Bungie Should Embrace the Community as Destiny 2 Becomes Free-to-Play

This autumn, with the arrival of Shadowkeep, Bungie will unveil New Light, the free-to-play version of Destiny 2.

Come September, the Tower will open its doors to welcome any and all newcomers to the Destiny 2 universe. For those who have never been interested in, or have never played a bit of Destiny, being thrown into this massive game world with all these activities, quests and weapons is going to be a lot to handle. Bungie has already addressed the disconnect between solo payers and groups through the excellent Guided Games. But now, as completely fresh, unconditioned players come into the scene, what more can Bungie do to bring the community together?

Help New Players Find Seasoned Destiny 2 Players

Outside of the Destiny forums, the occasional meetup at the Tower, and the window of Guided Games, there is no truly dedicated in-game method of connecting players.

However, there is a certain mechanic in the game that Bungie can potentially utilise the signify which players have been around and are capable of helping new players. Through outstanding performances in Nightfall strikes, players can earn emblems that give them certain auras above their character model. So, where can we go with these?

In past expansions for the original Destiny, there were several instances of Bungie handing out exclusive emblems to veteran players. With the arrival of Shadowkeep, why not utilise this tactic in the name of community? We don’t necessarily need a new emblem, but giving veteran players a unique aura above their character in social spaces and patrols could be an excellent way to connect new players to old players. Something special and different from any current aura, like a crown, Vanguard symbol, or even the Destiny logo. Engage with these veteran players, and let them begin to help each other through various activities in both PvP and PvE.

Reward The Partnership Between New and Old

By helping to fuel the drive for a tighter knit community, Bungie can easily expand and grow beyond the old Refer-a-Friend system from the original game. Bring these players together and allow them to partake in any number of activities that will reward them for cooperating. As we know, when New Light drops, the new slew of players will be immediately bumped to appropriate light and character levels, so all worldly activities will be manageable. Hell, Bungie can even turn it into a quest since we know how much they love their quests.

Whether it’s something straightforward like taking a new player through a raid or running them through the gauntlet of Iron Banner for the first time, I believe this path could really open up a lot of avenues for those entering the community for the first time, whether they’re solo players or coming in with a group. What the reward should be is tough to say, as it depends on how lengthy of a cooperation we’re talking about. If it’s a quest, the endpoint can certainly be a powerful reward. Activity by activity, players can earn cosmetics, ships, sparrows, legendary engrams, emblems, and so forth. The point isn’t to incentivise the player by granting them something overpowered or anything, but to simply reward cooperation.

What Content Is Free in New Light?

If you are diving into Destiny 2 as a free-to-play user, what sort of content can you fully expect to have access to? Here’s a quick little breakdown:

  • All playable planets, including the Moon, are open for patrols, lost sectors, and public events
  • Strikes
  • Crucible
  • Gambit
  • All pre-Forsaken raids including Leviathan, Eater of Worlds, and Spire of Stars

Any content outside of this, which includes the Last Wish, Scourge of the Past, and Crown of Sorrow raids, and any content in Shadowkeep outside of patrolling the Moon, is behind a pay wall. It’ll be interesting to see how Bungie tackles the pricing of content going forward, and whether or not they drop the price of Forsaken based content and the Annual Pass.

An Unknown Future

I am, as a veteran player of Destiny, still a bit on edge about how this free-to-play transition is going to change the game world. Though we will undoubtedly see changes to the game’s economy, scaling, leveling, and so on, there remains an important thing to take away.

Despite all this, purchasable content and Annual Passes are still here for those who wish to get everything they can from Destiny 2. And, on an even better note, more players will be coming into the community. What I’m really keen on, is how this split from Activision is going to change the roadmap of Destiny 2, and the eventual release of Destiny 3. With Season of Opulence, we have our last bit of content that was built out during the Activision/Bungie partnership. Now, we go to the Moon, and wherever else the stars may guide us.