Are you a Destiny player with no interest in buying The Taken King? You might want to find another game to play.
As it turns out, The Taken King doesn't just add a ton of excellent new stuff to Bungie's ambitious MMO-shooter -- it also locks out much of the old content both in PVE and PVP. Vanilla Destiny players can still access all the original story missions and raids, but they can't do heroic strikes or nightfalls anymore. And because Bungie has totally revamped the way playlist strikes work, players without The Taken King can only run through the relatively useless level-20 Vanguard Legacy playlists -- a big departure from the last incarnation of the game, which offered different tiers of playlists that anyone could access.
In the Crucible, while anyone with The Taken King installed can play through all the old modes and then some, vanilla players are stuck with three types of PVP playlists: Classic free-for-all, classic 3v3 (Skirmish/Salvage), and classic 6v6 (Clash/Control). If you don't have The Taken King but only want to play one of those 3v3 or 6v6 modes, your only option is to pick a playlist and bail every time you get the one you don't want.
Also, as you might expect, Destiny players who haven't upgraded to Year Two can't get the new subclasses, shiny gear, and cool quests that ship with The Taken King, which runs for $US40. Vanilla players are also stuck with the old level cap of 34.
On one hand, this feels like a no-duh move: Of course people are going to have to buy all the expansions to keep up with all the stuff that Destiny's developers tweak and add every few months. And from what we've seen so far, The Taken King is well worth the asking price, even if previous DLC has been a bit lacking.
But for Destiny players who aren't yet sure if they want to upgrade -- or can't afford it yet -- it's something of a slap in the face to see half the old endgame content suddenly disappear. On September 14, anyone with a copy of Destiny could play a variety of crucible modes or take on the nightfall and weekly heroic strikes; as of September 15, they can't. Quite a few people aren't pleased about that, and they have taken to Reddit, forums, and Kotaku's email inboxes to get out the message. (One Redditor has put together a good compilation of all the stuff that's locked out now.)
Bungie's forums are full of Destiny players complaining about this problem in colourful ways.
"Is this even legal?" writes one player. "Say you buy a couch for 100. After a year the company you bought it from comes to your door and asks you 40 dollars extra for the couch and if you buy it you get a nice pillow. You say you don't want to pay. They saw your couch in half and take one half with them... That's how I feel about TTK so far."
"I didn't buy the DLC for Elder Scrolls Online yet, and the total content that was taken away, or that I am locked out of as punishment is NOTHING," writes another player.
Of course, Destiny is very different than other MMOs in a lot of ways, and many of the changes brought with The Taken King are huge, much-needed fixes to problems the game has had since it first launched last September. But Bungie never warned anyone that they'd be locking old players out of so much of the game, which is one of the main reasons so many people are upset about this paywall.
We're dealing with growing pains, here. And the folks who didn't upgrade are hurting most of all.