It’s starting to be a pretty regular feature around here, each week it seems like there’s some big hullabaloo in the Destiny community. Whether it’s the Silver items, raid boss challenge mode or SRL being announced, it’s felt like there’s been something constantly bugging portions of the community. Today, there’s another one – the Spark of Light consumable that came with purchases of The Taken King is now for sale on the marketplace for $29.99 – essentially a $30 shortcut to level 25.
Here’s my issue with this whole thing. Most of the disapproval I’m seeing is coming from devoted players – ones that are already well past level 25. I think people are fishing for things to get outraged about here – sure I think it’s way overpriced – it’s half the price of the base game after all. But it’s not malicious – all it does is give brand new players a potential shortcut to The Taken King content. Since we’re in full holiday swing, it’s not hard to imagine a whole bunch of new players trying to catch up. Activision knows that, Bungie knows that, and they both know that offering the Spark of Light for money is basically a sure fire way to make some money. But for those of us who already have three characters with all three subclasses maxed out at level 40, this isn’t meant for us. I honestly think we have no real say in the matter here – we might not like the pricing and all that, but the people that really matter are the new players that this is intended for. I know, technically, veteran players could use them if they delete a character to make a new one, but I don’t really see a lot of veterans talking about doing that.
To play devil’s advocate for a second here about the pricing, I can kinda see why it’s so expensive. I definitely don’t agree with it, but I can kinda see why it is. Activision, by offering this item, is basically cutting out hours of gameplay. It’s not a direct comparison, but gameplay time is actually money for these games – it keeps eyes on the product and means future investment from players. So in a way, offering a shortcut through a good chunk of the early game can be a bit of a risk for Bungie and Activision.
At the end of the day here, while this is definitely a curious move from Bungie and Activision, I really don’t see the big deal this time. It’s an item that veteran players really shouldn’t be too invested in, regardless of its value. New players that buy it and use it I think are missing out on the point of the game. Destiny isn’t really a shortcut game to me – it’s about experiencing the worlds and leveling your character. But if someone wants to go ahead and drop $30 bucks on it, when I think there are more fun things you could put the money into in Destiny, that’s their prerogative.