Warlock Banana

Last night did not go exactly as expected, but I am pretty pleased with the results anyways.  Last night was a good night, and it started from the moment I got home and got a bunch of things accomplished while waiting on the rice cooker.  After a furious round of chores, my wife and I sat down to eat and then I was off to play some PS4.  With my leg in its current mauled state it hurts to sit on the couch given that in order to use my laptop I need to use the recliner.  This ends up putting pressure on the four wounds and while I can take it for a few minutes… it doesn’t exactly make for comfortable gaming.  As a result I am largely upstairs right now, and other than being isolated from my wife it does give me access to my gaming consoles and my legit gaming desktop. The original goal for last night was going to involve running around and doing stuff  with some friends in Destiny, but while waiting for that to happen I decided to start doing Iron Banner on my Warlock.  I had not actually touched the Banner on either the Warlock or the Hunter during Year 3, and as a result I had the Lady Efrideet quests to complete which also reward some gear.  I managed to exit the week long even with my Titan main at 393, Warlock caught up to 391 and my Hunter lagging a bit out of disuse at 389.

I’ve tried a whole slew of weapons and honestly nothing makes me nearly as happy as my Year 2 Iron Banner Auto Rifle… the Haakon’s Hatchet.  So for the most part playing on my Warlock meant swapping this over via Destiny Item Manager.  For those who are not using this I highly suggest installing the chrome plugin, because it greatly improves the utility of being able to swap gear while playing the game.  Essentially I swapped my Auto Rifle and my Gjallarhorn over and was off to the races.  There is a part of me that is sad that this Auto Rifle just simply doesn’t exist any more.  I wish there was something you could do, like a weekly bounty for Lord Saladin that rewarded the year two weapons… just a random draw at the huge vat of available options.  Range Finder is one of those perks on a weapon that I feel like gets overlooked a lot, but given the normal crap range on this weapon… with that perk it allows me to melt targets an entire map away it seems.  Counter Balance and Perfect Balance on the same weapon always makes it feel great and I think a huge part of why I keep favoring this weapon… is that I have used it so much that I can predict exactly how it is going to behave in pretty much every situation.

Throughout the course of the evening I managed to go from Rank 0 to Rank 5 and complete all four of the bounties on my Warlock along with the three one time Lady Efrideet quests.  That meant I saw an awful lot of gear as a result.  Most of it was largely “more of the same” but I am picking out a few items to talk about.  Firstly I am not a huge fan of Sidearms, but I am trying to learn how to use them.  They play this interesting role of operating somewhere just outside of shotgun range but largely something you swap to when you empty your primary.  Normally speaking I would just infuse this into a weapon I am more familiar with but for the moment I am holding onto it largely because I think the perk package looks interesting.  With Hand Loaded and Range Finder… this means my side arm is going to have a massive operating range, and with Quickdraw I will be able to swap to it extremely quickly.  Combine this with the already insane Stability and Rate of Fire on the weapon… and it might be useful if I can learn to use it well.

One of the strange things about Iron Banner is that your drops seem to be extremely character dependent.  For example this time around the drops that were available were Class Items, Helms, Artifacts, Ghost Shells, Scout Rifles, and Fusion Rifles.  On my Titan I got Fusion Rifles almost exclusively, save for a single Distant Star Scout Rifle drop.  On my Warlock…  the Scout Rifles were raining down upon me.  I still think that more than likely I am going to be using the vendor roll which includes Full Auto… giving me a crazy high power auto rifle hybrid thing.  However I did manage to get a few other interesting rolls, including the one above that I thought were worth talking about.  Firstly to spec this out I would end up taking Braced Frame… which I really don’t like doing because it reduces the magazine size.  For the second pick I would ultimately take High Caliber Rounds to give some stagger and a bit more impact, and lastly would probably go for Firefly…  just because right now I don’t have a decent scout rifle with that on it.  For the un-initiated Firefly makes it so that when you kill a with a headshot… it causes it to explode dealing damage to all other mobs around it.  Firefly does a really great job at helping with wave clear and it is just fun to watch all of these things explode.  All in all it was a pretty great week in the Banana, and I am hoping the next time it comes around I can maybe push my army of characters up to 400ish.

Clever Dragons

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Iron Banner just concluded yesterday, and I spent a good deal of time playing it this go round.  I’ve never had any luck in trying to get a decent Grasp of Malok, so when the rank five roll of Clever Dragon featured Counter Balance, Perfect Balance and Snapshot…  I knew I was ultimately going to grind until I got there.  With the Rise of Iron it brought a number of changes to “Iron Banana”, namely since Lord Saladin is nor our “faction leader” of a sort…  the reigns of the tournament were passed to Lady Efrideet.  The primary change that happened is the fact that instead of three weekly bounties, and three daily bounties…  we are given four weekly bounties.  Previously you got a crappy blue item at Rank 3 with Iron Banner and an item package at Rank 5.  This time around two of these new bounties reward armor packages, and the other two reward weapons…  and you still get some sort of a big package upon hitting Rank 5.  So the total loot payout of participating in the event is significantly more than it used to be.  That said I find it MUCH harder to get to Rank 5, given that I don’t have something I can be working on every day to give me a much needed boost.  In Iron Banner you only gain ranks if you are winning, and especially trying to queue during the day on Friday… I hit some significant losing streaks.  Now there is a built in system that gives you a sort of consolation prize coin upon a loss… and these stack to five, with a boost to your rank granted when you finally turn around and win.  However there was at least one point on Friday that I lost eight games in a row…  so it just become frustrating as I kept getting thrown up against premades.

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Now the positive of the event is that I got tons of loot, and also managed to complete both the void damage portion of the thorn quest, and the crucible kills portion of my Future War Cult exotic class item quest.  I spent a significant amount of time running around shooting people into the face with the above Shotgun.  I’ve had the Party Crasher +1 for awhile now and I consider it to be as close to a god roll as I will ever likely see with Full Auto, Final Round and Rifled Barrel to help boost the range a bit.  Traditionally I use my Invective when doing crucible, but at the moment I am simply not willing to waste an exotic shard on anything until I get significantly closer to the item cap.  I went on a mission to try and get a decent legendary shotgun during Taken King and in my very first round of attempting to grind the Crucible I managed to pull this guy in the end of match rewards and have been loving it ever since.  I am sure a god roll Matador could pry it from my hands but for the moment I am super happy with it.

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The other weapon that I used a significant amount of the time especially to get those void kills is Saladin’s Vigil.  Now this is something I picked up last Iron Banner from one of the loot bounties, and I felt like I got a completely reasonable roll on it.  I am not even sure what a “god roll” would look like, but mine has Hammer Forged, Enhanced Battery, and Performance Bonus….  with that last perk actually extending the usefulness of the weapon as it materializes ammo out of thin air.  With a really low charge rate and almost maxed impact and reasonable range… this is essentially the first fusion rifle that is not Sleeper Simulant that I really find myself enjoying using.  I got many a kill by this one and leading the charge as I expected something to duck around the corner.  Fusion Rifles can be extremely frustrating in the crucible because they are very much a “whelp I’m dead” weapon when you intercept a bolt.

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Lastly the weapon I cannot stop using… literally ever is this Haakon’s Hatchet that was a vendor roll during the Taken King.  I realize that the “doctrine of spamming” archetype is still pretty potent in the meta, but no matter how many versions of that archetype I get… I never can seem to do shit with them.  I currently have a potentially viable Hex Caster ARC and an Unbent Tree… but I cannot ever bring myself to level them and have not deemed them worthy of motes of light.  The weapon I continue to go back to however is this Hatchet with Ranger Finder, Counter Balance and Perfect Balance.  This is as close to my perfect weapon as I will likely ever find, because not only do I love the appearance… but I can also draw a bead on enemy players with in and chew them up.  What I love the most about the weapon is the fact that it is just as viable for me in Crucible situations as it is doing literally anything PVE… namely the Archon’s Forge.  The magazine is big enough that I can often take down an entire wave of mobs in the forge without a reload.

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I’ve tried so many different primary weapons… for example I managed to pull the above Shadow Price that while it does not have the perfect roll has something I can work with.  With Rodeo and Perfect Balance it becomes usable… and while Icarus is generally a worthless perk I can make it work since I jump around a lot.  This gun works well in any PVE situation, but it is completely useless in the Crucible, at least with the roll package that I wound up getting.  I have a copy of The Continental that seems similarly reasonable, but nothing can quite match up to the “perfect for me” stat package of the Hatchet.  I still want to try and find one of the Doctrine archetype weapons with Counterbalance and Perfect Balance to see if it suddenly becomes this magical weapon that folks talk about.  However for the time being I will keep using Hatchet and be happy to have it.  I am hoping however that after all the time I spent trying to get it… that I find that sweet spot with the Clever Dragon and it becomes my new favorite Pulse Rifle.

 

Lucky Banana

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Strange Dream

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This morning I am opting to make a more traditional blog post rather than an other DAW post because…  well the DAW posts take a lot out of me.  It takes a lot of effort to summon up this hardcore reminiscing, and after doing four of them, I need to take a day off.  I am sure I will return tomorrow with another segment.  Though it seems like not that many people are joining in, and it was a little disheartening the other day when a friend of mine called it a marketing gimmick.  In truth we forgot about it this year, and I felt that it was bad that we forgot about it.  Normally speaking this thing is supposed to happen during the last week of March, but instead I rescheduled it to happen the last week of April because I didn’t want a year to go by without this thing happening.  I feel it is important for us as players to remember that the games we often complain about… are made by actual human beings who just want to do a good job.  So it only seems fitting to spread a little love around during a single week in the year.  I don’t really get anything out of doing it, and I am certain Scarybooster didn’t when he first started doing the event back in 2010.  So if it is a marketing gimmick it is a piss poor design.

I’ve been pretty sick over the last few days, a combination of allergies and asthma, so last night I decided that I really needed to turn in early and get a full nights sleep.  I had a really strange dream as a result and I can only assume it is due to me not exactly being all here right now.  So I had this dream that I was being thrown a birthday party, but instead it was all of my internet friends.  There is a lot of the dream I am already forgetting but there were some really strange moments.  For example my friend Tam that I record AggroChat with, had this circa 1980s Lisa Frank folder with a rainbow colored tiger on it… and inside he had written on big chief notepad paper…  these summaries of different pen and paper character archetypes.  For some reason Markiplier was there, which I found odd because I only really know of him from various Pax panels.  He ended up getting me a gift called a “Cat Tether” which is supposed to be I guess like a cat leash?  The box looked like it came from the as seen on television aisle at Walgreens.  The rest of the dream is pretty fuzzy but I thought it was strange enough that it was worth writing about.  In any case I feel more rested this morning and feeling a little less horrible, so I guess it worked?

Iron Banana

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The other reason why I wanted to take a day off from DAW is that I want to talk about the current Iron Banner.  Largely I want to talk about it… while there is still enough time to people to get into Destiny and participate.  In the past loot from Iron Banner felt like it was few and far between, but it seems like Bungie cranked the switch up to 11.  On average it felt like every three to four matches I was getting a piece of legendary gear.  This week the items up for grabs are boots, class items, Tormod’s Bellows Rocket Launcher, and Haakon’s Hatchet a bullet hose type Auto Rifle.  The loot that you get as drops seems to be limited to these four items that are available.  From the moment you hit rank 1, aka after your first match/bounty turn in you seem to be able to get either the Class Armor or Boots.  When you hit rank 3 the weapons start dropping, and I got my first Hatchet from that next match after hitting the rank.  The rank 3 package sadly is only a 320 artifact, which isn’t all that good for infusion, however all of the items that you end up getting are.  For most of the matches I have been sitting between 327-330 depending on my weapon loadout, and all of my gear so far has been 332-334 with sadly no 335s as of yet.

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Over the course of my matches so far I have managed to get four Auto Rifles, six boots, six titan marks, and a single rocket launcher.  Now the dropped variants have wildly differing rolls, but I managed to latch onto one that wasn’t too horrible and have been using it for most of the banner.  Hip Fire sadly is useless on an Auto Rifle, but the other stats on this one are pretty great.  Right now I am a little over half of the way to Rank 5, and the goal is to buy the vendor roll which is phenomenal and infuse this 334 into it.  The vendor rolls for pretty much everything are really good this time a round, and if I actually cared about rocket launchers I might consider picking that one up.  If I ever use a rocket launcher I am going to use Truth for the tracking ability, because I suck at using rocket launchers.  Other things I have figured out, is that 330 seems to be the current cap for faction packages, because during the course of the last few weeks I have turned in a ton of Future War Cult, Vanguard and Crucible packages… and essentially everything I have gotten stopped at 330.  The funniest thing is that the last three Crucible packages have all rewarded me the exact same primary scout rifle The Saterienne Rapier, one of which was worth holding onto because it had hidden hand and explosive rounds… however the bulk have served as infusion fodder allowing me to bring up weapons I will actually use more often.  As far as Scout Rifles go… I am most likely to use my brand new Hand of Judgement that I pulled out of Challenge of Elders this week.