Developer Bungie had a great opening period with its MMO shooter Destiny selling $315 million in the first five days, but now it needs to hold onto its players in the wake of this fall’s big releases.
As part of that push to keep players, Bungie is reworking the sci-fi shooter’s Iron Banner player-vs-player mode, balancing it more in favor of advanced players and offering more in-game rewards for competing. With Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare releasing next week, Destiny needs to give gamers a reason to keep logging into its competitive multiplayer and stick around long enough to buy into its forthcoming downloadable content.
Destiny lead designer Tyson Green explained the Iron Banner changes, expected to arrive before the end of the year, on Bungie’s weekly update. Iron Banner previous received criticism for failing to offer a sufficient advantage for higher level players, and the redesign addresses this problem.
“The goal for level advantages in PvP had been to create relatively small advantages that would suffice only to tilt the balance between players of equal skill towards the player of greater achievement, expressed in terms of his gear,” said Green. “But we now believe we have been too conservative, and that small tilts failed to meet anyone’s expectations.
“In the next Iron Banner, we will debut a much more dramatic difference between players of wide variation in level.”
Green also outlined plans to stop players from quitting if they are losing: “In the next Iron Banner, players will receive a Medallion of Iron on a loss. Upon their next win, each Medallion they carry will convert into a reputation gain almost equal to a win.”
Bungie is making Iron Banner an event focused solely on experienced Destiny players, and the next event will require a fireteam leader to be level 20 or higher. “While lower level players may join in with their level 20+ chaperone,” said Green, “they will find it very challenging.”
Weapon and armor drops from Iron Banner will also improve, and bounties will be more rewarding and easier to complete. You’ll also get an option to reforge any weapon earned in Iron Banner by re-rolling its randomly assigned upgrades.
While the goal for releasing this updated Iron Banner is before the end of the year, Bungie warned that many of the changes are still undergoing internal testing and may need more work.