We are about 48 hours away from the release of Curse of Osiris, the first Destiny 2 DLC, part of a matched pair where the second, Warmind-based DLC will be released sometime in the spring of next year.
There has been a lot of debate and controversy about the current state of Destiny 2, and what can be done to fix it going forward with future content and patches, but one thing has struck me as a bit odd for a while now.
Are we…set to repeat the same content release pattern as Destiny 1? The one that everyone realized was unsustainable and which led to yawning content droughts? Because it sure seems like we are.
Flashing back to 2013, at that point, it seemed like Destiny was on track to keep pumping out content to keep players entertained all year round. Leaked schedules seem to imply that the release track would go:
Base game (Fall 2014) > DLC 1 > DLC 2 > Expansion (Fall 2015) > DLC 3 > DLC 4 > Sequel (Fall 2016)
But it became very clear, very quickly that a calendar like that was totally unrealistic. There was literally no way on earth to A) make a sequel in two years and B) simultaneously also make four pieces of DLC and one major expansion also during that time.
So, after a sequel delay, the scrapping of smaller DLC, the assembly of the live team and the apparent contractual obligation of “major” fall Destiny content every year we instead got:
Base game (Fall 2014) > DLC 1 > DLC 2 > Expansion (Fall 2015) > Live events > Expansion 2 (Fall 2016) > Live events > Sequel (Fall 2017)
I know there’s a lot of nostalgia for Destiny 1 right now, but don’t think that extends to this schedule, which is why I think it’s kind of weird we seem to be on track to repeat it, barring major changes. I remember during Year Two and Year Three players were dying for things to do in the game, the general consensus was that a smattering of mostly loot box-based live events just weren’t cutting it.
So I guess I wonder what’s changed. We seem to be back on pace for a full game, double DLC, fall expansion year, echoing Destiny 1 almost exactly, but is…the game in a different place now? Has Bungie expanded enough or added enough “helper” studios to make the yawning content gaps in the future smaller? Will we see more, actual DLC packs like these two in the future instead of purely live events? It just seems weird to me because we spent three years pretty much agreeing that Bungie needed a better content schedule going forward, but so far, it’s identical to D1’s, which ended up being extremely problematic as time went on. And as we can see now, even with the delays and the lack of interim DLC, the sequel still probably didn’t have enough time to be fully baked upon release.
I don’t know what “ideal” is for a Destiny 2 content release plan. I think we can agree that Destiny 1’s schedule was too front-loaded, but I also don’t think the “five content packs in two years between full games” is remotely realistic at all, even if that would be the dream. Maybe something like one small DLC and one big expansion in years two and three, with live events sprinkled in? And hopefully three years is enough time to better cook a sequel when Destiny 3 comes around?
Granted, we don’t know what Bungie is planning yet. A Fall 2018 expansion is not confirmed, though it does seem like a forgone conclusion which would make Year One of D1 and D2 mirrors. But after that? The only thing we’re really seeing fundamentally change between the game is the introduction of “seasons,” an experiment that remains a little weird and mainly like a way to delay balance changes for weeks or months after they’re needed.
I miss a lot of things about Destiny 1, but not its content release schedule, so I’m hoping that Bungie has something else planned this time around, or we’re going to run into all the same problems that players seem to have forgotten they were so mad about a few years ago all over again.
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