DLC Discussion.

Discussion in 'Other Games' started by OmniaNigrum, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    This topic is purely to discuss DLC for any and all games. What do you like, and what do you think is pure cheese? Hopefully if we make it clear what is acceptable some game makers will pay attention. (Unlike THQ.)
    mining likes this.
  2. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    This is a controversial topic ;)
    My opinion on DLCs has kind of changed over the years since they've become a Thing.

    Basically, if a game launches as complete and feels complete, then I feel that DLCs are nice even if they aren't huge. They're kind of a "hey sweet more content for this game I like!"

    I still see no point in things like weapon DLCs and the likes however.
    I'm generally wary of launch-day DLCs too, since hey - you have this content right here, why not include it and make the game cost 1$ more or whatever?

    One DLC I really, really liked was the Lair of the Shadow Broker for Mass Effect 2. It was basically 3 missions, and the final mission was one of the most cinematic things I've ever seen in a video game. It was rather great.
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  3. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I lack the authority to delete the topic itself. If it is too controversial, please feel free to lock and/or delete it at will.

    I just figured it would be better to get this all out in a place other than the game bundle thread.

    My opinion is that there is good DLC and bad DLC. All the expansions to DoD are pristine examples of how to do it right. They expand the entire game in several ways. They make it a new game in and of itself, and they can be used even if you do not have all of them.

    Some companies do the abominable day zero/one DLC that is just stuff that should have come with the base game.

    Then there are some I am on the fence about. A good DLC has to expand the game in more than cosmetic ways. It must not be overpriced or hyped beyond belief. And it should not be something that can be added by a determined individual with basic knowledge of the game. (I am looking at Borderland 2 and the "Golden Key" DLC junk. Not to mention the garbage weapons they sell as DLC.)

    In the same game I was just mocking, the Mecromancer DLC was an expansion to the game that added a whole new way to play the game. It had altogether different synergies than the other four classes. It offered different skills and even a new map to explore. (I never played that far, so I know nothing of the map it adds.)

    Then they released an innuendo themed "Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate Booty" DLC that was apparently a set of maps and quests. That is also good DLC, but perhaps overpriced. Shortly afterwards they did that again with "Mr Torgues Campaign of Carnage" and again this seems fair, if a little pricey.

    I have played neither of those. So I am unable to say if they were really good or not. But the game itself is good. And once the DLC drops in price enough to buy it all, I will probably buy them unless I hear they are garbage.

    *Still controversial? Is there something I put in the OP or title that could be removed or changed to make it more acceptable?*
    mining likes this.
  4. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    One or two DLC are clearly crap, one or two are great, but most are somewhere in the middle.

    To name specific DLC: the first DLC for XCom is out now. It is $6.95 for 3 new missions for the campaign -- saying that they are just 3 maps is misleading, since there is new voice acting, and so on. I've only played one of the new missions, since they are not connected (one comes early in the game -- that's the one I played, one in the middle, and one late in the game). From a seller's perspective, that may be appropriate. I know from what I've read that the later missions are bigger and more complex than the first one, so I'll give Firaxis the benefit of the doubt on that point. The one I played was well-crafted, but short. I'm sure that they put a decent amount of work into this -- it ain't horse armor.

    On the other hand, the DLC really doesn't give the player what is really needed, which is replayability. You can't install the DLC and continue with an existing game -- you pretty much have to start a new game. And while the DLC is cool, it's not nearly enough. It ain't Horse Armor. But it's also a failure. It's as if your house is on fire, and Firaxis gave us 3 buckets
    of water instead of bringing a hose.
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  5. Konork

    Konork Member

    I assume you're talking about the Premiere Club Pack stuff? Because those were originally preorder bonuses, and they're bundled with the Mechromancer now anyway. The key in it has been the only golden key you have to pay for (And they're just used to open a chest for level-scaled purple loot), and the guns are just meant to help out some near the beginning of the game, giving you a shitty assault rifle, sniper rifle, and SMG instead of just having a shitty pistol.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  6. jadkni

    jadkni Member

    Like others have said, I don't mind DLC that adds something to the game aside from literally just straight-out shoving a new weapon/unit/tool to reduce the difficulty of the game. It was the final straw with DA:O and if I see a game doing this, I generally just avoid it.

    Which isn't to say that all content DLCs are just a-okay by me either. I appreciate it when DLC expands the game to any real extent but I can tell that I'm getting screwed when I go to check out a title I wasn't willing to pay for at launch and I see thirty pieces of $3-10 DLC that have come out in an eight-month timespan. $60 is a hard enough sell these days, don't make it $60 with $50 worth of DLC to buy, if you have $50 of content that you couldn't get into the original just create a standalone expansion.
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  7. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    There was one thing I want to add -- what players want is a way to extend a game that they've enjoyed playing. Odds are that most of us will grow tired with a game, regardless of how much we enjoyed it to begin with, and will move on to other things. What we really want from a DLC, is a reason to either come back to a game, or to keep on playing a bit longer, or to make the game more replayable. You can get other things from a DLC -- such as clutter and stuff to add to an existing game. And that's fine. But the best DLC do more than that.

    Unfortunately, it's a lot easier to add clutter and stuff than it is to add replayability. Hats and armor and weapons and stuff like that are all fine and good. But that's not going to keep most of us happy. What most of us want is for the game to feel fresh and new again. For practical reasons, very few DLC will actually accomplish that, though.
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  8. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Member


    I think DLC is an odd thing, and it depends as much on the game and the timing of its release as much as, well, its quality/perceived value. We have, rather clearly, moved on from expansion packs for the majority of games. It's not just "publishers want more money lololololol", it's a case of how they're distributed and how they're handled by the consoles (because, let's be honest here, consoles do shape modern gaming - for better or for worse). I remember Larian Studios talking about the issues they had with dealing with the Divinity 2 expansion and the 360 release (which had the effect of completely cocking up the PC release, though I think they may have made that more of an issue than it should have been).

    I think THQ and 2K have been the most questionable when it comes to DLC approaches. THQ have monetised their games in a very exploitative manner, and 2K's approach with the Firaxis titles (Civ V and XCOM) has left a lot to be desired. To start with THQ, let's look at Saints Row the Third. Released with a pre-order pack (fair enough) and a season pass (fair enough, worth about $15-20 I think). This showed that they were planning to support the game post-release with some DLC packs. Good. What happened was not good. It has had a large number of small-value packs which add/unlock weapons, clothing options (most of which are used in-game in some way, I think), customised versions of vehicles that exist within the game, etc. They've also done one which gives you all unlockable (via missions) items, one to add cheats (seriously) and another which makes you invincible. The game had very limited customisation options, IMHO, (or at least 'decent' ones), which made the DLC a bit of a kick in the teeth.

    Space Marine also had a poor DLC approach. There were numerous pre-order bonuses, though all were just skins (of chapters for multiplayer), and THQ then charged for multiplayer modes. Fair enough, I suppose, except I think one of the paid-for modes is little more than a model-swap of an existing one. The one thing it needed, i.e. more single-player content, it got none of.

    With Civ V, 2K have... been okay but not. It got an expansion, Gods & Kings (felt a bit 'light' but otherwise good), but many additional Civs were released as DLC. On top of that, extra maps and so-on released that way. Most of those Civs were smaller cultures, but one was Spain, so go figure. Firaxis' other game, XCOM, wasn't quite as good (which is saying something). Customisation was mentioned in pre-release marketing and so on, and one of the pre-order DLCs was... yup, customisation settings/things for your characters. Not. Cool. It didn't warrant being DLC. It should have been part of the game.

    BioShock 2 is a good one for controversy. let's ignore the pissing about 2K did with the PC version of the DLC (particularly the last pack or two), but go straight in for the packs that were on disc. 2K were ripped apart for it, fans/gamers saying they should have had access as they were on the disc, etc. I disagree. I think it's pretty clear why the extra plasmids were on the disc. It stopped the multiplayer being divided between those who had the packs and those who didn't. It meant the multiplayer community would not be fractured. The other option would have been for 2K to distribute the DLC via a patch (again ensuring everyone had the files). So whichever way you look at it, those files needed to be with every gamer to ensure the multiplayer could be the best experience.

    But I think New Vegas was one of the best for DLC. Four large packs, which added numerous hours of gameplay, new items and so on. There were also two smaller packs, one added even more weapons (not necessarily something New Vegas needed) and some new features, the second was a bundle of the four pre-order packs. Yes, those packs were a bit of a dick move by Bethesda (they came about during their pre-order wankfest, both Brink and Hunted had similar DLC approaches), but they weren't particularly necessary. But if you'd just started the game for the first time, they might seem unbalanced or confusing, especially with one of the items ticking away (the water canister thing). For me, they came out after I was well into the game and was thinking about a new character. They smoothed out the start that little bit more, and made it a bit more fun. So that was a timing thing, I think.

    DLC's good. I think it's a great way for smaller content to be distributed. But it has brought its own issues - it's easily exploited, it can be used to disguise 'missing' features, it can add things that should have been there in the first place and so on. We have got to the point where we're very cynical about DLC releases, often naysaying or criticising them. "Why wasn't it in the base game?", "Why will it just be unlocked? It's on the disc, I should have it." and so on. But as is often said in these situations by fans and devs alike, DLC allows things that would have been cut to be included in the game, whether upon release or after it's out.

    Aaaaaand I'm done.
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  9. SkyMuffin

    SkyMuffin Member

    The DLC system for TF2 is the main reason I stopped playing it. It's so hugely complicated and a lot of the items started to break the barrier between cosmetic and gameplay-affecting, which is where i draw the line...i hate it when a competitive game starts giving people with money a distinct advantage. And the whole "you must buy keys to open this box!" thing is just obnoxious.

    Rocketcat Games (an iOS developer) has done a great job with their DLC policy. They offer early adopters bonus cosmetic content, and then most of their DLC is cosmetic only.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  10. mining

    mining Member

    If you want to look at good DLC, look at NWN - they offered "premium modules" which took 4-5 hours to play, with good enjoyment gained out of them, in addition to expansions.
    In general, if a company offers modding software, I don't care how exploitative their DLC is - they've already given players the tools they need to create their own.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  11. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Wow. This really took off. I cannot disagree with anyone here, save about the Golden Key junk in Borderlands 2.

    I wholeheartedly agree that New Vegas is one of the better games with regards to DLC. It likely has as much play time in those expansions as in the base game. And I played all of them beginning to end.

    I have to point out that NWN did not really use the term DLC at all. There was no trivial add-ons. There was just new modules that were whole new games. If you call that DLC, then it was a perfect example of how to do it right. I just see it more like sequels to the base game. (However, the *Real* sequel to NWN died in a fire. NWN2 sucked ass.)

    Am I remembering correctly that there is supposed to be another game in the series any day now? "Neverwinter"?
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  12. jadkni

    jadkni Member

    It is *NOT* a Neverwinter Nights game. It's a MMO, first of all, and it's being developed by Cryptic Studios, who are... what's the nice way to put it? Divisive? Let's call it that. It's too early to say whether it will be bad, but it will absolutely not be another NWN game. Buyer beware.
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  13. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    It's an 'effing MMO? Damnit! Alright. Ignore my little bit about that.
    mining likes this.
  14. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Member

    But it is still a D&D game.
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  15. mining

    mining Member

    There's your bloody dungeon, here's a dragon, ok, problem solves.

    Anyway, I'm less than less than less than excited for it.
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  16. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Member

    But on the D&D/NWN theme, I think it's worth pointing out that in retrospect the NWN Premium Module thing wasn't a great step. They were rather strongly advertised by the launcher, I believe, and also in the module selection (could be wrong), but their availability was limited. In the UK, at least, Kingmaker (with Witches Wake and another) was available as a retail set, but the others saw no retail release and have not been rereleased - even in the GOG edition. They are now impossible to acquire legally, and I think even if you legally own them you have to use morally grey methods to reacquire the files needed. Aside from the Kingmaker pack, they were originally only available from the original version of the BioWare store, not via Atari or Wizards of the Coast, so when the rights were lost or changed, there was no way to buy them.

    So at the time - even though DLC wasn't so much a thing then - they may have been good, but in retrospect we can view them as a sort of warning as to how temporary or restricted the availability of DLC can be.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  17. mining

    mining Member

    NWN Diamond Edition contained all DLC - the game is 8 years old + released largely to disk, I think in general a lack of availability should be expected.
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  18. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I have a boxed copy of NWN Diamond. The servers that verify you have legitimate keys are dead as door-knobs. I will say no more. (Take that as a hint if you cannot legally buy it where you live for some idiotic reason.)
    mining likes this.
  19. mining

    mining Member

    Oh, tip:

    In your hosts file do [some stuff]
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  20. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Member

    No, it didn't. Diamond had both expansions and Kingmaker (retail edition, i.e. three packs). There's at least four more that are unavailable completely.
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