At this point, Destiny’s quirky and controversial design decisions are well documented. For everything the game gets right – the buttery-smooth combat, and the addictive (if punishing) loot system – there is a long list of features that don’t quite deliver on Bungie’s initial promises. Critical gamers like to joke that Destiny is an Early Access game, and while that’s not quite fair to Bungie’s development team, those players do have a point: Destiny is very much a work-in-progress, and it’s changing dramatically as time goes on.
With the House of Wolves DLC quickly approaching, Bungie is finally addressing one of its biggest and weirdest missteps. Currently, the Heroic and Nightfall strikes – multiplayer co-op missions that rotate every week – use the same mission as their base, albeit with different modifiers attached. That’s going to change. Soon, the Heroic and Nightfall strikes will be completely independent, featuring different missions and giving players twice as many options per week.
That sounds like a no-brainer, and it’s something that many fans have wanted since Destiny launched last September. There’s a reason why Bungie’s only making the change now, however. With House of Wolves’ new strike, The Shadow Thief, entering the rotation, there’s a high probability that players who haven’t purchased any DLC will be locked out of both of the weekly challenges. By keeping the Nightfall and Heroic strike rotations separate, Bungie says there should be something for everyone to play.
As House of Wolves lead designer Matt Sammons says:
We’ve heard the feedback from players about not being able to do the weekly activities, so two things we wanted to do were always have one of the activities available if you didn’t have one of the DLC’s. So you’ll never have where all of the missions are from the House of Wolves expansion. We also wanted to have more variety for all players so we’ve actually uncoupled the Nightfall and Heroic so those will be different every week now.
Destiny’s come under fire for its repetitive gameplay, and this change should help shake things up a little bit. Bungie admits that, once House of Wolves comes out, The Shadow Thief will feature pretty heavily in both rotations (after all, they want to sell the new content), but as time goes on the selection should strike a better balance between paid and non-paid content.
Of course, House of Wolves players will have a lot more to do than just play in weekly strikes. The new expansion introduces two new multiplayer modes, a handful of new story missions, and gives gear-hungry players a wide variety of new weapons and armor to seek out. House of Wolves doesn’t include a new raid, but never fear: according to Bungie, “multiple” raids are in production, even if fans won’t see them for a little while longer.