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Destiny 2 3-peeking "a complicated issue", Bungie investigating changes

Cheer emote.

Bungie has said it's currently discussing Destiny 2's "3-peeking" issue, but made no promises changes will be made.

3-peeking, or third-person peeking, is the act of forcing the normally first-person camera into third-person, giving PvP players an advantage because they can peek around corners safely.

3-peeking is a long-standing issue in first-person shooters that have some third-person elements, but it's particularly troublesome in Destiny 2's competitive multiplayer. Destiny 2 is a game full of legitimate mechanics that pull the camera back into third-person, including swords and emotes, and some players use this to gain an upper hand in the Crucible, Destiny's PvP arena.

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This week saw a vociferous call for change from high-level Destiny players, particularly on social media, in response to the long-running prevalence of 3-peeking and exacerbated by its use in the ultra-hardcore PvP Trials mode.

In response, Bungie's lead community manager Cozmo took to Twitter to say the development team was discussing the issue of 3-peeking, but could not promise changes would be made.

"The team is aware of the feedback around 3-peeking and currently discussing possible options," Cosmo said.

"No promises - as we are still investigating what changes are viable since it's a complicated issue that affects both emotes, swords, and any potential, future third-person weapons."

As Cozmo suggests, this is a tricky issue. It seems unlikely Bungie will want to pull the use of swords from the game - the weapon is well-established and powerful part of the overall Destiny 2 PvP meta. And they can be fun!

And it seems even more unlikely Bungie will pull emotes from PvP. Players spend real-world cash on emotes in order to show off out in the field, and in PvP they're often used for taunting. Restrict their use, and fewer people will buy them.

So, what's to be done? Redditor jdewittweb suggested a solution I've seen pop up a few times as part of this debate: lock the player into an emote animation once they start it (currently in Destiny you can cancel an emote's animation at will). While this solution would mean 3-peeking remains, there would be quite the risk involved, particularly if Bungie made open-ended emotes last for a minimum of five seconds. In the heat of battle, five seconds of locked in emote time could mean certain death.

Trickier, though, is the issue of swords. Swords are considered heavy weapons in Destiny 2, and so their use is restricted by the scarcity of heavy ammo. One solution suggested is to make swords impossible to wield unless they have ammo, although there are problems here, too. Would the camera-switch upon ammo pick-up be difficult to deal with when you're contesting the heavy ammo? Probably.

It's a tricky design challenge for Bungie, and no doubt all these options will have been discussed at some point already by the studio's multiplayer designers. While there was clearly enough of an outcry this week to spark a response from Cosmo on the issue, how significant is the portion of players affected by 3-peeking in the first place? It'll be interesting to see if 3-peeking remains as it is, or if the developer comes up with some way to keep the high-level PvP community happy with a change that also keeps the wider playerbase on board.

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Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.