After yesterday’s post I went off and straight away went back on what I’d said. I booted up my Dragon Age game, started in on Orzammar and then went back to Camp to put some money into Bioware points and to buy Soldier’s Peak and Return to Ostagar. I reasoned it’d give me a nice break from doing the Dwarf bits all in one go. And that I’d buy them anyway, little chunks of content that sounded kind of fun both for around £4 (one was less, one more, but still!).
Now, I’ve never bought DLC before. It’s totally new to me. The nearest I’ve got has been expansions for MMOs, and the additional £5 I pay for Mirkwood to get the extra characters, the shared storage etc etc, but that was on top of the Mirkwood expansion for us, so felt a bit different. I know the Rock, Paper, Shotgun podcast once guessed that Shale was included in the new box for Dragon Age: Origins to get newbies like me to understand what DLC was/is. So we became accustomed to putting in a code and getting some new content, and weren’t scared of it.
First, the good news, getting the Bioware points and purchasing the DLC was really straightforward and worked well. I think I waited under 10 mins for both DLCs to download, and that’s mostly because I was downloading a ton of other stuff at the same time. So I started off with a good feeling about it. Each package had a little write-up to give you an idea what content it included, so I read through those as it downloaded.
And then, rebooted my client and went off to Ostagar, the newest and shiniest of the Dragon Age DLC. I’m not going to say too much about the storyline contained within, it’s still new and I don’t want to spoil anyone. But, I will say it didn’t take long and I think it should have been included in the main game. Was it worth the money? It cost around the same as going to see a film at my local cinema at that time of day. It took around as long. But, I didn’t feel as entertained, perhaps. Instead, I felt like I was seeing withheld content, kept back to make a bit of extra cash. I’m not ranting and raving about it, I understand economic pressures and wanting to extend the cash-making of a game for as long as possible. But, and perhaps because this was my first real experience with paying for DLC, I was really disappointed.
I bought Soldier’s Peak at the same time as Return to Ostagar, but I haven’t actually played through it yet. At least from the brief overview it sounds a little less integral to the storyline, so I don’t expect to feel like it was withheld quite so much. And I guess I won’t expect it to last more than a couple of hours, based on previous and ever-learning experience.
I’m fairly new to playing through single-player games, and I haven’t properly played one in years. I accept that things change, and that I’m kind of used to paying monthly fees for MMOs (pre-LotRO’s lifetime lifeline for me!), but I’m not sure I’ll be buying any more Dragon Age DLCs unless they go on special offer sometime. I’ll get the expansion – it promises a decent chunk of gameplay, new characters etc, although I will be watching the price and maybe holding off and not getting it straight away. I guess I understand more why people wait for ‘Game of the Year’ editions also.
I know £3-£5 isn’t a lot of money, but it’s a hell of a lot more than I usually spend on entertainment in a week, even in a couple of weeks (I live a sheltered and very cheap life). I accept my comments are based on my own sense of disappointment and that for many people £3 for 2h is a good proposition. And that this is the way forward for games to extend their life while giving players some extra content and breathing a bit of life into the game.
But hey, a blog post, eh!! Next time, I’ll focus on a more positive angle to my gaming life.