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Default Wasteland 3 - The Battle for Steeltown Review

July 19th, 2021, 19:05
GiN checked out the Wasteland 3 DLC The Battle of Steeltown:

Wasteland 3 Adds Glory in Battle for Steeltown DLC

The developers over at inXile Entertainment have been pretty busy since their Wasteland 3 RPG was released late last year. They have been steadily patching the game, as well as adding new features and even some cosmetic upgrades. It's been good to see them steadily improving what was already a pretty great core game in the role-playing space.

Improvements to the core game include, in addition to a few needed patches, a kennel to keep your animals safe and sound when not adventuring with them (which also makes it easy to swap them out to different rangers), lots of rebalancing improvements and finally the ability to craft new weapons, armor and equipment, including some special items that you might learn about along the way.

[…]

The Battle for Steeltown earns 4 GiN Gems, which is a little bit less than the 5 GiN Gems the core Wasteland 3 game earned when it first came out. But don't let that discourage you from checking out Steeltown. It's a good addition to the core game that is worth the money as an interesting and challenging side-adventure.
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July 20th, 2021, 17:05
"There is about four hours worth of gameplay in the Steeltown DLC if you do everything, including all the side quests."

What?

Or does that mean it's not worth more than 4 regular hours of gameplay?

Weird.
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July 20th, 2021, 17:39
Golly, that sounds fairly light for an expansion, imo. Another reason to be happy that I'm waiting for the complete edition, I suppose.
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July 20th, 2021, 17:47
The main quest in the DLC is ca. 3 hours long - everything 4-5 hours.
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July 20th, 2021, 20:10
Disappointing length, but it's only $13.99

The reviews so far aren't very good though.
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July 20th, 2021, 20:19
$13.99 is, to me, quite a bit if you're not getting much for it (in quantity nor quality). The value proposition for DLC is always worse than for a game, but when I'm on the fence, it's still a factor for me.

~4-5 hours is maybe 10% of the length of the game itself. If the game had been priced accordingly, it would have cost $140. Would anyone pay $140 for the game? I sure wouldn't. So I won't buy a DLC that gives me that amount of content for money unless the content is very good, or I like the game so much I want to play every scrap of it. Neither seems to apply here.
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July 20th, 2021, 20:39
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
The value proposition for DLC is always worse than for a game
When you're only using a length vs price factor, sure. For me though, the actual experience is a lot more important than measuring time.
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July 20th, 2021, 21:26
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
When you're only using a length vs price factor, sure. For me though, the actual experience is a lot more important than measuring time.
I mentioned both.
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July 20th, 2021, 21:29
Nod, I'm currently holding on pushing the button for Kingdom Come: Deliverance expansions simply because I'm curious to what value I'll get for those twenty duckets I've to lay out. Like others, it's nice to know the value/duration of such things like games, books, etc before I shell out the cash.
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July 20th, 2021, 21:30
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
I mentioned both.
So how is the value of the DLC always worse than the game?
Last edited by JDR13; July 20th, 2021 at 21:42. Reason: Grammar
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July 26th, 2021, 02:09
Sounds like an excuse to sell patches to me.
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July 26th, 2021, 02:41
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
So how is the value of the DLC always worse than the game?
How often is the quality of DLC content higher than that of the game it's for? Rarely, and from the reviews of BfS, not true here.

So if the quantity/dollar is less and the quality/dollar is less (or at best the same), how is the value of the DLC not lower?
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July 26th, 2021, 04:00
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
How often is the quality of DLC content higher than that of the game it's for? Rarely, and from the reviews of BfS, not true here.

So if the quantity/dollar is less and the quality/dollar is less (or at best the same), how is the value of the DLC not lower?
If both of those aspects are less then duh.. but that's not what you said. You said the value of the DLC is "always" lower. It's not always lower, and that would be largely subjective anyways.
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July 29th, 2021, 09:10
5 Hours is way too short - but not unusual for modern DLC "story" expansions.

I remember when I was a kid in the golden age of gaming - where we not only had to wade through 3 feet of snow for miles to get to an actual physical shop to purchase an actual physical object called a "box" - to get our expansions, we also often got 50-100% of the original game-length out of them.

Those were the days

Though, I must say, to be fair (and this hurts) - the original games tended to be MUCH shorter back then.

100 hour games, for instance, were EXTREMELY rare - and if they existed, it was because they were procedurally generated - or some kind of strategy game where replays don't really count.

So, in that way, we have sort of the opposite situation with many RPGs today. The main games are typically much longer - but the DLC is typically much shorter.

Isn't that strange?

Anyway, I won't get into the value argument - because it's so variable. The amount of hours don't tell the whole story, do they. I mean, how FUN were those hours? Would you rather have 1 hour with your dream girl - or 100 hours with your wife?

Kidding, you know what I mean.

But it does seem a tad expensive to me. Damn it, I just had to mention value.

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July 29th, 2021, 10:21
Maybe part of why games were shorter is because games back then were not today's industry, smaller market, smaller teams, computers had less storage, or in any case, the media holding the game was a limitation (I still remember those 9 floppy discs for System Shock…).

Games had to be smaller or use some trick as you said, like in Daggerfall. Or have a painfully slow progression like Elite.

I'm not sure why DLCs would be shorter now, maybe because developing the next game is the priority and DLCs are just an inconvenience to pay for its development? Or because the length has become an argument to sell a game, but once its fame is established, it's not necessary to overdo it for a DLC?

I'm rarely buying DLCs anyway, so I didn't even realize they were shorter, your guess is as good as mine, or even better

I'd rather have a mid-length game that I enjoy. Too short is frustrating (Portal), too long is tedious (Kingmaker). And if I don't enjoy it, I just don't care how long it is
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July 29th, 2021, 11:52
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
Maybe part of why games were shorter is because games back then were not today's industry, smaller market, smaller teams, computers had less storage, or in any case, the media holding the game was a limitation (I still remember those 9 floppy discs for System Shockƒ’†€™ƒ€*â‚„ƒ’â‚šƒ€š‚¢ƒ ’†€™ƒ€š‚¢ƒ’‚¢ƒ¢â‚š‚¬ƒ€‚¡ƒ ’â‚šƒ€š‚¬ƒ’†€™ƒ¢â€š¬…¡ƒ’â‚ šƒ€š‚¦).

Games had to be smaller or use some trick as you said, like in Daggerfall. Or have a painfully slow progression like Elite.

I'm not sure why DLCs would be shorter now, maybe because developing the next game is the priority and DLCs are just an inconvenience to pay for its development? Or because the length has become an argument to sell a game, but once its fame is established, it's not necessary to overdo it for a DLC?

I'm rarely buying DLCs anyway, so I didn't even realize they were shorter, your guess is as good as mine, or even better

I'd rather have a mid-length game that I enjoy. Too short is frustrating (Portal), too long is tedious (Kingmaker). And if I don't enjoy it, I just don't care how long it is
It's hard to say exactly what happened. I mean, I'm still a little cynical when it comes to mainstream game development - so I have a hard time assuming games are longer because suits want to finance games that cost more than is necessary to generate tons of money.

So, I think it's probably more about what has happened to open world games - which I would argue started around the early 2000s - with GTA 3 being probably the biggest reason for the popularity of that particular genre. That game was one of the biggest game changers of all time.

I'm not saying it's solely responsible or anything - but I can clearly remember how A TON of games started to change into open world iterations shortly after - and it has never stopped since then.

I would also argue that everything from Bethsoft since Morrowind has contributed significantly to the popularity of the open world action RPG.

It seems a lot of the bigger games are made to give the illusion of 100+ hours of content - but it's really just an evolution of clever padding and the cheapest ways to extend the life of a game.

The trick being to entertain people in a satisfying way - whilst not over-investing in terms of asset production.

I find that most open world games that are 100+ hours don't succeed terribly well - but I must also admit that even the suit-driven games have become much better at it.

Ubisoft being perhaps the most prominent example of this. They seem to have established a very strong pipeline for content - in such a way that they can reuse assets and generate massive amounts of "just distinct enough" content in a highly efficient way. This includes stuff like voice acting and long-term progression systems.

I guess that's not much of a surprise - since nearly all of their franchises are built in such a similar way. About the only surprise to me is that they don't actually use the same engine for them - which would have been the obvious suit-route to take.

As for stuff like Kingmaker, which I consider something other than suit-driven - it still suffers from the same padding issue.

Of course, that depends on how much of a fan you are of filler combat - but that's also true for the average suit-driven open world combat fest.

Personally, I like my encounters to be as distinct as possible - without taking away the feeling of being able to fight and test my strategies when I want to. I don't particularly enjoy open world progression-oriented games where I can't actually fight when I'm in that mood.

Anyway, I'm rambling a bit - I should probably stop.

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July 29th, 2021, 13:50
Rambling is good sometimes

You may be right, the open-world trend certainly gave games the possibility to get much longer, easy to fill with fetch quests or even procedurally-generated quests (Skyrim) for people who want more. Ubisoft and Bethesda have mastered that skill. But have DLCs become shorter? They all seem in the 25 hr up to 40 for completionists. There are short ones, but there were short DLCs before, the type that plug into the main story.

… and that actually is case here for the DLC for Wasteland 3. I hadn't considered that before, but it's apparently an add-on that plugs into the main story. That makes it perfectly acceptable to be short, however I still find the price a bit high (but then I don't like the game, so my perception of value is biased the wrong way).


Oh yes, Morrowind! It must be the first game I've spent so much time on. This game made you work harder by exploring and searching what the next step was, but was there filler content? It didn't strike me then, maybe I was just happy to hack & slash a few more dungeons than necessary. Maybe it's the happy memory of the first girl At least the world felt coherent and filled with lore.

IMO Pathfinder: Kingmaker was just deep and maybe a little ill-balanced. They were afraid it would be too short, and added enough to entertain for 100+ hours. Some of it was unfortunate, like kingdom management, huge repetitive combats, and the TB mode made it even longer. But I wouldn't paint any quest as "filler content", they're either related to the companions or to the world and are most of the time intertwined with the story. Hopefully their next game offers more varied encounters, Owlcat acknowledged the issue and it was their plan. From what I saw, it seems to be the case.
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July 29th, 2021, 14:00
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
Rambling is good sometimes
You clearly don't know what you're saying or who you're saying it to

You may be right, the open-world trend certainly gave games the possibility to get much longer, easy to fill with fetch quests or even procedurally-generated quests (Skyrim) for people who want more. Ubisoft and Bethesda have mastered that skill.
I must disagree when it comes to Bethesda - as I consider them one of the very, very few developers who can make actually distinct and meaningful content for 100+ hour games.

But then we're back to unpopular opinions again

But have DLCs become shorter? They all seem in the 25 hr up to 40 for completionists. There are short ones, but there were short DLCs before, the type that plug into the main story.
I think the long ones are the exception, though I haven't actually gone through and looked at them all.

For many of the games I play - the DLC content is usually between 5-10 hours depending on your personal pace.

Which isn't necessarily shorter than expansions used to be, but shorter in terms of how they contrast with the often rather big main games.

… and that actually is case here for the DLC for Wasteland 3. I hadn't considered that before, but it's apparently an add-on that plugs into the main story. That makes it perfectly acceptable to be short, however I still find the price a bit high (but then I don't like the game, so my perception of value is biased the wrong way).
I don't know what's acceptable - that's subjective, I think.

To me, it wouldn't be enough and I'd probably be disappointed if I'd bought the season pass (which I assume is available for WL3).

Oh yes, Morrowind! It must be the first game I've spent so much time on. This game made you work harder by exploring and searching what the next step was, but was there filler content? It didn't strike me then, maybe I was just happy to hack & slash a few more dungeons than necessary. Maybe it's the happy memory of the first girl At least the world felt coherent and filled with lore.
I never played Morrowind that much, as I didn't care for the terrible combat and dreadfully dull presentation of story.

That said, no, I don't think it had a lot of filler content compared to how big it was.

That's precisely my point about Bethsoft - and I think they've only improved in that way.

The fact that they add procedural quests ON TOP of massive amounts of bespoke content is something I can only consider as a logically undeniable positive - but that's me

IMO Pathfinder: Kingmaker was just deep and maybe a little ill-balanced. They were afraid it would be too short, and added enough to entertain for 100+ hours. Some of it was unfortunate, like kingdom management, huge repetitive combats, and the TB mode made it even longer. But I wouldn't paint any quest as "filler content", they're either related to the companions or to the world and are most of the time intertwined with the story. Hopefully their next game offers more varied encounters, Owlcat acknowledged the issue and it was their plan. From what I saw, it seems to be the case.
Well, I didn't say quests were "filler content" - I specifically pointed out combat as filler content, because I think there's a huge amount of repetition in that way.

But again, that's about personal tolerance. I know lots of people love those fights.

It also ties well into the progression, obviously.

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July 29th, 2021, 14:47
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The amount of hours don't tell the whole story, do they. I mean, how FUN were those hours? Would you rather have 1 hour with your dream girl - or 100 hours with your wife?
Why not both?
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