DLC for Dummies

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Wicky_42:

The point is that, as Shamus says, Portal 2 handles DLC the best I've seen - it's basically like a "donate" function; a paint job or extra animation for a couple of bucks, and only if you go out of your way to find them. Compare that to your list. Now ask yourself why the one game that gets it right deserves all this hate compared to all those other day one DLC titles that lock away quests, characters etc etc.

It doesn't, that's the whole point of the article. Many people ARE up against Portal 2 for no good reason. Shamus isn't defending DLC, he's defending a game that's being targeted for no good reason, and you seem to have missed that point with your post here.

But this ISN'T about Portal 2, at least not the anti-DLC outcry. Sure, you buy an extra skin now, but how long before every non-vital skin costs money, how long before every secondary animation costs money? It doesn't matter if you do it right or wrong, the problem is that you're doing it.

That ending was utter word sex.

While I do agree that Portal 2 offers an example of a lesser evil with respect to launch-day DLC, I cannot say that I particularly like the tone of this article. Name-calling isn't an especially professional method of discrediting the opposition. It honestly makes the opposing argument seem like a straw man.

Therumancer:
Unprofessional and uncool Shamus, calling people idiots for not agreeing with you is pretty much what your accusing them of.

For reference he was calling them idiots for insulting him; "The one who insults me because I didn't like the game, one who insults me because I didn't hate the game enough, and one who insults me because I hated the game for the wrong reasons"

Disagree =/= insult. Just like conversation =/= argument.

People are not idiots to dissent against valve on this decision. Their company is going in a direction (I'm looking at hat fortress with its economy made of trading mass amounts of in game ear buds and keys) that people are worried about. If we don't want this trend to continue we must fight back: give negative reviews, wright valve letters, clog forums, stop buying digital enhancements, and hurt their bottom line. Then they might go back to rolling these things into their game.

Remember how cool counter strike was when we learned we could upload our own custom sprays? Well why let us upload a skin for the tiny flag on the robot antennas in portal? Because buying all the flags would get valve some money. And letting you color on your bot would not.

No we are not idiots. Some are trolls, sure. Trolls go both ways though. But some of use want a game to not feel like a sleazy sales pitch. I payed good money to get in I was offended that then inside they were holding a hand out for more. Micro transact or charge 60$ not both.

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.
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.

You object to something that is basically free but you have the freedom to buy it if you want? Yeah, you are sounding much like that which you claim not to be. Fuck man, did you even read the article?

*sigh*

Neogeta:

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: DLC for Dummies

Shamus skewers the Portal 2 DLC backlash

Read Full Article

You can hate Portal 2 if you like. Hate it for being only about 50% longer than the average shooter. Hate it for having fantastical pseudo-science setting instead of a gritty, ultra-brown motif. Hate it for being playful and witty instead of macho and serious. Hate it for having puzzles instead of murder as its core mechanic. Hate it because protagonist Chell is just a boring analytical Latina woman instead of an awesome white Ex-Navy SEAL dude with short brown hair. Hate it because it allows console and PC gamers to play together instead of maintaining the firm platform segregation that's made the gaming community such a joy these last few decades. Hate it for experimenting with new ideas instead of sticking to what already works and has been done elsewhere. Hate it because you're an indignant little rage-bot and you know deep down you don't deserve something this good. But don't hate Portal 2 for actually moving against the prevailing DLC trends. If you're on a crusade against DLC, start with EA. Start with BioWare. Start with Blizzard.

I was with you until this paragraph. Hate it for being longer than shooters? Hate it for not being brown? Hate it for being playful? Hate it if you are racist? Hate it because we don't "deserve" anything so good from our god-like Valve masters? That they would feel pity on the lowly muck covered mass of sub-human garbage we all know deep in our hearts we truly are.

Like I said I agree they are dumb, but you you Shamus, are much worse. Be a critic. Do your job. Critique the game's actual flaws and give the stupid people real issues to discuss. Don't stand on a soapbox and yell how much smarter you are then everyone else. I am saddened by this paragraph. I can understand why you wrote it, I cannot understand why you published it.

Way to completely miss both the sarcasm and the point.

YOU ARE A GENIUS!
That was the first thing I thought of, the second thing:
How the hell are people saying it's 4 hours long? Counting the parts that you can't skip (SPOILER ALERT: Like the reaaaaly long fall with GLaDOS), and if you're on your first playthrough (which you should get stuck on lots of parts, I know I did, that's why I bought the guidebook), it should take you at the minimum 7 hours. It took me like 8 hours.

Huh, this is an interesting read. I haven't played the game yet (waiting for it to drop in price. Although I'm sure it's great, I don't feel the need to play it right now, and really can't justify spending $110 on a video game at this point) but it's interesting to see that people are raging on it with regard to something that (to me) isn't really all that important.

Traun:

Wicky_42:

The point is that, as Shamus says, Portal 2 handles DLC the best I've seen - it's basically like a "donate" function; a paint job or extra animation for a couple of bucks, and only if you go out of your way to find them. Compare that to your list. Now ask yourself why the one game that gets it right deserves all this hate compared to all those other day one DLC titles that lock away quests, characters etc etc.

It doesn't, that's the whole point of the article. Many people ARE up against Portal 2 for no good reason. Shamus isn't defending DLC, he's defending a game that's being targeted for no good reason, and you seem to have missed that point with your post here.

But this ISN'T about Portal 2, at least not the anti-DLC outcry. Sure, you buy an extra skin now, but how long before every non-vital skin costs money, how long before every secondary animation costs money? It doesn't matter if you do it right or wrong, the problem is that you're doing it.

Well the animations unlock as you progress anyway, the flags were a special potato-sack bonus and the skins are well... skins. There is no content lockout here, no attempt to monitise every facet of the game like that. The point is "How long" is not "What's actually going on right now", you are wildly speculating based on something that will most likely never happen. That is no reason to RAGE out like many people have

"FUUUUUUUUUUUU- DAY ONE DLC MOTHERFUCKERS1~1!!11!!!" is not a rational responce to this VERY low level of DLC. And it is very low and valve have never shown any intention of taking this further.

I disagree with the part about dlc should be multi player only. Some of my favorite game experiences were from single player dlc. Also some people (or at least me) HATE multi player.
(Also is it just me or are the captchas getting harder to read)

Sing it Shamus!

This is one of the best articles I have read on The Escapist, and I loved that slant that you've frankly had it with some of these people, as frankly, I feel the same.

I agree that this is the best use of DLC I have ever seen. Valve tested how much people love microtransactions for cosmetic gear in TF2, and the haters were there as well. They always struck me as people who were ultimately jealous that they didn't have the disposable income to spend on something like hats.

So boohoo all you want haters; you didn't pay for this cosmetic content - it's not on the disc. Also, despite your vitrol, we all know you'll be first in line to buy the next Valve product, so stop your crying.

Decent article up until your last paragraph. Then you start insulting people that have real grievances against Portal 2, instead of just those against the dlc. The game is really short still for a full priced release. First time through was just over 4 hours for me, barely. I then spent 2.5 hours doing coop with a friend. And after that I have done about 6 farming all the achieves. It's a good game, but I shouldn't be left with absolutely nothing left to do in the game in the same week as release. Yes 12.5 hours is a nice amount of time for a game, but I normally expect that to be the time for the single/coop time, and then have the achievement farming add more time.

mcnally86:
Any dissenters are idiots?

I was about to raise that point too, but I realised he didn't say 'any dissenters'. He just said he would have to deal with idiots.

Still, I don't see anything wrong with this DLC. They've been doing exactly the same thing in TF2 for ages now, and I thought everyone had got that out of their systems.

While the column did tail off a little in the readability stakes, on this issue I'm going to fully support Shamus' stance, and even his attitude towards it, because he pretty much nailed it. Well, him and Jim Sterling:

Jim Sterling:
Apparently, years of free content, and treating consumers with respect, and actually understanding gamers has the effect of creating some of the most demanding, infantile, greedy little fuckers on the face of the earth.

Dear god yes, with twinkly cuboid bells on. You know, I'm fairly sure I've paid well less than 100 for Valve games in my entire lifetime. For that money, I have spent 984 hours playing them - in the last year alone. For every single pound sterling I have given to Valve, they have given me a good ten hours of playtime, just in the last twelve months. To my mind, they are entitled to day one DLC, if it is really even worth calling it that. They could charge me by the hour to play their games from now on and it would still work out a better deal than I've got from any other developer out there.

That aside, there are a couple reasons I am genuinely unconcerned by the existence of micro-transaction based hats and clothes in Portal 2. One is the fact that they add nothing - zero - to the game itself, nor does their initial absence take anything away from it. Like many others, I didn't even know the shop was there until I clicked the mysterious button, after finishing my first playthrough (7.1 hours, if we're counting, and I've played a lot of Portal in my time).

Another is that I spend an awful lot of time playing real Valve DLC, and it's all been free. Every single bit. I've played all the new L4D and L4D2 campaigns, I've played all the new and community maps in TF2, I've played Alien Swarm to bits. All of these genuinely expanded upon and improved existing games (or in the case of Alien Swarm, was a goddamn game), and all of them came with an affordably round price tag. When I consider that there are big-time developers out there that gleefully charge the price of half a full game for 'map packs', and that people gleefully pay for them without getting their panties in a twist, it seems a little petty to complain about an unintrusive and totally cosmetic DLC store from a developer that always gives away the good stuff for free. The "how long before they start charging for everything" and "I don't like the direction the company is going in" arguments really, really rile me up, because they show that actually, you're completely ignoring the company's entire history towards supporting its fans, and choosing to only pick up on what they've chosen to make money off (optional and inconsequential cosmetics) rather than what they've given away for free (games).

But what really, really annoys me about the sort of people that do complain about this sort of stuff - and it's entirely right to call them idiots, because that is what they are - is that, as Shamus intimated right at the end, they do not know what it is they're taking a stand over. There exists today a certain breed of PC gamer who simply cannot help but vomit bituminous bile at the mere mention of a few choice phrases - 'console port', 'day one DLC' and 'less freedom' being the choice few we're hearing most at the moment. These are not people who are making informed decisions before commenting on a product. They are not informed gamers who have made a personal judgement on a game they've played. They are not the bearers of constructive criticism. They are idiots, who are downvoting a good game that most of them claim to have enjoyed (as if to try to maintain a semblance of integrity, and it's this that really gives the game away) simply because they've latched onto la mot du jour or enjoy the fleeting sense of empowerment that comes with railing against the establishment, and that most of us get over by about 17.

Granted, Portal 2 has paid optional extras from release. However, nothing about the words "day" "one" and "DLC" makes the concept intrinsically bad; it's a concept that is frowned upon because of how it's been handled in the past. It's a concept that is disliked because gamers do not enjoy paying for a game, only to find out that the most interesting quests / missions / people are trapped behind a paywall, and have been there since before the game was released. This is understandably a state of affairs worth complaining about, but it is simply not the case with Portal 2. DLC on day one is not in itself a bad thing; DLC that makes every single player feel that they need to buy it to get the full game experience is. Anyone that dislikes the idea of paying for customisations for co-op robots can gleefully overlook the fact that the Portal 2 store even exists, because the game goes on just as happily with it.

Let us be clear; the Portal 2 store is not day one DLC in the traditional sense. It offers silly, cosmetic customisation options that have absolutely no bearing on the game whatsoever. There is a word for this, and it's been around a lot longer than video games: merchandising. When you complain about the Robot Enrichment centre you're complaining about nothing more than merchandising. You're complaining about the band t-shirt you're wearing, and the film posters on your wall.

The console port argument is a whole new ballgame, but let us summarise: Portal 2 is not a console port. It was developed simultaneously for multiple platforms, but, unlike other games that have received that unfortunate moniker, really shines on the PC. Crank the graphics up to full and have a go. My gaming PC is nothing particularly special but it certainly out-specs an Xbox 360, and yet I had to turn the effects detail down because it struggled at times to keep up. It'll need a further couple of upgrades before it's genuinely capable of displaying the lighting and fluid effects in all their spectacular glory while maintaining a playable framerate. I can only assume that the same effects had to be subtly toned down to make them playable on either console, so it's the consoles that are suffering for trying to run a PC port, not the other way around. Even the loading screens - bane of so many a complainer - have far more to do with the perhaps archaic architecture of the Source engine (closed and statically lightmapped BSP maps, a concept that has changed little since the original Doom) than any console-targeted design decision. On modern, speedy PCs they appear for less than five seconds, and they're specifically there to draw attention to the way the Aperture Labs changed during the 50s, 60s and 70s, and onwards into the future. They're a deliberate design decision that has nothing to do with consolitis. Just because we're used to a certain kind of loading screen in certain well-known console games doesn't mean console games invented them, or that they're never seen in PC games. Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas both had very similar and deliberately-themed loading screens whenever a new part of the world was loaded, but the screaming hordes remained silent.

Taking this point to a more general level: anyone who screams 'console port' like they're pointing out a genetic abomination has no idea what they're talking about, and precious little clue about game development. It hurts to see them spew their bile all over the nice, clean internets. If you're going to argue a point, work out what it is first. If you don't like day one DLC, what is it you don't like about it? What have console ports done to enrage you so? If these abstract concepts have actually ruined your game, then rage away, and may the gods heed your call. If the only thing that has actually offended you is that some games have handled them poorly, then take a deep breath, think really hard about what you're about to type and then, once you've realised you're being an idiot, go back and enjoy the game you were happily about to downvote for a reason that doesn't exist.

Hear hear!

Well said, agreed on every point.

The only thing I slightly disagree with is #2. Single player DLC in itself is fine; it's just that pairing it with server check DRM/authentication makes it shit. Although I obviously agree with "Being unable to reach the internet should not impact a single-player game."

Other than that, I give a standing ovation to this article. This is what I want to say to every single person whining about the co-op costume items. Except I want to add one thing: the game is a first person game, so that means that unless you place your portals just right, you won't ever even SEE what your robot is or is not wearing. And if you can't even see it, you are absolutely not losing anything by not having it. And I really doubt the guy you're playing with who can see your character model feels like he's missing a piece of the game because your character isn't wearing a hat with a mini companion cube on top.

Oh, one last thing:

Hate it because protagonist Chell is just a boring analytical Latina woman instead of an awesome white Ex-Navy SEAL dude with short brown hair.

An awesome white ex-Navy SEAL dude with short brown hair? Damn, probably the only way to make Portal 2 more awesome than it already is would be to put Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) in it. And now I'm sad because that will likely never happen. :(

Longsight:
Another is that I spend an awful lot of time playing real Valve DLC, and it's all been free. Every single bit. I've played all the new L4D and L4D2 campaigns

Yeah, I couldn't believe it back when I got L4D and L4D2. They were both on sale in this little pack, both games for $7 or something very low like that. And then I loaded it up and found a buttload of DLC in both games that had also been provided completely FREE. That is fucking sweet, and Valve is awesome.

I'm very glad you brought up the Dragon Age DLC salesman. It killed the game for me and I swore myself off of EA products after that. I can't even play it anymore knowing that the NPC is waiting for me at camp to try and sell me premium content. It's absolutely vile, disgusting, abhorrent. There is no atmospere anymore when you crush it that badly. I am absolutely pissed that there wasn't more of a backlash against it.

I don't like Portal 2's DLC but it's un-intrusive and non-essential, the way it should be. I didn't even see it was there when I played. There are much more important targets if we want to take back our rights as consumers.

Slightly off topic, but it bugs me people complaining about the length, part of the reason it was over so quickly is because it was so good that people weren't stopping! One of the biggest sales taglines for books is 'I couldn't put it down!' but it seems when a game makes you binge thru pure quality it's a bad thing.

There's a lot of games I can take or leave, play a bit here or there, Portal 1 was not one of them, nothing else mattered until I'd beaten it.

I'm in agreement tho, if Portal 2 is the full game, but you have the option of buying a funny hat for a few bucks, where is the problem?

The DLC in Portal, is basically, no exactly the same as the one in Team Fortress 2, TF2 has some hats and weapons (most if not all of which can be found in the game normally) is CONSTANTLY updated and Balanced, recently raised lots of money for Japan.

It was no surprise to me that this is in Portal 2. its Vanity items, the SINGLE best use for DLC. New Vegas has OP weapons for people who pre-ordered, Epically the Caravan Pack, that dam shotgun and armor are close if not actually the best in the game. DA2 has a sword that not the best in the game levels with you, and some good armor thats not as good as some i found in ACT 1 (Armor of the Fallen if your interested) DA:O had the Blood Dragon armor that was well balanced with its requirements (38/36 Strength i think) and some other pointless crap like an XP Ring (Really Bioware who isn't going to be high level at the end seriously).

But if and i hope to god not when, Activision or EA or whoever starts making DLC Op Weapons for Multi-player games like CoD or Battlefield, things might get bad, DLC atm is bearable and ignorable, Really Activision for just 7.99 i can get 4 bonus maps, wow i don't care. Really i can buy some nice hats for TF2 that i cant see its a FPS i think ill pass and just where the Top Hat (dam you TB) i found. Oblivions DLC, (PC and Xbox get the other crap thats not Expansions) is fine its a single player game and its mostly fun crap, like a Wizards Tower, or a Pirate base love that Pirate base, or Horse Armor, why did i buy Horse Armor. Fallouts again is Expansions with Crazy Op things. watching Josh use the Stealth Suit + Shishkabob + Pyromaniac and kill everyone in-front of everyone else was hilarious. but overall the game can be done and easily so without it, you dont have to play any of the DLC to get the full experience its just enhancement.

I think there is one company that truly gets content right. Eve-Online, Eve is a subscription based MMO, but for your 8-9 a mounth (you can play for free just requires you to earn 375million ISK( in-game money) a mounth) you get the game in what ever its current release is (Incursion ATM) EVERY Patch, EVERY Expansion, 2 Test Servers (known as Singularity and Duplicity) seriously there is a alot of content and they keep adding to it theres a Mahoosive one coming code named Incara i wont go in to it theres a lot of info.

this is a copy of a facebook comment i made for this post

Therumancer:

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.

Okay... I see what you're saying, but I think you really should play the game for yourself before deciding what opinions you want to parrot. And to be honest, I sincerely doubt that anyone's expectations were met when they played Portal 2, because Portal was so spectacularly good. At best, we were only going to get a somewhat longer campaign and some incremental improvements in the story and gameplay. We were never going to get "the best game ever made EVAR, OMGWTFBBQPWN!!!"

End part directed at Therumancer. Begin part directed at the people who actually played Portal 2 and then panned it for various reasons.

Shamus's point is that the DLC in Portal 2 is by no means the worst offender in the idiot-DLC department, and doesn't deserve to get down-rated solely for the issues with its DLC. If you want to say that Portal 2 was a vastly-inferior product because they sold out to the big time developers who completely missed the point of the original, that's fine. You still sound like a pretentious and incredibly stuck-up asshat, but that doesn't mean you're wrong. It just makes you sound untrustworthy, like a GameSpot reviewer.

However, if you've made that assessment because Portal 2 has lame DLC and not because the game itself was a disappointment, then I think you need to get your priorities straight. You do realize that we wouldn't be having this discussion at all if Valve decided to get rid of the DLC features entirely, right? What are you trying to say here? If you want to say Portal 2 is crap, talk about the game, not the ancillary content that you don't have to buy.

Also, I'm starting to agree more and more with Yahtzee that people should take the trouble to actually read the reviews because a complex opinion can't be expressed as a number. If you don't trust sites like GameSpot and IGN because their reviewers are all obviously bought-and-paid for, then follow MovieBob's advice and find a critic you can trust instead. Stop whining about the things you can't control, like the fact that professional game reviewers are all corporate whores.

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 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.

You're probably right, i think the timer usually works for me though, it says i've played 11 hours and that's what it took to beat the single and co-op, and that feels about right (7 for the story and 4 for co-op but the 4 for co-op might be off a bit). But steam still tells me that i have a 100% survival rate in L4D2 (as in I've escaped every campaign alive). I mean i'm awesome and all that but i'm not that awesome.

They should sell a "Boycott Valve's DLC!" t-shirt for the robots to wear.

Jjkaybomb:

Therumancer:

Secondly, the attitude of "if you haven't played it, you can't have an opinion" is one of the most dangerous ones out there right now, and at the root of a lot of problems. Even if I was talking about the game content, as opposed to reception, the opinion of someone who didn't buy the game should be pretty well valued for the reasons on why they didn't buy it, as opposed to attacked.

You're allowed to have an opinion and weigh in on the issue, but having only indirect experience with what you are talking about does degrade your arguments somewhat. You're complaining about something you've only experienced by second hand knowledge, this is only a controversy you've heard about. Its the difference between someone staring out a window and wondering what the weather's like, and somebody who's standing outside in the weather and getting a feel for it. Sure, you can guess, and you're definitely intelligent about it. But if you talk to somebody who's actually out there, they have the right to correct you, because they have much more accurate information.

You'd be correct, if we were talking about the game itself. We're not though. We're talking about reaction to the game, and I'm standing in the same exact place as you or anyone else who played the game in this regard. Actually, I might even be closer to the truth than you depending on how many differant places you've been checking reactions on.

You'd be correct if I was saying that Portal 2's gameplay was lacking or something like that, but I haven't said that. In fact I've made no personal judgements of the game at all.

In Reference to Portal 2's Length, its about 3-4x as long as Portal 1, its a Puzzle game with a great story and good humor, but a Puzzle game can only be so long before it grates on people, Portal 2, as much as i'd love it to be longer (I cant get enough of that game) its pacing and length are close to perfect, it was any longer i think, i would get annoyed with it, the best thing with Portal 2 is its story and hidden easter egg (i don't recall finding any) make playing it 2-3 or 5 times fun, DAM YOU STEPHEN MERCHANT DAM YOU. we'll all have to wait for Portal 3 which should be out in time for HL2E3, or the Freezing of hell (HA Vale-Time joke, its not funny anymore is it) and its obvious there will be a Portal 3. there probably wont be a TF3, they can just keep updating TF2 forever.

Valve is one of the worst offenders when it comes to DLC.

That's with Team Fortress 2. About Portal 2, I agree with Shamus entirely.

I'm happy with DLC that is reasonably priced and adds value to the game, like say Magicka Vietnam. I also have no problem with DLC that only adds cosmetic elements for "peacock" players to show off, like TF2 hats or MMO non combat pets.

The problem is we're starting to see DLC that costs as much as entire games while offering very little value, like the CoD map packs, and even so called DLC that ships with the actual product but you actually have to pay for in order to be able to play it (Bulletstorm).

Game development studios are also far more reluctant to ship modding and mapping tools for the games they release, Duke Nukem Forever being the latest example.

It seems paying $60 for a game is no longer enough.

Traun:

Wicky_42:

The point is that, as Shamus says, Portal 2 handles DLC the best I've seen - it's basically like a "donate" function; a paint job or extra animation for a couple of bucks, and only if you go out of your way to find them. Compare that to your list. Now ask yourself why the one game that gets it right deserves all this hate compared to all those other day one DLC titles that lock away quests, characters etc etc.

It doesn't, that's the whole point of the article. Many people ARE up against Portal 2 for no good reason. Shamus isn't defending DLC, he's defending a game that's being targeted for no good reason, and you seem to have missed that point with your post here.

But this ISN'T about Portal 2, at least not the anti-DLC outcry. Sure, you buy an extra skin now, but how long before every non-vital skin costs money, how long before every secondary animation costs money? It doesn't matter if you do it right or wrong, the problem is that you're doing it.

I wouldn't care if they made every emote and skin cost money. Honestly, i haven't bought any DLC, i was content with the basic stuff, hell i wouldn't even miss lousing the emotes that are free now.

Are you trying to pin a slippery slope argument onto this? If Valve has any DLC in their games at all then they'll move on to bigger stuff that matters? That's one of the

you have there.

I honestly can't see what's (inherently) wrong with DLC in games.

James Charles:
and its obvious there will be a Portal 3.

No it isn't.

The only time Valve ever pissed me off was with the Mann Co. Store.

Yes, some of that money goes to the creators, but $5 hats are insane whatever way you swing it. But the really infuriating thing was that you could just straight up buy weapon sets and get them before anyone else had the chance to get them in game.

Then there were the crates where you paid money to have a chance of getting a random item (which could also be another crate).

But cream on top the shit sundae was when specific hats became part of weapon sets. Some of the bonuses of those sets had no negatives. If you were using the same weapons with no hat, you could lose an extra 10% max health. Meanwhile the assholes who can afford to pay $50 for a fake hat and its matching guns can tromp around with that fancy buff on Day 1. Now, to their credit, Valve has removed the hat limitations from all future weapon sets, although that hasn't applied retroactively to the first 5.

Why do I bring this up? Because that's what screwed up in-game stores look like. It's not purely cosmetic hats and emotes, it's being able to buy an advantage, no matter how slight. Last I checked, there's no hat in Portal 2 that lets me shoot 3 portals or something.

ZiggyE:
Valve is one of the worst offenders when it comes to DLC.

That's with Team Fortress 2. About Portal 2, I agree with Shamus entirely.

What's wrong with TF2 DLC? I never paid for any of it and i still feel that the game is fun and balanced. Or is there something i'm missing?

Great article. It made me giggle a few times. Suffice to say... I completely agree with what is being said here. The uproar about Portal 2 is really pathetic. I don't recall these people being around to yell at games with Day 1 DLC's that Bioware/EA have been pulling for a while now. Some silly multiplayer gimmicks in Portal 2, much like hats in TF2, don't affect the game experience at all, but a missing questline that adds alot to the plot... that is the real crime.

Portal 2 is yummy. Haters are... well they smell. :o

timeadept:

ZiggyE:
Valve is one of the worst offenders when it comes to DLC.

That's with Team Fortress 2. About Portal 2, I agree with Shamus entirely.

What's wrong with TF2 DLC? I never paid for any of it and i still feel that the game is fun and balanced. Or is there something i'm missing?

This guy said it better than I could have.

AldeBaron:
The only time Valve ever pissed me off was with the Mann Co. Store.

Yes, some of that money goes to the creators, but $5 hats are insane whatever way you swing it. But the really infuriating thing was that you could just straight up buy weapon sets and get them before anyone else had the chance to get them in game.

Then there were the crates where you paid money to have a chance of getting a random item (which could also be another crate).

But cream on top the shit sundae was when specific hats became part of weapon sets. Some of the bonuses of those sets had no negatives. If you were using the same weapons with no hat, you could lose an extra 10% max health. Meanwhile the assholes who can afford to pay $50 for a fake hat and its matching guns can tromp around with that fancy buff on Day 1. Now, to their credit, Valve has removed the hat limitations from all future weapon sets, although that hasn't applied retroactively to the first 5.

Why do I bring this up? Because that's what screwed up in-game stores look like. It's not purely cosmetic hats and emotes, it's being able to buy an advantage, no matter how slight. Last I checked, there's no hat in Portal 2 that lets me shoot 3 portals or something.

Not to mention the fact that there a certain hats and weapons that the only way you can get is by buying or preordering a completely different game that you probably would have had no interest in to begin with.

Therumancer:
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.

This is the part I took offense to the most in this reply. Aside from the fanboy comment. Are you saying League of Legends (a F2P game) should not be allowed to charge for skins? And how long have alternate costumes been a part of a game, where you don't have to jump through stupid hoops to get them?

Evidently you can unlock them by getting achievements, but can also pay money for them with Portal 2. It's just like with the Be a Pro Mode in the NHL games, you go online and pay real money to buy the boost equipment, or you can man the hell up and earn it by meeting certain requirements and playing the game well.

And Shamus is right, out of all the DLC this is what we as a gaming community have evidently decided we won't stand for? Not Bioware withholding basic quests in both Dragon Age and Mass Effect games? Not $15 map packs that provide 1/50th of the content at 1/4th of the price? The gaming community has decided to be outraged about this and take a stand? This is our line the sand?

I'm ashamed to be a part of such a community right now.

DanDeFool:

Therumancer:

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.

Okay... I see what you're saying, but I think you really should play the game for yourself before deciding what opinions you want to parrot. And to be honest, I sincerely doubt that anyone's expectations were met when they played Portal 2, because Portal was so spectacularly good. At best, we were only going to get a somewhat longer campaign and some incremental improvements in the story and gameplay. We were never going to get "the best game ever made EVAR, OMGWTFBBQPWN!!!"

End part directed at Therumancer. Begin part directed at the people who actually played Portal 2 and then panned it for various reasons.

Shamus's point is that the DLC in Portal 2 is by no means the worst offender in the idiot-DLC department, and doesn't deserve to get down-rated solely for the issues with its DLC. If you want to say that Portal 2 was a vastly-inferior product because they sold out to the big time developers who completely missed the point of the original, that's fine. You still sound like a pretentious and incredibly stuck-up asshat, but that doesn't mean you're wrong. It just makes you sound untrustworthy, like a GameSpot reviewer.

However, if you've made that assessment because Portal 2 has lame DLC and not because the game itself was a disappointment, then I think you need to get your priorities straight. You do realize that we wouldn't be having this discussion at all if Valve decided to get rid of the DLC features entirely, right? What are you trying to say here? If you want to say Portal 2 is crap, talk about the game, not the ancillary content that you don't have to buy.

Also, I'm starting to agree more and more with Yahtzee that people should take the trouble to actually read the reviews because a complex opinion can't be expressed as a number. If you don't trust sites like GameSpot and IGN because their reviewers are all obviously bought-and-paid for, then follow MovieBob's advice and find a critic you can trust instead. Stop whining about the things you can't control, like the fact that professional game reviewers are all corporate whores.

I'm not parroting anyone's opinions though, all I'm doing is pointing out that there is a negative reception. The point here being that rather than acting like there is something wrong with the people for making the complaints, perhaps when you have this strong of a negative reaction, you should simply accept that there is something wrong with the game.

The point here being that just because a game is getting a bad user review, does not mean it's being "metabombed" for some trivial reason. Especially seeing as the whole "metabombing" concern has been recent, due to a couple of high profile games getting tanked in user reception, despite the groups that are considered to be responsible for it having been out there for a long time, and having never gotten this kind of noticible reaction.

The bit about the DLC is a side point, I think it upset people, especially coming from Valve of all people, but people have been complaining about day 1 DLC for a long time, and nobody has gotten "metabombed" to this extent for something like this before.... bsides which, a "bombing" isn't likely to do what we're seeing. We're looking at a ton of dissatisfied people as opposed to say upsetting a bunch of people on /V/ exclusively.

What's more I don't think anyone can rationally defend things like these outfits, or "Horse Armor" as being GOOD things. Trying to do so is just as ridiculous as trying to saying that an issue like this that has been around for so long, is going to inspire a massive reaction all on it's own all of a sudden.

Like it or not, Valve released a game that wasn't well received despite massive hype. That seems to be the bottom line, and trying to deny it or make excuses doesn't change it. It seems like the defenses are kind of pointless which is why I'm bothering to respond. Let things stand on their own, instead of trying to make excuses for companies like Valve or Bioware, and hope they can adapt and recover.

It didn't get de-rated soley because of the DLC, even if it upset a lot of people, it's not going to have any more effect here than it did for other games with DLC that POed people. It got de-rated because apparently a lot of people who bought the game were less than thrilled with the product they received. While it wasn't my analogy, I again think back to the whole "Blair Witch" vs. "Blair Witch 2" analogy. A game that is loved because it was the little "also ran" that could from "The Orange Box" that gets expanded into a full fledged "AAA" type ultra-hip title with massive marketing and specific exposure, and then crashes because not many people like it despite the fact that it should be "perfect" going by what people say made the first one great.... we've seen it before, within video gaming even, it shouldn't be shocking anyone, or need people to come up with excuses to explain what happened.

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