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Bungie admits 'we’ve made mistakes' as it addresses content lockout

Quite a number of Destiny 2 players were disappointed last week when they discovered that some of the things they were used to doing in the game were no longer doable, because they'd been locked by the increased level cap that came with the Curse of Osiris expansion. Not owning the expansion means not having access to things like the Prestige Leviathan raid or the Trials of the Nine mode. These exclusions felt particularly egregious given that both activities were part of the base game, and the controversy also came on the heels of multiple other Bungie missteps

Today the dev team took to the Bungie Blog to acknowledge mistakes have been made, and explain how it's going to clean up this latest mess. The solution is not going to make everyone happy. Prestige-level activities were meant to "rise to the new Power cap," the post begins, while time-limited PvP playlists were "meant to evolve each season" with new maps. Both of those cases require ownership of the expansion, but neither have been received well by the playerbase. 

"The Prestige Raid was a novel experience that players value, even if they don’t own Curse of Osiris, and it was a mistake to move that experience out of reach. Throughout the lifetime of the Destiny Franchise, Trials has always required that players owned the latest Expansion. However, for Destiny 2, Trials of The Nine launched as part of the main game, so it’s not right for us to remove access to it," Bungie wrote. 

"To make matters worse, our team overlooked the fact that both of these mistakes disabled Trophies and Achievements for Destiny 2. This was an unacceptable lapse on our part, and we can understand the frustration it has created."

The quote above is a pretty astonishing admission of failure for such a high profile studio to make. That the changes broke certain in-game achievements from being earned no doubt also landed the game in hot water with the console manufacturers, which may have accelerated today's response.

To rectify the issues outlined, a hotfix is coming later this week—tomorrow, hopefully, following the scheduled maintenance—that will bring the Prestige Leviathan raid back to Power level 300, and reduce the level of its rewards to match, which will make it (and the associated achievements) available to all players. 

The Prestige Nightfall will remain at 330 Power level, but "The Prestige" achievement will be changed so that it only references the Prestige Raid, and Bungie is "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." 

Other aspects of the change are considerably kludgier, however. Trials of the Nine events will only require Curse of Osiris ownership when it features Curse of Osiris maps; for other weeks, it will be available to everyone. New seasonal rewards that launched with the expansion will not be available to players who don't own it, however. The same goes for standard Nightfalls: When a Curse of Osiris map is running, it will require the expansion, and when it's not, it won't. 

Time limited events—Iron Banner, Faction Rallies, and The Dawning—will be open to everyone, but again, rewards that launched with Curse of Osiris will require ownership of the expansion to be earned. 

If you think that sounds like an unnecessarily complicated, messy solution to a fairly simple problem, you're not alone. Some players in the Destiny 2 subreddit are unhappy because the power level of some items will be reduced to 305, which makes the Prestige raid significantly less rewarding. Several posts say that the third difficulty level Bungie mused about is the way to go: "This is a frustratingly obvious solution and there is no good excuse for why it was not the default decision," as one put it. 

Unfortunately, the launch of the hotfix means that the Faction Rally planned for tomorrow will be postponed, "to ensure all of our players can access the activity and appropriate rewards." And that's not the only thing that's going to take longer than expected to arrive: Bungie also said on Twitter that the infamous Prometheus Lens weapon will be nerfed to be "way too weak" to put an end to the laser light show that's currently flashing all over the Crucible, and won't get a "proper, play-tested" adjustment until sometime in January.

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Andy Chalk
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.