Bungie admit their “plans aren’t working” and address endgame Destiny 2 content lockout

Destiny 2

The Curse of Osiris expansion for Destiny 2 is a mixed bag. I enjoyed the two hour campaign and a brief waddle around the piddly new area, but it’s a meagre offering for the money you have to put down. It’s understandable that some players might want to give it a miss, which makes it all the worse that people who didn’t buy the expansion found that they no longer had access to certain endgame activities.

The devs have written a blog post where they apologise for excluding those players, and promise to fix their mistakes in a hotfix later today. Their solutions, however, aren’t likely to please everyone.

The activities that players have been excluded from are Prestige Nightfall Strikes, the Prestige Leviathan raid and the Trials of the Nine PVP mode. The Prestige raid can only be done if you’ve reached the power level cap, which was raised to 330 for those who own the expansion. Bungie say the logic behind this was so that the Prestige raid could be “the pinnacle of challenge, with the most prestigious rewards”, and that you’d therefore need to be at the maximum power level.

Trials of the Nine, meanwhile, takes place on a different specific map each week, including some from Curse of Osiris. In the post, Bungie talk about how they wanted the mode to “evolve” each season, though that clearly doesn’t work as a justification for removing content from people that have already paid for it. Bungie are, at least, now recognising that:

“We’ve heard from the community that both of these plans aren’t working. The Prestige Raid was a novel experience that players value, even if they don’t own Curse of Osiris, and it was a mistake to move that experience out of reach. Throughout the lifetime of the Destiny Franchise, Trials has always required that players owned the latest Expansion. However, for Destiny 2, Trials of The Nine launched as part of the main game, so it’s not right for us to remove access to it.”

So, what are Bungie going to do about it? Firstly, in the case of Prestige Nightfall strikes – nothing for the time being. They’ll remain at the 330 level cap, and so will only be accessible to people that own Curse of Osiris. It’s frustrating to still be locked out of a part of the game, though Bungie are toying with an actual solution: “Moving forward, we are investigating adding a 3rd difficulty to all Prestige activities, so that we can provide both a challenge that stays relevant with each new Expansion, and a Prestige version that is available to all players.”

For the Prestige Leviathan raid, Bungie are reverting the level requirement back to 300 so that it’s accessible to everyone again. They’re also decreasing the rewards you get from it, meaning there’s one less source of loot for max-level players. While that might be irritating to some, it does seem necessary.

I’m less on board with the changes to Trials of the Nine, which will now be playable to people who only own the base game when a non-curse of Osiris map is running. That means they’ll still find themselves excluded from it on many weeks. Implementing a separate Trials of the Nine mode for people that don’t own the expansion would be a messy solution to an already convoluted system, through it would be fairer. Similarly, normal Nightfall strikes will only be available to people that don’t own the expansion on weeks where it’s running a strike from the base game. If it were up to me, I’d just throw in a separate Nightfall from the base game on those weeks.

Elsewhere, the Prometheus Lens controversy continues. Here’s the story so far: one of the weapons that landed with the Curse of Osiris expansion was a beam weapon that was overpowered in the PVP Crucible. Bungie then made it available to everyone through Xur, a tentacled vendor that drops by every week to sell exotic items. It turned the Crucible into laser tag over the weekend, which was actually a lot of fun in a ‘wacky special event’ kind of way. They promised to nerf the weapon after the weekend, and have now tweeted to say that they’re going to make the gun “too weak” as a short term fix, then balance it properly in January. As someone who bought the gun on Friday its a bit of a kick in the teeth to have my legendary shard investment rendered worthless, but in fairness everyone knew it would end up underpowered.

In more positive news, today’s update will also brings a new tier of ‘Masterwork’ weapons. That places them above legendary weapons, and each gun will have an additional perk slot that confers a random buff. It’s how guns the guns worked in the first Destiny, the idea being to give committed players more loot to chase after. It’s a welcome change in my eyes, not because I’m going to spend hours grinding away to get the exact gun I want but because the few that I do will feel more special.

28 Comments

  1. Ghostwise says:

    That marketing campaign for Warframe that Bungie’s doing is pretty cool. Will there be celebs too ?

    • Mungrul says:

      Yeah, The Division’s free weekend was a wild success!
      Especially as they just patched in new activities and power levels for free…

    • Movac says:

      The Warframe team’s decision to launch their big open-world update right before Destiny 2’s PC release is looking smarter all the time.

  2. zulnam says:

    Man every new Bungie statement starts with ‘We’re sorry’ these days; or at least it should!

  3. woodsey says:

    Not a Destiny player, but didn’t they do the exact same thing in the first game?

    This habit of developers owning up to their “mistakes” has quickly become self-parody. I’m expecting an unironic version of the “I’m Sorry” video from South Park to crop up any day now.

    I do feel a little bad for them, though. They’re quite obviously being hung out to dry by the publishers. The DICE CEO’s apology for the Battlefront 2 debacle was like reading a suicide note left by a guy with two bullet holes in the back of his head.

    • Janichsan says:

      Not a Destiny player, but didn’t they do the exact same thing in the first game?

      I thought so myself, but from more knowledgeable people I learned that they at least waited until the *second* expansion in the case of Destiny 1.

      It absolutely boggles my mind that anyone could think it would be a good idea to lock out players out of end-game activities just three months after the game’s launch on consoles, and just six weeks after it was released on PC.

    • automatic says:

      This isn’t a dev mistake. This is a marketing strategy and therefore it’s on the publishers back. Also, this apology is not sincere. Video games make more revenue than movies now, and just like the movies industry it’s composed roughly 90% by publicity. Most of the sales to cover their costs was probably made on the first weeks. This expansion fiasco excuse is just for the fraction of buyers who got hooked enough to care about the game more than they care about their own intelligence. It sounds like: “Oh, did I just step on your feet? I’m so sorry. I’m going to try stepping a little lighter from now on.”

      • woodsey says:

        “This isn’t a dev mistake. This is a marketing strategy and therefore it’s on the publishers back. Also, this apology is not sincere.”

        Yeah, that’s what I was getting at.

      • Janichsan says:

        I agree and disagree. Have read this part of the blog post?

        In Destiny 1, as your character grew more powerful throughout each expansion, some of our best content, like Vault of Glass, was left behind and lost its relevance for players.

        This was in fact a major point of discontent among the vocal part of the Destiny community. They kept bitching and moaning about how previous expansions’ content became irrelevant for years.

        Now, Bungie wanted to do this differently, and – of course – cocked it up. Again.

        • automatic says:

          The point is, since games like Destiny are merchandise more than anything now, and this is just a marketing strategy, this apology is not a mistake recognition. Different from how games used to be, when expansions gave a little more life to content people already played extensively, this expansion content was certainly already built by the time they released the original game. Just like blockbuster movies, their publicity probably pushed enough sales to make them a lot of money during release already. The extra content is for game consumers, people who really don’t care much about system fairness more than extra content availability. Their target audience, the ones publishers really care about. That post from Bungie is not really an excuse, it’s just a chill for the people that realized they got ripped off.

          • Janichsan says:

            …this expansion content was certainly already built by the time they released the original game.

            Considering how little content there is in Curse of Osiris (and even less actually new content), I wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility it was slapped together over a weekend.

        • Stargazer86 says:

          But this is how ALL MMO’s work. When a new expansion releases all the old raids are rendered completely worthless to run due to the new stuff being plainly better. People didn’t run Molten Core or Onyxia after the first WoW expansion came out. And then THOSE raids were dropped for the ones in Lich King. And so on.

          • Janichsan says:

            The vocal part of the Destiny community doesn’t care about such details. The vocal part of the Destiny community always bitches and moans and rages.

          • Someoldguy says:

            Replace [Destiny] with any other game name as appropriate to the discussion at hand. It is always thus.

          • Sangrael says:

            But most MMOs don’t get an expansion to invalidate old content within 6 weeks of launch. That’s the real slap in the face here. If Destiny was an old established product and we were getting an expansion a year in, there wouldn’t be anywhere near this level of animosity. I have friends who play very casually and they just got to finish up a Leviathan raid for the first time last week, and now it’s locked unless they pony up for Osiris.

          • malkav11 says:

            True. People wouldn’t be complaining about being locked out of old content, they’d be complaining VERY loudly about the lack of new content.

          • zhivik says:

            While making rewards from older endgame content worthless has been a practice in many MMOs (if not most), I am still baffled why they limited levelling as well. I haven’t played that many MMOs, but I don’t believe I’ve seen a game where you stop levelling your character if you don’t own an expansion. Sure, levelling through content that you have played over and over can be extremely boring, but you have that option at least. Here, it’s marketing to the absolute limit. Well, I guess Bungie can enjoy the very short lifespan of Destiny 2.

            I guess the issue is that game development is like Hollywood these days. You either need to go very big and look for inventive ways to recover your investment, or you are forced to stay small and hope for meagre returns. Very few developers are doing mid-tier games anymore, which is a shame. I do hope Ninja Theory continue with their experiment, I heard they are already profitable on Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

          • Daemoroth says:

            Maybe, but they never PREVENT you from entering them and, MORE importantly, they don’t launch SIX WEEKS after the previous (retail priced) content drop.

            Usually MMOs give players, I dunno, a YEAR to get some value out of the content they paid for… So if you want to continue comparing them, do take everything into account.

  4. Freud says:

    It is refreshing that old schemes to ‘incentivize’ gamers to spend more money doesn’t work as well anymore. Sad that companies don’t realize this without fucking up first.

  5. Wolfram86 says:

    Paid DLC removing content from original purchasers only 3 months after release? JFC that’s awful. Should be criminal. “We totally didn’t cut any of this from the original Destiny 2 game, guys! We totally planned a 2 hour campaign!”

    • Chewbacca says:

      And for PC players it weren’t even 3 months… I’m not even sure if that is legal at all. I bought the base game with all its features that are now partly removed.

  6. Blackcompany says:

    Can’t be bothered with D2 until I can skip the story and go straight to Open World and other event stuff. I’ve long had enough of bog standard corridor shooters, and even there, other games do it far better.

    RAGE was a better shooter than this, more than half a decade ago. At least it tried doing something different occasionally. Destiny is a bog standard corridor shooter with a sci fi skin.

    • FredSaberhagen says:

      Effing love RAGE, I wish we could get a sequel but I think wolfenstein is it

  7. mitrovarr says:

    I truly don’t see the appeal to these sections of the triple-A market. The game looks like a bland, boring skinner box. We’ve long established that neither the developer nor the publisher can be trusted. Why would you go there looking for fun? There are other games!

    • HeavyStorm says:

      Activision can’t be trusted? Why? Not that they are perfect, but trustworthy?

      And while I agree that the game looks bland, Destiny 1 has a legion of fans. Certainly it did something right.

  8. HeavyStorm says:

    What a shitshow.

  9. kdlastun88 says:

    I thought the stat’s would be carried over. big mistake buying this game.Take a look at link to theanxiousgamer.blog for similar articles.

  10. kdlastun88 says:

    I’m kinda disappointed with this game. I bought it thinking that I was going to enjoy the hellout of it but only to find out that the stats wouldn’t be carried over. Take a look at link to theanxiousgamer.blog for similar articles