Ahead of the Destiny February update going live on February 9 at 10am PT/1pm ET, Bungie took to their Weekly Update (now called This Week at Bungie), giving us a preview of what to expect.
Listed as update 2.1.1, this patch will not only see the beginning of the Crimson Days event, but you’ll also notice that certain matches don’t give you Special Ammo at the beginning, as Senior Designer Derek Carroll explained:
After the update, players will start certain matches without Special Ammo. Once the match has begun, those green Special crates will behave in the same ways you’re used to (although you may be looking for them a bit more).
Bungie brought this change because they wanted to increase the use of Primary weapons at match-start. It will affect all 3v3 playlists, including Skirmish, Salvage, Elimination, Trials, and any rotating 3v3 playlists. “I will take special care to say that Rumble is not a 3v3 mode, and is safe from this change,” Carroll added.
Elsewhere, Bungie is introducing Freelance 6v6 (Clash, Control, Rift) and 3v3 (Elimination, Salvage, Skirmish) playlists that are only accessible by solo players. They’ll be available on the weekly rotators in your Director, and come as a result of people wanting matchmaking to choose not only your teammates, but your opponent’s as well.
Designer Jeremiah Pieschl talked about the goal behind Freelance playlists:
The design goal of Freelance playlists was to facilitate an even playing field. Both teams will be on equal ground, though an advantage can be gained by opening a voice channel to Team Chat. A secondary goal was to provide playlists with a wider variety of engagements. Featuring mixed-modes with all of their associated maps means players will have a much more diverse experience and see less repetition in the combinations selected by matchmaking.
To help keep you safe from bad connections, Bungie will be introducing a Damage Referee, with Networking Engineer Paul Lewellen explaining:
“Damage Referee” is our code-name for upcoming changes to the way Destiny handles things that can go wrong when you’re playing games online. Our goal is to give you a better experience in the Crucible when there are Internet problems outside of your control.
Basically, if you have a good connection, a typical PvP match should feel the same, though you’ll notice some positive changes. If you have a bad connection, Bungie will give you reasons to improve it, as you’ll lose fights more often.
As for the new matchmaking settings, they’re available in Skirmish, Rumble, and Control. Today, they’re coming to Trials of Osiris, with Crimson Doubles and Clash up next. In a future game update (after February), Bungie is planning to apply the new settings to all Crucible playlists.
Finally, Bungie has fixed a camera issue in the Daughters of Ory encounter where it would snap back to a default position. On top of that, teleporting ogres in the Oryx encounter have been addressed, meaning “Oryx Challenge Mode should be a little more forgiving now.”