A while back, I wrote about my "Destiny Diary," a combination hobby coding and gaming project that uses the Destiny 2 API to gather information about my in-game loot and identifies new items so that I can annotate them with my own tiny journal about my play. This was a way of telling stories that come out of my time playing the game, and trying to play conscientiously.Β 

For "season 3" of the game, I continued this tracking, and added a brand new feature: game-by-game storing and aggregation of my stats. There are tracking sites that use the API to monitor the meta -- overall weapon dominance and how those numbers trend over time -- but they don't provide per-weapon detail *per player*. So I set about to do that for myself, and kept the record of every activity (more or less) that I played through this season of the game (roughly, early May through early September). Each game is stored as a json file that I can parse (again, with my favorite ever tool, jq), build summary data, and then bring into R to analyze and visualize.

Now, just as the Forsaken update is about to launch and end season 3, I thought I should actually go look at that data. Here are my top twenty weapons, by kills, for each of the PVE and PVP game modes:

|       PVE         |  n   |               PVP                |  n  |
|-------------------|------|----------------------------------|-----|
|      Sunshot      | 2408 |          Vigilance Wing          | 325 |
|      Crimson      | 1763 |         The Jade Rabbit          | 251 |
|   Origin Story    | 1199 |             Crimson              | 188 |
|     Valakadyn     | 1193 |            Valakadyn             | 120 |
|   True Prophecy   | 1024 |            Kibou AR3             | 116 |
|   Polaris Lance   | 852  |         Perfect Paradox          | 63  |
|  Niflheim Frost   | 822  |         Positive Outlook         | 62  |
|    Vacuna SR4     | 715  |         Main Ingredient          | 56  |
| IKELOS_HC_v1.0.1  | 613  |       The Time-Worn Spire        | 39  |
|    Conspirator    | 522  |            The Vision            | 37  |
|  Perfect Paradox  | 443  |            Vacuna SR4            | 33  |
|     Kibou AR3     | 442  |           Proelium FR3           | 28  |
|   Better Devils   | 392  |         Sins of the Past         | 25  |
| Positive Outlook  | 355  |         Legend of Acrius         | 23  |
|   Machina Dei 4   | 333  | Hawthorne's Field-Forged Shotgun | 22  |
| Sins of the Past  | 244  |           Manannan SR4           | 18  |
| Inaugural Address | 200  |       Stochastic Variable        | 18  |
| Nameless Midnight | 170  |          Retrofuturist           | 15  |
| Skyburner's Oath  | 170  |           Conspirator            | 13  |
|  The Conqueror 2  | 156  |         Magnum Shepherd          | 13  |

There are actually a lot of stories just in this summary data! The top 2 for each game mode have a ton of kills, in part because those were required for the masterwork catalyst for each: Sunshot and Crimson had PVE masterwork requirements, while I went to the crucible *a lot* for the Vigilance Wing and the Jade Rabbit masterworks. And while I told myself at the time that I came to really enjoy the Jade Rabbit, you can see here that I did exactly the 250 crucible kills required for the masterwork, plus 1 (!), and then put it away again. Oh, well.Β 

On the PVE side, after the masterwork grind, two auto rifles and a hand cannon round out my top 5, which tell a lot of stories of running strikes and story missions. Four of the rest of my top 10 are great, favorite scout rifles that I rotate frequently (Polaris Lance melts big enemies and I still haven't finished its masterwork). That Vacuna SR4? That's the D2 equivalent -- almost! -- of the legendary Hung Jury from Destiny 1. Also noteworthy is that three of those scouts are new in season 3; my previous season's favorite scout, Nameless Midnight, barely makes the top 20 (sorry, buddy; still <3 you).Β 

I would like to have a season 2 to season 3 comparison for PVP, because I changed a lot this season. These numbers show a lot of Crimson and auto rifle use, and less pulse, but the Time Worn Spire (pulse) was one of my favorites in season 2, especially during my grind for competitive wins at the very end of the season. Otherwise, while my numbers overall are much lower than for PVE (of course, because I play far more of that mode), there's a lot of variety here: more SMGs, shotguns and fusions. (Also, The Vision: the weapon finally, finally awarded by my forever faction, Future War Cult, for winning a faction rally finally.)

Bar graph showing number of kills per weapon, by game type (PVP and PVE)
Bar graph showing number of kills per weapon, by game type (PVP and PVE)

The plot above is just a different way of visualizing the same data, mostly to show how steeply different the overall numbers are for PVP and PVE, and to call out the handful of relatively big PVP numbers: again, those blue spikes are the weapons that I worked hard on for masterwork catalysts, and you can see how much higher they are than the comparable PVE numbers for the same weapon.Β 

This is a really interesting and useful way for me to document one of the hobbies that occupies a good chunk of my free time, and now that I've explored some of the data I'm happy that it sparked as many gaming memories as it has; there's a lot of time in successful and unsuccessful raid attempts, gradually improving crucible skill, and questing for specific items represented in these numbers. Forsaken/Season 4 introduces a new weapon system and will have a ton of brand new gear, so I'll look forward to watching my trends as we go into the new several months of the game.