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Destiny 2’s first Iron Banner event and Prestige raid difficulty announced (update)

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Bungie hints at some mysterious changes and rewards

Destiny 2 - Iron Banner Guardians standing in front of Iron Medallion Bungie/Activision

Update (Oct. 9): Because of an “exploit,” Bungie has delayed the launch of the Prestige raid until Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. PT.

“An exploit has been discovered in the Leviathan Raid that causes the encounters to be stripped of their intended challenge,” Bungie stated. “To allow time to fix this issue, we are delaying the start of the Prestige Raid until next week. It’s important to us that the team who earns World First status doesn’t have their legacy tarnished by doubt, skepticism, or uncertainty.”

Update 2 (Oct. 9): Bungie just announced that it will add a new Crucible map to Destiny 2 alongside the Iron Banner event. The map, Distant Shore, is set on Nessus.

Original story: Bungie has announced Destiny 2’s first Iron Banner event, and the multiplayer competition has seen some major changes since the first game.

“Your fighting abilities, not your power levels, will decide the outcome,” said Bungie. That’s a massive change from the way Iron Banner worked in the original Destiny. In that game, level advantages were enabled in the mode — if one player was at a Light level of 240 and another was at 280, the second Guardian would do much more damage to the first.

This isn’t the case in standard Crucible PvP matches in either Destiny or Destiny 2; all that matters in a head-to-head battle is each player’s skill level, not their Guardian’s power. It sounds like Bungie wanted to bring that same level playing field to the Iron Banner in Destiny 2.

Another change is that Bungie has replaced the bounties and ranks of Destiny’s Iron Banner with Iron Banner engrams. In the previous game, the more Iron Banner you played, the better Iron Banner-exclusive gear you could get; the best weapons and armor were restricted to rank 5, which required hours and hours of play. It’s unclear if Destiny 2 will gate access to Iron Banner gear in a similar way.

You’ll earn Iron Banner tokens just for playing, although you’ll collect more with wins. Presumably, you’ll turn in those tokens to Lord Saladin to earn engrams. You can bring in your own fireteam or depend on the luck of matchmaking to play, with daily and seasonal milestones to work toward. One of the flashiest rewards will be the Iron Banner-specific armor.

Control is the gametype for this first Iron Banner event. It will run from 2 a.m. PT on Oct. 10 until 2 a.m. PT on Oct. 17. You’ll need to have finished the game’s campaign to participate, and then you have to visit Lord Saladin in the Tower to begin the Iron Banner quest.

The raid will get an update as well

The Prestige version of the Leviathan raid will launch at 10 a.m. PT on Oct. 10 as well, and hints about the upgrade — which recommends a power level of 300 — are vague but exciting.

“Mechanical changes to the encounters are minimal, but they are there,” Bungie announced. “The Prestige Raid is about mastering a more punishing sandbox. Our goal is not to provide a boon to your character progression, but there are unique rewards to help you shine. Consider this your invitation to prove to the world that you are among the very best of the Raiders who overlook the City.”

Expect a race to be the first team to finish this version of the raid. “World First will be counted,” Bungie stated. “We can tell you no more.”

Did you get the shivers? I got the shivers. It’s going to be a big Tuesday for Destiny 2 fans next week.