Destiny 2’s Gambit mode has turned into an odd beast since the Forsaken expansion was released. In the original mode, PvP and PvE elements were merged into a competition against another team in which AI-controlled enemies were killed. Things got even more complicated in the Season of the Drifter when Bungie added a faster, harder version of Gambit called Gambit Prime that included new mechanics. In the upcoming Beyond Light expansion, the two modes will be reset to just one, but this version will be a kind of amalgamation of the two modes to create something new.
Bungie described the changes on his blog post This Week at Bungie, and outlined changes he’s been pointing out since he first talked about major changes to Destiny 2 earlier this year. Director Luke Smith has been talking for a while about merging the two Gambit modes into one. He̵
The original Gambit mode took place over three rounds, with the winning team winning two of them. Two teams play independently, killing AI enemies to drop “motes” which players then pick up and deposit on a bench in the middle of the area. The “gambit” part of the mode was the risk you take when shooting subjects. By depositing a certain number of motives at a time, a powerful “blocker” enemy is sent to the other team, preventing them from dropping their motives until they kill it. The more motives you drop at the same time, the tougher the blocker – but if you die before depositing, you lose everything you wear. Once your team has filled the bank to a certain level, you will have to fight a large Primeval boss enemy and the first team to kill their Primeval wins the round.
In Gambit Prime, Bungie tweaked the game a bit and added new folds. First, Prime is one long round instead of three shorter ones. Second, by playing the appropriate accounting mode, you can collect pieces of armor that give in Prime Buffs. These buffs made you play a specific role on a team – in the Reaper role, for example, you focused on killing enemies quickly, while the Collector role received bonuses for collecting as many motifs as possible.
The new Gambit retains the longer single round of Gambit Prime while removing the reckoning armor and team roles that bring it to the game. That brings with it some other changes – since players don’t get a specific boost from wearing Gambit Prime armor, which makes it easier to kill enemies, Bungie downgrades some of the boss-level enemies that are encountered during the Mote phase of the Game running around. The mode is also being rebalanced so that the battle against the primeval ages is faster and later. The games will look more like two thirds of the mote gathering and one third of the primeval battle than half and half. Bungie says that the primeval battle in the new Gambit mode should have more of a “boss rush” feel.
It will also make changes to the blockers that you can send to the opposing team. Gone are the 20 mote giant blockers that you could only get if you used the Collector gear, as well as the Taken Captain blockers that came earlier on the 10 mote brand. They are replaced by Taken Phalanxes, which are a bit more resilient but less lethal to the players. And invasions, where players can jump over to the other team’s side and try to kill players to slow their progress or heal their primeval times, will have more distance – you will now have to wait 20 seconds for invasions instead of 10.
All of these changes seem to make Gambit a bit faster in general, and combine some of the better ideas from the Original and Prime modes. It’s a bummer, however, that Bungie couldn’t find a way to incorporate the idea of the Gambit Prime armor set into a new version of the mode. Part of the reason for its removal is undoubtedly the vaulting of the accounting mode. It also seems pretty likely that very few players have ever used their Gambit Prime loadouts in games. Anecdotally, seeing players in Reaper or Invader gear was relatively rare. That said, the armor was a cool addition to Gambit Prime that encouraged teamwork, and it’s a shame Bungie never found a good way to motivate players to do more.
We expect more changes to Destiny 2 with Beyond Light when it launches November 10th, and Bungie is slowly releasing information about them. We have now heard what stasis skills players will use in the new expansion, for example, and what content will be put into the vault. Stay tuned for more details as Bungie dumps it out as we near Beyond Light’s release.
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