Destiny 2‘s seasonal PvP event, Iron Banner, launched this week to mostly negative reviews. This week’s Iron Banner brings with it a new mode, Fortress, in which the objective is to capture zones and score points. The negativity primarily centers around Titans and their ability to “bubble” on a zone, making them and anyone inside the bubble nearly invulnerable to all attacks while they maintain control of a zone. Another controversy, however, involves a new shader.
This season’s Iron Banner offers a new shader, Iron Countershade, which is arguably one of the best shaders Destiny 2 has ever seen. The shader features a very unique chainmail effect that is unlike anything we’ve seen on a shader so far. The only problem is that in order to obtain this shader, players will have to reach Rank 16 with Lord Saladin on their second reset. In other words, players need to reach max rank once, reset, and then reach Rank 16 again. This totals out to about 90 matches of Iron Banner (give or take some depending on wins and losses), even if the player is taking advantage of rank multipliers and streaks. With each match lasting around 10 minutes, this means players will be devoting nearly 15 hours of their Destiny 2 game time to Iron Banner this season if they want that shader. I mean…it’s a cool shader…but it’s a shader.
Most of Destiny 2‘s major faction rewards are obtainable within their first reset, and those are available for entire seasons (usually around three months). Iron Banner is available for two weeks out of every season, one week at a time, with the second week usually taking place close to the season’s end. It’s obvious that Bungie intends for Iron Banner to be something that pulls players back into the game toward the end of a season, but to lock a shader behind a second reset is just bad business. In my opinion, second resets should be reserved for extra materials like Upgrade Modules, Enhancement Prisms, and Ascendant Shards.
The grind for this shader is so lengthy that some players have resorted to throwing matches just so they can rank up without really playing much. As you can see in the image above, I was unfortunate enough to find myself in one of those games, and on the losing team, no doubt. I ended up being the only one on my team who did any work at all, and it wasn’t much since I had no one else helping me.
Apparently, players are forming groups on Destiny 2‘s app specifically for the purpose of throwing Iron Banner matches in order to rank up. Even though winning a match offers more rank points than losing a match, and you still earn rank points for a loss, throwing a match still takes much less time and effort, so why not?
If players are losing a new PvP mode on purpose just to rank up, that is more than indicative of a major flaw in the way Bungie handles its seasonal content. It is clear that Bungie prefers threatening players with FOMO to actually giving them regular content they can enjoy participating in. Sadly, if Bungie’s strategy really is all about keeping their hands around players’ throats, I doubt we’ll ever see anything change.
Destiny 2 is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.