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How Destiny’s DLC divided two friends

It is no secret that Destiny is tons of fun if you have someone along for the ride.

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Destiny

I realized that from my experience with the game, which I largely shared with my friend whom we will call Mr. Bubbles. Upon the game’s release when he got his White PlayStation 4 bundle (I’m just a wee bit jealous), we both jumped into the game’s single-player separately, only to reach level 20 and from there become almost permanent fireteam mates.

He would be my ultimate Destiny Wiki: briefing me on how the Light on the armor works, which exotic weapons are worth getting from Xur, which Vanguard Auto Rifle is best-suited to my play-style and so on.

We would discuss how Eva Levante has no worthwhile shaders, how Motes of Light are insignificant but then run off to the Speaker to discuss which cosmetic class item (which costs 25 Motes of Light) looks best on my Hunter (Answer: Legend of Six Coyotes).

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I learned how the 77 Wizard was the ultimate Fusion Rifle until Plan-C came around and how it was my biggest mistake of 2014 to buy an Emerald Coil Sparrow upgrade from Xur for 25 Strange Coins.

We would alternate between Strikes and PvP, while occasionally aid one another’s struggle with the Exotic Bounties (Damn you Xyor! Y U NO spawn?). Also, Destiny’s production values made for a much smoother experience. For instance the Fireteam management was neat, the interface was excellent and the dedicated servers helped streamline the experience considerably; which was something I was worried about, given my internet connection’s crapiness and inability to even run a decent online match of Super Street Fighter 4.

For me personally it was the conceit of playing with a fellow Guardian that made me persevere through the grindy bits. So much so that we both even began our second characters, took them to Level 26 and would run the Weekly and Nightfall twice a week; helping each others’ under-leveled characters get through, with an exotic item and those extra 9 strange coins waiting on the other side. Mr. Bubbles even started a third character: A Hunter (after a level 30 Titan and a level 28 Warlock).

Destiny

Hurrah for Mythoclast, Hurrah for no headshots, Crucible here he comes.

Even though Destiny’s fireteams are a three player thing, we two would happily tough-it-out and occasionally in the thick of things, we would be clamoring to send a PSN invite to a third player amidst the hoards of enemies. It was liberating. We followed an understood almost implicit timeframe wherein despite the time difference we would both be synonymously live on our PlayStation 4s and whenever we found each other online one of us could create a party, quit our Lords of the Fallens and our Evil Withins to play Destiny together. The Daily had us coming back for the Ascendant materials, the Bounties had us patrolling Earth while farming Spinmetal and the Tuesday resets of Weekly and Nightfall always got us excited with its lightswitch challenge and elemental damage modifiers. All so exciting.

Alas! That excitement exists no more. Since the Destiny’s first expansion: The Dark Below released, we have barely played Destiny together. What exactly has changed? While he has access to the DLC, I decided not get the Dark Below or the expansion pass and I stuck to the base game. At one point, I even contemplated getting it. That’s coming from a person who never ever buys season or expansion passes, but also from the person who poured in over 90 hours into vanilla Destiny.

Destiny

When we paid our respects at the loot cave

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There were many contributing factors to this decision. On the PSN store of my choice (India) the expansion pass costs more than a full-priced day one PlayStation 3 game and a little under a full-priced day one PlayStation 4 game. Quiet conveniently the PlayStation 4 lets you share games via Game Sharing (by switching primary console status with a friend; which the two of us have actually done). But the same does not apply to the Destiny DLC, which comes patched to the main game for all players and buying the DLC acts like a permission/license (not a download) which is strictly tied to a single account.

Even though the high price of the DLC is a matter of contention, in reality it’s really beside the point. I am not into Destiny for the value it purports – its surely is grindy, but its also a well-polished brilliantly functioning FPS, a definite contender for my GOTY – I am in it for the ‘story’.

Now, hold on there. Hear me out. People say there is no story in Destiny. I argue the stories in Destiny are the ones you make with your fellow Guardians. Like that one time when you paid the three Hive majors on Earth a visit for an easy bounty and a random player was being a total douche by sitting dead centre in the room where the majors spawn. So you did the only logical thing: You with your fireteam tried to melee that troll out of the room, making room (pun intended) for the Hive. Or that time when you being a Sunsinger were tasked to rescue the team in the Phogoth Weekly but you completely didn’t use your Radiance when your team was wiped, for you were busy talking to your dad (the Sunsinger was me by the way, what a douche, I know!). We still laugh about it from time to time.

Get ready for some Destiny Dancing!

Get ready for some Destiny Dancing!

So how does the DLC change the way we play? For the opening week, I could access neither the ‘Weekly’ nor the ‘Nightfall’. As I heard from him it was probably the toughest Weekly for him so far (maybe because my Sunsinger wasn’t there for the rescue *nudge nudge). Missing two of the major events in Destiny – that actually brought me back to the game after its first month – made me reconsider my stance on Destiny.  Should I continue playing the game (a difficult question to answer); Should I just try for the Level 30 gear now (a relatively easy question) will I feel left out of the race for Level 32 (I knew the answer already).

I know the Weekly and Nightfall strikes will be reverted back to the original Strikes now and then but it will all be different now. Occasionally these events would want to feature the new DLC Strike to satisfy the expansion buyers, which is understandable. But as for the basic game, my friend would be farming for the new DLC upgrade material (radiant shards and energy), he may be running Erin – the new NPC’s – bounties.  The worst part of it all: I cannot help him do any of it.

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For fun’s sake we even did a little experiment. After inviting him to my fireteam and making him the team leader, I suggested he begins one of the DLC missions. Naturally it did not start. On his end he got an error that not all fireteam members own the DLC. But on my end the game suspended and opened the PS store with DLC already put my cart and a button asking me to “Add Funds”. That’s not just greedy, it’s rude!

Destiny-PSN

Previously, we could count on each other for any help we needed, with a strike, a bounty, the daily or the Raid. Now he is bound to look elsewhere, visit destinylfg for potential raiders and play with complete strangers maybe. Occasionally I would find him online on PSN patrolling Earth, maybe going about killing Crota’s minions with the sword, while I keep up the show of being the Herald of Andraste in Dragon Age: Inquistion.

Destiny

It’s better together.

Maybe Far Cry 4’s co-op will be our solution which we both look forward to, or maybe some disruptive changes to Destiny that smooth it out for the existing players while catering to the new comers. Concerns also arise thinking of the next expansion – House of Wolves – due in the coming months that might bring another level of complexity to the friendly equation. Anyhow, I hope Mr. Bubbles’ Hunter reaches Level 30 soon, Shame that it is something not entirely in his hands. It partially depends on what new changes Bungie makes to the game I ‘used to’ love.


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Monish is a lover of all things complex: RPGs, Fighting Games, puzzles, skill trees, combo setups, time-limits, roguelikes, languages and alternative music. I write well – or so I am told – so read away.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Matthew Schlotman

    18th December 2014 at 3:47 am

    cry me a river, buddy

    • alex porter

      19th May 2015 at 1:48 pm

      Im sorry to hear that I just felt like I should put my story here as a convienence,
      I purchased destiny as digital download and then bought dlc day one, In that time I desperatly tried to have someone sign in to any ps4 just so I could be eligeable for the free upgrade,
      so a while after dlc 1 my dad uses my account on his ps3 to download the digital copy of the game and the dlc and it works fine for him the only thing he missed was the sparrow idk y. He never had an issue playing on ps3 except for the day he downloaded it it gave him a hard time so he uninstalled reinstalled and it works, so then about a mpnth ago my dad got a ps4 and used my name to download the game and the dlc, so maybe the fact its a digital download or maybe because his ps4 is my accounts primary ps4 he was able to play all of the current content on ps3 and ps4 and on ps3 we both play at the same time often helping each other with nightfalls etc. Oddly enough though I dont have ps plus I was able to play all content on 2 different ps4s both of which had a profile that did have play station plus. So for those who stayed with me my dad has purchased the dlc 2 yesterdayon ps3 and the update will be later today so im hoping that having his account on my ps3 and downloading the expansion we will botn have access to all the current content on 3 different systems, for only $100, 60 for day one digital download ,20 for dlc 1 and 20 for dlc 2, (pplus ps plus "iI dont know the cost of that") so anyway I hope my steps my give you some insight as to why it worked for me but not yourself, and as a quick note I just want to say that everything I did was perfectly legal, it is part of ps3 terms that you can have 2 active ps3 consoles and redownloading the game and dlc to my dads console is fine that is what the ps3 is intended to do, xbox license sharing is a similar method but more complicated, hope this helps ill repost in 5 hours to let everyone know if I was able to use my dads dlc 2 to play on my ps3 or if I had to buymit myself (tthank heavens I have 20 bucks laying around just incase

      • Monish Khemani

        19th May 2015 at 4:25 pm

        I often get a reaction: “is sharing PlayStation games legal?”. It perfectly is, Sony provides detailed tutorials as to how to do it. So what you did, Sony expects you to.

        As for sharing the Destiny stuff, what I figured is it all needs to be digital purchases for it to be traded entirely, my friend and I both had physical discs and he bought the expansion digitally. Sadly we both started on the PS4, so didn’t upgrade from PS3>PS4. I greatly appreciate your input tho.

  2. vega480

    18th December 2014 at 6:10 am

    Strange, I bought one copy for the PS3, the digital guardian edition, installed to both my systems. This also allowed me to grab the digital version for my PS4 as well for free, installed on both my PS4s, I can play with my wife in the DLC. Both PS4 and PS3 work, one price 4 systems installed.

    • Monish Khemani

      18th December 2014 at 7:39 am

      Now that I think about it, you made the wisest choice when sharing Destiny. Because not only does the PlayStation 3 lets you share the game with two other accounts (on the PS4 it’s restricted to just one), it doesn’t differentiate between the Buyer and secondary User status. So on the PS3 it would seem that both of you have bought the game instead of sharing, which directly translates to your PS4s which understands that you both bought the game. Nice!

      Alas we both were on the disc-based version of the game. but really sharing is besides the point.

      Because I would hope we could play the base game even if one of us doesn’t have the DLC, Yes? Like The Last of Us Multiplayer for instance; if your friend bought the new special executions DLC it shouldn’t affect the way he plays the base game with his non-DLC owning friends.

  3. Riley Freeman

    18th December 2014 at 6:44 am

    i have friends in the same situation. You might as well sell the game if you are not going to buy the DLC. They have rendered the game pretty much useless for those that dont buy it.

    I was able to convince most of my friends to buy it and dont have this problem with my main fireteam. I weekly strike featuring omnigul is the most annoying strike. That title was previously held by summoning pits and sure enough summoning pits followed. They both take a lonnnnnnnnnnng ass time to complete and require patience.

    it sucks to have to pay more for additional gameplay but destiny is one of the few games that you can play with a friend beginning to end (something ALL games need to do).

    money comes and goes. its fun and addictive. The new raid is way better too. buy it

  4. Claudiu

    18th December 2014 at 1:30 pm

    You can use game sharing on Destiny PS4, I do the same thing with my buddy.. Just activate his account on your PS4 and you’re good to go..

  5. Doc

    6th May 2015 at 2:07 pm

    I had use my brother’s DLC and its working, setting my ps4 as his primary account and then logout his account from PsN and create a password so it never do auto login.

    But its not working anymore Lately after the last 6GB update. it keep having issue with login to destiny server was rejected due to multiple logon. I think bungie want to stop the DLc gamesharing? So rude.

  6. Srcsm83

    22nd September 2015 at 2:27 pm

    I think they should’ve made it so a person who doesn’t own the DLC can join their friend who has the DLC, BUT they can not get the gear associated to that DLC, or see the cutscenes and story in those missions etc.. So they could only be there as a wingman. A helper.

    For a strike or daily, they could get some old gear, if/when the DLC owner gets new stuff etc.

    Or at least something similar to that nature. The new crap earned under their nose in the same missions would be the nudge and motivation for them to consider the DLC like Bungie wants them to, but it wouldn’t actually stop someone joining their friends fireteam in a game they own just because of the lack of DLC..

  7. Andrew

    18th July 2016 at 1:43 am

    Destiny could have been so much greater but they cut off so much to make more money later it’s just despicable.

    The stupidity of leaving out matchmaking is just mind-blowing. Every single game should have it and we shouldn’t need forums to find people for gamed.

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