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Default When are Games Considered Complete?

April 18th, 2019, 03:21
Something I been thinking about lately with games in general not just RPGs but they are part of it. It seems games are not complete anymore at launch. So lets get started.

Look at Ubisoft and it's live service of Assassin's Creed Odyssey for one example. It's been almost two years since launch and the game is still not content complete.

Then we have RPGs like PoE II which had DLC planned for almost two years. Now is this a new trend and how does if affect most of you guys/gals? So opinions everyone?

I'll part and say this also makes me wait years to buy and play most modern AAA games.
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April 18th, 2019, 03:46
Well, I think it also depends on how one define "complete" game. For me, if the game is stable enough to experience all/majority of main contents (in the main game only), then it is finished product. I don't usually care for DLCs in my first playthrough because I tend to replay games that I enjoyed enough to finish it - so if DLCs are released after my first playthrough then these will add more replayability for me.

So, I don't wait for all DLCs to drop I'm probably in minority though. I tend to buy games within 3-4months since the release if I am really interested - I'm too impatient to wait for long
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April 18th, 2019, 04:05
For me I always feel the game is not complete as something always nags me at the back of mind as I play. (Now I'm Getting Dragon Age Origin flashbacks.) Thanks for the reply.
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April 18th, 2019, 04:48
I personally consider a game complete if the release game has a conclusion to its main story. I don't remember anyone having issues with expansion packs back in the 90s, and most story DLCs aren't that different (just smaller and not worth the price tag most of the time).

I rarely buy DLCs unless they are in a "complete edition" and I usually buy those on sales.

Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Look at Ubisoft and it's live service of Assassin's Creed Odyssey for one example. It's been almost two years since launch and the game is still not content complete.
We are near October 2020!
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April 18th, 2019, 04:51
I personally consider a game complete if the release game has a conclusion to its main story. I don't remember anyone having issues with expansion packs back in the 90s, and most story DLCs aren't that different (just smaller and not worth the price tag most of the time)
Well my mind recalls expansions usually took place after the main game. They rarely affected the main campaign. Nowadays the trend has changed. Maybe I'm senile.

Examples
  1. Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Throne of Bhaal
  2. Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening
  3. Witcher III Blood and Wine
We are near October 2020!
So I'm off by a few months sue me. Quit being so nitpicky.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; April 18th, 2019 at 05:07.
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April 18th, 2019, 06:24
It's weird but we're quickly arriving to not only DLC affecting the games as they release but patches as well. If you look at games like Kingmaker or even moreso - Space Traders: Frontiers, the Trese Brothers are constantly patching in new content, updates, upgrades and more. Now I'm not complaining on these "development roadmaps" and getting more content, but getting an actual finished product that doesn't nag at you about not being finished? Not sure that's going to happen anymore. Gamers are expecting extensive post-release support and roadmaps now, so you just have to jump in and play. Hopefully the updates won't wreck your saves and you can just enjoy the content as it comes during your playthrough. No other choice, really.
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April 18th, 2019, 08:00
Originally Posted by TheRealFluent View Post
It's weird but we're quickly arriving to not only DLC affecting the games as they release but patches as well. If you look at games like Kingmaker or even moreso - Space Traders: Frontiers, the Trese Brothers are constantly patching in new content, updates, upgrades and more. Now I'm not complaining on these "development roadmaps" and getting more content, but getting an actual finished product that doesn't nag at you about not being finished? Not sure that's going to happen anymore. Gamers are expecting extensive post-release support and roadmaps now, so you just have to jump in and play. Hopefully the updates won't wreck your saves and you can just enjoy the content as it comes during your playthrough. No other choice, really.
Yep I noticed that a lot of new games have been getting over 30+ patches in a year sometimes as well. It's annoying but it's better then it was 20 years ago.

I don't miss downloading patches if you could find them on the early internet. As for corrupted saves yeah it's happened to me due to updates. Even had DLC deactivated.
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April 18th, 2019, 08:56
Well…I guess there are different states of being complete:

-being released
-being patched up
-being "expanded"

I only play any game once. Once I played it I usually never touch it again. So I never play clearly incomplete games like Early Access games. Games from Spiderweb are excellent examples of games you can play right at release. Rimworld on the other hand was a game which had a long early access phase and where I just waited for release.

When a game releases however often times it's so bugged, that it's not really fun to play it. Often there are also so significant changes being patched in, that a playthrough extremely differs to one at release. If I know that beforehand and/or it's not on my high priority list, I will skip the game until it's patched up.

And then there are the expansions. For me it's pretty much all or nothing here. I either play the game at release, and never buy any expansions (Kingdom Come Deliverance or Pillars of Eternity for example) as I don't feel like going back to a game I already finished and would need to "learn" again, especially if it's a bit more complex like PoE.
In other cases, when I know that I will not play the game at release anyways, due to time restrictions, or because the release version is extremely bugged - I will just wait til ALL expansions are released. Thats especially true when the developer releases roadmaps of all the features I'd miss if I play the game shortly after release.

I actually have a "waiting list" of games I own on steam but where I wait for patches and expansions to enhance the game before I play them:
-The Bard's Tale Trilogy (I guess that's quite complete now)
-INSOMNIA: The Ark
-Kenshi
-Maia
-Predestination
-Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny (probably hopeless)
-Shroud of the Avatar
-Star Traders: Frontiers
-Underworld Ascendant

And ofc there are also quite a few games which I didn't even buy yet.
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April 18th, 2019, 09:15
I think the biggest issue nowadays is that creating a successful game is time consuming and fairly expensive (marketing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

Therefore, many developers do not take huge risks, and create an early alpha (indies) or strong beta (AAAs) version instead of a full, polished game.

If the game gains traction, they'll continue development and finish the thing.
If the game is dead on arrival, they'll either abandon it (indies) or immediately start working on a "sequel" (AAAs).
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April 18th, 2019, 09:15
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
And ofc there are also quite a few games which I didn't even buy yet.
Whats funny is I have friends and a few from this site who always say you don't like/play games. Just because I haven't played or get hyped about every new release.

Nowadays I mostly play older games I never finished or mods for other games nowadays. Recently I can't even remember finishing a game for the last few months.

Heck I still have to finish the Original Sin & Pillars of Eternity games.
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April 18th, 2019, 13:39
I consider a game complete when I solved all of it's sidequests (stupid radiant dicerolled rubbish excluded) and the main story.

About releases, not sure what to say. In fact, it depends. There is a huge difference between TW3's expansions that don't kill the main game in any way and ME3's Prothean DLC that was cut out to be sold separately yet it's a crucial part of the main game.
One thing is sure - a game where DLC does not mess the vanilla release always gets priority on my goty vote list.
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April 18th, 2019, 14:18
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Well my mind recalls expansions usually took place after the main game. They rarely affected the main campaign. Nowadays the trend has changed. Maybe I'm senile.

Examples
  1. Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Throne of Bhaal
  2. Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening
  3. Witcher III Blood and Wine
Baldur's Gate's first expansion (Tales of the Sword coast) wasn't post main game.
Icewind Dale expansions were not post main game.
NWN expansions were standalone campaigns.
Morrowind/Oblivion expansions could be played during the main game.

Blood and Wine can be played during TW3 main game once you reach level 34 as does Heart of Stone. They aren't post main game.

Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
So I'm off by a few months sue me. Quit being so nitpicky.
1.5 years off isn't "off by a few months". AC Odyssey was released in October 2018 and we are in April 2019. That senile dig at yourself might not be that far off…
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Last edited by azarhal; April 18th, 2019 at 15:13.
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April 18th, 2019, 14:22
There are some games where a more "disruptive" manner of releasing expansions is fine. For instance: ARPGs. They are often designed to be replayed (including different difficulties), so missing something during a first playthrough is not much of an issue.

Although there may remain a valid concern about sales tactics: milking players by releasing stuff in bits and pieces to maximize gains. That kind of depends on the cost/value ratio of the expansions.
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April 18th, 2019, 14:38
I always wait 2-4 years after a games initial release before purchase because of this (and price, and backlog). If a new game came out that we knew up front would have no dlc (like Elex did) I would be WAAAAYYYYY more likely to pre-order or buy on release.
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April 18th, 2019, 14:57
If a game at release advertises extra future content, I generally wait for a game of the year edition to be available before purchasing. Should it be an independent game, or one I've sponsored, I wait for a "final update" patch/content update, give it another three months or so, then play away. I've so many older games that I can replay that waiting is ok with me, and tends to lead to far much less frustration.
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April 18th, 2019, 15:54
In a way, it's like most games are in early access for a couple of years now, and the ongoing development "roadmap" is a part of the marketing strategy to keep the game relevant for an extended period. I think it's a double-edged sword, though, as the amount of games released makes it easy for people to defer their purchase until completion, and a bargain price.
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April 18th, 2019, 16:31
To paraphrase an old adage: developers never complete a game, they only abandon them.

As I've said many times, I do like to wait for all the DLC to show up but that isn't just about the DLC, it's also about patches, guides, and mods. Even the price goes down! Eventually, the technology advances far enough that the games start to look a bit sad or even not work at all so there's definitely such a thing as waiting too long but, on average, it's just better to wait.

There are exceptions, naturally. MMOs are a completely different breed. Strategy games that expect you to play through multiple times might add so many features over the years that learning the game becomes ridiculously hard. RPGs tend to be one-and-done, though, so when BioWare released expansions for Dragon Age: Origins or Mass Effect, I missed them completely. I backed Original Sin and won Original Sin 2 so, as far as I'm concerned, those definitive editions never happened.

I buy games later as a rule now. Dragon Age 3 was played after all the DLC and patches were done so I had a good experience. All those terrible bugs that crippled Batman: Arkham Knight, Prey, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution were gone. X:Rebirth is easily the most extreme example - the game was outright unplayable for about a year after release!

I'm pretty sure more and more people are doing what I'm doing. After all, the industry has been teaching us over the past couple of decades that it's better to wait. Yet people do keep buying on Day 1. Why?? Is the hype really that overwhelming? I have a lot of trouble believing the "I want to support the developers" reason. If you really want to support the developers, send them the cash directly so the store and publishers don't get their hands on it. (Or better yet, send it to a charity that will put the money to FAR better use than making games.)

P.S. Figuring out when a game is "released" is no picnic either.
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April 18th, 2019, 23:23
For me, I would honestly say that I do buy games at release in cases where I want to support the kind of game being made. It's not simply to support the developers, but to send my little part of the signal that there is still money to be made in that kind of thing.
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April 19th, 2019, 10:04
When a game still is not complete by the time I have the time to get to it, years and years after the first release of some kind of content… the devs suck.

I consider it complete when the main story stays the same, i.e. unchanged.
O and I rarely play a game twice just for an expansion.
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April 19th, 2019, 12:43
According to crowdfunding supporters, they are complete when they are released.
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