Destiny’s Iron Banner Event is Completely Pointless and Other Issues

Destiny Banner

There’s a special week long PVP event going on now in Destiny that began yesterday. It’s called the “Iron Banner,” and it is suppose to be the Control mode with level advantages enabled. Bungie told us to bring our best gear and weapons, because defense and attack would matter. There is one problem with that it: they don’t matter in the slightest.

The Iron Banner didn’t seem much different in the beta, but then I didn’t think much about it because 1.) I didn’t play a whole lot of it since it was limited in time and 2.) max level was eight and you had to be five to even do PVP.

Having played quite a bit of it now since it began yesterday, there are absolutely no level advantages whatsoever. Everything Bungie said about it is an outright fabrication. It is literally just Control, as silly and broken (but still a lot of fun) as ever.

Just watch this video from YouTube user OohaPieceaCandy:

Yes, that’s a level four character mowing down high level players and ending with 15 kills and five deaths, in the Iron Banner. That shouldn’t happen.

Myself and most other people who have played enough of Destiny’s PVP knew it didn’t feel like levels mattered, but that video proves it.

In a post on Bungie’s forums in reply to OohaPieceaCandy posting his video, Bungie Community Manager DeeJ responded with:

I’ll be addressing this in the Weekly Update.

Preview: Power Matters, but so does skill.

It really doesn’t. Obviously skill matters, but power most certainly does not. And if it somehow does, it’s something absurd like 0.1%.

At level 29, with 1382 defense and fully upgraded weapons, a level 24 should not be able to run through bullets to one shot me with a shotgun. None of it makes a bit of difference. And to make things worse, the lag in Iron Banner is somehow worse than it is in regular Control with delayed kills up to four seconds. And no, it isn’t my Internet connection.

To make things worse, there really is no reason whatsoever to play Iron Banner (although I do, because Control is my favorite mode). There’s not a single thing that I’m going to get for playing the Iron Banner; just like the Queen’s Wrath. There’s absolutely no incentive to do it.

You just gain rep for yet another vendor who is only selling stuff high level players aren’t going to care about.

I’m level 29, as far as I can go without Raid Legendary gear. A new chest piece with max light of 27 doesn’t help me in the slightest, so what exactly is the reason to grind to be able to buy it? Because that’s all it is, a big grind. You get 25 Iron Banner rep for being on the winning team, you get zero for losing. It takes like 1200 Rep to hit rank 2. 60% of the time, regardless of how well I do, I’m on the losing team. Which means I’m playing this mode, an hour or so, and seeing absolutely ZERO benefit.

Highest score overall? Doesn’t matter, your team lost and you get no rep. Got a 4.8 K/D and finishing first? Here, have your 10th Achilles shader (or a level 14 gun, if anything)… that guy fifth on the team with the 0.3 K/D worked hard for his legendary primary engram.

As it stands right now, there’s no way for me to get to level 30, without grinding the raid. That involves finding people who are on, that you want to play with it, and trying to coordinate when to run it. For random loot once a week in hopes that you get legendary gear. Twice a week if you do it on hard. More than that if you have alternate characters leveled up. But I don’t have alternate characters leveled up, or a dedicated group with which to run the raid three (or six) times a week hoping RNG works out for me.

But right now, there isn’t any reason whatsoever to do anything else in this game. Special limited events like the Queen’s Wrath and the Iron Banner simply don’t have good rewards. If I could get Iron Banner gear that could get me to level 30, maybe grinding out in Iron Banner would be worth it. The Queen’s Wrath was worth doing, until they “fixed” things by making it so you couldn’t dismantle the gear for shards… because that would have ruined a nonexistent economy.

The Iron Banner’s supposed “level advantages enabled” is completely bogus. None of the rewards you get for grinding it out are worth having for higher level players. And to top it off, you don’t even get the rep necessary to grind your rank up if you’re on the losing team; which has only resulted in players leaving when they’re down and know they’re going to lose. The only reason people are playing Iron Banner is to get the rep to rank up, and with no rep for losing it is completely pointless to stay (although I never leave a game in progress… have been disconnected while winning though). The only time I leave is before a game begins, whenever I see “First Light” pop up.

Serious questions for you Bungie, as someone who has loved the game since the Alpha and has put in almost 150 hours since the launch of the game and writes about/plays the game daily: Why should I keep playing?

How many times am I suppose to play the same story missions, that even on their hardest settings I can solo with little difficulty? How many more times am I suppose to do the Nightfall strike (again, easily soloable), only to be rewarded with strange coins that I can get for doing the same strike on an easier difficulty? How many more times am I expected to kill 10 Hive Majors or Ultras for faction rep and XP that I don’t need?

The Iron Banner, with its one week limit, should have been a special end-game event with rewards befitting its limited time status and the grind necessary. Instead, it’s exactly the same as regular Control and is worthless. Gear should have absolutely mattered. Rewards and rep in this event should be based on individual performance. Lord Saladin’s a jerk giving out rep to players who suck and find themselves on the winning team, even though the all around highest scoring individual could get nothing because the team he/she is on loses.

I’m not going to run the raid weekly. I have zero interest in doing that with its random rewards. I’ve done it. What did I get? An assault rifle, a ship (completely useless), and some shards. My luck with the RNG in this game isn’t high enough for me to care enough to try for raid gear. I haven’t seen a legendary engram since the patch that fixed engrams hit. I’ve had one blue engram decrypt into a legendary item. I run the Nightfall weekly, and all I get is 9 strange coins. There’s no telling how many times I would have to do the raid to get a set of Raid Gear to finally hit level 30.

Of course it isn’t like level 30 matters. Sure, the hard raid is the hardest thing in the game, but that’s doable at level 29 and everything else in the game can be solo’d at 29 with ease. And it certainly would have zero impact in the Iron Banner.

Look, I love the game, it is easily my personal favorite so far this year, but good lord. It’s a problem when I dismantle 99% of the loot I get. That uncommon Mangala Skin is really what I need after getting it for the one billionth time. That rare level 14 sniper rifle sure is exactly what I needed. And to make it all worse, there’s very little to differentiate players.

They don’t have trading in the game because they wanted each piece of gear or weapon to have a story behind it for the player to remember. Yeah, I remember buying my Suros Regime, along with the vast majority of players who had the strange coins to buy it. I remember buying my exotic helmets, every piece of legendary gear I have, my legendary sniper rifle, etc. There was that one time I got Thunderlord for playing Crucible; that was pretty cool I guess… came in first on that round, surprised I got anything.

The Iron Banner is a waste of time, and there should be more to do in the endgame than the raid. These special events that have happened the past few weeks certainly haven’t been worth doing. I have little hope for the Trials of Osiris PVP event. That’s partly because I don’t care for the skirmish mode, but also because success is based on other folks. I do enjoy the PVP a lot, but it is laughably broken at the moment. Supers are acquired way to easily, and special weapons are overpowered and with too much ammo. Orbs of light shouldn’t drop in the Crucible. There’s only one super in the game that actually requires skill, and that’s the Golden Gun… the easiest to avoid and the easiest to kill.

Anyways, Iron Banner level advantage is a joke and there’s no real reason to do it because you aren’t going to get anything of value out of it if you’re a high level.

About Gary Smith (842 Articles)
I'm Gary Smith, aka "PatriotPaine." I'm the Editor-in-Chief of I'm usually posting news and reviews, and doing all the back end stuff as well. I like to play games, watch movies, wrestling, and college football (Roll Tide Roll).

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