I’ve always wanted to like Destiny 2. The premise seems awesome. It’s like a cross between Borderlands and Halo with a hint of Warframe. I completely missed the train on Destiny 1, but Destiny 2 having both an open beta and becoming Free to Play meant I could give it a go.
But every time I do try and get into Destiny 2, I get frustrated. Half of it is that I find the platforming required to be atrocious. The other half is that, well, I feel like I might as not be playing without DLC.
Please note that this is going to sound a bit ramble-y and probably not make much sense. I’m just trying to get over how much Beyond Light costs.
Some games do DLC exclusivity right. Destiny 2 feels… weird.
While it’s not obvious that a specific player does or does not have a specific DLC, you are sometimes randomly hit with that wall. To be fair to Destiny 2, it is pretty laid back with non-DLC owners. You can visit the DLC locations, but you can’t obtain any of the weapons or do any of the strikes or raids there. Bounties and stories are also locked off as well.
But at the same time, I always wonder if I am getting my money’s worth. What does a DLC actually get you? Access to a new location, a raid, a few Strikes and whatever new exotics come along with it.
Now, to be fair, I was gifted Forsaken back when it was on sale. It cost €18 and I guess it had some alright content in it? I actually didn’t want the DLCs at all, I wanted to play as a completely free player, but oh well. That being said, I’m thankful I chose Forsaken over Shadowkeep, because I feel like it has more content in it. Forsaken came with a third skill tree for each class, while Shadowkeep… just didn’t.
Despite having Forsaken though, I still run into walls that say I need Shadowkeep. Despite having spent money already, the game pesters me to spend an additional €25 for Shadowkeep stuff. Plus more for the battle pass, and more still for Beyond Light. DLC areas are not that neatly separated, like they are in other games.
The costs add up.
Now, if each Destiny 2 DLC was about €10-20, I would actually be fine with Destiny 2’s DLC model. Assuming you started playing when Destiny 2 came to Steam, you’d only be spending about €60 in DLCs, or a grand total of about €100 if you originally bought the game. But each new DLC comes out at about €30-40. Beyond Light, the newest DLC, costs €40, with a deluxe edition costing €60 and the battle pass bundle costing €50.
To be able to play all the content in Destiny 2, you need to spend €25 on Forsaken, €25 on Shadowkeep and €40 on Beyond Light, or €50 if you want Beyond Light and the Season Pass. That’s a grand total of €90-100.
That’s… a lot of money. Beyond Light on its own is not quite in the range of AAA games but getting close. All three DLCs though are beyond standard AAA prices. And they still are even if you decide to skip Shadowkeep or Forsaken.
That DLC stuff will become free or cheaper later on.
When Destiny 2 became Free to Play, the first two DLCs also became Free to Play. The quest lines were accessible for all players, whether you had bought the game originally or not, or were completely free to play. With Beyond Light though, Curse of Osiris and Warmind were both removed completely, alongside the planets that came with them. No more Mars, Io, Titan or Mercury. These locations have been removed from the game as they have been deemed irrelevant to the story and the game. They’re gone forever now, replaced with Europa (which is mostly DLC content) and the Cosmodrome, which is content brought back from Destiny 1.
The question is, will the same eventually happen to Shadowkeep and Forsaken? Unless Destiny 2 is planning to wrap up its story completely in Beyond Light or the DLC/season afterwards, old content will be declared “unneeded” and “old” and will want to be removed as well. At some point, the ‘irrelevant’ tag may end up being applied to Forsaken or Shadowkeep or maybe both of them. So those €25 DLCs may end up becoming free, their contents available to everyone. But worse, they may end up being deleted later on, because they’re irrelevant.
On the other hand, maybe the old planets will come back, but who’s to say that they won’t come back as a new DLC package?
At the same time, Destiny 2 still has a premium item shop.
In the Tower, there’s a shop called Eververse. This shop has two currencies associated with it: Bright Dust, which is earned by doing various bounties slowly over time; and Silver, a premium-only currency. You use these to buy cosmetics. It’s a fully fledged cosmetic shop sitting in the middle of the Last City, with one currency that requires you to spend real life money on it.
Silver though is actually kinda expensive. I’d say that it’s a bit cheaper than Warframe’s Platinum, but not by much. For €4.99 you get 500 Silver, which is maybe enough for one or two cosmetics. The minimum purchase is €4.99, and, as far as I’m aware, Silver doesn’t go on sale or get discounted ever, only items in the Eververse store get discounted.
Now, I wouldn’t mind, but this is on top of having DLCs, so it feels like double-dipping. Not only are you asking people to play to continue the story and continue leveling up, but you also want them to pay to look nice. Thankfully, there are plenty of free ways to play dress-up, and the cosmetics are entirely optional, but it does seem a bit cheeky to have such an expensive premium currency when you’re already paying a lot for DLCs.
Let me put this in a much cruder way.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light costs €39.99 on Steam right now. For the exact amount of money, I could buy the Master Chief Collection. A collection of games made by the same company, the games that made Bungie as famous as they are. Hundreds of hours of content, all tied up in a nice bundle filled with some of the most renowned games in history. Compared to about 2-3 hours of story, some weapons, a raid and a subclass. A DLC that also takes away older content because “it’s not worthwhile any more”.
THAT is why I feel that these DLCs are expensive for what they are.