Armageddon is coming to Destiny 2. While the MMOFPS's story is playing up potential doom with giant alien pyramids hanging over planets, a whole lot of the game will very definitely be removed when the next expansion launches in November. Bungie will launch the Destiny Content Vault, a scheme to swap old locations, raids, maps, and modes in and out so the game doesn't get too large - either technically or physically. Last night, Bungie listed everything that will be put into the Vault and... it really is a lot, especially for free-to-players.
Bungie first announced the Destiny Content Vault in June. "The fact is, the game is too large to efficiently update and maintain," Destiny 2 general manager Mark Noseworthy explained - both as a piece of software they have to maintain, and as something players need to fit on their hard drive. We've known that the locations Nessus, Io, Mars, and Mercury will go into the DCV, taking with them their missions and raids. Then yesterday's 'This Week At Bungie' blog post listed the specifics, and oof.
On the chopping block: the original Red War story campaign, the Mercury and Mars campaigns, those four locations (with their quests, vendors, and all), seven Strike missions, two Gambit maps, 11 PvP Crucible maps, seven Crucible modes, five raids, 16 Exotic weapon quests, the methods to get 11 Exotic weapon Catalysts, Black Armory Forges, Reckoning mode, Menagerie mode, and the Whisper and Zero Hour secret missions. Gambit and Gambit Prime are being merged into one mode too.
Some newness is coming out the Vault. The Cosmodrome from the original Destiny will return as a full location, complete with a "new, expanded Guardian origin story" that will introduce players to "the world and mechanics of Destiny". And the expansion, Beyond Light, will travel to Europa for a new story campaign, raid, and at least one Strike - though you'll need to buy it for the raid and campaign.
Some content will come back out of the Vault in the future, both from Destiny 2 and more from the first. The Vault Of Glass raid is coming back at some point during Year 4, for starters, as are two old Cosmodrome Strikes. PvP modes will bounce around too. The locations, missions, and such being removed now might returned revamped at some point. Though while the legacy Exotics will be moved to a vendor, the legacy Catalysts will stay in the Vault until a future season. Until the Destiny Content Vault pays out more, the game will be looking a little thin.
Destiny 2's first three story campaigns aren't fantastic but they're fun enough, have some great moments of spectacle, and give plenty to play through. Losing Red War, Curse Of Osiris, Warmind, and four planets' worth of side-quests is a lot, especially for New Light players who might not want to leap into matchmade activities or buy the expansions straight away. Then for veteran players who've seen and done all that, the game will still have a whole lot less variety in Strike, Crucible, and Gambit playlists. Still, new Gambit might be good.
"The new version of Gambit will be similar to Gambit Prime as a single round face off with tweaked Blockers, heavier mote drain, and some changes to the Primeval fight," Bungie say. It won't have Gambit Prime's role armour perks, though Bungie note that they are "exploring ways to rebalance and reintroduce some of these perks as armour mods in the future."
I am cautiously optimistic about that, at least. I play a fair bit of Gambit Prime but will concede that the rhythm of a match has major issues and the role perks make it a mess, especially when the grind to get Prime armour is so chuffing tedious that most players skip it. And regular Gambit was too easy, and boring as a best-of-three. Combining the two might give the whole thing more pep.
I'm up for the Destiny Content Vault in theory. If this lets Bungie keep the game sustainable (hell, and functional) and we get to see lots of old bits return and be revamped, it sounds nice. But as Rod Stewart sang, the first cut is the deepest - and damn, that's deep. With gear sunsetting also kicking off with Beyond Light, meaning many old weapons and armour pieces won't be able to be bumped up to the new level cap, a lot's phasing out and I'm not sure enough is ready to replace it. I am excited for the future of Destiny 2, but it might take a while to get to the good bit.