Destiny 2 – Iron Banner needs Umbral Engrams and Iron Banner focusing options

Iron Banner is back this week and this is our second visit from Lord Saladin in Season of Arrivals. While many in the community felt that Iron Banner was better with the removal of SBMM, there’s still one thing that needs improvement – and that’s the way we collect Iron Banner loot. The Umbral Engram system is so good, that it makes all other engram systems look and feel outdated. The following is why Iron Banner needs Umbral Engrams and Iron Banner focusing options in Season of Arrivals.

This is a bit of a different video today. Normally I’d do weapon guides or quests, but this is more of an opinion piece. I’ve picked up some themes from the community since the last Iron Banner and I thought I’d present to you an idea for how we could improve Iron Banner and how we obtain loot in Season of Arrivals given the improvements across the board this season in general with the introduction of the Umbral Engram system.

The last time Iron Banner rolled around the community did something not normally reserved for Iron Banner… there was a general outpouring of positive feedback for Iron Banner. We had returning weapons in Forward Path and The Fool’s Remedy, new perks in Iron Gaze and Iron Grip and a whole slew of returning weapons which included Shining Sphere, Swarm of the Raven, Talons of the Eagle, Bite of the Fox, Orewing’s Maul, Crimil’s Dagger. Bungie also removed SBMM at the start of Season of Arrivals for most PVP modes, not including Trials.

The Forward Path and The Fool’s Remedy, in particular, are big draws for Iron Banner this Season. The Forward Path is a 600 RPM auto and if you get the right rolls this one can be deadly in PVP, albeit with a high muzzle flash on it. The Fool’s Remedy is a similarly good sidearm with many wracking up hundreds of kill within the first few days.

The problem with Iron Banner is the size of the loot pool and the lack of focusing. Given the wide nature of the loot pool and the introduction of the Umbral Engram system elsewhere in Season of Arrivals, we’ve had a taste of what loot-focusing looks and feels like and it’s hard to go back.

The Iron Banner loot pool contains 8 weapons and then 5 armour pieces. During a session fo Iron Banner, you may collect something like 100 tokens and by turning in 10 tokens you get a chance at a drop. Currently, there’s a 1/13 chance of getting a specific item that you want, so if you really want The Fool’s Remedy then you only have a 7.7% chance of getting the item that you want. When you add in specific rolls into that equation then the chance becomes minute of getting what you want.

The Umbral Engram system has given us a glimpse into the future and we like it. The Umbral Engrams with the Prismatic Recaster and the Umbral Decoder has allowed us to take control of our weapons and focus farm-specific rolls. Gnawing Hunger, Cold Denial, Falling Guillotine are some of the most popular weapons this season. These weapons are taking over PVP and PVE because we have an abundance of them, and the ability to focus our Umbral Engrams to get the specific rolls we want.

As standard you have a 25% chance at the weapon you want with the basic focusing on Umbral Engrams, for example, the Pyramid-Focused, Armour-Focused, Legacy-Focused and Dredgen focused engrams. Once you have levelled up the Prismatic Recaster a few times, you unlock the specific Umbral Focusing options which increase the drop chances to 50% in some cases with the Arrival-Focused Umbral Engram in the case of Cold Denial and Falling Guillotine. 50% chance is much better than 7.7%.

Given we’d had a taste of what the future could be and Bungie have added control into the player’s hands to get the specific loot drops we want, it’s now hard to go back to the ‘old’ system and leave it to chance for the Iron Banner drops.

I would love to see Iron Banner integrate with the Umbral Engram system to make it easier to get the drop we want from this event. I want to be able to focus farm for The Forward Path and The Fool’s Remedy given the lethality of these weapons and their place in the sandbox right now. I’m no game developer, and I don’t know how hard it is to add something like this into the game. Bungie has added more time to the development of Beyond Light and I 100% want them to focus on that goal, rather than adding in quality of life updates in Season of Arrivals. However, saying that perhaps there’s a way to do it, without it being too disruptive.

Here’s how I’d like to see it play out:

  1. Add a general Iron Banner Umbral Engram into the mix, these could drop at the end of Iron Banner matches
  2. Add 4 new focusing options onto the Prismatic Recaster – two broad categories at the top split by weapons and armour and then 3 new more specific options on the 2nd and 3rd row split by returning weapons, reprised weapons and armour
  3. The two broad categories at the top would be split simply by weapons and armour – one would contain all the weapons including Forward Path, Fool’s Remedy, Shining Sphere, Swarm of the Raven, Talons of the Eagle, Bite of the Fox, Orewing’s Maul, Crimil’s Dagger etc. The other would contain the Iron Banner armour for the season.
  4. On the second row, you could have a specific engram for The Forward Path and Fool’s Remedy focusing, giving you a 50% chance at a drop for one of those. The other weapon focusing would contain all the other weapons like Shining Sphere, Swarm of the Raven, Talons of the Eagle, Bite of the Fox, Orewing’s Maul, Crimil’s Dagger.
  5. Finally add an armour focusing option at the bottom.

To keep things simple you could keep the current token system, so when you get the tokens you could still hand them into Saladin for your regular drops. Just add the random drop of a potential Iron Banner Umbral Engram at the end of each Iron Banner match and when you hand in bounties.

Iron Banner has been much improved this season, and this is simply an idea for how to make it better. One thing is clear, the Umbral Engram system and focusing options is a huge success and I’d love to see that worked into other vendors in the game. I’m sure Bungie has been taking note of the feedback and really this is a culmination of iterating and testing throughout the entire lifecycle of Shadowkeep. Hats off to them, but I’d love to see this rolled out to more vendors… Specifically Iron Banner.

Let me know down in the comments what you think of this idea plus what you would call these engrams.

That’s it for this guide on how to get free raid loot solo from Last Wish and Garden of Salvation in Season of Arrivals. For more Destiny 2 content like this check out the Shadowkeep Guide or check out the YouTube Channel.

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