As announced in the Destiny 2 Showcase, we have some changes planned for Trials of Osiris. Mode changes, matchmaking tuning, and more.
If you’re a Trials novice, here’s a quick breakdown on what to expect on September 10, 2021:
- We want to make Trials more accessible, no matter your skill level or fireteam size.
- We want to make Trials more rewarding, whether you’re winning matches or earning reputation with Saint-14.
- We want to make Trials more engaging, testing out changes to Elimination and reintroducing Labs to Destiny 2.
If that’s all you needed to hear, great! Check back in a few weeks for the full suite of patch notes. Below you’ll find some in-depth walkthroughs of our goals and the changes we’re making to achieve them. Today, Rituals Lead Alan Blaine is in the hot seat.
Hey everyone! This is Alan Blaine, the Rituals Lead, and I'd like to talk with you about Trials of Osiris. Trials has a few issues that we’d like to address, each somewhat interlinked. Population, rewards, and matchmaking.
We believe Trials of Osiris plays best, for everyone, when it has a large and diverse population of players, who are all chasing rewards and competition for wide variety of reasons. Too often, Trials has just two populations: the Flawless-or-bust crew, or folks who just want to get the three-win reward for the weekend and get out. While we support both of those mindsets, having a majority of players falling into just two camps is not healthy for Trials. With that in mind, we are undertaking a series of targeted changes to help support more players with more in-game goals. Some of the changes are subtle, some are quite large, some have been suggested by the playerbase, and some might be a surprise.
Before we dig in, let’s outline a few of our development goals:
- Get more people:
- Doing something besides ‘Flawless or Bust’ and resetting their card once they take a loss
- Feeling like they can win more often
- Feeling like the rewards are on-par with other, similar activities in the game
- Embracing movement, conflict, and resolution during a match
First and foremost, Trials will be taking a short hiatus at the beginning of Season 15. In our goals of maintaining a healthy population, we’d like to remove issues where players are torn between multiple PvP or endgame goals for a given weekend. So, we’re making the following changes for all our future Seasons starting in Season 15:
- No Trials in Week 1, or before Raid World First.
- Week 1 should be about exploring new content, features, and tunings, as well as finding and using the new weapons and Exotics.
- No Trials during Iron Banner.
- Overlapping limited-time PvP events aren't good for the health of either game mode.
Trials of Osiris will return on September 10, 2021
Now, let’s dig into changes to the overall mode and its reward structure.
We’re making some changes to provide broad access to more players. While Trials is a highly competitive PvP environment, the bar to enter feels far too high.
- Reduced the requirements for the Trials Access quest to use lifetime Valor ranks and kills.
- This should open Trials to more long-term Crucible dabblers.
- Trials now allows queuing and matchmaking without a full fireteam.
- We want to allow more players to try the mode out and start earning rewards, even if they don't have a fireteam.
- You can enter the playlist solo or with a friend, and matchmaking will fill the rest of your fireteam for you
- Freelance Trials (No pre-made fireteams, solos only) will also be available via Labs. More on that below.
- Going Flawless on your own will be hard-to-impossible, but we are sure someone will do it thanks to the other players they match up with!
- Trials of Osiris now requires the annual expansion to play.
- In our efforts to strengthen security around the Trials experience, we're removing opportunity for players to create numerous free accounts to circumvent cheat detection, bans, and restrictions. (More on Security below)
- This is Beyond Light for Season 15, and will change to The Witch Queen once it launches.
Activity Ruleset Changes
Over the last few Seasons, we’ve been taking a look through player feedback and internal playtest notes to target specific pain points. The following changes should help reduce stalling gameplay and snowballing behavior that makes it harder to catch up once you are behind.
- Round time is reduced to 90s (from 120s).
- Stalling to wait for ability energy is not fun for either the winning or losing team.
- This will not eliminate stalling but will lessen the amount of stalling that can take place.
- We will talk about other plans to help this further down in the article.
- Emotes stay in first-person camera, and Swords can't be equipped unless you have ammo. (This change is in Elimination and Survival also).
- If you run out of Sword ammo while using it, you will be force-swapped to a different weapon.
- This removes the ability for players to secretly peek around corners without putting themselves in danger.
- Special and Heavy ammo no longer carries over between rounds.
- Having the winning team keep all collected ammo, but the losing team getting set back to default creates too big of a snowballing advantage.
Once these changes are live, we’ll be watching the conversation to see what changes should be prioritized next.
Rewards and Reputation
As mentioned above, we’d like to give players more reason to play past three-win rewards. As such, we are opening up more rewards to more players, more often. Saint-14 will be receiving a full Reputation overhaul and be gaining the ability to focus Trials engrams to specific rewards. Adept weapons will continue to require a full Flawless passage to be earned.
- Saint-14 is getting new Trials ranks, reputation, and a rewards track.
- Trials tokens have been retired.
- Reputation is gained at match complete, based on the number of rounds won on your Ticket.
- Tickets track up to 20 round wins now.
- Emphasizing winning individual rounds for the core rewards gives every player more achievable goals at all skill levels.
- Since you don't have to win full matches to get rewards, you always have a reason to keep trying even if you are behind.
- Ranking up gives you a Trials engram (more on that in a bit).
- Powerful Trials engrams show up every three rank ups before your first reset of the Season
- Just like the other ritual reputations, there are other rewards to earn every three ranks – and Trials ranks has one of the unique Trials weapons at Rank 10 and Rank 16 for each of the first three resets of Season 15.
One of the most restrictive things about the prior Trials system was the emphasis on winning, and winning often, to get any rewards. While winning matches will still pave the road to the Lighthouse, we’re making some changes to let players enter the activity and earn rewards without having to reset their Passages frequently.
- Passages no longer track losses - a Passage is either Flawless or not.
- This allows you to keep playing and earning match and round wins for rewards.
- Players may continue to reset their passages after a loss, but are no longer forced to after three losses total.
- Passages track up to 20 rounds won.
- Passages have been re-ordered (Mercy is not super useful unless you are trying to go Flawless) and have all had their prices significantly reduced.
- Passages are now account-wide.
- You can play and earn rewards on any of your characters on the same Passage.
Each week, there are two pinnacle challenges for Trials:
- Win seven matches total on a given weekend.
- Win 50 rounds.
Bonus progress based on the number of wins on your card.
- 3/5/7 win challenges have been removed.
- Once you max out the reputation, you can reset and claim an Ascendant Shard or Exotic engram.
- Like the other ritual reputations, Trials ranks and rewards reset each Season.
- Additionally, we’d like to keep players going deeper into their cards, rather than resetting each time they lose a match.
- Match wins on a seven-win card have a chance to drop extra Trials engrams, Masterworking materials, and high-stat Trials armor.
- The Lighthouse experience isn't changing.
- A unique pinnacle Adept weapon each week the first time you visit on your account.
- All of the mods and cosmetics are available in the chest to reward return visits.
The Trials Engram
As mentioned above, we’ll be overhauling Trials engrams to give players more direct ways to earn Trials rewards.
- Trials engrams now decrypt to a random selection from current armor and non-Adept weapons.
- You do not need to unlock a piece of armor or weapon before it shows up in the engram.
- You can Focus your engrams at Saint-14 to decrypt specific items that you have already received.
- If you have gone Flawless that week, you CAN Focus additional drops of the weekly Adept weapon.
- Expect it to be a bit... expensive.
We believe that card-based matching is very valuable and can add some significant drama at the right time, but it is best when all players participating have the same end goal, or have similar performance characteristics. Too often, "Flawless-or-Bust" players get mixed in with players that have different goals and skillset and that misalignment can cause problems!
- You now start matchmaking with players that have the same number of wins on the card and with similar Trials game performance of the given week.
- We have a bunch of different factors planned and will be watching and tuning these to balance match quality vs matchmaking time.
- If matchmaking takes too long, it widens the 'similarity' check until it finds enough opponents for the match to start.
Yesterday, we announced a list of updates to our Destiny 2 Security Policy. In our goals of increasing the Trials population, we’re also looking to protect our players, the competitive environment of Trials, and it’s rewards. The article covers the following:
- BattlEye Anti-Cheat
- Initiatives outside of the digital realm
- Win Trading
- Account Recoveries
For full details, follow this link for the full article.
While we’re excited for all of these changes, we’re also looking towards the future. What other improvements could be made down the road to benefit the playlist? We’d like to give you all an opportunity to try out some things we’re thinking on. For veteran Crucible players out there, you may recognize the name. It is time for the re-introduction of Labs!
Over the course of Season 15, we will be running a number of Trials of Osiris Labs weekends, where we will test out targeted changes and collect analytics and feedback from you! They will generally take over the entire mode for the weekend, so we can get as many players in as possible.
We have three Labs planned for Season 15:
- Capture/Elimination Hybrid
- One capture point activates 30 seconds after each round starts, with an extended capture timer.
- The capture location changes each round, as do spawn locations.
- Capturing it wins the round, or you can always just eliminate the other team.
- We believe that this will help further curb round stalling and has made matches during internal playtesting much more dynamic. However, we would like to get the opinion of a wider audience before making such significant changes to the mode in a more permanent fashion.
- Trials Freelance
- A separate node from the main Trials activity, where only solo players can queue.
- While we believe this is the right change in a vacuum, we aren't sure if splitting Trials into two matchmaking pools will deliver low matchmaking times and high-quality play in both pools at the same time. Prove us wrong!
- No Intro Quest
- One weekend where players who have never played in the Crucible can play!
We don't have a firm date for each of the above Labs weekends, but before they run, we’ll let you know in a future TWAB, on our various social channels, and in the Director. Since we know many of you are eager to dip your toes in to a solo-queue Trials experience, we’ll leave you with one small hint: What month comes after September?
As always, we reserve the right to adjust scheduling as needed, and will be listening closely to your feedback!