Year One’ As Its Own Standalone Game

Okay, I have a ridiculous idea, but given that we’re in a ridiculous situation with Destiny 2, it feels somewhat appropriate.

To set the stage, Destiny 2 has spent the past two years “content vaulting” or “sunsetting” some of its oldest content. What’s been cut so far has been:

  • Destiny 2’s vanilla Red War story campaign (and planets Titan and Io)
  • Curse of Osiris DLC (and its planet, Mercury)
  • Warmind DLC (and its planet, Mars)
  • The Forsaken Expansion story (and one of its zones, The Tangled Shore).
  • Formerly free seasonal content, Seasons of the Forge, Drifter and Opulence

And of course, all other seasonal content since Shadowkeep, but I have to draw a line somewhere, and that’s it. My idea is that Bungie should take everything I just mentioned above, package it together and release it as Destiny 2: Year One, disconnected from the current “live” version of Destiny 2.

My proposal here, to try and keep things somewhat simple, is that this would be a self-contained offering. New characters, and nothing transfers to the current, live version of Destiny 2. So why? Why do this?

A few reasons:

  • I fundamentally believe that if you have paid for content, you should not see that content deleted from being playable. I know the technical reasons for why Destiny 2’s content vault exists, and yet I still maintain that this is a bad practice. Bungie agrees that this is not ideal, and have said they will sunset no more expansions from here on out, but that does not bring back the stuff that’s gone. And there are no indications that it will return in any way other than temporarily, like the Haunted Leviathan (which itself will be re-sunset when seasonal content goes away after this year). Everything here, including Forsaken briefly, was free before it was vaulted. You could release it for free in this standalone format as a way to onboard players to the Destiny universe, or charge some small amount for new players. But players who had previously bought the vanilla game or Forsaken would get it for free either way. It’s essentially returning what they already bought.
  • Second, I think a clear, start-to-finish campaign that’s mainly the Red War, two DLCs and Forsaken as a lead-in to Destiny 2’s “live” Light and Dark saga would help the series as a whole, as literally the only way to catch up on Destiny 2’s originally storyline now is through YouTube videos, which is kind of an absurd situation to be in.
  • Third, some of Destiny 2’s best content is in here, and should not be banished to the corridors of time. This would mark the return of all-time great missions like Whisper and Zero Hour (I hold out hope that someday Presage can return to live Destiny 2 itself). It’s a ton of work that Bungie put in for all this content and it deserves to exist and be playable…somewhere. And it seems pretty clear most of it will never return to the live game.
  • Finally, as a standalone, optional game, this solves at least one of Bungie’s problems about Destiny 2 taking up too much hard drive space. I know some people have suggested a toggle where some portions of the game could be installed or uninstalled at any given time, but even though that’s nice in theory, in practice I fear that would be too complicated, and most of Bungie’s initial content overload problems would remain.

It’s an idea fraught with complications, certainly. Would there be enough population to sustain things like an old strike playlist, menagerie and forges, or old raids? Or what’s the “point” of grinding out gear when a standalone game like this has a fixed endpoint?

And yet, I just cannot shake the feeling that:

  • Players who bought this content deserve to retain access to it.
  • New players would benefit from much of this old content, both story and gameplay-wise.
  • Bungie’s hard work on all this content deserves to live on in some form, rather than be erased from existence.

So that’s why I’ve arrived at this idea.

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