This story contains spoilers for Season of the Deep and Lightfall.
When the credits rolled on Destiny 2: Lightfall, players were left slack jawed in confusion. That expansion saw players heading to the new location of Neomuna on Neptune. The goal was to fight an invasion of Emperor Calus’ forces on the planet.
This ultimately led to the introduction of several MacGuffins that seemingly served no purpose including the Radial Mast and The Veil. The latter was potentially the most irksome as it was used in the final cutscene to erm, do something.
The problem with everything that plays out in the cutscene embedded above is that we as players have no context for anything. The Veil is an unknown quantity throughout the campaign and even after this cutscene there wasn’t much more information about how it’s connected to the Traveller, why the Guardian’s Ghost can secure the link or any sort of explaination.
Following harsh criticism from the very vocal Destiny 2 community, Bungie said that players would be given more context throughout the year and nearly five months after we finished Lightfall’s campaign, we received some more context.
This cutscene plays out after completing the Week 5 mission for Season of the Deep. Throughout this season Sloane has been acting as a sort of relay for a Leviathan known as Ahsa. In these communications we have learned more about The Witness as well as the powers of Light and Dark.
This week, after a shorter than usual mission, players were treated to a cutscene that explains everything. We’re not trying to be hyperbolic here, this cutscene that is less than four minutes long explains the origins of the Witness, the Pyramid ships, the Veil and the Traveler.
The Traveler appears – at least according to that cutscene – to have been buried on a planet whose inhabitants found it, dug it up, and then entered a Golden Age, much like that experienced on Earth as mentioned throughout Destiny’s lore.
The Veil, is the antithesis to the Traveler. Where the Traveler embodies light and the physical, the Veil embodies darkness and the metaphysical. In a bid to find guidance, which these people craved, they attempted to conjoin the Veil and the Traveler to forge a new reality which they couldn’t do as the Traveler left them.
It’s at this point that these people forged themselves into one being known as The Witness to pursue the Traveler and the Veil and forge the universe into their ultimate vision.
So then, The Witness achieved its ultimate goal at the end of Lightfall and we’re slightly annoyed by this.
Our annoyance trumps our excitement because this cutscene should have been a part of Lightfall’s campaign. Knowing what the Witness wants with the Veil would have added much needed weight to that expansion’s story and more importantly, given players a reason to care about the fight that played out.
Instead, we were left confused and cringing at the weak attempts at humour between confusing decisions made by the characters who featured in the campaign.
What makes this even worse though is that if players haven’t purchased Season of the Deep, which doesn’t come bundled with the base version of Lightfall, they won’t see this cutscene in-game as seasonal content is paywalled. Arguably the most important cutscene to help explain Lightfall is locked behind a $12 paywall.
We’re flabbergasted by this. We know that games cost a lot to make but this content has no place in a season especially when it’s this closely tied to an expansion. As many have said, Bungie made a conscious decision here to put this content in a separate, payment-required-to-access season and that’s not okay.
This comes as the Destiny community discusses a video released by creator Aztecross titled Destiny has become a Microtransaction Hell this week which details the growing problem of microtransactions within Destiny 2 and the severe lack of support Bungie is throwing behind certain areas of the game.
In recent months the game has been buggy with frequent crashes causing frustrations, extended downtime and bad blood among the community. Issues such as Ritual playlist armour not being refreshed, the Crucible being devoid of any new maps, Gambit being seemingly abandoned and Bungie constantly putting its hand out asking for more money for garbage cosmetics has the community at breaking point.
This cutscene explaining the Witness and its origins is great from a storytelling perspective, but in the context of Destiny’s wider issues, it’s just another problem added to an ever burgeoning pile.
We live in hope that Bungie will, as it has in the past, take the crtitique of the community to heart. Many, of Destiny’s harshest critics love the game and simply want it to be better, but if things don’t improve, folks may just find another game to sink their time into.
We’ve heard Diablo IV is pretty good and many Destiny players are moving there.
It’s true what they say, the only game capable of killing Destiny, is Destiny.