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-   -   Mass Effect - Downloadable Content Announced (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3842)

magerette February 6th, 2008 19:31

Mass Effect - Downloadable Content Announced
 
Shacknews posts a newsbit regarding Bioware's announcement of the first round of downloadable content for their XBox360 rpg, Mass Effect, called Bring Down the Sky:
Quote:

Developer BioWare today unveiled the first round of downloadable content for its hit Xbox 360 RPG Mass Effect.
Bring Down the Sky will introduce the alien race of the Batarians, an extremist group that has taken over an asteroid station in the Asgard system, sending it hurtling toward the colony world of Terra Nova. Players will be unsurprisingly tasked with averting the disaster, exploring a new world in the process.
BioWare estimates the scenario will last most gamers about 90 minutes, with 50 Gamerscore points hanging in the balance.
The content—the first in a series of such releases—is coming to Xbox Live on March 10, for the price of 400 Microsoft points ($5).
More information.

Thaurin February 6th, 2008 19:31

This sounds alright: most downloadable content (apart from digitally distributed expansion kits) I've seen so far has resolved around an extension of the game, not new gameplay. Ninety minutes does sound too short, but knowing me, I'll probably squeeze a couple of hours out of it, anyway. The price is right, if they can manage to put 2 or 3 hours in there. On the other hand, a Sam & Max episode costs more…

The Watchman February 7th, 2008 08:17

These extentions or "pressing cash from the stupid" is just a really crappy idea. Make a damn expansion if you must ! Its really chocking how easy some people will depart their cash, but then again, these games cater for morons.

fatBastard() February 7th, 2008 08:51

Why thank you.

*Note to self: Ignore Watchman's post in the future*

Thaurin February 7th, 2008 09:59

If people are willing to part with their money for this downloadable content, it's hardly a crappy idea! And apparently the people buying it are happy as well, so I don't see the problem.

Alrik Fassbauer February 7th, 2008 14:24

The Age of Premium has begun !

Burress February 7th, 2008 14:41

Downloadable content is a way to stretch game material that would be a fraction the size of a proper expansion in to a full expansion price. I expect Bioware to release 4-5 of these at 5 bucks a pop to extend the play time by about 5-6 hours total, or about a quarter the size of an expansion for 20-25 bucks. This is a bad trend.

Alrik Fassbauer February 7th, 2008 15:49

"Yes, but everybody does it!" :rolleyes:

txa1265 February 7th, 2008 15:54

The whole micro-transaction thing has been discussed to death before. It is basically ringtones for consoles - something of benefit to consumers at a price disproportionate with the value.

PatrickWeekes February 7th, 2008 16:03

Wish I had something helpful to add. People talk about Mass Effect being 20-25 hours. It was 40 for me, so I am likely some combination of slow and completionist. I don't know if the 90 minutes is really 90 minutes, or if it's likely to be longer for people, or what.

Holly Avenger February 7th, 2008 16:38

What use is having our very own Bioware mole if he can't offer any suitable insights? ;)

As for this DLC… have to say it's too little too late for me. If it had come out last month I may well have picked it up. But I've played through the game twice (and a bit of a third) and I'm Mass Effected out. That there is little true differences in the game even when going full out paragon or renegade doesn't help. An extra hour and a bit of new stuff is not enough to entice me to do the same stuff I've already done twice.

Maybe I'll look at Mass Effect again shortly before number 2 is due out and consider scooping up all the DLC for a single last playthrough in readiness for the sequel.

fatBastard() February 7th, 2008 16:43

For me the first time through was close to 50 hours. The second time about 40 hours and the third time was about 38 hours … and all three times I was thinking: "I can't wait to meet the Batarian slavers so I can kick their 4 eyed, ugly nosed butts" :evilgrin:

Let's wait and see what's what when it comes out before we pass judgment (I was skeptical about Mass Effect before release but was proven wrong on every point, so while I can't help but make mistakes, I try not to make the same mistakes twice).

PatrickWeekes February 7th, 2008 19:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by Holly Avenger (Post 66553)
What use is having our very own Bioware mole if he can't offer any suitable insights? ;)

:D

I can say, I think, that the $5 price is one that was hotly debated by people inside. Some people wanted less, some people thought it had to be more in order for it to be profitable enough (based on the work done on the new content — it is not, I have been told, just another by-the-numbers uncharted world with a new enemy model, and there were people working long-ass hours to get it done) based on the time it took to make. The popular consensus is that yeah, it's a premium price, but that's how premium packs work, and unless we want to make DLC that's just new armor or something, it's too much work for us to price it any lower.

I'd say more, but I don't know more, frankly. I'm on another project now, so I'm getting all of this secondhand.

aries100 February 7th, 2008 22:22

Bioware seems really to have listened to the Biowarians on their Mass Effect forums. Everyone seems to have wanted Batarians. And Bioware did give everyone - just that - Batarians.

OK, it was perhaps not the quest or mission I would have used to introduce Batarians, but now we have Batarians in Mass Effect - for 5 US dollars. A 90-120 minute (Premium) module content seem OK to me - at least it is way better than Oblivion's Horse Armor for 2 US dollars or some other DLC content for Oblivion.

On the whole 'how many hours do it take to finish a game?' here is a website to get you thinking:

http://speeddemosarchive.com/GameList.html

As you can see Fallout can be done in 9 minutes….

No info on Mass Effect so far, though…

Alrik Fassbauer February 7th, 2008 23:06

What actually is an Batarian ?

Beside, Speedruns are the totally opposite thing to my "exploring style" of gaming, so I don't trust them too much.

Holly Avenger February 8th, 2008 00:22

I don't think the $5 price point for this DLC is too far off - smaller quantities are always going to be more expensive than the bulk purchase. You can't expect a strictly linear cost comparison with the amount of hours you got in the full game.

My problem is that 90 minutes still isn't enough of an addition to the game that I would want to play it through again just to see it. I would want a far bigger return of new content to make myself play though ME again this soon after finishing it twice already.

This is why expansions work for me - they usually come out some months after I put the game aside, with so much extra stuff that the expanded playthrough is almost a new experience. I can't get that from DLC - the timing's all wrong and the payoff simply isn't enough. The only way I can see it working for me is holding off until a bundle of DLC is available (hopefully for a discounted price) and then try to treat it more like an expansion. Otherwise the new content will be drowned out by the boredom of playing what is essentially exactly the same game, yet again - apart from those one or two hours.

And before someone mentions it, no I wouldn't use an old save just to get access to the DLC quest - it's the complete character arc or nothing. That's just the way I play.

zakhal February 8th, 2008 01:10

The *first level* of *single "dungeon" - the watchers keep* in baldurs gate 2 took me around 60min to play through today. I guess som games are simply more fast to play through than others. Itemization, party management, puzzles and battles are less complex and time consuming in these new games. The game is made so that you can almost run it through. No need to sit down to think.

Just wondering - I havent played mass effect yet.

woges February 8th, 2008 03:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by zakhal (Post 66630)
The *first level* of *single "dungeon" - the watchers keep* in baldurs gate 2 took me around 60min to play through today. I guess som games are simply more fast to play through than others. Itemization, party management, puzzles and battles are less complex and time consuming in these new games. The game is made so that you can almost run it through. No need to sit down to think.

Just wondering - I havent played mass effect yet.

A different style of play here I think! A game does not need to be long and drawn out to be good. I'm not a fan of downloads at all really but I guess if you are a big fan of a game it would be nice to get some downloads, and maybe, get some patch support for the product longer. I suspect they are just money grabs though.

doctor_kaz February 8th, 2008 15:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by txa1265 (Post 66538)
The whole micro-transaction thing has been discussed to death before. It is basically ringtones for consoles - something of benefit to consumers at a price disproportionate with the value.

Yup. And this is not a good trend at all. You take $50 worth of material, chop it up into 25 pieces, and sell them for $5 apiece. Voila. You just made $125 instead of $50. Not a good trend for gamers.

txa1265 February 8th, 2008 15:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by doctor_kaz (Post 66709)
Yup. And this is not a good trend at all. You take $50 worth of material, chop it up into 25 pieces, and sell them for $5 apiece. Voila. You just made $125 instead of $50. Not a good trend for gamers.

But from what Patrick said, the Mass Effect DLC is more like a mini-Premium Module … so that isn't bad. Most stuff I have heard about - horse armor, Lumines puzzles (that were included in the PSP version), Tiger Woods documentation - is just awful.


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