Destiny 2 players are up in arms yet again, now that the game’s first expansion, Curse of Osiris, has been released: People who have not purchased the add-on are discovering that they can no longer play some of the game’s high-level endgame content.
Endgame content in Destiny focuses on raids and the Nightfall strike, as well as the more challenging “Prestige” versions of those activities. Curse of Osiris raises the soft cap for Destiny 2 power levels to 330 from 300, which is the limit in vanilla Destiny 2. The recommended power level for the game’s toughest — and most rewarding — activities has also risen accordingly.
The weekly Nightfall strike’s power level is now 270 instead of 240, while Leviathan’s level has gone up to 290 from 280. Both are still available to everyone. But the Prestige variants of both activities require players to be at the power cap, and it’s now impossible to reach that cap unless you buy Curse of Osiris.
Alongside Curse of Osiris, Bungie also introduced — or rather, brought back from the original Destiny — the heroic strike playlist. It’s locked behind the expansion even though its recommended power level is just 270, which may be because Curse of Osiris strikes are in the rotation. Still, it seems like this should just be a feature that’s included in the free version 1.1.0 patch for Destiny 2, as opposed to something that requires players to buy the expansion.
It’s worth noting that Bungie handled the debut of Destiny’s first expansion, The Dark Below, similarly. The weekly heroic strike for the launch week was exclusive to the expansion, so people who hadn’t bought The Dark Below had no weekly heroic strike. This week’s Nightfall is The Inverted Spire, a strike from vanilla Destiny 2, so it’s still available. But in the original Destiny, if an expansion’s strike came up in the Nightfall rotation, then players who hadn’t bought that downloadable content simply wouldn’t be able to play the Nightfall that week.
On the Crucible side, Destiny 2 players without Curse of Osiris can’t access the new expansion-exclusive playlists, in which the new maps are more likely to pop up in the rotation. However, they can still enter the usual Quickplay and Competitive playlists.
Curse of Osiris, which launched yesterday on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One, is available for $19.99 on its own or as part of Destiny 2’s $34.99 Expansion Pass. It’s natural in a game like Destiny for level requirements to increase with paid expansions. But locking activities that people were previously able to play is galling, because those players feel like they’re losing content that they paid for.
Plus, Destiny 2 has a PC version that launched much later than the game’s console debut — Oct. 24, just over six weeks ago — so players on that platform have had much less time to get through the content in vanilla Destiny 2 before losing access to some of it. And if there are people who wanted to beat the Prestige version of a Nightfall strike or the Leviathan raid, they can no longer attempt them without buying Curse of Osiris. That means they can’t unlock the associated PS4 trophy or Xbox Live achievement, which prevents PS4 players from obtaining Destiny 2’s platinum trophy.
We’ve asked Bungie for comment, and we’ll update this article with any response we receive. In the meantime, you can read our Destiny 2 review.
Casey Kolderup contributed to this article.
Update: We’ve edited the story with details about the Crucible.