How Destiny’s Iron Banner re-ignited my spark for PvP

By Patrick Garratt, Monday, 19 October 2015 14:06 GMT

There’s a whole other game out there, Guardians.


I have never won a straight PvP Deathmatch in any FPS. Ever. I’m still staggered. I never felt out of control. All I saw was dead people.

The newest version of Destiny’s Iron Banner tournament kept me playing PvP all last week when I was supposed to be doing other things. I couldn’t stop playing it, in fact. Yesterday I hit level 5, the cap, and gorged my reward of new weapons, emblems, shaders and armour. I loved pretty much every second. So absolute was the high I experienced from topping out my reputation with Lord Saladin, that I took straight to Rumble, Destiny’s free-for-all mode, something I haven’t done for a long time and certainly never in seriousness. Rumble is hard. It’s a pure test of Time-To-Kill (TTK), gear relevance and targeting skill.

I won. As far as I’m aware, I have never won a straight PvP Deathmatch in any FPS. Ever. I’m still staggered. I never felt out of control. All I saw was dead people.


I mean, I’ve always enjoyed PvP. Loved me a bit of Quake, and a large part of “games” to me has always been shooting someone else in the face. Pew pew, and all that. It’s fun, regardless of the terribleness of my performance. But smashing Iron Banner this week has given me a fantastic shot of experience and confidence, and the rank 5 pulse rifle, Nirwen’s Mercy, is just killer for headshots. I don’t approach matches expecting to lose any more. I enjoyed it so much that all my Destiny time since has been taken up with PvP and the odd strike to get Legendary Marks to upgrade new gear. That ridiculous Lord Shaxx quest, a monstrous run requiring more than 40 match wins which results in the gift of an awful rocket launcher and the unlocking of Nightfall-grade PvP bounties, now seems realistic. The unthinkable has happened: I want to get better at Destiny’s PvP after many hundreds of hours of essentially ignoring it.

I have Iron Banner to thank. This was the first IB tournament after the release of The Taken King in September, and things have been shaken up significantly. The bounties are now better balanced, ranging from the easy dailies – three heavy kills, seven kills while leading – to the tricky weeklies. The weekly gold bounties include one which demands you get 10 killstreaks, end a match at the top of the board and more. You’re only going to get this if you’re concentrating (I did, incidentally).

All IB matches take place in Destiny’s Control mode, which demands you capture up to three points and hold them for kill bonuses. The new maps range from average additions, such as The Dungeons on the The Dreadnaught, to downright awesome. Widow’s Court, for example, is set among the ruins of what look like English monasteries. It’s open, but not ludicrously large, and works well with whatever your chosen primary is. So much fun.

Now every time I hit the playlists I’m turning up new maps and realising far too late that there’s a whole other Destiny I walked right past. This PvP competent is massive, comprehensive and super-enjoyable once you have the kit and the inclination. See if you can drag some of your Raid team into a match. Grab the new Crucible bounties from the Tower (they’re so easy now: you get one today for winning a single Control match) and watch them drop like flies. Start shooting each other. The Iron Lords demand it.

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