Bungie announces they are changing how special ammo works in select Crucible modes, with the changes arriving in Destiny‘s February Update coming next week.
Destiny‘s gunplay is designed a rotation of three weapon types: primary, special, and heavy. In PvP, players start with primary ammo for their lighter weapons: hand cannons and assault, pulse, and scout rifles. A limited amount of Special Ammo is given on spawn as well as inside timed boxes on the map for the next tier of weapons: shotguns, snipers, sidearms, and fusion rifles. Heavy ammo spawns in map boxes on a timer at longer intervals.
The Crucible has long been known for players who use their Special weapons right at the start of a match, but in Destiny‘s game update next week that will end, as big changes are coming to Special Ammo.
Starting after the patch, PvP combatants will spawn into the match with their Special weapons empty. This change affects all 3v3 playlists: Skirmish, Salvage, Elimination, Trials of Osiris, and any rotating 3v3 playlists.
While Special Ammo won’t be available on spawn, the Special Ammo boxes located on the maps will not affected, meaning there won’t be fewer of them and their spawn timers will not be lengthened. Bungie has made changes to Special Ammo in the past, but this is yet another, and more direct tactic at controlling the resource.
The larger 6v6 gametypes like Control and Clash will not have this change applied to them. Neither will the free-for-all Rumble playlist. Bungie Senior Designer Derek Carroll says that’s because the power of Special weapons is felt much more inside of 3v3 gametypes:
First, the larger gametypes are generally less sensitive to initial conditions, which gives us more freedom to have Special Weapons going from the beginning. Also, smaller gametypes like Skirmish are a bit more hardcore, with more weight applied to each player in the match, so we felt we could try pushing Primary weapons for those initial engagements. Conversely, Control is the friendliest place to enter the Crucible, so we wanted to make sure that we don’t present new players with a fundamentally different game than what they’re used to.
This change will be interesting to see play out, especially in Trials of Osiris, arguably Destiny‘s most hardcore PvP mode. Most matches start with players either rushing hard to the enemy side with a shotgun or setting up in lanes with a sniper rifle to get that first kill and swing the match in their team’s favor.
Having that first round before Special Ammo rely entirely on Primary Weapon confrontations will very much change the flow of that mode. Fans have also been quick to point out that those who win the first round will likely get access to Special Ammo (which often spawns at the end of a round), thus swinging even more momentum in their favor.
Clearly, Bungie is continuing to tweak how Special weapons work in the game, as past updates have already done much to nerf shotguns specifically. In defense of the change, many high-level PvP Destiny players like kjhovey, TrueVanguard, and tripleWRECK have openly discussed that Special Ammo changes need to happen, especially in 3v3 modes.
Ideas have been tossed around the Destiny community including delayed or fewer Special Ammo spawns, but Bungie landed on limiting the ammo at the start of matches. If nothing else, the tactic will urge players to pick strong primary weapons, such as the MIDA Multi Tool.
Bungie says they will continue to listen to feedback after the change, and there will undoubtedly be no shortage of feedback. The February Update—and the Crimson Days event—will go live around 10 a.m. Pacific Tuesday, February 9.
What do you think of this change to Special Ammo in Destiny?