Dragon Age II & The Downloadable Prince

By Jim Rossignol on January 7th, 2011 at 2:10 pm.


I don’t know why it should seem weird for DLC to be teased ahead of a game being release, but it just does, okay! It’s like announcing your new haircut before you’re finished growing the current one, or something. It’s just getting ahead of yourself! Anyway, Dragon Age 2‘s Exiled Prince actually comes with pre-ordered versions of the “Signature Edition” of the game, which can be ordered from now until Jan 11th. For everyone else it will be a paid extra. It’s some kind of murder mystery, but the looks of it, and also adds a character to the game. Head over to RPGSite for the trailer.

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67 Comments »

  1. battles_atlas says:

    It looks weird because it conveys the impression/confirms the fact (depending on POV) that the expensive full-price game you’ve just bought is actually just part of the game, and you’ll shortly be expected to fork out more for the rest of it.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Yeah, exactly.

      I’m told it does make total sense from a AAA development point of view, though – a squad of writers and programmers fresh from making the game twiddle their thumbs whilst QA do their thing, retail dates get sorted out and all that malarky. That’s how you end up with head-scratching madness like day-one free DLC.

    • Iskariot says:

      I agree completely. That is why I do not buy any DLC for any game, like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Oblivion, Fallout 3 etc where it is infuriatingly obvious that the content was shamelessly left out on purpose, or where the content simply is not worth the money at all (f.e. ME2 skins, Oblivion horse armor).
      To get to the DLC content I only buy goty editions that include everything on disc, or DLC packs that are released on disc for a discount price.

      I was quite disappointed by Dragonage anyway (I stopped playing after 4 or 5 hours) so I will not pre-order DA2. To be honest I never pre-order. I have never seen any incentive that made me want to do so.

    • Mattressi says:

      @jeremypeel, that’d be sort of understandable if it were the case – but clearly they could include it in the full game as it is part of the “Signature Edition”. At least most other companies (like Gearbox with Borderlands) try to pretend that the reason there’s DLC so soon after release is because they had nothing to work on during QA, but not enough time to include it in the full release; but this is just blatantly telling customers that they either buy the expensive edition of the game or pay for the rest of the game separately.

    • V. Profane says:

      Which Fallout 3 DLC was ‘infuriatingly obviously’ left out of the launch game?

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      I totally agree. DLC still infuriates me and I refuse to fork out for a few extra trinkets or something that will re-engage me with the game for the minimal amount of time possible, the quality and length to price ratio is also so hugely variable that it makes buying it risky.

      BUT, having said that, looking at it from the other side: If they have planned DLC all along, at least it can be planned as something ‘extra’, rather than an element that was intended to be a part of the game and then was removed at a later date when DLC seems like a good idea. But that’s a slippery idea.

    • ChiefOfBeef says:

      “Which Fallout 3 DLC was ‘infuriatingly obviously’ left out of the launch game?”

      Which ever one put a proper ending in.

    • edit says:

      I’m in this camp too.. I thoroughly enjoyed Dragon Age, generally, but.. I paid full price for a game, so I want a full game and not one with holes in it. Of course it had well and truly enough content for a full game, but it becomes a real immersion breaker when there are characters etc planted in the game to point out what you’re missing out on until real-world-you gets the wallet out again. The more time that passes and the more I hear and think about DLC… Well, I I’ve basically transitioned from “I’m going to buy every new Bioware on release” to “Hmm, maybe waiting for the GOTY edition makes more sense” to “Screw it, I’ll wait until the GOTY edition is not only out, but heavily discounted. What’s waiting a bit longer when you’re already waiting, right?”

      If it turns out that there is no sight or mention of DLC during gameplay I’ll consider an earlier purchase, in which case I’ll probably just ignore the DLC all together, as I did with the first game, unless there is something truly interesting that I think is worth bothering with. If the devs do a remotely decent job, though, the vanilla game should be perfectly satisfying on its own.

  2. Jonathan says:

    I do not grow my haircuts. What madness is this?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Are you claiming to have static hair? That’s called a wig, I think.

    • Ian says:

      Maybe he’s a Lego man!

    • TeeJay says:

      If people could grow their haircuts (instead of getting someone to cut it) instead of barbers we would have hair horticulturalists, weird frames on our head to guide the hair into shape and semi-poisonous liquid hair-fertiliser.

      Or maybe I am doing it wrong?

    • Schadenfreude says:

      Hair-ticulturalists perhaps?

    • battles_atlas says:

      I actually grow my haircut, thinking about it. I have an allegy to hairdressers, so I shave it down to about lv3 myself. After 6wks of essentially looking like paint-on hair, it actually reaches a length where its stylable with a bit of wax, and hence looks like an actual ‘haircut’, as opposed to a ‘mistake’. So I do indeed grow my haircut.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      @battles_atlas: Yep, that is how I obtain my haircuts as well.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Oh, semantics. What merry dances you lead us on.

  3. applecup says:

    All the more reason to just wait for the heavily discounted GotY edition that actually comes with the full game.

    • Starky says:

      Seconded. I’m going to do my best to utterly ignore this game until that inevitable GOTY edition (probably even wait until it goes on sale in steam)…

      I’ve more than enough games to last me 2 lifetimes anyway.

      Did the same with Fallout 3, will do the same with borderlands when it goes on sale for less than £15, will do the same with Mass Effect 2 (even though I own the base game – it will be cheaper to wait).

      Hell I’ve not even finished Dragon Age anyway – not even half way probably.

    • Delusibeta says:

      And on that note, Borderlands GotY is £14 from Play. (And Amazon too, but they’re out of stock).

    • Starky says:

      Yeah but I want it on steam, I already have the base game retail.

  4. JackShandy says:

    Revealing paid DLC before the game’s out? Das ist mord!

    • JFS says:

      :D
      But you should capitalize “Mord”. Not only because of grammar, but especially because of this context :D

  5. Premium User Badge

    Big Murray says:

    They seem rather desperate to get the pre-orders rolled out for this one. Nerves?

    I’m waiting until the reviews and such come to tell me whether this is a bad game or not. They’ve not convinced me so far (and that’s rare for a Bioware game).

  6. bwion says:

    Are they going to do the thing again where, if you haven’t bought the Double Secret Super Awesome Edition For Suckers Discerning Individuals (or gone through the arcane rituals necessary to purchase DLC directly from Bioware), you still get someone showing up in your camp demanding that you buy the DLC so that you can help them?

    Much as I loved the first Dragon Age (and I did), that was nearly unforgivable.

    • Iskariot says:

      “(…)you still get someone showing up in your camp demanding that you buy the DLC so that you can help them? Much as I loved the first Dragon Age (and I did), that was nearly unforgivable.”

      Tell me this is not true. I stopped playing Dragon Age before I reached that point.
      I would say pulling something like that is completely unforgivable and unacceptable!

    • mondomau says:

      Sadly, this is not a joke.
      This is though, and sums it up quite nicely:

      http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/11/6/

    • Starky says:

      It is true, a guy shows up in camp asking for your help for this quest, and if you agree the he says something like “then just head to the Bioware store and buy the DLC content” or something along those lines I forget.
      Can’t remember exactly though, I like many people didn’t buy any of the DLC and just got the ultimate edition in the steam sale instead. Didn’t actually buy DA:O anyway, was given it by a friend who bought it and utterly hated it.

    • scottossington says:

      that penny arcade comic is frikkin’ hilarious and dead on

    • bwion says:

      Penny Arcade’s always been a bit hit-or-miss for me, but I love that one. Mostly for naming the dog Barkspawn.

      Anyhow, I actually shelled out the extra cash for the Super Awesome Sucker’s Edition of the first game, so I never got the “BUY MY QUEST” message myself (aside from once where there was some weird corruption so that the game thought I simultaneously had/had not completed Warden’s Keep). But I know people for whom that whole thing basically ensured that they’d never, ever, buy the DLC even if it would have otherwise interested them.

      I actually don’t mind DLC as a whole, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

  7. Rangersix says:

    Not trusting this pre-order deal ending a whole 2 months before the game is released.

  8. MrMud says:

    This seems similar to DA1 and wardens keep or ME2 and Zaeed.

    • Veret says:

      No, sadly, it’s not like Zaeed. With ME2, you get the DLC free if you just buy the game new (as opposed to secondhand, where the developer gets screwed). With this, you’re required to preorder the game by Tuesday. This is a lot to swallow, given that they raised the price to $60 and are continuing the trend of making Dragon Age games look as bad as possible until they’re actually released.

      The original DA was an amazing game; I really want to be a fanboy here, but this is just stupid.

  9. scottossington says:

    RUUUUUUUUNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Starky says:

    Post replied too deleted, comment thrown to the wild… heeeeeelp…

  11. Basilicus says:

    I’d be put off, except what if there really is a KOTOR-style murder mystery? I would kill for that. Those were my favorite Bioware moments, when, instead of helping someone decide whether they should buy fish for their kid or whatever, you actually got to investigate and solve a murder, and it was a risk to put potential witnesses off by what you said. And failing was a completely viable option.

  12. SwiftRanger says:

    Is this the same kind of DLC which actually incorporates an always-online-DRM into the game like with DA:O through the savegames? I’ll guess I’ll wait for the Ultimate Edition (if the game is any good).

    • Starky says:

      Even the ultimate edition of Dragon age required that always online DLC DRM…

      I’ve been seriously pondering pirating a game I own (twice) because I’m sick of it.

    • alseT says:

      But disabling the online check for DLC was as simple as editing a text file. I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

    • Starky says:

      Didn’t know that… might have to do it.

      Edit: Holy crap you were indeed correct, 30 seconds in notepad++ and my troubles are gone.

  13. Premium User Badge

    shlomme says:

    I’m almost tempted to compare the pre-order goodies of Dragon Age 2 with the ones offered for The Witcher 2 on gog.com, on second thought, I don’t. I’m also much more excited about the latter, not even sure if I’m going to play the former. DA:O was kind of cute, not enough to make me play its successor.

    • Delusibeta says:

      At least with GOG’s preorder, all you have to do is click the button, download the swag, and forget about it. There’s no obligation to actually follow through with it.

  14. Jimbot says:

    The fact that it’s 2 months before the game comes out and we absolutely know nothing about the basic story premise, the skill trees or all the companions. Instead they’re just spoiling all the various monsters or bosses you’ll be fighting. It’s also pretty convenient that the pre-order stuff ends more than a month before the game is released – before reviews or more information about the game come out.

    This game is a lot like the movies that don’t get screened for critics. They know they have a half-assed, quick cash-in product on their hands, so they’re trying to sucker people into buying it before word gets around that it’s lousy.

    • bleeters says:

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t actually want to know about about the storyline or the companions, more than the very basics which’ve been available for eons.

      I’m reading this whole ‘signature edition’ thing as a collector’s edition without the twice-times price tag, which seems fair enough to me. Downloadable content on release is less so, of course.

  15. Basilicus says:

    Aw, jeez, let’s not all start pretending Dragon Age: Origins was bad now. I know this is the Internet and you gotta hate, but suck it up already.

    • mwoody says:

      The Internet hate is a direct result of their actions. Frustrating DRM, characters in-game who try to sell you real-life stuff, preorder bonuses, pre-launch DLC, post-launch DLC, a buttload of long codes to enter to unlock pointless crap that ultimately only exist to fight used game sales, dealing with a company-specific online system that requires its own login and downloads while adding nothing, trying to interface external Flash games with said system for pointless baubles that nevertheless entice the completionist gamer, connecting bonuses for buying one of their games with bonuses in other games despite it damaging the 4th wall, trying to get people to blindly preorder a game long before reviews are posted…

      Publishers act like there’s no downside to treating their customers like shit, but there is, and you’re seeing it now: there’s no good will. There’s no leeway or benefit of a doubt. Bioware is a company with a long history of solid releases, and we treat them like they’ve released ten crap games in a row, and we do it for good reason.

  16. outoffeelinsobad says:

    So can we all agree that, from a gamer’s perspective, this is pretty stupid?

    • ChiefOfBeef says:

      I own it on steam but haven’t got round to playing it(damn those wonderful sales). But we are all in agreement that Dee-El-See is the spawn of Satan’s butt-hole and only exists because consoletards have allowed devs and publishers race to the bottom yah? I mean the model was perfectly viable before consoles had internet but never would have worked with the PC gaming master race having the sole purchasing power on it.

  17. Fumarole says:

    It looks like I’ll be waiting for the unobtanium version that will be released around Christmas then. Pending a Wot I Think, of course.

  18. jonfitt says:

    I don’t pre-order games. I buy them in Steam sales later. I’m no mug.

    • mwoody says:

      I used to preorder games. Now that they go out of their way to force you to do so, I’ve stopped. It makes me feel dirty, and it makes me dislike the company and not want to help them.

    • Premium User Badge

      jaheira says:

      A company offers you a product you do not want. Therefore you hate them.
      I’m not sure I’m following your logic here.

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    • RegisteredUser says:

      I am starting to worry this registration only lark may not be working as advertised.

      Where is the “stab people in the face across the internet” invention when you need it?

  20. mondomau says:

    Oh, now my comment’s been deleted. Guess the spam filter’s working.

    No, no it isn’t.

  21. noom says:

    I can grumpily tolerate the existence of DLC. I don’t like it, but from a business perspective I can see why publishers would push for that kind of thing.

    What I really, really do NOT like, was what happened in DA:O. You know what I’m talking about; the chap in the campsite. After spending £30 on a game, that kind of shit is just offensive.

  22. Jimbo says:

    Bioware’s modular design philosophy is in danger of wearing a little thin. It feels like their games are being designed around their new business model too much.

  23. Nick says:

    as if the game didn’t look enough like shitty cash in already.

  24. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Needs the ‘staring eyes’ tag.
    that is all.

  25. Kadayi says:

    EA can have my pre-order when it DA2 is made available via Steam. I bought both DA:O & ME2 that way because, that’s my principal E-tailer of choice, and I just can’t be F’d with retail boxes any more.

    In their GoTY podcast the Giant bomb guys listed distinct pre-order bonuses as the worst trend, and I heartedly agree with them.

    I don’t mind EA having pre-order bonuses in there to incentivise sales, but what I do object to is where they start separating out the content, via the different providers. If I’m pre-ordering as a fan, I don’t want half of the available content launch…I want the lot, and I don’t expect to pay extra for it either.

  26. Mac says:

    Given my experience of paying £30 for the Delux edition last time – i’ll wait a fortnight until it’s sub £15 …

  27. Hoaxfish says:

    I believe the phrase is “putting the cart before the horse”

  28. bill says:

    I don’t buy DLC, but I don’t really care about it either.
    Seems like the sort of thing that is good for some people, but optional so others can ignore it.

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  31. RegisteredUser says:

    Dear DLC purchasing must-have-things-on-0day-fools:
    I am smugly awaiting the day Dragon Age II Ultimate Edition is available for 25 EUR on Play (as opposed to Pay) dot well you know dot what, just like the first one, with all expansions and DLC included.

    That is all I have to say about this and all further DLC and expansion(almost wrote expense-ion) posts.

  32. darkparadis3 says:

    Whenever a game has tons of DLC .. all i do is wait for it to be in a pack with the game + addons … usually only have to wait another year or so….and its cheaper than the regular game by itself that way too!

  33. DOLBYdigital says:

    Sorry but this just continues my belief that ‘DLC’ is ruining the mindset of developers. It makes them think they can release games with stripped out content and then sell it back to their loyal customers in pieces. It can split communities if online related and just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I personally don’t support DLC, especially when it is obviously stripped out as this is…. I do support proper expansion packs though.