Abbreviation Blowout: ME2 & DA:O DLC

By Quintin Smith on September 8th, 2010 at 2:46 pm.

I've been attending the same photoshop night classes as Kieron. They're so cheap!

What would it be like if Dragon Age’s Morrigan and Mass Effect’s Liara T’Soni met? I fed that question into the RPS supercomputer and it spat out the above image. I don’t think it was trying very hard. Anyway as of yesterday both ladies have received their very own DLC, with DA’s Witch Hunt and ME2′s Lair of the Shadow Broker both available for download RIGHT NOW. Witch Hunt costs $7 and adds about an hour of play time (according to the Dragon Age wiki), while Lair of the Shadow Broker costs $10, lasts about two and a half hours and lets you have sex with Liara. One of these packs is a better deal than the other, I feel.

, , .

149 Comments »

  1. Nick says:

    So, by normal player standards half an hour and an hour and 15 minutes respectively then?

    • Pace says:

      It took me a little over three hours to get through Witch Hunt. I’m sure subsequent playthroughs could be quicker, but 1 hour sounds a bit silly to me.

    • Klaus says:

      Took me two hours and some minutes. Mostly because of those fucking Cadash ruins.

      “It’s like standing in a pool of stars and they’re showing us the way!”

      >:(

  2. kororas says:

    why would you wanna have sex with a smurf?

    • ChaosSmurf says:

      You wanna take this out back?

    • danarchist says:

      Half the reason I love RPS is the forums have hilarious back and forths lol

      Its like full of Roy and Moss’s

    • Spinoza says:

      I had my first crush on

      Smurfette

    • Rich says:

      We never did find out how the smurf species reproduced, did we. You’d think David Attenborough would’ve covered it by now.

    • Zogtee says:

      Like Captain Kirk, I would gladly teach Smurfette how to make love earth-stylee.

    • Bindibadgi says:

      @ ChaosSmurf – that’s what she said.

      Zing.

      Ohh virtual sex with Liara for $10. Is it like Farenheit where I get to do it via/in a quick-time event?

      *sigh*, just like real life..

    • Heliocentric says:

      Remember paragon’s finish last.

  3. Skinlo says:

    Hmm, I had her in the first game, tempted to go for round two. Expect I’m not.

  4. Rich says:

    Where’re the blue women at?

  5. Zwebbie says:

    You’d imagine that once you have all the code and assets, it’s super cheap to produce more content. Shows how much I know.

    • Rich says:

      Script writing, voice work, building new assets. I guess it adds up.

    • Zwebbie says:

      Rich: I fail to see how it adds up to costing ten times as much per hour as creating a game from scratch. It should be half as much, or something.

    • Rich says:

      Maybe. There has to be a minimum cost though, no matter how long the game takes to actually play.

    • CreepingDeath says:

      Dont forget that (for the console versions) a small sum has to go to Microsoft and Sony for hosting it as well. So really… yea the PC version should be that little bit cheaper :P

      I’m quite surprised/upset that Witch Hunt only lasts an hour… I was looking forward to seeing how Morrigan’s story would be wrapped up… but now its gone from a day one purchase to a “wait until I have some spare cash lying around” purchase ;P

  6. SanguineAngel says:

    I am very disappointed in these initial details. Both far too short and far too pricey. I would perhaps fork out 50p for these. I am not even being facetious. Based purely on the play times that is.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Development doesn’t work the way you think it works.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      well thanks. I didn’t mention anything about development, so you don’t really know how i think it works. I am simply stating the value I personally would place on something of this length in this context.

      Ordinarilly I enjoy reading your posts, Biscuit but this just seemed like you’re trying to bait me.

  7. Lanster27 says:

    It really let you have sex with her? Really? Really? Not a joke? I hope it’s a joke.

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      You can touch her bum and her eyes go black, I believe that counts as sexual relations among blue people.

    • Rich says:

      I’ll pass thanks.

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      It’s extra kinky when Shepherd is a death cyborg with laser eyes.

  8. Heliocentric says:

    Its not about time, its about quality. And expectations are at an all time low since horse armour.

  9. Pandaemonius says:

    Witch Hunt is also a bit broken at the moment.

    It’s supposed to take into account your decisions regarding Morrigan (deliberately vague to avoid spoilerage). However, some saves do not import properly, leaving the DLC thinking you didn’t do something when you actually did. Wait for word of a fix if you’re planning on getting it…

    • Quintin Smith says:

      Yeesh. Shadow Broker was a little broke on PC too, though Bioware fixed that quick-sharp. C’mon, guys!

    • Webster says:

      Bah, you are correct. Witch Hunt is horrendously mangling the decisions you made if you import your character from Awakening (which is regrettable as I see the events in Witch Hunt taking place after Awakening).

      Disappointing. Come on BioWare, what is the point of this even existing if it ignores your actual choices regarding Morrigan?

  10. Ignorant Texan says:

    Seeing as my biggest gripe about ME1 was the inability to snuff Liara(if the choice had been between Liara and Williams in ME1, it would have been the only decision to truly agonize over) why on earth would I spend $10 and 2 and 1/2 more hours with her? Unless, of course, I could put her out of my misery. That would be worth $20.

  11. Rootboy says:

    $10 DLC can’t help but feel like a rip-off when I got the whole game for $25 on Steam. If it’s worth it to you, go for it, but I’ll pass. Plenty of other games in the world to keep me entertained.

  12. K says:

    Dragonage wiki lists DLC that is worth about as much as a 6-month MMO subscription. And those are overpriced to begin with: You don’t get additional content worth one full game every three months in WoW (except if you buy shitty games).

    DLC looks more and more like paid DRM.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Maybe. Bioware’s paid DLC is available from their site only, so they get all the revenue. Perhaps they view ME2 and DA:O as loss-leaders. I am inclined to look at paid DLC more along the lines of King Gillete’s response when they asked him why he was insane as to be ‘giving away’ the handle with the initial purchase of his disposable blades. ‘Why, to sell more razor blades’.

  13. mcwizardry says:

    I just finished the Lair of the Shadow Broker and it’s an excellent DLC with great production values. Also contains lots of inside jokes, dossiers and videos.

    • The Pink Ninja says:

      I agree, I felt it worth buying if you really like ME2 and Liara.

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      Yeah, the titular “lair” is bloody spectacular but it’s not something I’d recommend to anyone but Mass Effect completionists like meself. Wasn’t keen on the dossiers though, bit too fan-servicey even for me (Legion plays MMORPGs? I mean, c’mon!).

  14. cjlr says:

    When DLC is worth $10 for (if you’re lucky) two hours of content, and the base game has dropped in price to the neighbourhood of $25-30 for what is, by BioWare’s own admission, an average of $33 hours of content… Strikes me as a ripoff. Big time. Who the fuck are they trying to fool here?

    Mass Effect 2 – each $10 is worth a little more than ten hours.
    Shadow Broker DLC – each $10 is worth a little more than two hours, with lower production values to boot. Hooray?

  15. Cooper says:

    Re: Those complaining about the price.

    Don’t buy it. It’s simple.

    They only release it at these prices because people will buy it at these prices. If they weren’t selling, they’d have dropped price b now.

    • Clovis says:

      But we deserve the game at whatever price we think is fair!!

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Well no, clovis, clearly not. However, we have already invested in the game by buying the orginal “full” product. There is a legitimate feeling that we are losing out if we aren’t willing to ante up. And ante up it is.

      Further more; people’s complaints about value for money are valid. We are explaining WHY we are not buying it.

      finally, blatant overpricing is never a good thing. Obviously the solution is to not buy it. However, if you saw a pint of milk in the shop going for £10 would you not still perhaps exclaim to someone “what a rip off! I am certainly not buying THAT”?

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Oh, and as a Final Final point, my real complaint (and I suspect many people’s) is not so much the price which I would happily pay for a substantial expansion as the content. I had been looking forward to some very in depth DLC/add on for one of my favourite games, from a developer who have proved they can produce that sort of content in the central product.

    • Dozer says:

      @SanguineAngel – you need one of these if ever they become available.
      http://shop.ebay.co.uk/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m570.l1313&_nkw=sarcasm+detector&_sacat=See-All-Categories

    • Clovis says:

      @SA: I get what you are saying. I guess I’m just used to ignoring things that cost more than I am willing to pay, especially with video games. It doesn’t really shock or annoy me though. There are a lot of people willing to pay for it, so it costs that much. But yeah, it is totally valid to complain about it.

      Really, I’m more annoyed at the gamers than the company. I complain to my little brother all the time about buying $15 map packs for COD4. Why do you all keep doing that? Don’t you understand that it’s driving up the price for everything? But I don’t have a problem at all with Activision/Infinity Ward (for the pricing).

      It’s hard in these discussions to tell who is genuinely angry about the pricing vs just being annoyed they have to wait to play it.

    • Archonsod says:

      It’s $10. I probably spent more than that on lunch. Sometimes, I really wish we could go back to the days of locking the poor up in the workhouse so they wouldn’t go around making the place look untidy.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      @ Clovis That’s a very valid point. There are a remarkable number of people who will pay that sort of money for that level of content. And in a purely business environment, you can’t blame a company for maximising profits.

      But as a gamer, I recognise also that the games industry, from a user point of view, should not be a purely business environment. Games are about fun and expression. There is a soul to games as much as there is in any art form (not trying to start that argument though). The reality of the industry is of course business driven but it’d be pretty great if developers AND publishers did everything for the pure love of it but of course they need to make money. However, I do believe that one currently outweighs the other by a significant margin (money).

      Which is where I thank god the for Indie scene.

      @ Archonsod You are right of course. But as a recent member of the lower expendable income crowd, I have recently discovered the joys of a tight budget and $10 is certainly MORE than I spend on lunch. I would like to think I knew the value of money before but I did not.

      But in actuality, it’s not the price i object to, it’s the content. I was very much hoping for something more. Quality is very important. But I quite enjoy quantity too. I take both things into account when making a purchase of any variety.

      @ Dozer Thank you, very handy. I shall have to wishlist it.

    • Archonsod says:

      Both quantity and quality are to some extent unknown until after you buy it though, and $10 is a lot less to gamble with than $30.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Well not entirely, we already know the quantity. approx 2 hours. And we know the price. £6.97.

      Of course, I do not have experience of the quality. so I cannot complete the calculation. But based on the known quantities, I personally feel it’s too much for me.

      It’s less of a gamble than $30 for sure but I am unhappy with the gamble element in the first place, especially when I already know for a fact that i personally would prefer longer content than 2 hours so the odds are against it already. I mean I might well enjoy that 2 horus immensely but it will be soured by my innevitable feeling of “that’s all there is?”

  16. Pandaemonius says:

    I am sure the prices were chosen very carefully. Their market research no doubt tells them that the majority of those who will buy the DLC at all will happily pay those prices; demand is unlikely to increase favourably at lower price points.

    You don’t have to like it. In fact, you not liking it was an accepted loss the moment they chose the price. If you don’t like the price, you weren’t in the target market. It just means you’re not a chump (like some of us … *cough*me*cough*).

    They’ll draw more suckers in with some sort of complete ‘GOTY’ edition between now and DA2…

    • Rich says:

      I’ve said it before:
      MW2: Stimulus Package, 5 multiplayer maps, $15, 1 million sales in the first 24 hours.
      Lot of suckers out there.

      Having said that, when I eventually get around to buying ME2, this DLC and the one before it (the AI one), I’ll consider getting.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      To be fair, Rich, those suckers ALSO bought MW2 in the first place. I’d venture a guess to say most of them also own Halo.

  17. Muddy Water says:

    For some reason, I read those “Helloooo”s in that voice from that Seinfeld episode.

  18. jimbobb says:

    @Zwebbie: Half as much per hour you say? Well there’s no reason to think that isn’t exactly what we have here. Say it sells 20x fewer units than DA:O or ME2 (plausible, maybe even fewer), and it costs half as much per hour to produce. The maths suggests to me it would therefore need to be priced 10x per hour more than the original game for the same margins.

    I don’t understand all the indignation around niche DLC costing way more in ‘per hour’ of gaming terms. Yes its hard to view it as value for money; in fact I consider most DLC to be a complete ripoff, but that’s not because ‘the man’ is screwing with us. Its so expensive cos people like me don’t buy it!

    • Zwebbie says:

      jimbobb: that’s a fair point, and it didn’t really occur to me before. Regardless, the customer is still paying more per hour, so it’s hardly a surprise that a only minority actually gets the DLC. In the end, you’re coming off as greedy, most people will miss out on your precious game, and, if your reasoning is correct, it doesn’t make more profit than a new project would. That doesn’t sound like the best way to conduct business to me. Besides, if I were a game designer, I’d want my games to reach as many people as possible, even if that means I wouldn’t get to swim in as much money, but that’s just me.

      Not that I’m complaining, mind, since I don’t even have Mass Effect 2 or Dragon Age: Origins.

    • jimbobb says:

      Agreed. Its not the nicest thing to be on the consumer end of. Being a huge Civ fan, I am quite distressed by all the DLC nonsense in the works. It looks like £10/extra civ at the moment. Yuck.

  19. Vinraith says:

    Unfortunately, those are both vastly too short to do justice to their otherwise interesting premises. I’m not really surprised, of course, but I had just enough hope that Bioware would break their pattern that I’m actually somewhat disappointed.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      ditto. group hug?

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Wait, you did?

      DLC is a cash cow. Considering that in the past we might have had similar products plus later possibly an expansion (prior to any possible sequel). Expansions do offer far more value for money.. the best containing value and content equal to quite a few DLC packs for far less money. Hence, DLC is far more profitable than any expansion.

      It’s cheap. And I feel so stupid I bought DragonAge in the first place because I’m a bit of a completionist in that I could get into a ‘gotta get ‘em all’ mindset. More DragonAge, sure? But compared to the past when there would be more content in a single package compared to now when you have seperated smaller packs.. it’s not too hard to see why developers are going this route -and- why gamers are buying them. They like the game, and want more of it.

      Alas, it seems like DLC is here to stay.

  20. Phinor says:

    I really want to experience everything there is to both of these games but alas, I’m not going to pay ridiculous amounts for very little content. For 10€ I want 5-6 hours of content for ME2 and 10+ hours for Dragon Age.

    Next time I might just skip the game on release date and wait for the GOTY version. While I’m at it, waiting few extra months after the GOTY has been released won’t be a problem to see it’s price drop even more. In the long run it would mean less money for the company (a lot less even than the original price of the original game), more content for me. Sounds about right.

  21. Dolphan says:

    Just finished Shadow Broker, it’s excellent. First piece of DLC I’ve ever bought that I’ve actually felt satisfied with after finishing it.

  22. Corporate Dog says:

    Oh, sure. I could be like the rest of you, and choose to spend my $10 on Twinkies and other assorted snack foods, instead of DLC for a game that I enjoy.

    But then I won’t develop adult-onset diabetes like you will. And who’ll be the sucker THEN?

    • Rich says:

      What makes you think I’m not saving my $10 for green tea and whole grain riveta?

    • Corporate Dog says:

      Your uncanny resemblance to Wilford Brimley, that’s what.

    • Rich says:

      How dare you accuse me of being a yank.

    • Rich says:

      …especially one with such an unkempt moustache.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Do you really think that playing computer games helps against diabetes?
      Wait, maybe you’re right in this case. You play not standard 30 hours but 2 hours, so you’re losing less than 7% of health you’d lose with full length game. And after you finish you’re so disappointed that you need to go walking and punch someone in the face – that way you regain these 7% of health and more, because you’re venting stressful emotions away, and walking is healthy on it’s own (and running even more, in case some police officers wanted to talk to you). Yeah, that may actually work…

    • Freud says:

      Hookers and blow is where it is at. Herpes > diabetes.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      Do you really think that playing computer games helps against diabetes?

      Pfffft. Of course I do.

      It’s nice that you think otherwise, but do you have any medical training whatsoever? Are you a doctor? No?

      Well DOCTOR Ray Muzyka and DOCTOR Greg Zeschuck are.

  23. Joflar says:

    Instead of arguing over price/hour I’d much rather hear if these dealsees are worth playing or not. Are they cookie-cutter love stories or do they do something interesting with the characters and limited scope they’ve been given?

    I really enjoyed Morrigan’s conclusion in DA and I’m not sure if anything more needs to be said about it. The mystery makes it more intriguing. Liara on the other hand was such a bland character in ME2, although I can see some potential in telling her story.

  24. Vague-rant says:

    Does it all really come down to “number of hours played= value”? Seems a little simplistic is all. Wasn’t Dragon Age ridiculously long? (Never played it, but it sounded longer than the 22 hours I spent on Mass Effect 2) By that logic is Mass effect 2 not worth it? Are you the same people who complain about $20 indie games not lasting 20 hours?

    I’m not going to buy the Mass Effect 2 DLC anytime soon, but thats more to do with the fact I’m done with the game and have no wish to return (until the third one).

    • Premium User Badge jaheira says:

      Yep. Equating value with time-to-completion is weird. By that measure Avatar is the greatest film ever made, due to the fact that it went on for four and and half billion years.

    • jimbobb says:

      I think this is precisely the territory where £/hour becomes relevant, or at least very explicit. Big games, especially RPGs like DA:O have so much gameplay it ceases to matter precisely how many hours you get. I doubt many people felt let down by the length of either DA:O nor ME2 despite the stark difference in length of the two.

      I agree it shouldn’t really matter, especially once get above some ‘acceptable minimum’ for a full price game. I think people have right to get a bit peeved when games are sub 8-10hours. This isnt like buying a movie after all- size does matter, it just shouldn’t matter above and beyond gameplay or narrative or so on.

      As for DLC, we’re in well below this ‘acceptable’ minimum. When a DLC lasts <1 hour, inevitably people will think in £/hour terms ESPECIALLY when compared to the length of the original games. Its quite normal, but all the more so given the apparent size 'generosity' of the original games versus many other AAA titles.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Jaheira

      It’s not about “time to completion,” it’s about “hours of enjoyment.” Obviously something that’s not fun has no value however long it is, but once you’re dealing with something that IS fun, how long you can continue to have fun playing it (before it becomes not fun or, as in this case, you run out of content) is a very reasonable thing to compare against price.

    • jimbobb says:

      @jaheira: I hadn’t read your post, but you kinda made my point. We’re not talking about films here. Length matters. Or replayability. Or hours of enjoyment. Or whatever metric you like.

      For cinema the closest equivalent, might be the measure of a movie by how many repeat viewings you feel inclined to, rather than the actual running time. LOTR wins for many on both counts, whereas Avatar was just looooong.

    • Vague-rant says:

      Let me start by agreeing that Avatar was a movie of Titanic length. (Yes, I do amuse myself).

      So you agree that DA: O was by far worth it in terms of the time:cost ratio. Now lets add the DLC cost together with the original game. Now lets add up the total play times. Is that worth it?

      Like Vinraith said its not about total time its about total time enjoyed. The example of DLC lasting less than an hour does seem unfair. But if thats the greatest hour of gaming ever, it might be worthwhile. We should be focusing on how good the DLC actually is to play.

      Also I’ve always looked at DLC as encouragement/support to the developer/sequel. As in, we like this, we want more of this. For indies we have donations for bigger developers we have DLC? But that’s probably me just being naive.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I am very much with jimbobb on this one. Of course, even an acceptable minimum length would be a personal preferance and COULD be mitigated by rediculous brilliance but for me, the minium length for an addon or DLC at £10 – £15 would be 8 – 10 hours. I mean that’s a lot of money if you ask me, and i would expect to be getting nearly a whole new experience for that sort of investment. For a full game, I would expect at least 12 hours of gooy gaming goodness. (RPGs I would expect to be naturally longer due to their nature.)

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Oops, didn’t address the actual price of the DLC. at £5 – £10, I would still expect a minimum of 6 hours or so.

      Let me be clear here. When it comes to additional content for RPGs, especially of this calibre, I would expect anything to be a substantial addition in terms of both length and quality. I do not ever fully seperate the two in this sort of situation.

    • Premium User Badge jaheira says:

      Hmmmm. Maybe we can all agree that value=quality x quantity? Seems reasonable.

      There is something a bit more subtle with the ME2 DLC though and that is to do with replayability. Bioware games are designed with replayability firmly in mind (it’s no coincidence that there are 9 available party members in DA – that’s three playthroughs, one for each character class). This ME2 DLC, taken in it’s entirety will, I hope, make a second playthrough much more enjoyable. I wouldn’t play them separately (they’re too short!) but put ‘em all together and I’m sold.

      Heh. I bought the Collector’s Edition of ME2 on release day. Wonder how much this game will cost me in total?

    • Archonsod says:

      I use a pint system. For every pint I could buy with the money I expect 15 minutes entertainment.

  25. Chris says:

    Just on my 3rd playthrough (realised I hadn’t played as a soldier or even used assault rifles yet! Surprisingly varied experience – now that’s value), and very disappointed at previous ME DLCs (BDtS was perfunctory, the annoying hovercraft levels were annoying). However, LotSB looks like the best bet yet, and of potentially direct impact to the main story. What’s the UK price-point? PayPal gouge for US$ transactions…

    - Chris

    PS: was that enough initialisations?

    • Chris says:

      to answer my own question: that’s £6.19, which at least is not a rip off on the exchange rate. What’s with this Bioware point malarkey, though? Amazon don’t force me to buy gift vouchers and then redeem them…

    • danarchist says:

      “Bioware Points” is based off an old school marketing scheme. You sell a membership, points, whatever that you can then use to buy products you want. Except the points packages are always slightly larger or smaller than the point price of the item your selling. This has a two fold effect, either the customer has to buy two “points packages” to purchase one item or after purchasing an item has a few points left over. These “left over” points are a hook. Your going to think about that remaining balance sitting there, and your going to get curious if there’s anything you can do with them, and your going to go back to their store page. I am fairly certain it was invented by the “Herbal Life” company.
      It’s the same nerosis I get when I have a gift card with $1.50 left on it. I know its not worth going back to that specific store just to spend that dollar, but….its sitting in my sock drawer staring at me!

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      @ danarchist: That’s not really the case with Bioware points though, you only need to buy enough points for the DLC you’re picking up. Which does make the whole thing a little odd.

    • Chris says:

      To be fair, I was fully expecting to have to buy 1000 Bioware points, and quite surprised to be able to get the exact amount for the deellcee. I wonder if it’s a convenience to restrict the “real cash transaction” part of the site to one place – then you can spend points anywhere on the website. Or something.

  26. Oneironaut says:

    I love the Mass Effect games, but I’ve been waiting for some sort of package deal on all the DLC for a playthrough before ME3 comes out. $10 for a little over an hour just isn’t worth it when I can get VVVVVVVV for $4.50

  27. imirk says:

    The real question is why would I want to have sex with a smurf, again? The answer is to hopfully beget an illegitimate blue child in ME3, this is my quest, I need blue progeny.

  28. Spinoza says:

    If threesome- Big Yes. Otherwise not. I rather have “Group hug”.

  29. R.Hippy says:

    I bought Mass Effect 2 for a fiver at an EA stand at a festival Dragon Age for a tenner at the same time. Fucking bargains both of them. Enjoyed immensely. Hard to justify spending more for a DLC than I did for the game though….

  30. fuggles says:

    By all accounts the witch hunt DLC does not even provide the mysterious answers alluded to in the trailer. It fails on every level.

  31. Tanysha says:

    Another hour with a constantly bitching and moaning and whining Morrigan? For just 7$?
    Yeah, no thank you.

    I waited patiently for a gazillion hours, never sending her away in expectation of a Mass Effect “Would you like to kill Morrigan now?-Moment”. Alas it never came and I had to tell her to piss off and bitch at her Emo-club-reunion.

    The most annoying character in a geek-spectacle since Yar Yar Binks. Must be something like a fetich DLC: “Would you like to feel pain? Does it hurt yet?”

    • Flint says:

      Morrigan disapproves.

    • bleeters says:

      Morrigan only shows up at the very end, and only for a couple of minutes. She’s not with you the entire time.

      (Also, you can end the conversation by stabbing her in the stomach, if it so pleases you)

    • Klaus says:

      Velanna aka Elf Morrigan bitches and moans far more than Morrigan. Same for Miranda aka Morrigan in Space.

      Maybe I’m not seeing it correctly.

  32. Dean says:

    Comparative to the original game release, the DLCs are not good value for money. HOWEVER. That’s not the only metric you can use to measure value. I really liked Mass Effect 2, I really liked the characters, and I can afford it, therefore to me, the DLCs are worth it. 2 years ago when I was unemployed: not so much. Then the time enjoyed/cost ratio was far more important.

    I imagine a large number of RPS readers (less so the more casual, console crowd) have a backlog of games they haven’t played. With all the Steam sales and such. As such if we want the best value for money possible, the optimum path is to not buy any games at all, and just play the ones we have. And yet we still go out and buy new games, be it on release or when they’re reduced, and move them to the top of the to-play pile. We’re nearly all guilty of paying a premium price for something we’d rather play than playing something we already own. DLC is just the same. You want more Mass Effect, you can have it, it just costs a little more.

    (On the other hand, the Dragon Age Morrigan DLC pissed me off, as that’s the conclusion of the story we bought, and should have been in the original game. I’m only buying it as I’m fairly sure they intended to follow up that story in much more detail in DA2, before deciding to go with a whole new character).

    • bleeters says:

      The only thing Witch Hunt does to round up the story of Origins is learning that Flemmeth probably isn’t dead, which we already knew. Then we say say goodbye to Morrigan. Or we really say goodbye to Morrigan.

      It’s an entertaining piece for the most part, but I doubt it’s significant in the grand scheme of things.

    • Klaus says:

      but I doubt it’s significant in the grand scheme of things.

      Yeah, some people pointed out that there was no autosave after you finished doing whatever with Morrigan.

    • bleeters says:

      That too. I largely meant in terms of revealing/announcing things which will become important later on in Dragon Age 2, but it doesn’t do any of that either. You’re just informed that ‘change is coming to the world’, which is cryptic to the point of being meaningless.

    • Klaus says:

      Oh yeah, like I said somewhere below. She really didn’t tell me anything I didn’t all ready assume. Flemeth is not what we think? Great, thanks!

      Next time I’ll just stab her or something.

    • Klaus says:

      Actually, it seems the autosave thing is a bug that they are working on. .

    • Klaus says:

      Crap. HTML fail.

      Here

    • bleeters says:

      Actually, there is one important nugget of information that Witch Hunt reveals, come to think of it.

      Bodhan Feddic survived! Hooray for that rat bastard and his false discount.

  33. teo says:

    If you make statements about the value proposition of something based on a ball park playthrough time number in a blog post the you are ****ing dumb. Play it then make statements about its value proposition.

    Personally I found it a very satisfying piece of content and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoyed ME2. It’s definitely a higher quality production than Overlord or Kasumi even though those weren’t bad. There are new CGI cutscenes, completely new gameplay, a new power and lots of neat stuff I’m not going to spoil. You’re missing out if you don’t play it.

    • Karthik says:

      Teo: Does the DLC make accommodations for the events at the end of the game? Is the fiction consistent, or is it yet another email from the Illusive Man I’ve broken all ties with?

    • bleeters says:

      @Karthik

      Commander, you’ve recieved a new message at your private terminal.

    • teo says:

      You haven’t broken ties with him, that’s reading too much into the ending of the game, but yes if you play it after the ending it acknowledges that. Seriously, it’s a really good piece of content. All this $ / hour, $ / production cost etc. is just coming from people who are against paid DLC anyway. I used to be too, just like I used to be against Steam. I’m happy they put this content out because I wanted more ME2 content. I don’t have a problem paying for it because I got a lot of enjoyment out of it and if you play it it’s evident that they put a lot of work into it. There’s new music, tons of new art assets, new VO, new gameplay, a new power etc. I paid 15$ for VVVVVV which took me three hours to beat and was a fucking flash game. I was fine with that too because I had a really good time with it but the price vs development cost argument totally breaks down.

      This is a reply btw but it probably won’t work. Go RPS comment system!

  34. teo says:

    Btw, this DLC cost me about as much as a Pizza. Kane and Lynch 2 is 4 hours long. Is the DLC a worse deal then ME2? Yes. Was ME2 an amazingly good deal? Yes again

  35. fearian says:

    I wanna say to anyone to doesn’t usually buy DLC or thinks this isn’t worth it, this DLC pack will prove you wrong. My jaw hurts from being on the floor so long and grinning like an idiot the whole time. The set pieces are spectacular, the gameplay if fantastic. I would say that Shadow broker is a better gameplay experience than ANYTHING else in mass effect 2.

    The post mission content is a master-stroke and adds a fantastic element of permanence to your actions as well as giving you a ton of cool… well I won’t spoil it but there’s alot of hilarious, touching, and illuminating reading to be had…

  36. goatmonkey says:

    I am am burned out with the gameplay of me2 but not the story it is somewhat annoying I guess a long break then buying any new DLCs available after that period should alleviate the problem of course they would have to bee up to the present standard. My only complaint is the lack of the second squad mate vocal contribution but that is true of me2 as a whole

  37. Ingenu says:

    mmh I paid £18 for 35 hours, round that to £0.5/hour, that makes The Lair of the Shadow Broker worth £1.25…
    And they charge £6.97 for it…

    Even if it’s twice better than usual ME2 gameplay, they still ask twice what I estimate it worth.
    (BTW, it doesn’t matter how much it COSTS THEM, it matters how much FUN I HAVE.)

    • fearian says:

      It’s way more than twice the fun of normal mass effect gameplay. I really don’t want to spoil anything though :(

    • Premium User Badge jaheira says:

      Ingenu: Your formula is an idiot. I paid £35 for the full game. Does that mean this DLC is “worth” twice as much to me?

    • bleeters says:

      @fearian

      Truck. Truck! TRUCK!

    • Ingenu says:

      @jaheira:
      It means you value ME2 more than I do, as I waited to get a price matching my “guestimate” of the game’s worth.
      So if you didn’t miss-evaluate the game, I expect you to buy the DLC at a higher price than me.

      @fearian
      I hear you, and I’m tempted even at that price, however I’d like to buy it off Steam.
      (Having to go through Bioware/EA website and buy points to redeem and get my DLC is a hassle, why can’t I pick up the DLC like products, put them in a cart and buy them ?)

  38. Torqual says:

    DLC Do lie to customers: Hey its worth the 10 $. Muhar pwnd. Bioware is too roguelike for me. Hm time to play nethack.

    Have a nice game.

  39. Klaus says:

    Witch Hunt is pretty short and Morrigan didn’t tell me much. What she says is where I was leaning to begin with. The little jokes in it were amusing though.

  40. K. says:

    Alright, finally enough stuff for justify getting some Bioware points or whatever they are called… would not want to start the conversion hassle without mutliple packs and content to choose from.

    Considering the value/length debate:
    2-3 hours feels about right to fill an evening, and it’s still cheaper than watching a movie.
    I’ll even go so far and admit that I’m glad the DLC is not longer. Really like the ME universe but cannot spend dozens of hours to keep up with the storylines.

  41. bleeters says:

    My main gripe with all Dragon Age dlc thus far has been how purchasing/completing it dumps massively superior gear in my packs right from the word go. It tends to slightly undermine my peasantry background.

    You are castless, the dirty secret staining Orzammar’s perfect society, forced, along with your sister, to sell your services to the crime lord Beraht. To the rest of Orzammar, you are proof that the casteless deserve their fate, but you know you do what you have to, the same as everyone, just to survive.

    Also, you inexplicably have a powerful suit of magical plate armour and various weapons of legend..

  42. Tuor says:

    You know, DLC kind of reminds me of how US television channels like to set up their adverts for the duration of a 3-hour movie slot. The first half hour, maybe one advert. In the second half hour, two or three adverts. By the last half hour, there are adverts every 5-8 minutes, or even more frequently. Yes, once they get you hook into the movie, they start to reel you in.

    Sorry, but I don’t buy (both literally and figuratively) DLC.

  43. robot21 says:

    Being a stereotypical young college person, I instinctively react against the popular opinion. I’ve had the play hours vs. cost mindset for a while now. At it’s worst I bought games based solely on their playtime/cost ratio. So I’d like to thank people for coming over to my way of thinking, because it means I can now move away from it.

    In all seriousness though, some of my favorite games clock well under ten hours of play time. I hate the feeling of getting ripped off too, but sometimes a good 4 hour experience is worth the cost, especially if it means encouraging a developer you like to make more games. So I guess in this case it comes down to the nature of the content. Too bad I was never a big fan of Liara.

  44. Devan says:

    @TotalBiscuit

    He’s just stating how much money those expansions are worth to him, so it doesn’t really matter how development works. Surely there are things that you consider to be not worth the asking price, even when the profit margin is narrow, right?

  45. Karthik says:

    I just finished playing this, and… wow.

    1. This is definitely canon; no filler BS like Overlord. Believe me, this is going to have a pretty big impact on ME3, even considering that Bioware will play it down to keep the complexity manageable.

    2. Spectacular set pieces, highly polished, way more fun than Mass Effect 2. Lots of little goodies, inside jokes and dialog that will make you smile. Also, truck. Truck. TRUCK!

    3. Liara is actually tolerable now.

    4. The DLC acknowledges the fact that you’ve finished the game; It’s “in-fiction”, many events account for it.

    Best $10 I’ve spent in the last two months.

    (Extra tidbit: You know the Vanguard goes swoosh-bam, right? Ever wonder what it feels like to be the target?)

  46. Premium User Badge The Sombrero Kid says:

    i wish they’d go back to making almost full games and charging almost full price, downloadable doesn’t have to mean shit :(

  47. Premium User Badge Thermal Ions says:

    Another hour of Claudia Black or 2.5 hours with some unknown blue chick – I’m going with the former*.

    * Probably helps I don’t have ME2 of course.

  48. Vodka & Cookies says:

    Getting access to the Shadow Brokers dossiers on your team members is worth it for the many humorous items contained within particularly the info on Legion and it’s recreational habits.

    I wish the other/future DLC is has good amount of text in them, it fleshes it out more.

  49. Elyvern says:

    Lair of the Shadowbroker is the BEST DLC I’ve ever played, even outside of the Mass Effect franchise. It’s pricey, but it’s worth every 10 USD that it costs. It’s a shining example of how Bioware truly listens to its fanbase, all the niggling concerns about various love interest conflicts, ME2 characters constantly being side-lined in DLC content are all addressed and resolved. There are great boss fights, new game mechanics, shocking revelations a-plenty, a solid storyline that will have far-reaching repercussions in ME3 — even if you aren’t a fan of Liara T’soni, you’d be missing out if you didn’t get this.

  50. beer for breakfast says:

    The videogame industry has to be about making money the same as the movie industry. Expression, fun, and originality are not enough to sustain on their own merits. On that note 10 dollars for Lair of the Shadow Broker wasn’t that bad, a lot of games charge as much or more for less. Seriously how many games charge 10-15 dollars for multiplayer maps? Sure ME2 is down to about 30 dollars for the whole game now with Zaaed, the Normandy 1 crash site, and the hovercraft Mako replacement as free DLC, did you complain about those free items or did you piss and moan over having to pay for Kasumi?

    As gamers we act as if we are entitled to all the content we want and the developers to listen to all our complaints and if they don’t they are being unreasonable. The truth is if you do not want something do not buy it, but the truth is that pay for play and DLC costs help not only maintain the current title but pay for development costs of later titles. We think “omg I bought the main game I should get all this for free” but that is just childish complaints.