Looter shooters are probably my favorite genre of games that aren’t MMOs. I absolutely love sifting through a massive pile of loot, while figuring out how to min-max whatever build I’m working on at the time. Whether it’s The Division, Warframe, or Destiny 2, they all scratch that itch I have of having way too many things to go through and nowhere near enough time to actually use any of it.

Destiny 2 fills this niche by way of a traditional first-person shooter, set in a hyper futuristic world that plays sort of similar to Halo games of old. You have three classes: Titan, Hunter, and Warlock, and each of them can branch into one of four elements: Solar, Void, Arc, and Stasis. Furthermore, each element has three different specs within them. Twelve different specs among each class, totaling 36 across the whole game, not including variations of one spec or build. This also doesn’t include weapon perks or stat builds or anything. There’s quite a lot of moving parts that you can put together very neatly.

I’ve played Destiny 2 since day 1, and the launch was iight. The story wasn’t terrible, the gameplay was phenomenal, and it was incredibly optimized and ran very well on my machine. The end game, however, was very shallow. There wasn’t much to do, and the loot wasn’t very fulfilling at all. PVP was fun, but the meta was very quickly figured out, as the famed MIDA Multi-Tool ran rampant for quite a while. Build diversity was decent, but there were clear underperformers and it took away from a lot of what I wanted out of a looter shooter.

I still played despite these problems, because there really wasn’t too much going on in this genre up until this point. I had done everything I could want to do in Warframe (had been playing that since Beta, way back in I think 2011?), I was firmly disgruntled with the direction The Division was going in, and everyone I knew was playing it.

Curse of Osiris was the first expansion to be released, and it was very whatever. I honestly could not tell you what actually was in that expansion save the Strikes, which, by the way, had the exact same starting point and layout up until a certain checkpoint, where it then turned into one of, I believe, three instances. I’ll never forget the reveal of the expansion, and the devs completed an open world event and they received two useless pieces of blue gear as a reward. Nothing really epitomized how the game was going more than that moment to me.

It wasn’t good.

At this point, I only really had the Leviathan Raid and daily stuff to tide me over, I eventually stopped because of the aforementioned shallowness of it all. I would wade and trough through from time to time, but it just wasn’t enough.

Fast forward all the way to Beyond Light.

Now this! This expansion completely changed the course of the game.

First off, this was the point where Bungie left Activision-Blizzard, a move that gave them complete freedom over what they can do with the game itself. It translated extremely well in the expansion too. The first big move was the game going free to play. It was pretty unprecedented for a major title like this to make this move while also retaining what made the game a success in the first place (despite its problems). Additionally, they completely truncated the new player experience and provided a way for them to jump right into the action.

The new beginning, dubbed “New Light”, shifted the story mode to a side-quest-like experience (with cosmetic rewards), and allowed you to go straight into the meat of the start-of-endgame. You started at the minimum light level (similar to how MMOs with jump starts push new characters), and you can immediately do all content that wasn’t locked behind unacquired DLC. It was by far the best change they made, and it showed. A massive amount of players joined, the game, once again, saw another boom in popularity.

Things are churning along quite nicely. I know I loved my time in Beyond Light. I played the hell out of it and it’s still one of my favorite expansions of any looter shooter.

There was one incredibly big problem, however.

They effectively sunsetted entire pieces of content. Whole planets, weapons, skins, and even DLC.

I was extremely unhappy with this…

I understand the reasoning; the game was super bloated in their backend and they needed to make room for future content. From what I understand, their plans changed after the defection from Activision, and they needed to figure out a way to continue with the game instead of focusing on a Destiny 3. Something needed to go.

That said, while I do understand it, taking away content that players paid for feels incredibly bad.

Even if something like Curse of Osiris wasn’t the best DLC, there was still content I liked to do there. Some players like achievement hunting or farming in certain areas or the like, and you just can’t do that anymore. Sure, the content will be repurposed and retreated later down the line, but I didn’t pay to have those things come about every six to ten months, I want to get the product we purchased. It doesn’t matter to me what we got “in return”. There should be no “in return” in the first place.

This has been the biggest factor in my cautious contemplation of returning to the game. How do I know that the Beyond Light or Witch Queen expansion won’t disappear in a year or so? To my knowledge, this is the only big name looter shooter that has done this, and the reception was not great.

I hope this changes in the future, because Destiny 2 is truly a great game with a long play life ahead of it. Being able to experience all the content the game has to offer is a big deal for many players, and it’s unfortunate that the feeling of it being taken away at a moment’s notice will loom indefinitely. I don’t know what needs to change for this not to happen. I still recommend the game if you’ve never played it before, as the world is massive, and there’s very plenty to do, find, and build, and you’ll have hundreds of hours of content at your disposal.

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