‘Destiny’ The Dark Below Blocks Weekly Nightfall / Heroic Strikes, Upsetting Non-DLC Players [Update]

The Dark Below expansion launched for Destiny early Tuesday morning and left an unwelcome surprise for PlayStation and Xbox owners that did not drop money on it. Some of the activities and rewards in the shooter are locked out this week if you didn’t purchase the expansion. This has understandably upset many in the Destiny community.

Update: An Activision representative sent a note to Game Informer confirming that the Weekly Nightfall and Heroic activities will occasionally feature the Strike from The Dark Below. When that happens, those that don’t own the DLC will not have access to those activities.

“All existing strikes and maps are still accessible. Specific activities like nightfall will periodically feature expansion 1 content on the week the newest content is live,” Activision explained. “New public events, updated weapons and gear, new bounties, and of course the steady stream of updates are all available without additional cost to all players.”

Original Story:

After already upsetting some Destiny owners with the new upgrade grind, the latest setback started because Bungie naturally wanted to feature The Will of Crota Strike in the Nightly and Weekly Heroic Strike playlists. The problem with this is that the developer did not leave an alternative Strike in place for those that did not purchase The Dark Below.

Splitting the user base with the release of new DLC is always a concern for developers. That’s why they typically set up different playlists for those that have purchased the add-ons so that DLC owners gain access to the new content and non-DLC owners can still play the game they already own uninterrupted.

Destiny - The Dark Below Weekly Heroic (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360)

This move by Bungie essentially sets up a situation where everyone who hasn’t bought The Dark Below cannot play the Weekly Nightfall or Heroic Strikes every sixth week. If not corrected for The House of Wolves expansion that will add another Strike, it means that non-DLC owners will not be able to play either the Weekly Nightfall or Heroic Strike two out of every seven weeks.

Additionally, it appears that the new level 26 Strike playlist is currently inaccessible to those who do not own the DLC.

It is a truly bizarre setup by Bungie and I honestly don’t know how why they didn’t communicate these plans prior to release. Additionally, I don’t understand how they could have considered this as the solution to implement without getting a significant amount of pushback.

Not having access to the Nightfall Strike prevents players from gaining an experience boost and picking up a Legendary item. Not being able to play the Weekly Heroic means that players will not be able to earn the Strange Coins needed to purchase Exotic gear from Xur. Not having access to the new level 26 playlist prevents the ability to receive engram awards.

This impedes player progress in the game and existing Destiny owners who did not purchase The Dark Below are understandably livid. Destiny owners in the Destiny sub-Reddit, Bungie forums, NeoGAF, and Twitter are all voicing their complaints with Bungie’s move to not offer a Weekly Nightfall or Heroic Strike to those that did not purchase the DLC.

@Bungie I feel like I just spent $60 on your game #Destiny. Now I have to spend more money on the DLC to even be able to level my armor?

— Lauren (@laurensmackho) December 9, 2014

Bungie has yet to respond to these complaints by Destiny owners. I will provide an update when they do.

What do you think of non-DLC owners not being able to access the Destiny Weekly Nightfall or Heroic Strikes whenever the DLC Strike is in rotation? Sound off in the comments.

[Images via Bungie, VG247]