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Destiny 2 Can’t Justify Locking Witch Queen Dungeons Behind Paywall

Recent clarification on Destiny 2’s Witch Queen expansion and new dungeons has many players in the community outraged and disheartened. The dungeons have been listed as part of the content included in the Witch Queen deluxe edition since its announcement on August 24. Many players assumed that, while the dungeons wouldn’t be part of the content they receive in the standard edition, they’d be able to acquire them with the Witch Queen’s Seasons. The clarification from Bungie’s Lead Community Manager, Chris “Cozmo” Shannon, let players know that this is not the case.

Bungie will not be including the two new dungeons inside the content package of the standard Witch Queen expansion. There are three different bundles that have been available for pre-order that contain Destiny 2 Year 5 content. The Witch Queen Standard only includes the expansion, while the deluxe includes the expansion, the four seasonal passes, and the two new dungeons. The third content package includes everything the deluxe addition has in addition to the 30th Anniversary gear and dungeon that launches in December 2021.

Related: Destiny 2: Which Classic Raid Bungie Should Bring Back

Similar to when Destiny 3 was trending on Twitter, outrage over the new dungeons coming to Destiny 2 isn’t particularly for the paywall, but rather for a few things that have been cleared up or announced recently. For full context, Cozmo said:

“If you get the Digital Deluxe Edition of The Witch Queen you will receive the expansion, all four Seasons for the next year, and the two Dungeons. If you get the Standard Edition, you can still upgrade to the Deluxe Edition to get the dungeons later. We will also be offering a separate way for you to purchase the Dungeons in the future, but they will not be included in the Season passes. We will share more info on this closer to when this content is set to go live.”

Why Destiny 2’s Witch Queen Dungeons Are Locked Behind A Paywall

Destiny 2 Witch Queen Expansion Darkness Subclass Corruption

Cozmo did clear up a few questions but also raised some more concerns with his statement, and these new concerns are causing more confusion or frustration than before. Broken down, the standard edition of the Witch Queen expansion story experience is priced at $40, and, assuming season pass prices are left unchanged, each of the four seasons will cost $10 each. That’s a total of $80, which is exactly what the deluxe edition of the Witch Queen costs, but buying the standard edition and all four seasons separately does not include the two new dungeons.

There isn’t any new information here, and Bungie isn’t doubling back on what was previously said. Unfortunately, that doesn’t justify that Bungie appears to be hard-selling and prioritizing the deluxe edition of Witch Queen over the standard. One of Destiny 2’s common complaints is that so much of the game is already locked behind a paywall, and now this increased separation of standard vs deluxe content package makes it feel like Bungie’s decisions are a bit artificial and financially motivated – particularly because the price of the dungeons hasn’t been announced yet. It would have been nice to have a bit more clarity during the Witch Queen expansion reveal.

It’s probably safe to assume that buying the standard edition of Witch Queen, all four season passes, and the two dungeons separately are going to cost at least as much as buying the 30th Anniversary edition, which is priced at $100 and includes all of that content and more. As far as cost is concerned, the Destiny 2 community is unlikely to be shocked that everything is going to cost so much. This has been the norm for seasonal-structured games for more than half a decade now, but it’s the secrecy behind dungeon price tags that is a bit concerning.

Related: How Destiny 2’s Legacy Raid Rotation System Will Work

Although the Witch Queen expansion release date is in 2022, not everyone is in a position where they can afford to purchase full content packages year after year, and it would be nice to know how much the dungeons are going to cost separately so people have an opportunity to anticipate what the content will cost them (and make more informed purchasing decisions as a result). It’s unlikely that the price for the standard edition and the two dungeons is going to cost more than the deluxe edition, but it’s safe to assume it will likely be priced in the $60-$80 range.

Destiny 2 Can’t Justify The Witch Queen Dungeon Paywall & Vaulting Forsaken

Cozmo’s clarification comes off the heels of fans receiving news that the Forsaken expansion campaign, as well as the Tangled Shore, are going to be vaulted to make room for the Witch Queen expansion. This is probably why receiving clarification on information that was already out there stings a bit more than it would have had more people been aware of the Witch Queen editions from the start, but with Forsaken’s vault news for Witch Queen, there’s no getting around how much it will sting for many. Destiny 2 is going to lose its third DLC since its launch in addition to losing the content from the base game.

To find some middle ground between Bungie and the community, Forsaken’s news might even have gone down a bit better if veterans were better rewarded for their dedication over the past five years. For example, if those who owned the Forsaken expansion, before it becomes free-to-play for a short time, were guaranteed the Witch Queen dungeons when the Witch Queen expansion is released, the general community might see some reward for loyalty and be more understanding about the decision, rather than being forced to contend with the fact that the prices for the dungeons has gone without reveal.

The silver lining in all of this is that Cozmo did say players can upgrade from the standard edition to the deluxe edition later, so there has to be a comprehensive price plan for what the dungeons will cost on their own. However, this availability has a slight undertone about it that reads, “buying the standard edition and dungeons separately is close enough to the price of the Witch Queen deluxe edition, so why not buy the deluxe edition anyways?” Additionally, veterans won’t fully go without being rewarded for owning Forsaken before its vaulted.

Another silver lining is that Bungie will release a new “Forsaken Pack” on December 7 when the expansion becomes free-to-play. This is a standalone DLC that contains the Last Wish raid, the Shattered Throne dungeon, and the Exotic gear from the DLC. The pack will be free for players who already own Forsaken when it’s vaulted. It also comes with three Exotic Forsaken Ciphers which can be redeemed for any Forsaken Exotics excluding Pinnacle Exotics like One Thousand Voices. This will also be a free pack for those who already own Forsaken, and the Forsaken Ciphers will become Ascendant Shards for anyone who already has every applicable Forsaken Exotic. But even with all that, it feels like it may be too little, too late for many Destiny 2 fans.

Next: Destiny 2’s Witch Queen Expansion Should Bring A Corruption Subclass

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