Bungie promises power matters in Destiny's new and improved Iron Banner
Plus, counter to quitters, bounties tweaked and reputation gain changed.
Destiny's Iron Banner mode is set to undergo sweeping changes when it returns to the game, developer Bungie has said.
Chief among them is that power will matter, the studio promised in the latest Bungie Weekly update.
The Iron Banner is a special competitive multiplayer event in which player damage and armour ratings are supposed to matter. Normally, the game's Crucible mode, in which PVP takes place, strips out player power advantage in an attempt to create a level playing field.
But many players complained about Iron Banner the last time it was live for not providing high level players with enough of an advantage. In the post lead designer Tyson Green said when Iron Banner returns, that won't be a problem.
"The goal for Level Advantages in PVP had been to create relatively small advantages that would suffice only to tilt the balance between players of equal skill towards the player of greater achievement, expressed in terms of his gear," Green said.
"But we now believe we have been too conservative, and that small tilts failed to meet anyone's expectations.
"In the next Iron Banner, we will debut a much more dramatic difference between players of wide variation in Level. We will detail the changes in an article of its own to come as soon as we settle on some of the numbers."
So, the next Iron Banner will require a Fireteam leader to be level 20 to enter. Lower level players may join with their level 20+ chaperone, Green said, but they will find it "very challenging".
Another problem with Iron Banner was players would quit the game early if it wasn't going their way. As reputation points were not awarded upon defeat, and with no penalty in place for quitting early, a lot of players jumped ship to save time.
Bungie's answer to this is to award a Medallion if Iron to players on a loss. Next time you win, each Medallion you're carrying converts into a reputation gain almost equal to a win.
Then there's the armour and weapons issue. There was a feeling that the rewards on offer for doing well in Iron Banner did not justify the time required to gain them, especially if you already had exotic items and raid gear.
The next Iron Banner includes exclusive new armour bumped to level 30 - but this will still only be available in two slots. "For advanced players, this will make them viable functional or visual sidegrades," Green said.
"Iron Banner Weapons were already viable sidegrades for all but the most advanced players, but we would like to expand the options available," he continued.
"In the next Iron Banner, the weapon types available will go from two to four, divided between drops on match victory, and purchase from Lord Saladin in the Tower."
Meanwhile, Iron Banner bounties will be made easier and their value has been bumped up. They've been shifted to Lord Saladin, too, "who was getting a little lonely back there with only his gong and dinosaur drawings."
There's a new feature, called Reforging. This lets players reforge and Iron Banner weapon, including those from the last event. This re-rolls all of the upgrades but also resets any progression (you'll need a small number of Motes of Light to do this). So keep hold of Timur's Lash, if you have it - it has the potential to be made more useful.
And, to help those who can't play Destiny as much as others, and so struggled to gain much reputation during the week-long Iron Banner event, Bungie will introduce a 12-hour buff called Tempered, which boosts Iron Banner reputation gains.
"As the week goes forward, this boost will be increasingly potent, to help players starting later in the week to catch up," Green explained.
"In Iron Banners after the next, we expect that we will further tune these bonuses by increasing their potency, but limiting their effect to lower ranks."
Bungie mentioned an Iron Banner reputation reset, which doesn't actually mean a reputation reset for the next event. Rather, Iron Banner ranks have been increased to five.
"In the next Iron Banner, you will still have the Rank achieved in the last," Green said.
"But we still want players to come together for at least a few nights of team PVP, including veterans of the last event, so the Iron Banner ranks have been increased to 5. Some of the adjustments above will help players ascend more quickly through these and existing ranks.
"In future Iron Banners, we will change over from Reputation to an Event Standing model where ranks are reset, but only after we better tune the effort required to reach the higher ranks."
Bungie suggested Iron Banner will return before the end of the year. But it sounds like Destiny's other event, Queen's Wrath, won't return any time soon.
"Queen's Wrath will be going back into the oven for a while," Green said.