I was never very good at competitive combat in the original “Destiny,” and I haven’t improved much since the release of “Destiny 2.”
When I was in high school, I mowed kids down in intense matches of “Gears of War” and “Halo.” Now I struggle to hold my own in player-vs.-player bouts.
Maybe I’m out of practice. Perhaps “Destiny” doesn’t feel as natural for me to play as other games did. The truth is, probably, that I’m just getting old.
My lack of skill at “Destiny” is what made going flawless in Trials of Osiris more than a year ago taste so sweet. The feeling wasn’t as great when I did the same in “Destiny 2” last week.
For those unfamiliar, Trials of Osiris is a game mode where two teams of three face each other in several rounds. Whichever team is killed off first loses the round until one team nabs enough wins to face a different team in another match. A team must win nine matches in a row to be deemed flawless.
In “Destiny 2,” Trials of Osiris has been tweaked. Now it’s called Trials of the Nine, and two teams of four square off. On top of that, you now need only seven wins to go flawless.
You have to essentially use in-game currency to pay to play Trials of Osiris, but Trials of the Nine is free—lowering the bar of entry. There’s no risk to playing Trials of the Nine, which means you face some truly terrible teams instead of the mostly skilled players abundant in Trials of Osiris.
And we faced our share of bad players. Worse-than-me levels of bad.
On Saturday, myself, my friends Carson and Ryan and a skilled player they’d met playing “Destiny” grouped up to try Trials of the Nine. It was my second attempt at the game mode.
We won our first match and were destroyed in our second. Our progress reset, and we gave it another try.
We barely encountered any challenging teams during the next seven matches. We won them all with ease. I (mostly) carried my own weight, but there’s no denying my three teammates did most of the work.
Still, it was a slaughter.
On the last round, we faced probably the worst team we’d seen all day. We finished the match in record time and, with that, we had gone flawless.
It felt good, but it doesn’t compare to the time I went flawless in the original “Destiny.”
In Trials of Osiris, you tend to get matched up with teams that have an equal number of wins as you. That means on your seventh game, you’re probably going to face another team with six straight wins and that both teams aren’t only skilled but will be doing their very best to win.
If my experience Saturday was any indication, Trials of the Nine matches players up with random teams regardless of their skills or win streaks. It almost felt wrong to dominate that last team of probably 10-year-olds as hard as we did, but that’s the hand we were dealt.
With only three people on a team in Trials of Osiris, one bad or even average player can severely handicap your team. In Trials of the Nine, having four players on a team allows for just a bit more wiggle room as poor players won’t hinder their teams quite as much.
My buddies and I tried for weeks to go flawless in Trials of Osiris. When we finally did it, it felt like a huge, well-earned accomplishment we’d practiced tirelessly to achieve.
In Trials of the Nine, well ... it only took me a week to get there, and we didn’t exactly exert ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong. I still had a blast playing with my friends and achieving something not many players do. I only wish it had felt a bit more satisfying.
Video game columnist Jake Magee has been with GazetteXtra since 2014. His opinion is not necessarily that of Gazette management. Let him know what you think by emailing email@example.com, leaving a comment below, or following @jakemmagee on Twitter.