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Quicksilver Storm is my favorite Destiny 2 Exotic in years, but it’s locked behind an expensive pre-order

Is an Exotic really worth $100?

Destiny 2: Lightfall key art featuring three Guardians, The Witness, and Calus Image: Bungie

Would you pay $100 for early access to a Destiny 2 Exotic? Surely not! But eight years spent in Destiny — after shooting every Dreg, boss, and god that Bungie has thrown at me, using every weapon I’ve been offered — Quicksilver Storm is already one of my favorite Exotics of all time after only two days. Does that sentiment change your mind?

That’s been the question raging inside my brain since Destiny 2: Season of Plunder launched on Tuesday: Is the Quicksilver Storm Exotic really worth pre-ordering a $100 edition of an expansion? Even as someone who doesn’t recommend pre-ordering games, it’s harder to answer than you might think.

It’s been a big week for Destiny 2. At the 2022 Destiny 2 Showcase, Bungie revealed the game’s 2023 expansion, Lightfall, Season of Plunder, the return of the beloved King’s Fall raid, in-game loadouts and group-finder, the end of sunsetting expansions, and more.

But no level of Destiny expansion hype compares to the excitement of instantly connecting to a new Exotic weapon. And I experienced just that when I logged into my Titan on Tuesday and picked up Quicksilver Storm, the new Lightfall Exotic auto rifle that is also a rocket launcher… and a grenade launcher.

Holding down the trigger, Quicksilver Storm fires like a normal auto rifle. But every couple of bullets that connect with enemies cause the gun to also launch a micro-missile, which homes in on targets and explodes. That’s already pretty sweet, but each rocket that connects also loads a grenade into my Quicksilver Storm for later use. When I have at least one grenade available, I can hold down the reload button to transform the gun into a grenade launcher, which does some pretty excellent damage considering Quicksilver Storm is a primary weapon and has unlimited ammo.

I’ve barely unequipped Quicksilver Storm since I got it. I’ve used it in old raids, new seasonal content, and even a Master difficulty run of the new Ketchcrash activity. I’ve shredded individual enemies and blasted small groups with rockets across the Sol System. And I’ve used the grenade launcher to devastate minibosses without the need to switch to a special weapon. It’s just so damn fun, versatile, and sleek as hell. It’s the perfect Exotic, and I’m already in love with it.

The Quicksilver Storm Exotic auto rifle in Destiny 2 Image: Bungie via Polygon

There’s just one small problem: Quicksilver Storm is locked behind the $99.99 pre-order for Lightfall’s Annual Pass, which contains the expansion as well as the four seasons and two dungeons coming to Destiny 2 in 2023.

This isn’t an uncommon practice for Bungie, but it is a slightly different approach. The studio typically offers exclusive access to special expansion Exotics — like No Time to Explain in Beyond Light or Osteo Striga in The Witch Queen — that are only accessible for Annual Pass owners. However, usually these weapons launch alongside the new expansion, not with the pre-order. That’s a key change, as players could still upgrade to the Annual Pass after the expansion launched to get their cool gun. So, for example, if you jumped into the base version of The Witch Queen when it launched in February, fell in love with it (because it’s excellent), and decided you wanted to invest further in Destiny 2, you could’ve upgraded to the annual pass and gotten Osteo Striga as a reward.

With Quicksilver Storm, however, there is no Lightfall to judge — to get the gun now, you need to operate on faith alone. Bungie has been crushing it recently, with Destiny 2 getting better and better year after year, and there’s nothing in the Lightfall reveal that has me worried about the game taking a nosedive in 2023 — quite the opposite, in fact. But confidence in a studio isn’t enough to tell friends, family, or even you, dear reader, that you should drop 100 bucks on the next unproven year of Destiny 2 just for early access to an Exotic.

If you already know you plan to play Destiny 2 in 2023, regardless of quality, then let me tell you: Quicksilver Storm fucks, and you’re gonna love it. But if you’re the kind of Destiny player that needs me or Datto to tell you it’s good enough to pre-order, then you probably shouldn’t. Play Lightfall for yourself first and upgrade to the Annual Pass later. Enjoy the next six months knowing your wallet is a bit thicker, and — if Bungie meets expectations — that you have one of the coolest Exotics in Destiny 2 history waiting for you in February.

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