Over the past weekly reset period, I was able to play through the Iron Banner event and mess around with the new Crucible meta, and I have to say that the weapon balance has never felt better. During the previous Iron Banner I can remember certain a loadout or two being slightly overused, namely the Doctrine of Passing auto rifle and The Last Word. Now that Bungie implemented a new pass at weapon balancing with the April update, these weapons were still strong but not overused. In fact, I rarely saw a The Last Word during the entire event.
The secondary ammo changes could be felt, most notably with my new Longbow Synthesis only haveing 11 shots maximum in its reserve while receiving only three per brick, but this made me use the weapon much more cautiously and try to better line up my shots. Overall not a change that caused too many issues. However, my thoughts on the changes to heavy ammo are mixed. While it is nice to not have two spawns of heavy ammo play such a big factor in a game, it did make it difficult to complete bounties requiring heavy ammo kills when there is only one spawn per match. Anyone who has played the Crucible knows that heavy ammo spawn can become chaotic and often results in big plays by players who have saved their supers for a risky, potentially game-winning moment, and being on the other end of these actions which can be out of your control can really suck when all you need to do is a bounty. It’s part of the game now, though, and will require teams in the future to be better aware of their surroundings when this time of the match arrives. Also, it makes Defender Titans that much more useful.
Bungie definitely made drops from the Iron Banner much more rewarding. Last time around I only received maybe one or two drops, while this time I was awarded around six or seven that, even if the perk rolls were not the best, would reward me with great infusion fuel. Also, it seems like Bungie has made more of an effort to make vendor gear much more viable, and seeing the weapons that Lord Saladin had for sale made the drive to get to rank 5 even more thrilling. Also, the drops from rank 5 packages being guaranteed to be either at or above your current light made it even more rewarding.
Iron Banner has always been a fun event to take part of because of the competitive nature of it. Both sides want the win for the reputation, and it brings in players who may not have played much in the Crucible, and it throws them all together in battle. Lag was still an issue at times, especially when my clan and I went up against a team of almost all red bar connections. Yet, somehow we were able to scrape together a win and it felt amazing. Destiny’s PvP has to be one of the most fun multiplayer experiences to do with friends since the classic couch-based co-op of yesteryear that has sadly been forgotten.
On a side note, for those interested, here are what my characters use as a loadout. I ran with a Bad Juju, Longbow Synthesis, and Qullim’s Terminus on my Stormtrance Warlock main. My Sunbreaker Titan used a Red Death, 1000-Yard Stare, and another Qullim’s Terminus. And finally, my Nightstalker Hunter was equipped with a MIDA Multi-Tool, Stillpiercer, and a final Qullim’s Terminus. I hate running a rocket launcher because they make me feel dirty.
Also, here’s a nice littel phantom medal I got with my Sunbreaker. Felt nice.