zavala falling in destiny 2 the final shape
Screenshot by Destructoid

Destiny 2: The Final Shape’s launch was a cozy callback to previous expansions for the wrong reasons

Just like the good old days.

I’ve been playing the Destiny franchise since the first game’s alpha. I have fond memories of loading that early version up and blasting through everything it had to offer multiple times. Ever since, I’ve been hooked on this universe that, while not always giving me exactly what I wanted, was a space where I could live out a few sci-fi fantasies and explore an ever-evolving world spread across multiple planets.

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When Destiny 2: The Final Shape was finally released, it took me back to some of the best times I’ve had with the series and the community at large. Though, this might not be for the reasons you’d think. You see, this expansion had one of the biggest and error-filled launches I’ve seen in all the time I’ve been playing Destiny 2, let alone the entire series.

But that’s okay because it took me right back to pretty much every expansion’s release. First, as expected, the game’s servers simply went down as soon as they were supposed to go live. I was waiting on launch night and it must have taken three or four hours, much closer to me needing sleep, before they were up.

Overnight, players received all sorts of funny error codes. This might be the expansion with the most inventive list to date, including Cat, Currant, and Weasel. Players were getting more errors than they were time in the game. Then, when I jumped in the next day, there was even more server downtime and queues to get into The Pale Heart after that.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Don’t get me wrong, this was incredibly annoying for everyone at the time. I couldn’t help but feel pure nostalgia for the situation, though. I remember eagerly anticipating every Destiny and Destiny 2 expansion, only to be hit by a brick wall on launch day as everyone attempted to get in and blocked each other out.

It genuinely got to the point that I just stopped trying to play on release day. For example, the Warmind expansion was released close to my birthday, so I took the day after its launch off and blasted through the campaign and extra content at a time when I knew I’d be passed all the bugs and server queues.

All these launch errors and issues are far from solo experiences. The Destiny 2 community would share their woes and silly memes while waiting to get into the latest expansions. It was like hanging out with a group of fans at a concert while waiting to get in and see the band. You’re all in this together, no matter how cold and tired you are of waiting and how many delays you’ve had. You’re all going to see this thing through to the end, and that bonds you somehow.

zavala and cayde 6 hugging in destiny 2 the final shape
Screenshot by Destructoid

I didn’t feel this with Lightfall. That expansion, had a fairly smooth launch, but it also had a lot less content and scope than The Final Shape. In a way, I’m really pleased that Bungie somehow managed to bring back all these memories of rubbish launch windows from the franchise. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy and somehow even more excited about playing through the campaign.

I don’t know what the future holds for Destiny 2 expansions. We’re going to be living through an Episodic content delivery system for a full year before we get anything else, and those Episodes might have smooth-as-butter launches. Part of me hopes they don’t because I want to have this feeling again and again for as long as Destiny 2‘s servers have left.

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Image of Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie is a Staff Writer on Destructoid who has been playing video games for the better part of the last three decades. He adores indie titles with unique and interesting mechanics and stories, but is also a sucker for big name franchises, especially if they happen to lean into the horror genre.