Destiny 2's new exotic mission is the best Bungie has made in years, but some solo players are furious about having to speak to each other

A Titan carrying an orb.
(Image credit: Bungie)

A new mission appeared this week in Destiny 2's The Final Shape expansion. Dual Destiny is an exotic quest hidden in the expansion's new destination, The Pale Heart. It requires a bit of legwork to unlock, but your reward for completing it is the new exotic class item—a randomly rolled drop that combines the effects of two existing exotic armour pieces.

There are some powerful effects in the class item's perk pool—replicating effects of buildcrafting standards like Heart of Inmost Light, Synthocepts, Star-Eater Scales and many, many more. Being able to pair two strong exotic effects together is obviously potent, and it should allow for some incredibly powerful Prismatic builds. And the desirability of this new type of exotic is precisely why drama, following a brief window where almost everyone seemed mercifully happy, drama is kicking off in the Destiny community again.

Dual Destiny, as the name implies, is a two-player activity. Its puzzles and challenges are all based around two Guardians working in tandem, to the point you can't even launch the activity unless you're already in a fireteam of two. It's also not matchmade—which is standard for any activity that requires communication, as is the case here. Your only options are to bring a friend, or jump into LFG.

Throughout the post announcing the discovery of Dual Destiny on the DestinyTheGame subreddit, plenty of comments are furious about this decision. "Is this not something solo players get?" asks one. "If so, that's beyond frustrating." Another puts it more bluntly: "Why would Bungie do this crap?" For those who don't like using the game's LFG tools, or simply prefer to play without needing comms, the mission presents a high barrier between them and the acquisition of one of the big new features of the expansion.

These complaints are far from universal though. In the days since Dual Destiny's release, plenty have scoffed at the idea that this is a problem at all. "It seems odd to me that a non-trivial number of people would rather miss out on the exotic class item and demand Bungie remove and rework a feature rather than have minimal interaction with a stranger for like 10 minutes," states u/Jimithyashford in one of the top posts on the subreddit right now.

Some of the reason for the backlash to the backlash is, simply, that Dual Destiny is the best exotic mission Bungie has released in years. Most recent exotic missions—the ones that currently live in a rotator in the Legends section of the director—have been pretty simple affairs. Some have a time limit to overcome, but most are relatively simple combat challenges, maybe with a jumping puzzle in the middle. Dual Destiny is far more involved—its puzzles requiring players to pass information back and forth, all while the clock ticks down. It's lengthy too—three major encounters that, for my first blind run, took around 50 minutes to finish. Throw in some decent enemy pressure thanks to the new Dread units, and you've got yourself a banger.

The Dual Destiny mission and its symbols.

The Vow of the Disciple raid symbols return for Dual Destiny's puzzles. (Image credit: Bungie)

More than being good, though, for some players it represents a version of Destiny that they desperately wish was the norm. Plenty in the community have been crying out for more challenging, complex activities, and here Bungie has delivered. And putting a desirable reward behind it makes it valuable beyond the basic experience of the first run—a loot chase beyond the usually mindless grind of seasonal activities.

At the risk of sounding elitist, I'm fine with not all loot being available to all players. As it stands, outside of raid weapons, almost all of Destiny 2's best items are available relatively easily. More aspirational "adept" versions of weapons may be locked behind a skill barrier, but those are just minor upgrades of the base versions—hardly worth the extra effort. There's an argument to be made that a cornerstone feature of a new expansion should have a low barrier for access, but honestly it's nice to have some valuable, desirable items locked behind an activity that sits in the middle ground between trivial and requiring a full raid team. And Bungie has come up with a decent compromise for Dual Destiny, too. You need to run the mission once to unlock the class item the first time, but after that it's available as a possible drop from any chest in the Pale Heart destination. You can keep running the mission for a guaranteed reward, or leave it up to RNG and let the grind carry you to some new rolls.

I also think Dual Destiny's level of complexity is being overstated in an attempt to justify the initial outrage. Yes, you need two people. Yes, there needs to be communication. But this is not a raid level activity requiring constant back-and-forth callouts. The entire thing can be done without a mic even, just using text chat to pass information on the symbols or positions you need to clear each puzzle. There's no big DPS check or required loadout—once you've learned how to complete the mission, the execution is relatively straightforward.

But the anxiety around LFG is real and is being keenly felt by some. It's a tricky needle for Bungie to thread—putting a major feature behind multiplayer cooperation gives it prestige, but risks alienating players who expected a more streamlined, straightforward way to access a big part of the new subclass. It'll be interesting to see if studio relents—risking some of the mission's status in order to offer a more frictionless option for those who just won't take the plunge.

Generally it feels like the broader community opinion has landed in favour of the mission, likely driven by the desire to see more of this kind of thing in future. But it's been an interesting drama to watch unfold—as the more casual playerbase finds itself at odds with those experienced players who are relishing this new direction.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.