Ever since it was introduced, Gambit has been a contentious game mode in Destiny 2. It’s essentially a race — the PVE/PVP hybrid playlist has players taking on enemies and collecting their Motes to summon a boss and defeat it before the other team does. There’s one major wrinkle, though. Each team occasionally has access to a portal through which they can invade the other team’s playing field. During the majority of the game, killing members of the other team causes them to lose any Motes they were carrying. When the boss is in play, kills by an Invader restore its health. In theory, this is a fine idea for a game mode. In practice, though, Gambit can be a miserable slog — even after Bungie has made change after change to try to fix it. But I came across an idea the other day that could potentially fix Gambit and make it a much, much more enjoyable experience for players.
Fix Invasions, Fix Gambit
The idea comes from kendragon on Reddit — or, more precisely, his son. The idea is this: invading to motes. Like, actually have Invaders be required to carry motes in order to invade, with the amount of time they have during the invasion directly related to how many motes they’re carrying when they enter the invasion portal.
It’s a an elegant solution to Gambit’s biggest issue. Right now, there’s no real cost to invading — sure, you might fail to get any kills or even die and drop a few Motes the other team can collect, but the fact that invading is such a low-stakes part of Gambit tilts the balance of the whole mode towards it. Additionally, it doesn’t really fit the mode’s risk/reward theme. But if you had to pay for invasions in motes, then suddenly invading isn’t a free pass to harry the other team. Instead, it becomes a calculated decision to wager your motes against the other team’s.
Detractors might say that this would only make the Freelance Gambit playlist more frustrating, because you’d potentially have low-skill Invaders not only wasting your team’s invasions but also your motes. That’s possible, but at this point I think most players know the drill with Gambit in Destiny 2 and don’t invade unless they’re either true sweats or else have a Gjallarhorn or something similar equipped. It’s also a price I’m willing to pay to alleviate the mode’s current imbalance.
You Gotta Pay the Mote Toll
Dying to an Invader in Gambit just isn’t fun. Being defeated by a human player is, I believe, more frustrating to most than dying to a computer-controlled opponent, because it becomes personal. In the straight-up PVP Crucible in Destiny 2, players know what they’re getting into, and you expect to be shotgunned at point blank by a guy named “CaiatlsGymTowel.” But in Gambit, getting invaded changes the whole tenor and pacing of the match. Maybe that’s what Bungie is going for, but it’s such a stressful experience knowing you’re being hunted by someone with wallhacks that plenty of players simply try to hide and wait the timer out. And because there’s no real benefit to killing the invader, most of the time hiding is the best strategy — all you lose is a little time, versus potential lost motes.
If Invaders had to carry their own Motes to cross over, there would be more incentive to track them down and fight back. It would make Gambit more exciting, fix the fact that invading is by far the dominant strategy in the mode, and work well with the existing theming. Keep things simple, and make the invasion costs the same as those to summon Blockers — 5, 10, and 15 Mote tiers, with each giving you a little more time on the other side. You would probably just lose those Motes if you died, maybe dropping a few as Invaders currently do, because carrying 15 Motes and handing them over to the other team would probably be too big a swing.
Ok, but if you put up a Mote paywall to invading, then how would it work during the Primeval fight? I think the solution here would be to make Invader deaths more costly. Two possibilities: either make killing the Invader grant your whole team a Primeval Slayer buff like you get from killing Envoys, or else have their death heal their own Primeval. There would be some issues to figure out in scenarios where one team summoned their Primeval much earlier than the other, but I think they could be solved with a few tweaks.
What do you think? Would you play more Gambit if this change was implemented in Destiny 2? Or do you think the mode is fine as-is? Let me know in the comments. Full disclosure, I will think you’re a sicko if you believe that Gambit is currently perfect, but I’d love to hear what you like about it!
If you’re looking for help with Destiny 2, we have guides covering how to unlock the Solar 3.0 fragments and grenades, how to get the new Jotunn catalyst, how to farm Vestiges of Dread and Opulent Umbral Energy, all Exotics, new weapon Patterns, seasonal mods, and Season of the Haunted triumphs. In addition, we’re covering all patch notes, bugs and top issues, Bound in Sorrow quest steps, and Calus Bobbleheads. We’ve covered how to get Opulent Keys, Bound Presence in Containment, Crown of Sorrow H.E.L.M. upgrades, Iron Banner Seal Triumphs, and the Trespasser Catalyst. And lastly, we’ve written on how to find a Loyalist Commander for Battles Lines Triumph and the Cek’ik Boss.