The Curse of Osiris is The Curse of Destiny

The first piece of DLC for Destiny 2 dropped this week and Guardians have taken to The Curse of Osiris like Mercury takes to…OK, I don’t have a good example. What can be said for The Curse of Osiris is that it isn’t making waves and isn’t what Destiny 2 was missing to bring it back from the woes that it has been going through. Then again, isn’t Destiny always going through woes? If anything, Curse of Osiris is proving to be more of the same, while coming across as a bit watered down. I asked for three cubes bartender, not a glass full of ice with my whiskey. Caydee-6 would not be pleased, although he might not care either. For those Guardians that do care, though, it’s proving frustrating, and for anyone who might want to jump back in, Curse of Osiris doesn’t sell itself well.

Why wasn’t this included in the base game?

The one thing that continually will linger on the mind while playing is the exact sentiment above. Why was Curse of Osiris not included in the base game? Curse of Osiris is small, adding only one new destination, a new raid space next week and some other minor things, which I’m sure you can guess. It’s grating, because for such a slice of content, it could have easily made its way into the base game — obviously I’m not a developer nor do I pretend to know the ins-outs of development — that said, this DLC really is small enough that if booting up Destiny 2 for an outside party, they might think it’s part of the base game.

Mercury sits happily at the top of the destinations menu like it was there all along. Brother Vance welcomes Guardians with open arms to the Lighthouse (only reserved for the best of PvP in Destiny), waiting for Osiris’ return. Like everything else to follow though, Mercury quickly proves that it is a veiled guise for a rather bland play space. It’s small while giving of the illusion of unlimited potential. It only has one public event, and while covering much more ground than other public events, it’s still the only one (plus sparrows don’t work). At least the other destinations have multiples. The Infinite Forest is a clever trick, that has been pulled before, it’s just on a slightly larger scale, not confined to a space like the Prison of Elders from House of Wolves in Destiny. It’s doing the same thing though, just changing the facade.

Including all content from Curse of Osiris in the base game might have helped ease some of the end-game pains that the launch brought with it. It’s not too much more to do, but it might have smoothed over a few wrinkles by including that extra content. It would also have made the loot pool larger; maybe Guardians wouldn’t be as frustrated at the limited item sets, lackluster exotics and other cosmetics. Giving more isn’t always the best idea, but in this case, it could have been.

Loot, Loot Gimme the Loot

Destiny 2 did a 180 degree turn with how the loot pool dolled out those sweet, sweet items. Where in Destiny it could feel like pulling teeth just to find an exotic, Destiny 2 was happy to shower Guardians in them with its new reward structure. Like everything else in Destiny 2 though, it couldn’t help but have a slight fault, those exotics every Guardian wants just aren’t… exotic. Exotic items in Destiny had a feel about them because they behaved in a way that was reminiscent of some of the quirkier items to come out of video games (the Cerebral Bore). They weren’t supposed to be godly, but some of the perks had just enough of a twist to make them feel unique. Only one exotic comes to mind in Destiny 2 that shines in this regard, a new grenade launcher titled “The Colony” that was part of the expansion. The other exotics with Curse of Osiris do look to be pushing in the right direction, but like everything else in Destiny 2, only time will tell with how people feel about these new armaments when preforming.

The other side of the loot pool is the now titled “Illuminated Engrams” (previously Bright Engrams) which drop all sorts of cosmetic goodies and sometimes an exotic ship, sparrow or Ghost. Bungie is sticking to their guns with how these engrams function — aside from the debacle of XP gain — a minor complaint comes against it. With so many new cosmetics, mainly shaders, why can’t these items be locked like armor or weapons? Why can’t they be deleted in mass? Having to systemically break-down shaders one by one is tedious and a waste of time. No one wants to sit around and delete 65 bland shaders, “wooo, look how much fun I’m having.”

Speaking of Fun…

Destiny 2 is good at two things: shooting aliens in the face and doing that same thing with friends. Destiny 2 screwed the pooch on players as it’s not only is on three platforms, but those three platforms can totally interact… oh wait, no they can’t. Destiny 2’s lack of cross-play is frustrating for the obvious reasons. Being able to play with friends in an online space is one of the many reasons people play online games and one of the biggest reasons people play Destiny 2. Having Guardians on PS4, Xbox One and PC is great as it means a wider audience, but it sucks when Guardians can’t play with their friends over on either of the other platforms. Much like Kotaku discussed in their latest Splitscreen podcast, this is a great way to tear people apart. Instead of enjoying the raid with all my friends, now I get to hear about how my friends did this without me over on Xbox or PC, or vice-versa, and it doesn’t feel good.

Playing Destiny 2 with others is what makes the game so enjoyable. Destiny 2 may have widened the pool, but everyone must stay in their lanes. Seeing a game like FFXIV pull off cross-play so effortlessly makes one wonder why Bungie couldn’t pull this same move. Part of it has to do with licensing agreements, but dividing Guardians is a sure way to push those same Guardians out. If a group of friends wants to play Destiny 2 together, but they all have different platforms, then why should they play at all? Much of the content in Destiny 2 is built on the idea of social play, even more so than Destiny, it just comes with limiters. Those limits are hurting Destiny 2.

Looking to the Stars.

Where does Destiny 2 go from here? Curse of Osiris, much like previous Destiny DLCs before it, is more of the same. It can barely hold a spotlight on Osiris, who’s supposed to be one of the most important Guardians and it leaves more questions than it answers. Destiny 2 might be in more of a state of flux than Destiny. It wants to appeal to everyone. Casting such a wide net means knots, holes and all sorts of other problems.

It wants to be a sci-fi epic, but also a dedicated “fan’s game.” It wants to welcome in new players, but old systems built in are great for pushing them away. It wants so much, and it can’t focus on what. This can most prominently be seen in the new Raid-lair coming out. Destiny as a series has gained a reputation for world-first completions of its raid, something to be seen as a race. What happens then to those who casually play that might want in on the action? It pushes them away, like everything else in Destiny 2. Why would anyone want to try their hand at the end-game content when it’s advertised as something for the best of the best.

There is one final note to touch on. Destiny 2 has made the same mistake as its predecessor. Introducing a new expansion has now locked out many Guardians from participating in some of the easier end-game content, and if those Guardians don’t pay up, too bad. It perfectly sums up the open arms of the Destiny franchise, while only having room to hold so many. Much like the Infinite Forest, Destiny 2 looks to be in a constant state of flux and can’t quite figure out the right simulation.