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When I press G on the keyboard, my character summons down my banner on the spot. It hangs around for a few seconds, then disappears.

What is the purpose of this?

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2  
You can use it to crush small animals, like this rabbit. –  Krazer May 31 '12 at 14:44

5 Answers 5

up vote 26 down vote accepted

"Dropping your banner" with G is an emote that serves no immediate function.1

At best, it's a customizable emote that shows off your swag—your in-game achievements convert to banner adornments. You can also change the banner's color, sigil, and shape to reflect your taste.

Dropping the banner will create a marker on the map for party members (orange arrow, turns to pulsing circle when close)

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4  
You always teleport to the player. Not the banner placed with G –  user9983 Apr 22 '12 at 15:37
    
I didn't claim that, but I updated it for clarity. –  Sean Apr 22 '12 at 15:41
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The question specifically asked about the banner placed with G. All the info about the other banner is irrelevant and misleading. –  user9983 Apr 22 '12 at 15:45
    
The question asked "What does the banner do?" Did I not address that concisely as well as the question's specific details? –  Sean Apr 22 '12 at 15:53
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@sean Read the body text of the question. Your answer is too broad in scope for the question. –  StrixVaria Apr 22 '12 at 15:54

It's just a mechanism to show off your Achievements. Various achievements unlock certain things for your banner, and by pressing G you can throw it down and show everyone that you've got all classes to Level 13 in the beta (for example).

Source: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/game/whats-new under "Achievements"

ACHIEVEMENTS

You'll be able to show off your achievements with a battle standard, a banner visible to all players on Battle.net that will be a visual representation of your accomplishments in Diablo III. And you should expect even more ‘endgame' additions to come - ones that'll let you pursue unique goals and achieve more glory in the world of Sanctuary than ever before.

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Why the heck was this downvoted? –  heishe Apr 22 '12 at 16:03
    
Did someone edit the "hell" out of my comment? :D –  heishe May 14 '12 at 10:12

Banners are a standin for the location the other players can teleport to during the game.

Whenever you join a game with other players, their banners will show up around the waypoint marker in town (presumably in other towns too). You can use these banners to teleport directly to where the player is anywhere in the world.

On the other side, you can place your banner (with G) for a few seconds to be a standin for where other players will be able to teleport to. The thinking goes that you'll place it before you get into a big fight so anyone who might teleport to you won't be tossed right into the fray.

Turns out that this isn't working in the current beta. I recall using this form of teleport so I expect that it will retain this functionality for retail. Otherwise, dropping your banner is purely an exercise in aesthetics.

I created a Bug Report in an attempt to find out what the functionality should be.

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4  
I just tested it. This is wrong. You teleport to the player's location, not the banner. –  StrixVaria Apr 22 '12 at 15:24
    
Er? I swear I've used this before. –  authenticgeek Apr 22 '12 at 15:25

It will be used to flag yourself for PvP, additionally as a way to show off your flag.

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Do you have a source for that? As I understand it, the only thing we know about the upcoming PvP is that it is upcoming. –  Frank Aug 25 '12 at 2:57
    
I asked in the beta forums when the beta first started, the response I got was it will be a flag for pvp. I don't think I am still bound to the NDA, but from what I gathered it will be the ready indicator for PVP. So, in a roundabout way the source is ~me~. :) I don't see the beta forum anymore, but I can dig around to see if I can find the response I got. –  UfoRia Aug 25 '12 at 3:46
    
We'll all know in the early to middle of October when 1.0.5 is released that adds PvP and possibly will add the ability to increase difficulty when a game is created, ala D2 that Jay mentioned in his apology. –  UfoRia Aug 25 '12 at 3:49

It also marks the point on the map while the banner is dropped, useful to point out a location to other players - eg elite enemy, resplendid chest etc

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