How Destiny 2 devs adapted a PvE weapon for a competitive PvP mode
"When you’re fighting AI, you can do whatever the hell you want to feel powerful and amazing and have a grand ol’ time. Against other players, at some level, dying still has to be fun.”
- Senior PvP designer Andrew Weldon shares how the scorch cannon made the jump from PvP to PvE
Destiny 2 is launching a limited-time game mode today through the game’s recent Crucible Labs experimental program. The mode, appropriately called Scorched, arms two teams of competing players exclusively with the firey scorch cannons typically found in the 'player versus everything' sandbox side of the game.
Senior PvP designer Andrew Weldon has shared a series of tweets that dive into how the team at Bungie went about making scorch cannons feel right at home in the new 'player versus player' experiment, something he notes required some tweaking to address the differences in how the two different PvP and PvE sides of Destiny 2 define fun.
“[The scorch cannon is] a pretty aggressive weapon, with a fast projective and a fast rhythm between firing and impact. Almost a ‘flam’ for the drummers out there,” writes Weldon. “This is super satisfying against AI (and against other players) but fighting against it in PvP with no tweaks is, at most engagement distance, not dissimilar from firing rocket sniper rifles. Not the best time on the receiving end, and a pretty one-note gameplay experience.”
Weldon explains that he looked to how Destiny 2’s PvE and sandbox-side designers had done to make fighting AI enemies this “dance” of reading clearly telegraphed enemy attacks, then moving and reacting to those coming blows to make the scorch cannon-powered player versus player fights have a similar cadence. Slowing down the projectiles themselves captured some to combat loop from the PvE experience and, after playtesting, ensured that players still had, in Weldon’s words, “a moment of ‘oh shiiiit’ to realize what’s about to happen.”
Hitting midair targets now took more effort and target leading, which made dodging more viable. And the airburst strategy became available - the faster projectile would just miss before you could react. Now you could learn to time your detonations aginst airborne targets!— Andrew Weldon (@kungfusquirrel) August 24, 2018