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Destiny is getting connection-focused matchmaking this week (update)

Lord Saladin is promising less lag

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Starting this week, Destiny developer Bungie is finally implementing a player-versus-player matchmaking system that will take connection quality into account, the studio announced yesterday.

Bungie said in its most recent weekly update that it was working on some matchmaking tweaks that were intended to reduce latency. The new matchmaking is coming Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. PT, exactly 24 hours after the Rift-based Iron Banner event went live today. The daylong lag time will give Bungie "two sets of data to compare and scrutinize," and it's "all part of the plan," said community manager David "DeeJ" Dague.

Matchmaking is yet another element of Destiny that Bungie wasn't properly equipped to update until the launch of The Taken King last September, according to the studio. The expansion provided Bungie with "a new system to better enable us to evaluate Guardians as combatants," but players have continued to report issues with lag in the Crucible.

Bungie said it wants to continue to take skill into account along with connection quality when matching players up. So this week's matchmaking update will emphasize connection quality more, but "there will still be some consideration given to matching you with worthy adversaries."

This week's Iron Banner will run from 10 a.m. PT today until 12 a.m. PT on Feb. 2. It will feature Rift, one of the gametypes that debuted in The Taken King, for the first time. Another update for Destiny will come in early February, around the time that the game's next seasonal event — the Valentine's-themed Crimson Days — goes live. Crimson Days is set to debut Feb. 9.

Update: Bungie noted that the new connection-based matchmaking will remain exclusive to the Iron Banner playlist for now, and announced Jan. 28 that it had deployed a new set of matchmaking settings.

"We'll continue to monitor the conversation and keep an eye on the data," Bungie said.

You can listen to this story — and many more — in the episode of Polygon's daily news podcast, Minimap, below.

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