With the release of Destiny 2's first DLC expansion, Curse of Osiris, the power level cap has been raised from 305 to 335, which means some endgame challenges formerly reserved for players near the 300 level cap are now reserved for players near the new level cap. Without spending $20 on the DLC, vanilla Destiny 2 players cannot level their guardians beyond 305, locking out the Prestige, or hard modes, of the Leviathan raid and weekly Nightfall strikes.
Why is this a problem? It's the latest in a string of baffling design decisions and a failure to acknowledge them that has the hobbyist playerbase up in arms. Players who don't have the money to spend, or just don't have interest in the DLC, but still play regularly looking to maximise the challenge have now missed their window of opportunity to do so. In a move more aligned with how subscription-based MMOs update, Bungie has scaled up its endgame activities across the board, effectively removing a higher difficulty option altogether for anyone still sitting on the original release.
Also limited to Curse of Osiris owners is the Heroic Strike playlist, which has a much lower power level requirement of 270, an incongruous design decision considering the pace at which many DLC players are leveling to 300 and beyond. Because the power cap has been raised, higher level loot drops with much more frequency, meaning you'll likely blaze by 270 if you're not there yet.
The enthusiast Destiny 2 community is fairly irritated. The Destiny subreddit is drowning in frustrated posts, some with comments comparing the necessary reaction to that of Star Wars: Battlefront 2's recent loot box fiasco. Even some of the community's biggest mouthpieces, including YouTuber Datto, aren't pleased by Bungie's recent string of design decisions and poor communication.
Obviously I dunno what goes on internally, but after ANOTHER chart topping "Bungie hides vanilla content behind DLC," reddit spree, it's just driving me nuts. I'm mad for you, I'm mad at you. Obviously Bungie cares, but christ man. Gimme a good headline.December 7, 2017
Bungie reps have yet to address the issue, though Community Manager DeeJ tweeted earlier that we might see something in the weekly update post.
Too busy to tweet this morning. Sorry for the silence. Working with @A_dmg04 to finalize the details you'll see in 'This Week At Bungie.'December 7, 2017
Combined with an increasing emphasis on placing Destiny 2's best loot in the Eververse microtransaction store, an endgame that putters out quickly, a misleading XP system, and a much more predictable 4v4 team-kill-or-bust Crucible mode, players certainly have the right to be disappointed. Curse of Osiris might have been content locked too far ahead of time to avoid an inevitable storm of criticism, but to Bungie's credit, the team has started taking steps to acknowledge Destiny 2's bigger issues. In an update titled The State of Destiny 2, Bungie outlined changes starting on a dripfeed in December that will "...support players who want Destiny to be their hobby…" For more on those updates, read our breakdown here.
If Bungie's weekly blog update gives us anything to go on, we'll be sure to update this post accordingly.