Destiny's Crucible mode will be evolving in important ways with expansion pack The Dark Below. Some of these changes are already live within the game.
Bungie has implemented new Slaughter Rules for the player-versus-player matches. These new rules are designed to level the playing field. If one team massacres another in a match, the session will be dissolved and new matchmaking will occur. The same will happen in Rumble matches where three or more players under-performs. In addition to balancing out matches, this probably helps eliminate win-trading.
Before the end of the year, special playlists Combined Arms and Salvage will be returning. In Salvage, players compete to capture relics throughout the battlefield. Combined Arms, meanwhile, is a 6v6 vehicle-based playlist. When it returns, Combined Arms will feature maps Bastion and First Light, which have been moved out of their usual playlists.
The Dark Below's launch will be accompanied by new Premium playlists exclusive to players who bought the expansion. These playlists highlight the three new maps: Pantheon, Skyshock and The Cauldron. Two new Premium lists will be rotated in every week. The first pair will be Clash and Rumble. Future playlists will feature experimental modes as well.
Regardless of whether or not you buy Destiny's expansion, you'll still be able to access the Iron Banner when it returns on December 16th. Lord Saladin will appear at the Tower once again to offer players special rewards for participating in the Iron Banner playlist. His inventory will include level 31 items. Unfortunately, your standing from the last Iron Banner is being reset so you'll have to start the Iron Banner grind from square one.
This will be the second Iron Banner since Bungie made massive revisions to the event. Players' attack and defense ratings now affect their performance more. Match losers will earn medallions that can be turned in for rewards once they finally win. Iron Banner weapons purchased through the event can now be reforged - a process that generates a new set of random upgrades but also resets any of the weapon's progression.
The Dark Below will launch on December 9th. Along with the new PvP maps, the expansion brings a Raid called Crota's End along with several other PvE activities. Crota's End is a six-player adventure that requires a level 30 Guardian as Fireteam leader.
"The race begins on December 9th at 1AM Pacific Time," said Bungie's David Dague during the Weekly Update. "You will not need to complete the other Missions, Quests, Bounties, or Strikes first. The Raid will beckon at Zero Hour."