It’s been quite a while since Destiny 2 got a truly new PvP mode. Of course, last season saw the return of Rift from Destiny 1, but it’s something we’ve had before. For the first time since 2018, we’ve gotten a brand new Iron Banner mode called Eruption, and it’s insanely fun.
In Eruption, players build stacks of a buff with each kill they get which increases the amount of points each kill is worth, the amount of Ability and Super energy each kill grants, and shares some of those energy boosts with their teammates. Once a player has achieved 5 eliminations (kills OR assists), they become Primed. Primed players glow brightly, they are marked with a waypoint visible to both teams, and their abilities gain an even greater amount of energy after each kill… Oh, and if you go 15 seconds without a kill or dying, you erupt.
This turns Destiny 2’s Crucible into an even more chaotic, aggressive, place where everyone’s kills matter. Not to say that’s not the case in other modes, but in Eruption, if you kill the player that has that Primed buff, that kill is worth 3 points, meaning that if you’re Primed and kill an enemy player that’s Primed, you’re scoring your team 6 points – plenty to help make up the difference in a match that starts off a little uneven. I’ve seen matches at 90-40 completely turn around and get blown out because of a team’s ability to effectively reset and sweep the legs out from under the other team, and since the mode is so much fun, I rarely even realized it happening. I’m playing because I’m enjoying it, not because I care if I win.
I compare Eruption to Halo, not because it reproduces the intense, hyper-competitive modern interpretations the more recent games have taken, but because it reminds me of the sillier custom games of old: This is Juggernaut meets VIP meets Fat Kid all rolled into one bonkers PVP match. It’s the reason I fell in love with Halo in the first place and an extension of how I view Destiny’s Crucible, anyway. It’s less serious than most PvP games, unless you want it to be. It’s the first PvP mode in a video game that I don’t get tilted about when I don’t perform well. I love the Crucible and to my surprise, according to Wasted on Destiny, I’ve spent more time in the Crucible than Strikes and Gambit combined over the lifespan of Destiny 2. It’s just chaotic, stupid, wacky fun where me and 11 other people fly around and shoot super powers at each other and shoot cool guns, and Eruption is the perfect catalyst for that.
I’m glad that Eruption seems to be landing well with some of Destiny’s more serious PvPers, too. Unfortunately, last season’s Rift reprisal didn’t get a lot of love from the PvP community, as its first week on the market saw a plethora of bugs and unannounced changes to the original D1 version. By the time it swung around for its second and final week of the season, a month and a half later, most of those issues were ironed out. The community was still fairly torn on it, but it’s incredibly easy to see why Eruption has Destiny’s PvP community excited to play again. With Rift now in the weekly rotating playlist slot, I hope that we see Eruption make its way into a more regular occurrence, as after Tuesday, it won’t see the light of day until the next Iron Banner. After that, it’ll be Season 19’s first Iron Banner at the earliest.
Beyond the positive reception, it’s so nice to see Bungie experimenting with the PvP in Destiny again; We’ve gotten a new map for the second season in a row after years since the last one dropped and there are rumors that another map is set to drop with Season 19 as well, albeit another returning Destiny 1 map. I want to see even more modes like this or the zany Team Scorched mode. I can already imagine even more classic, Halo-style party modes. The Tower has had a “The Floor Is Lava!” minigame in it since vanilla Destiny 2, why not bark up that tree and see what falls out of it?