Destiny 2's latest major expansion, Beyond Light, released a little over a month ago. With it came probably the most drastic changes to the game since its release over three years ago. Not only did some new stuff get added like guns and armor, exotics, and a new raid; but the drastic bit comes from the fact that, for the first time, a bunch of old content was taken away. Old weapons are finally feeling the effects of being left behind, no longer upgradable to max light. Entire mapped areas are gone from the hard drive, no longer able to be played. Quests tied to those locations or bygone times have also faded into the ether, replaced by kiosks to either start the quest from a menu, or purchase the gun with shards and glimmer.
Unfortunately, I just don't have the wiggle room in my gaming budget to purchase the expansion right now. But I do have an active clan that I would love to play the game with. After all, the base game of Destiny 2 went free to play some time ago. I loaded the game up a few weeks ago when there was a weekend raid on the calendar. I updated to the PS5 version as soon as it came out. I was amazed at how buttery smooth the game looked and played after the update, a gorgeous sight.
All that was well and good. I've sunk plenty of time and money getting to this point through past expansions and have received my reward. The problem came this week, with the release of Iron Banner. Iron Banner is a PvP mode where for the first time under the new expansion, I had to actually go head to head with other Guardians. Other Guardians who had unlocked the new Supers...
This is where the game has left behind the free to play players and gone pay to win. The new supers are already controversial enough. They were released so unbalanced that Bungie had to walk them back with a nerf just 9 days after they hit the wild. They incorporate a freeze mechanic called Stasis that is so overpowered it shuts down other Supers, creates essentially one-hit grenades with area of effects larger than the areas of Super abilities, and while madcap and crazy to use in PvP, is maddening to suffer against in the same mode. It was, without much exaggeration, a bone thrown to enhance PvE that Bungie isn't even trying to make right for PvP.
Here's Stasis in a nutshell pic.twitter.com/cN4hCbZAke— Gladd (@Gladd) November 12, 2020
As a free to play player, all I get is the pain on the one end of that stick, locked out of actually getting to experience the zany pleasure of the other end. It's part and parcel to go without if you're not keeping up with every last $60 expansion for the game. I understand that part fo the deal. I won't have the new exotics, I won't get the easier route to level up. I'll go without. But in this instance, it's not an elemental sub-tree I'm doing without. It's not like I can compensate with old reliables and just lose an edge but still compete. It's a whole broken element itself that's missing from my arsenal, one that gives a competitive advantage so distinct it is game-breaking. It might not have been the intention, but the message is clear: pay up those sixty bucks or just stop playing PvP as an entire game mode, for in there is only pain.