According to Destiny Trials Report, Trials of Osiris participation has fallen off dramatically since the event's release a few weeks ago. As Bungie put it, this is primarily due to two big problems. Firstly, many players don't feel motivated to play Trials due to underwhelming rewards. Secondly, the players that are still playing often have their experience ruined by cheaters.
Production director Justin Truman discussed the first of these two problems in Bungie's post. "We believe that players should be encouraged to make an attempt every week, regardless of skill," Truman said. "You should feel some value in dipping your toe in each week to see if you can get a little further than last week, to push yourself to improve and get better. While every single player won’t make it to the Lighthouse, you should feel like you can get meaningful rewards by pushing yourself and still get some rewards for spending time in the activity."
To encourage players to participate in Trials of Osiris, and to make investing time in the activity more rewarding, Bungie is currently working on three changes. Starting next season, Trials Tokens will be awarded in chunks at three, five, and seven wins, with flawless runs granting "a significant token payout." This will discourage players from resetting Trials cards and farming low-ranked matches, all while amping up the allure of going flawless.
Speaking of low-ranked matches: Bungie is also planning to add a weekly bounty which "does not require match wins" but "will reward the same item that comes from the three-win passage." The original Trials of Osiris in Destiny 1 had a similar bounty, and it did a pretty good job of getting everyone - not just PvP enthusiasts - to play Trials. This benefited the event's population hugely, and it let everyone enjoy the special Trials gear, so it's nice to see it returning for Destiny 2's Trials.
Finally, Bungie hopes to level the playing field between Trials and other end-game activities, most notably Ordeal Nightfalls, with regards to Masterwork material farming. The event is a poor source of Enhancement Prisms and Ascendant Shards despite requiring considerably more time and coordination than PvE activities, so Bungie is adding more materials to the aforementioned three, five, and seven-win payouts.
"You may be asking 'What about Adept weapons?'" Truman added, referring to the flawless-exclusive variant weapons which are conspicuously absent from Destiny 2's Trials. "We’re currently investigating a new form of flawless award weapons for a future Season. They might not have the same name, but these weapons would have some differences in order to set them apart. Right now we are currently looking at giving these weapons the ability to replace the weapon mod slot with an adept mod slot(name may change) that can accept custom-built mods in addition to the normal list of weapon mods. All of this is subject to change as we continue to develop but wanted to give you an early look."
So, that's rewards handled. Now, what of the cheaters? Engineering director David Aldridge offered an update on Bungie's war on cheaters and its plans to turn the tide.
According to Aldridge, cheater activity has increased by nearly 50% since January, and banning activity has more than tripled in the Season of the Worthy. Cheaters are rampant, and as Aldridge says, "those frustrations are happening too often right now, and the vengeance of the banhammer is often too far behind."
To help speed up the banning process and limit the impact of cheaters on Trials and the rest of Crucible, Bungie is beefing up its anti-cheat team by shifting employees to that space. For the PC version, where cheating is most rampant, it's also planning to integrate more features from Valve Anti-Cheat now that the game is hosted on Steam. "The one thing I can say is that a big focus is rapid response – we want to get cheaters out of the pool more quickly," Aldridge says. "This is key to reducing the value of cheating, especially in selling access to cheats."
Additionally, the studio is making a big change to how bans are handled. Going forward, anyone caught playing with a cheater for an extended period of time - for example, all the way to the Trials Lighthouse - will be banned even if they themselves are not cheating. "If you LFG your way into a fireteam with a cheater, get out and report them," Aldridge cautioned. "If you ride them to a flawless, the Banhammer will come for you as well."
And just as the Trials development team is investigating new flawless rewards, the anti-cheat team is looking into the possibility of adding new requirements to Trials of Osiris. Many players have suggested adding a paywall to the activity so that cheaters can't recycle free accounts with impunity. Bungie is also considering a time investment. The hypothetical Aldridge offered would require players to play Destiny 2 for 100 hours before they could access Trials of Osiris, but there are some obvious downsides to this idea, so it's just a hypothetical for now. However, Aldridge says "we'll re-evaluate access requirements in future seasons," but Trials entry requirements will remain unchanged for the Season of the Worthy.
"Our overall goal with Destiny security is to provide a competitive, fair ecosystem where cheaters are rarely seen and are rapidly ejected from the game," Aldridge assures. "We’re not there right now, and we’re increasing the priority."