3v3 Ranked 

    • Prioritizes rank for matchmaking, but if rank and skill are widely different, it blends the two. 

    • As an example, an Adept-skill player who is at Platinum rank will be playing with other Platinum-ranked players. 

    • However, if an Adept-skill player is playing down at Silver rank, they may be placed in Gold-rank or low Platinum-rank games. 

    • Affects Competitive Division rank. 

    • Random playlist, including Survival (higher weight) and Countdown Rush (lower weight). 

  • 6v6 Unranked 

    • Prioritizes connection, latency, and skill for (loose skill-based) matchmaking. 

    • Rotates through different variations of Control, including Control, Checkmate Control, Sparrow Control(‽), and Momentum Control. 

    • Iron Banner takes over this node when active. 

  • 6v6 Quickplay 

    • Prioritizes connection and latency. 

    • Rotates through weekly modes. 

    • Consolidates Party and Relentless nodes. 

  • Free for All 

    • Prioritizes connection and latency. 

  • Crucible Labs 

  • Private Lobby 


Regarding the 3v3 ranked (Competitive) node, we decided to simplify it by reducing the number of game modes in the playlist, cycling between one deathmatch mode and one objective mode. As such, Countdown Rush is leaving Labs and entering Competitive as the objective mode, and Survival will be the deathmatch mode for Season 23. 

Meanwhile, the 3v3 Quickplay node will rotate through Elimination and Showdown for Season 23. Rift is sitting on the bench for now but may very well return to the starting lineup in the future. We also plan to look at adding more game types into the 3v3 Quickplay rotator in the future, along with potentially experimenting with testing rulesets and spawn changes for Trials and Competitive maps. 


As mentioned above, the 6v6 Unranked node will rotate through different variations of Control, in addition to the original Control. These variations are simply Control with a modifier. The core mode rules remain the same, while the sandbox is slightly altered.  

By rotating modified Control modes, we’re segueing into a future where we mix and match modes and modifiers and enable players to do the same. This is a long-term goal, and we’ll talk more about this at a later point in time. 

The new 6v6 Quickplay node is a consolidation of the Party and Relentless rotators of the past. This simplifies the number of 6v6 nodes available and maintains parity with the 3v3 nodes. 

Sparrow Control 

One of the rotating Control modes is Sparrow Control. It’s Control, but with Sparrows—the bug become feature! We hope you’ll enjoy it on select weeks of Season 23. Keep an eye out for a unique medal that will only be attainable during those weeks. This mode’s playlist maps will be curated and weighted towards larger maps. 


We plan to make Checkmate Control the primary Control mode for the first few weeks of Season 23. To be transparent, Checkmate has revealed and highlighted a community desire for a refined sandbox in the Crucible. We eventually want to take some of those lessons learned and apply them to the base Crucible experience, not just as a Labs mode. We’re not ready to slap Checkmate onto everything just yet, but we are ready to expose the modifier to a larger audience and gather more feedback and data. 

Some changes and features related to Checkmate in Season 23:  

  •  The ability cooldown penalty has decreased from 50% to 30%.
    • Note: This is based on some tuning changes coming with Season 23. As always, we’ll be monitoring this closely to see how it plays and will adjust accordingly.

  • Crucible Labs will include Checkmate 3v3 Clash and Checkmate 3v3 Countdown Rush.
  • Trials Labs will include Checkmate Dominion.
  • We’ll be making additional mid-Season tuning adjustments based on feedback.


Matchmaking and Skill 

In addition to skill compression, we are making more adjustments to how our matchmaking and skill systems work on the back end. In previous posts, we mentioned a fix for lobby balancing, and at last, the time has come. In Season 23, the lobby balancer should operate more like a snake draft, where Team A gets the first pick, Team B gets the next two picks, then Team A gets two more picks, and so on until there are no players left. Fireteams can sometimes throw off the balance of the lobby, and while this system attempts to resolve that as best as possible, there are edge cases where the balance will not be perfect. We’ll be keeping an eye on this going forward and will look to improve it where we can.

Regarding skill, starting in Season 23, we will be able to tune our confidence rating per playlist. “Confidence” in Glicko-based systems is a way of measuring how sure the system is in a player's demonstrated skill. The more matches a player plays, the more confident the system will be in determining the player’s rating. Sometimes, the system is so confident, it won’t budge, or it takes a lot for it to budge. It just knows how good you are, relative to your peers, based on how you played. But that’s not always true, is it? Sometimes players have off days. Sometimes they want to play off-meta. Sometimes they want to play an alternate class that isn’t their go-to. As such, our plan is to tune this confidence rating, so that skill rating has more variance from match to match. As of now, we are only targeting the Control playlist.

With these matchmaking changes, we hope to allow for a wider range of skill in lobbies, while maintaining match fairness. We also hope players will feel more comfortable playing how they want to play—be it casually, off-meta, or intensely competitive—without feeling like they’re stuck in a particular skill bracket.

Map Spawning 

In the October 12 TWID, we touched on previous spawning changes that were reverted. Back in Season 21, we experimented with certain spawn changes for Clash and Control. While the changes did achieve more variance and unpredictability in the spawn points, it did not prevent players from spawning out of sight of other players or dangerous projectiles, such as Supers. Since then, we’ve begun experimenting with new features for our spawning system. These will hopefully give us that variance and unpredictability, while also avoiding spawn trapping and peeking issues. These features are still in development, but we’ll definitely revisit this topic soon.

In the meantime, let’s talk about changes that are meant for this release and the immediate future. We have some tunings lined up for several maps: Midtown, Meltdown, and Endless Vale. These changes will be more subtle, along the lines of the previously mentioned Altar of Flame and Cauldron changes. While these changes alone are not intended to completely solve spawn trapping issues, they are intended to work in conjunction with a set of changes planned down the line. The goal is to improve the overall experience of spawning players in a safe and less predictable manner.

Let’s Talk Competitive

We’ve made several changes to the Competitive Division, including rank adjustments, promotions, relegations, modes, and mode rules.

Competitive Rank Adjustments

In Season 23, we’re making some changes to how rank points are adjusted post-match. In general, we are simplifying the formula and putting more emphasis on wins and losses. The major points are as follows: 

  • We are removing the performance factor. Wins and losses are what matters.
  • We are removing inflation protection. We will no longer reduce your rank point gains if your rank exceeds your skill. We will retain deflation protection, so if your rank is below your skill, it will still accelerate you upward.

Ultimately, we still expect rank to correlate with skill, but we won’t be so heavy-handed about it. We hope these changes will make point gains and losses feel more consistent. 


Promotions and Relegations

We are removing Promotion and Relegation series requirements for all divisions except Adept and Ascendant. Going forward, you will only need to prove your skill when entering the most elite of ranks (or keeping yourself from dropping out of them). For example, if you are Platinum trying to reach Adept, you will enter a Promotion series. Conversely, if you are Adept dropping down into Platinum, you will be able to defend your place via Relegation series.

In conjunction with the rank adjustment changes, we hope to smooth out the climb to your intended rank, while maintaining some amount of the prestige expected for upper divisions.


Mode Rules 

We briefly discussed the two Competitive modes above: Survival and Countdown Rush. Now let’s go over changes to the rules: 


  • Increased respawn count from 4 to 6. 

Countdown Rush 

  • Points to win have decreased from 6 to 5. 
  • We decreased the round time from 120 seconds to 90 seconds. (The time is refreshed with the second bomb.) 
  • Due to the round time decrease, we also decreased the Heavy ammo spawn time from 90 seconds to 60 seconds. 
  • Respawns and revives are enabled and unlimited. 
  • If a game goes to 4-4, the final round will have the Elimination rule set enabled. This will show up as Sudden Death. 

In general, we made these changes to normalize the pacing and match times across the two modes.  

Let’s Talk Trials of Osiris Rewards 

In Season 23, we’re going to be making a small change to Trials rewards, in preparation for some larger changes coming alongside The Final Shape. (We’ll have more details to share on those later.) In the meantime, we’re going to be adding a set of small weekly rewards that trigger depending on how many wins you get in a row before your card becomes flawed. There will be one each for 3, 4, 5, and 6 wins on a card, and if you get to a higher win total first, you’ll get all the tiers below it, too! These rewards will be granted in the post-game loot stream when your card becomes flawed, and they are currently set up to grant: 

  • 3 wins – Trials armor 
  • 4 wins – 5 Enhancement Cores 
  • 5 wins – Trials weapon 
  • 6 wins – 3 Enhancement Prisms 

These rewards are only the first step in our journey to make Trials a more rewarding experience for those who cannot go Flawless consistently.

We also just increased the drop rate of Adept weapons on 7-win cards after Flawless, back up to the level it was when the Flawless pool existed.

In addition to those reward changes, we’re also going to be running a weekend of Trials Labs where the Checkmate modifier will be active in the playlist. We look forward to seeing how this shakes out in a more competitive setting than just the standard Crucible Labs.  


We’ll Keep You in Arcite’s (Keepsakes) 

When we introduced unique weapons for Competitive rewards, we were keen to make sure that folks had very cool, powerful, and ultimately attainable weapons for competitive play, right out of the box. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what we got, with Rose and Mercurial Overreach both showing up among the top ten weapons used in Trials across many weekends these last few Seasons. However, there’s a pretty clear elephant in the room… Anyone who wasn’t there for those two initial Seasons doesn’t have access to some of the most reliable guns in the sandbox, once those weapons have gone away. Enter Competitive Focusing.

This focusing system breaks some new ground for us. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t lose the identity of these weapons as being part of the Crucible and, most importantly, as a reward for climbing the Competitive ladder. It also stood to reason that, if folks were going to earn these weapons, we’d want them to be active in the Competitive scene the same way players earn focused rewards from other modes, like Iron Banner, Nightfalls, or Trials. We considered the possibility of another Cipher or using a different currency that tied into the identity of these weapons, such as Ascendant Alloys. Ultimately, we decided that, since these rewards were for testing yourself against tough opponents and working your way up the ladder, participating in Competitive should be the key to earning them. 

Starting in Season 23, all retired Competitive rewards will be available to focus from Shaxx’s Legacy Crucible focusing menu! However, it’s not as simple as having the engrams on hand. Shaxx expects you to test your mettle, too. You will only be able to focus them once you have completed your placement matches. Unlike other focusing options, you will be limited to a number of weekly focuses based on the highest rank you have achieved so far this Season. 


Weekly Focuses 









This cap on how many you may focus can be changed mid-week, but only if you rank up. Every week, to keep focusing you’re also going to have to finish your weekly matches. Don’t worry though; we won’t ever decrease the number of weekly focuses you get during a single Season. The max rank you earn will always be what we count against, so if you have a rough week or an unlucky streak, you won’t be punished at the prize counter. 

Last but not least, the price: These weapons are intended to be some of the most reliable weapons for Crucible play available, and as such, we consider their value to players similar to Adept weapons. Since Guardians are already committing themselves to regular engagement in Competitive play, the going rate for focusing these weapons will be 3 Crucible engrams and 25,000 Glimmer. As always, we are going to continue monitoring and adjusting the drop rates of materials and engrams to ensure that players at all levels can reasonably spend their Competitive focusing uses. Now, get out there and make Shaxx proud! 

More to Come 

As mentioned above, this isn’t everything we’re shipping in Season 23 and beyond. There’s of course Iron Banner Tribute, Relic mode revisions, and the reprisal of the Dreaming City Crucible map, The Citadel. We’re looking forward to sharing additional updates in the future, including increases in ritual activity post-match rewards. (More Glimmer and Enhancement Cores!) There’s a lot happening, and there’s plenty more we want to do. So, please pardon our dust as we continue improving upon the Crucible experience. 


Ritual Weapon Preview 

Season 23 is just around the corner, and it’s time to show off what new ritual weapon will arrive on November 28. Let’s cut to the chase: We're bringing a Sword.  

Chivalric Fire will be the first Void Caster Sword. It can roll the Void perk combo of Repulsor Brace and Destabilizing Rounds, which will give high uptime on Void overshields. 

It also has Attrition Orbs, which is a new perk in Season 23. 

  • Attrition Orbs: Dealing sustained damage creates an Orb of Power. 

Of course, this combos perfectly with Relentless Strikes.  

As always, you can take your pick on how you earn it, choosing between Vanguard, Crucible, or Gambit. Each path will also unlock a special ornament for the weapon, themed by ritual.  

In addition to adding the new ritual weapon, we have some other changes to the weapon pools in Season 23. Here is a look at what's coming in and what’s moving on: 

  • Trials 
    • Leaving – The Immortal Submachine Gun and Astral Horizon Shotgun 

    • New – Incisor Strand Adaptive Trace Rifle 

    • Returning – Eye of Sol Kinetic Adaptive Sniper Rifle (Cassoid foundry) 

  • Iron Banner 

    • Leaving – Dark Decider Auto Rifle and Gunnora’s Axe Slug Shotgun 

    • New – Lethal Abundance Strand High Impact Auto Rifle 

    • Returning – Riiswalker Kinetic Lightweight Shotgun 

  • Nightfall 

    • Leaving – Buzzard Sidearm and fan favorite THE SWARM Machine Gun 

    • New – Undercurrent (Arc Wave Frame Breech-Loaded Grenade Launcher) 

    • Returning – Uzume RR4 Arc Adaptive Sniper Rifle 


See You Next Year, Festival of the Lost 

Festival of the Lost is officially over, but we didn't want to miss the opportunity to show off a few more of your amazing creations. Thank you, all, for your contributions and for always finding some way to honor Destiny 2's spooky event.  

A different type of Headless One, by Jona via Twitter/X

Doomed, by Falluz via Twitter/X 

Ye Olde Sweeper Bot, by samhill via Twitter/X 

This Ghost is totally fine, don't worry, by Blue0nSwitch via Twitter/X 

Nezarec, Final Pumpkin of Pain, by Franatic via Twitter/X 

Guardian filled pumpkin, by eclipsaa21 via Instagram 


The statements expressed in the previous PSR regarding candy corn do not represent the official stance and opinions of the Player Support Team as a whole. 

Known Issues List  |  Help Forums  |  Bungie Help Twitter


Beginning November 5, 2023, in the United States, Destiny 2’s daily and weekly reset time updated to 9 AM PST (1700 UTC or UTC -8). For more information on ritual resets, please see our Ritual Reset Guide. 


While we continue investigating various known issues, here is a list of the latest issues that were reported to us in our #Help forum: 

  • When inspecting Veist Auto Rifles, the weapons will rotate around the incorrect point. 
  • Players can sometimes get blocked from progressing in the Crota’s End raid, requiring them to return to orbit. 
  • The Mindbender’s Ambition Shotgun no longer glows when dealing damage to enemies. 
  • High volumes of multi-kills can result in BIRD errors. 


For a full list of emergent issues in Destiny 2, players can review our Known Issues article. Players who observe other issues should report them to our #Help forum


Disciple Hunting 

Rhulk is a very menacing looking fellow, possibly because he never skipped leg day in the gym.  


The Horrors Beneath 

That poor Ghost is not aware of the dangers that inhabit Savathûn's Throne World. Zoom on the picture because there's a lot of amazing details there.  

Art of the Week: ‘Light beneath the water’, by Kullen via Twitter/X

Next week, the final Iron Banner of this season is going live. So prepare for the arrival of Lord Saladin Forge in the Tower, as he will be overseeing Iron Banner: Control.

As we said in the opening, it’s been a tough time for this community. As a team, we’re going to continue delivering regular and transparent updates about the game as we continue to build it. That won’t change. Again, thank you to everyone for your support and understanding.

See you next Thursday, 

Destiny 2 Team 

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