Bungie have announced they’re ending an unpopular Destiny 2 practice: removing older expansions to keep the game at a maintainable size. Necessary as it might have been for Bungie, this ‘sunsetting’ removing content people bought has raised hackles. Now Bungie say they’ve been working on the game’s technoguts, and won’t do that anymore. Expansions will stick around forever, though seasonal content will still leave at the end of each expansion cycle—and Bungie don’t say anything about bringing back all the old stuff.
Bungie started sunsetting in 2020 alongside the launch of the Beyond Light expansion. At the time, they explained that “the game is too large to efficiently update and maintain”, so they needed to cut off older bits to keep it manageable. So they introduced the concept of the Destiny Content Vault, shuffling older parts in and out, including reintroducing some bits from the first game.
The first sunsetting was huge, lopping off the base game’s whole big story campaign, the first two expansion campaigns, four whole locations, five raids, loads of multiplayer maps and modes, several secret missions, and more. They also forced obsolesence on many weapons, another sunsetting process they later abandoned but didn’t reverse. This all left the game feeling very empty, not to mention utterly baffling and hostile to newcomers. Bungie have removed more since then, including the Forsaken expansion where Nathan Fillion gets got (well, technically Nolan North pretending to be Nathan Fillion), while re-adding a few bits and pieces from the first game. Moving forward, they say they won’t remove any further expansions.
During an hours-long stream yesterday, current Destiny 2 general manager Justin Truman said Bungie have “been working on the Destiny engine behind the scenes, preparing our technology and our game to last for many, many years to come. Because Destiny 2 is not going anywhere, and neither are your expansions.
“We want this story, since we first communed with the Darkness on the Moon, to be fully playable start to finish. And we’re happy to announced today that we are not planning to sunset any more expansions. We want the Destiny universe to grow, and we’re gonna continue to do everything that we can behind the scenes to keep that possible within our game engine.”
So that’s Shadowkeep onwards sticking around. The story won’t be “fully playable”, mind. In a stream recap blog post, Bungie state plainly, “Seasonal content will continue to stay throughout the current expansion year and then move to the Destiny Content Vault when a new Expansion launches.” The seasonal stories have often been more interesting than expansions. They might not have the hugest plot developments, but they have the character moments which make people care. Ah well.
Ending sunsetting is good but Destiny 2 still feels gutted. That’s not my main concern, mind. After several thousand hours, I stopped playing Destiny 2 at the launch of The Witch Queen because I’m done with grinding. Too many of the game’s best bits require so much grinding. I still miss Destiny a bit! I miss a lot of it. But I can’t go back. Destiny 2 is an amazing FPS trapped inside a rubbish MMO.
Looking ahead, Bungie also announced that the next expansion, Lightfall, will launch on the 28th of February, 2023. The penultimate chapter of the “Light and Darkness saga” will see our absolute bezzie frenemy Emperor Calus return as a fully initiated Disciple of The Witness, bringing his Shadow Legion to the brand new region of Neomuna, the capital megacity of Neptune. It looks dead fancy!
Lightfall will also introduce a brand new subclass, Strand. Bungie say, “Strand is the second Darkness-based subclass, and it’s all about consciousness, fluidity, control over your surroundings, and manipulation of your enemies.” Apparently including some sort of grappling hook? Agh, the one other thing that might make me return to Destiny!
Also coming at some point in the next year: a Looking For Group system, a player commendation system, and the long-awaited addition of a mods and loadout manager to save and swap builds.
ALSO, a new season has started, Season Of Plunder. It focuses on Eramis, the Darkness-powered eliksni we froze at the end of Beyond Light. Well, she has thawed and resumed her pirating ways, so the Guardians are forming a crew of salty spacedogs to hunt her. Some good characters aboard here: cool uncle Drifter, the loathsome Spider, redeemed eliksni captain Mithrax, and his cheery daughter, Eido. Ye olde Destiny 1 raid King’s Fall emerges from the Content Vault this week too.
The new season also brings Arc 3.0, an overhaul of the Arc subclasses which rebuilds its abilities with Aspects and Fragments like Darkness and the other overhauled elements. Bungie have said it’s about going fast and punching hard, and that “one of the prime inspirations for Arc 3.0 was the 2009 action movie Crank 2: High Voltage.” Dang it, that is also tempting.
ALSO ALSO, Destiny 2 is now on the Epic Games Store in addition to Steam. If you claim it by 6pm BST on August 30th (the base game is free-to-play), you get the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack for free.
ALSO ALSO ALSO, to celebrate the Epicness, Destiny 2 has added Fortnite-inspired outfits to Eververse. And Fortnite has added skins of Zavala, Ikora, and Elsie Bray, as well as a Creative map based on the Crucible map Javelin-4. And Destiny 2 class costumes are coming to Fall Guys on September 17th too.
ALSO ALSO ALSO ALSO, the Shadowkeep, Beyond Light, and The Witch Queen expansions are free for everyone to play on all platforms.
Okay, post over, bye.