Destiny 2 has a reputation for being convoluted and obtuse, even among live service games, and things are about to get even worse when it comes to its expansions, with integral parts of the game arbitrarily paywalled behind old products.
The sci-fi MMO has always struggled with this to some degree, but two recent developments have brought this to the forefront. First, developer Bungie announced it would vault the majority of the 2018 Forsaken expansion and re-sell the remaining content under a new title called the Forsaken Pack. Second, the studio announced Destiny 2’s expansions will leave Xbox Game Pass, meaning millions of players would now have to actually take time out of their finite lives to figure out which pieces to buy to continue their journey.
So here’s the full breakdown:
- Destiny 2 is ostensibly free but contains very little since most of its content was vaulted last year.
- Forsaken costs $25 until December 7 when its campaign and the Tangled Shore location will become free.
- The rest, including the Shattered Throne dungeon, Last Wish raid, and exotics, will continue being sold as the Forsaken Pack for an as of yet undisclosed price.
- Shadowkeep is an expansion that costs $25 and includes a campaign, the Pit of Heresy Dungeon, and Garden of Salvation Raid.
- Beyond Light costs $40 and includes a campaign, the Deep Stone Crypt raid, and the Stasis subclass.
As Forbes writer Paul Tassi recently confirmed with Bungie, you’ll need to buy one of these expansions to unlock the middle subclass trees (read: lots of magic abilities), and because of a Black Friday deal going on at the moment, you can get the Destiny 2: Legendary Edition which includes everything for $31, down 60 percent from the regular price of $80.
Until recently, the equivalent of that Legendary Edition was available to all Game Pass subscribers. But that’s going away on December 8, the day after the upcoming 30th Anniversary Pack goes live (itself another $25). At that point, people like me who have never given any of this a second thought will have to drop a good chunk of change to stay on the Destiny merry-go-round, especially if the current Black Friday discount expires before then. It would be an easier pill for me personally to swallow if I hadn’t already paid for all of this stuff on PlayStation, which I go back and forth between thanks to cross-progression.
This is more confusing still for the new player trying to hop-on-board mid-ride and who will also have to spend another $10 on the Season of the Lost battle pass to get their money’s worth. It’s all part of Bungie’s bizarre way to monetize the full suite of content coming in next year’s The Witch Queen expansion.
Want to unlock certain extra dungeons? Make sure to buy the Digital Deluxe Edition. Want to experience Forsaken’s wonderful story campaign before it goes away in February? Wait until December 7 when it will be free. Unless you’re a Game Pass subscriber, in which case you can access it now but will need to spend more money to keep it that way starting December 8.
Newcomers to this game-as-a-service hellscape could be forgiven for thinking that the easiest way to cut through the bullshit would be to simply pre-order 2022’s Witch Queen Deluxe + Bungie 30th Anniversary Bundle for $100. That should contain everything in the recent past and foreseeable future, right? Spoiler: it does not.
It doesn’t have to be this way, and yet it is, because it’s Destiny.