Destiny has been a monster release in more ways than one. After a reported cost of $500 million to develop and promote, a lot was expected from the Activision-published title. That cost turned out to be barely a risk, however. Players bought it it droves, and Activision made that $500 million back through day one sales figures. Bungie's multiplayer space shooter has even picked up some awards, including "Best Online Experience" at The Game Awards 2014.
It's no surprise, then, that Destiny's first additional content pack The Dark Below has kept the buzz going. Alongside new story missions and weapons, some of the main highlights of the DLC are the additional strikes and raids on show (with an extra strike for PS3 and PS4 players). Not only that, but Bungie has also upped the ante in terms of difficulty levels for the new strikes in The Dark Below.
Unfortunately for players who don't want to spend $20 on the new DLC pack, it looks as though the release of The Dark Below will have a negative effect on the vanilla version of Destiny when it comes to the aforementioned strikes. Both the Weekly Nightfall activity and Weekly Heroic activity are set to The Will of Crota - The Dark Below's new strike this week, meaning that players who do not have the additional content will not be able to access this week's activities. Essentially, the most rewarding activities outside of the raid have been stripped away from non-DLC buyers.
It is, of course, somewhat expected - after all, The Dark Below launched today and Bungie will have been itching to unveil what the expansion pack has in store. However, it's still a kick in the teeth for players who have not purchased the DLC pack yet, or who have no intention of getting it. After all, it is literally stopping players from accessing an important part of Destiny's content. A potential and all-too-obvious workaround could have seen Bungie including an alternative strike for those without The Dark Below.
David "DeeJ" Dague, Bungie Community Manager, has confirmed that this exclusion is not just a one-off. In future weeks, The Dark Below's strike could also rotate back into contention as a weekly strike. Speaking on Twitter, DeeJ revealed that "featured heroic activities will be a blend of old and new from week to week." This was backed up by Bungie's head of community Eric Osborne. Speaking with Polygon, Osborne stated that "activities like nightfall will periodically feature expansion 1 content."
It's not just the playable content that could be a hindrance to players, though. For those who are unfamiliar with Destiny, or who are at low levels, the weekly strikes are the only way for players to earn "strange coins." These strange coins are a rare currency for the mysterious vendor Xur, who only appears once a week with a variety of high-end gear. By not being able to access this week's strikes, some players will have to put off buying that top level item.
What do you make of the news? Do you think it's fair on players who have fought to reach level 30 if they don't want to buy additional content? Or do you think it's fine for Bungie to switch out DLC strikes periodically? Let us know in the comments.
[Update: Altered title from "now" to "currently "to clarify any confusion.]