I was in a bit of a downer mood this past weekend. Maybe you know the feeling, since there’s a lot of it going around lately — listless, bored, and a little snippy. Lacking any better ideas, I booted up my PC and got on Discord, where I noticed a number of my Destiny 2 clanmates were in the same voice channel. I hopped on to ask what they were up to — raiding? Grinding Warmind Bits? Getting sweaty in Trials? The answer was none of the above. They were playing RNG Rumble, a multiplayer mode you won’t find in the game itself, but that has since become one of my favorite things to do in Destiny 2.
Let me explain: “Rumble” is Destiny‘s term for a Hobbesian war of all against all, better known in most multiplayer games as “Deathmatch.” Now, most player-versus-player gameplay in Destiny 2 is team-based, with you and your friends squadding up against a similar team of foes. You’re almost never battling your own clanmates, unless you take the trouble to set up a private match. And honestly, a straight-up slugfest sounds kind of miserable when you take into account that Destiny 2‘s best equipment is, appropriately enough, only available to the most experienced players. And that’s not even taking skill differentials into account — some people in my clan are PVP sweats, while others rarely touch the Crucible.
But one small tweak changes all this and makes Rumble with friends a blast, regardless of skill level. This where the “RNG” part comes in. See, widely-used Destiny inventory management site Destiny Item Manager allows players to randomize their loadouts. In the words of my person hero Anakin Skywalker, this is where the fun begins.
The first round I played, I had the Bastion Exotic fusion rifle and ran roughshod over everyone around me. The second I had two sniper rifles. In the third, I lucked out and got Hard Light, making a total mess of the map with ricocheting lasers. After that, my hubris was punished by a string of matches where I was deprived of a Special weapon. But whether I was winning or losing, I was having a wonderful time.
Like Team Scorched, RNG Rumble is just too wacky to take seriously. But whereas that mode turns Destiny PVP on its head by assigning everyone the same weapon like in the shooters of yore, RNG Rumble just dials up the chaos. And like my other personal hero the Joker taught me, the thing with chaos is, it’s fair. Yes, you could be on top of the world with a sweet hand cannon/shotgun roll one round, but next time the old random number generator might gift you a couple of blues that have inexplicably been sitting in your vault for years.
I’ve often compared the feel of casual multiplayer Destiny to just hanging out with friends, playing road hockey or sinking baskets. Well, RNG Rumble is like that but if everyone’s limbs randomly changed length every few minutes. Give it a shot — it’s a great way to play Destiny 2 in a season that’s been pretty light on new content thus far.