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Well, here’s an unexpected bit of drama coming out of the Destiny camp. It seems that some of the game’s content, including the reward-heavy Nightfall Mission and Weekly Strike, are exclusive to those who have purchased the just-released DLC, The Dark Below. For at least one week, it seems, those who have not purchased said content appear to be locked out of a couple of modes.
It’s funny that this comes up today, as I was just thinking last night, “I wonder how the Destiny servers will balance certain events since one group of players will have the DLC and the other group won’t.” For the time being, it looks like the answer to that question is “You can’t play if you don’t pay.”
Okay, time for some clarification, in case you’re worried you’re being locked out of the entire game or simply don’t know how Destiny’s various systems work. The only thing currently affected by this situation ar the Nightfall Mission, Weekly Strike and Engram Bonus playlists. Everything else in Destiny is as wide open as it has ever been, so log on and get to shooting whether you’ve purchased the DLC or not.
In the game, there are a couple of extra playlists that give higher level players something more challenging to shoot for, which rotate on a weekly basis. The Nightfall Mission tab allows players to tackle a mission from the regular campaign with the difficulty cranked way up. Same goes for the Weekly Strike, a team-based mission with extra challenge and, thus, extra rewards. You can play these maps as many times a week as you want, but you only get the big rewards the first time through.
Until now, that didn’t pose a problem, since anyone who purchased the full game had access to all of these missions. To celebrate the launch of the new DLC, however, this week’s Nightfall Mission and Weekly Strike are specifically set within that new content. In other words, if you don’t buy The Dark Below, you can’t play those maps and, thus, not get those extra rewards for the week.
The maps are usually random and there are quite a few game levels and strikes that could pop up on a given week, so the chances of this happening again aren’t all that likely. Sure, there will be a week where either the Nightfall Mission or the Weekly Strike are pulled from the DLC, but considering how much more content there is in the base game, even that scenario should be pretty rare. It’s a bummer, but I suppose I can understand why it has to be this way.
The other option would be that separate playlists are created, one for DLC owners and a second one for folks who don’t have it, but I’m not sure how easy (or fair) that would be to implement.
As for moving the Engram Bonus (gear and upgrade rewards) out of regular rotation and plugging it into the DLC playlist exclusively, well, I can’t really find a good argument for that one.
Folks are already getting pretty vocal about this, however, taking to sites like Reddit or the game’s various forums to express concerns. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear some clarification from Bungie soon.