It’s a big week for Destiny 2, the somewhat besieged sci-fi FPS that I manage to have a great time with despite the fact that it’s got some endgame balance issues. Tomorrow marks the release of Curse of Osiris, the first major content drop since launch by far the largest punctuation mark for a game that’s just beginning what the developer and publisher hopes will be a long and profitable life. Curse of Osiris takes us to Mercury, where the eponymous exiled Guardian is battling an army of demonic Vex robots and has gotten himself into a bit of a pickle in the process. Needless to say, the player character is on board to jet over to Mercury and un-pickle the situation, collecting all the loot he or she can carry in the process.
Curse of Osiris launches tomorrow, December 5. Bungie will be taking the servers down in advance of the actual launch, which the company estimates will take place from 7:00 AM PST to 10:00 AM PST. That’s 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM for us East Coasters, and various other times for everyone else in the world. As in the past, these are estimated times, and so the actual time might be either shorter or longer — it has been both in the past. Once the servers go down, you’ll be able to pre-load the game, which clocks in at 88 GB on PS4, 44 GB on Xbox One, and 68 GB on PC. Depending on how fast your connection is, you might want to start downloading as close to 7:00 AM PST as possible in order to start playing as soon as you can.
Curse of Osiris will go live once the maintenance is finished. That means that Curse of Osiris has a tentative launch time of 10:00 AM PST, though it might go love slightly earlier or later.
Once it goes live, the game will come with a new set of story missions, a new patrol zone, new adventures, new PvP maps, new strikes and new replayable activities called “The Infinite Forest” and the “Raid Lair,” the latter of which promises to provide a fresh take on the Leviathan Raid that we’ve already seen in the base game. After release, Bungie will be releasing a series of quality of life improvements designed to entice hardcore players to stick around a little bit longer: many have been complaining that they’ve been running out of available content much too quickly, and that endgame activities don’t provide the right quality of rewards to keep them playing in between content drops. Combine that general sense of ennui with a fan revolt over hidden nerfs to the XP system that many said were designed to drive players to microtransactions, and you’ve got a game that has to do some real work to get back into the good graces of it’s most committed players.
We’ll see how it all works tomorrow. The stakes are high in the games-as-service era, and Activision has every incentive to set up a cash cow that can produce far into the future. I expect an uphill climb that rights itself sometime around next year’s expansion. Which is pretty much what happened last time around.
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