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Austin Wood

Destiny 2's new $15 "Starter Pack" is a bunch of junk and the last thing the MMO needed right now

Destiny 2 Starter Pack.

Imagine the Destiny 2 community's relief when Bungie quietly released a new "Destiny 2 Starter Pack" that only costs $15. Finally, a straightforward and affordable way to jump into a notoriously hard-to-start MMO! Now imagine the community's disappointment upon realizing it's a bunch of junk that only makes the game's position even worse.

Players spotted the starter pack on Steam following the recent launch of the Season of the Wish, which has taken Destiny 2 back to its Forsaken era with the Ahamkara of the Last Wish raid (and for an extended stay now that The Final Shape has been delayed). 

The pack comes with three Exotics: the Traveler's Chosen sidearm, Ruinous Effigy trace rifle, and Sleeper Simulant linear fusion rifle. You'll also get a cosmetic-only Sparrow hoverbike and space ship, plus an Exotic Ghost shell that offers the most marginal of benefits over readily available non-Exotic shells. (I'm also swimming in Exotic shells, for the record.) Finally, you get 125,000 Glimmer, 50 Enhancement Cores, five Enhancement Prisms, and one Ascendant Shard for upgrading your gear. 

For a variety of reasons, none of this stuff is worth much at all. You can fairly easily unlock all of these old Exotics in-game via the Lost Lights monument, and none of them are great or essential to begin with. Traveler's Chosen loses to other ability-refunding Exotics in the best builds, Ruinous Effigy has been nerfed so hard that it's worthless in any difficult content, and Sleeper Simulant is quite weak without the catalyst that you'll need to unlock through gameplay anyway (and at best a niche pick even with the catalyst). 

The Glimmer is a non-factor since you can just buy a truckload of the stuff from the Cryptarch, and the enhancement materials are kind of nice but equally minor. I'd expect to find this set of materials in my Guardian's pocket after running their armor through the wash. With your one, $15 Ascendant Shard, you can't even upgrade a single piece of Exotic armor, and any Legendary gear you might get early on as a new player won't warrant investing that Shard anyway since it'll inevitably be replaced. 

This is the kind of thing that nobody should buy. It's not even pay-to-win; the power bump this grants you is infinitesimal. It's pay-to-get-nothing-of-value. Nobody would consider buying it unless they've got more money than they know what to do with or they have no idea how the game works. All of these Exotics are easily unlocked for free, and I can get three times as many materials in an hour.

Altogether, it's not a good look for a game that desperately needs an actual starter pack that gives new players an easy and affordable route to current content, and which is already bogged down by ugly, extraneous microtransactions. Look upon the Steam results for Destiny 2 and shrink back in horror:

(Image credit: Bungie / Valve)

This bundle comes just weeks after significant layoffs at Bungie, which were reportedly prompted by the company missing revenue projections by 45%.  

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