Iron Banner Highlights Big Issues With ‘Destiny’s’ Multiplayer

Once a month the popular game mode known as Iron Banner arrives and seeks to put the Destiny Community’s PvP (Player vs. Player) skills to the test. Unlike almost every other competitive mode in Destiny, this one actually takes into consideration your Light Level making it paramount you use high-end gear. Not only is this a major factor, but the high drop rate of rare and exclusive Iron Banner loot brings droves of players into the Crucible to battle it out for dominance. However, even with some welcomed and needed changes this month’s Iron Banner is helping highlight some of the biggest problems still plaguing Destiny.

Before we begin, it’s important to understand that the game mode this time around is a slightly altered version of Supremacy. Two teams of six are tasked with battling it out over “Crests,” which can only be collected once an opponent has died. If you pick one up it will add a point to your scoreboard and it’s possible to gather your allies crests before the enemy does thus denying them points. The first team to 150 points, or the team with the most points by the end of the round will win the match.For anyone who has played Kill Confirmed on Call of Duty, this is roughly the same idea, except that the act of actually killing someone will not add any points for your team.

One of the biggest problems is that this forces a very up close style of playing since the only way to win is to gather the crests from fallen foes. By doing this it causes players to heavily rely on their secondary weapons such as shotguns due to their high damage output and ease of use. Since players are not really rewarded for picking kills off from a distance or even really supporting their team from afar, this turns every match into a mosh pit of shotguns, grenades, and melee abilities. This can turn the Iron Banner into a chore of a game mode, given you are effectively pushed into this type of gameplay, whether you want to or not. Now that’s not to say some people can’t make the most of their fusion rifles, side arms, or shotguns, but this is few and far between.

‘Destiny’: Xur Location and Gear October 7

The mysterious Xur has arrived in Destiny once more. Here's what you should buy from him this week.

Click here to read more

While this may not appear to be a very big problem, it actually warps the balance of Destiny’s multiplayer considerably in the favor of certain classes. Support or distance based powers such as Nightstalker, Sunsinger, and Gunslinger feels shoved aside for the close quarters powerhouses like Striker, Bladedancer, and Stormcaller. Bungie has been trying since the games inception to find some sort of balance between all of the different guns and sub-classes, but this is the first time it’s truly felt broken. Now, I’m not asking for the entire game to revolve around snipers or allowing players to just camp in the back the entire match. However, one shouldn’t feel like entire gun archetypes are not viable due to everyone running exceedingly aggressive builds.


Yet, one cannot actually blame the player base for this as Bungie’s map design completely reinforces this mentality, especially with the 4 new maps that have released. Last Exit, Icarus, and Skyline have minimal sightlines and are full of narrow hallways and passages. All of the new maps, except for Floating Garden, feel incredibly compact which makes up close weaponry the best choice for dealing damage upon your enemies. Some of the older maps that were released with The Taken King have a great balance to them, but they don’t appear nearly as enough if the Iron Banner playlist.

However, the other problem with Destiny’s multiplayer has to actually do with the concept of teamwork. Now this doesn’t really count Trials of Osiris since that entire game mode is basically reliant on solid communication from your teammates. Since players need to both attack and defend various crests, it’s rare you will see players help cover others or move as a unit. Most encounters are scattered throughout the map and boil down to 1v1 engagements between players. This, of course, makes a coordinated fireteam of six players far more dangerous than a group of randoms since they will have better communication and tactics.

This once again traces back to Bungie, who really don’t offer a ton of incentives to work together as a group. Sure you can get some assist points, but since those actually don’t factor into the final score for Iron Banner matches it’s not nearly as important. There are no real rewards outside of a single bounty for assists or defending your team. Sadly, this backs up the “me over the team” mentality that has plagued a lot of fast paced first person shooters like Call of Duty. Again, we cannot really blame the community as a whole for this issue, as we are given virtually nothing but points that don’t matter for trying assist teammates.

In the end, Iron Banner is still an enjoyable game mode and the multiplayer for Destiny is still quite fun to play. However, that doesn’t hide the fact that there are still some glaring issues deeply rooted into the core concept of its PvP. For now, all you can do is load your shotgun and prepare to fight it out in tight hallways. Hopefully, next month’s Iron Banner will feel a bit more balanced, since it is one of the best multiplayer experiences that Destiny offers.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


    • I feel that this is a very welcome addition. Until recently the game had been far to skewed toward hangining back and sniping from the back. This forces people to actually run up and engage the enemy. You guys say chore, I say bring it on. This is the most fun i’ve had indestiny in months.

      • Agree with anonymous. I love how this makes snipers ineffective. Every other game mode snipers can shoot till their heart’s content, but finally there’s a game mode where they’re pretty useless.

  1. So, in conclusion, Supremacy is a god-awful addition to the core PvP experience of Destiny. This is reinforced by Bungie’s insistence on it being the Iron Banner game type of the month.
    You never really notice the heavy flaws in a game type until you’re forced to play said game type.

  2. Another problem is that since early September local connection between players from the same router are unable to play together.

  3. I’ve enjoyed this iron banner. Have had no issues using primary or snipers either with friends or with randoms. You don’t have to just run in with a shotgun if that’s not your style. In fact, if that’s your strategy for this, it’s probably why it hasn’t been going well for you.

  4. i run nightstalker with the universal remote and am always top 3 on my team and almost 1st place every time. I like sniping more than anything. I actually haven’t used a shotgun in a long time but i thought it was fun to joilt around the map. Any class can be used in close quarters…..

  5. Sniper baby says, “waagh”. So maps that discourage close contact combat are not doing the same thing and since when is having to switch subclasses for advantage an issue? Oh are you a hunter that likes to camp and snipe? Oh then I guesd you are screwed this week. Good thing the bounties are simple and rewards are completly random.

  6. Wah wah wah. Sounds like you’re doing nothing more than whining about a game mode you don’t like. Not ever mode will be your favorite or suit your game style. Get over it and yourself. I rarely play cruicible and I found the style fine. It’s PVP CQC. If you wanna snipe then snipe. If you wanna run with a shotgun then do it. But don’t whine cause it doesn’t suit your gaming style. This is just bad journalism.

    • Hello! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t care for the article, but the main theme is actually no to berate other players for liking a certain game mode or playing a certain style. That’s why I kept emphasising that I don’t blame the community at all for this. I’m actually a big shotgun user and always have been, me enjoying the game type was not my focus. The problem I have with Supremacy isn’t the actual mode itself, but it being the Iron Banner choice for the month. Unlike other modes like Clash, Rift, or Control, Supremacy feels too narrow in its focus since it does heavily favor CQB combat. Whether you enjoy that or not has nothing to do with the argument at hand, as IB as a whole has really improved. I just would have rather seen a playlist that is far more inclusive and not such a heavy focus on the ultra close quarters maps. I hope that clears my position up better for you!

  7. I don’t see any issue. The game mode is fun and intense. I usually run voidwalker but switched to my most least used sub class and I’m killing it. Most fun iron banner yet. I have used almost exclusively primary weapons. Shot gunners pose little more threat then usual. Less snipers are nice, but I miss taking them out wet youth a pulse rifle. Even finished the weapons bounty with almost all primary kills. There is no online multiplayer where people don’t complain about anything and every patch, nerf and buff. No developer can fix everything and make it perfect, there will always be unhappy players. Just look at match making, if they make it balanced people say it to competitive. Damned if you do damned if you don’t.

  8. Well this month is like this. It is something different. Why keep complaining. You cannot play for this round. Wait for next one. At the end of day, by some grinding you can hit level 5. Think about Trial of Osiris where you will never, ever ever….got that chance (I am a solo player, and even trying to find a team by LFG is getting difficult those days…..)

  9. Disagree.

    The mode plays on group combat quite a lot and is perfect for using the nightstalker tether (not 3 shot btw) to generate orbs for your own team. After which it becomes a chain of supers going off and every few seconds to gather more orbs and repeating the process. Same can be said for sunsinger and even a bubble titan. All can play to generate orbs for the team.

    True it does not reward much for self glory and does nothing for completing bountiea. But then choosing to help support the team never really did. They should include new support bounties for the support style players tbh. Then you will see a more mixed playlist.

    Sniping on the other hand is still useful if properly coordinated. Drop someone and leave an crest as bait. Another one comes along. Add another crest for bait. For rnadom play it wont work as any randoms just dash around picking up any crests they can find.

  10. Or, perhaps not every game type is not for every player. I still have not completed a raid because there is no matchmaking for any of them, and LFG has not been kind to me. I loathe trials and the game play that goes along with it, so I stay out of it. I do not like rumble much either, so I don’t play it. I do like this type very much because they are fast paced, and I feel like I am actively contributing to my game. Perhaps the answer is learning to play a different style, or learn different weapons and subclasses, more than complaining that it’s broken. It’s large game with lots of different ways to participate. Pick the ones that you like and don’t try to change the ones that you don’t and others do.

  11. The fact that Iron Banner is light-level dependant AND it happening so soon after a major max light raise was EXTREMELY unfortunate timing for the majority of those who are complaining. It wouldn’t be so bad if it paired teams better matched in light levels as a whole. Had an entire evening where we were always matched with teams that had already reached max, and our team was barely past 350-360 light. Save the light-depending modes for later, when more folks have a chance, then report again. You’ll find the changes will happen without the need to complain or nerf.

    • I really never thought about the idea until I started getting in Overwatch’s Competitive mode a few months back, but the idea of True Skill or level matchmaking would make a world of difference. Not just for IB, but for ToO as well since sometimes your team will just get stuck against people who are one like a 12 game win streak or something. Though we probably won’t see such a system until Destiny 2, which is sad.

  12. I can 100% appreciate where these comments are coming from, however, I have to disagree that this game mode “runes the balance”. In almost every other game mode snipers are the go to secondary and the classes such as NS, SS and GS are consistent contenders! With the addition of Supremacy you start to see more CQB style combat for those that appreciate it. In addition, it has been my experience that the “play as a team” mentality is extremely strong in this game mode. If players do not stay together they are almost ensured to be killed off quick and simply act as a feeding pawn for the other team. So I think as far as a game mode goes, Supremacy is a welcomed addition that changes the way we thought about PVP in destiny.

    With regards to it being the game mode for IB….. I can appreciate that the game style is not for everyone, however, assuming that Bungie will start to rotate the game modes it is a welcomed changed to the IMO.

    Thanks for the read!

  13. Such a miserable experience to play Iron Banner when you are a mostly PvE person. All I see is shotgun, shotgun, shotgun, shotgun, shotgun.
    I don’t even try anymore…just stand there until the match is over because all I do is feed the other team points. It’s like I’m just another player on their team. I used to be good, in year one before they destroyed every single hand cannon in the game.
    The crucible is my LEAST favorite place to be ever since year 2…thanks for breaking it with shotguns, ONCE AGAIN!!!

  14. Agree 100%, this was my least favorite IB so far. I also find that in my part of the world I am almost constantly matched with several yellow and red bar opponents. This fast twitch style combined with horrible latency makes for frustrating moments (re pull trigger point blank, die, opponent “teleports” 5 meters to the right with full health)….