I have made no secret of my uh, “support” of Destiny 2’s microtransaction economy. Not in that I think it’s great, just in that I found it incredibly hard to resist shelling out for its items over the years. I play the game an insane amount, I run three characters, I love fashion. It was a recipe for attempting to own every single Destiny 2 armor ornament set in existence, plus plenty of exotic armor and weapon ones to boot.
That’s…changed. I’ve gone from big spending in the store every season to essentially buying nothing, unless something okay rolls around for Bright Dust. Why? What changed?
Gimmicky, High Price Sets – I have soured on Destiny starting to do more crossovers when it comes to armor, raising the price, not selling some for Bright Dust. And fundamentally, I find those sets a little gimmicky, like what they did with the PlayStation themed sets, which sounded cool in theory, but in practice did not seem worth the insane cost.
Better ‘Normal’ Options – Admittedly, Destiny 2 has been killing it with armor designs. We have gone from relatively dull seasonal sets in years past to spending $12 for the season to get both a very solid base activity set, plus a very good battle pass set, unlocked for all classes. That’s six armor sets across three classes for that $12, compared to what would be $45-60 for half the amount of armor sets in the shop. Often worse ones. By saying this I am not telling Bungie to make worse sets, but it’s definitely factored into things for me.
Actually Offensive Monetization – Bungie has always sold a lot of stuff in the Destiny 2 Eververse shop, but over time, we’ve seen not just price creep, which has happened in a number of categories, but also paywall creep. Bungie has started timegating entire shaders for a full season behind a $10 paywall. They continue to sell transmog as a separate purchase, something I have always hated and that no other game even dares to try, as it’s so unheard of. Then there’s parceling of actual game content like the dungeon pass, or pre-orders to get powerful weapons half a year ahead of time. It’s grown to the point where no, I don’t feel much like rewarding this, and it’s genuinely made me wonder if Bungie is cash-strapped or something. I see no other reason to push this hard, well past any other game short of ones that sell actual loot boxes.
Can This Change? – I think it can, if Bungie relents a bit. They have done this in past, but only with massive pushback from the player community. Again, I would not have spent $45 for this season’s armor ornaments, but fans pointing out that Bungie can make 4+ paid sets a season but not one new free Ritual set per year caused this season’s Eververse set to go into rotation in Ritual playlists (with an insanely low drop rate, but still).
I would like to see certain things removed from the paywall. Get transmog out of there, uncap its bounty system. No more of these timegated shader bundles. No more event passes which have always been bad, but now are gating more and more things (including again, more shaders). Allow more earned cosmetics, yes, even exotic ones, sometimes. And I’d say “lower prices” but I think we all know that’s one thing that is never going to happen.
I don’t know, a switch has just flipped for me. Not to say if some irresistible thing comes up I won’t get it, but I am far from the whale I once was. Perhaps that was always stupid, but if so, it seems more obvious now.