Yesterday Bungie took to Twitch et al to reveal their content plans for the next chapter in Destiny’s story. Whilst I expected to see the reveal for a new DLC coming in September, what I didn’t expect was the announcement of two additional DLC’s for both 2021 and 2022. That’s not all though, there were a number of things talked about during the stream. Some of which were a little more confusing than others and I wanted to share my thoughts.
The comfort of Destiny
For almost 6 years now (wow that feels like a long time) Destiny has been a part of my gaming life. Whilst I have dipped in and out of the game I’ve always purchased any of the major content releases. Plus I’ve always played it sporadically and have always thought I’d return to playing again sometime.
Destiny has been a franchise that’s had some rough times, but I’ve always enjoyed playing it. For me, it was an easy enough game to dip in and out of. Furthermore, I didn’t feel like I would miss out on too much if I didn’t play for a couple of months.
That being said, with the change in the format last year and the switch to seasons, I felt myself drifting further away from it. Every time a new season popped up I felt like I was more disconnected to the franchise than I ever had been. There was a certain amount of FOMO to not playing, but at the same time, I didn’t feel like I could commit enough time to actually gain what was available within a season. As a result, over the last 6 months Destiny lost that comforting feeling for me. It stopped being the game I’d fall back on when I just wanted to kick back on my own and shoot digital aliens.
Even though that’s how I feel about the franchise at the moment I still get a least a little bit excited about new content. Yesterday was no different. The announcement of Destiny 2 Beyond Light has me interested again. Couple that with the new season releasing yesterday as well, I feel like I want to play it again.
Things are changing
Destiny is a live service game, it always has been and always will. Since the split from Activision that feels more and more apparent. It’s, therefore, no surprise that we’re not going to be seeing a proper sequel to the game. Instead, Bungie intends to release yearly DLC that build upon what’s already there. The Witch Queen will be in 2021 and Lightfall will be in 2022.
That’s not all that’s changing though. During the stream it was also revealed that Destiny 1 content will be, periodically, making its way into Destiny 2. The Cosmodrome – Destiny’s very first zone, will be the first to reappear. Furthermore, players will also be able to revisit The Vault of Glass raid, the original strikes, and more. These elements will be introduced for a time period and then replaced by something else at a later date. All the details still aren’t totally clear. That being said, it’s nice to know that D2 players will get to experience some of the first game.
With the introduction of new content comes the questions of space. Some of you may have heard people bemoaning the size of Call of Duty. Weighing in at an almost whopping 200gb, it’s a huge game demanding a lot of hard drive space. Bungie is now facing a similar issue. The game is ever-growing, thus making it harder to manage – according to them. What this means is that D2 content will be retired to the Destiny Content Vault (DCV).
The new player experience
When Beyond Light releases in September this year, players will see a number of locations and it’s corresponding activities removed from the game (temporarily). The idea is that it makes the game easier to manage from Bungie’s side. Whilst also allowing them to bring back older content.
My question, however, is what does this do to a new player’s experience. Earth, Mars, Titan, Io, Mercury are all being put in the DCV. These are all locations pivotal to the Destiny 2 story. If you’re a new player and want to experience that story, it doesn’t seem like you will be able to.
The ‘New Light’ experience was already a minefield when the game went free to play last year. It seems that this change will make it much worse.
Now, I don’t pretend to know anything about the development of a video game. However, it seems pretty puzzling that the only solution is to remove content, even if it is just cycled in and out every now and then. This move feels like it will massively hinder new players coming into the game.
Part of the reasoning behind this move is that they don’t want to reset the game like they did when D2 released and D1 was completely left behind. But, surely taking the content out of the game is almost the same thing?
I can’t help but feel conflicted about this decision. One half of me is delighted that D1 content will come back. But at the cost of the current game? That feels odd. People have paid money to play the game and its content. Both Mercury and Mars were separate DLC’s that solely introduced those locations and it’s surrounding quests. Now I can’t play them?
Time will tell
There are clearly details about these changes that need to ironed out, and I’m sure they will be in the coming months. But right now, I’m left feeling a little confused about this move to bench content. Surely there is a better way?