Editorials

Day 1 DLC : Not As Bad As You May Think

Everyone loves their add-on content, expanding the games in ways you never thought possible, or just really enjoyed. But there always seems to be a sour note that hits if a DLC comes too late in the cycle or too early, well in the case of the latter, it really isn’t so bad! Chill out on the day one dlc people!

The main arguments that arise to the detriment of day one DLC are the fact that people more often than not, consider it to be content that was cut from the game, to be sold back to the unwilling masses at an increased fee. The simple thing to do about this is, of course, don’t buy it and wait for it to become cheaper. If the DLC requires you to pay for it, and I am talking an extra payment on top of the normal price, you have a conscious decision whether or not you wish to purchase it. If you don’t that’s fine, but if you make the choice to pay for the day one DLC and you hate it or hate the game, I don’t know how to break this to you but you are only annoyed at the fact that the content you got wasn’t to your taste.

The whole concept of day one DLC is just the target for you to get angry at. The vast majority of day one DLC is free, included in the price of the game, being additional content that they wanted to add into it to show the extra value of what they offer. There isn’t some vast underlying motive that all video game companies adhere to, requiring them to cut content and advertise it as DLC. It isn’t like they are giving you the first mission and stating, well it’s a good thing you have the Day One DLC because now you can play the second mission.

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Let’s use the additional content for Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind. It started out as a pre-order bonus, but now the majority of Morrowind copies sold come with this additional content. You unlock some Crown Chests which give you a chance at some rare items, some treasure maps, a Warden costume, but most importantly the Dwarven armoured non-combat pet, which is pictured above. This content isn’t really going to affect your life or the functionality of the game if you don’t get it but it makes people feel good to see a happy, heavily armoured puppy following you around. That’s what day one DLC usually is, small bits of content that make people happier and feel good when they activate it because it makes it seem like you get more bang for your buck.

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The adding of additional content is something that Ubisoft has done quite often with the Assassins Creed franchise. They provide extra items and content so the customer/gamer feels like they have gotten a good deal. Obviously, the more money you spend, on the higher priced editions the more content you acquire. In regards to the above content drops for Assassins Creed: Origins at Eb Games, every single copy of the game sold comes with the Digital Deluxe Pack, which means everyone gets the additional content. One mission is not going to break the game.

But let’s address the reason so many people hate the concept of day one DLC, and that is because of the perception that it is content that we should already have been getting blocked from our access behind a paywall. It is the view that we are being denied something that should have been ours when we got possession of the disc. Look, it is only a problem when the DLC is game breaking or game winning. In an FPS game series, like Call of Duty, if they hand you a gun and send you on your merry way to battle mecha-nazis or whatever, it is perfectly fine, but if they hand you a gun and say bullets are $10 extra, then it is completely justifiable to be annoyed. But the simple fact is, most day one DLC (at least today) is not only included in the price of the main game but is also cosmetic or trivial. It is not going to give someone a major advantage if their gun is a different colour or they get a special look for their character.

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Just think about the majority of DLC, because I am not going to sit here and say developers do not occasionally screw us around with additional content that should have been included. Even though Destiny has been one of my favourite games from the very first day of its release, this is a problem it initially struggled with and something it got major criticism for. Gamers do not like the feeling of being screwed over. DLC is content that should add to the game not complete the game, and I will use an example which provides an excellent example of DLC, which is Borderlands 2.

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The three main DLC packs and the Headhunter Packs added so much extra content that expanded the world by a huge degree. Especially the above Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, explored the themes of abandonment and mourning and opened up gamers to the perspectives of some of the characters. Now while this is not an example of free DLC it perfectly illustrates my point, in that DLC is not essential to the main game. Borderlands 2 did not suffer from someone not playing the fantasy board game spin-off on the adventure because it was additional!

However, another reason that day one DLC is so despised is due to its timing…it is on the first day. Gamers are inexplicably drawn to the conclusion that it must have been cut from the game, because how would they have developed it so quickly. The fact is, a lot of content is cut from games, stuff that is considered too ‘extra’ to be put in the main parts and they are giving some of it back just as a little thank you. Maybe the extra missions do not line up with the main story but they are just fine to complete, or maybe it is just a cosmetic item that adds no value to the way the game plays as a whole.

At the end of the day, however, the argument against day one DLC only really arises if you do not feel that the game is worth what you paid. If a game is fantastic and you feel that you cannot tear yourself away from it, you do not feel like you have been cheated. While game prices are expensive, I think people should just try and be happy with day one DLC, if it is truly ineffectual. Consider it as what it really is, additional content, rather than assuming it was cut and presented back to you on a silver platter.

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