Probably the single biggest move Destiny 2 made after its split from Activision was making a sizable portion of the game free-to-play. The project was called “New Light,” meant to bring in Guardians from all over the gaming world to try Destiny if they had avoided it so far.
The amount of content offered was substantive. The entire base game of Destiny 2 and all its Red War campaign missions. Then both follow-up DLCs, Curse of Osiris and Warmind. Then most of the content in year 2, Seasons of the Forge, Drifter and Opulence. It’s a hefty mountain of content available for free.
And now, it’s almost all going away.
One thing Bungie has really not talked about at all is how the concept of the Destiny Content Vault is changing the free-to-play premise of New Light. A long, long time ago we got the barest hint that the Cosmodrome’s return would bring some new, New Light intro missions with it, but anything to replace what’s being taken away? There’s just no way.
Pretty much the entire New Light experience is being vaulted, given that almost all year 1 and 2 content is going away. The Red War campaign is gone, with 2 of the 4 planets needed for it being vaulted. Curse of Osiris and Warmind are gone, with Mercury and Mars vaulted. Forges, despite being on Earth and Nessus, are gone. Drifter’s Reckoning and Zero Hour are gone. Opulence’s Menagerie and Tribute Hall are gone. New Light players have lost access to all five raids they had before.
What is…left, exactly? For New Light, as far as we know right now, we are down to the fact that New Light players can visit existing planetary patrol zones (even if they can’t do the story missions there), they can run the strike, crucible and Gambit playlists, they can do the Prophecy dungeon, they can participate in certain holiday events and…? That’s really it. There’s a big chunk of the puzzle missing, in that they have lost all story missions other than the New Light intro mission and whatever Bungie may be planning for the Cosmodrome, but it has to be less than before.
I thought it was time for Bungie to make Forsaken free, adding that expansion and its missions to New Light, as a pretty clear solution for this issue. But they have shown no indication they’re doing this, as we’re a month from Beyond Light and there’s no sign Forsaken is being made free. Instead, it’s only shown up on Game Pass alongside other attached offerings there, Shadowkeep and Beyond Light. Forsaken felt like a good middleground to me, given that it had a lengthy, very solid string of story missions, and also one of the best raids in the game, Last Wish. Again, even that probably isn’t as much as what’s being lost to the Content Vault, but it was something.
For as big of a deal as Destiny 2 going free-to-play was, it strikes me as strange that A) this much content is being taken away from the experience and B) Bungie isn’t talking about what’s replacing it, even in part, with close to all of it being shelved. This of course does not affect me as a hardcore player, but I want to see the game grow, and I’m just curious about what’s going on here. Did free-to-play not go as well as Bungie hoped so it’s not as much of a focus going forward? Or are we missing some sort of huge new addition that they’re just not talking about yet? Either way, where we are now doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
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