Here’s how Destiny’s intentionally unbalanced multiplayer event is set to improve

strong survive destinys iron banner returning december 16 destiny
Destiny‘s Iron Banner multiplayer event, which sends players into the competitive Crucible mode with all of their level-based advantages intact, is set to return, perhaps as soon as “the end of next week” (ending November 21), according to Bungie.

The first crack at Iron Banner wasn’t exactly a success. The limited-time event exists to offer players an opportunity to jump into Destiny‘s competitive multiplayer mode and enjoy an advantage based on all of the hours spent building up a high-level character. Under normal circumstances, Crucible automatically balances stats out. The unique properties of weapons and armor can make a difference, but there’s no damage/damage resistance advantage for toting around high-end gear.

Iron Banner changes all of that, but the 1.0 take on the event failed to please fans. The simple explanation for what went wrong: Low-level players were limited by the power/defense ratings of their gear in Iron Banner 1.0, but high-level players only got so much of an edge before a limiter kicked in. The idea was to make it so that even a level 5 player could attack a level 20 or higher and have a chance of winning.

Related: Get an edge in Destiny‘s Crucible with our handy guide

All of that changes in Iron Banner 2.0. Now, only players at level 20 and above can lead a fireteam into Crucible. Lower level players can join their high-level friends, but combat encounters between any characters that are more than three levels apart stack the odds heavily against the lower-level player (in Iron Banner 1.0, it was a seven-level differential to remain competitive).

Bungie states that armor/defense rating matters much more in Iron Banner 2.0, to the point that in a low-level vs. high-level encounter, the former is facing the Crucible equivalent of a boss. By the same token, weapon ratings also matter more, so even a level 20 equipped with a fully upgraded super-weapon, such as the Vision of Confluence or Vex Mythoclast, can be a major threat to a level 30.

All reputation from the previous Iron Banner carries over to 2.0, but the rankings are going to reset after this next event. There are now five ranks to earn reputation for in Iron Banner 2.0, and players can boost their rep gains by activating a Tempered buff (it’s not clear how that is earned).

As an encouragement that players not ragequit a losing match, Bungie also notes that while reputation gains only go to the winning team, losers earn a token that can be spent after a future win (though it’s not clear what these tokens get you).

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