The Crucible is unique in the Destiny franchise. It’s an activity space that is at once an add-on for those looking to make power progression through the earlier parts of the game for quests or gear and still an essential late-game activity in the lull between content drops to keep players engaged. With Destiny’s “everyman” philosophical foundation and Destiny 2’s desire to narrow the skill gap, the Crucible suffers from a few glaring problems: players don’t know how to properly play the game modes, they don’t know how to prepare for success and they don’t know how to improve. This concept is an attempt to arm players with more than just weaponry while also making the Crucible an activity that competes for players’ attention throughout all stages of any given content drop’s life cycle.
The Crucible, as with any other facet of Destiny, has a great foundation of lore supporting it. At its core, the Crucible is wherever Lord Shaxx has the opportunity to take enemy or neutral territory that can be used to train Guardians who desire to serve the Vanguard. The Redjacks, Lord Shaxx’s personal paramilitary force, regularly venture into the wilds of the solar system to claim territory for Crucible use. The Crucible itself is a brutish and Light-scarred landscape where Guardians evaluate each other using targeted violence as their measuring stick. Some Guardians seek glory through the Crucible alone. Some Guardians use the Crucible to test experimental weaponry. Some Guardians see the Crucible for its true purpose–to prepare Guardians in their battle to repel the Darkness and to protect humanity and its one true home.
This is all great stuff, but the player never gets to truly understand the essence of the Crucible. Some Guardians are understandably terrible at PvP. Some only play to get gear. Some only play because their friends want to. The few who are able to pick up on the activity’s mechanics, unwritten rules and subtle quirks are able to begin the eternal journey to becoming an even better Crucible enthusiast. The rest toil away at varying levels of skill, either able to understand the game but never improve, to perform well personally but still fail at objective play, or a frustrating combination of the two. Despite the Crucible playing the same way as Vanguard missions do physically, an entirely different mindset and skillset is valued in the Crucible. Destiny has historically done a poor job of preparing players for the dark side of the moon that has become the Crucible. While not every player will succeed and become a Crucible all-star, Destiny should at least prepare a proper educational experience so that ignorance will be one fewer enemy any Crucible Guardian has to face.
In order for the Crucible to properly compete with Vanguard activities, it needs to become an experience unto itself. The Crucible will now have its own destination (heretofore referred to as “the Destination”) where only Crucible-based activities and questlines occur. Of course, regular Crucible play will still take place in various areas across the system, but a Crucible-only destination will provide a social space, training grounds for various game modes, a firing range for testing weaponry and a small exploratory area containing lore scannables and a few other surprises.
First, players need a proper introduction to the Crucible. What better way than by shooting things? In order to unfold Crucible access for a player, they will go on an exploratory questline that outlines basic Crucible concepts for solo-, team- and objective-based play.
The first step of the Crucible questline will involve the player receiving a summons from Lord Shaxx, who has identified a new playspace for the Crucible. Some recent story event has caused an enemy resurgence near some existing claimed Crucible lands and his Redjack force is spread thin. Lord Shaxx needs the aid of the player to claim this new land for Shaxx’s Crucible. Lord Shaxx, Ghost and Ikora will be the primary voices on the comms for the introductory questline.
When the player arrives at the new Crucible locale, the area will be swarming with enemies and it will be up to the player to clear out the entire venue. The introductory questline will be divided up into several missions, each on a different section of the new Crucible destination. Each mission will focus on a different game mode and use the basics of that game mode as a win condition for the mission. Of course, a PvP experience needs a team, and Shaxx has sent a small contingent of Redjacks to assist the player. The Redjacks are not an invincible force, however, and losing a predetermined amount of them (on a per-mission basis) will result in a failed mission. The Destination will have its own lore and some of the history behind Shaxx and Ikora, individually, will be revealed throughout the quests as well. The hallowed names of some previous Crucible legends may even surface.
When the player undertakes the exploratory questline at the new Crucible destination, the quest will involve the “behind-the-scenes” work for setting up a Crucible stage–the player will claim the area and prepare it for Crucible use.
After completing the Crucible questline, the player has access to all Crucible modes and the milestones associated with the Crucible. Furthermore, the player will receive a questline for each game mode. Each questline is designed to provide the player with tactical advice on how to play each mode. Each step in the quest will be a separate mission in the same playspace that corresponds to that game mode. Some quests will have more steps than others. A Control questline would cover some different mechanics and tactics (Power plays, capture speeds, bonuses for capturing points, bonuses for defending points, kill differentials for different point configurations, etc.). The questlines are not meant to outline optimal strategies, but to expose the nuances of each game mode to the player. Completing each questline awards masterwork cores, a powerful Crucible gear bundle and a tracker emblem for that particular game mode with unlockable variants.
The Crucible will offer seasonal and annual progression rewards through this concept.
The Destination will offer seasonal ornaments for regular Crucible armor that have destination-specific and gametype-specific completion conditions. Crucible-specific mods for objective gametypes can also only be bought here. The Destination will also offer seasonally-earned tickets that can be used to obtain a unique Destination-themed weapon with Crucible objective-based perks.
A unique offering will be a community-wide effort to unlock Crucible maps for use in each of the Crucible’s game modes. Each mode will own a unique part of the new Crucible destination. As players complete Crucible matches, complete adventures and acquire destination materials, they will collectively contribute to annual milestones for each game mode. When a milestone is reached, the map for that corresponding game mode is unlocked for public play.
The Return Flight
The idea behind this destination is to have players returning every now and again to brush up on ideas, test out weapons and maybe even discover some lore. Many destinations in Destiny tend to be one-and-done locales, which makes proposing a Crucible destination difficult. However, I think with the right unique amenities, a Crucible destination could possibly hold the attention of Guardians year-round.
When the landing mission to open the Destination is complete, players will have access to a small base of operations and a Redjack vendor who will trade in basic items and provide quest guidance going forward. Once the exploratory questline is complete, the player will move into the heart of previously-held enemy territory and claim it for Shaxx’s Crucible. From here, a new social space will be available (akin to The Lighthouse on Mercury or BrayTech Futurescape on Mars) that will offer a wider selection of items to buy or trade for, access to destination adventures and the ability to explore the entire destination looking for scannables, public events or maybe even some secrets.
Exploring the Destination doesn’t offer typical patrol missions, but does offer some daily adventures for players to undertake. The destination, once the exploratory quest is complete, typically does not have many enemies to encounter, but the daily adventures will bring them out in force. Furthermore, public events and high-value target sightings do happen across the destination’s different zones from time to time. These public events are unique to the destination and the victory conditions for these events mimic the mechanics of the game modes that own the event’s location. For example, a public event in the Countdown sector may revolve around setting and defusing explosives on a timer against a band of enemies. These events will contain fun twists on existing game modes. Defeating enemies anywhere in the destination awards a destination-specific material, not unlike those found in the EDZ or on Titan. While completing adventures specifically does not award these materials, defeating enemies of varying difficulty and looting chests of varying size does award varying amounts of destination materials. Unlike other destination materials, though, these are used as a more flexible type of currency in the destination and exploring the destination for a new haul of destination materials should be an expectation for players who want to reap the maximum rewards that the destination has to offer.
Among the other interesting sights to behold on the Destination, one that stands out is a large leaderboard displaying current progress toward annual milestones for the Destination. With this information, players may decide to engage in particular activities when visiting the Destination in order to help make more meaningful progress toward the annual milestones.
The highlight of the Destination will be the Firing Range. Access to the Firing Range can be purchased daily for an amount of destination materials. The Redjack vendor at the range will offer a large selection of common-rarity weapons that have legendary-style perk trees which rotate weekly. At least one of every archetype of weapon will be offered and each weapon can be rented for a small amount of Glimmer. The player can rent as many weapons as their free slots and Glimmer stores will allow. Of course, players don’t necessarily need to rent weapons–they can take their own weapons into the Firing Range at no cost to them. The firing range provides test dummies with precision bullseyes in differing areas and range markers to help players find better ways to use their weapons. Upon leaving the Firing Range, all range-rented weaponry will be removed from the player’s inventory.
The general idea of this concept is to make Crucible feel like it is truly another half of Destiny 2 instead of an add-on in the corner of the Director. By undertaking the grunt work needed to secure and protect an environment used by Shaxx’s Crucible, this concept exposes players to the lore, the mechanics and the tactics of the Crucible. The Destination’s purposes serve players who want to learn the Crucible, players who want to grind for gear and players who want a fun and immersive experience from a slightly different perspective. There is more than one way to become legend, as Guardians of yore can tell you…and some of them just might…