Destiny players can now pay $30 to instantly jump to level 25

Time is money, but is jumping 25 levels in Destiny worth $30?

28

Just a few hours after we learned Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 would start including microtransactions for its Black Market, Destiny now has a paid level boost available to purchase on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.

The level boost allows Destiny players to instantly level up their Guardian to level 25 for $30. Bungie has made a pack available for each of the three classes in Destiny: Warlock, Hunter, Titan. As of this writing, the current level cap is set at 40.

When Destiny: The Taken King released, a level boost was available so those who were new to the game wouldn’t have to grind to hard to reach its end-game content. The boost was only good as a one-time activity and for only one character. It appears these new level packs to offer the same benefits as the one-time boost did, although for a much higher price.

Senior Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 15, 2015 9:53 AM

    Daniel Perez posted a new article, Destiny players can now pay $30 to instantly jump to level 25

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 9:55 AM

      Wtf... Like I know this isn't anything new to games, but you can probably hit lvl 25 in like a couple of hours now. Also like it makes sense in something like WoW since the level cap is 100 or whatever but this just idk seems a bit much heh.

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 10:00 AM

        It also includes a subclass boost but yeah it's expensive as hell for what it is really.

        • reply
          December 15, 2015 10:02 AM

          Yea, I don't think it would be so bad for say $5 or whatever but $30 is basically what I payed for ALL of Taken King that included a boost. I get they want to fund their live content in other ways but this feels excessive again, even if it is something common to MMO and MMO-like games.

          • reply
            December 15, 2015 10:11 AM

            Agreed. Also if they are charging this kind of price and not releasing paid DLC the new events they have coming up for free better have a lot of content in the way of new story missions and raids or people are going to be very upset.

          • reply
            December 15, 2015 10:18 AM

            it's easier to lower the price later after they get the people that are less price sensitive. I could imagine a weird demand curve for this type of service where most people aren't interested in paying any amount for a boost but the people who are interested don't really care whether it's $5/$10/$20 (ex because they either get the boost and play the game or don't play it at all because time is their constraint, not money). Maybe that's not the case though.

        • reply
          December 15, 2015 11:01 AM

          Wait, it levels the subclass also? That's. . . closer to being worth it. Closer.

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 9:58 AM

      It would be interesting to see a study on the psychology of player enjoyment when playing content they know they can pay to bypass vs content they can't.

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 10:01 AM

      Hey good job, this is how you fuck your game up!

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 10:06 AM

      lol

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 10:06 AM

      Roflmai

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 10:08 AM

      Can I pay X amount to just unlock all gear and achievements too?

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 10:08 AM

      Why do people care so much about this? If someone wants to spend the money to save themselves a few hours, how does that affect anyone else that plays the game?

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 10:09 AM

        Personally, I don't actually care if people want to pay to boost, I just think the price they are asking is a bit much really. Again, something around $5-10 seems more reasonable. Hell I've paid about the same just to transfer a character from one account to another in WoW so.

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 10:14 AM

        I remember in WoW once you could start buying a maxed out class the shitty players started to inundate the later levels. The general skill level of end game players made raiding a chore rather than fun. That's just my personal opinion, I'm sure some people loved it.

        • reply
          December 15, 2015 10:42 AM

          That doesn't translate to Destiny at all since it is easy to level to 40, it is harder to get the gear needed, which is the real time sink.

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 10:14 AM

        the negative reaction to this stuff is often oversimplified but the issue is more nuanced. In the abstract, no one should really care if someone has a different value for their time vs their money. The problem is more on the production side and is alluded to in my earlier post in the thread. What does it say about your core gameplay if you're even offering the ability to pay to skip it? Is the design process of your game compromised at all knowing you have this revenue generating mechanism that is at odds with fun gameplay in some ways?

        If this is just a way to help friends of disparate levels get on the same page to play together aren't there other solutions (we've seen other games just give you a level boost while playing with your high level friends)?

        People understand paying for content. And asking people to pay for content puts the right set of incentives on the production side (content that's worth paying for). When you start asking people to pay to skip your content it raises a lot of strange questions about what exactly you've delivered and what its value is.

        • reply
          December 15, 2015 10:44 AM

          Excellent post

        • reply
          December 15, 2015 10:44 AM

          I fully agree with you, but there's additional nuance here:

          - skipping to level 25 here means skipping the "year 1" (i.e. vanilla) content and starting with the Taken King content immediately. the deteriorating value of vanilla content post-expansion is a recurring problem with MMO design and one that's exacerbated here by the generally poor quality of the vanilla story missions compared to the Taken King ones

          - anyone buying the "legendary edition" got one of these boosts included in the package, for a single character, so this is just extending that to additional characters for a fee

          • reply
            December 15, 2015 10:56 AM

            yeah that's fair. Certainly WoW is an example where if you just started now with a bunch of expansions it's reasonable to think you now have a bunch of lesser/vanilla content to grind through. Maybe that content actually doesn't stand the test of time and is worth skipping now even though it was once considered good and fun. But if that's the case, should you really charge players to skip that to get to the good stuff they already paid to play? (assuming this is not a F2P game) You could just offer to start them closer to the "present" and not ask them to grind through the past X years of content (even if it's been sped up since its original incarnation like WoW has done). Maybe someone does want to go from start to finish though. It's a delicate balance.

            Offering this thing standalone because it was available in a larger bundle makes sense but the original offer still could be called into question for the reasons I first started.

            • reply
              December 15, 2015 12:03 PM

              It's worth mentioning that WoW's doing it basically the same way now. You get a free boost w/ the expansion purchase, and you can buy it for additional characters for additional money. Bungie's not breaking new ground here.

              I'm not sure how I feel about it. I definitely like having the option of skipping to the new stuff, but I also think that charging to avoid undesirable content is a dick move.

        • reply
          December 15, 2015 10:46 AM

          /]What does it say about your core gameplay if you're even offering the ability to pay to skip it?]/

          I think this is the key question, you've nailed it.

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 10:44 AM

        I dont but its a slippery slope.

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 10:46 AM

        The WoW example is probably as close to a valid reason there is, and I don't think it applies to Destiny. In WoW, people could buy a max-level character with moderate starting gear, and because they knew nothing about the class they were playing, they'd shit up everything they touched, from raiding to PVP. Having people who have no idea WTF they're doing shitting up the co-op matchmaking would probably suck for those who have a clue.

        That said, I haven't played since launch and the level cap's obviously higher, so they'd have 15 levels to figure shit up before they're in your games. So it's probably no big deal.

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 11:14 AM

        I just find the concept of paying to not play a game absolutely hilarious.

        • reply
          December 15, 2015 11:22 AM

          That isn't what is happening at all though. You are swapping one experience for another. Rather than spend hours getting to the point where you can start gearing up and participating in end-game content, you can just pay your way right to that point. A lot of people don't care about that stuff and they just want to play with their friends, who are already high leveled.

          It's an great option to give people. The barrier of entry to play this game can be really high for some people. This way the player has a way forward that is way less work, and the developer can keep their game profitable.

          The only criticism I have of it at all is the price. I think $30 is expensive for what you get there. I think it should be more like $10, especially since people will do it across multiple characters.

          • reply
            December 15, 2015 11:27 AM

            Also, by doing this, you're skipping it, but you can absolutely play the earlier content.

            Plus, the scaling on levels/damage in Destiny will still give a lvl 40 player some sort of challenge in running the old missions. It just won't be rewarding you with new gear.

          • reply
            December 15, 2015 11:31 AM

            Why pay any money at all? Why the fuck not just make it an option once you've hit that level the first time?

            • reply
              December 15, 2015 11:45 AM

              1) because people will pay it. 2) just because you did it once doesn't mean it is free for bungie for you to do again. The bandwidth, server and maintenance resources aren't free just because you got to level 25 once before.

              And on that note, they did give away level 25 bumps for free with the last expansion. They were a one time use.

              • reply
                December 15, 2015 11:48 AM

                let's be real here, the marginal cost of applying this upgrade is effectively $0. They're charging this amount because they think there's a market for that trade of time for money. It has nothing to do with COGS.

                • reply
                  December 15, 2015 12:26 PM

                  My understanding of their infrastructure was that amount of users really mattered a lot to the cost of running the thing. Maybe I misunderstood. They scale up and spend more with more users, so it was a real metric. Now, obviously I know that even if that is the case, it's still super cheap to them. I just imagine that their finance people actually do count it and it ends up being an a major financial metric for them. But yes, I'm speculating.

                  My first point was my real point, which is that People Will Pay It.

                  • reply
                    December 15, 2015 1:23 PM

                    yeah I mean obviously it's not actually completely free in the sense that if 1 million new Destiny users come online that does cost them something. But at an individual level the marginal cost of adding a single new user is effectively $0, especially in comparison to $30. Like you said, it is what it is because there's demand for it.

          • reply
            December 15, 2015 11:36 AM

            I agree, but people already paid $10 to dance the thriller, so Bungie got a little DLC drunk

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 11:59 AM

        It can if something is "gated" by experience it means maybe you suck and couldn't get there yourself.


        Take example if you give someone level 100 in wow they might not know how to use all their spells or how to even play.
        Pay2win

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 10:10 AM

      Step1: Make grindy game
      Step2: Sell grindy game
      Step3: Sell services that will help you with the grind in grindy game

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 10:53 AM

        except that hitting lvl 25 will probably only save you a few hours, once. Level is the least time consuming aspect to the game. Gear is really where the power lives in the dynamic of the game. This is overpriced and entirely not a big deal.

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 10:10 AM

      $30 cheat code.

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 10:15 AM

      Destiny is starting to lose it in a myriad of transactions...I was out about a month ago and I might see less incentive to return

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 10:56 AM

        what are those myriad? i see comments like and it makes it sound like a flurry of real money sinks, but as it stands, it's some cosmetic items and a level boost that you could do in a few hours, once.

        • reply
          December 15, 2015 11:10 AM

          you can buy emotes, sparrows, event items (festivals), level packs, weapon packs, who knows what they'll saturate that game with next.

          the game is trending fast towards user commoditization instead of fueling it with the kind of stuff that really matters which is story, lore, enemies, exploration, things to see, things to do, things to kill, etc etc.

          I realize to have expectations we'd get any of the aforementioned drop before 2015 is unrealistic...but to have no idea or time horizon on when we might see that kind of thing for Q1 or Q2 next year sucks ass.

          • reply
            December 15, 2015 11:17 AM

            all of those things you just mentioned are cosmetics and now this. There's not been a weapon pack for sale and haven't sold a level pack since the last DLC last year.

            We've had 2 events released under their new model so far, both of which are totally possible (with some cosmetic exceptions) to do without paying a dime of real money.

            As for story, lore, things to do... they've said that they have another major event planned for feb/march after a smaller event like the halloween one. It's likely to further the story.

            This was all outlined in their weekly update last week.

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 10:26 AM

      They also basically said there will be no more meaningful content for the next year, so...

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 10:57 AM

        except they didn't say that at all. The weekly update that week elaborated on it, we can expect another smaller event like the halloween thing in jan/feb and then something very big in feb/march.

      • reply
        December 16, 2015 1:02 AM

        No they said the content would be more like the SRL content, which is totally fine by me

        I've been fucking loving the racing

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 11:01 AM

      That seems a little steep. $30 bucks to only get a bit more than halfway leveled? Plus, if it works the same as the spark or whatever you got from buying Taken King, it doesn't level up your subclasses, which takes WAY longer than just reaching 40.

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 11:06 AM

        It includes a subclass boost as well which helps level your subclasses faster. That isn't something many people are skipping with the value proposition. Still not worth it.

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 11:41 AM

      They should offer another option to pay to get the items you really want too.

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 1:30 PM

      I... might do this. I played through until about 24 when my 360 bit the dust a month or so ago. I got a Destiny edition PS4 to replace it, and wasn't relishing the immediate replay concept.

      30 is wicked steep though.

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 1:40 PM

        Leveling is all so quick now. You can hit lvl40 in about 6-8 hours. If you buy The Taken King you'll get a boost to 25 on one character.

        • reply
          December 15, 2015 1:44 PM

          I suppose I'll just play it through again; I wanted to switch classes anyways.

          Still tempting though: I don't enjoy close together replays usually.

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 2:49 PM

      Destiny is so obviously designed to be addictive, endless, and money-making, that this makes perfect sense. No one should be surprised.

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 2:53 PM

      Destiny, not even once. (Well maybe once at launch, then COLD MOTHERFUCKING TURKEY!!!)

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 3:27 PM

      Destiny: so fun you pay to not play.

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 3:36 PM

      For $30 couldn't you get a fully geared max level char from a Gold Seller / Leveling Service?

      • reply
        December 15, 2015 7:28 PM

        How does that work with live and plus? Wouldn't it go with your account? I wouldn't want to give a farmer access to my live or plus account.

        • reply
          December 16, 2015 12:08 AM

          Oh I have no idea, I've never done it. I buy my games in order to play them.

    • reply
      December 15, 2015 7:37 PM

      Between this and the shitty racing minigame I have less interest in buying Destiny 2 next year.

    • reply
      December 16, 2015 2:30 AM

      Hey guys, let's laugh at Destiny because it had a weird story when it launched!!

    • reply
      December 17, 2015 10:37 AM

      Only someone with more money than sense would pay $30 to 'jump' to level 25. The game would be even more boring, repetitive and time wasting without the satisfaction of progression. Never have I seen a game nickel and dime its fans to such an extreme length.