Destiny 2’s Forsaken expansion, a high-water mark for Bungie’s loot shooter, is going away next year with the launch of The Witch Queen, the studio announced today. The move has been positioned as a way to keep the game optimized and make room for new content, but it will also be a heavy pill to swallow for players who purchased the content when it first came out.
Bungie first introduced the Destiny Content Vault system last November when the launch of Beyond Light ushered in the removal of the game’s main campaign, many of its planets, and lots of other content that had been core to Destiny 2 since the start. Now Forsaken, including the expansion’s campaign and Tangled Shore location, will be joining them. Don’t worry though, the infamously reviled strike mission, Exodus Crash, will still be in the game.
“Beginning on February 22, the Forsaken campaign and the Tangled Shore destination will enter the DCV (Note: The Dreaming City destination will continue to be available), along with Year 4 Seasonal content, including the Presage and Harbinger Exotic missions,” Bungie wrote in a blog post.
The studio explained that this will help make room for The Witch Queen’s Throneworld location, as well as new loot systems like weapon crafting. The only Year 4 seasonal content that will be sticking around is Season of the Chosen’s Proving Grounds, which will be folded into the standard Vanguard Strike Playlist.
Players have long been wondering what Bungie might vault going into next year, and while Forsaken, as the current oldest content in the game, makes sense, losing it will mean saying goodbye to many of the great story beats and dramatic twists that have paved the way for Destiny 2’s current narrative renaissance.
Forsaken saw the death of Nathan Fillion’s Cayde-6, the showdown with his killer, Uldren Sov, and Sov’s eventual resurrection. Sov, now called The Crow, is currently reckoning with his past in Season of the Lost in Destiny 2’s most multi-dimensional character arcs yet. Whatever the outcome, it’s a shame that new players won’t have any way of following that thread to its conclusion when The Witch Queen launches in February. Bungie has likened the game’s current narrative stride to “tuning into a TV show every week.” But the nice thing about modern television is you can always go back and catch up on a current hit series’ past seasons.
Even aside from the story ramifications, there’s the fact that Bungie has never stopped charging for Forsaken. While base Destiny 2 is free-to-play, the expansions all cost money. Bungie even plans to continue charging for the Forsaken content that will remain in the game, like The Last Wish raid, through a new paid DLC that will go up for sale on December 7.
“With this they will have sealed away nearly every single piece of Destiny 2 content I ever bought,” wrote Twitch streamer PatStaresAt on Twitter. “The spin on framing this as a net positive to improve load and patch response times is astonishing.”
Destiny 2’s overall performance certainly has improved considerably since the first vaulting, but losing the bulk of what has ever existed in the game along the way is a steep price to pay. When it was first released, Destiny 2 tried to straddle the line between lasting, boxed product and ephemeral game-as-a-service. Once Forsaken is gone, the transformation into the latter will be more or less complete.