Although players without Curse of Osiris can play them, they are much more hard than they were before the launch of the new expansion.
Destiny 2's new gun the Prometheus Lens has reportedly "broken" its Crucible, with the power of the Curse of Osiris Exotic weapon causing major balancing issues in the game's PvP.
Curse of Osiris raises the soft cap for Destiny 2 power levels to 330 from 300, which is the limit in vanilla Destiny 2.
Previously, participating in the "Prestige" difficulty mode for Destiny 2's Nightfall strikes required players to be at the power level cap for the game: 300.
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So if you're playing on Destiny 2 without the expansion, you're stuck at 305 Power Level and left out in the cold from the nice 330 endgame content. Destiny 2 features two levels for identifying player progress in the game.
In order to trigger Heroic Adventures, you'll first need to complete all the story missions in Curse of Osiris, then visit Brother Vance in the Lighthouse, who will then task you with beating three Adventures. Curse of Osiris didn't introduce any new trophies/achievements to the game. At this time neither Bungie nor Sony have commented on the issue, but we'll update you if there are any developments.
The expansion also includes Heroic versions of the open-world "Adventures", though on Mercury these still take place inside the instanced Infinite Forest rather than on the planet's surface. That means that the Destiny 2 Platinum trophy is now unobtainable without the expansion. If you haven't picked up the game yet, we highly recommend jumping on board, and we even named it a runner-up in our "best game of 2017" awards.