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DLC for Dummies

Shamus skewers the Portal 2 DLC backlash

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Just to comment on the time played, I talked to my roommate this morning and he said he finished it in about 4 and a half hours his first play through, 2nd play through in about 2 and a half. And I've been hearing from various other people on my steam friends list that they've done it in 4-5.
I personally have yet to get a crack at the game because my copy is somewhere in the mail...

7 hours with co op and campaign... so yeah.... only a couple of the puzzles were difficult persay, and a lot were just trying to find a portalble surface that is far away/obscured.( not to say of course that I didn't like the game, it's GOTY so far for me, just commenting that my play time was not that long in comparison)

*edit (completely forgot to put my comment regarding the dlc)

I like Valve's style of dlc. It has 0 effect on the game, and the idiots that buy the stuff essentially pay for everyones future DLC in the game. Instead of having to pay for DLC, by having the micro transaction system that doesn't effect anything it's essentially a money generator for valve, and has the possibility of giving a little back to the community, with say, bonus maps :D

I always thought that Chell looked more Asian than Latino. Her reference model is Japanese/Brazilian, though, so I guess you could swing it either way.

Anyways, a good read. Maybe not your deepest article ever, but it's always fun to hear you rant.

Complaints about the length is something I can at least understand; the singleplayer really is pretty short (I got about 7 hours out of it and I took my time to admire the scenery and listen to the banter). It doesn't bother me because Co-op will probably double that play time, plus there will be plenty of free user generated content when the SDK is released.

The complaints about the DLC (and, to a lesser extent, the ARG) truly are baffling.

edit: Apparently the Steam timer is broken, so my 7 hour playthrough is most likely wrong. Which makes sense, because the game definitely didn't feel like it took only 7 hours.

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: DLC for Dummies

Shamus skewers the Portal 2 DLC backlash

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Fantastic article Shamus! I agree 100%.

Rednog:
Just to comment on the time played, I talked to my roommate this morning and he said he finished it in about 4 and a half hours his first play through, 2nd play through in about 2 and a half. And I've been hearing from various other people on my steam friends list that they've done it in 4-5.
I personally have yet to get a crack at the game because my copy is somewhere in the mail...

Unless they're cheating or exploiting the game systems in some way, there is no possible way you, or anyone, can beat Portal 2 in 2 and a half hours. Even if you know exactly what to do all the time, it will still take at least 5 hours.

If they're going by what the Steam timer says, they should know that the Steam timer is broken. I once played New Vegas from day(about 5PM) to night(was 10 when I got off), and Steam says I played it for 2 hours.

Steam Timer is broken, it is not a good way to tell how long you've played a game. Best way to do that is to not the time when you start, and note it when you stop. Then just use simple maths to figure out the difference.

But Portal 2 is not 4 hours long. There is no possible way, except with cheats/exploits, to beat the game in under 5 hours.

Sturgeon's law is the unfortunate explanation here. When he said 90% of everything is crap, he wasn't excluding sentient beings. Fortunately the fact that things tend to group with others of their kind protects us here. In this case it is within the dregs of our gene pool known as 4chan. Every now and again they escape their biological wasteland to pollute some other aspect of the Internet. Their opinion is irrelevant, as it is the sad product of a twisted, and malfunctioning mind. Do not care for them, care only for those who may be unwittingly influenced by their verbal vomit. Those who find the overall score, and do not see the twisted machinations that produced it. For while they are yet weak, they are still not without hope. For we can teach them critical thinking. They may learn that REVIEW SCORES DON'T F*@&ING MATTER. Rather more important is the analysis behind the score.

This is why I hate metacritic... people care only for the numbers.

A lot of valve fans have a false sense of entitlement, possibly due to years of free DLC. Heaven forbid they have to pay for something that is not needed to fully enjoy the complete game.

Just a heads-up, Steam may not properly count the amount of time you spend in this game. After my first playthrough, it said 4 hours. I knew this was wrong, because it was FIVE A.M. The achievement times are buggy too. People need to learn how to use a clock and maybe even check if the sun is still up instead of blindly assuming that the time shown in Steam is the word of god.

I don't get the complaints about the DLC at all. Does anyone remember the campsite guy in Dragon Age: Origins? The one with the PREMIUM CONTENT QUEST? (EDIT: Ah.. didn't see it was referenced in the article. So, well.. that. Anyway.) That was the most jarring thing I have ever seen, yet nobody 0-bombed for that. This is all just petty bullshit and everyone involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I didn't even know Portal 2 had a DLC system, didn't miss [any of the game] at all.

For about the 5th time in the last twelve months, Shamus Young is the only person making sense on the internet!

Here's a reality check for Metacritic bombing a**holes, real quick.

1) Notch is working as hard as he possibly can. He is not withholding content as a person insult to YOU.

2)Valve has NEVER cheaped out. No, not even Left 4 Dead 2. They never go to market unless they real and truly feel they have a product worth buying and they're damn sure it's finished. Hell, Portal 1 came on the orange box, arguably the best deal in gaming to date.

3) This is part hunch, and part rage against the bastards who murdered Cthulu Saves the World on XBLA Indie, in favour of a lacross game or whatever. YOU MAY NOT REVIEW A GAME YOU DON'T OWN. There is a word for that, it's called lying.

4) People pay $15/month to rent WoW. A good deal sure, given the hundreds of hours you can put into it, but isn't that basically "infinity dollars" over the long term? Or howabout 15 dollars for a map pack in Call of Duty, that not only segments the multiplayer base but seems like a terrible price to boot. Or, as Shamus points out, project ten dollar. Or hell, Online Pass systems being used to destroy used markets. All that is out there, right now, to be pissed about. You chose Portal 2. Good job, gold star.

DeadDodo:
Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I didn't even know Portal 2 had a DLC system, didn't miss it at all.

Yeah they practically hide the DLC shop considering the button is at the bottom of the main menu, even below the exit button.

Any dissenters are idiots? Ok I object to portal 2 DLC. I am not an idiot. I gave it a chance. But the fact is that the "sale items" were the things that you could unlock with achievements. And I mean these peaches were waved in your face once you clicked on "robotic enrichment." That means they suckered people into buying the only free things they could have. Gotta sell them first before people know how easy they are to get.
Now here is an idea that combines things. Have the sale items. Sell all the gestures you want. Then maybe you get free skins for any potato sack or valve games you own. Buy portal get 5 fun bucks for the store. Or better yet have Coke or Pepsi corp. pay the companies make and give out free coke or Pepsi skins cause I sure as hell would like to play as a vending machine. Maybe a free Cadbury Egg skin. That would be delicious, free, and drive up their stock prices.

Crunchy English:
For about the 5th time in the last twelve months, Shamus Young is the only person making sense on the internet!

Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Destructoid
No High Scores

He's not alone in that sentiment.

He is completely right, though.

mcnally86:
Any dissenters are idiots? Ok I object to portal 2 DLC. I am not an idiot. I gave it a chance. But the fact is that the "sale items" were the things that you could unlock with achievements. And I mean these peaches were waved in your face once you clicked on "robotic enrichment." That means they suckered people into buying the only free things they could have. Gotta sell them first before people know how easy they are to get.

Or, if you don't like the shop, you could just not buy anything.

None of it is integral to the game, none of it has any bearing on the gameplay, story, or anything really. Its just a bunch of cosmetic crap that you don't need. If you want to buy it, fine, if not, thats fine as well. Nobody is forcing you, or anybody else, to buy anything.

And the fact that the items can be unlocked with achievements gives Portal 2 dlc arguments even less merit. Since it further shows that you don't have to use the shop at all to get cosmetic stuff.

Now here is an idea that combines things. Have the sale items. Sell all the gestures you want. Then maybe you get free skins for any potato sack or valve games you own. Buy portal get 5 fun bucks for the store. Or better yet have Coke or Pepsi corp. pay the companies make and give out free coke or Pepsi skins cause I sure as hell would like to play as a vending machine. Maybe a free Cadbury Egg skin. That would be delicious, free, and drive up their stock prices.

And thats probably going to happen sooner or later. Although I'd hate for product placement to be in a game like Portal 2.

mireko:
Just a heads-up, Steam may not properly count the amount of time you spend in this game. After my first playthrough, it said 4 hours. I knew this was wrong, because it was FIVE A.M. The achievement times are buggy too. People need to learn how to use a clock and maybe even check if the sun is still up instead of blindly assuming that the time shown in Steam is the word of god.

I noticed that the clock was off as well. It claims I have only played the game for 3 hours, but I know I have played way more than that.

I question all claims to have completed this game in 4 hours or less. I am wondering if they are claiming this by the steam timer or actual time passed on a clock that is sitting there beside you.

So a professional writer like Shamus goes out and uses expletives against the subjective reviews of a certain group of consumers who are well within their rights to voice their opinions - gah, poor attempt at trolling on my part, good job Shamus! :D

This week: Shamus Young grabs the low-hanging fruit.

Talk about kissing ass. And I thought fanboism had limits. I guess not reading now Shamus. How about just a few weeks ago when Bethesda announced that people we're still uying the horse armor DLC for Oblivion. I remember "the idiots" commenting(I might be wrong but the guy who wrote the artivle too) about how that type of DLC(fancy stuff) is the worse possible. And we're talking about a 2 dollar thing not what P2 sells. But I guess beeing an hypocrit pays more when talking to fanboys.

mireko:

Destructoid

I knew I liked Jim Sterling for a reason!

Yeah. This is ridiculous.

But on the other hand, I kind of like Project Ten Dollar. Assuming my DLC isn't a 100 KB file that just UNLOCKS content already on the disc...Like an Online Pass. If I'm just unlocking on-disc shit, Capcom style, I hate that. But if it's stuff that I can measure in MB or GB, I'm usually fine with it.

Irridium:

But Portal 2 is not 4 hours long. There is no possible way, except with cheats/exploits, to beat the game in under 5 hours.

The error I've noticed is that if your Internet connection blips out and comes back it steps counting. I clocked my first playthrough at 8 hours and I only died twice so for a first playthrough that's probably about right.

I re ran that game yesterday and remembered how to do every puzzle, I did it in about five hours so that's a reasonable minimum time. You could probably get it down to about four if you ran through ignoring dialogue...but why do it?

Unprofessional and uncool Shamus, calling people idiots for not agreeing with you is pretty much what your accusing them of. I like your column, but I think you went overboard here.

I'll also be honest in saying that I disagree with you about how big a deal the DLC for "Portal 2" is. There is a reason for that, and one you didn't seem to consider. The problem is that nowadays the game industry is trying to charge extra money for the kinds of things that have traditionally been included in games as part of the overall product. Alternate costumes have been a standby for games for a very long time, one of the incentives to replay games a second time with the new look, or something part of the experience revolved around as you tried to figure out how to unlock them. Right now the gaming industry has gotten to a point where they will strip everything they can out of a game to sell seperatly. Fighting games want you to pay extra money for differant color palettes or costumes for example as opposed to putting them in the game like they would have been before the current era of DLC. Had DLC not been an option, I think Valve would still have had the alternate costumes, it's just that they would have been a reward for beating the game, or reaching a certain milestone.

A lot of people talk about an attitude of entitlement among gamers when it comes to these kidns of things, but I don't think that's really the case. I think it's more a matter of people not liking to be gouged. Nobody is really innovating anything to add to games for DLC that would be worth buying, rather they are taking features that have been traditionally there to begin with, removing them from the game, and then charging extra for them. Nobody begrudges the games industry trying to make money, but people don't like to be chased around by penny pinchers, and seeing the game industry get into a mould where they increasingly want you to pay for everything.

To be honest it's the trivial DLC that bugs people the most, the costumes for Chell, the Horse Armor, and things like that. Few people complain about actual additions to a game that add a fair amount of content for the price, unless of course those additions are things that clearly should have been a part of the game to begin with. If you say create a set of DLC that adds a new Island with quests to a game world (like say what "Forge Of Virtue" did for Ultima 7) nobody really cares. However trying to charge someone for a new character skin or outfit? That's kind of ridiculous. The motive for doing this kind of thing is to make money without having to put in the effort or creativity to come up with something to add to a genuinely complete game that people will want to pay for.

In short, it's about the industry getting TOO greedy. With Valve I think it hit them unusually hard because Valve is viewed as "our company" by a lot of gamers. To see them involved in the kind of DLC garbage that you'd expect from say Capcom, doubtlessly upset a lot of people a lot more than you'd expect. NOT being involved in this kind of thing is why a lot of people loved Valve... it was the company people would point to when griping about the gimmicks other companies were running.

-

I'll also say that I think you yourself are being a bit of a fanboy, as much as I hate to. To be honest I don't think Valve got "metabombed" over this. To be honest the idea of metabombing has been around for a while, as have groups like 4chan and their /V/ board and so on. People expect them, and simply put their presence has not had the affect that you are seeing recently with cases like this and "Dragon Age Rage". I have no doubt that there are people like you describe who rated the game '0' over the DLC, but there aren't enough of them to do this kind of damage all on their own. These kinds of vents are noteworthy, because it doesn't generally happen.

While there are tons of Portal "OMG, Portal is the best thing ever" fans out there, who were going to support this game no matter what, I think there are actually more people who just wanted a good game and weren't involved in any kind of fan-cult even if they liked the first one. By many accounts, "Portal 2" is really a pretty poor game, that has been seriously overhyped due to the first one. One analogy I've heard is that Portal was an "indie" darling that took the world by surprise storm by being unique and differant. It's sort of like what " The Blair Witch Project" was years ago. "Portal 2" is the big budget sell out of the original, that was going down a checklist of cliques fans wanted to see, polished up, and made to be hip as opposed to being a "true to itself" product. Basically it's "Blair Witch 2", complete with it's goth girls, and "relevent" soundtrack. Unlike the movie industry though, an anticipated video game is going to sell like hotcakes due to early, unretunrable sales. You don't see word of mouth having quite the same effect on the game industry that it does with movies, especially given the way the industry can control information and surpress reviews until after the initial sales period when it first launches. I also think that since people are pretty much stuck with the games they buy, there is also a tendency for people to lionize even turds because they are dealing with turds they own.... or to defend franchises when an installment blows chips, in hopes that the next one will be better.

Now to be fair, I have not played "Portal 2". I am not a huge fan of the series. When it goes down in price, I'll probably give it a shot though, because the idea is interesting, but I'm neither a big FPS or Puzzle game player. I'm just going by some of the feedback I've heard bebopping around the internet (the "Blair Witch" analogy wasn't mine to be fair, I got that from a random post, but it seemed to be a good one for how some people were feeling about this). There is no need to shoot the messenger (so to speak).

Generally speaking I think "Portal 2" and "Dragon Age 2" are noteworthy because they are sequels right on the tip of a trend where the user meta-ratings are not matching the professional ratings, which were apparently paid for. What's more the response obviously involves enough people (as opposed to just troll groups) where traditional ways of "fixing" the problem, like having company employees shill for you, just aren't working.

Beyond a doubt, Valve was kind of asking for it with the day 1 DLC, however that all on it's own wouldn't have caused this. Nor would a bunch of the "usual suspects" in the troll community going out to try and bomb a game just because it's a big, popular, release.

I think the industry, and those who watch, and comment on it, are simply in denial that there are cracks appearing in the walls they have built around themselves.

Portal 2 might be a great game objectively, heck maybe I'll love it when I eventually play it down the road, and be there two years later scraming it's praises belatedly (since I imagine it will be that long before the price goes down far enough for me to buy it). However, that doesn't change that what we're seeing here is a the result of actual reception from a good portion of the audience.

I can see where this is coming from. I don't agree with it, but I can see why it happened.

First of all, Valve is in that unenviable position of being the game company that's trusted. Right or not, (you'd trust a company?) this leads to a much bigger crunch when reality kicks in.

Second, the ARG winds people up. They always do. Even back to Masquerade (The Golden Hare thing), once you deliberately break the wall between fantasy and reality, then you've just brought the internet's hate into the open.

Thirdly, Valve wound them up. That's the purpose of marketing. Portal 2 could never reach the heights it was predicted to. It's still a damn fine game (from what I hear), but as the semi-mythical cure for those long years waiting for Portal; it simply couldn't do it.

So what we're left with is a bunch of people that were wound up to bursting point and then given something that was only great. A silver spoon when they'd been "promised" gold.

That's what the internet is. Entitlement given form. If you break that fourth wall, you've got to know what's coming. Hell, any forum can show you that. That's why you shouldn't pay attention to those people, because some day they'll get into power, and they'll start making laws. And that's when you've got to start worrying about Atkinson.M or others.

bjj hero:
A lot of valve fans have a false sense of entitlement, possibly due to years of free DLC. Heaven forbid they have to pay for something that is not needed to fully enjoy the complete game.

I wouldn't say "Valve fans" just idiots.
Valves use of the micro transactions is purely supplementary anyway, content such as the free updates everyone gets. The items from the TF2 and Portal 2 stores are all cosmetic and have nothing to do with the game, and can also be earned for free while playing the game. As Shamus said:

Shamus Young:
DLC shouldn't be integral to the experience.

Valve gives their PC community free updates, like maps for Left 4 Dead. At least they don't charge people for the maps like Microsoft does, which considering Left 4 Dead is a co op survival story about 4 people trying to get the hell out of dodge during the zombie apocalypse. Denying people content that would further what narrative there is, is exactly what he said DLC SHOULDN'T do.

I think there is a slightly valid complaint about the DLC, that being the amount of it available on day 1. Sure it doesn't impact the game at all, but having these little things planned to be launched in a sideline store along with the game does grate a little for someone who grew up playing games in the days where things like what they are selling used to be in game unlockables. Like I said, not a big deal at all, just irritating.

DeadDodo:
Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I didn't even know Portal 2 had a DLC system, didn't miss [any of the game] at all.

its that little "robot enrichment" thingy below the selection screen.

its only for hats flags skins and dances for the co op bots. nothing important.

and i got 2 free items. im not sure how i got em, but i did.
a wighted companion cube hat beanie and flag.
if someone can tell me what i did to get them that would be great.

Irridium:

mcnally86:
Any dissenters are idiots? Ok I object to portal 2 DLC. I am not an idiot. I gave it a chance. But the fact is that the "sale items" were the things that you could unlock with achievements. And I mean these peaches were waved in your face once you clicked on "robotic enrichment." That means they suckered people into buying the only free things they could have. Gotta sell them first before people know how easy they are to get.

Or, if you don't like the shop, you could just not buy anything.

None of it is integral to the game, none of it has any bearing on the gameplay, story, or anything really. Its just a bunch of cosmetic crap that you don't need. If you want to buy it, fine, if not, thats fine as well. Nobody is forcing you, or anybody else, to buy anything.

And the fact that the items can be unlocked with achievements gives Portal 2 dlc arguments even less merit. Since it further shows that you don't have to use the shop at all to get cosmetic stuff.

Now here is an idea that combines things. Have the sale items. Sell all the gestures you want. Then maybe you get free skins for any potato sack or valve games you own. Buy portal get 5 fun bucks for the store. Or better yet have Coke or Pepsi corp. pay the companies make and give out free coke or Pepsi skins cause I sure as hell would like to play as a vending machine. Maybe a free Cadbury Egg skin. That would be delicious, free, and drive up their stock prices.

And thats probably going to happen sooner or later. Although I'd hate for product placement to be in a game like Portal 2.

First I'm not buying anything. Im just saying they set up a money trap selling the only free stuff. Second they already do have product placement in Portal 2. They sell little antenna pendents that you can barely see on P-bot. And yes they sell one for every potato sack game. Could these be free if you have the sack or corresponding game? Seeing how little they are. How ungame breaking you point them out to be. And how simple it is the re skin a tiny pendant seems they could be free or at least let you pick one with your purchase of an 8 hour game for 50$. I like portal. I'm objecting to be automatically being told my opinions make me dumb because of the opinions of others. Honestly I know a lot of people who quit hat fortress because of these practices so I am not alone.

Well, the facts as I see them are:

1) day-one DLCs are stupid
2) asking people to pay for in-game clothing is stupid
3) paying for in-game clothing is stupid

Now, if I'd shun Portal 2 for something on Metacritic, it'd be for the DRM of the nuke sort, which prohibits many regular purchasers from playing.

But from the business standpoint, Valve gets what they deserve for this DLC crap. No reason to spoil a great game like that. None.

Portal 2's single player campaign took me roughly 8 hours to finish (Not based on Steam's buggy timer), and I was never stuck on an individual puzzle for very long. I don't know how people could beat it in under 5 hours, especially on their first play-through. I haven't touched co-op yet because I'm waiting for a friend to get it, but some of my friends that have already played through co-op said it took them 4-6 hours.

But on the topic of DLC, Valve's is quite harmless. Seriously, the only DLC in Portal 2 are hats, little flags, and skins all for the co-op bots. There is no actual content that is being charged for. Like the article said, there are developers that are handling DLC much, much worse than Valve is.

I think some people were just over-hyped and then disappointed when they found out that the game didn't cure cancer, or were angry that the ARG didn't release the game days early, and they're taking their frustration it out on the DLC.

I agree with everything except for the thing about New Vegas.

Being a single player game, getting something extra for pre-ordering the game shouldn't mean anything at all because no one is negatively affected by it, except maybe the player, and that's going into the "they don't experience the full challenge of the game" crock that I think is a stupid reason anyway.

So yeah besides that I agree with you.

mcnally86:

First I'm not buying anything. Im just saying they set up a money trap selling the only free stuff. Second they already do have product placement in Portal 2. They sell little antenna pendents that you can barely see on P-bot. And yes they sell one for every potato sack game. Could these be free if you have the sack or corresponding game? Seeing how little they are. How ungame breaking you point them out to be. And how simple it is the re skin a tiny pendant seems they could be free or at least let you pick one with your purchase of an 8 hour game for 50$. I like portal. I'm objecting to be automatically being told my opinions make me dumb because of the opinions of others. Honestly I know a lot of people who quit hat fortress because of these practices so I am not alone.

You can get the flags for free. From what I can tell, you can get everything for free one way or another.

Unfortunately I can't really find a lot of details on what exactly the DLC entails, because Googling "Portal 2 DLC" will only lead to reports surrounding the controversy, so it's a little hard to comment here.

I would like to say that I think that releasing DLC so soon after the game is a complicated issue. When you buy a game, you can't really know what you are going to get. But a lot of people tend to assume that what you're buying is the result of the entirety of the developer's efforts that were spent on that game. This is the way it used to be before DLC existed. Simply put, the situation has deteriorated. And while every developer/publisher is free to use whatever business practices they want, and customers really aren't entitled to anything, I think it is unfair to completely dismiss people's disappointment with this situation.

Also, I'm not so sure I think that "bombing" Metacritic is that bad. Partly, that is because I really don't give a flying fuck about Metacritic scores. But also because it seems to me that this is kind of what it's for. People tell their opinion about a game to Metacritic, and they are completely free in what aspects of the experience they value the most. If they think the gameplay and story are awesome, but they feel completely screwed over because of the DLC (see above point) and they think the latter is about 1000 times more important, then they should give the game a 0.

Of course, I don't want to say that there are no idiots. Just that some valid points exist as to why people might dislike this move by Valve.

1. They're cosmetic items.
2. Some of them are unlocked simply by playing the game.
3. Some of them are unlocked if you own them in TF2.

Oh yes, this is horrible horrible dlc. I can't believe anyone would rage against VALVE regarding DLC. You know, the company that made Team Fortress 2, a game that has more than doubled in game size in free updates? Or even the L4D games, which have both gotten a couple new campaigns? Even Counterstrike got a number of new maps and upgrades free back in the day.

Compare this to Black Ops, which is selling a multiplayer map pack for $15.

Shamus, once again you are the voice of reason, and I salute you.

mcnally86:

Irridium:

mcnally86:
snip

snip

snip

snip

snip

you understand that there is nothing compelling you to buy the silly hat right?
its just a bloody hat!

if you dont want it dont buy it, it changes nothing about that game what so ever.

and trust me when i tell you. no one is "fooled" into buying a hat.

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