Kept you waiting, huh? I’ve returned to this blog to share a write-up I did recently on my concept for a rebooted Combined Arms mode for Destiny. For those outside of the box, Combined Arms was Destiny’s pseudo ‘big battle’ Crucible mode that… fell short. For me, the effect was marred by mismanaged Control mode integration and an unusual refusal to actually increase the player count. Sure we have two vehicles and more heavy weapons to deal with, but it didn’t translate into the epic battles the map size seemed to advertise (the indoor control points?). Well I took a hand at imagining a new Combined Arms mode, dubbed “Rencounter”, that may fulfill the big team battle gap in Destiny’s Crucible offerings. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but so was my blog last year concerning Heavy Weapon swords. So why not play Aladdin once more? *rubs lamp*
Rencounter’s just another word for contest, and to me it seems like something Shaxx would call it. So when talking Combined Arms 2.0, I’ll be calling it Rencounter for this piece. Let’s get to it.
Crucible Mode: Rencounter
Fiction: Just as the Vanguard claims zones for Patrol, Lord Shaxx sets out teams of Guardians to battle to see who claims large zones for the Crucible. This bouts are the origin of Crucible maps.
Gameplay Translation: Big team battle over large maps that merge Crucible PvP with Patrol style mission/events. Both teams will compete in four randomly generated missions that will climax in a ‘Crucible Event’ boss battle against AI. This mode randomly chooses preset missions as well as the ending bosses event. Bosses may be map specific, and at least one boss event can be player instigated (saving that idea for later in this post). Due to the nature of this mode, it’s taken to be semi-competitive. Rencounter is designed to invoke unique large player count experiences while also expanding Crucible lore.
- Four random missions, one boss event per game.
- Level Advantages Disabled
- Vehicles On
- Enemy AI Enabled
- 8 vs 8
Of course the big takeaway here is this isn’t simply ‘Big Team Clash’. The mission/event structure is meant to evoke the feel of Patrol while filling the vacant large multiplayer void of the Crucible. So it’s best to detail how goals work.
- Once launched, 15 or 30secs passes before the first randomly chosen mission. This allows for ‘freeroam skirmishes’ between the teams, setting the mood for the match. “Get a feel for your rivals!” as Shaxx would surely say.
- The first mission kicks off. The first team to complete the mission takes the round. The game doesn’t reset between rounds, another free skirmish ensues until the next mission activates.
- Characters from the Tower and Reef introduce the missions, just like Patrol. All players hear the same voiceover.
- Heavy ammo and vehicle spawns between rounds.
- After four rounds, a Map Event occurs. These will be boss battles, where a powerful AI boss spawns between the teams. The team that deals the most damage to it will win the boss battle. Coordinate damaging the boss while holding the other team at bay!
- The boss will not call reinforcements. 16 players, a boss AI, and a bunch of critters running around may be taxing. Besides, from a point of view the enemy team are essentially the reinforcements. Of course a battle drunk man like Shaxx would find this thrilling.
- The team who wins the majority rounds wins the game. Personal aside, I would probably play something like this all day.
Now let’s talk about some mission ideas I have in mind. I’m thinking of PvP versions of actual Patrol missions, as well as transplants of basic Crucible modes refitted for Rencounter’s large game space and player count. Remember that these are chosen randomly one at a time for four rounds. Try not to read the descriptions in Shaxx’s voice.
- Clash: “Reach your quota before the enemy forces!” Unlike Clash proper, completion is gauged by Patrol style percentage counter.
- Control: “Spread out, take those zones!” An alternative Control; Five zones appear and you must hold them long as you can for the duration of the mission. Unlike Combined Arms Control, zones will be outside of structures, promoting more a vehicular and chaotic experience.
- King Control: “Converge and flush out your enemies!” A single zone appears, bringing all 16 players into an epic brawl.
- Flash Dance: “I hear all you Guardians know a few steps. Entertain me.” It seems Cayde wants a dance off. Fill the percentage meter by dancing together uninterrupted. Should you sacrifice your team’s gain to put a stop to enemy dancing?
- Charge Race: “Let the Light guide your speed, Guardians.” Ikora wants a rally between the two teams. Hit all the Charges in a row and collect energy before the enemy team.
- Hunted: “He has a price on his head. Better off dead.” Banshee marked one player on both teams as VIPs. The goal is obvious.
- Orb Farm: “Let’s see how much Light runs through you, Guardian.” Zavala wants your team to generate a set number of orbs. For this mission super energy is in Mayhem mode.
Assuming that would be a finished list of missions, they would be chosen in random order until four rounds have passed. So now let’s talk the Rencounter climax boss battle. A boss will appear after four missions (unless it was a blowout in which case the dominating team will simply win). Always in the center of the map, and always sporting Year 1 fat HP. The two teams must try to deal the most damage before it dies. As a balancing tool, a team doing massive damage in a short amount of time will catch the most attention from the boss. And of course, you can attack the other team to scramble their assault. The bosses can be chosen from all five enemy races.
And that’s Rencounter, a refurbished Combined Arms that merges a large player count, big maps, Patrol-like missions, and a boss battle for a unique Destiny experience. In another thread I may talk about Destiny Vehicles 2.0. Oh yeah, that tidbit above about a player instigate boss battle? How about if players have close games/scores for all four rounds, it increases the chance for a special boss battle…