A known affiliate of the Dark Lord, Stephen takes only a passing interest in the affairs of mortals. A life of extreme slothfulness has fostered in him an obsession with gaming - one which he will spread to the world in a dark tide of game reviews and news blurbs.
I’ve never been a huge fan of the first person shooter genre. I avoided Call of Duty, Halo, as they simply didn’t appeal to me. However, when Destiny was released last year, I picked up the corresponding PS4 bundle; lo and behold, I got hooked. I’ve played on and off throughout the game’s lifespan, and more heavily in the past month than ever before. As a heavy PvPer, I have engaged myself in a successful campaign to desecrate the earth with the souls and limbs of my less-experienced foes.
I recall my days starting out in the Crucible, however, and remember how everyone seemed faster, craftier, and one step ahead of me at every turn. While this feeling can be overwhelming, a few small tweaks to your tactics can have you going toe-to-toe with (at the very least) the average Guardian in no time. I’ll detail five of the most common mistakes I see others make, and find myself making from time to time.
1. Your Loadout Isn’t Effective
You may find yourself hosing bullets at another Guardian’s back, only to have them turn around and murder you in seconds. This, generally, will be because they’ve got better gear and perks.
First off, know and be comfortable with your weapon. For example, if you’re using an auto rifle (medium range) against a pulse rifle (longer range), you’re probably going to have a bad time – moreso if you aren’t familiar with your recoil and drift. It’s also encouraged to get familiar with important attributes like your weapon’s optimal range, bullet spread, and armor penetration.
Also, check your armor perks. Since the Defense stat for armor does not apply within the confines of the Crucible, your armor (and you) will live and die by its perks. If your armor has perks that assist you in mowing down Fallen by the score, it’s not going to help much when you’ve got a flying Shotgun Titan bearing down on you.
Make sure you’ve got PVP-focused perks like increased reload speed or reactive shielding. Whatever helps turn your human enemies into a fine paste will do.
2. You’re Exposing Yourself
Don’t be a savage! Think of the children! Indecent exposure is one of the prevailing offenses reigning in the Crucible.
Everyone’s been there: you’re in a firefight, nail someone down to another bullet or two’s health, and they run like hell. You go after them, because all you need is a split-second line of sight and they’re dead. As you begin to sprint across the room, you hear the sickly crunch of your brain matter embracing a sniper round. Then upon reanimation, the heavy ammo spawns and your team is engaged in a bloody firefight to control it. You need to get there, so you run full tilt toward the action. The battle is happening on the other side of a gate, so you double-jump that sucker like it’s a high school track meet. As you start to drift down to safety, crack! Another .50 caliber to the dome.
While these results don’t happen every time, if these habits are yours, it’ll occur more often than not. Admittedly these are some of the hardest habits in all Destiny to break. If you have someone dead-to-rights and they cut and run somewhere behind cover, let them go if you didn’t get ’em. More fish in the sea. If you chase blindly, you’re changing the battlefield from one in your control, to one in theirs. You become reactive, not proactive. Just stick to your cover and move to the next engagement.
Or, of course, if you’re crafty and have a few cooperative buddies on your team, you could always use this widespread habit to bait and ambush enemies… good offense is good defense, right?
3. You Don’t Use Your Radar Properly
Another habit I’ve had to work very hard to break. You know vaguely where the enemy team is – you can even see the foul red on your radar, and they keep sliding past the doorway – but you’re ready. You’ve got a sniper rifle, and the distance. When they come through the door, they shall be made into a rain of gore. So you hardscope the living hell out of it, sitting there… waiting. Then, before you know it, you receive a tide of death and lead from the side as you get flanked.
I’ve been caught many times aiming down my sights for far too long, intent on taking out a single target. Remember to constantly back off your sights so that your vision is unrestricted (and more importantly, your radar is visible). The radar is the most important tool you have. Keep it visible for as much time as possible, and make sure you are always facing your closest threat.
Lastly, always stay mobile. Keep it to at most ten seconds in a given spot, then move to new cover – always between cover (refer to tip #2). Your death count will thank you.
4. You Don’t Know Who You’re Fighting
Know thy meta. It’s never good to go into a Crucible match when the only idea you have about the enemy team is that they’re a group of murderous, weaponized thugs.
Take a second to browse the Internet and check out how most people are playing PvP at any given time. Currently, the most common archetype–and one I’m guilty of running until I became disgusted with myself–is the much-reviled Shotgun Titan I mentioned earlier, typically wielding the Sunbreaker subclass (picture flaming hardware implements raining from the skies, coming from an almost unkillable monstrosity that CAN SEE YOU). They’ll sprint at you as fast as they can through cover, then slide into melee distance in order to deliver a skullbusting uppercut of fiery buckshot. Therefore, for example, extra care should be taken when moving around corners and getting in close with enemies. Odds are they’ll have a one-shot surprise for you.
Wide turns and careful play will see that you can make them pay for their close-range shenanigans. Be ready to back up!
5. You’re Unwilling To Flee For Your Life
Quite frequently, I’ll see half my team get cut down in a firefight and one or two Guardians stay where they are, hoping to fight off the entire enemy team. This is not advised!
If you see lots of skulls and red radar around, there’s no shame in turning tail and abandoning ship. Just retreat to more favorable ground, let your fellow fighters respawn, and reengage the enemy team on your terms. Three deaths and a retreat is always preferable to having your entire team atomized out of sheer stubbornness.
In fact, if you’re lucky, one or two enemies will chase you when you flee and run into the loving arms of your newly spawned compatriots, now to be hugged into oblivion.
Image credit: Bungie