PC Gaming & Downloadable Content.

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Caledfwlch, Apr 30, 2011.

  1.  
    Caledfwlch

    Caledfwlch Wears a Fez now

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Messages:
    48
    Just to keep the Steam thread about Steam...

    What is annoying the hell out of me with regards DLC, is it is not being used to expand games playability, which is obviously a noble cause, but, instead, the games are being left barely clothed, with less "things" because all the studio wants is to profit from DLC.

    Dragon Age Origins for example. The quest/Companion DLC is fine, no problem there, the game is fun and totally playable without having the DLC Golem Shale as a companion, Warden's Peak is a cool little quest/side mission, that gets you some nice armour, but nowt important. I have not Witch Hunt or Leliana's Song yet, so don't know how "big" they are. Awakenings of course is a welcome addition, and is a mini game all in itself.

    But Vanilla Dragon Age seems very, very barren in terms of decent armours and weaponry. It feels like the big "Suits" at Bioware have just begrudgingly ordered the game designers to put in the absolute bare minimum because the suits want to see a steady revenue stream from DLC Sales.

    Of course, there are still enough decent people and gamers at Bioware, that they were able to get the Toolset released, so fans can do their own Modding. And apart from the professional sheen/expert coding that official DLC in terms of companions, quests, voiceovers etc has, Much of the smaller DLC can be ignored, as there are plenty of fan made armours, weapons, equipment and so on to install for free.

    DLC is a good thing, but there needs to be a fair balance - a game should not feel like stuff is missing, because for the studio, us paying £30-£40 for a game is not good enough, DLC should be welcome additions to expand, and enhance an already brilliant experience. And most of all, fans should be encouraged to keep the game living and breathing through fan modding, with easily usable toolsets/game editors released ASAP from release.

    How many PC Gamers play Gothic 3 these days? Apart from some serious issues to do with support, for the games myriad bugs and problems (the developers fall out with the studio is absolutely a thread of its own possibly ;) ) There is actually a good game, and an interesting story. I believe fan patches have made the game much more "complete" and fixed most of the troubles. But wheres the easy to use toolset? We RPG Gamers are an awkward sort, we want to replay, and replay, and fan modding, keeps our experiences interesting, and different every time...

    People however, still play Oblivion, I think fan mods still come out too! Bethesda whilst wanting to benefit from DLC sales, have managed to strike the correct balance. Vanilla Oblivion is a massive, immersive and absolutely complete world. You don't encounter suspicious situations or "lacks" that make you think its been knobbled to profit from some DLC.
  2.  
    Caledfwlch

    Caledfwlch Wears a Fez now

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Messages:
    48
    At the moment, my install of Dragon Age has something between 1-2 gigs worth of Fan mods. I have some official stuff, Warden's Keep, The Stone Prisoner, but almost everything outside of quest/companion/expansion add ins that I have and use is fan made, gratis.

    The best of the lot, without a doubt is the Legendary and awesome Winters Forge, a huge fan mod, that allows one to forge your own weapons, armour, equipment, and to enchant it. (not runes, but you know how say Bob's Big Cuttyupper Sword that you find on a major Boss has certain abilities installed, compared to the boring iron sword you found in a chest - like +4 damage to darkspawn, or 15% chance of critical strike.) you can do all that yourself now, and built truly customised equipment. It is even a "quest" you have to find materials, reagents, scrolls and lumps of Ore and others, such as Veridium or Star Metal, and planks of wood/bundles of leather for wood and leather based items, such as Dragonskin for light armour, or Ironbark for Bows.

    And if like me, you are playing the game through for the 16th or so time :D you can activate the "cheats" on the Winter Forge, so you can forge equipment with any material, and add any ability/enchantment you like.

    The fan made Universal Dye Kit is another must have, for "dying" ones equipment to preferred colours. Below is a pic of my current "A Team" of companions - you have more of course, but these 3 are my best.

    My actual player character (Dervel) is equipped in Medium Scale Armour made out of "Star Metal" (meteorite ore, the toughest in the game) my main weapon set is Duel swords and they are 2 wonderful curved "Dar'Missu" Elven swords, enchanted with grandmaster lightening runes, and enchanted/augmented with abilities to do serious damage and wreak carnage. All dyed Black.

    screenshots are a bit blurry/messy because I uploaded them to chronicles.

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    [​IMG][/IMG]
  3.  
    Lemmy

    Lemmy Metalhead

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    163
    Back in the Neverwinter Nights 2 days, I had a chat with one of the main developers. I forgot his name, sorry. But anyway, I wasn't exactly happy that the editor didn't have much included. It's far smaller than the one in NWN, and a lot of the stuff that are included isn't good. He countered it and said fans have made a lot of great stuff for NWN1, including CEP (Community Expansion Pack) with lots of extra stuff. That's fair enough, but my biggest issue is that we didn't pay for an editor without any content in it. Fan made stuff is fun, but what are we supposed to do until then? And keep in mind when we made modules for the game, we had to include all the custom stuff we used. It was fine with CEP in NWN1, but CEP was a compilation of all the best stuff the fans had made and wasn't released until long after the game was out. Over a year or two, if I'm not mistaken. Were we supposed to wait that long before we made stuff in NWN2? If we grabbed what we needed from the community, all we ended up with was forcing players to download the same stuff over and over and over again in different micro-compilations. That's why I spent more than four years in NWN1 and less than four weeks in NWN2. (of course if you got the game just for the game, that's fine enough. But I'm talking about all the people who bought it for the editor.)

    This was long before DLC was a concept, but you get the idea. These days DLC is common, but they are still doing the same mistake as NWN2. DLC should add to the game, not finish it. Mass Effect 2 is one of the biggest issues here. The latest DLC as far as I know finish up the story and prepares for ME3. Why couldn't they finish up the story in the vanilla game? (note: I couldn't be arsed to play through ME2, but I do know what the DLC and ME3 is about.)

    I wish someone could take chances and make DLC that actually expands the game for a change. We used to get expansions with entire new campaings, so why can't we do that with DLC? I love Fallout: New Vegas, so let's use that as an example. We already have a rather large map to play around in, but there's plenty of space to increase the size a bit. They could add an NPC in one city (or add to an existing, useless NPC's conversation) and start off a scenario that takes the player through several cities and outposts, ending in a new dungeon with new texture, monsters and all that. It could feel like a long campaign, but all they do is add a few conversations and a new dungeon. Instead we are lucky enough if they add the dungeon, and if they do, it's usually small and boring.

    Here's a crazy idea: What if they made a huge campaign and released it as episodic DLC? So using New Vegas an example, we could get Episode 1 and travel to a new dungeon somewhere. It's not too big, but should take an hour or two to finish. It leaves with a cliffhanger, so we travel to a new dungeon in Episode 2 and continue the DLC story. We have to get all ten episodes to finish the campaign, and ten episodes lasting two or three hours each is quite a bit. Once all of them are released, they could sell them combined as an expansion. Both online and in stores. That way they can take their time and build a large expansion, but make money along the way and give players what they want. Each episode should be stand-alone with limitations, so you can get just one episode and explore the dungeon if you want. But you won't get the campaign or rewards. (you can still find new stuff from loot, though.)
  4.  
    Chaoticheart

    Chaoticheart In chaos I find truth

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    222
    I disagree. Based on the world they created, the variety of weapons and armour actually fitted perfectly. Rather than having a million epic looking super enchanted items, in general they went with a more realistic set of wep/armour. This was clearly their intent and I felt it worked perfectly.

    As for the DLC, it was in no way necessary and most of them were entirely irrelevant. Witch Hunt was the only one that really continued the story and it was made simply because every man and his dog wanted it to be.

    And oblivion did suffer from quite a few lacks. Theres a fan made mod that was released last year sometime (the mod is actually bigger than the original game) and it is a far superior game as far as I'm concerned. I'll try find the link later.


    @Lemmy

    • Technically you didn't pay for an editor at all. And you shouldn't judge a game based on the toolset they supply with it. Obsidian was under no obligation to give one at all, they make no money from any fan made modules, theres no subscription. You should just be happy it was there at all.
    • ME2 finishes on a cliffhanger, ME3 starts at an important event sometime later. Books, films, games all do this - and often they'll offer up a bridging work as well. The bridge itself is unnecessary but often people want to know exactly what happened in between. ME2's story finished in ME2. The bridging DLC is just that - a bridge - it does nothing to ME2's story it does nothing to ME3's. It simply shows how they link in greater detail than you would otherwise get.
    • What do you mean DLC that expands the game for a change? Apart from cosmetic packs, almost all DLC expands a game in some way.
  5.  
    Lemmy

    Lemmy Metalhead

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    163
    The whole point with Neverwinter Nights 1 was to give the players the freedom to do whatever they wanted - in other words, BioWare created one hell of a toolset and encouraged people to do crazy with it and gave them full support. They even created the whole community on their website. The whole 'game' part (aka campaign) was made as an afterthought. Why then would anyone assume NWN2 would be mainly just a game and the toolset included simply because they thought it would be a nice gesture?

    So when do we get the bridge from ME1 to ME2? Or is that not important? We only killed the council, started to rebuild the galaxy with humans as the supreme rulers and prepared for a big war. When ME2 starts a few years later, all of that is forgotten?

    Um... no, it doesn't. It adds a microquest here and there, or maybe a companion no one cares about. Neverwinter Nights gave us two expansions that both added a huge campaign lasting fifteen, twenty hours each. Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind gave us two expansions that felt like almost full games on their own. The Oblivion expansion gave us an entire island to play around in. The Oblivion DLC gave us horse armor.
  6.  
    Chaoticheart

    Chaoticheart In chaos I find truth

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    222
    Mainly because it was developed by an entirely different company who wanted their game to actually stand as a game. The only reason the toolset was included was because it had garnered decent popularity with the first game. What you do seem to be forgetting though is that, large as the custom community was, it was still a tiny percentage of the actual number of people who bought the game. The inclusion of the original aurora toolset with NWN was effectively a test, to see how people would react. The inclusion of the toolset was the afterthought.

    And as a side note, once you grew accustomed the differences, the unmodded Electron toolset was in my opinion far superior to Aurora when it came to making full modules.


    As I recall one of the books bridged the two. But even if it doesn't that's unimportant, neither Bridge is actually necessary to the plot of the games. It is likely, however that the one between 2/3 was released as DLC because of the reaction to the lack of playable continuity between 1/2.

    Quest lines, and companions are do actually count as expanding upon the game. Anywas are you trying to say that the Witch Hunt DLC was something noone cared about? The shadow broker DLC was something noone cared about? The Pit, Broken Steel, Point Lookout were all crap noone cared about? And as for Oblivion, implying that horse armour was the pinnacle of the DLC is a serious deception. Oblivio DLC also included the Knights of the Nine and a number of other instances.

    DLC should not be compared to Expansions; DLC is intended to be small little addons to the game, an expansion, in contrast, is supposed to effectively be a new game.

    You'll also notice that most of the games mentioned in this thread are also console games. DLC has become popular with advent of online consoles. Due to their originally smaller hard drives, it wasn't viable to release full sized expansions. It's only the later half of the seventh generation that has really increased HDD size. Even with this though, DLC has proven a far more effective method than full expansions (proportionately the sales of the oblivion and DA expansions were far lower on console than pc) and so the companies have adopted this method as it has proven the more profitable in a market dominated by console gamers. You may now wonder why the companies cater to the console rather than the PC. It's simple, consoles sell far more, and are pirated far less, which again means more money for the companies.

Share This Page