Destiny 2 streamer and YouTuber Aztecross posted a video yesterday that’s really hitting the community, racking up nearly half a million views in less than 24 hours.
It’s called “Destiny 2 Has Become Microtransaction Hell” and it’s actually climbing the gaming charts. 7,500 comments, thousands of likes and retweets. It has been a hit. I spent some time liveweeeting my thoughts on yesterday’s 35 minute video, but I wanted to give it a feature and expand on my tweet I made along the way.
First, you can watch the video here and follow along with my thoughts below, in rough order of what’s covered in the video:
A confusing bundle – This is what I would consider the biggest problem facing Destiny right now. The game is shattered in the million, sold individually to the point where it’s almost impossible to know what to recommend to new players, even as an avid player myself. A content box that wiped out the base campaign created a weird “where do you start” situation, and instead of slowly making very old expansions free, they’ve kept them paid, or done weird things like flipping half of Forsaken and still selling “packs” of old weapons and the final actions.
This also covers things like seasons. The new dungeon key system, where two annual dungeons are sold separately compared to everything else, felt bad to have, but now feels very too bad when the dungeons are often the best part of any new season, yet not included in them, despite being very, very clearly thematically related and being almost essential to the seasonal storyline. It’s a poor practice and yet another way to break the player base.
Seasonal pricing – I think the Destiny seasons increasing the price from $10 to $12 is nice in the beginning. It’s been years since $10, and for the amount of stuff, $12 is just fine. What is not nice thing is it seems like a mobile game idea to force people to spend too much on Silver to buy individual seasons. While you could buy $10 of silver, you can’t buy $12, so you have to buy $15 instead and have a surplus. And on some platforms you can’t even get a $15 bundle. It’s a cheap trick and should be adjusted to reflect new seasonal pricing.
Events and event map – I just shrugged it off. Event cards are bad microtransactions, not because they’re crumbling, but because they’re just… bad, barely contain anything worth getting, and mostly ignoreable. Yes, the events themselves are mostly cosmetic (although the armor can be bought with Bright Dust at once), but I think they’ve gotten a little better over time in terms of gameplay. They’re mostly there to fill dead space at the end of seasons, and I really don’t expect them to be too careful
Armor price – Here Aztecross uses an argument that I’m not really a fan of, the idea that with the recent price increase, $20 ally sets cost as much when Destiny 1 is on sale. It’s just … microtransactions in general. You can point to any game and say “4-6 of these cosmetics cost as much as an entire AAA game?” These things will never sell for $2-3 in 2023. If the price is too high, people won’t buy them. Diablo’s $25 armor sets are ridiculously expensive and not worth it, that’s why I’m not buying them. Not sure it’s much more complicated than that.
Decorative purchase – Don’t really have this one either. Ornaments that can be bought from the ornament app screen might be “reducing friction” in buying them, but it makes sense, and the process of unlocking ornaments after buying them from Eververse has like eight steps and is super silly. I also think Bungie not letting you preview shaders on armor ornaments is cheating, I think it’s just a technical thing. If anything, I think it would sell more decoration if you could see that they shade in a cool way, which most modern ones do.
Bright Engrams – Just 100% useless. I think in six years I’ve gotten maybe 4-5 exotic ornaments for this and maybe one that’s actually cool. Just no sense that these exist as they are just constant disappointment. Just release Dust by itself or something that could be moderately useful like exotic.
Shaw Han Quest – Had no idea this existed until this video because it only appeared before New Lights. Shaw Han, the guide of the New Light, has an exotic quest for a weapon that you can only do if you buy the latest expansion. This time he’s hiding the Arbalest, one of the best PvE exotics in the game, behind that wall, when it should be in the general loot pool. It’s miserable.
Battle Pass Progression – You can now buy all 100 ranks of the battle pass from day one. Although sure, you get something foreign and stuff I don’t care about this. If you buy a full battle pass for $100 you are stupid and throwing money away. The benefit here is just small.
Deepsight Activation – Ohhhkay now this is one battle pass thing i’m describing bad. As of this period, Deepsight Activation is the currency only found in the battle pass, 3 in the free lane, 3 in the paid lane. No, not at all. This is actually one of the few places where Destiny is literally selling power, and this should be something that can only be earned outside of combat itself.
Paid Transmog – When you are selling decorations transmog for armor sets in game should be free. I’m also sick of the transmog rack where you feel like you’re “behind” if you’re not maxing out 10 of them per character per season. Now stop this nonsense.
Bungie Focus – Splitting the difference here. It’s not true that Bungie now has less resources on Destiny overall compared to how things used to be. Bungie has grown over the years has massively increased their PvE team since they split from Activision now that they no longer have support labs. Compare the current seasons with those of 2-3 years ago, according to Activision. It’s not close. However, yes, absolutely, Bungie is almost completely abandoning Destiny PvP, which hundreds of thousands of people still play daily, sinking most of that talent straight into Marathon instead, and if Marathon is a hit, it’s probably only going to get worse. This is probably one of Destiny’s biggest problems at this point. One new PvP map a year is insane.
Those are the main points. This is a great, well produced video, even if I don’t agree with every point. But no, I don’t like how things are going on the microtransaction side of Destiny at this point.
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