Destiny Is Now Selling Level Boosters, And They Sure Cost A Lot

Destiny Is Now Selling Level Boosters, And They Sure Cost A Lot

The developers at Bungie just added more microtransactions to Destiny, a video game in which players travel the solar system hunting for new content. Get ready for level boosters.

New on the Xbox Store today are three different packs that will give you: A) a level-25 boost for your class; B) a “subclass boost”; and C) Telemetries, which are in-game that make your weapons level up faster.

As of right now the level boosters aren’t yet live on the Australian PlayStation store, but you can see them on Xbox Live for $45 a pop. That’s forty-five Australian dollars. For a boost to level 25.

That price is, to be frank, FUCKING INSANE. If you do buy one of these items, know that you’re not even getting a fully levelled character out of it. Destiny‘s level cap is 40, and the real levelling system doesn’t start until you get there. For $45, you’re just shaving a few hours off your experience, which seems… pointless? Levelling a character from 1 to 25 doesn’t take very long and is in fact rather fun.

In October, when we broke the news that Destiny would be getting microtransactions, my understanding was that they would be limited to cosmetics. Until now, that’s been the case — Bungie has only charged for emotes and collectible gear tied to timed events like this month’s Sparrow Racing League. Clearly plans have changed, and Bungie has taken another shaky step closer to a line that no Destiny player wants them to cross.


  • @shithead Same, and it came with the base game, the three main expansions and a free level 25 upgrade.

    But good news guys, these level boosts are 100% optional… Bungie aren’t forcing you or anyone to buy them, they’re there for people that have the cash to burn.

    • But good news guys, these level boosts are 100% optional… Bungie aren’t forcing you or anyone to buy them, they’re there for people that have the cash to burn.

      Being optional doesn’t negate the fact that price is absurd. They’re just exploiting their playerbase. At $45 there should be something in that pack that actually cost money to produce. Even if it’s just a few token emblems.

      Man Destiny is frustrating. They started out with their alternative to a subscription fee, which ended up just being charging even more for the years worth of playtime up front (charging retroactively if you buy late). Now they scrap that and move into an even more expensive model. I wish they’d just admit they want $20 per month per player rather than playing all these games.

      • Being optional doesn’t negate the fact that price is absurd. They’re just exploiting their playerbase.

        Absurd price yes, but still once again a 100% optional purchase… People do not have to buy it, and if they do how does that affect you at all?

        • Yes they are optional, but you have to ask yourself if they are making game design decisions based on the ability to milk people down the track. So even if you don’t buy them, the integrity of the game design is compromised and it would affect you indirectly.

        • Well it impacts all Destiny players in the way the game is designed. This happens in many free to play MMORPGs. The developers don’t set out to be evil, but they get onto a business model that heavily encourages fleecing users to be the highest priority. Most fight the urge but even when they keep it reasonable the whales start dictating development of the game. The bike skins that a small amount of users buy for $50 each get development priority over things that make the game actually worth playing for the other players. As the quality of the content lowers the big spenders become the only spenders and it feeds into itself.

          Personally I see it like slot machines in RSLs, bowls clubs, pubs, etc. You don’t have to go in there and play them but they quickly become what the venue is all about and choke out the original function. The ability to opt out isn’t a good enough reason to justify their actions here, it’s certainly not a good enough reason to defend what they’re doing and ultimately it’s just not a healthy way of doing business.

          I’m not saying Bungie shouldn’t try to make some money with Destiny (or make what was invested back), just that they should definitely be called out on this bull or else the game will start revolving around the quick cash rather than forming a long term, mutually beneficial relationship between the audience and the developers.

  • Jesus. That’s almost as much as the WoW boosters that became available for purchase in Warlords of Draenor. The difference being that levelling from 0-90 in WoW takes a whole lot longer than 0-25 in Destiny. I happily paid for some boosters in WoW but no chance I would do it in Destiny.

  • Doesn’t bother me in the slightest, stupid price yes, but I wouldn’t be buying them regardless anyway.

  • Meh. I’ve bought plenty of level boosts on WoW at $66 a character. It’s just more proof of how bad the Australian dollar is these days

  • I finally walked away from this game a month ago after 1100 hours. Looks like it’s degenerating even faster now. What a fucking ripoff.

      • Yeah, I hear this a lot. But I’m not surprised, I mean is a game really good after 1000 hours the only reason you leave is because there’s now more hate for it than love?

      • Even if I discounted 95% of the hours I played as a bitter and futile struggle to enjoy myself the way I did in the first dozen hours until I realized I’d played all there was to play and all that was left was a lacklustre MMO with amazing, unparalleled moment-to-moment mechanics and some gorgeous skyboxes… even those dozen hours were pretty decent value for money.

        I guess you could subtract value for all the time you let their cheap, skinner-box manipulation trick you into playing when you could’ve been playing a better game, but even with that, I think it’s a wash.

      • I’m not saying what I paid for the game was a ripoff, you dunce. I was saying that $45 for a level boost is a fucking ripoff

    • Congratulations on confronting your problem. Take a badge, a biscuit and a seat.

      Make no mistake, the next few weeks, months and years will be tough. Destiny sobriety is a life-long challenge, but we here at Kotaku are here to help you through.

  • *fart noise*

    Glad all my characters are fully levelled, not that I’ve touched the game since Fallout 4 launched and probably won’t until there’s more story – if at all. Honestly doubting whether I can be bothered with “Destiny 2”. I just can’t stay hooked into the MMO formula. I don’t have the time or the energy and if all I’m going to do is play the story then I’m not going to feel like I’m getting my money’s worth because there simply isn’t enough of it.

  • And this impacts everyone’s enjoyment of the game how? Someone please explain how random Joe, wasting/spending his own money to save a few hours of his own time, is a bad thing?

    Please tell me guys, cause I really struggle to understand the ridiculousness of people’s reactions to this. Who cares if they sell level boosters? I don’t play Destiny anymore but I’d bet that anyone still playing doesn’t want to redo those first shitty 25 levels of door opening and corridors.

    • It’s that soft, irritating voice hidden in the back of the average Destiny addicts mind that whispers “This shit is a scam, you should have done something more productive with your time” while the addiction riddled chunk of the brain screams “SHUT UP INTELLIGENT THOUGHT! MUST HAVE LEVELS! GIVE MORE MONEY TO BUNGIE!”.

      The idea that you can skip a chunk of the pointless numerical hording has to be pretty annoying if you’ve spent 500 hours of your life making sure that the numbers in your inventory are high enough to kill the next enemy who’s numbers have been commensurately increased since you first killed it 499 hours ago.

      In conclusion: It DOESN’T impact anyone’s enjoyment of the game. If they were enjoying the journey it wouldn’t matter if others choose to skip it, but plenty of people aren’t and it is annoying when your big “achievement” after hours of grinding can be easily bought.

    • The problem is, based on the possible success of this micro-transaction, it may inform the choices the developer (or should I say Activision) will make in the future. People might say “this is ridiculous obviously just don’t buy it” but there are people out there who will buy it. There’s no way of knowing for sure how many, but microtransaction decisions are made every day based on these “whales” who pay whatever the publisher asks. These decisions affect the whole player base. It’s only a matter of time before they get bold enough to charge you for things like strange coins or legendary engrams.

      It started at emotes, it then progressed to mask packs to buy, then it went to sparrow packs and an in game sparrow manual that gives you a chance to get more sparrow racing based loot. Now it’s levelling. The trend is showing that more and more these “options” are affecting in gameplay. We’re on the edge of the slippery slope and Activision seems desperate to tumble down the mountainside.

    • You answered your own question, Bungie know the first 25 levels is shitty door opening and corridors and that they can use that as an excuse to exploit players wanting to skip those. When the core design of your game seemingly plays right into the selling of severely overpriced unlocks – regardless of whether you personally buy them or not – it speaks to the integrity of the developers/publishers and raises doubts as to whether their games are designed for entertainment or pure profiteering.

    • it’s also problematic when Devs create a problem just to sell you a solution; maybe they make leveling 1-25 harder or less rewarding for players to encourage them to spend money to fast track to the ‘real’ part of the game…

        • This is the cardinal sin (among all the other ones) of DLC/ paid content.

          When your game is designed from the ground up to be less-than-perfect with the intention that they’ll sell you the solution down the track.
          Forza 5 was the worst offender in my book, the entire economy of that game was designed to be frustrating as hell so that MS could sell you the content you already paid for a second time.

          An hour long event in that game would reward you with <20% of what you needed to buy a medium level car, so you could forget about buying any of the classic or rare vehicles unless you were pouring 100’s of hours into the game. Then they removed half the cars from the ‘free use’ mode for no justifiable reason whatsoever….. then they provided the convenient ability to give them money to unlock the cars.

          The worst thing was it was a launch game from MS and barely any reviewers hammered them for it. I would have LOVED to see some sub-50% reviews that just said “F*ck off with this sh*t”. It would have hurt MS badly at launch and strongly discouraged companies from doing it in the future.

          Destiny has been largely the same. You could tell at launch that plenty of the design choices where pure exploitation.

          • More than that though, these quick fixes actually harm my investment in the game. I remembered logging on every week in the hopes of getting Gjallarhorn, then when it finally got sold by Xur again, it removed my main motivation for playing the game. It was no longer a goal to strive towards, it was just something I had and received in the most anti-climactic way possible. You think you want something but once you have it you realise it was the journey to get there that mattered, not the destination.

          • To be fair, most of the other ways of getting it were pretty fucking anti-climactic, too. Such as head-shotting dregs in the cosmodrome for the bounty or losing a match in PVP. At least with Xur you ctually earned the weapon instead of having it randomly given to you by the RNG fairies.

          • you can’t get gally from head shotting dregs. Generally you got it from the gorgon chest, atheon, crota, ir yut or the nightfall and exotics almost never dropped as pvp rewards in y1. Downing Atheon then having a gally drop was anything but anti climactic.

      • Actually, while I’m not in favour of this pricing, to be fair – the levelling process has actually been sped up. The questing system adds giant chunks of exp to the regular process and in fact actually skips several missions in the sequence. Levelling is faster and easier than it was, so they haven’t in this instance (not to say they won’t in future) appear to be designing the process to drive players into the boosts.

  • Ok…. thats rude but like who would buy these? It takes, not all that much time to lvl a character, stupid microtransactions….

  • Now all I need is for Bungie to introduce a way for me to pay to have the game play itself for me from level 25 onwards and I’m all set.

  • It hurts to see people try to defend and even justify this. Whether it impacts people or not and the fact that its 100% optional isnt the issue. The issue comes from developers / publishers trying to get away with this sort of thing. They have already announced no more dlc for the game instead opting to have several times events like this sparrow racing bs. Shouldnt that be enough to tell people they are already focused on Destiny 2 and simply trying to wring as much money out of people as possible before the next game ships.

    People helping to justify this sort of practice are only shooting themselves in the foot because when Destiny 2 comes out the waters will have been tested and these bastards will know exactly what they can get away with. You stupid sods need to wake up

  • You thought it was only for cosmetic micro transactions cos that is what Bungie told you. I’m trying hard to like the game but they make it very hard.

        • I think pricing structures and DLC plans are far more driven by Activision’s decisions than Bungie’s. A developer doesn’t handle the way the game is marketed or sold, they handle development.

          I think Bungie’s biggest crime in this whole thing is probably signing away too many of these important decisions in the contract stage, they are probably just as frustrated as we are with half of this stuff.

          What’s more likely; that every developer who has a third party publisher like Activision or EA is making the exact same DLC / season pass / microtransaction decisions themselves, or that publishers have specific templates for every game they push and the final call rests with them? They hold the purse strings after all.

      • Nah, unfortunately bungie would have known what being owned by a big publisher would amount to, before they signed, and they still did it. They didn’t need half a billion to create a franchise for 10 yrs, they could have just generated income for 1 great game, for a fraction of that amount I would think. And then build on the IP from there.
        Say what you want about Microsoft but at least bungie realised their true vision while being backed by them. Now they get more money from multi platform releases so yay they make more money I guess but their game suffers for it unfortunately.
        And this comes from a big destiny fan too haha.

        • Yeah this sort of stuff would have definitely been in the contract but it’s hard to see exactly what that will result in in the future when you sign. I would assume the contract had a more overarching clause like “activision decides price points for retail releases and DLC / microtransactions” rather than “you’re gonna be charging half the price of the game to level up half way”, you know?

          I honestly think first party publishing is the best way to go for every developer, it may mean more exclusives but Sony and Microsoft seem way more reasonable and open minded than these “risk”-allergic third party publishers.

          • Yeh they’re a fucking talented bunch at bungie man don’t get me wrong, but publishers like Activision are just so greedy now it’s really hurting us consumers is all.

          • Bungie should not be absolved of responsibility. They knew who they were getting in bed with and if they can’t read contracts then they shouldn’t sign them.

  • And people completely lost their shit when Payday introduced their transactions, yet this is SO much worse.

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