The Destiny 2.0.1 update released Tuesday added the first microtransactions to the PlayStation and Xbox game. While the initial batch of goods purchased with real-world money is initially limited to emotes such as “The Carlton” dance, players discovered various boosts in the games files at the same time. Bungie Creative Director Luke Smith addressed concerns about the boosters, but didn’t quite give a complete clarification.
The data miners at Destiny Tracker found three items that give boosts to drops during the King’s Fall Raid and a fourth that makes maxing out a subclass quicker. Indomitable Light and Valorous Light increases the likelihood of weapon and armor drops from the Raid. Meanwhile, the Heuristic Light grants an additional Moldering Shard from beating each of the bosses in the Raid. Finally, Subclass Infusion will fully level out a subclass.
Are these clues that Bungie plans to add boosters to Destiny for players to purchase with the new Silver currency? Bungie’s Smith says not at all with this Twitter post.
We aren’t (nor are we planning) on selling consumables that buff King’s Fall drop rates for Silver.
— Luke Smith (@thislukesmith) October 14, 2015
He later followed up that statement with a post on NeoGAF that gives more details.
“The Valorous/Heuristic/Indomitable Light were Three of Coins-like buffs sold by the Speaker for Motes+Planetary Materials (I honestly don’t remember exactly what they cost, [but it was never Silver] I can’t keep the entire economy in my head) but for a variety of bug-related reasons they were removed. They were also — as has been pointed out — in the data files before TTK shipped,” the Destiny Creative Director explained.
So, all the Raid boost items were originally planned to be items sold at the speaker using the in-game economy and not real-world money. The fact that they are still in the game files are not really an indication of anything, as unused assets are often left in the code anyways.
The Destiny community has been quick to point out that Smith’s comments do not cover the Subclass Infusion item, however. The Taken King launched with a single Spark of Light consumable, given to every owner of the game. This allowed them to immediately boost one character to level 25 so the expansion could be played immediately with friends.
The Subclass Infusion consumable does come across as an item that would be sold via microtransaction. These kind of level boosters have become common with massively multiplayer online games, such as World of Warcraft, especially after they’ve increased the level cap to seemingly unattainable heights to new players. It would lessen the overall grind of the game, but at what cost?
Bungie’s response to the community response over Raid booster items makes it easy to believe consumable items like those will never be sold for hard cash. The non-response to Subclass Infusion, meanwhile, still leaves the door open to players being able to purchase subclass character boosts sometime in the future.
As a reminder, the current microtransactions supported by Destiny are limited to emotes purchased from the Eververse Trading Company, located in the Tower. The Rare emotes cost 400 Silver each, while Legendary emotes cost 500 Silver. Incidentally, Bungie gave all Destiny players 400 Silver to start off with, while the currency sells for $4.99 for 500 pieces on the PlayStation Store and Xbox Store to start with, and go up from there.
While Bungie hasn’t officially announced it yet, the introduction of microtransaction is reportedly an experiment to determine if future Destiny downloadable content and expansions can be released for free. That explains the lack of a Season Pass announcement, or any DLC details, with the release of The Taken King. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see how that works.
[Images via Bungie]