Bungie is releasing a new expansion for Destiny 2 next month, called Shadowkeep along with a free update called New Light. Shadowkeep brings back the return of fan-favorite character Eris Morn and, like most Destiny expansions, will increase the power-level cap, introduce new quests, gear, raids, and content seasons.
However, the more interesting news is the free update New Light which appears to take Destiny 2 from the more traditional the live-service model into the free-to-play space. Of course, since the news is coming from Bungie themselves, the free version of Destiny 2 could be anything from a free loot-shooter to a super cut-back version of the base game.
All we really know about New Light can be summed up easily: its a free version of Destiny 2 that will include some game modes, cooperative quests, and end-game “activities.” Bungie describes the free version much the same way that they described the sequel before it launched two years ago, however, there are some clues buried in all the Bungie-speak. New Light will include Legendary and Exotic tier weapons, armour, and gear. It will include PvP modes, plus the PvP/PvE hybrid Gambit mode, and provides access to the Destiny 2 matchmaking system. New Light will include all Year 1 Legendary and Exotic tier weapons, armour, and gear along with the base game campaign “The Red War,” plus the “Warmind” and “Legend of Osiris” expansions. It will also include several PvP modes like the Nightfall playlist, plus the PvP/PvE hybrid Gambit mode, and provides access to the Destiny 2 matchmaking system.
The thing is, Destiny 2 would make a good free-to-play loot-shooter. The game franchise already puts a huge focus on gear, co-op, and character customization. The trouble with D2 is the drop-rate. Loot-shooters, traditionally, do not require huge amounts of grinding for weapons and gear. Destiny and its sequel have always been more like traditional RPGs in that sense though the RNG system for Destiny lacks some of the specificity needed to make the weapons and gear truly farmable. Which could provide trouble for Bungie when they transition to the free-to-play space.
Now, technically, Destiny 2 is already a loot-shooter in the broadest sense. It requires players to work in teams to shoot down bosses in order to get better gear. However, the execution has always been more of a hybrid MMO, leaving a lot to be desired. New Light could change that because it will be a restricted version of the game, though we don’t know what restrictions those will be. However, it will provide Bungie with another chance to make Destiny 2 the biggest in the co-op shooter world.