Bungie announced yesterday that Destiny 2's partial Cosmodrome, which was brought over from the first game last November, won’t be expanding to reach its original size and scope. The studio says its part of a trade-off to focus on making new content.
Excluding the Plaguelands area added in Destiny 1's Rise of Iron expansion, Destiny 2's Cosmodrome is currently about half the size of the one from the first game. Back when Bungie first revealed its new vaulting system, by which old areas and missions from both games would be cycled in and out of Destiny 2 on a rolling basis, the studio had said the returning Cosmodrome would “be fleshed out to roughly Destiny 1 Year 1 parity.” That’s what players expected to happen when The Devil’s Lair and Fallen S.A.B.E.R. strikes were added at the start of this week’s Season of the Chosen, since those strikes encompass areas not currently reachable while just wandering around the Cosmodrome in patrols. Bungie now says that won’t be the case.
“[W]e failed to properly update your expectations for how far the Cosmodrome experience was going to be extended and that was a mistake,” the development team wrote in this week’s blog post. “So, to clear things up: With the Devil’s Lair and Fallen S.A.B.E.R. strikes returning, we don’t have any active plans to add more to the Cosmodrome than what is there will be focusing on new updates overall.”
The original promise of unvaulting seemed to be that Bungie could focus on mixing together the best missions and maps from across both Destiny 1 and 2 while slowly adding new ones, like Europa, the fantastic space ice wonderland added in last fall’s Beyond Light expansion. It now looks like we’re more likely to get fragments of the past added in rather than 1:1 recreations.
“As we approached Beyond Light’s launch, it became clear to us that we had a choice to make: After returning all three of its original strikes, do we invest more time and resources in bringing Cosmodrome to D1 parity or do we switch our focus to building new experiences for Year 4 and beyond?” the development team wrote in this week’s blog post. “Given that we believed we had achieved our original goals and knowing the community and team’s desire for new content, we chose the latter option.”
Of course, there’s an added wrinkle to all this which is that The Devil’s Lair (one of the best strike missions from either game) and Fallen S.A.B.E.R. are currently bugged. The Devil’s Lair is this week’s Nightfall: Ordeal and so can be reached from the main director, but currently neither one can be selected from the Cosmodrome’s map, and neither pops up when playing the randomized Vanguard strike playlist. Bungie announced on Twitter yesterday that it’s discovered the cause of the problem and is working on a fix.
Season of the Chosen is off to a fine start, and its new Battlegrounds activity is set to roll out new permutations across new maps, including one in the Cosmodrome, as season 13 unfolds over the next dozen weeks or so. The grandeur of Destiny 2's larger world, however, feels increasingly at odds with the new seasonal model driving the game’s updates and expansions, especially as big chunks of it disappear altogether, and the ones that get brought back remain incomplete.