Destiny: Rise of Iron – What Needs to be Fixed First

Destiny Rise of IronI have been loving my time with Rise of Iron – I picked up an old friend for my heavy weapon slot, my first weapon got a nice new coat of Exotic paint, and I have been really enjoying zipping around the Plaguelands. That all said though, there’s one thing that I really hope Bungie looks at fixing quickly – The Crucible. We’ve been in this ultra-fast time to kill meta for a long time now – it really goes all the way back to House of Wolves and Felwinter’s Lie style shotguns. Over the last six months or so though, it’s just gotten worse to the point now where unless you use a pretty select group of weapon, you’re at a distinct disadvantage.

It was already super frustrating to play in a handful of playlists – mainly the 3V3 games and Iron Banner – but adding Supremacy has just exacerbated the issues. Having to pick up the crests after a kill is a great way to fight passive play – I’ve always been a fan of Kill Confirmed in Call of Duty. In Destiny now though, forcing players into close range just has continued to push them towards the max-impact shotguns and crazy TTK primaries to have a chance. I’ve played enough Supremacy to at least finish out the Crucible quest and weekly bounty, and in those games I’ve seen almost nothing but Party Crashers, Conspiracy Theory D’s, Eyaslunas and Palindromes. Even weapons that are usually 6v6 standouts – Doctrine of Passing, Hawksaw, and most snipers – start to fall away a bit in Supremacy because of the nature of the game. We already know that the first Iron Banner after launch is Supremacy – that has me the exact opposite of excited for Iron Banner. I usually look forward to it for the weapons and armor – consistently some of the coolest looking gear in the game. But even with the changes to the system with Rise of Iron, I think it’s going to be a super frustrating week. Part of that frustration will come from the fact that there is going to be a pretty wide variety in Light Level for the first time in ages with Iron Banner/Trials. The other part will come with this current meta.

Destiny Crucible

Now that Private Matches are live, and the competitive scene can start to grow, we’re starting to see top level players really speak out about the meta. Guys like TripleWreck and KJHovey have put out videos and posts explaining just how bad this current environment is. The more eyes that see this, the more likely that Bungie acts quicker. I personally don’t agree totally with TripleWreck’s idea on how to fix it – I think a blanket primary buff feels like way too much of a step toward power creep. Instead I think a better fix would be to adjust shotguns again – they’re fine in PvE now, so just focus on PvP behavior. To me, the best bet is to just kill the range and handling – make it so you have to be even closer for those one-shots. There has to be some kind of trade-off to using this weapon, and right now there really isn’t. Same goes for those primaries that are good – drop the stability on those Pulse Rifles, make Hand Cannons more consistent across the board and limit the chances for two-shot potential guns; while the one thing that I do think deserves a buff would be Auto Rifles outside of that DoP archetype. There’s a lot of work still to be done, and hell, I don’t have anywhere near the level of data that Bungie does so hopefully they’ll have a better idea of how to address it. The other thing with Supremacy that I might want a little attention put toward is the score limit – FFA Supremacy feels like it goes a little long, and on some maps it can feel under populated. Maybe pull more from the 3V3 maps – good example was a FFA match on the new map Skyline. The match ignored the outdoor sections for the vast majority of the match, and spawns were all over the place. Maybe it’s just the game mode needing to work out a couple kinks, but still, it’s a bit big of a map for FFA.

The Evolution of Nuketown

Black Ops 3

I’ve written a bunch here about the importance of map design in FPS games. Call of Duty: Black Ops III is no different. And Treyarch has one of the best designed maps in the franchise as a whole with Nuketown. It’s become the trademark Treyarch map – now that it’s appeared in every Black Ops game. While the basic layout and design hasn’t changed over the three variants, the details that make each map feel unique from each other are what really make the map as strong as it is. Treyarch has done a tremendous job of taking the updates in each game and making the new additions to Nuketown work with them. In the original, the mobility option comes from diving – so, you’ll see pieces of cover that are perfect to hero dive over. In Nuketown 2025, the scorestreaks and weapon balance was a lot different, and while diving was still the mobility option, it became a lot easier to defend the houses and really turned games more into map control and less about crazy action. Now though, with wall running and thrust jumps and slides, the map has again shifted and is way more about moving around and flanking and creating different sight lines.

Call of Duty Nuketown

Yes, if you’re playing Domination, there’s a pretty infamous head-glitch spot that really I think was a bad placement. But in general the game is less about holding down a house or side of the map and a lot more about controlling the middle and knowing your movement routes. Wallrunning can get you out of the side halls alive, and help you get around hard charging teams. The second floor windows are a lot easier to get into – no more mantling on a couple different pieces of decoration, you just thrust jump right in. That makes holding that second floor a lot more risky that it was in Black Ops II. That’s really what makes the map really special – it’s evolved with each iteration and each time it still remains one of the strongest maps in shooters in general. With the chaos moshpit playlist basically being Nuketown all the time, it comes up really often – and I am not sick of it at all. It’s a map that is pretty much perfect for completing any challenges in the game. It’s where I finished my Glitch double kills for Prophet. I finished my KSG gold camo on it as well.

Infinity Ward is putting out the Call of Duty this year – that’s just how the rotation is shaking out, which means we’re unlikely to see a Modern Warfare anniversary. In truth, we’re probably in for a Ghosts 2 this year – which I only bring up because Ghosts didn’t really have a signature map in it, despite the fact that Infinity Ward had a signature map with the Modern Warfare games – Crash. When we actually see the map list, that’s when we’ll learn if Infinity Ward thought any map in Ghosts was worth bringing forward. While it might not be Nuketown, it could still be a pretty damn solid map.