When Bungie promoted the current Iron Banner event, it told players that their weapon and armor stats mattered. Some players expected that there would be a direct translation from single player stats to the crucible multiplayer mode. As many found out, that’s not exactly how it worked out.
In the Destiny weekly update, Bungie senior designer Derek Carroll explains how Iron Banner takes your gear into account. Instead of being a direct translation of the stats you see on the inventory screen, things are still tweaked to give lower level players (and even those that haven’t run the Vault of Glass) a fighting chance.
“Our solution to add power back into the mix and keep the Crucible from turning into a ghost town is to scale it down to a reasonable level, and clamp damage on the ‘overkill’ end,” writes Carroll. “A decked-out endgame Guardian can’t defeat a low-level guardian with one shot from an Auto-Rifle. In fact, ‘time-to-kill’ is the same when you’re using higher-level gear against lower-level gear. The opposite is not true, so an enemy with average weapons is going to have a harder time taking you out.”
In other words, low level players can still take out a raid-geared Guardian. Skill plays into Iron Banner more than originally advertised. Future Iron Banners may be handled differently, as Bungie says it is listening to feedback.
For now, the biggest advantage is about seven levels. After that, the deficit flattens out. So, attacking a target twenty levels above you isn’t different than attacking one seven higher.
In addition to Iron Banner details, Bungie revealed that Destiny is still hosting 3.2 million players each day. Average playtime per player is three hours per day, and on average, players have logged in just under 21 times.
For more, check out out the full discussion with Carroll on the Bungie website.
While the explanation for Iron Banner makes sense, the build-up and promotion seems to have been a mistake. The caveats about some balancing being in place should have been offered up front. Doing so after the fact makes it seem like Bungie was caught fibbing.
If Bungie hopes to retain a user base for Destiny, open and honest communication is key. Players are smart and sensed things weren’t as advertised with Iron Banner very quickly.