Bungie will rework the rewards system for future iterations of Destiny 2’s Iron Banner event, following fan feedback.
Iron Banner debuted in Destiny 2 earlier this month with several changes from Destiny 1. It no longer featured power advantages for players of a higher level. It also spat out random rewards using Destiny 2’s blanket token reputation system, rather than letting users pick out specific items. People did not like this.
Over the weekend, Bungie addressed the issue during its TwitchCon 2017 panel (archived by D0cR3d on reddit).
During the session, Bungie admitted it had heard the feedback, and that Destiny 2’s token economy was not always the best method of doling out rewards for everything.
Future Iron Banner events would let users exchange tokens and legendary shards for specific gear, Bungie announced. Iron Banner gear would also offer ornaments which require you to complete in-game objectives to unlock.
It sounds like we’ll need to wait a little while for these changes, however. One more Iron Banner will be held in Destiny 2’s Season 1, before Bungie refreshes the game for Season 2.
Seasons were Bungie’s other big announcement of the livestream – quarterly periods which will see Destiny 2 change on a predictable schedule and introduce new features, sandbox tuning and other reasons to return.
Season 2 will include Destiny’s festive event The Dawning, which will introduce snowball fights and ice hockey in the game’s social spaces.
The new season will also bring fresh gear to get from opening Bright Engrams, such as exotic ships, Sparrows, emotes and Ghosts.
Finally, Season 2 will bring a reset to your Destiny clan level, and new perks to unlock.
December is expected to bring Destiny 2’s first paid-for piece of DLC, themed around Mercury and Osiris. It’s likely we’ll see Season 2 sometime around then.
Destiny 2’s Iron Banner event made its debut this week, another carryover from the first game that’s been tweaked enough to require a reappraisal. Unfortunately, it’s lost something along the way.
Iron Banner is a week-long event that comes around every six weeks or so. It centers on the competitive Crucible, and in the first game, it tweaked the standard Crucible template in several ways. There was a separate event-specific vendor, loot table, and rank system, all tied to how you performed as you played. Matches were all set to a single game-type, usually Control-point domination, and player levels actually made a (very slight) difference in how much damage they dished out or received.
Destiny 2’s Iron Banner changes almost every part of the original Iron Banner formula, in addition to the many changes the sequel makes to the Crucible overall. You no longer rank up by playing, nor does your rank allow you to directly purchase items from the Iron Banner vendor. Instead, you earn tokens from wins and losses and cash them in at that vendor, same as with other Destiny 2 events. You no longer have to kit yourself out in Iron Banner gear or use special items to max your XP. And in the clearest difference, higher-level characters will no longer enjoy a slight damage advantage when compared with lower-level characters.
Much of the streamlining Bungie has done with Destiny 2 has been for the better, regardless of its (likely) short-term impact on the endless replayability of endgame. But now that I’ve spent an evening with the new Iron Banner, it’s clear that something is missing. Iron Banner has lost some crucial part of its identity.
Iron Banner used to occupy a space in between the hardcore sweat of Trials and the more casual vibe of ordinary Crucible. During Destiny 1, I rarely had the time or inclination to compete seriously in Trials, but I would routinely gear up for Iron Banner whenever it rolled around. A bunch of people from my clan would usually be online that week, and folks would pop into and out of one another’s parties freely. We’d team up, trash-talk, win some, lose some. At the start of the week, I’d see that the vendor had a gun I really wanted, and it was pretty easy to get to the rank I needed to buy it. And while the actual damage boost I got from being high level was almost meaningless, I still felt rewarded to have spent time building a loadout that would help me win.
It’s not bad, exactly. It’s just indistinct.
Those systems have been removed, and the new Iron Banner is struggling to fill the space left in their absence. The new token reward system feels like the easiest thing to point to as a problem, but I don’t think that’s really it. Destiny 2 has shifted to a token economy for just about everything. Trials of the Nine, Faction Rally, and even the Leviathan raid lean toward rewarding players with tokens instead of in-activity loot drops. While the token system can be deflating compared with the first game’s more traditional drops, each of those activities still has a distinct identity.
It’s not bad, exactly. It’s just indistinct. It’s nice to have a Crucible playlist that’s nothing but Control matches, because Control remains one of the most solidly enjoyable of Destiny’s PvP modes. (Destiny 2, unlike its predecessor, doesn’t let you select modes before you start.) I played for a couple hours without fear of the usual back-to-back Supremacy matches that seem to dominate my time in the Crucible otherwise. I’m also always glad when there’s new loot to chase, though after playing all evening and only getting a couple of armor pieces, I do wish I could be saving up for a guaranteed weapon purchase.
Of all of Destiny 1’s varied challenges and timed activities, Iron Banner was the most steadfast. It wasn’t my favorite thing to do, but I always had a good time. Whenever it rolled around, it provided an enjoyable excuse to get back into the game if I’d been taking some time off. Some friends and I would party up, put on our Iron Banner regalia, and go blow some stuff up. The new Iron Banner feels less necessary. It could use some sort of tweak, some creative something to give it a more distinct identity. As it stands, it’s just not very exciting.
Destiny 2 players are getting their first taste of the Iron Banner this week.
A semi-regular Crucible player-versus-player event in the original Destiny, the Iron Banner offered exclusive wolf-themed armor and weapons for skilled players who were willing to put in the time. But things have changed in the sequel, and not just because the Crucible is a four-on-four affair this time around. Here’s what you need to know.
When is the Iron Banner active?
Destiny 2’s first Iron Banner event goes live at the weekly reset this week — 2 a.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 10 — and will run for exactly seven days, ending at the same time on Tuesday, Oct. 17.
How do Iron Banner matches work in Destiny 2?
Let’s take a step back and explain the Iron Banner in the original Destiny. Level advantages were enabled, which meant that your gear mattered — if you were at a Light level of 220, you would do more damage to (and take less damage from) a Guardian who was at, say, 180 Light. Of course, the game’s matchmaking system would try to pit you against players who were at a similar level. But this setup still restricted your loadout options: Would you risk switching to a preferred weapon even if it dropped your Light significantly? (In the standard Crucible, you can use whatever gear you want, because level advantages are disabled.)
Bungie is keeping level advantages disabled across all Crucible modes in Destiny 2, including Trials of the Nine and Iron Banner. So whether you’re at a power level of 200 or 305, you’ll be on the same footing as your opponents — life and death will come down to skill. That’s all well and good, but it does take away the defining facet of competition in the Iron Banner.
Control is the gametype for Destiny 2’s first Iron Banner event, but don’t get used to it — it’s usually a different one each time.
How do Iron Banner rewards work in Destiny 2?
The Iron Banner always offers gear that can only be earned by playing Iron Banner matches. You’ll unlock those items in much the same way as you get gear from other activities in Destiny 2: Completing matches gives you Iron Banner tokens — you get more of them if you win — and you turn in those tokens to Lord Saladin, the event’s vendor. When you give him enough of them, he’ll reward you with an Iron Banner engram that can contain Iron Banner-themed armor and weapons.
This setup is way more simple than the reward structure for Destiny’s Iron Banner, where access to gear was gated by the amount of time you put in. To be able to unlock the best items, you had to play enough to level up through five ranks of Iron Banner reputation. That required a significant time commitment, especially within the one week that the event was active. Bungie has also done away with Iron Banner bounties; in fact, there are no bounties in Destiny 2 at all.
Is anything else coming with the Iron Banner?
Indeed there is! Bungie announced this afternoon that it will add a new Crucible map to Destiny 2 along with the Iron Banner event. The map, Distant Shore, is set on Nessus. Once the Iron Banner event ends, Distant Shore will enter the rotation for all Crucible gametypes.