DLC for Dummies

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Portal 2 is a good game.

Longsight:

Valve is quite clearly not heading down a slippery slope. Here's a snippet from Robin Walker, way back in 2007:

Robin Walker @ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/valve-wont-charge-for-dlc:
You buy the product, you get the content. [...] We make more money because more people buy it, not because we try and nickel-and-dime the same customers.

Do you know what Valve have released since then? 2 additional free campaigns for L4D, 3 additional free campaigns for L4D2, about six million free content updates for TF2, a complete free overhaul of everything that was wrong with CS:S, an entirely free game in the shape of Alien Swarm and free engine updates to every single Source game since 2004 to build upon 6 years' worth of technological advancement. They have never, ever charged for any of it, and they've made no suggestion that they ever intend to do so. Do you know what they have charged for? In-game merchandise.

Thank you, good Sir. Also, don't forget that they gave away Portal for free on Steam, or that every PS3 gamers are getting a free copy of Portal 2's PC version. Some people don't deserve Valve.

In my opinion, Valve should be very happy with the whole fiasco. The only 'flaw' people are bitching about is not integral to the game itself, so they I guess they pretty much made a flawless game, if you know I mean. ^_-

My! The internet is a bitchin' place.

This made me look up a cartoon someone had posted once about Huxley vs Orwell(the relevance is the self-important, entitlement mindset). In knee-jerk cynicism, I'd say it turns out they were both right.

Flipao:

There are already games out there where DLC locks out vital content, so the metaphor stands, as far as Portal 2 is concerned, Gabe Newell is testing the waters, you may see nothing wrong with cosmetic items, but you can rest assured it won't stop there.

We're getting less and less value out of games, and the trend is now to make gamers pay for stuff that used to be included in the cost of the game, free DLC was never free, you'd already paid for it, it was simply delivered after release. People have every right to be disappointed when they see diminishing returns.

Paid for content does make sense given the right situation, I understand the store in TF2, the game is 3 years old, was bundled with Portal and Episode 2 and has been updated regularly with new content. Sticking one in Portal 2 at launch?, it just feels like Valve are screaming out "you haven't paid enough, we want more".

The big problem with the slippery slope argument is that it requires you to see the future, which I'm sure you can't, and besides that how can you say that Portal 2's dlc is just to "test the waters" when TF2 has been doing this for over a year with cosmetic items. I'm thinking if they were going to upgrade the system to include vital content, they would have done so by now.

I have not played Portal in a long time so forgive me if I'm wrong when I say that it did not have any alternative costumes, so there are no "diminishing returns" here. Besides that, however, you have to consider that it has also gotten considerably more expensive in order to make a game, so developers have to get rid of a few unnecessary features.

What exactly are you complaining about with the Portal 2 store? The fact that it exists at launch with a few things that don't effect the gameplay in any way? Or maybe it's the fact that you aren't getting what's in the store for free, which is exactly what people are talking about when they say gamers have a sense of entitlement?

Question: Are the buyable costumes(or any costumes) also available for unlock through gameplay?

If the answer is yes, then people have nothing to complain about.

If the answer is no, then there IS reason to complain at least a bit. Games, specially short ones like Portal, have traditionally included vanity rewards for completion and achievements, so if these are only available as additional purchases then people are allowed to complain of the low content-value in the game. However, even in this case gamers would rather bitch than act like normal consumers and you know...not buy a product they feel doesn't give them enough for their buck.

That's why im not forking over 50-60 bucks for an 8 hour game. I don't feel like paying $7/hour for my home entertainment. I'll wait till Valve puts it in steam for half price in a month or two.

fundayz:
Question: Are the buyable costumes(or any costumes) also available for unlock through gameplay?

If the answer is yes, then people have nothing to complain about.

If the answer is no, then there IS reason to complain at least a bit. Games, specially short ones like Portal, have traditionally included vanity rewards for completion and achievements, so if these are only available as additional purchases then people are allowed to complain of the low content-value in the game. However, even in this case gamers would rather bitch than act like normal consumers and you know...not buy a product they feel doesn't give them enough for their buck.

That's why im not forking over 50-60 bucks for an 8 hour game. I don't feel like paying $7/hour for my home entertainment. I'll wait till Valve puts it in steam for half price in a month or two.

A few things:
1) Some, if not all of the content is unlockable by playing the game.
2) The SP campaign is about 7-8 hours on a leisurely run-through, with at least one or two more replays likely thanks to achievements and the developers commentary (which is fascinating, to say the least.) The Co-op campaign adds several hours more and there's plenty of user-created content on the way.
3) While I'm certainly not disparaging you for being careful with your money, this is a quality > quantity argument here. While I do not think Portal 2 is short by any definition, what's in the base game is one of the highest quality gaming experiences ever to exist.

Operating under the assumption that the entire game (co-op included) will take 12-14 hours to complete for the average user, that's (at most) a $5/hr cost just for the first playthrough. If you knock through the game another couple of times you're down to $2/hr and if you add in the promise of user-created content, it goes even lower.

Again, it's completely up to you on how you want to spend your money and if you don't think Portal 2 is worth the $50-60 then I can respect that. I just think you're underestimating it.

Current Portal 2 COOP replayability not worth getting some items from cash shop to distinguish yourself from others. So no, Portal 2 DLC did not do it right either. Too high price and completely pointless aimed at compulsive shoppers. Should have been unlockable. Game still great.

I have a very dim view of Day 1 DLC. Cutting out resources created during the game's development, and trying to stick me up, nickel and dime me to death with content that should have been available in the game in the first place? It's cheep, and greedy.

Sense of entitlement? Oh, hell yes. When games cost $50-$60 dollars these days, I sure in the hell do expect to be babied and catered to.

Yet, even as my blood pressure rises thinking of "Day 1 Gimmemoremoney", I think about another practice the industry has been doing for some time - the "regular" versus the "Collector's Edition" of games. Did I buy the Fallout 3 Collector's Edition? You bet I did, I wanted the lunchbox and bobblehead. Was I angry or incensed they weren't included with the cheaper "regular edition". Not at all. How is this different from Day 1 DLC?

Y'know, I'm not really sure. Maybe it's because I got something tangible from the purchase, not ephemeral content. It was something extra and seperate from the game itself (oh, and btw, game companies: T-SHIRTS! You want me to buy a Collector's edition, put a T-Shirt or nice poster in it). Perhaps it's because that method is more up-front about what is being offered (buy this, or pay a lil' extra to get *this*).

DLC for pre-orders I don't have as much as an issue with, although my policy these days is absolutely no pre-orders (since game quality and length is generally dropping across the board, at least for PC games). You're committing dollars to an act of faith. Kinda like buying a car without ever seeing it or driving it (just shown a picture).

~shrug~. I guess it boils down to how much you like the company and/or the game, whether you're offended or accepting of them trying to reach into your wallet for something you've already bought. Or at least that's how I feel. There's just something about it - something low - that irks me.

PopcornAvenger:
I have a very dim view of Day 1 DLC. Cutting out resources created during the game's development, and trying to stick me up, nickel and dime me to death with content that should have been available in the game in the first place? It's cheep, and greedy.

Sense of entitlement? Oh, hell yes. When games cost $50-$60 dollars these days, I sure in the hell do expect to be babied and catered to.

Yet, even as my blood pressure rises thinking of "Day 1 Gimmemoremoney", I think about another practice the industry has been doing for some time - the "regular" versus the "Collector's Edition" of games. Did I buy the Fallout 3 Collector's Edition? You bet I did, I wanted the lunchbox and bobblehead. Was I angry or incensed they weren't included with the cheaper "regular edition". Not at all. How is this different from Day 1 DLC?

Y'know, I'm not really sure. Maybe it's because I got something tangible from the purchase, not ephemeral content. It was something extra and seperate from the game itself (oh, and btw, game companies: T-SHIRTS! You want me to buy a Collector's edition, put a T-Shirt or nice poster in it). Perhaps it's because that method is more up-front about what is being offered (buy this, or pay a lil' extra to get *this*).

DLC for pre-orders I don't have as much as an issue with, although my policy these days is absolutely no pre-orders (since game quality and length is generally dropping across the board, at least for PC games). You're committing dollars to an act of faith. Kinda like buying a car without ever seeing it or driving it (just shown a picture).

~shrug~. I guess it boils down to how much you like the company and/or the game, whether you're offended or accepting of them trying to reach into your wallet for something you've already bought.

Our very own Virgil has an excellent post about how software development really works, and how the existence of Day 1 DLC is not a ripoff. Short explanation: Stuff gets cut from game development all the time, and there comes a point at which games are feature locked (no more new ideas can be added) and content locked (no new content can be created to put on the disk), after which you have teams of developers who aren't doing anything. After that, you can A.) fire them or B.) put them to work on finishing content that was already cut from the game anyway, which can't go on the disk because the disk is content locked.

Obviously this doesn't apply to what Valve is doing here, as I find it very hard to believe that something like "a new hat" was cut from the game because it wouldn't have been finished on time. But in a general rule of speaking, this is how Day 1 DLC exists.

Please educate yourself on the matter, it might save wonders for your blood pressure.

JeanLuc761:
SNIP

Ah okay, then yes people have no justifiable reason to complain.

And yes P2 IS a high quality game but it IS still quite short even with the coop and being a puzzle game its replay value is not the greatest. Being a student I can get much more use out of those $60 either in a game like New Vegas, Crysis 2 (online), etc or even as bar money; specially considering that I'll be able to get a second hand copy for half price in a week or two or download it from Steam once it gets discounted.

Dexter111:

John Funk:
Do people really not understand the difference between DLC and microtransactions?

What exactly is the "difference" pray tell? "DLC" just means "Downloadable Content" and isn't really defined in any meaningful way. It has been used in conjunction with both Mini-missions, extra maps, songpacks, player character skins or simple items/mounts etc. as is the case here. Now and then it is also used for huge content packs that resemble more the "Expansion Packs" of old e.g. see GTA4: Ballad of Gay Tony. The payment model often being used are "microtransactions" (often they should be called macrotransactions though, for instance when you're supposed to pay double the price of the actual game for a pack full of "hats" and a few "emotes" - which are obviously also already in the game to boot or the character previews wouldn't work). Sometimes DLC can also be free (and in fact always was before Microsoft managed to monetize it back in 2002: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downloadable_content#On_consoles and apparently changed gaming forever.

Sir John the Net Knight:
DLC is not dishonest, because you have the option not to buy it. That's pretty much the long and the short of it.

Everything is "optional" but death and taxes and you could use that same justification if they give you just 2-3 missions and you'll have to buy the rest as "DLC" to finish the bloody game or in a more extreme selling drugs to schoolchildren... I don't see how that "invalidates" my argument regarding the morality of the practice.

I suppose that you're correct in that as a catch-all, anything that you download can be DLC. I've always personally drawn a mental line between minor cosmetic options and full-fledged content like Ballad of Gay Tony or the Mass Effect 2 missions. One enhances the experience of a game, one is a couple of bucks for putting Chun-Li in a slink evening dress - but technically, you're right, it's all content that's being downloaded.

That said, I don't have a personal problem with any of it. Stuff gets cut from games all the time, and developers ought to be paid for their work. It's the height of arrogance to suggest otherwise.

JeanLuc761:

fundayz:
Question: Are the buyable costumes(or any costumes) also available for unlock through gameplay?

If the answer is yes, then people have nothing to complain about.

If the answer is no, then there IS reason to complain at least a bit. Games, specially short ones like Portal, have traditionally included vanity rewards for completion and achievements, so if these are only available as additional purchases then people are allowed to complain of the low content-value in the game. However, even in this case gamers would rather bitch than act like normal consumers and you know...not buy a product they feel doesn't give them enough for their buck.

That's why im not forking over 50-60 bucks for an 8 hour game. I don't feel like paying $7/hour for my home entertainment. I'll wait till Valve puts it in steam for half price in a month or two.

A few things:
1) Some, if not all of the content is unlockable by playing the game.
2) The SP campaign is about 7-8 hours on a leisurely run-through, with at least one or two more replays likely thanks to achievements and the developers commentary (which is fascinating, to say the least.) The Co-op campaign adds several hours more and there's plenty of user-created content on the way.
3) While I'm certainly not disparaging you for being careful with your money, this is a quality > quantity argument here. While I do not think Portal 2 is short by any definition, what's in the base game is one of the highest quality gaming experiences ever to exist.

Operating under the assumption that the entire game (co-op included) will take 12-14 hours to complete for the average user, that's (at most) a $5/hr cost just for the first playthrough. If you knock through the game another couple of times you're down to $2/hr and if you add in the promise of user-created content, it goes even lower.

Again, it's completely up to you on how you want to spend your money and if you don't think Portal 2 is worth the $50-60 then I can respect that. I just think you're underestimating it.

I think you missed the point that was made. He says that valve games are trending in a direction we are concerned about. Instead of preaching all the great things valve gave us maybe pay attention to the fact that they are throttling back on it and attaching a dollar sign. Why couldn't we color our own bot? We used to be allowed to upload sprays in their games why not allow us to upload a flag skin. They have flag for your bots let us color them. And increased cost of making a game? Please how about increase of sales. How much was super Mario 3 when it came out? At the time it came out it sold far less copies for far cheaper and was just as cutting edge maybe even more so. Games cost more to make and are more expensive now. Now its a 60$ tag you can beat in a day and then it was a game for 5$ that you maybe played for a year. Times change and games change with them. I think I'm just gonna stick to retro games now.

Grunt_Man11:

JerrytheBullfrog:

qbanknight:
Thank you calling these little damn ingrates on their BS Shamus; Blizzard, BioWare, and EA have committed far worse in terms of DLC. They are just picking on Valve because they didn't get Portal 2 a whole DAY earlier as WAS NOT promised by the Potato Sack ARG

Excuse me? WTF does Blizzard do with DLC? Activision has its moments, with COD map packs and other things that gullible people buy, but I haven't seen anything about DLC in any of their games and I've been playing since Rock N' Roll Racing.

The worst they have is the Sparkle Pony, which falls under all four of Shamus' rules.

The problem I've heard about Blizzard isn't really DLC, but it is a micro transaction. Realm transfers.

I heard arguments that this easily done, and automated, process should be free with a month long cooldown instead of $25 per character. The main reasons are, as stated before, it is so easily done that is it now automated and that it could be considered an essential part of the game.

If your raiding guild decides to move to another server, and you don't have the $25 to spare to pay for a transfer yourself then you are out of a raiding guild. I've had that happen to me, so I can see the point in that argument.

Faction change isn't an easy process. Think about it, they need to take all of your quests and reputation and switch them for alternate quests from the other faction. More to the point, the fee is there as a penalty to discourage people from doing it a lot. Even a cooldown wouldn't stop someone determined to abuse the system.

qbanknight:

JerrytheBullfrog:

qbanknight:
Thank you calling these little damn ingrates on their BS Shamus; Blizzard, BioWare, and EA have committed far worse in terms of DLC. They are just picking on Valve because they didn't get Portal 2 a whole DAY earlier as WAS NOT promised by the Potato Sack ARG

Excuse me? WTF does Blizzard do with DLC? Activision has its moments, with COD map packs and other things that gullible people buy, but I haven't seen anything about DLC in any of their games and I've been playing since Rock N' Roll Racing.

The worst they have is the Sparkle Pony, which falls under all four of Shamus' rules.

Based on Shamus' other Blizzard rants, like the fact that they split Starcraft II into three games instead of one. Yeah, I guess the next Starcraft II is supposed to be different from the last one since you play another race. But really, it's the same game, you're just given slightly different mechanics in the second one and need to buy it if you want the WHOLE story of Starcraft 2

Oh boo hoo hoo, you need to buy all the installments in a series to get the whole story.

You need to buy all four MGS games to get the full story, plus Portable Ops and Peace Walker. You need to see all six Star Wars movies to get the full story.

If anyone actually played SC2 and didn't think that it was a full and complete game with more value than 99% of other games released these days (including Portal 2, what with a 7 hour campaign and a 4-hour co-op campaign), then they're nuts. So what if it's getting two expansions? All other Blizzard games have a single expansion, this one has two. And its campaigns will likely be of similar length to the one in this game.

John Funk:
Our very own Virgil has an excellent post about how software development really works, and how the existence of Day 1 DLC is not a ripoff. Short explanation: Stuff gets cut from game development all the time, and there comes a point at which games are feature locked (no more new ideas can be added) and content locked (no new content can be created to put on the disk), after which you have teams of developers who aren't doing anything. After that, you can A.) fire them or B.) put them to work on finishing content that was already cut from the game anyway, which can't go on the disk because the disk is content locked.

Obviously this doesn't apply to what Valve is doing here, as I find it very hard to believe that something like "a new hat" was cut from the game because it wouldn't have been finished on time. But in a general rule of speaking, this is how Day 1 DLC exists.

Please educate yourself on the matter, it might save wonders for your blood pressure.

It might. Thanks for the link. The whole concept and evolving business models - and whether you call it DLC, patches, or even game expansion - is vague and ill-defined.

I don't have problems paying developers for their work, I'm a software engineer myself. I guess the reason DLC irks me, especially Day 1 DLC, is that is seems PC games are becoming shorter and shorter - not so much the quality dropping, but the quantity. Asking me for money for what I perceive to be a game that's too short already, and I get irritated.

mcnally86:

I think you missed the point that was made. He says that valve games are trending in a direction we are concerned about. Instead of preaching all the great things valve gave us maybe pay attention to the fact that they are throttling back on it and attaching a dollar sign. Why couldn't we color our own bot? We used to be allowed to upload sprays in their games why not allow us to upload a flag skin. They have flag for your bots let us color them. And increased cost of making a game? Please how about increase of sales. How much was super Mario 3 when it came out? At the time it came out it sold far less copies for far cheaper and was just as cutting edge maybe even more so. Games cost more to make and are more expensive now. Now its a 60$ tag you can beat in a day and then it was a game for 5$ that you maybe played for a year. Times change and games change with them. I think I'm just gonna stick to retro games now.

I think I understood his point just fine. As for "throttling back" on content, I'm going to have to disagree. I've unlocked several items in the Robot Enrichment Center without having to pay a dime; I'm being rewarded just by playing the game. Beyond that, all of these are purely cosmetic items. Sure, Half-Life MP allowed us to upload our own spray tags but how useful was that? I haven't seen anyone use sprays in years in any game and I've been perfectly able to unlock a couple of sprays just by playing Portal 2.

Valve is getting the modding tools ready for Portal 2 and I'm willing to bet just about anything that they'll allow us to customize the game a lot further once those tools are out. As for "$60 for a day when it used to be $5 for a year," I'm calling complete nostalgia on this.
Games did not used to cost $5. Ever. Super Mario 3 was something around $30-40 when it came out and a single playthrough of the game could feasibly be done in a few hours.

We do not want a grim future where player-versus-player is decided by who is willing to spend the most real-world money on weapons. I'm sure publishers wouldn't mind acting as virtual arms dealers, gradually releasing increasingly more powerful weapons to an online game and forcing players to pony up if they want to remain competitive.

We also don't want developers to balance games based on DLC goodies. When they die in-game, players shouldn't feel like they're being punished for not buying more powerful items at the online store.

Ironically, that's pretty much exactly what's happened with real-world Collectible Card Games like Magic: The Gathering. (A game I stopped playing when virtually every game I witnessed devolved into a long series of "what's that? What does it do...?")

I agree- Valve has handled DLC remarkably well, overall. And given the ability to be massively evil, given the cross-promotional possibilities of a venue like Steam, they've been remarkably restrained. ("Pre-order Left For Dead 3, or the Heavy in Team Fortress 2 will be able to eat your character like a 'sammich just by touching you!!!"- yeah, they didn't do that, thank you, Valve.)

the wow Dlc you talk about went to a CHARITY called make a wish.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/105139-New-WoW-Minipets-Help-Charity-Look-Damn-Cute
Wow has 100 of pets and mounts for FREE! You dont need to buy them.

Is valve doing that? No

No valve is selling hats that make seeing a white robot against white wall better.
Why would they make the robots white. The only way to see them is with a hat you have to buy.

I have this game through gamefly. I was going to buy it but the dlc made me reconsider.
Why should I pay for an incomplete game. If they were unlockables i would buy this up.

The hats increase Visability of your coop partner so they affect gameplay. They are not entirely cosmetic.

Don't call me an idiot because I expect a full game when I Pay for one.

I loved the writing of portal 2. I wished the credits had the contributors paypal email so I could send the writers some cash.

Irridium:

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.

Somehow I doubt this. Ive watched speed runs of Portal 1 being done in under an hour, as short as 30 minutes. Im sure someone will find a way to play Portal 2 in lets say 2 hours.

Wait, don't you get the hats for free if you have them in TF2?

Echo136:

Irridium:

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.

Somehow I doubt this. Ive watched speed runs of Portal 1 being done in under an hour, as short as 30 minutes. Im sure someone will find a way to play Portal 2 in lets say 2 hours.

You can't judge the length of one game by measuring the length of another, now can you?

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

He's not calling them idiots for disagreeing with him. He's calling them idiots for review-bombing Portal 2 on Metacritic. I would bet Shamus has no problem with people who state an opposing opinion so long as it isn't coupled with what is essentially an attempt to actively damage the game.

Disliking DLC is one thing. Voting a great game down with a 0 score because you dislike their style of marketing is being an idiot...according to Shamus, at least. I'd call it being a dick, myself.

bootz:
the wow Dlc you talk about went to a CHARITY called make a wish.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/105139-New-WoW-Minipets-Help-Charity-Look-Damn-Cute
Wow has 100 of pets and mounts for FREE! You dont need to buy them.

Is valve doing that? No

No valve is selling hats that make seeing a white robot against white wall better.
Why would they make the robots white. The only way to see them is with a hat you have to buy.

I have this game through gamefly. I was going to buy it but the dlc made me reconsider.
Why should I pay for an incomplete game. If they were unlockables i would buy this up.

The hats increase Visability of your coop partner so they affect gameplay. They are not entirely cosmetic.

Don't call me an idiot because I expect a full game when I Pay for one.

I loved the writing of portal 2. I wished the credits had the contributors paypal email so I could send the writers some cash.

Uh, WOW is subscription-based. Valve's games aren't. If you play on the PC, you don't have to pay for anything else than the initial price of purchase, unless you're impatient. Then there's the Mann Co. store for that. The hats don't affect gameplay at all. Not only do you get them for free if you have them in TF2, you also have the ability to know where your partner is at all time anyways. Plus, the game is Cooperative, not competitive.

Echo136:

Irridium:

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.

Somehow I doubt this. Ive watched speed runs of Portal 1 being done in under an hour, as short as 30 minutes. Im sure someone will find a way to play Portal 2 in lets say 2 hours.

Yeah, after lots and lots of training, preparation, and full knowledge of everything. Something nobody could do within the short time its been released.

hitheremynameisbob:

Sure, as a consumer I want everything I can conceivably get from Valve for the same amount of money. What we need to open our minds to, though, is that the amount of content we once got in a game is no longer something we can conceivably get. Not when costs have risen as much as they have. This is the bad sort of entitlement, the sort that wants to cede no ground and still take more in return. We shouldn't just cave to the companies, of course, and buy whatever they put out - but neither can we continue to expect them to make games with production values that cost exponentially more to achieve than they used to and comparable levels of content without also expecting a commensurate increase in price. And sure, the average game price has increased by ten dollars in recent years, but we need to accept that this may not have been enough (indeed, it wasn't).

Nice post, and this portion hits the nail right on the head, for me. My sense of entitlement comes from past products (one big example would be comparing the amount of content you got, and gameplay hours, in Bioware's Baldur's Gate 2, to, say, Dragon Age 2). I am having a hard time paying more for what I perceive is less, and Day 1 DLC feels like adding insult to injury.

It's also a good point that DLC greatly differs from company to company.

I've never graduated from the view that if I buy a game, it should be a product that potentially can tie me up for weeks. As more and more unrealistic as that's becoming.

bootz:
the wow Dlc you talk about went to a CHARITY called make a wish.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/105139-New-WoW-Minipets-Help-Charity-Look-Damn-Cute
Wow has 100 of pets and mounts for FREE! You dont need to buy them.

Is valve doing that? No

No valve is selling hats that make seeing a white robot against white wall better.
Why would they make the robots white. The only way to see them is with a hat you have to buy.

I have this game through gamefly. I was going to buy it but the dlc made me reconsider.
Why should I pay for an incomplete game. If they were unlockables i would buy this up.

The hats increase Visability of your coop partner so they affect gameplay. They are not entirely cosmetic.

Don't call me an idiot because I expect a full game when I Pay for one.

I loved the writing of portal 2. I wished the credits had the contributors paypal email so I could send the writers some cash.

I fail to see how it's 'incomplete' in any way shape or form. You play through the single player. In coop your players are white so they are instantly visible under the grey/black backgrounds of the level. They are tall and skinny so that their outlines are also distinct. In TF2 the major complaint has been that hats make user LESS recogniseable, not more so. This is especially problematic at long distances, where the unique outlines of the characters make it such that you can determine if a scout is coming at you, or a heavy. The stuff you can buy is purely vanity. Doesn't impact gameplay.

Hell in coop they gave you tons of tools to see your coop player. Picture in picture views. Visible tags that you can set. Countdown timer.

It's far more valid to complain about DA2, where Sebastian was a Day0 DLC that really had no reason to be. You missed out on an entire storyline, and a potential critical decision in the end game if you didn't get it. By contrast, in Portal 2 you're missing a hat? Or look at some of the play for free games, where you are absolutely non-competitive without purchasing the DLC content.

There is nothing 'missing' in Portal 2 if you don't have the DLC content. Redirect your anger where such an argument is actually valid like Dragon Age 2, or Battlefield Heroes.

Irridium:

Echo136:

Irridium:

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.

Somehow I doubt this. Ive watched speed runs of Portal 1 being done in under an hour, as short as 30 minutes. Im sure someone will find a way to play Portal 2 in lets say 2 hours.

Yeah, after lots and lots of training, preparation, and full knowledge of everything. Something nobody could do within the short time its been released.

You specifically said multiple times that theirs no way it could be beat in under 5 hours, Im here to tell you someone's going to do it. Whether it happens 2 days from now or 2 months from now is irrelevent.

mcnally86:
snip

science is not about why. its about why not!
why are all of our tests so deadly? why don't you marry safe science if you love it so much!
in fact why don't you invent a door that wont hit your ass on the way out!

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.

Team Fortress 2 - there is 5 things unavailable through drops. 3 were for charity. You can still get everything by drops. the store doesn't cancel out 4 gb of content updates. Hats are cosmetic and dont change the game. Get that into your head.

Portal - a tiny button (I personally didn't notice it until after single player). With Cosmetic thingies. That you can still obtain through. Oh wait. Playing the game.

lets compare this to project 10 dollar. which locks out part of the crunt knockling actual content because you had the audactiy to buy i second hand

Lets look at Bethesda and horse armour and quest givers openly selling you extra quests.

Lets look at Other games where you pay 10 bucks and you download a 500kb unlocking key that unlocks shit already in the data file.

Get the fuck over your entitled self and take a fucking step back. They are in no way the worst offender in any regard when it comes to DLC. They do not deny you any content. They do not openly yell about the OMG SHINIES BUY at you. All actualy CONTENT has been free for Team Fortress 2 and all their other games.

Echo136:

Irridium:

Echo136:

Somehow I doubt this. Ive watched speed runs of Portal 1 being done in under an hour, as short as 30 minutes. Im sure someone will find a way to play Portal 2 in lets say 2 hours.

Yeah, after lots and lots of training, preparation, and full knowledge of everything. Something nobody could do within the short time its been released.

You specifically said multiple times that theirs no way it could be beat in under 5 hours, Im here to tell you someone's going to do it. Whether it happens 2 days from now or 2 months from now is irrelevent.

Well when someone does do it, without the help of cheats, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. But until then, I'm saying that it can't be beaten in 2 hours.

JerrytheBullfrog:

Grunt_Man11:

JerrytheBullfrog:

Excuse me? WTF does Blizzard do with DLC? Activision has its moments, with COD map packs and other things that gullible people buy, but I haven't seen anything about DLC in any of their games and I've been playing since Rock N' Roll Racing.

The worst they have is the Sparkle Pony, which falls under all four of Shamus' rules.

The problem I've heard about Blizzard isn't really DLC, but it is a micro transaction. Realm transfers.

I heard arguments that this easily done, and automated, process should be free with a month long cooldown instead of $25 per character. The main reasons are, as stated before, it is so easily done that is it now automated and that it could be considered an essential part of the game.

If your raiding guild decides to move to another server, and you don't have the $25 to spare to pay for a transfer yourself then you are out of a raiding guild. I've had that happen to me, so I can see the point in that argument.

Faction change isn't an easy process. Think about it, they need to take all of your quests and reputation and switch them for alternate quests from the other faction. More to the point, the fee is there as a penalty to discourage people from doing it a lot. Even a cooldown wouldn't stop someone determined to abuse the system.

qbanknight:

JerrytheBullfrog:

Excuse me? WTF does Blizzard do with DLC? Activision has its moments, with COD map packs and other things that gullible people buy, but I haven't seen anything about DLC in any of their games and I've been playing since Rock N' Roll Racing.

The worst they have is the Sparkle Pony, which falls under all four of Shamus' rules.

Based on Shamus' other Blizzard rants, like the fact that they split Starcraft II into three games instead of one. Yeah, I guess the next Starcraft II is supposed to be different from the last one since you play another race. But really, it's the same game, you're just given slightly different mechanics in the second one and need to buy it if you want the WHOLE story of Starcraft 2

Oh boo hoo hoo, you need to buy all the installments in a series to get the whole story.

You need to buy all four MGS games to get the full story, plus Portable Ops and Peace Walker. You need to see all six Star Wars movies to get the full story.

If anyone actually played SC2 and didn't think that it was a full and complete game with more value than 99% of other games released these days (including Portal 2, what with a 7 hour campaign and a 4-hour co-op campaign), then they're nuts. So what if it's getting two expansions? All other Blizzard games have a single expansion, this one has two. And its campaigns will likely be of similar length to the one in this game.

An expansion pack worth $60 (knowing Activision's prices)? Yeah, no, I'm good. I'm not paying $60 for Heart of the Swarm, which is ostensibly the same damn game as Wings of Liberty (which was a fine game and I can justify the $60 price tag with the single, multi, and mod tools). And if it has a campaign of equal length to Wings of Liebrty, so what? Rockstar has created three expansion packs in the past 3 years for GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption, priced at $15-$20 each, and each offered a meaty story campaign, side missions, and multiplayer. So yeah, if Blizzard charges $60 for Heart of the Swarm, then yes I do feel they are ripping people off

bootz:
the wow Dlc you talk about went to a CHARITY called make a wish.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/105139-New-WoW-Minipets-Help-Charity-Look-Damn-Cute
Wow has 100 of pets and mounts for FREE! You dont need to buy them.

Is valve doing that? No

No valve is selling hats that make seeing a white robot against white wall better.
Why would they make the robots white. The only way to see them is with a hat you have to buy.

I have this game through gamefly. I was going to buy it but the dlc made me reconsider.
Why should I pay for an incomplete game. If they were unlockables i would buy this up.

The hats increase Visability of your coop partner so they affect gameplay. They are not entirely cosmetic.

Don't call me an idiot because I expect a full game when I Pay for one.

I loved the writing of portal 2. I wished the credits had the contributors paypal email so I could send the writers some cash.

http://www.joystiq.com/2011/04/09/team-fortress-2-hats-raise-430-000-for-japan/

All the other points you raise have already been addressed, but since we're bringing out the charity argument too it's only fair to point this out.

The only reason I hated Portal 2 singleplayer was the puzzles dragged on too long, breaking the flow of the story. I ended up cheating halfway through.

Cosmetic DLC is alright. Entirely optional. There is no prerogative or necessity to buy it. Shamus speaks the truth. Ranting against this is insipid.

The Portal speedruns I've seen all depend on running backwards for their speed, as for whatever bizarre reason you care to imagine you move faster backwards than you do forwards. I wouldn't be surprised if Valve did that just to annoy people who like to complain about how fast the game can be completed.

More to the point though - speedrunning is all well and good, but all you're investigating is how fast you can physically progress from game start to game end. You're not actually playing the game - you're skipping anything and everything that does not directly move you along the singular shortest path possible, taking pre-defined routes to every objective, and as such you're missing half the game. The same goes for any speedrun in any game - the issue at stake is never 'how fast can you physically complete the game?', but 'how much of the game do you miss if you try?' Interestingly, this also disproves a lot of the comments about the lack of freedom in Portal 2 - at no point does the game really hold your hand or force you to take your time (except in a few of the elevators, where the next map doesn't load until a particular line of dialogue), so you're free to blast through it if you really want to. Compare this to things like Black Ops, with its 20-minute-long barely-interactive unskippable cut-scenes in place of actual levels in some places. These exist purely to pad out the game's runtime, to prevent the sort of claims about playtimes that developers know can knock a game's reputation. There's no such filler in Portal or Portal 2 - it's exactly that freedom to play the game as fast or as slow as you want that allows speedruns to exist.

"DLC should be multiplayer-only."

Sorry, what? There is nothing more gamebreaking than being on a server with your friends and then being booted from the game when maps change because you haven't dropped $15. Multiplayer DLC splits up the community.

On the other hand DLC such as, well, anything for Fallout 3 adds unique experiences to the game without getting in the way. It doesn't split up communities, it doesn't force this sense that you need to buy it to keep playing, its just some nice extra content.

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