Iron Banner has come around and brought on a s@%$storm of feedback from all players. It’s the tokens! Tokens are the problem! Well… I don’t really think so, I think it’s something else. But I also think it’s the fact that we’re having an identity crisis, not Destiny, but players. Buckle up, this is gonna be a long one because I first want to talk about non-loot Iron Banner issues and then the token system itself before we combine them together. If you make it through all of this, thank you ahead of time. First of all, let’s get some other things out of the way related to Iron Banner that aren’t loot drops: I see a lot of people griping about power levels not mattering in Iron Banner and solo players getting steamrolled by groups, a problem that’s existed since Iron Banner launched.
“Why doesn’t power matter anymore, this is stupid.” Let me ask you this, Destiny 1 players: How often were you really recognizing the effect of you being higher light vs players who were lower light than you? Because for me, it was never. The ONLY time you MIGHT’VE noticed something is if someone was 30 or more light levels below you and you’d be getting a couple of extra damage per shot on them. That’s it. Most people that I remember fighting were within 1-15 light below the cap, where the effects of having higher light are basically nothing. Bungie wants to keep PvP in the game balanced for shooters, not for RPGs and having noticeable power increases would mean if you’re not 305, you’re just gonna get annihilated. Would \i I\i0 love that? Sure, but that’s unreasonable to ask for at this point. Power levels never really mattered and yeah, it’s in the lore and whatever, but it never mattered and it was never going to matter. I think this is just something people are trying to use to get upset about something.
Next is the plight of the solo player. This hasn’t changed in years, where solo queueing into Iron Banner kinda sucks because you get put up against full teams a lot, or what feels like a lot, you get blown out and it’s not fun. With the removal of post-game drops, the only thing you get for losing is 2 tokens, which to some people isn’t enough and so you have people leaving games. Probably should be bumped up to 3.
Anyway, lots of people have demanded a lone wolf Iron Banner playlist, where solos can play against solos and then you’d have the regular Iron Banner queue, where anyone could queue. I’m sure there would be plenty of solo players queueing in this playlist as well, but you would need a somewhat healthy amount of solo players queueing into that playlist too to keep things moving along in the queue. However, groups would have to be alright with basically always playing other groups. I dunno if a solo queue playlist just immediately solves all problems, but I think it might be something worthy to at least try out, based on the absolutely zero data I have with regards to how often solos are fighting solos and groups fighting groups. Ok, so those are some non-loot Iron Banner things, next we’re gonna talk about tokens and the token system.
“The token system sucks! It’s so bad and lazy!” Well, I don’t think it’s that bad. For every activity in the game, tokens have been supplementary to gear drops. You get public event gear AND tokens, strikes drop grear AND tokens, Nightfall drops AND tokens, Crucible drops AND tokens. Tokens are essentially reputation from Destiny 1, it’s just not automatically given to you, but they serve the same purpose: get enough and turn them into an NPC to get an item.
What’s even better is that tokens are flexible between characters: you can play a bunch on your main character, farm a ton of tokens and then just drop all of them on your alternate characters if you want. That is nice. Do some token values need to be adjusted? Sure, but that’s not a problem with the system, that’s just the economy of the system. Crucible only drops 1 token, that’s gotta be brought up to… probably 4-5 tokens per match. Strikes drop 5-7 tokens, that could probably be brought up to maybe 7-9 tokens given the duration of some strikes. If we talk about Faction Rally, 5 from crucible or strike, 8 from a heroic public event, 16 from the raid, yeah, that’s gotta be rebalanced.
Also, what the hell is up with Clan rank 5? Bonus tokens for Nightfall, Trials and Raid… but you get ONE, RANDOM, token. Who is this for? The people completing these events probably don’t need extra tokens, but ONE token? Really? I know that can be fixed, but still… c’mon. Honestly, the biggest gripe I feel like people have with the token system is that they have nothing to invest them into once you feel like they’re done, whatever that definition of “done” might be. You’re just hoarding tons of them and you want to spend them, but you’re not gonna get anything worthwhile from them, so they just sit in your inventory. That’s not a problem with tokens, that’s a problem with being able to invest them. Alright back on track, the token system itself. Some people have major gripes with the raid and how it delivers loot to you. If you get nothing, you get tokens instead, you always get tokens. You get approximately 2 actual loot drops per raid, plus enough tokens to go get a third item, so 3 items per raid.
If we look at raids past, say Wrath of the Machine. You got something for the first boss, Vosik, the second boss the Siege Engine, the third boss, Aksis part 1 and, the final boss, Aksis part 2. If you want to include the first thing, opening the door to the raid, as a ddrop, that’s fine, but we must also then include opening the first door in Leviathan as well, because they both rewarded approximately the same thing, I know you could get exotics out of Wrath and I don’t think you can in Leviathan.
King’s Fall delivered slightly more loot I think, but definitely not during Taken King launch.\par Ok, so 4 Wrath drops to Leviathan’s 3, Wrath wins, right? Well, that’s only because in Destiny 1, we had two more item slots that actually mattered: the ghost and the artifact slot. Those no longer matter now for your power. So, proportionally speaking, we are getting the same amount of loot based on how many slots you need to worry about with regards to your light level. Destiny 1 had 10 slots that mattered, 4 drops, that’s 40%. Destiny 2 has 8 slots that matter, 3 drops, that’s 37.5%. If we got 4, that would be 50%. So, yes, you are receiving a fewer amount of items, but proportionally, you’re getting the same. Now I get that it’s a much better feeling to actually get an item drop as opposed to tokens, but now you can move those drops to other characters if you want to, which I think is a nice tradeoff. Plus, at the end of the day, you’re still getting items, you just need to hit up an NPC to get them.
If that’s a big deal to you, that’s fine, to me, it’s not as big of a deal. I just wanted to elaborate on the token system because I’ve seen a LOT of complaints about it saying how it’s completely terrible and I just don’t think it’s that terrible. So then, why do people not enjoy the current Iron Banner, we can finally get to the root of the issue. Iron Banner specific post-game loot drops were removed from the game, regular Crucible drops still exist, but people want the Iron Banner gear, makes sense. People like getting an item over tokens, but I’d say tokens are definitely better than getting nothing and I don’t think it is reasonable to expect to get something every single match. Gear dropped in Destiny 1 Iron Banner post-game would actually level players up as well, so you had that going, right now it just plays to the current leveling system, which isn’t terrible. Now, pre-April Update, which was an update to the game in April 2016, gear drop rates were abysmal and according to resident Iron Banner champion Hey_Fitzy, they were about 10%, or 1 in 10.
Post-April Update, it was about 1 in 5. We also need to remember that towards the end of Destiny 1, Iron Banner was just throwing out loot left and right, usually the first few Iron Banners were pretty limiting with how many items were available and at what power, and then towards the end it just got exploded open. Should it be expected that players are able to get ALL Iron Banner items on one character? Maybe not.
BUT, when I see people saying they’ve opened up 30 packages and don’t have a complete set, that’s a bit brutal in my opinion. Sure they might be on the bad side of the bell-curve, but it’s still disheartening. Do I think some people just miss being completely showered in loot from old Iron Banners and they are having to adjust NOT being showered in loot in this one? To a degree, yes.\par For this Iron Banner, you need 4 wins or 10 losses to get a package. If we say a game is 10 minutes, about 40 minutes to 100 minutes per package, let’s say an hour even though on average it’s probably longer, about 70 minutes. So what did Destiny 1 Iron Banner have that Destiny 2’s doesn’t. It had a clear goal and roadmap. The goal? Hit rank 5 to unlock items that you could buy specifically if you didn’t get them to drop during other events.
Loot drops in games WERE RNG, but you had non-RNG goals to work towards: if I hit X, I will get access to Y. Now, we have a system where, sure, you will eventually get everything if you play enough, but there is no option to buy anything. Since there are no more random rolls, getting duplicates are completely worthless and it’s demoralizing getting them. Getting dupes isn’t a Destiny 2 exclusive issue, but it’s still an issue. People like having a goal and knowing there is a set path to that goal and that all they need to do is do a thing for a certain amount of time to get there. To a degree, that’s what the current Iron Banner is: play enough and I will get everything. It’s the fact that it’s a mystery is the annoying part. Again, I don’t think it should be an expectation that players get everything in the first Iron Banner, much less on all 3 characters, that’s a TON of Iron Banner to play in a week, about 45-50 hours if we say it takes 15 packages per character to get all the armor.
That doesn’t change the fact that it sucks to be 30 deep and not have an armor set. If there was a more significant feeling “smart loot” system, where the game tries to give you things you don’t have, that would be nice as well. HOWEVER, some hypocrisies allegedly begin to show their heads. The “grind” of the game is very limiting. Iron Banner is a grind, so what’s the problem? This is what players have been asking for, a grind. Yes and no. It is a grind, it is intensive and it’s a grind that gives players who devote a lot of time to a thing a way to show off. “Whoa, that dude has the entire Iron Banner set, so cool!” Hardcore players like showing off. But ALL players like having their time respected, including hardcore players and I think people would prefer grinds where they have a starting point A, a goal point B and they know exactly when they will arrive provided they play X amount of time.
Ok so, we hate RNG grinds… but now we want to ALSO bring back random weapon rolls. The best weapon roll grind of D1 did not respect your time as a player. You could’ve gotten a god roll weapon on the first day it was out, or you could’ve never gotten it. The current Iron Banner grind does not fully respect your time as a player. You could do Iron Banner for 3 hours, get enough for 2 packages, have both of them be duplicates and there goes your weekend. Yet, we want the first one back, random rolls and hate the second one, Iron Banner. Why? Is it because Iron Banner is a timed event and that creates unpleasant urgency to get everything, even if you’re maybe not supposed to? Is it because random weapon rolls give you all the time in the world to get them? Is it because random weapon rolls gave the illusion of grind? Is it because random weapon rolls have a chance of getting you that diamond in the rough? Is it just two different groups of people talking? Random rolls would bring some excitement back to Iron Banner packages because it could give duplicates slightly more meaning, even if there’s always going to be a best roll.
I don’t think the best way of giving duplicates meaning is to have them be random though, something where I could invest my duplicates into something else would be cool too. I think people harp so much on random weapon rolls being good for the game because nothing really replaced that grind and if there were something better in its place, I think people would move past it, because there are good merits to NOT having random rolls. Now we come to the part of the video that game devs hate: suggestions on how to fix it, ahh yes, nothing like randoms with no design experience telling you how to fix your game, but I know some audience members like hearing this kinda stuff, so here we go.\par Players like being able to know where their time is going.
If I play X, I’m gonna get Y. The durations or skill requirements of that will impact the reward. So, here’s something Hey_Fitzy and myself, mostly on his end, put together. Increase losses to 3 or 4 tokens, we initially thought 4 for a win and 3 for a loss woulda been good, but I think decreasing wins is gonna anger people. An Iron Banner “season” would last 3 months, aka 3 events. Max rank for a season is 25 and rank does not reset between events, only new seasons. You hit 25, you get an orange aura or green, whatever. Ranks 3 to 25 would unlock weapons and armor as you progressed. I think having some Iron Banner drops return to the Crucible while the event is active would satisfy a lot of people. You could still have tokens for packages and ranking up, whereas you would use legendary shards to buy stuff from Saladin. “But what about players who continue to play Iron Banner?” Well, our suggestion requires armor sets that could have armor ornaments applied, armor ornaments being things you could apply to your gear to make them look cooler or have a special effect, but you could have ranks 26-50 be the same as 1 to 25, but give the ornaments for each armor piece (and weapon if possible), so continued play will just make you look more awesome, since the Iron Banner gear, generally speaking, is awesome.
THEN above rank 50, you could have an emblem that upgrades every… 10 levels or so, just add a little notch somewhere on the emblem to show off that you’re progressing the emblem instead of it just saying in text how many times you’ve ranked up, or both, whatever. Season ends and rinse, repeat the next season. The next season would allow you to buy previous season gear for the same price, but a lower rank requirement. Easier said than done? Absolutely, I know. So, those are all my thoughts on the Iron Banner and token system situation. All in all, I think people just want some refinements to the Iron Banner system of Destiny 1, people shockingly like an activity that just drops tons of loot on you, they don’t like RNG rewards from this because it feels like it doesn’t appreciate the time they put in; even as a hardcore player it can be annoying.
With some slight adjustments to respecting player time investment, Iron Banner can be balanced to the liking of the masses. If you enjoyed this video, a positive rating would be greatly appreciated, even though I should probably giving you the rating because you made it all the way though, thanks for watching, I’ll see you next time..
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