Season of the Lost

Iron Banner Needs a Trials-like Loot System in Destiny 2

Iron Banner is back this week, and I think it’s high time we got an upgrade to the current out-of-date, old-fashioned, legacy loot system that Lord Saladin has. Today I’m going to look at what’s wrong with the current Iron Banner Loot system, plus loot at a potential improvement, and also get your thoughts on what you want to see from an Iron Banner Revamp in the future.

What’s Wrong With The Iron Banner Loot System?

Iron Banner has been with us since Destiny 1, and it’s evolved little over the years. Now with Trials of Osiris getting a lot of love this season, the legacy loot system we have with Iron Banner is really starting to show its age. One great thing about Iron Banner is the pinnacle bounties, these are great if you are leveling. Outside of the bounties though, it’s hard to think of positive with the current system.

It’s almost a victim of its own success. Bungie has actually added, or brought back, a bunch of weapons in Beyond Light and added them to Iron Banner.

Here’s some of the loot.

  • The Guiding Sight (Scout Rifle)
  • The Forward Path (Auto Rifle)
  • The Fool’s Remedy (Sidearm)
  • The Steady Hand (Hand Cannon)
  • Finite Impacter (Hand Cannon)
  • Occluded Finality (Sniper Rifle)
  • Archeon’s Thunder (Machine Gun)
  • Riiswalker (Shotgun)
  • Peacebond (Sidearm)
  • Forge’s Pledge (Pulse Rifle)

Bungie also introduced a new Iron Banner armour set for the first time in a long time in Season of the Lost with the new Iron Forerunner Armour set.

The main problem I can see is the size of the loot pool combined with the token system. To get loot you have to play Iron Banner, normally complete the quest from Lord Saladin where he may give you the new seasonal weapons throughout the quest, then collect Iron Banner tokens by playing Iron Banner matches. You then exchange the tokens at Lord Saladin for Iron Banner loot, however, the loot pool is so big that getting the weapon you actually want is very slim.

Let’s say, for example, you really want a decent roll of the Riiswalker shotgun. Given it’s in a loot pool of ten (it maybe more than this, it’s just an illustration), then you have a 1 in 10 chance for the weapon to drop for you when you hand in tokens. Quite often you could play hours of Iron Banner, only to get weapons you don’t really want, or worse, duplicates.

What we really need is some kind of focusing system, where you can have some element of choice over the loot you want, much like we have in Trials of Osiris.

Trials Of Osiris Loot System

Bungie have been busy with Trials of Osiris in Season of the Lost, running many experiments, and delaying the launch of Trials this season, completely revamping the loot-system, after months of stagnation in Trials of Osiris. Here we have the perfect template for Lord Saladin to copy… and that’s the current loot system implemented with Saint-14 for Trials.

Rank system – Saint-14 hs a reputation system, which you can rank up by playing Trials. At each rank up you get a Trials Engram. At various points on the rank up system you get rewards including Trials loot and upgrade materials like engrams, upgrade modules, Enhancement Prisms and Ascendant Shards.

Trials Engrams – You get your own specific Trials Engrams in Trials of Osiris, which can either be handed into Rahool for random loot in the Trials loot pool, or you can focus them (plus some materials) at Saint-14 to buy some specific loot. Trials Engrams also drop from the end of matches if you are lucky, or when you have gone flawless.

Choice of loot – This is the biggest and best feature of the Trials loot revamp. Previously in Trials of Osiris there was set loot for the week, by winning 3, 5 and 7 matches (also there was a weekly bounty where you’d get the 3 win reward after 5-10 games win or lose). Now, all the seasonal loot is available every week from Saint-14. It maybe a lot easier to get the weapon you want, but you are still rolling the dice on the specific roll of the weapon. There’s a lot of difference between the average roll and the god roll weapons.

Let’s have a look at how we could apply this to Iron Banner.

Revamped Iron Banner Loot System

Check out the mock up for Lord Saladin, in terms of what a Trials-like loot system could look like if implemented in Iron Banner.

Iron Banner Engrams – Iron Banner engrams seem like a no-brainer to me. These are engrams scoped to Iron Banner loot only, and can be handed in at Rahool for a random piece of Iron Banner loot, or handed into Saladin (with some other materials) for a choice of Iron banner weapons or armor.

Rank rewards – We should have a rank up rewards bar, much like we have at Saint-14 and Lord Shaxx for regular crucible. We could simply swap out the Trials weapons for Iron Banner weapons, maybe the choice weapons of the season. Keep the materials like engrams, upgrade modules, Enhancement Prisms and Ascendant Shards.

Iron Banner loot – I would have all the Iron Banner loot available for Guardians, allowing players to hand in their Iron Banner engrams plus materials in exchange for Iron Banner weapons or armour. Given there are a bunch of Iron Banner weapons, it might be worth curating the Iron Banner loot set here. For example, you may not have all the Iron Banner weapons, but a selected curation (much like we have in Trials at the moment).

Legacy loot – I would also add a legacy loot section, which offers armour from seasons gone by.

Bounties – Keep the bounties system, this is a great way to level up.

Remove the quest – I would remove the intro quest for Iron Banner. This has players running around Iron Banner playing with an array of weapons. Sometimes I appreciate having to use weapons a little out of my comfort zone, but the quest steps where you had to get kills with heavy weapons is a big no no from me. With the revamped loot system in place, I don’t think we need the Iron Banner introduction quest anymore.

The main thing we need address is player choice and the size of the loot pool. If the loot pool is going to remain large, then we need a way of focusing down on the loot, much like we have in Trials of Osiris. I think the implementation of a rank up system, similar to that of other vendors, plus Iron Banner engrams could really do the trick and helping improve the Iron Banner loot system. At the moment it’s hard to get what you want, and my motivation to play season over season is dwindling.

That is about it, and how I would improve the loot system in Iron Banner to bring it more in line with Trials of Osiris.

Let me know what you think down in the comments, and let me know your ideas for improving the Iron Banner loot system.