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It's not fun to get completely annihilated in a Crucible match in Destiny. To make defeats a little less crushing, Bungie is instituting a "Mercy Rule" for certain competitive multiplayer modes.
The development team explained on Bungie.net that they've been collecting data on multiplayer matches since Destiny launched. They've noticed a significant amount of these matches are completely lopsided. In the case of Control, about 12-13% of matches end with one team ahead by 10,000 points or more (the final goal is 20,000). While they don't have a problem with "legit blowouts earned by exceptional play," they don't want players to have to keep plugging away in matches where the margin of victory ends up being 15,000 to 19,000. In the future, extremely imbalanced matches like this will trigger the Mercy Rule:
When the Mercy Rule hits, Shaxx will call out the end of the match. We immediately disable join in progress to prevent any additional players from joining the game (if anyone has dropped already) and reset the game clock to :10 seconds. After those 10 seconds, the match will end normally. All players will receive their end of match rewards and return to matchmaking.
Bungie didn't divulge exactly how the game will verify that the Mercy Rule is needed for a given match. They admit that it still needs some work. It's very good at detecting games that become blowouts early in the match but less effective at noticing it later on. The development team will keep monitoring match data after the Mercy Rule is adding and make adjustments as needed.
The Mercy Rule will be available for all team-based playlists except Elimination and Trials of Osiris. It's also not used in Rumble:
The low-scoring, round-based nature of Elimination is not well suited for this rule; a 4-0 match will often end pretty quickly and still offers comeback opportunity. Rumble, by way of free for all gameplay, is also much less sensitive to blowout games as everyone has multiple targets and the score limit is in the ballpark of only around ~25 kills.
If you manage to beat a team badly enough to force the Mercy Rule, Bungie still wants you to feel proud. They're adding a gold medal called "No Mercy" to the game to recognize your achievement:
Bungie has found other ways to ease Crucible losers' pain in the past. Nine months ago, they added Slaughter Rules to Destiny's competitive multiplayer. Slaughter Rules dissolve a lobby after a lopsided match and put players back into matchmaking so they can find a more balanced fight. The Iron Banner PvP event was revised around the same time to reward players who stayed until the end of losing matches.
Destiny's Mercy Rule will be implemented as part of the 2.0 Update coming next week. The patch will also kick off a week-long free trial of the new modes and maps coming in expansion pack The Taken King.