How DLCs changed (my) gaming forever

Discussion in 'Heart of the Revolution' started by gabriel_magno, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. gabriel_magno

    gabriel_magno Novice

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    I have been gaming for the last 30 years. Started with an Atari, then moved to a Phantom System (a generic NES from where I am from), then a Super NES, a few years without gaming and then a PS1, PS2, PS3 and now a PS4. Gaming does not come cheap, so getting games was always a big thing. Until the SNES era most of my games were rented: two cartridges taken on a Friday and given back on a Monday, for affordable pricing. For PS1 and PS2 times it was renting, buying used or getting from friends. At the PS3 era I was making enough money to properly purchase my games, so I started to build my collection. I would at least once a week visit a game store and check their stocks of new and used games, and buy whatever interested me. I still had that mentality that a game in a box was a finished product, ready to be taken home and enjoyed. It was before I heard of DLCs.

    My first contact with a DLC came together with my PS3. It was a bundle containing Infamous and a second game I could choose between Red Faction Guerrilla or a sports game. The latter was so uninteresting to me that I do not even remember its name. So I took the PS3 home, bundled games and a few others, and happily started to play. At some point in 2009 I started Red Faction. Found it interesting at the time, but too repetitive, and went to the end. While checking for the trophy list (I was still trying to understand how it worked), I saw that there were this expansion pack which I did not had access for some reason, that would expand the story of the game. But the story was nothing special anyway, so I just forgot about it and went on.

    Several months later I started to play Dragon Age Origins. Note that I am a big fan of RPGs. Still very young I played to exhaustion FF6, and learned more English while doing that than from my school. I got so hooked on the game that I played every main FF game since, from 1 to 13, at least twice each, only skipping the online ones and FF15 for reasons you will know by the end of this text. So I was hyped to the end with DAO, thinking that it would finally be the modern RPG I was craving for so long. I started it, tried to absorb all the game was offering, read about the lore, tried hard to keep up with the origins stories, chose my own and dived head on. Then, a few hours into the game, I stumble upon this NPC on a campfire that spoke about a very cool quest with lots of rewards and back story. Of course I was interested, and while trying to discover more I was sent to the PS store to buy the F****** quest. Buy it. I even checked my disk copy to be sure I had the complete game and not a demo. And it was the complete game! I just couldn’t believe it. I refused to buy and went on, in the meantime discovering that my game copy came with another paid quest included. Then I thought to myself: will finish the game first, then this extra quest, and buy the rest. Not buying the expansion was not an option to my naïve mind at the time! But the game was not that great, all choices did not matter too much in the end, the DLC I had was short and uninteresting (something about a golem and whatever), so I never touched the game again. Played DA2 years later, hated it, never played the next one.

    Up until then I would buy the games that interested me. If I liked the idea or franchise, I would preorder or buy it in the launch week. Besides experiencing the game as soon as possible, I believed that I would be helping the developers by giving them revenue for their work. Did that with all Ezio-Desmond Assassins Creeds (dropped the series after seeing the conclusion in 3), with dark souls (1 and 2), God of War, Final Fantasy 13, and many others. I was aware of this new concept of paid expansions, but did not cared too much at the time.

    The first DLC I paid for was in 2010. Bought Assassins Creed 2 near its release, loved it and got very interested in the Altair-Ezio-Desmond tale. Then, sometime afterwards, the DLC was released. Considering how much the game impressed me, I bought it, and played on one afternoon. By the time the DLC ended I was still thinking that I was just finishing its first DLC mission. But no, that was all. A couple of pounds for a few generic assassinations, no big link to the main game nor the tale it tells. Just a quick cash grab, no need to exist. Vowed to be very careful with DLCs in the future.

    Sometime later I played Dark Souls. Amazing game. I really like these souls games, and proudly have a platinum for each one, including Bloodborne and Demons Souls. But back to Dark Souls. There came the news about a DLC for it, and I decided to give the paid DLC thing another chance. Bought the Artorias of the Abyss and played it to the end. It was a lot better than AC2 DLC for sure, but it still felt unnecessary. A cash grab and nothing more. I would be happy with it if it was already part of the base game, or not existing at all, or becoming improved and part of a sequel. Anything but becoming a piece of downloaded content that felt all out of place. Then, I made a new vow to myself: never to pay for a DLC again.

    Of course I didn’t want to be paying for games with missing content. So I changed the way I buy and play games. No more I was eagerly waiting for a release date, getting the game as soon as possible. I started to wait. Buy games only after confirming that no DLC was coming to them. But the developers got greedy, and almost everything now comes with a season pass and DLCs. So, as prey and predators co-evolve in nature, I came out with a new strategy to overcome my foe: now I only buy complete editions of games. Of course I have to wait one year or more for it, and not all game ends up in a complete or game of the year edition, but it is being worth it. I can take my time, play my backlog, and at the end spend less money while getting more gaming hours every year. It is a win situation for me.

    Not that all DLC I am getting this way is good or worth the wait. I really liked the Arkham trilogy for example, but found the DLC of my game of the year edition of Arkham Knight not interesting at all. A lot of games only get online DLC, and I do not care at all for these. Exception being Street Fighter V, which I bought 'incomplete' to support the fight money – episodic system, and still have mixed feelings about it (maybe I can explore it in another text). Ever since FF15 launched I am itching to play (and complete it), but so far no definitive edition has appeared since as far as I know the DLC is still being released.

    Some complete editions gave me mixed feelings. I played Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne in their definitive editions. Payed half the price that I would have paid in the launch day and got all content from each. But I still think the respective DLCs were unbalanced and not worth when the whole is considered. Bloodborne DLC gave me the hardest boss fight in the whole souls series (Orfan of Kos, I will never forget you!), but at the same time made me over-leveled for my second playthrough. And DS3 DLC gave me +3 rings and extra levels that made my second and third playthrough too easy for my taste. It stops being a souls game if you can easily go through everything on your path. I know that I had the option of not using them nor leveling during the DLC, but the unbalanced stuff came from the developers adding this to the game and not me carefully handicapping myself to avoid it.

    In some instances it has been worth to be patient. Now I am playing The Witcher 3 game of the year edition, still on the base game but knowing that the DLC is considered to be of high quality. Will dive into them after finishing the main campaign. On my backlog I have other interesting games such as the complete edition of Horizon. Once you get used, having a gap of one or two years in the games you play is not a big deal, and saves you some money and frustration. You only need to become a cautious buyer and avoid major spoilers if you care about it.

    I completely understand that game developers need income. That making games are getting more expensive while prices are not increasing to keep up. But I hate being fooled. And for me most DLCs are just scams to get more money from consumers. So I prefer not to fall for it again and recommend others to do the same. If FF6 were released today, I am sure it would be full of DLCs. "Want to know what happened to Locke at the world of ruin? Pay 9.99 and get this new dungeon with an interesting party management mechanic, new items and the exclusive phoenix power". "Buy the season pass for 14.99 to have access to new characters: strong Umaro, the mysterious Gogo and Relm". "Pre-order today to get access to the coliseum, a place where your skills will be put to the test". "Finally get to play as Shadow, for only 3.99". "Get full control of your party in our latest update" (yes FF15, I am looking at you). And so on... In a sense I can say FF6 was a game in which DLC was made right: there were none. All extra stuff was already on the game and added to the full experience.

    Do you agree, disagree or have another opinion? Please let us know below.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  2. NegFactor

    NegFactor Novice

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    I won't just haphazardly support a company or series with DLC purchases. If I really like the game or if I trust the series enough, I might jump in on the DLC. For instance, I loved Dark Souls and its DLC, but I regret the Season pass for DS2 and DS3 (in the latter case, I got the premium edition with DLC included for free as a Christmas present, so I didn't lose out, really). I don't think I've bought any DLC on my own outside of DS1, DS2, and Burnout Paradise -- anything I've gotten to mess with in other games usually hasn't been that great.
     
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  3. gabriel_magno

    gabriel_magno Novice

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    I added a few lines about DS3 and Bloodborne DLC on my text above.
     
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