When Destiny 2 developer Bungie first discussed bringing back Trials of Osiris (then known as Trials of the Nine), the studio members said that they didn’t want the experience to be half-baked. Unfortunately, a lot of the enthusiasm for Trials of Osiris waned shortly after its return during Season of the Worthy, and it struggled to reach the same heights, let alone surpass the days of Destiny 1.
In recent weeks, however, Destiny 2’s Trials of Osiris mode has seen its highest player population count ever. Last week, over 400,000 players logged at least one Trials of Osiris match. It’s a huge step forward for Trials of Osiris and a sign that Bungie is doing something right. However, most would agree that one half of the Trials equation is operating as it should, while the other half still needs work.
Trials of Osiris and Trials of the Nine, like any activity in Destiny, are only going to be as enticing as the loot they offer. For Season of the Chosen, Bungie introduced new and reissued Trials weapons that fit the archetypes that players want. The Messenger Pulse Rifle is a returning D1 Trials weapon, and in D2 it can roll with the Desperado perk that used to be exclusive to Redrix’s Claymore. It’s a strong pulse rifle for PvP (and it is solid in PvE) that has a great perk pool.
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Last week, the Igneous Hammer hand cannon was available as the 3-win weapon reward and like The Messenger, it has a great perk pool for Destiny 2 PvP. No doubt the chance to earn an Igneous Hammer, or better yet, to farm for one through Trials Passages, has been the reason for this influx in Trials players. Even players that might not spend a lot of time in PvP are trying to get the hand cannon because its perks are still viable in PvE, and it is a cool-looking piece of loot.
For as long as Bungie can keep delivering Trials of Osiris loot that players want, the mode will have a solid fan base. Whether or not players enjoy their time in the mode, however, is another issue entirely.
We say that the loot fulfills one part of the equation, and balancing PvP to make the experience “fun” is the other. With Stasis still running rampant and overpowered weapons like Felwinter’s Lie simplifying the gunplay, Destiny 2 players still mostly agree that PvP can be better.
Nowhere is that more evident than in the various “strategies” that have arisen to acquire Trials of Osiris loot. Players are literally jumping off the map to get match completions for the bounty that awards the 3-win weapon. They don’t actually want to play Trials of Osiris, but they do want the loot. Others are fine getting to 3 wins to get their weapon, and then jumping to another character rather than having to contend with the aforementioned imbalanced PvP elements.
Still, halfway there is a lot closer to bringing Trials of Osiris back than at any other point during Destiny 2. Bungie has already made some changes to Stasis that will certainly improve PvP, and the developers have also hinted that they are going to target some outlier weapons in a future update now that sunsetting gear is no more. Igneous Hammer and Messenger weeks are likely to be the most popular when it comes to Trials of Osiris, but eventually, each week will be just as popular as the next. And hopefully, with some tweaking to loot, there might be even bigger numbers on the horizon.
Destiny 2 is available now.