Destiny 2 should follow in the footsteps of its predecessor by establishing a system of consistent DLC releases every few months to keep the game fresh and fun, all while Bungie allows themselves opportunities to develop and integrate exciting new changes to the game.
Some folks believe Destiny’s DLC model is deceitful because it only makes major quality-of-life updates and changes to the game when a paid DLC is released, while others find the content to be refreshing and appreciate the lack of a pay-per-month subscription that many MMORPGs require. Regardless, Bungie is excited for its upcoming Curse of Osiris DLC, and so am I.
Over the past few weeks, Bungie has live-streamed its DLC, first showcasing the “New Stories to Tell”, and second showing off the “New Ways to Play.” These streams were about an hour long each, and the developers were open and excited to share the information.
Curse of Osiris is inspired by nostalgia, and guardians from the first Destiny will recognize the gravity of Bungie’s decision to lay their cards on the table in the way that they have, to finally show off one of the most fabled, legendary Guardians of the Destiny universe: the Warlock, Osiris.
Up to this point, not much has been known about Osiris. He was, at one time, a Vanguard of the Tower, until he was exiled (the reasons for which are muddy, hopefully Curse will fill in those story-gaps). It is known that Ikora Rey was a student of his, but they lost touch long ago. I am eager to see the possible interaction between student and teacher, and hope to see a softer, more compassionate side of Ikora in the presence of her old friend.
The other hazy detail we have about Osiris is his strange power to distort, manipulate, and control time. This ability is demonstrated in the DLC announcement trailer (and was elongated in the reveal stream), where Osiris is seen walking through a room of still Vex, as if they are frozen in time.
Curse will introduce a few new playable areas, of most importance the planet Mercury. The aesthetic of this planet is sublime: a hot sun beats down on endless sands, which are only disrupted by massive, unnatural Vex architecture that juts out from the ground, making one curious just how far those structures are lodged into the planet’s core and what they could be used for. Mystery is at the forefront of the Osiris DLC, both in level design and story.
Aside from Mercury, Guardians will be welcomed back to the Lighthouse, known by the flawless guardians of Destiny as a safe haven for sweaty players and a symbol of capability, competence, and power. Previously, the Lighthouse had been closed to the public, a decision made by the devout followers of Osiris who were dedicated to finding and returning their lost prophet, wishing for no distractions from outsiders. But it has recently been reopened, in light of the whispers regarding Osiris' return to civilization. This time, the Lighthouse is a much darker place. Celebration and dominance are themes of the past. The candles don’t flicker as bright, and many areas are closed off to wandering guardians. One can feel a tension in the social space, something in the air — an inescapable feeling of anticipation and apprehension for the return of the mysterious and lost legend of Osiris.
What we will do to find Osiris has not been revealed. However, Bungie showed off many of the new in-game features and activities that will be available across the galaxy, and most have been inspired by exploration into new territories and by community feedback. We will see additions and changes to the already existing planets - Earth, Titan, Nessus, etc. - as well as existing playlists, like Strikes, Raids, and PvP.
This has been described as the biggest and most rewarding Public Event to be included in the game. It will be a multi-phase public event, consisting of various mechanics, like jumping through man cannons, interacting with objects and levers, killing yellow-bars, and dunking orbs. Guardians will travel across Mercury working together to kill gate lords, who will drop orbs and keys that need to be returned to the central area. After doing this multiple times, a massive Vex boss spawns, only to be defeated by the worthy. This reminds me of the Castellum portion of the Leviathan raid, but it differs in that it requires everyone to run and acquire banners.
I’ve been a fan of the new Public Events since the release of Destiny 2, and seeing a change like this, where an event has been scaled to twice or thrice the size of normal public events (in terms of mechanics and objectives required to complete), is satisfying and promising. It is as if Bungie has taken the most fun aspects of both raid mechanics and public events and melded the two together into a lower-stakes group activity, meant for literally the whole planet of Mercury to enjoy in unison.
New strikes will be added to the game and interesting changes have been made here, too. For the first time, there will be solo strikes, meant to be completed as a one-man fireteam. These will be lore-loaded variations of strikes that focus on the campaign and story-telling. These same strikes will be available in the regular strike playlist (meant for three Guardians) but will be less story-oriented.
Another familiar feature that’s been modified is the orange Adventure missions. In the current vanilla state of Destiny 2, the incentive to complete these Adventures is extremely low. In terms of reward, they offer two tokens and a Blue Engram, and only provide a rich experience if you care about lore, side-mission stories, and character interaction. In what I assume to be an effort to raise the stakes on these missions, Bungie has added challenge modifiers (similar to those seen in the strike playlist) as well as the ability to increase the difficulty to heroic. Hopefully, these changes will inspire Guardians to do more of these missions, or at least consider adding them to their daily Guardian to-do list.
One of the most interesting new features coming with Curse is the Infinite Forest. I am unsure of its precise location, but my guess is that it will be accessible through or in the public space of Mercury, similar to the Dark Forest on the EDZ. It could also be its own playlist for your fireteam to complete privately. The Infinite Forest will feature pre-made sections that will change as you progress. In terms of play, they appear to be longer than an adventure but shorter than a strike.
The meaning behind “infinite” in the title is replayability. The area and the encounters are supposed to be different each time you come back to the location, depending on your previous interaction with the area. If you cleared out a Fallen boss the last time you were in the Forest, there may be a new sheriff in town when you return.
The story behind the Infinite Forest is grim. The “Dark Future” is a simulation created by the Vex, showing what it may be like if they won the war and took over the galaxy. It’s an alternate-reality schtick, in which the Vex stick their noses into other possibilities of time and space, but to the Guardians, it’s nothing but another foe to tackle.
These what-if scenarios are played over and over in an infinite loop, and Guardians hurl themselves time and again into the Infinite Forest to quell the evils in potential realities, earning a little loot along the way. Bungie greatly emphasizes that these Infinite Forest missions are not procedurally generated.
Outside of the forest, outside of strikes, adventures, and public events, will be The Lighthouse, where Brother Vance (a familiar face from the Vestian Outpost) can be found, and he is more than eager to talk to you. Brother Vance knows of Osiris’ return — he’s the head honcho of those matters — and he’s called upon you, in various ways, to assist him in finding and calling Osiris home. Vance will be the main NPC you will interact with at The Lighthouse, providing story missions, side missions, and access to the new Forge.
Vance offers “Lost Prophecies” in exchange for Forge access. The Forge is a machine at The Lighthouse that churns out unique, Vex-flavored weapons in exchange for completing Lost Prophecy missions and objectives. Lost Prophecies first need to be acquired, but once this is done, the “quest” will begin. There are specific objectives (which appear to be in riddle form, similar to the Rat King’s Crew riddles) that are to be completed, and, once done, you return to Vance. After, you’ll have access to The Forge, and depending on the activity (or prior activities you have or have not completed), you’ll get a Legendary piece of gear. From what I’ve seen, the Forge guns look awesome, almost like a salvager ripped chunks of machine parts and weaponry off Vex corpses and soldered them onto post-apocalyptic Destiny guns.
The Forge is connected to a large wheel with Vex language written upon it. This wheel will act as some kind of progression tracker for these Forge, Lost Prophecy, and Osiris weapons. Some activities, like the completion of the Leviathan raid, story mode, or certain adventures, may yield rewards from the Forge or Wheel. I think of the Age of Triumph record book from the first Destiny, where rewards would be given to players who have completed worthy, cumulative activities, across the time they’ve spent playing.
This feature excites me, because it offers a bit more goal for the grind and reward for my time spent. The completionist in me is ready to tear into that wheel and light up every circle on there. December 5 can’t come soon enough.
The next piece of information is troublesome. Raids are my favorite aspect of Destiny. I find them challenging, well-made, and fascinating to think about. I’ll often find myself driving along in my car, daydreaming about raid strategies, silly times, or triumphant moments across my raiding career. Yet I’ve not heard, nor seen, nor discovered any hints on a new raid. There has been mention of a “Raid Lair” feature being added, but there has been no mention of a new raid.
Could this be a strategic decision? Bungie likes to keep a tight lip, especially when it comes to one of the most highly anticipated features in their game. My fear is that they will simply add to the existing Leviathan raid instead of offering a brand new space to play. I’d like to uncover the raid-related mysteries underneath the surface of Mercury, because I know the Vex are up to something. My fingers are crossed that Bungie is keeping a second raid hidden from the public eye in order to stir up a bit of tension and excitement, all for that big reveal moment when we log into Destiny 2 on December 5 and see the surprise.
But I’m being optimistic. The reality is, Raid Lairs will be added, and a second raid may come later down the line, but, as of now, there’s no promise of that. It can’t be ignored, though, that Expansion 1 for Destiny included the Crota’s End raid, and, as we’ve seen thus far, Destiny 2 is following in the footsteps of its predecessor.
Let’s hope for a surprise, huh?
Raid Lairs will be alternative puzzles or encounters for the existing Leviathan raid. As we’ve come to know, the Leviathan ship is a massive entity, with much hidden away and much to be discovered. I suspect that the Raid Lairs will be in new areas of the ship that may have been hidden in plain sight this whole time. Maybe they’ll be inaccessible from the existing Leviathan, only able to be launched from a private playlist or from orbit. Either way, I do look forward to these new rooms. I was impressed by the complexity of the Leviathan’s existing mechanics, and I am excited to see what other challenges Calus has in store for his chosen ones.
All in all, the Curse of Osiris is an exciting addition to Destiny 2, which will uncover the dust of old secrets and fabled legends, as well as introduce players to new worlds, new faces, and new mysteries to solve. Where and why has Osiris gone? What are the Vex doing on Mercury, and why are they so concerned with alternate realities? What rewards will the Forge bestow upon us? Will we be worthy of the light that Osiris carries? Will he ally himself with our causes, or was he exiled for good reason?
Curse of Osiris will be available December 5 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Bungie had intended to host a third stream, detailing the new kinds of gear players would encounter in The Curse of Osiris, but the stream was cancelled to be replaced with a blog post intended to "deliver some higher priority information about Destiny 2." Some believe Bungie will address community dissatisfaction, or recent hotfixes made to the game. Either way, stay tuned to GameLuster for updates on this cancellation and blog-post development.
Still images taken from Bungie's streams, save the last one, as noted.