Despite all the new information on the soon-to-be-released House of Wolves, including the Prison of Elders livestream, I haven’t really been itching to write about any of it. In fact, I haven’t really been itching to play Destiny at all lately. Perhaps it’s because soon, most of the things I can currently do in-game will be sorta pointless, or perhaps I’ve just played too much over the past two months.
Really though, I think it was the Iron Banner that did me in.
I never gave the Iron Banner much thought. It seemed like an awful lot of work, I’m not awesome at PvP, and the rewards (especially the armor) seemed pretty poor. But I wanted a reason to play Destiny, and I don’t really need to raid anymore (I could use Fatebringer and some random Hezen Lords armor pieces I guess), so when the Iron Banner came back for the last time before HoW, I said screw it and jumped in with my emblem and shader equipped that I earned from the last time IB was a thing.
As I suspected, all that time spent not PvPing had not improved my PvP ability. Yolo queuing yielded about a 40% win rate early in the week, but the games were never close either way. It seemed that because the point of Iron Banner was to gain reputation, making sure you achieved your bounties every day were paramount to actually winning the game most of the time, a realization that was extremely unsettling. It reminded me of when my LGS introduced a points system into its Commander league, and suddenly the point of the game was not to win, but to earn points.
Anyway, the moment a team went down over 2000 points, which can happen very quickly, suddenly the entire losing team was all trying to get ten kills without dying, or machine gun headshots, or primary headshots (which I learned Vex Mythoclast does not qualify as for some reason) to complete the various bounties. This is not a fun way to play the game, especially if I had been playing most of the day and already had my bounties completed.
Eventually, I was invited by some clan members (of Fool’s Errand fame), and the entire dynamic of the game changed. Games were ALWAYS played to be won, with the sole exception of someone with a good kill streak trying to get to ten. Our team was less than optimally organized, and we had no shot caller to lead us, but even the most basic communication and strategies was usually enough to win most games. The fact that we had a few people who claimed to not be great at PvP was irrelevant; our positioning was superior, and was good enough.
Still, I couldn’t run with a team the entire time, mostly because I enjoyed playing at night and during the morning, not exactly the peak hours for Fool’s Errand. I actually ended up grinding the last two ranks on Sunday and Monday, finally finishing Monday night at about 11 pm. I then ground out the 50K glimmer needed for all the items using Resupply Codes on heroic Exclusion Zone, bought everything, then reforged the Timur’s Lash to Luck in the Chamber, Outlaw, and Field Scout/Perfect Balance, and the Efrideet’s Spear to Final Round.
Well, I don’t know. The whole experience was a lot of effort, and I really didn’t get THAT much. I got no extra rewards from all the games I played, the armor looks cool but is nothing special, and the Spear is only OK in Crucible (though it will probably be awesome in the Trials of Osiris until they nerf Final Round). I will admit that Timur’s Lash is amazing in Crucible (I headshot some dude for 127, poor guy), but it’s only alright in PvE because hand cannons are all measured against Fatebringer, and are all found wanting.
I guess in the end, the only thing I was really happy about was that I knew what was waiting for me at the end of the long road. It wasn’t like the hard mode heroic Crota’s End I ran this week where all I got were Radiant materials up to Crota, or the countless Nightfalls where I got Ascendant materials.
I suppose there was one really great thing to come out of the whole ordeal though. I got to reforge an item for the first time, and knowing I’ll be able to to the same thing to all the House of Wolves weapons to create the perfect set of weapons for any occasion is extremely exciting, so perhaps I’ll just spend the remaining time before HoW just leveling my remaining exotics (there are MANY), leveling my last character, and chasing that Gjallarhorn.
BONUS SECTION: Preparing for House of Wolves
There is a ton out there right now about how to best prepare for the House of Wolves on May 19th. Some of the advice is really obvious, like save your glimmer and marks. Some of the advice seems sort of unfun, like saving all your reputation packages not because you’ll get HoW gear from them (you won’t), but because you’ll get a meager amount of rep.
There is only one thing I’m going to do to prep outside the obvious, and you can’t really do it until the week before the expansion. I’m going to get all my reputations just below the requirement to rank up, then use patrols to get some easy packages after release. I think this is the best reward/work ratio. I’m not gonna sit on my packages that could have cool stuff for like 50 extra rep.
What are you doing to prep for the House of Wolves? Let me know in the comments!