The Destiny 2 holiday event The Dawning got underway earlier this week, with all kinds of activities to enjoy (shooting guys) and stuff to collect. It also appears to have touched off a spot of unhappiness among the players—and by "unhappiness," I mean what appears to be effectively open revolt on the Bungie forums.
The problem is the Eververse Trading Company, a mostly real-money store where the Awoken merchant Tess Everis hawks her wares. Some of what she sells can be purchased with Bright Dust, an in-game currency earned by breaking down certain kinds of items, but the selection is small and Bright Dust is hard to come by: I've played, not fanatically but regularly, since Destiny 2 came out and I've managed to collect just shy of 1500, which is enough to buy the Winterhart chest armor, which goes for 1200 Bright Dust.
Leg armor? Sorry, that's another 800. Helmet, gauntlets, and ass-cape are all on top of that, and if I want a Dawning-themed ship, Sparrow, or maybe even some shaders? Let's just say that I'm not holding my breath about grinding this stuff out.
The other option is Dawning engrams, which can be earned from the gift schematics available through Ikora. But those are limited to one per day, which means that even without repeats or missing a day, you're not going to have he opportunity to get everything—and even if you did, not all Dawning items are available through gifts.
But Dawning engrams are also available for purchase from the Eververse Store for 200 Silver each, three for 500, or—best deal!—five for 800. Silver is the in-game currency available for real money: $5 for 500 Silver, $10 for 1000, and so forth.
Like most loot boxes, however, you have no idea what you'll actually get for your money. Each engram contains one Dawning "vanity reward and a small stack of shaders or a transmat effect," so if you spend your $10, pop six engrams, and don't get that sweet Winterhart Cover you've been chasing, your options are to either spend more money, or do without—while simultaneously being ten bucks lighter.
That doesn't sit right with an awful lot of fans, who have undertaken a "RemoveEververse" campaign on the Bungie forums. Some of the complaints differ in the details, but the theme is the same across the board: The Dawning event is simply a ham-fisted effort to drive microtransactions. None of the holiday-themed stuff is vital to the actual gameplay (you don't need to look good while you're gunning down space zombies), but collecting it is a huge part of the game for an awful lot of players. Like other RNG blast-fests, the combat is simplistic but the stuff you pick up off the ground is—or might be—gold.
As if that's not bad enough, Dawning shaders earned through weekly milestones and Silver purchases will break down into Bright Dust that can be used in the Eververse Store, but those that come out of the Gift engrams will not—they only break down into Legendary shards. The difference only came to light when players noticed that apparently-identical Dawning shaders were being sorted into separate stacks, something Bungie confirmed on its forum, although it neglected to mention the difference in how they break down.
It's incredibly chintzy, especially in a holiday event that's supposedly about the spirit of giving and all that, and all the PR stumbles and self-inflicted wounds that have preceded this one just amplify the ugly effect. Bungie acknowledged a couple of weeks ago that it's "made mistakes," which is fine as far as it goes, but here we are again: An opportunity to start restoring faith in the system is instead just pissing people off.
Streamer Gothalion explained the matter a little more succinctly.