For perhaps the first time since its debut in the Destiny 2 universe, Trials of Osiris — Bungie’s pinnacle PVP activity — has gained nearly universal praise from the community after returning from one of its many unanticipated absences.
While the hype surrounding the return of Trials of Osiris to the Destiny franchise was inescapable, the game mode’s popularity — and more importantly, its place inside the world of Destiny 2 — was called into question less than a month after its first weekend in the game.
Plagued by rampant cheaters on PC, DDOS attacks on console, and bugs that knocked the activity offline nearly every other week, the Trials playerbase quickly took a nose dive until only the most hardcore PVP players, account recovery services, and cheaters remained.
Now, nearly a year after its rocky debut, the community is letting Bungie know that the Trials formula from the weekend of March 19, 2021, is the best it’s ever been in Destiny 2. It seems the developer has finally found the right recipe to start getting Trials back to its glory days of old.
The heaps of praise from the community come just one week after Bungie was forced to disable Trials yet again, only two days after it had been reinstated following a two-week absence due to an extremely intricate exploit allowing players to go Flawless without firing a single bullet.
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On March 21, Trials Report (a service that provides information on the playlist each week) shared an impressive statistic: only halfway through the weekend, the number of players in the playlist had exceed all other periods of activity excluding the first two weekends Trials had returned to Destiny 2.
We're not even halfway through this Trials weekend but the player count has already surpassed all but the first two weeks. The top 5:
Week 1: 358,866
Week 2: 347,151
This week: 304,804 (and growing!!!1!1!)
Week 45: 304,540
Week 3: 303,147 pic.twitter.com/lp7odXJO8g
— Trials Report (@TrialsReport) March 21, 2021
The Destiny 2 community called out two main factors that combined to create such a successful Trials weekend: extremely desirable rewards and incentives for casual players to engage with the playlist, the latter of which has been noticeably absent since the game mode’s return.
This week’s 3-win reward (typically the easiest item to obtain) was the Ingeous Hammer handcannon. An aggressive frame weapon that can roll perk combinations like Quickdraw/Moving Target and Rapid Hit/Rampage, this is arguably one of the best weapons available in the game during Season 13.
Popular PVP creator ‘DFPsheikh’ noted that offering powerful rewards (like the Ingeous Hammer) is a huge incentive to take part in Trials each weekend: “With several weapons as desirable as Igneous, this would be [Trials] every week. It’s an open goal for Bungie.”
Imagine trials with several weapons as desirable as Igneous, Armor with guaranteed high stat rolls (65+) and so on, this would be every week. It's an open goal for Bungie… https://t.co/ThwPNJAcVn
— DFP (@DFPsheikh) March 21, 2021
Powerful weapons on their own might not be enough to entice Guardians back into the playlist, but if the rewards aren’t locked behind higher levels of competition (like 5 wins, or even a Flawless 7-win run) a huge amount of disinterested players will want to try and hit that 3-win mark.
With the Ingeous Hammer available this week after only 3 wins, the incentive for non-veteran Trials players to engage with the playlist was clear, and it showed in the massive boost to the game mode’s population as Trials Report shared on Twitter.
Well-known Destiny YouTuber ‘MyNameIsByf’ pointed to this week’s easily obtainable rewards as another source of increased engagement from the playerbase: “When Trials rewards are good and attainable [for more casual or PVE-focused players] the playlist flourishes.”
When trials rewards are good and attainable the playlist flourishes.
Take note. Attainable and desirable loot are now the benchmarks for trials gear. Let’s see about making it clear that that standard is one to reach for. https://t.co/PxYevkpx4T
— My name is Byf (Lore Daddy) (@MyNameIsByf) March 21, 2021
While the number of players entering Trials this week speaks volumes on its own, many prominent Destiny 2 content creators also voiced their desire to see the current formula continue in the coming weeks so the playlist maintains its positive momentum.
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Another powerhouse Destiny 2 content creator, ‘Gothalion’, said as much when he shared his own thoughts on this weekend’s Trials experience, confirming that, “If Trials was like this week, every week, more people would play. And the more folks who play the better the playlist feels.”
Trials and PvP in general certainly have issues that're being worked on, but I think the thing that makes trials feel better sooner is a narrative switch. If everyone echoes "its shit and feels terrible", people will not queue and the playlist will be pain.
— Gothalion (@Gothalion) March 21, 2021
There are still issues that Bungie admits they need to address when it comes to Trials, and the general state of PVP remains a touchy subject for many players. But, the community seems to believe that Trials can take back its crown as the king of PVP, and are hoping Bungie can keep working towards the long-awaited comeback.