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Bungie apologizes for Destiny 2 content lockouts, fixing some this week (update)

‘It’s clear that we’ve made some mistakes’

Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris - four Guardians on Wormhaven Crucible map Bungie/Activision
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Following widespread outrage in the Destiny 2 community last week, developer Bungie admitted today that it “made some mistakes” by locking access to some high-level content behind the purchase of the game’s first expansion, and said it is addressing a number of the most pressing concerns with a patch tomorrow.

“With Curse of Osiris now live, it’s clear that we’ve made some mistakes with how we have handled content access,” Bungie said in an update attributed to the Destiny development team.

Bungie launched Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris six days ago. The studio quickly drew harsh criticism from players, once they realized that anyone who didn’t buy the expansion was now locked out of some high-level content that they could previously play. This included the Prestige versions of the Leviathan raid and weekly Nightfall strike on the player-versus-environment side, and Trials of the Nine and Iron Banner in the player-versus-player Crucible. All four of these activities offer some of the highest-class loot in all of Destiny 2.

Locking these activities behind Curse of Osiris also had dire consequences for completionists. Without access to the aforementioned content, you could no longer attempt to unlock two PlayStation Network trophies or Xbox Live achievements: one for completing a Prestige activity, and another for winning a Trials match.

“Our team overlooked the fact that both of these mistakes disabled Trophies and Achievements for Destiny 2,” said Bungie. “This was an unacceptable lapse on our part, and we can understand the frustration it has created.”

Bungie explained its reasoning for locking content behind a Curse of Osiris purchase. The studio said its goal was to raise the power level required for existing Prestige activities because doing so would keep that content relevant to players. (This addressed a long-standing gripe with the original Destiny: Once Bungie released expansions for the game, the studio never gave players any reason to return to its first — and arguably greatest — raid, the Vault of Glass.) Meanwhile, the normal versions of the Nightfall and raid would remain accessible to all players.

As for the Crucible, Bungie said it wants Trials and Iron Banner to evolve over time; that’s why the studio has shifted to a seasonal content model, with new rewards available every so often (and the latest maps popping up in the rotation). But Bungie acknowledged that because Trials launched with Destiny 2, it was a bad move to revoke players’ access to it.

With that preamble out of the way, Bungie announced that the scheduled Dec. 12 patch, which will update Destiny 2 to version 1.1.1.1, will also include a set of changes that will address some of the concerns around Curse of Osiris’ content lockout.

Destiny 2 - upper part of Leviathan’s front
The Leviathan, Calus’ spaceship.
Bungie/Activision

The Prestige Nightfall is staying at the new power level cap, 330, so it will still require Curse of Osiris. However, Bungie is revising the trophy/achievement associated with Prestige activities to only reference the Prestige raid. In related news, the studio is dropping the required power level for the Prestige raid back down to 300 from 330, which will allow all players to access it (and shoot for the aforementioned trophy/achievement). This also makes it possible once again for all Destiny 2 players to obtain the Legend of Acrius exotic shotgun’s ornament — the final step of the corresponding quest line requires completion of the Prestige raid.

This will be a bummer for Destiny’s most die-hard players, who are losing a Prestige activity that can provide an appropriate challenge (and useful loot). Bungie is thinking about this issue — the studio said, “Moving forward, we are investigating adding a 3rd difficulty to all Prestige activities, so that we can provide both a challenge that stays relevant with each new Expansion, and a Prestige version that is available to all players.”

As for the normal Nightfall, it will remain available to everyone except during the weeks when the strike in question comes from Curse of Osiris. The same will apply for Trials of the Nine: All Destiny 2 players will have access to it unless it features a Curse of Osiris map. Destiny 2’s limited-time events, which include The Dawning, Iron Banner and Faction Rally, will now be open to everyone. (Bungie is delaying the Faction Rally that was supposed to run from Dec. 12-19.) Of course, any expansion-exclusive loot, like the seasonal armor ornaments that debuted in Curse of Osiris, will be available only to people who have bought the expansion.

Tomorrow’s update will not address the heroic strike playlist, a newly released piece of content that doesn’t seem like it should be locked behind a DLC purchase. Players have also complained that there isn’t enough in heroic strikes to distinguish them from normal ones. Bungie said it is working on future updates to that playlist, including “new challenges, new Modifiers, and free access for all players.”

The Dec. 12 patch will make the aforementioned changes. It will also include updates like the debut of Masterwork weapons, Fated Engrams and other ways to spend Legendary Shards, as well as the reintroduction of Three of Coins. Bungie will take the Destiny 2 servers offline to push the update live, with downtime expected to last from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

Update (Dec. 12): Bungie also announced yesterday its “fix” for Prometheus Lens, the new exotic trace rifle that launched in Curse of Osiris with an absurdly high damage output. The studio acknowledged that the weapon “breaks the Crucible,” but said that it isn’t able to deliver anything beyond an “emergency fix” at the moment.

For now, Bungie will turn Prometheus Lens into a useless weapon with damage that is “way too weak.” In January, the studio will give the gun “a proper, play-tested design pass.”

Update 2 (Dec. 12, 2:59 p.m. ET): Bungie completed its server maintenance more than two hours early, and Destiny 2 is back online with update 1.1.1.1. You can read the full patch notes here.

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