The Destiny Content Vault will cycle older content in and out of Destiny 2.
Bungie not only revealed the next expansion for Destiny 2 in Beyond Light but also gave fans a glimpse into the distant future by revealing two additional expansions planned for 2021 and 2022. In doing so, the developer pretty much confirmed that Destiny 3 is no where on the horizon and actually may not ever come to fruition. Instead, Bungie will continue to build upon Destiny 2 with expansions and additional content for the foreseeable future.
But one of the problems the developer faces with Destiny 2 is the scale and size. Simply put, Destiny 2 is “too large to efficiently update and maintain,” Bungie explained today. Updates often require 115GB downloads in addition to huge patches. Those numbers continue to balloon each year by about 25GB worth of new content. The massive size bogs down the development pipeline and, worst of all, most of the content in these massive downloads isn’t even relevant. Bungie detailed:
"Worse still, that 115GB includes a lot of content that isn’t relevant anymore – and can’t remain relevant – as we evolve the world and introduce new experiences that will take center stage instead. For example: Warmind’s campaign represents only 0.3% of all time played in Season of the Worthy and yet the Warmind Expansion accounts for 5% of our total install size. This dramatic imbalance between player engagement and overall cost to maintain is found in a lot of our legacy content."
The solution to this problem is the Destiny Content Vault. The DCV will house content from Destiny 1 and “older, less actively played content” from Destiny 2. As new content is introduced to Destiny 2 via expansions, older content will be added to the vault and will cycle back in — become “unvaulted” — throughout the year. Bungie explained:
"To create a sustainable ecosystem where the world can continue to evolve in exciting ways, and where we can update the game more quickly, we’re going to adopt a new content model that we’re calling the Destiny Content Vault (DCV). Each year, usually at the expansion boundaries, we will cycle some destination and activity content out of the game (and into the DCV) to make room for new experiences."
Content will begin heading into the DCV this fall. It will consist of older destinations and their supported activities, such as Mars, Io, Titan, Mercury and Leviathan. This content may return in the future and, in some cases, may be updated to fit the current state of the game universe.
The first vaulted content that will return to Destiny 2 will be the Cosmodrome from the original game. It won’t release with full parity as the original, at least not at first, but will continue to be expanded upon through Season 13 to help expand the “new Guardian origin story. The Cosmodrome will return with the Will of Crota strike on September 22, and will eventually add The Devil’s Lair and Fallen S.A.B.E.R. strikes. During Year 4, the Vault of Glass, the Destiny 1‘s first raid, will return.
The Destiny Content Vault’s main purpose is obviously to serve as a space saver. But it will doubly function as a way for newer players to experience original content that they may have missed. And for veterans, it feeds that nostalgia thirst, giving them the opportunity to revisit a beloved location or replay a favorite strike/raid. My only question is, from a lore perspective, how will new Destiny 2 players experience the game’s launch story if the main destinations are sent to the vault?
Bungie assured that the scope and scale of Destiny 2 will remain at a “relatively consistent size.” Content that’s selected to go to the vault will be destinations and activities that have been free for all players for at least several months, such as the Curse of Osiris campaign and many of the original destination locations. On September 22, 2020, when the new expansion arrives, Io, Titan, Mars and Leviathan will be sent to the vault.
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While I understand Bungie’s reasoning for the DCV, I still would personally prefer a system like Warframe. The free-to-play, third-person RPG shooter from Digital Extremes has been out since 2013 and still you can play all of the content from its original release.
The difference between the two, it seems, is that Warframe was built with continuous expansion in mind. As a free-to-play game, there was probably never any pressure to release a “sequel.” I don’t know the technical aspects of what’s under Destiny 2‘s hood but I imagine — under the direction of Activision — it was built in a way that supports tri-yearly releases with two expansions in between.
With Bungie now in control and no longer pressured to release full-fledged sequels, they can sort of shift to this sort of expansion model, akin to Warframe. Unfortunately, due to the nature in which Destiny 2 was probably constructed, Bungie probably can’t do what Digital Extremes has done so they’ve had to go the route of the Destiny Content Vault. It’s not the ideal situation — as it still means new players may miss out on older content — but I’m sure it’s the preferred method for players who have been with Destiny 2 since launch and don’t want to see all of their progress erased once again by the launch of Destiny 3.