This week at Bungie, we think it’s time we talk about Iron Banner, check out the new PvP Map, and introduce the Cosplay Cosmodrome. Trust us, it’s really cool.
But first, Iron Banner.
Season 17 is just over the horizon, and we’ve talked extensively about weapon changes, Gambit tweaks, and more. With the events of Season of the Risen showing Lord Saladin in a new role, it seems fitting that there be a few changes to Iron Banner as well. Here to talk about what’s next, including the return of Rift and core philosophies that surround modes like Iron Banner, is Bungie’s own Principal Designer Alan Blaine.
Alan: Hey there! So, funny story. When we were looking for the first thing for the newly formed Rituals team to focus on and make an impact, we had originally aimed at refreshing Iron Banner. Then, the first Häkke Casino weekend happened, and we pivoted to Trials of Osiris and started on what would become the Season of the Lost revamp. Nine months later, and here we are – back at Iron Banner!
Iron Banner is a celebration of PvP for everyone. We want people playing every day, playing with their friends, wearing their flaming Iron Banner armor, and using Iron Banner weapons. When you land in the Tower, we want it to feel different and special – same as all of our annual events like The Dawning or Festival of the Lost.
Iron Banner is one of our core entry points for adding new and different ideas into the Crucible. We love the Hunt aspect of Control, even if it has snowballing issues. What if we did the same thing with other modes, what about if we add new modes?
Lower the barriers and widen the funnel for players. Everyone should be able to play Iron Banner and access the core reward paths – New Lights and Destiny 1 alpha veterans alike. We want core rewards that are focused on team play and participation, not just winning matches and skillful play. Those should accelerate rewards rather than lock them off.
Without further ado, here’s what’s up next. Picture this: when you first land in the Tower in Season 17 for Iron Banner, you’ll notice something new – what’s that music? (Oh my god! It’s Bracus Forge!) Upon landing, you will see players clustered up around the area where Eva Levante (a.k.a. Space Grandma) usually stands. But, instead of the usual festive decorations, it’s all smoke and fire. Guardians gather around in all manner of flaming armor, and in the middle stands Lord Saladin, now known as Bracus Forge.
Power level in PvP has always been confusing to new players, and it’s quite different than the normal Crucible. We want to open the mode to more players, so Power level is now disabled in Iron Banner. To clarify, Power level will still be active in Trials of Osiris as the PvP endgame mode.
We also know that having Iron Banner be Control for the last few years has grown a little stale for some, so for Season 17, we are bringing back an old favorite: Rift. More on the mode itself later in the TWAB, but our intention is to switch out the Iron Banner mode every Season. Sometimes it might be a brand new or returning mode, sometimes it might be an interesting twist on an existing mode.
Earning Rewards: Iron Banner tokens will be removed starting in Season 17 and those will be replaced by a similar ranking system likened to Saint-14 and Shaxx. Earn Iron Engrams while ranking up and unlock cosmetic rewards and materials for your time playing. But it’s not just the reward track that’s changing, Saladin is also getting a full focusing implementation, as well. Players will be able to convert Iron Engrams into any current Iron Banner weapons or armor set that have been earned previously, for a cost with in-game materials. In future Seasons, we will be looking at adding more, including legacy Iron Banner gear and cosmetics.
To break it down simply, here is how the revamped Iron Banner reputation will work:
- Play matches with each match earning more towards Iron Banner reputation.
- Win matches to earn a small bonus based on your current Iron Banner rank.
- Wear Iron Banner armor (or just as ornaments on your own non-Iron Banner gear) and equip Iron Banner weapons to max out your gear multiplier at 200%.
- Five total pieces must be equipped, though please remember this includes Iron Banner armor and Iron Banner ornaments.
- Complete the daily Iron Banner challenges to tack on 100% to your challenge multiplier for the rest of the week.
- Yes, this means for each challenge.
- Use an Iron Banner emblem for an additional 10% emblem multiplier.
All modifiers will be listed on the launch screen, seen below:
Daily challenges: For the first four days of each Iron Banner week, Guardians will unlock a new daily challenge. These challenges unlock each day whether you complete them or not, so if you log in on Friday, you can do them all in succession if you want to. Rewards will also stack reputation bonuses for the remainder of the week alongside a Pinnacle Iron Engram. The weekly bounties that typically award Pinnacles have been deprecated appropriately to balance out this change.
Becoming an Iron Lord: It’s not easy being cheesy or an Iron Lord, so there should be something a little extra spicy to reflect that hard work. With these new Iron Banner reworkings, a new Seal and title will also be available to earn. Don’t expect this one to be simple or an “easy grab.” Being an Iron Lord is no joke; it requires dedication, gumption, and some spiffy gear. To set expectations for this new Seal and title, Iron Lord hopefuls can expect to spend around 15 to 20 hours to unlock this flair. Some of the more hardcore players could unlock this in one week if focused, but we expect most players to need a second week – maybe even a second Season. Intrepid Iron Lords will be able to gild the title in Season 18.
Becoming a Young Wolf: “New quest, who dis?” For anyone that may be scratching their head at some of these changes, Lord Saladin will offer a brand-new quest that will introduce all of these features and demonstrate how they work. You only have to run through it once per account, but with this reset we wanted everyone to get the same introduction, even Iron Banner veterans will need to do this. In fact, you’ll need to start this quest to even access the Iron Banner node.
To even out this change and to welcome the new quest, we will no longer be producing the Seasonal Iron Banner quest. Which brings us to our next point:
Saladin hangs his “out to lunch, be back in 15 minutes” sign: Due to his increased responsibilities on Caiatl’s war council, he now runs Iron Banner in the Tower just twice a Season. Because Iron Banner will be more in-line with those annual events, you’ll never see Iron Banner run during those annual festivities. For Season 17, Iron Banner will run during these times:
- Week 2 starts on May 31.
- Week 8 starts on July 12.
Rift is back: If you’re like us, Rift has a very special place in that PvP-playing heart of yours. We’re excited to bring back this staple, but for those that may be new to what this is, here’s what you need to know. Rift is an objective-based Crucible mode that plays more like a game of soccer or rugby (but with pew-pew weapons and no passing) than it does Clash. Teams of Guardians will attempt to take the Spark from the middle of the map into the base of the enemy team and dunk it into the enemy Rift. One dunk equals one point, the first to make it to five points or to have the upper hand by the 10-minute mark wins.
- A Spark appears in the center of the map a few seconds after a match starts or a point is scored and can be picked up by interacting with it for a couple seconds. The Spark itself is a buff that allows full weapon and ability usage aside from Super.
- For the first five seconds after picking up the Spark, or for a few seconds after taking damage, both teams receive a waypoint for the Spark holder. After that, the waypoint only remains for the Spark holder’s own team—marking the Spark holder for your teammates is important!
- If you die while carrying the Spark, it drops to the ground where you died (or nearby if the spot is not navigable).
- If you hold onto the Spark too long, it detonates.
- Team resurrections are enabled in Rift, so make sure and help your teammates in the middle of a push, or if you are playing defense.
- There are no points for kills, just for Spark dunks, so playing the objective is key.
- When Rift is in Iron Banner, the Hunt is on when your team has the Spark. When the music intensifies, it’s time to score!
- There are several ways to extend matches past the time limit:
- Continuation: At end of regulation time, If the current Spark holder could change the outcome of the match—either the game is tied, or if the current Spark holder is down one point—the match continues until the current Spark holder drops the Spark or scores.
- Sudden Death Multispark: If there is a tie after time is up, the game enters a 90-second overtime where three sparks spawn in midfield. Who will be the first to score? Chaos reigns.
- After the sudden-death timer is up, Sparks stop dropping on death, and any Sparks on the ground are removed. As soon as the last Spark is eliminated without a score, the match ends in a tie.
We have had a ridiculous amount of fun testing and tuning the mode internally; it plays so very differently than anything we have in the Crucible right now. It is available during the two weeks of Iron Banner during Season 17. It will be available as a rotator in the main Crucible playlists in Season 18.
Did someone say “new map”? In addition to Rift’s triumphant return, we also created a brand-new map specifically designed for this game made. It is one of our largest maps yet, but features areas that are made for different combat styles, particularly short, mid, and long-range combat.
The map is called Disjunction and is a symmetric map with a base on either end, three lanes with plenty of crossovers, and large backfields. It takes place in the swampy Pyramid area of Savathûn’s Throne World, so expect lots of many-butted horses, transparent brown glass, and art deco designs.
Disjunction will be available on day-one of Season 17 for all 6v6, 3v3, and Free -for -All modes in Crucible, as well as in Iron Banner.
Other Crucible changes: Season 17 is also bringing back Zone Control to Crucible. Zone Control, for anyone that might not be familiar, is a 6v6 mode like Control, only that Guardians don’t get any points for kills. This is intentional, because sometimes matching with random players can result in disjointed team play that can obscure objective focus. To keep all eyes on the objective, players will get points every 15 seconds for every zone that is in their control – so it is very much more diving into a defensive area control game that will allow players to highlight various skill and abilities, rather than just focusing on landing that headshot.
- Each waypoint has a timer that shows when points are being awarded in addition to which team currently owns it.
- Because this is a team effort mode, solo capping takes 22.5 seconds versus having a full fireteam playing together can cap a zone in 7.5 seconds. “Stronger together” isn’t just said because we like Saladin’s voice actor.
- Cap all zones and dramatic music will intensify. Spooky.
Like with everything in the game, we’re always looking for feedback, especially as we continue making tweaks to the PvP experience. Zone Control will be launched via a new Crucible Labs node starting in Week 5 (June 21) and will be available until the end of the Season with the exception of when Iron Banner is live. Hit us with that feedback but just remember: stay together.
In addition to what’s new, we are also making some tuning changes to various existing Crucible modes:
- Team gains 1 point per participant when capturing a zone, rather than 1 flat point.
- This is how it was in Destiny 1.
- Time limit is lowered to 90 seconds to match Trials of Osiris.
- Points for Super kills increased to 3 (previously 2).
- Increased score target to 200 (previously 150).
- Decreased time limit to 7 minutes (previously 8).
- Increased time limit to 10 minutes (was 8).
- Increased round score targets to 15 (was 10).
There are just a few more things. Still with me? Good. Onto Gambit.
Gambit Reputation: With the updates to the Gambit mode with the launch of The Witch Queen, Gambit matches are taking about 60 seconds longer per match than the Beyond Light version (while still being a few minutes shorter than either Forsaken-era Gambit or Gambit Prime). We also noticed that the Gambit reputation-gain rate has dropped behind both Crucible and Vanguard, so we wanted to make some adjustments to bring Gambit back in line after making a similar set of adjustments for Vanguard at the start of Season 16:
- We increased the base reputation gain for a match to 75, up from 50.
- We increased the value of each streak to 20 per streak, up from 15.
This increases the top-end reputation gain (a win on a 5-streak during Mythic/Legend ranks) to 250 a match (up from 200), and on the low end (a loss with no streak) to 75 (from 50). Overall, gains should be around 25% faster just from this change.
Ritual Reputation Streak balancing: Speaking of streaks, we have been listening to your feedback on the activity streak system that has been used for the last two Seasons and we’ve made a few adjustments for the Seasons ahead.
The activity streak now takes the sum of streak values across the four reputations (Crucible/Gambit/strikes/Dares) and adjusts them to a maximum of 5 total. If you complete a match that would bring the sum of these over 5, it subtracts a point from the streak of every ritual besides the one you just played. Most importantly, entering any non-ritual activity has no effect.
- You play 5 Crucible matches. You have an activity streak value of Crucible: 5.
- You play a Gambit match. You now have Gambit: 1, Crucible: 4.
- You play 2 more Gambit matches. You now have Gambit: 3, Crucible: 2.
- You play 1 strike. You now have Vanguard: 1, Gambit: 2, Crucible: 1.
- You play another strike. You now have Vanguard: 2, Gambit: 2, Crucible: 1.
Grandmaster Rejoin: Lastly, we have some exciting news for all those Conquerors with bad connections. Starting in Season 17, if you get error-coded out of a non-matchmade Nightfall (any level), you will now rejoin after login. While in this state, you won’t be able to change builds or equipment in the game, the app, or on any third-party websites.
We want to keep players in the loop when there are any changes to Eververse, both big and small. . In Season 17, Bright Dust acquisition from bounties and challenges will be the same as Season 16, but we are adding a voluntary option for rank purchases.
Much like in Season 16, rank purchasing will be available starting in week three. In addition, we will be offering a new rank package that includes 10 Season ranks that you can purchase only once a Season. Available in the Eververse Seasons tab on the first day of S17, there will be the option of the Season Pass plus 10 ranks for 2000 Silver, or a standalone option of 10 Season ranks for 1000 Silver if you already own the Season. Whichever option you go with, the 10 ranks can only be purchased once per account each season.
“But Hippy, what is Cosplay Cosmodrome?” Glad you asked, dear reader! Cosplay Cosmodrome will see nine talented cosplayers showing off their skills as they attempt to put their own creative spin on Moth Mom. Oh, sorry, I meant Savathûn. Their own creative spin on Savathûn. Moving on…
Something we’ve talked a little bit about during previous TWABs is the haunting case of missing emails. The team has been working hard on investigating what is blocking so many from getting the emails they want from Bungie, despite troubleshooting steps being taken and fun surveys to be had. While we don’t have all of the answers yet, we do have an update on the team’s findings surrounding these illusive pieces of digital information. We’ve got some good news and some in-progress news, take it away CRM team!
CRM: Since Bungie newsletter emails have become more personalized with stats players are sharing on social media, we have seen a high number of issues from players who aren’t receiving our newsletters. While we fixed some accounts in late February, we have seen that many players still are having issues. We have concluded that most players are affected due to unsubscribing at one point in time and then resubscribing later. Due to a current technical issue, those players are still considered unsubscribed. We are implementing a small update this week that we hope will help.
If you’re subscribed, you’ve played since 5/3, and don’t get this week’s #GuardianGamesMoments email, we request that you follow these two steps to help us identify the issue:
- In your Bungie.net Account Settings, under the Email and SMS section, uncheck the first box and hit Save Settings.
- Immediately after saving, check the first box, save, and verify.
We understand this is not an ideal process, but this will help us to find a fix. We are excited to bring more Destiny 2 moments and memories to your inbox. Please stay tuned to Bungie Help on Twitter for updates regarding this issue.
DPS Team still officially endorses Warlocks, we’re totally not biased.
The final Iron Banner of the Season is here, so our handy-dandy Player Support team is offering a friendly reminder to turn in those tokens! More than a reminder, the latest weekly breakdown covers known issues like that pesky Heavy Handed mod not working on unique Exotic weapons, missing textures, and more. The unsung heroes of Destiny 2 are here once more with new findings.
This is their report.
IRON BANNER TOKENS
ETHERIC SPIRAL DEPRECATION
With the start of Season 17, Etheric Spirals will be deprecated and no longer available to exchange for other materials or currencies. Players should exchange their Etheric Spirals at the Cryptarch in the Tower prior to the launch of Season 17 at 10 AM, May 24.
VENDOR REWARD RESET
As a reminder, all vendor ranks will reset with the start of Season 17. Players should claim any vendor rank rewards before they are reset with the launch of Season 17 at 10 AM, May 24.
- The Cunning of the Contender Warlock robes displays a different texture in the armor preview than it does when equipped.
- The Way of the Glaive bounty only progresses when using Deepsight weapons.
- The Heavy Handed Mod doesn’t work with unique Exotic weapons.
- The Father’s Sins Sniper Rifle is missing some textures at the end of the weapon when viewing in first person.
- Players can’t perform a finisher for a certain amount of time if they use their Super and have a mod equipped that consumes Super energy.
Movies, you love to make them, we love to see them. With Guardian Games in full swing, we’re all about that friendly rivalry. Keyword: friendly. But let’s be real, we all know Titans are the best. Kidding, kidding, space wizards and ‘ol Jumpy McJumpersons are cool too. That being said, one video was a cool little montage of the true spirit of the Games: emotes. It’s not about winning, it’s about the emoting friends we made along the way, obviously.
Our second video is another sick PvP montage but with a really neat movie-like flare. Not me crying in a corner because I’ll never be half this good, but hey – I’m no hater, either. Get on with your bad self!
Got that popcorn? Good, roll the clip!
Movie of the Week: Friendly Competition
Movie of the Week: Deadly
Something is happening right now with the art submissions, and it is pretty magical to see. With the launch of The Witch Queen a few months back, we are sitting in a neat spot with Guardian Games going on now and the dawn of the next Season on the horizon. I highly recommend checking out the creations page and you’ll see what I mean. But before you do that, we are showing off a beautiful Warlock (I had to—it is Guardian Games after all!) and a really cute shot of the Cabal and Eliksni hanging out in the crowd watching the Games go on.
Art of the Week: Warlock
Art of the Week: The Cabal and Eliksni Take On Guardian Games
As always, don’t forget to hit us with those #Destiny2Art, #AOTW, and #MOTW tags for a shot at being featured in a future TWAB.
New map, new ways to play some PvP action, cosplayers from all over the world showing off their love of the craft – not a bad week, if we do say so ourselves. Which we are, saying ourselves. B-because we just said it.
Until next week, stay hydrated, stay kind, and for the love of God, Titans, get it together. Guardian Games are live, and we can’t let the Hunters take the W this time. DMG and Cozmo rally for Hunters, Sam rallies for Warlocks, and I’m holding the bunker down for my fellow Titans. Let’s get that bag, beefy bois!
“I should go,”