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Why Destiny's paid-for paper Halloween masks have become a sticking point

As Bungie releases microtransactions trailer.

Destiny's Festival of the Lost Halloween event has now been live for a couple of days, but fans aren't overly impressed by this year's offerings.

Last year, the event's scope came as a pleasant surprise and arrived soon after the excellent Taken King expansion. Fans responded positively to the introduction of wearable masks for popular characters. Most importantly, almost every item (except one) could be gained through natural play. It felt fair.

This year, Festival of the Lost has returned but the vast majority of its new items can only be found in blind microtransaction boxes, which must be bought with your real-world cash.

Players get a single one of these boxes and one new mask for completing an in-game questline. After that, you'll need to get your wallet out for more.

Overnight, Bungie released a new Festival of the Lost trailer specifically show off items exclusive to its paid-for microtransactions:

Treat yourself.

"Get festive at the Eververse store," the trailer tells players. "Trick out your Guardian with new emotes and treat yourself to Treasures of the Lost." The main Destiny Reddit is currently awash with complaints about the rise of microtransactions in the game:

It's worth pointing out none of these items affect gameplay - they're simply cosmetic alternatives. But while other games offer the chance to buy loot boxes using in-game currency, Destiny does not.

There's no other way to get most of the new masks, new exotic gun ornaments, the green "Jealousy" Sparrow, two ghost shells or six new luxury consumable items which give you an spooky appearance.

Don't want to pay up? Collecting candy will give you pumpkin heads from 2014.

Last year, Festival of the Lost's candy collecting mechanic let you acquire a bag which could contain any mask from the event. You could also break it down and reform masks to fill your collection with designs you didn't have.

This year your options when handing in candy are limited to two-year old consumable items from Destiny's Year One. A collection of masks you can pick up directly are limited to a handful of the old ones available last year.

Bungie's changes from last year end up feeling mean-spirited, with so few new items available through regular gameplay. Even the time which consumables last has been reduced, presumably to encourage you buying more.

It also marks another step down the slowly-increasing scope of Destiny's microtransations, which have grown over time to incorporate ever more items and this year expanded to include reputation boosters.

The one pleasant surprise exception is a broomstick Sparrow all players get to ride until the end of the event - although if you want a spooky Sparrow which sticks around you'll still need to cough up.

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Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon. Tom joined Eurogamer in 2010 following a stint running a Nintendo fansite, and still owns two GameCubes. He also still plays Pokémon Go every day.