Gamescom brought a substantial amount of new info about Destiny, including new trailers and interviews. Still, with the all of the new boundaries that Destiny is pushing, Bungie has many questions left to answer. One of the subjects they have been talking more about are their earliest expansions, which are already available for pre-order and bundled with some editions of the game.
The Dark Below
The Dark Below is the first of the two DLCs announced for Destiny, the other being The House of Wolves. They are $19.99 individually or found together in the expansion pass, available for $34.99 or with any of the special editions available for pre-order.
According to its description:
In The Dark Below, you’ll discover an ancient tomb has been unsealed. Beneath the surface of the Moon, a dark god has answered centuries of prayer, and a dark army has risen. Explore the true depths of the Hellmouth. Stop the dark Hive ritual and survive.
We now know The Dark Below will release in December and bring with it a host of new activities and it’s own storyline. In a recent interview with Joystiq, Director of production, Jonty Barnes tells us,
The Dark Below is actually a really interesting expansion; it’s got its own story. We call it an expansion because it has one of all the activity types from Destiny, so it’s story, strike and beyond – and competitive and cooperative experiences in there. As well as new gear, new armor, new weapons and everything else. Some of that attaches to existing places that you’re familiar to, so you might find that as you’re going through new areas, that you actually collide with players who are just playing the existing Destiny content. You’ll have those collisions. We always want to create spaces where people can get together and cooperate, and we feel like that is a big innovation in Destiny.
This tells us much, but leaves some questions unanswered. It even raises a few, such as: Does “one of ALL the activity types” mean a new raid? I’ll have my fingers crossed, but that’s a discussion for another time. Today, I’d like to address something that I’ve managed to find some answers for.
What about my stuff?
Along with the new activities, Barnes also mentions The Dark Below has “new gear, new armor, new weapons and everything else.” With all of these new activities and items, how do the DLC, limited edition, and preorder bonuses work with the ability to move between generations?
Before the beta launched, we knew that Xbox Guardians wouldn’t play in the same world as PlayStation Guardians and that last-gen gamers wouldn’t be competing against next-gen gamers. We also knew that players were going to be able to at least move their last-gen characters with them when they moved up to next-gen but we had little detail regarding this. When the beta launched many were delighted to find that the process was extremely fluid and one could simply log off of one generation and back onto another; Guardian, level, gear, and story progress all intact.
More Questions Than Answers
The next question this raises is how this will apply to the DLC, limited edition, and pre-order bonuses. Initially, the only information available was that the DLC is not cross-platform. How would this work though, with the ability to jump between the two generations?
Here’s the scenario: You redeem the DLC, Limited Edition, and pre-order codes on your PS3. Then you load into Destiny on your PS3, equip your exclusive items, scrap everything else, and proceed to switch consoles. What happens to those items? What will your character have equipped? If you have bounties, or the like, active from the DLC are they visible? Are the new map points available? Will you have access to the Vanguard Armory?
A Guardian Doesn’t Give Up the Hunt
With a little digging, I was able to get some clearer answers on these questions. I’ve been told by multiple PlayStation reps that during a closed doors meeting about Destiny, it was revealed that, although DLC and the like will officially not be cross-platform, this would not apply to items and equipment, which will travel between systems with you. All equipable items, such as the exclusive pre-order Sparrow from Gamestop, or things that affect your character, such as ranking with the Vanguard Armory, will all transfer with your Guardian. The only things that won’t be accessible on both systems will be the new areas and story content unlocked by the DLC. It is unknown, though, how DLC missions in-progress or unredeemed DLC mission rewards are handled in these scenarios. I, like those PlayStation reps during their meeting, was cautioned that this was preliminary information and anything could be changed by Bungie before release. At least two of the reps were very confident that this is the way it will remain for launch, with a third refusing to personally speculate. We won’t be absolutely certain until launch, or Bungie makes an official release.
Thoughts From On Top of the Tower
To me, these answers make sense and seem a very likely course of action for Bungie to take. While I would love for the DLC to be cross-platform, the full game isn’t and I didn’t expect the DLC to be. The gear is a different story. One of the main points of Destiny is your Guardian with their achievements exhibited by their unique gear. It wouldn’t be very legendary to have to ditch all of your favorite things when you change systems, you might as well have started a new character.
What do you think? Should Destiny DLC be completely cross-platform or is this plan good enough? Would more people be willing to buy both a next and last-gen copy of Destiny to play with all of their friends if their DLC purchases were cross-platform? Would this affect how you play or buy Destiny? Leave your opinion in the comments below.