Wizards of the world, unite. With cross-platform multiplayer due to arrive in Destiny 2's next season, Bungie are now ready to give the tech a big ol' test. Next week, they're inviting Guardians on all platforms to try a Strike playlist that'll throw everyone into the same matchmaking pool. That's not mega-exciting but you can earn a special emblem for taking part, and everyone knows nothing motivates the Traveller's magical walking corpses more than getting a shiny thing to show off.
The Vanguard Strikes Cross Play Beta playlist will run from Tuesday, May 25th to Thursday the 27th. It'll throw players from Steam, Xbox, PlayStation, and Stadia together willy-nilly to see how it all works. No, no PvP. No, no you can't invite your console pals to party up. Just Strikes with randos. But hey! If you complete three Strikes in the special playlist, you'll earn the Stars Crossed emblem:
Cross-platform play was briefly enabled at the start of the current season, but only by accident. A Bungie community manager explained, "This isn't meant to be live yet and is not representative of the full experience." The devs disabled it later that work.
Cross-platform PvE sounds nice but I wouldn't want unwitting consoleers to be matched against random PC peeps in PvP. The meta is so different on PC and console, tweaked for different controls, and honestly I fear too many folks would get straight murdered. But y'know, PvP would be fine if it were optional. Ah, we'll see.
Season 15 is expected to start on August 24th. Season 14 is running longer than usual because Bungie delayed the next expansion, The Witch Queen, out of the usual November slot and into 2022, so they need to space 'em out.
Before all this, a new (old) raid arrives on Saturday. Vault Of Glass, the first raid from the first game, will hit D2 at 6pm (10am Pacific). Once again, for the first 24 hours it will run in a Contest Mode with the difficulty cranked up. I know I'm heading in with my fireteam. Difficulty Destiny is often the game at its best.
Bungie do have bad news for Hunters who were planning to cheese the heck out Vault Of Glass with their shiny new trousers, the Star-Eater Scales. Because they've been bugged and buffing damage more than intended, they'll be disabled for that first day. Even as a Hunter main, I can't grumble: those trousers are out of control.