Bungie disables Destiny 2's new Breakthrough PvP mode following player complaints

Just two weeks after the release of Breakthrough, the new PvP mode in Destiny 2's Forsaken DLC, Bungie has disabled the mode to take time to "investigate issues" impacting it. It's unclear when Breakthrough will return and in what state, but it's clear it wasn't well received. 

Breakthrough was billed as a two-stage, objective-based game mode. In stage one, two teams of four compete to capture a central point. In stage two, the team that captured the previous point fights to capture another point in the enemy base called a vault. In other words, both teams attack in stage one, while one team attacks and the other defends in stage two. The attacking team earns one point if they successfully capture the enemy's vault, but the defending team can also earn a point for successfully defending their vault until the timer runs out. 

This scoring system caused problems almost immediately. Players quickly realized that it's easier to defend your vault than to attack the enemy vault and that capturing the central point is basically a waste of time, if not outright counterproductive. You don't earn points for it and it puts you in an unfavorable position, so many teams opted to play passively, forfeit the central point, and win by turtling in their own vault. This resulted in long, dull matches and frequent stalemates—the total opposite of the dynamic tug-of-war Bungie pitched.

Scoring was only part of the problem. On top of that, the spawn points in Breakthrough were incredibly easy to exploit. Skilled players looking to farm kills frequently abandoned the mode's objectives altogether so they could trap their opponents in their base using power ammo and super abilities. And while Breakthrough initially had its own playlist, after a week it was added into the competitive Crucible playlist. As countless players can tell you, the competitive playlist struggles to match players evenly according to their skill level, and this only exacerbated Breakthrough's problems.

Suffice it to say, Breakthrough flopped. But Bungie hasn't given up on it: Destiny 2 community manager dmg04 put out a call on Twitter asking players to share what they liked and didn't like about the mode, and how they would fix it. Several top Crucible players chimed in with a variety of suggestions. 

Holtzmann, a Destiny YouTuber and Twitch streamer who recently finished some contract work at Bungie, said spawn times and spawn points "felt too punishing on some maps." Destiny YouTuber nKuch offered a potential incentive for capturing the middle point: letting teams take turns attacking and defending points and vaults. Similarly, Twitch streamer Gamesager suggested doubling down on the tug-of-war aspect and allowing players to turn the tables, rather than simply win the round, if they defend their vault. Gigz, a top Destiny 2 streamer and one of the first to complete Forsaken's Last Wish raid, suggested a more radical shift to a King of the Hill-type mode with multiple objectives. 

Other players discussed scoring changes. One of the more popular suggestions was Holtzmann's idea of earning one point for capturing the central point and another point for capturing the enemy vault, ensuring both objectives feel worthwhile. There's no telling whether suggestions like these will actually make it into the game, and players likely won't hear how Breakthrough is changing for a few weeks at least, but it's clear something needs to change. 

Breakthrough is having issues, but the Last Wish raid may be the best thing Bungie's ever made. We spoke to Bungie's raid design team about the making of Last Wish and what makes it special. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.