Destiny Year Two is now well under way, with the promised changes introduced in The Taken King earning positive feedback in the community. Players have now had the opportunity to test out the new exotic weapons and challenge Oryx in the games biggest raid to date. The best part is that, even though it's been available for approximately a month, players are still discovering new missions and hidden exotics.
Unfortunately, for all of the positive changes, the update hasn't fixed every problem. The Taken King's story and characters were a vast improvement overall, especially compared to the game's launch. However, after the game's initial release in 2014, response to Peter Dinklage's Ghost voicework was overwhelmingly negative. The update saw all of his dialogue replaced by veteran voice actor Nolan North, in hopes of adding more life to the character. If the switch accomplished anything, it was simply to show that the problem with Destiny's dialogue doesn't have much to do with the actors.
Another possible downside to the second year of Destiny is the recently announced addition of microtransactions to the game. With update 2.0.1, Bungie has added a new currency called Silver and reintroduced the merchant Tess Everis to the game. Silver must be purchased with real money, with prices ranging from $4.99 for 500 pieces to $19.99 for 2000 pieces. Players will now be able to purchase 18 different emotes from the merchant, ranging from different dances to throwing a tantrum. The emotes are priced from 200 to 500 Silver.
The developer is gifting all players 400 silver and have stated that the items for sale by Tess Everis are only cosmetic and won't affect the gameplay. However, there's some reason to doubt it will remain that way indefinitely. Destiny publisher Activision previously introduced microtransactions to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare that were cosmetic at first, but eventually introduced purchasable Advanced Supply Drops that included gear for multiplayer matches.
Additionally, Polygon reported that after data-mining Destiny's 2.0.1 patch, a group of Destiny forum members claim to have found a list of consumable goods that Tess Everis will have for sale at a later date. These consumables could be used to increase the drop rate of powerful weapons in the King's Fall raid.
It wasn't long before The Taken King's creative director Luke Smith took to Twitter to deny the possibility (see below). Smith went on to acknowledge that high-level rewards are hard to come by in the game, but indicated that the team is working on a different solution.
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
If the items sold for Silver remain strictly cosmetic, there's no real problem with Bungie and Activision introducing microtransactions to Destiny. They're completely optional and far less egregious than Metal Gear Solid V's recently introduced model. However, if the game follows a route similar to Advanced Warfare, it could potentially damage the game as a whole.
Imagine that the developer were to sell exotic engrams for real world currency. It would not only discourage players from participating in the loot grind that is fundamental to the core game, but it would cause a rift between players who purchase the best guns and those that don't. With an online multiplayer-centric title, the potential damage of microtransactions outweighs potential gains.
Destiny: The Taken King is now available for purchasing.