DLC… again?!

I’m starting to sound like a broken record.

I am going to be revisiting some ‘issues’ that I’ve gone over previously due to the release of the BRAND NEW *ahem* Onslaught DLC for Battlefield Bad Company 2.

I haven’t turned the PS3 on since it came out so I don’t know how much it is, a couple of quid maybe, but to me: it’s too much. I’m not buying it. Simple as that. As far as I’m concerned it’s not worth the money, and while EA/DICE continue to leave other issues unresolved why should I give them more money to play a game mode that should have been included at retail anyway?

Pay to play co-op mode? Come on, seriously? What is the replay value of that? Those of you who have Modern Warfare 2 – how many times do you actually play the co-op missions on that (you know, the ones that were free at point of sale)?

From what Donncha was saying about the Onslaught pack it’s useful to hone your vehicle and/or sniping skills so you’re also paying for the training level that should also have been included in the original game!

You don’t get any new maps, just some different lighting/weather. Big fat hairy deal – if you play GTAIV the lighting and weather changes in that…. FOR FREE. I really don’t see the value for money. And talking of money, where does the money that people pay for the Spectat Kits and this Onslaught Pack actually go? It obviously doesn’t go to sorting out the servers.

Donncha also mentioned about an issue with lag when he was playing. StoneFaceLock is constantly complaining about lag, and even ooogbilly has now put up a vid showing lag problems:

This is the very reason why I avoided EA for over half a decade. They only respond to dollars and not feedback from the community. While people continue to give them cash for essentially nothing (and this applies to all developers/publishers – not just EA/DICE) they’ll continue to go “Ka-Ching! Would you like some fancy pants to go with that?”.

I did consider getting Onslaught because Donncha, Mike, Geoff, Gary and probably everyone else is getting it and it would’ve been fun to give it a go – but decided against it when I realised that EA/DICE have effectively offered nothing for the money. No new maps. Your scrore in Onslaught doesn’t count towards anything. The servers are still laggy (or empty if you play after midnight due to the EU/US segregation) and let’s be honest, co-op mode should have been included out of the box.

When EA/DICE actually offer something that provides value for money then I’ll get it. But currently we’re been spoonfed shit and being told it’s caviar. I’m not swallowing that.

Peas and loaves.

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(POLL) Forget Pay-to-Play, How About Pay-to-Boost?

I recently trimmed down my subscriptions list on YouTube to cut out more boosters. I didn’t do it on a whim as it meant removing some guys who I genuinely like as people, but can’t swallow the weak “reasons” they give to legitimise boosting. Currently I’m thinking I shouldn’t have bothered, because after all the other DLC ‘squeeze the punter until they squeak’ bovine manure that has slowly crept in recently, the biscuit has now not only been taken, but we, the consumer are also expected to pick up the tab.

I don’t mind admitting it – my knickers are well and truly in a twist. That wouldn’t normally be a problem as tight underwear can be comforting, but they’re being worn by a really grumpy gorilla who’s mislaid his Preparation-H. So, apeshit would be a more accurate term to describe how I feel about game publishers right now, especially DICE/EA. I’ve previously touched on my historical disdain for EA and their moneygrabbing ways…. but it seems it’s catching.

Donncha posted on his blog earlier about EA/DICE not only charging for the Onslaught co-op mode (you know, the sort of gametype that has been standard on…. ohhhh pretty much every game ever made), but also from June 16th people will no longer have to play the game and gain experience to unlock the weapons and specs – they can simply pay DICE some cash and bish bash bosh: instant expert. Apparently it’s to help out those people who don’t have the time to get the unlocks…. IF THEY DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO UNLOCK STUFF, THEN THEY OBVIOUSLY DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO PLAY THE GAME IN THE FIRST PLACE!

On the EA blog post (via) comments there it’s currently about 98% negative. Will EA/DICE respond to the community or chase the dollar. Are they really going to legitimise boosting in return for thirty pieces of silver? Up until a couple of days ago, those people who received things they didn’t work for in game were referred to as cheating douchebag boosters, but now they are “consumers”?! Being that this is EA that we’re on about I’m guessing that the dollar will win…. but you never know, and I would love to be wrong.

But I was thinking – am I off on the deep end here? Am I just a stubborn old goat who needs to move with the times, or am I a pissed of consumer who is fed up with getting the shaft and then being made to feel like I should be grateful for something that should have been included in the first place (and that doesn’t just apply to gaming)?

So I’m putting up a couple of polls. I’d like YOUR feedback. The polls are anonymous – I only see the results, I don’t get to see who voted what, so on those more “controversial” questions rest assured you won’t get any grief. The polls should also be accessible to all visitors (but I’ll test that out…).

Be completely honest. Vote for what matches your views as closely as possible. This isn’t about following the crowd, I’d like a snapshot of how you peeps, the visitors and regulars here actually perceive the following issues. As usual I’ll be abstaining from the votes – you all know how I feel on these issues:

Thanks for your input as always.

Peas and loaves.

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I Don’t Purchase Aesthetic Content

DLC (Down Loadable Content). The cash cow of a generation. I’ve already posted my thoughts on DLC in previous entries (I accept it as the way of the future, but its creators should be burned as witches).

But this entry has been inspired by this post on the patch update for BFBC2:

June 7, 2010 05:33 AM CobaltYash wrote:

ea and dice we really want new weapons! most of us would pay 10$ without hesitating for a new weapons dlc. dont make the new guns better, just make them different.

new gadgets, m1garand bayonet and m1903 spring field, p90 ak47 and xm8 marksman please!

also PLEASE fix the lag!

cool an update! i love updates 😀

Hmmm, CobaltYash….? Nope, never heard of him/her. Can’t remember voting for them to be the spokesperson for the community. Don’t actually remember there being some sort of poll asking who would pay $10 without hesitation. But there we are. Maybe he/she has multi-personality disorder when they’re referring to “most of us”…..

I’m not a DLC fan. I don’t buy DLC as it’s a one way deal. If you download something and it’s utter crap you have no recourse – you can’t go to the vendor and say “Hey buddy, this puppy you sold me is actually a rat in a wig! I need a refund, or a replacement” – you just have to suck it up that you’ve bought something that you’re never going to use….. and you can’t even sell it on. “Hooray” for the vendor, “up yours” to the consumer.

But regardless of that there is one thing that I will NEVER buy – aesthetic DLC. Playstaion@Home, LBP, Assassins Creed, ModRacers, whatever – unless what I’m buying gives some sort of benefit or stats boost then I’m not interested. If those fancy pants don’t give an armour boost, are flame retardant, or make me run faster then they can stay on the hanger.

I sure as hell won’t pay $10 or £10 or even 10p for some weapon skins that do nothing. “Hey, look at me, I’ve got a P90!” Big deal…. and pointless if it is has the same stats as some other gun – just use that one and save yourself some cash.

Isn’t it about time that we got something for loyalty? When all these map packs and associated DLC come out we are made to feel like they are doing us a favour. I’m not saying that the publishers should just give stuff away willy nilly, but those people who buy every game in a series should get something for their investment in the company, not be bled dry by the drip drip drip of DLC. It would be something if the publishers were actually honest about DLC, but then I guess in the cynical world of marketing, honesty is not a quality that is highly valued.

Paying for weapon skins….. CobaltYash, shame on you!

Peas and loaves.

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Four Zero Two and Major Nelson discuss MW2 Stimulus Map Pack

In these two vids (audio only) FourZeroTwo and Major Nelson discuss the Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Map pack. The upcoming maps are discussed, why they chose Crash and Overgrown from Call of Duty 4, how they made the decisions they made regarding map construction and map choice.

The interview is fairly Xbox360 orientated, but the information regarding the maps is universal to all platforms.

Peas and loaves.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE

DLC and Virtual Marketplaces are Bad for your Actual Wallet

Since there’s numerous mumblings and grumblings lamenting the cost of the Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Map pack DLC I thought it was the perfect time to bring up the subject of the virtual market place compared to the real world.

So here’s how I’ve traditionally gamed:

  • 1 – Buy Game
  • 2 – Play game
  • 3 – Complete or get sick of game
  • 4 – Trade in game for credit or moolah
  • 5 – Go to 1

Essentially I’m only paying full price for the first game and I’ll get a decent percentage off the purchase price of each future game as long as I do it before the trade in value plummets.

This scenario for me provides the best balance between value and playing. Some players, like a friend of mine called Mike, keep every title they have ever played (but he also has every copy of GamesMaster published too….) so it’s not something that everyone will do.

The thing is, when you buy a physical copy of a game you actually own a tangiable product. You can hold it, you can look at the artwork (like I do with my Hardened copy of Modern Warfare 2), you can lend it to your friend(s) and, should you wish to, you can sell it on to fund further game purchases.

However, there’s a cloud on the horizon. Many publishers are looking at ways to get us to download titles. And they will only be available to download. Okay, that’s convenient. You don’t have to trudge into town and queue up in Game (why are their shops so small!?) – you just turn your machine on, make your purchase, wait 10 minutes (or 30 hours if you are being throttled by Virgin Media for daring to use your connection) and there it is – your spanking new game, ready to roll.

So what happens then when you finish the game, get fed up with it, or find that it’s a big stinking pile of turds? Well……nothing. You could delete it – but that’s the equivalent of giving £40 to Sir Fred Goodwin. You paid your cash and literally have nothing to show for it.

What happens if your machine blows up? Content begone! If you had a physical copy you can just reinstall – but in most cases with a download it’s a one shot deal!

Although DLC (down loadable conent) is convenient, it only truly benefits the publisher. As a consumer you have no real rights, recourse or even resale value to the content. I think there needs to be more safeguards in place to protect consumers and improve the support available for DLC. For a start, if you purchase a title, you should be able to re-download that title to your account as many times as you like in the same way that you can reinstall your physical software. I’d also like to see some sort of loyalty value associated with a title/publisher – if I can’t physically trade in then surely that’s not too much ask.

Moving completely to DLC in my case would mean that I would purchase maybe one title a year compared to the five or six on average that I have previously bought (on console). If I don’t think something is value for money then I don’t buy it – no matter what the hype.

What are your thoughts on this?

Peas and loaves.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE