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.