As Jake has so kindly detailed, Spoon Deep is currently on a reign of terror. Last week, we ran three hard mode raids in the span of a few hours and finally carried Sticky Buns to max level. However, we’re also currently in the midst of a 20+ game Crucible winning streak. We do have a full fireteam of 6, so is this truly the impressive feat we like to pretend it is? Nah. But outscoring our opponents at least 2:1 is, and that’s what we’ve been able to do in almost every one of these games. We’re obliterating our competition. Kick usually takes top spot with Jake, Dupie, and myself rotating the next three. Sticky Buns and Deal round out the bottom, making their occasional flashes of brilliance as well. Why are we winning? We stick together. Spoons dig together. But enough about us, I’m here to discuss Destiny. How are things in the Crucible holding up now that we’re more than 5 months deep? I’m here to discuss: old maps, new maps, map balance, class balance, gun balance, what’s missing, and what to expect. Long post incoming. Awww here it goes.
Miss the original Spoon Deep in the Crucible Guide? Click here!
Overall? Meh. Destiny’s PvP is essentially the same as when it launched, and this isn’t surprising. The game’s only been out for 5 months (although it’s already been 2 since its first “expansion”), and we’re a bit greedy to expect major changes this early. As such, everything I wrote in my initial Spoon Deep in the Crucible guide still holds 100% true and relevant, but here’s a quick recap if you missed my first bout.
Blind Watch: Horribly unbalanced. Regardless of which side you start on, capture/defend C, and stay there. You’ll win, we promise.
Firebase Delphi: Unbalanced. Again, regardless of which side you start on, capture/defend A. C is worthless, but if you must have it, please don’t route to B through that damn window…
Bastion: Does this map still exist…?
First Light: Again, does map even exist anymore…? First Light and Bastion weren’t my favorites, but they were different. They were the only big maps in the game! Instead of taking them away, why not just make 8v8 BTB? I don’t get it. Stop removing content.
Shores of Time: Unbalanced. A is worthless. Capture/defend C and you’ll get B no problem. For easy kills, just stay scoped in on the “cave.” People really like it in there, I think there’s cake…
Rusted Lands: I’ve always thought this to be one of the more balanced maps Destiny offers. I prefer not to hold A simply due to the spawn points being so far away from the actual zone, but I’ve seen a few different strategies. I like this map.
Twilight Gap: Also one of the more balanced maps, but I don’t like it here. The entire map is a fusion rifle/shotgun spam fest and I hate close-quarters combat. If you’re a melee-loving shot-gunning Titan, maybe this is your jam. It’s not mine. I jam elsewhere.
Burning Shrine: They have Control on this map now. It’s too small, in my opinion, but it does seem to have reasonably balanced control zones, despite the typical clusterf*ck at B.
Asylum: See Burning Shrine.
Anomaly: See Asylum.
The Cauldron: I swear this is the only map they have, because we get it every time, and you will too. It’s small, but if your team sticks together, you can’t lose. Do they have control here? If they do, it’s too small and it doesn’t matter which zones you get.
The Pantheon: This is a maze of a map, albeit a symmetrical one. Watch out for Thorn and Snipers down the long lanes, but what else is new. I never seem to do well here, but maybe it’s just me? Whatever, I don’t like this one much.
Skyshock: This map is huge. Most people I know hate it, but I actually enjoy its team snipers style of gameplay, if only for differing so much from the usual fusion rifle/shotgun spree that plagues most maps. Just remember to bring your sniper and your best aim.
Alright, so the maps are in roughly the same state as we left them a few months ago. The smaller ones have gotten the game types intended for the larger, and in my eyes, this attempt at diversifying the game’s PvP is poor at best.
A “new” game type has also been introduced, Doubles Skirmish, which only appears semi-regularly. It’s like regular Skirmish, only minus one player, weeee. Like I said, not too much to update here. Onto the classes.
The classes themselves are fairly balanced. Hunters are still topping the charts with their 007/ninja-inspired super abilities, but the gap isn’t so huge as to pose a real concern. Golden Gun has the range of a scout rifle and a fairly long duration to boot, plus an exotic helmet (Aclyophage Symbiote) that increases its potential killing power by 33%. Arc Blade is a bit easier to stop, but that health regen perk is da bomb and turns bladedancers into true killing machines.
As for the others, Radiance is a great close-quarters super, especially when paired with the exotic gauntlets Claws of Ahamkara giving you two melee charges (AKA two supered insta-kills). Fist of Havoc is good at close range as well, while Nova Bomb with proper aim is good from anywhere. Ward of Dawn lags behind with its magnetic attraction to enemy supers, but with proper use, this thing just oozes orbs. Full recommendations below.
I don’t play a titan, but striker’s gonna win out here more often than not. Lightning/pulse grenades are both solid, Hulk Smash is pretty hard to stop, and dat shoulder charge doe…
Defender has its uses as well, but I know when I see a bubble, it’s getting supered. Ward of Dawn just attracts them. There are ways to counter this by proper use/abuse of your bubble’s edge, but most players remain oblivious to these strategies. Seriously, check that link out. Major props to /u/Ad_Astra5 for this. Defender titans, read up.
The god’s of the Crucible. I prefer gunslinger here for its ranged focus. My favorite perks include Tripmine (paired with the Young Spine of Ahamkara exotic gauntlets for that 30 second duration), Combustion, and Keyhole. These last two cause your Golden Gun to both pierce targets and make them explode, netting you kills you didn’t even know you had.
As for the bladedancer, Hungering Blade is where it’s at. This alone can cause the train wreck of kills you’ll often see bladedancers conduct, but beware, as a solidly placed shotgun to the face will end your train faster than you can say “oh shi-”. Also of note is the usefulness of Lucky Raspberry, the exotic chest piece giving you grenade energy at spawn and enhanced Arcbolts, analogous to the warlock’s Voidfang Vestments. I love my grenades.
My favorite. My favorites favorite: Sunsinger. Equip your Voidfang Vestments for grenade energy at spawn, choose your poison (Firebolts or Fusions), and take the Gift of the Sun perk. Two grenades every time you spawn? Yes please. Just make sure you use them! In addition, don’t take Fireborn. Please? It’s fun, it works sometimes, but with Radiant Skin, you become a walking Sun tank, spewing grenades and OHKO melees everywhere you go.
(Note: Sunbreakers paired with Solar Grenades makes for a solid control device, and you can still grab Gift of the Sun. That’s 16 seconds of area denial, forcing your enemies to either wait or find an alternate route, allowing your team the time they need to regroup or set up an ambush. I used to use this combo quite often, and I’m strongly considering going back.)
Voidwalker is a blasty-blast (literally). I usually use Vestments here for Axion Bolt on spawn, and I take the Vortex Mastery perk as well to enhance them further. These things do work. As for Nova Bomb, I prefer Vortex, leaving a lingering are of damage to finish off those you couldn’t quite get in the first go. The voidwalker’s melee still isn’t quite as good as the sunsinger’s shield, but you get a bomb of shadowy death, so…you win some, you lose some.
Wrapping It Up
Next time out, we’ll cover the current crop of guns most frequenting the battlefield and the trends I’ve noticed during my past week of fairly intense play (read slaughter). We’ll also cover what elements the Crucible is missing and what to expect from Bungie in the future.
Stand tall, Guardians.