Bungie have announced plans to remove the Forsaken expansion's story campaign from Destiny 2, shuffling it into the Destiny Content Vault along with the Tangled Shore location. The Dreaming City will stay, thankfully, and Bungie also plan to pull some old content back out of the Vault. Before Forsaken vanishes in February, it will become free for all players from December. And hey, Battlegrounds mode is becoming a regular fixture!
When Year 5 of Destiny 2 starts on February 22nd with the launch of the Witch Queen expansion, another big vaulting will happen, Bungie explained in the latest This Week At Bungie post. The Forsaken story campaign is going, as is the Tangle Shore location it introduced (to repeat: the Dreaming City will stay). Most of Year 4's seasonal content is going too, including the Presage and Harbinger missions.
The Proving Grounds strike and Battlegrounds mode will remain, mind. Bungie say they'll combine strikes and Battlegrounds into a new playlist, named Vanguard Operations, which will be free for all players. I really liked Battlegrounds so I'll be glad to see them become more central; just terrific amounts of murder there. The Warden Of None strike stays too. As for the Tangled Shore's favourite money-changing mob boss, Spider, his material-swapping functions will be assumed by Master Rahool in the Tower. Seeing as Mara Sov intends to squish the Spider for what he did to her newly resurrected brother in Season Of The Hunt, he's already trying to make himself scarce.
I hope we see a repeat of how the first vaulting tied into the plot, with pleasing apocalyptic vibes on soon-to-be-swallowed destinations. They sent people and places off with some nice little stories and some honking great harbingers.
Before Forsaken goes, it will become free for everyone. From December 7th until the vaulting, all players will be able to play the Forsaken campaign for free. Do check it out: it's fun and an interesting point of tonal shift for the game, becoming less wacky while also taking big steps into the giant cosmic fantasy weirdness that makes the sci-fi world so fun.
The Vault does go both ways. It's already coughed up the Vault Of Glass raid and Cosmodrome location from the first game, along with a few other bits and pieces, and more will reemerge in Year 5. Bungie say we'll get "a classic raid, two PvP maps from Destiny 2, and one classic PvP map from the original Destiny." Any guesses or wishes for the raid, gang? Wait, not wishes. Those tend to backfire in Destiny.
Bungie say the Destiny Content Vault lets them keep the MMOFPS sustainable, explaining in June 2020 that "the game is too large to efficiently update and maintain". They first vaulting was huge, taking out the base game's Red War campaign, the Curse Of Osiris and Warmind expansions, four locations (Nessus, Io, Mars, and Mercury), several raids, Forges, the Menagerie, Gambit Prime mode, and loads of PvP maps and strikes and things. They now say yup, this did help them help the game.
"The impact of the DCV can be seen throughout Destiny 2, from very popular new activities such as Battlegrounds, that have persisted throughout Year 4, to innovations that have made the routine experiences of Destiny better for every player," the devs said last night. "For example, the DCV has provided a great deal of technical 'breathing room' that the team has devoted to important improvements to the Destiny experience. Upgrades such as drastically reducing our patch response times, improving loading times, offering quicker access to UI such as your inventory or the map, and others link directly to the opportunities that the DCV created for the team."
As an outside observer, I will say that these past few seasons in particular have been some of the best Destiny (the Bestiny) in a fair while, though I couldn't reasonably judge causes. But it's been good.
As someone who had already seen and done everything in Destiny 2, the vaulting didn't affect me a huge amount. Yeah, I might wanna revisit some parts (I still mourn the loss of Titan), but I'd already gone from experiencing the game as a conventional story FPS to playing it as a live service focused on newness. And I like Destiny 2 as a live service game. But I know its current form is far from friendly to newcomers, who are dropped in with little understanding of the plot or what they should even do. As both a game and a story, Destiny 2 has clear scars and voids from vaulting.