Yesterday it was announced that Destiny would be receiving microtransactions. You all remember Tess Everis right? The shop that seemed pretty useless except for when you accidentally scrapped one of your bonus emblems or sparrows? Well she’s coming back and selling some sweet dance moves to anyone who’s willing to buy them. It will all be distributed via a new shop called Eververse Trading Company that only deals in Silver, a currency that requires real life money to obtain. Naturally, many Destiny fans are a bit upset over this news.
Many gamers often have an immediate and negative reaction whenever they hear the word microtransaction used in conjunction with a full priced retail title. Destiny was $60 at launch, and has since released $80 worth of DLC. Some are still reeling over the fact that the latest Destiny expansion, The Taken King, was a whopping $40, almost the cost of an entire new game. It’s easy to see how fans may feel like Bungie has gone too far. But, this may not be a bad thing at all.
For starters, these microtransactions are fully optional and do not alter the gameplay at all, something that the developers were very keen on emphasizing in their announcement. Whatever emotes, emblems, or other cosmetic items you may purchase from the Eververse Trading Company will not make you a better player, make strikes easier, or make Oryx any less frightening. These are purely for fun, and to make yourself stand out a bit among the millions of guardians roaming the galaxy at any given time.
It’s the reason for these microtransactions that hint towards their presence in Destiny being a rather good addition. DeeJ mentioned in his post that:
“Our plan is to use these new items to bolster the service provided by our live team for another full year, as they grow and create more robust and engaging events that we’ll announce later this year. It has been, and continues to be, our goal to deliver updates to the game. Going forward, our live team is also looking to grow beyond vital updates and improvements to focus on world events, experiences, and feature requests.”
Remember how when Destiny first came out we had the Queen’s Wrath event? New missions and targets to hunt down in order to obtain new exclusive gear through PvE activities? While they eventually made it so you couldn’t shard the legendaries for the highly coveted materials they offered, it was still a neat addition. One that honestly didn’t happen often enough. Sure there is the Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris mixing things up for the PvP crowd, but even that is pretty much just the same stuff every time.
By the sound of Bungie’s official announcement the developers want to expand on all of these additional, timed experiences. They want to provide activities and features that add life to Destiny as it slowly becomes more of the MMO many initially thought it would be. The best part is that is seems like they don’t want to charge everyone for this extra content. These will be part of the free content patches/updates such as the ones that nerfed some of our favorite weapons (I will never shard you Gjallarhorn, never).
More world events, addressing feature requests (sparrow races anyone?), and providing an overall tighter experience, will make Destiny’s planets more lively spaces. A constant cycle of enemy spawns just doesn’t cut it, so these approaches are a much needed step in the right direction.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this isn’t exactly anything new to online games. While Destiny isn’t your typical MMO, it’s often mentioned as a lighter version of one. Many games of the genre use a cosmetic only shop to bolster income that can be used for interesting updates, events, and whatever else the game may need. Games on different ends of the MMO spectrum such as Phantasy Star Online 2 and Final Fantasy XIV, both utilize real money shops for cosmetic items in order provide the option to players who want that kind of stuff, as well to improve the game world.
These microtransactions seem like they’re for a very good cause at the moment, and deserve a chance. As long as the devs keep their word and keep any skill altering gizmos out of the store’s inventory this is a win-win for everyone. Those who want to will be able to purchase all of the wacky dances, shaders, emblems, and whatever else they throw into the market, and those who feel no need to add extra funds to the dev team’s coffers will still be able to enjoy the free updates and additions.
Yes it’s an odd way of doing things after paying so much for Destiny already, but it is no secret that game development isn’t cheap. The fact that they’re going the completely optional route while still not barring anyone access from future content is commendable. Bungie has tried a lot of things with Destiny over the past year and they’ve learned to adapt to the fanbase’s wants and needs. So giving the microtransactions a shot isn’t horrible. Like with most things in Destiny, if it’s bad for the overall experience we won’t have to put up with it for long.
Are you intrigued by the prospect of free content? Thinking of trying out some new dance moves for your guardian? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
As always, safe travels, guardian.