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June 4th, 2011, 19:15
I do agree that just throwing the items in the character's inventory or on some readily accessible merchant is lazy and imbalancing. The obvious alternative is to build a quest around them, but then you are expending much more time and resources for something that only a small percentage of users who bought it at one particular store will ever get to experience. I've modded a bit in the past and I can tell you that even a simple quest mod is way more work than just making an item. Also, people will complain much more over missing out on a quest, real game content, vs not having access to an item.

Two Worlds II had sort of a compromise with DLC items that you get in your inventory but had level restrictions on them. You didn't get to use them right from the start and by the time you were able to there were usually fairly comparable items available.

I think there's a trend though in paying for shortcuts (or getting them as a reward for buying from a particular store) and I kind of feel like that trend started from the whole social/casual gaming craze where paying for cheats is completely out of control. I never noticed as much emphasis on DLCs until that whole Facebook game trend took off with micotransactions out the yin yang. Pay $2 for some potato seeds, $3 for a fancy house, $5 for a purple cat, etc etc. The big companies started noticing this (especially EA) and increasingly incorporated similar things into their computer and console games.

At very least CD Projekt isn't charging for these, which is more than you will see from EA or even Bethesda, though the latter at least provides modding tools for the community to make their own content.
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