DragonLC: Return To Ostagar

Dragon Age‘s first post-release DLC has been announced, and it’s called “Return To Ostagar”. It apparently “allows players to exact their revenge and embark on a quest for the mighty arms and armor of the once great King Cailan when they revisit Ostagar, the site of the Grey Wardens’ darkest hour, to reclaim the honor and learn the secrets of Ferelden’s fallen king.” It’s going to cost 400 Bioware points on PC, which I guess is about $5. Release date is the less-than-specific “this winter”. Full press release below.

New DLC Announced for EA’s Award-Winning Epic RPG Fantasy

Guildford, UK – November 19, 2009 – Leading video game developer BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), announced today that the Return to Ostagar downloadable content (DLC) for Dragon Age™: Origins will be available for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC versions this Holiday season in North America and Europe. The DLC pack, Return to Ostagar, allows players to exact their revenge and embark on a quest for the mighty arms and armor of the once great King Cailan when they revisit Ostagar, the site of the Grey Wardens’ darkest hour, to reclaim the honor and learn the secrets of Ferelden’s fallen king.

“We are very proud of the phenomenal launch of Dragon Age: Origins and we’re pleased to announce the next installment of downloadable content that will be available to fans of the game,” said Ray Muzyka, Group General Manager, RPG/MMO Group of EA, and Co-Founder, BioWare. “The Return to Ostagar DLC pack is a prime example of BioWare’s commitment to give fans a game that continuously offers new experiences and further enriches a storyline that has already received critical acclaim and positive feedback from the players.”

Return to Ostagar, BioWare’s next thread in the Dragon Age: Origins tapestry, summons players to a new quest in which they will return to the fateful battleground in Ostagar where the Grey Wardens were nearly wiped out. Players will discover King Cailan’s top-secret political agenda and go behind enemy lines to revisit a place that many feared had been lost to history.

Return to Ostagar will be available for £3.99 on the PlayStation® Store, for 400 BioWare Points on the PC and 400 Microsoft Points on the Xbox 360 in North America. Return to Ostagar will be released this winter worldwide on the Xbox 360, the PlayStation®3 console and PC. Dragon Age: Origins is rated 18+ by PEGI.

For more information on Dragon Age: Origins, please visit www.dragonage.com

About BioWare
BioWare develops high quality console, PC and online role-playing games, focused on rich stories, unforgettable characters and vast worlds to discover. Since 1995, BioWare has created some of the world’s most critically acclaimed titles, including Baldur’s Gate™, Neverwinter Nights™, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™, Jade Empire™ and Mass Effect™. BioWare operates in Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), Montreal (Quebec) and Austin (Texas). BioWare’s announced projects include the dark heroic fantasy game Dragon Age: Origins, as well as Mass Effect 2™, the epic sequel to Mass Effect, and the story-driven massively multiplayer online game, Star Wars®: The Old Republic™. In 2008, BioWare was acquired by Electronic Arts, a leading global interactive entertainment publisher. For more information on BioWare, visit www.bioware.com; to join the millions of fans already registered on our community, go to http://social.bioware.com.


  1. TotalBiscuit says:

    Well this is a more reasonable price for DLC of this size.

  2. Rinox says:

    While I am not opposed to the DLC and the price seems reasonable enough, “The once great King Cailan”? I was under the impression that he was mostly very young, a little brash and very naive. He was on the throne for what, 3 years? As a direct successor to his father? By those standards, prince Charles is a half-God.

  3. Demiath says:

    I guess returning to Ostagar is a convenient excuse for Bioware to reuse a lot of old assets. Still, 5 bucks is only 5 bucks so it might be worth it…

    Is it just me or is the “console, PC and online” distinction used in the press release a bit weird? “Online” gaming might be popular, but it hardly qualifies as a separate platform…

  4. demon arm says:

    Seeing how little Cailan’s armour helped him, I’m really not sure I want it..

    • Trithemius says:

      I assume you just flog it for the cash. It’s all covered in tasty King-blood too. Mmmmmm.

    • Nerd Rage says:

      Seeing how Cailin’s armour was crushed by an ogre, while he was still in it, I can’t imagine it being of much use after you find it.

  5. Schaulustiger says:

    As long as it’s of reasonable length consider me a sure customer. Right now I can’t get enough of Dragon Age and I surely prefer some hours of entertainment every few months rather than just one or two expansion packs every one or two years.

    • chadplusplus says:

      According to one of the devs in the bioware forums, he can get through the new dlc doing a speed run in about 15-20 minutes. He also states that a typical player will probably complete the new material in about an hour.

    • Nick says:

      hm, an hour? That’s a bit pricey for a measly hour.

  6. oisomeguy says:

    What’s the point of getting some silly armor if you’ve already beaten the game then?

    • Heliocentric says:

      The armour is just to lure the ocd completists in. Loot is worth only what you emotionally attach to it, even in an mmo, one patch and its dust.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Dragon Age is not something you just play through once.

    • Fumarole says:

      Indeed. There’s simply no way to experience everything the game has to often in one playthrough.

    • Taillefer says:

      Hmm, after my play through I felt like I had experienced enough (at least for a while). I know I would have missed things, and there are other choices to be made, but I have to repeat far too much to reach those choices again. I doubt I’ll be playing any DLC that isn’t a new campaign.

    • Choca says:

      The other DLC for the game give some pretty overpowered items so I’m guessing this armor is gonna be really powerful.

  7. shiggz says:

    Playing dragon age tonight in i was in a town hidden in the mountains that’s part of the late game main story quest. Anyway there is a graveyard and some funny references on the tombstones to “online-gaming” amidst other things. Made me wonder if the devs had toyed with the idea.

  8. CMaster says:

    Bioware points?!
    All these ridiculous attempts to create closed economies are rather irritating.

    • Rinox says:

      Wanna bet that the minimum amount of points you can buy is 500? ;-)

      I wish we could just spot 5 bucks/quid/euri and get it done with.

    • Schaulustiger says:

      You can buy exactly 400 Bioware points. That’s 4.65 Euro and would seem like a fair price for 3-5 hours of entertainment.

    • Jonas says:

      Yeah I was actually really positively surprised when I realised you could buy exactly 560 BioWare points, which is the price of the Warden’s Keep DLC. When I saw that price, I assumed it was a poorly disguised way to make you spend more money than you’d be able to use, like X-Box Live. But no! So that’s nice.

    • CMaster says:

      If they let you buy the exact amount, that’s pretty nice of them. Of course, it does mean if they ever have to refund you, they can just refund you your points and not actually lose anything, but it’s better than damn microsoft points.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      I’m not sure how you get 3-5 hours – Warden’s Keep took about 40 minutes to clear, and I very much doubt this will take any longer.

    • Rinox says:

      I stand corrected then, good news. :-)

    • Choca says:

      A dev stated on the forums that it would take about 1 hour to complete.

    • ascagnel says:

      I noticed that on their website you can buy exactly 760 Bioware Buxx. Thankfully, this is the exact price of the DLC currently available.

      I like this plan.

  9. Jonas says:

    Am I just imagining it, or is there a tendency in this DLC towards promoting it primarily with the promise of ph4t l3wt? Is that really a good choice? I mean do Dragon Age players primarily want more items? I would’ve thought most DA fans would be more tempted by the promise of more plot and character development. But then again I’m not a marketing expert by any means, so maybe they’re judging their fanbase correctly.

    • Okami says:

      More Plot! doesn’t really make for a good bullet point. And for marketing people it’s all about those shiny, tasty, sexy bullet points. Ohhh yeaaahhhh,,,, Give me moooooore of those sinful bullet points. Come on, you know you want it too..

  10. Rockatansky says:

    A dev confirmed the length of this DLC a few hours ago:

    If you run through, ESC out of dialogue, ignore loot and optional fights it’ll take you 15 minutes.
    For someone who wants to cherish it all, it’ll probably be around an hour.

    While I acknowledge the honesty, I don’t think this would be worth $5 to me. However, I’m an addict, so I’m totally buying this. But ONLY ONCE!

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Just like Warden’s Keep, this is a loot pack thinly-disguised as a quest, so you get to pay $7 for some armour alongside the $11 you paid for the most powerful sword in the game and a gimped storage chest.

      Dragon Age was fairly good, but unless they start selling stuff of the same quality as Stone Prisoner (an NPC complete with his own party banter) and for $15 instead of $22, I don’t see myself buying any of it.

      Which is a real shame, since there’s the potential to do Rockstar-style micro-expansions that see you doing stuff like reclaiming Bownammar or helping the new king/queen with any of the events described in the epilogue.

    • Spoon says:

      I was afraid it was going to be that short. Pay money for Bioware to re-enable locations that they have already made, and give you loot that already existed is not my idea of good “DLC”. I was hoping they were going to put a decent sized dungeon into the lower levels of that tower.

  11. J.P says:

    How will this tie into the main game? i haven’t finished it yet but im not far off. Does the game world stay open after the ending or do i have to start a new game to be able to enjoy this DLC?

    This was the problem with Mass Effect as well, the DLC came late after release, when most people had finished the game and were forced to replay it to play the DLC, its bad game design.

    • Schaulustiger says:

      As far as I know, after finishing the main storyline you get a save game that let’s you play DLC (and only DLC). I’m not yet finished with DA:O but that’s what I read in the Bioware forums.

    • Rockatansky says:

      There’s a save right before the endgame stuff goes down, so you can go from there.

      Personally, I’ll wait with my second playthrough until a hand full of those minidlcs surfaced. The roleplayer in me is apalled by the idea to dig out the savegame right before the archdemon is about to be slain and take a trip down memory lane at Ostagar. Does not compute.

  12. Po0py says:

    I sincerly hope they have something a bit more meaty in the works for DLC. I want proper storylines. I’m sure the same quality of world building will exist in this DLC but it will only serve as padding, giving us more details about King Cailan. I want, say, a five hour quest chain with tonnes of loot and maybe a few new areas to play through. At least that is what I thought they were planning when they made such a fuss over the “two-year’s worth of DLC” they had planned.

  13. The Sombrero Kid says:

    i’ve heard it’s going to be £4 which’d be a bit cheeky $5 != £4 $5 == £3

  14. The Sombrero Kid says:

    £3.40 so it ain’t that bad, what’s 40p ay?

  15. pkt-zer0 says:

    5$ for at most an hours worth of diversion, eh? Funny how the first 40+ (or whatever) hours only cost you 50$.

    And we’re going to have two additional years of DLC. Brilliant.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      From a marketing and money-making perspective, yes, indeed.

  16. qx says:

    Anyone else feel that the armor and weapons in DA lack “personality”? They mostly feel generic to me, regardless of how good they are.

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Yes they do and I feel that’s intentional. With the exception of the absurd Blood Dragon armour, the weapons and armour in the game are depicted in a relatively realistic fashion. Granted, they can also be on fire or shoot lightning at people, but all in all the aim of the ‘dark fantasy’ was to portray a feasible world that just happens to also have dragons and magic in it. The ‘bland’ armour and arms are as such, for this reason.

    • Rinox says:

      I think it’s ok personally. A little worse than in BG2 (that eternal benchmark), a lot better than the NWN franchise. There are a few very stylish and unique weapons, but they take time, effort and luck to find(Starfang and Topsider’s Honor come to mind).

    • foghorn says:

      I agree that they probably made them to look “realistic,” but it falls flat in my opinion. Not only is my axe always engulfed with fire, but I’m fighting werewolves, walking skeleton warriors and ogres. Where is the realism in that. It’s easy to be carried away after reading George R.R. Martin and wanting to create something similar, but you cant have both that and a pseud-Forgotten Realms world mixed together – it just doesn’t work in my opinion. There is very litle “dark” about DA.

    • Subject 706 says:

      I disagree. I very much like that they are at least somewhat toned down, and not like NWN2s frankly ridiculous looking weapon and armour models.

    • IvanHoeHo says:

      I don’t know, man. If I wanted a suit of medium armour made out of dragon scales, I’d want it to look more like and less like, well, .

  17. Schaulustiger says:

    Well, if it’s true that RtO is no longer than~1 hour it feels like a bit of a rip-off. I expected a mini-expansion-pack with at least 3 hours playtime. I mean, I want a real story and at least some sort of progression, not an instant-loot-DLC with just a bunch of fights.


    • Jockie says:

      I’m pretty sure people are just guessing at the length based on the pricing and length of Wardens Keep, that said, I probably wouldn’t bet against their guesses, but that doesn’t make them any more accurate.

      I like the idea of Return to Ostagar, but surely Duncans armour is more desirable than the kings, he had a little skirt and everything!

    • Schaulustiger says:

      Well, as Rockatansky quoted, the devs themselves don’t think it will take more than one hour to complete.

      And I want Duncan’s beard more than his armor.

    • Jockie says:

      Ah I missed that quote, my own fault for skim reading the comments section. In that case it’s a shame, I think the idea of returning to Ostagar has potential in terms of character development. I hope to hell Bioware shell out to get Alistairs voice actor back in the studio, otherwise this will be a missed opportunity. But for a piece of cheap short dlc I wouldn’t have thought it’d be economical.

      I was hoping for some dlc that’s at least the same size as the Fallout 3 bits and pieces, my biggest hope would be for a big assed dungeon crawl reminiscent of the Watchers Keep from BG2 :TOB. Either that or something resembling an expansion. But £3-5 for an hours gameplay every couple of months doesn’t really appeal to me.

  18. Ybfelix says:

    As a completionist I guess I will be holding for the goty or platinum something edition

  19. Carra says:

    I just hope it takes a bit longer to finish than the wardens keep DLC. An hour or two of entertainment sounds about right for my €5.

    I haven’t finished Dragon Age yet. But a special savegame before the end really feels strange to me. Fallout 3 had something similar. Since I died at the end so I shouldn’t be able to do DLC.

  20. Rinox says:

    Won’t we be seeing a whole lot of (free) user-made mods relatively soon anyway? Even the simplest thing like that storage chest for your base camp radically improve the game. Given the versatility of the toolset, I think we can expect more or those small-but-meaningful mods/changes à la the Morrowind signpost mod.

  21. Cheezey says:

    If it’s just going to be a shallow collection of mob filled rooms, with some dead guy’s armor for a reward, whats the point? I’d much rather they’d work on a sequel that might have the potential to flesh the story and game universe out some more.

    • SheffieldSteel says:

      Blame the marketing guys. According to the devs they recorded a lot of original voiceover for this mod, and there are some quite deep cutscenes featuring the survivors of Ostagar, i.e. yourself, Alistair, and other too (no spoilers!)

  22. Danger De Mort says:

    I think the loot for true money-scheme, they are using now, is not merely a money-making scheme for Bioware. But it also harms the role-playing experience as you’ll get access to high-tier items, that you really haven’t done anything for. It breaks the illusion of a isolated world that you can be absorbed in, and turns it into merely a game on your computer.

  23. The Sombrero Kid says:

    i was hoping they’d do episodic dlc and this sounds like it could be a first episode of a bigger story. here’s hoping

  24. Dean says:

    People are not guessing at length – there’s a thread in the DA forums called “Questions about Return to Ostagar” where it’s confirmed it takes an hour, max.

    The most embarrassing and direct comparison is Mysteries of Westgate, the NW2 download-only ‘Adventure Pack’ which provides 10-15 hours of play for $10. Measured against that, this is practically horse armor.

  25. Kenny says:

    I don’t know if I want a set of armour that resembles Popeye’s used can of spinach.

    And when are rogue’s going to get some uber loot?

    • Rockatansky says:

      Duncan is a rogue (According to the books) and he died there. Maybe we’re in luck.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      i think duncans armour is in wardens keep and ain’t very good, could be wrong though.

    • JKjoker says:

      its not Duncan’s armor (they probably left that for another DLC in the future) its just a generic warden commander armor, its nice for the first part of the game, its much better than the Blood Armor that makes my Sten look like some kind of scifi cyclops

      after trying the game without and with the DLCs i have to say the game gets soooooo much easier with them, i really cant see how they expect to keep a balance with so many item based DLC

  26. EBass says:

    Whilst I think in terms of value for money “DLC” is patently inferior to the old expansion packs of old (which in all honesty were not great value for money to begin with). I might consider buying this if I had the option of actually paying with money rather than buying 700 Bioware Fun Bucks or something. I won’t ever buy “points” when they are ludicrously and arbitrerily insisted upon.

    • MajorManiac says:

      I was thinking the same thing.

      Especially value for money.

      Dragon age costs around £30 for 80 hours of play (according to John Walker in PCG, though this may have been an exaguration I don’t yet know for myself). But this would work out to be 30.00p / 80 = 37.5pence per hour.

      DLC is around £3 for 1 hour of play!

  27. JKjoker says:

    Bioware and EA are just trying to lure you into their onlinestore trap hoping it will soon become the next Steam, its the next big thing after the mmo craze and youll see it from every single big publisher the next year, what do you think Bnet2 is ?

    i can understand them wanting to cut the middle man but they offer no advantages, you are still paying the same price and now youll have to deal with many steam like clients/drm/sites at the same time, and they will viciously try to lock you into their site, ugh

    • Psychopomp says:

      Except, you know, you can buy it without *ever looking at a single other product,* and you don’t need the EAdownloader. Downloading is done in-game.

      How about you know what you’re talking about, before throwing on the tinfoil hat?

    • JKjoker says:

      the thing is just starting, give it some time

    • Psychopomp says:

      Like Y2K, right?

    • JKjoker says:

      if im a cospiracy nut you are an anticospiracy nut, keep being in denial about everything and ill keep assuming the worst about everything, its pointless to fight

    • Psychopomp says:

      See, the thing about conspiracies, is that they very rarely have something called facts behind them. They have conjecture and leaps of logic. If real life was TVTropes, they would be relegated to the Wild Mass Guessing section.

    • JKjoker says:

      See, the thing about anti-conspiracies rebuttals, is that they very rarely take in the whole picture selectively denying reality to see what they wish to see. We could keep going all day and neither of us will change opinions

  28. Azradesh says:

    You died? You can die? :O

  29. cjlr says:

    I hate to sound like a crotchety old man, but back in the day they gave us this type of shit for free.

    £3.40? That’s $6 canadian. For maybe an hour?That’s just bad value.

    • Rinox says:

      Hey, MW2 sold a gazillion copies at 50 £ for 6-7 hours of SP gameplay. So it’s not like it should turn most people off.

  30. Tei says:

    If EA want to extract $500 from my pockets with this game, It seems must do much better.

    Anyway, why from Dragon Age, from all games? I have completed it, and It don’t feel like a game you want to replay much. Is sorta linear, methinks.

  31. Taillefer says:

    Thinking about it, they’ve made it pretty difficult for themselves to turn around substantial DLC, just by the amount of dialogue involved. All the important decisions have reactions from party members. Also some contextual dialogue for the locations. That’s a load of voice actors back in for everything they do.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing “this location is only available to the PC and his dog”.

    • JKjoker says:

      are you sure ? i havent finished it but the farther you go from lothering and redcliff the less they talk, in Denerim i expected Morrigan/Sten to bitch all day about the side missions i accepted and Leliana/Alistar to whine about me killing the mercenaries instead of just intimidating them but they didnt utter a single word, in fact nobody said anything the whole time i was there doing non main campaign stuff

      i replayed the first part like 8 times respecing my min character, took different choices every time, the game showed no change whatsoever, the Witcher kicks DAO’s ass in this feature

      and i also noticed that every time you get the choice to fight or not to fight/persuade/intimidate someone, not fighting gives you no rewards at all (some times just a little more money) and fighting give you their equipment which sells for a lot and there is really no reason or consequence for killing everyone once your NPCs stop commenting about them (and before that you can just kick them out of the party for a second)

    • Taillefer says:

      Well, now you mention it, it doesn’t happen that often outside the main story quests that I can remember. But that’s sort of what I’m saying. All the unimportant things don’t really get commented on. So the DLC is likely to be based around irrelevant choices which nobody cares about (by which I mean that I don’t care about, obv.) so they can avoid putting the extra effort in.

      The “difficult” decisions can result in huge approval losses or people leaving your party for good (although they still have little impact overall, I’d agree), and that’s not really something I can see being in there. Maybe I just expect too much from DLC.

      I always liked the Baldur’s Gate system, do somebody’s quest for them, get the xp and reward. Then attack them to get the xp for the kill and also their equipment, hurrah.

    • Klaus says:

      And of course donate to the temples to make sure non-evil party members stay. What is a man’s worth, indeed.

  32. Klaus says:

    Hmm. Can’t say I care much for Cailan or his armor.

    Given his enthusiastic nature I figured out his fate within 5 minutes of meeting him. :(

    • Choca says:

      Dragon Age’s plot is so predictable anyway you can see who’s gonna die and who’s going to stab you in the back instantly.

    • Klaus says:

      Jowan, I think, is the only person that managed to fool me so far.

    • JKjoker says:

      in the begining one guy gives me the “ill sacrifice anything to save the world” speech, then another gives me the medieval version of showing me a picture of his kids (that is, talking about how hot his wife is and how cute his kids are), the only way it would be more obvious is if they were wearing red shirts, the only dead i wasnt expecting got explained later when you find out he was a few weeks away from retirement

  33. Tuor says:

    Bleh. I don’t like the trends I’m seeing here. But even more, I’m dismayed that there aren’t more people who are against this sort of thing.

    Here, let’s make a story, and oh, we have this extra chapter that you need to spend a few extra bucks to get. Oh… and in a few months, we might have another extra chapter or two.

    It’s obvious that they’re stringing us along and trying to squeeze every bit of cash they can out of us, rather than tell good, full stories. Back in the old days, this sort of thing would never have been tolerated, so why are people okay with it now?

    This DLC is *not* the same as an expansion, which used to mean a significant amount of additional content. It’s… what, an *hour* long, if you milk it? Is that how the others are going to be, too?

    No. Not me. I’m not playing this game. I wont be buying any of this DLC. If they want to charge me for a signficant expansion, one that really adds to the game and the overall story, then sure, I’ll consider that. But this? No way. I’m not suporting this trend.

    • castle says:

      If you haven’t played it, then you don’t know that characters WITHIN the game actually shop you DLC. There’s one guy that you’ll be talking to as normal, him going on about how he needs your help for such-and-such quest, and then one of the dialog options is something along the lines of “Accept his quest (Purchase Premium Content).” Abominable. It’s one thing to offer it to me outside the game, where I can ignore and be done with it, but to shatter the illusion of a game world so blatantly is unforgivable.

      That said, I’m still loving the game, just resolved not to purchase any DLC for it (and permanently ignoring Mr. BuyMyQuest, who follows me around at my campsite).

    • JKjoker says:

      @castle: its even worse, most ppl havent noticed but the DLC selling guy is not in the default release of the game, he gets installed by the autoupdater without giving you any choice in the matter so you can expect for another one to appear when this DLC goes online the only way to avoid this is to firewall the program

      i imagine how the initial camp will look in a year when 20 dlcs are out and you have 20 npcs trying to sell you crap

    • Tuor says:


      I do own the game. I bought the deluxe edition (or whatever they called it) off of Steam. It came with some DLC as part of that edition, which I installed. So, I know about the Soldier’s Peak guy you’re talking about. However I may pay for extra stuff on the initial purchase, what I wont do is make what are essentially micro-transactions to get bits and pieces added to the game over time.

    • JKjoker says:

      @Turor: no, not that guy, the Warden’s keep guy, here a comic is better than a thousand words link to penny-arcade.com

    • jsutcliffe says:

      The thing I dislike most about integrating the selling of DLC with the game is the “Premium Content” tab in the journal. I object to the term “Premium Content” because it implies that I have an inferior product, and seeing it when you’re checking your journal for other information completely breaks immersion.

      Just give me the ability to opt-out, please. Just a little checkbox somewhere in the options that hides the journal tab and “please help me with this quest but you’d better have your purse ready” NPC guy. I paid $50 for you, game — don’t shove ads in my face.

    • JKjoker says:

      ack, you wrote soldier’s peak for some reason i read the s and i thought “stone”, then you know the right guy :p

    • EBass says:

      Whilst I don’t entirely disagree with the sentiments of Turor I think the core issue here is, “Is the original game up to scratch?” Whilst personally I think Bioware AND Bethesdas DLCs have been total rip offs, the fact is that out of all companies these are probably the two you could least legitimatly assert that they hadn’t put enough content into the original game, its fair enough in my opinion. I won’t buy it, but its not like they are releasing half finished games and expecting us to pay to add in content that should have been there in the first place. When that starts happening however, I’ll roll out the angry tank in a big way.

    • JKjoker says:

      @jsutcliffe: ooh im 100% with you but shoving the ads in our faces is the whole idea, youll never get that checkbox and it will only get worse as the DLC fad goes on, they need to promote them somehow and they have total control over the games now that they made sure everyone is online with the online-drm and “autoupdaters”, why not use it ? i doubt it will be the last

  34. IvanHoeHo says:

    So this, or a Wendy’s double….. mmmmmm Wendy’s

  35. kitchendon says:

    An awful lot of debate and discussion over something that costs a fiver. o.O

    Not much entertainment to be found elsewhere for $5. Maybe a pint of beer, a fast food lunch, a couple episodes of a tv show. Can’t even get a movie on DVD for $5 unless it’s old and crappy. If i bought this DLC and enjoyed it as much as say, a Caramel Machiatto from Starbucks, then I’d feel like I got an OK deal.

    • Nick says:

      We can get lots of great old but not crappy DVDs for £3 at ASDA!

  36. V says:

    I would pay good money for MOAR ALISTAIR. kthx.

  37. Jeremy says:

    Honestly, that DLC quest NPC feller isn’t really all that game breaking for me, and hardly an intrusion. I guess my shackles don’t immediately raise when a company wants money for a product. You know what I did? Talked to him once, realized it was for the DLC and then realized I won’t ever have to talk to him again (unless I want the DLC of course, which I won’t unless the price gets dropped to TWO dollars). In my mind he’s just the creeper in the corner staring at me in my camp. The other DLC guy is going to be somewhere around Lothering I believe, so not in camp.

    Either way… I don’t know, it just doesn’t get me riled up. DLC is what it is, and there’s nothing I can change about that, so why get mad? I just gauge the value of it, and if it isn’t worth it I don’t buy it. The problem is that most people seem to buy it while simultaneously being outraged by it. It doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me.

  38. Joe G. says:

    To everyone complaining about the DLC, I’m sure that if you wait a year or two, you’ll be able to purchase a “Complete Edition” which will include everything for a reasonable price, a la Fallout 3.

  39. Tei says:

    I would love to see a Twilight inspired DLC for Dragon Age, with all, gothic virgin 102 years old vampires.

    link to kotaku.com

  40. Vilander says:

    I’d first like them to fix the DLC for the EU PS3 version of the game before bringing more out.. Almost no one with a PS3 version of the game in the EU has access to everything they’re supposed to have so far if the forums are to be believed, and no one is getting any answers either.. Some people got half their worth to work, no one seems to have Shale yet though.. Another fine mess I’d like to see resolved before I get another piece of DLC since this is just throwing money away as far as the PS3 version is concerned.. If it’s service like this, then EDGE is right for giving the game only a 5, even though I expected much of it..

  41. RyePunk says:

    Release date of Winter? Bioware’s Winter? That could mean it wont be out until May… Freaking long ass Canadian winters.

  42. Rob Bartel (BioWare) says:

    Before my 15-minute quote gets taken too far out of context, let me clarify that a speed run like I was referring to is kinda like “Quake Done Quick”. It involves skipping through all conversation and cutscenes, ignoring all loot and some combat, having a buff party to mow throw any opposition, controlling the fastest character available (Dog), and knowing exactly where to go and what to do to complete the mission.

    So yes, take that quote of mine with a grain of salt and keep the original context in mind. Thanks!

  43. Colton says:

    Stuff like this makes me angry, all these mini-transactions.

    The game companies got me once with Fallout 3. Now I’m stuck paying 50$ for Fallout 3 AND 50$ for the dlc; however if I just waited 6 months I could have had the entire game AND the dlc stuff for a total of 40$ with the “game of the year” edition.

    I simply refuse to pay twice for a video game. If they want my business then they’ve just guaranteed that I will never buy their game until it’s been out for at least a year. I will never ever pay full price for a game again only to get screwed like this. Eventually, some day, I’ll play DA:O – when they give all the content out at once for the “gold” edition. By then it’ll be $40 with everything included.

    They say the video game industry is “recession proof” – but people are still poor and trying to squeeze twice the money we’d usually pay just to keep playing games on the computer is beyond the pale.

    • archonsod says:

      Speak for yourself peasant :P For those of us who are fabulously wealthy it’s basically a question of another hour playing dragon age, a trip to the pub for a pint, or a big mac meal. Given it’s cold and wet outside, I think I’d opt for more DA.

  44. Nerd Rage says:

    I don’t remember the name well enough, but I was expecting Kez Wherever or Kaz whatever, the occasionally mentioned but suspiciously absent other remaining dwarven city, to be the first DLC. (Unless I’m a moron, and it is there but I managed to miss it.) This does make sense though, they want to get some DLC out while the game is still hot, and reusing content is the fastest way to do that.

  45. Psychopomp says:

    The average game is 10 hours long
    A PC game costs 50$

    I fail to see how 5 dollars for an hours worth of content is a ripoff.

  46. Nickosha says:

    I miss expansion packs. Disregarding value entirely, it just feels like a lot better experience to get all the extra content at one time than it does to get fed 1 or 2 hours of content every month or few months. Plus in expansion packs there can be some surprises to what is in it so it’s a lot easier to be excited about, but in micro transactions you generally know exactly what you are getting when you buy it so it somewhat ruins the anticipation.

    • Vinraith says:

      Completely agreed. One other thing that makes true expansion packs better: You can get a genuinely sizable chunk of content. DLC tends to be a quest here, a quest there. You don’t see an entirely new, 20-30 hour area with its own quest chains, NPC’s and the like in DLC.

    • archonsod says:

      There’s room for both, and it’s not like there’s some law somewhere that says expansion packs must be so big while DLC must be this small.

      The thing about expansion packs is that it’s all or nothing; you get more content, but you may not be interested in that content (and some may even adversely affect how you want to play the game). Splitting it into DLC lets you tailor what you want included and what you don’t. Say the expansion included a multiplayer component and some single player additions; perhaps you want multiplayer but you’re not interested in the new single player stuff since you never play single player anymore, or vice versa – you want the single player stuff but you’ve no interest in multiplayer. Under the traditional expansion you’re charged the same amount and get it all regardless, which means while you might be getting twice the content, 50% of it you’re not interested in but you’re paying for it anyway. With DLC, you simply opt to buy the content you’re interested in and can ignore the stuff you’re not.

      It’d be interesting to see if that kind of an approach made a difference to sales. I doubt I’m the only one whose hesitated about buying an expansion because I’m only interested in half of the new content (particularly those that add separate things for multiplayer and single player for example). Paying twenty quid for half an expansion feels expensive; split it into DLC and charge me ten quid for the bit I want on the other hand and it’s almost a no-brainer.

    • Vinraith says:

      “There’s room for both”

      I agree wholeheartedly, but I’m a little concerned that developers and, particularly, publishers may not.

  47. Andrew says:

    Bioware need to get whoever wrote Alistair (one of the finest chars ever) to write the press releases too. They really could use some sarcastic wit.

  48. Andrew says:

    Bioware need to get whoever wrote Alistair (one of the finest chars ever) to write the press releases too. They really could use some sarcastic wit.

    • JKjoker says:

      woa there, Alistar was certainly the best character of DAO but the finest ever ? several Baldur’s gate characters and most of Torment’s characters kicks his ass and that just games linked to bioware, come on, Morte ? Minsc ? XAN!, his lines made the game freaking hilarious :”Life is so hollow,” “Our quest is vain,” “We’re all doomed,” “Certainly I shall collapse from exhaustion before I fall on the battlefield,” and “Let us save ourselves the effort and just lie down and die!” … come on … dont be so quick to yell “the best ever” thats how we end with the current trend of cloned generic soulless characters

    • Vinraith says:

      Edwin. I adored Edwin, he made playing truly evil characters so very rewarding.

    • JKjoker says:

      screw Edwin, Edwina for the win! i wish he would stay like that forever

    • JKjoker says:

      damn i cant find any quotes but i remember everything she said and every banter she had with the other characters was just priceless

    • Klaus says:

      Alastair is indeed awesomeness. He is a nice religious lad who doesn’t let it overtake his personality. I personally could not stand Morte. To me, he’s that NPC the games tries to tell you is your buddy but is really annoying and I wouldn’t hang with him in real life. Like whiny Jowan in the Magi’s origin.

      I don’t usually take Minsc with me but I enjoy the times that I do.

      Re: Edwina. I remember one was about Yoshimo offering to expand the chest area in his/her robes. and then Edwina calls him a chauvinist and galls his/her word choice. Anomen calls him a wench as well, if I recall. And I suppose Edwin does stay as Edwina forever, in his ending anyway.

  49. James G says:

    I suppose what I’d most like to see for Dragon Age is a Throne of Bhaal style expansion. That is, something which is almost a mini-sequel in itself. However I realize that modern development costs mean that such a move is probably extremely unlikely. (Actually, what I’d absolutely love, is for Bioware to farm out the production of an expansion to Obsidian.)

    I brought Warden’s Keep, which was reasonable, albeit a touch shorter than I’d have liked. With respect to RTO, I have no immediate intentions of buying it, but the price is low enough that I can see myself caving should I find myself at a loose end. However, I’m not entirely convinced that its the direction I want to see DLC going. Even if I can’t get my desired expansion, I’d prefer something that lasts a bit longer. Episodic gaming is something that could work well here, with little stand-alone chunks of somewhere between the length of an origin and a ‘section’ (Ie. The mages tower/Ostagar)

    All that said, I want to make it clear that there is no anger here. Dragon Age itself is a HUGE game, and certainly worth the £25 I paid for it. The DLC, while I feel it is a touch overpriced, is not extortionate, and Bioware are playing fair with the points system. Not only that, but when the spoils of the toolkit start appearing, I’m sure we’ll get some decent third party mods.

  50. Morte says:

    I don’t care that much what Bioware charge for DLC, I care whether it’s worth playing.

    I do have a problem if:

    (a) It includes loot like Starfang and the Warden Commander armour which is overpowered for when you get it and spoils the balance in the early game. That’s especially bad on launch day, when a player might not be savvy enough to spot the problem until the damage is done. In future I’ll know to sell Starfang when I get it, but on my first run DAO was a slightly worse game for having WK installed.

    (b) They produce three or four inconsequential sidequests that’ll be forgotten in the time it takes to play them. This is a far cry from DLC for NWN like Wyvern Crown of Cormyr, Pirates of the Sword Coast, Kingmaker, and Mysteries of Westgate. Those were real adventures, not sidequests with phat lewt. And then there were the expansions — HotU was the best thing in the whole NWN1/2 franchise.

    The old NWN Adventure Packs cost about USD 1.5/hr. They largely reused existing art and game mechanics (new classes etc were in expansions). I’d happily pay more for similarly substantial adventures in Thedas, but with full voice acting and hand-crafted encounters like DAO.

    But I guess it’s easier to make 3 WKs than one meaty adventure for our 20 bucks. Provided people keep buying it, that is. I wonder has somebody at EA figured “we can go to the well about three times with stuff like WK, so we ought to tap that while we can”?

    All this leaves me wondering just how much it costs to make this stuff. Two years back I was worried that full voice acting would be the death of the serious RPG. I feared it would made them so expensive that they had to cater to the less cerebral market to recoup their costs, and startups like Ossian just wouldn’t have the resources to get involved. Now it seems like voice acting may actually be the death of the expansion pack, replaced by high margin featherweight DLC.

    • Choca says:

      Yeah Stone Peak really felt too much like a paid cheat code to get overpowered items.

      And since the commander armor and the starmetal blade are amongst the best items you can get in the game, they make the “chase for more shiny loot” instantly bland, which is bad for any RPG especially if it’s your main character wearing those items.

      What they did with the Blood Dragon Armor was better in my opinion, it’s good but it’s not stupidly good and you have to actually buy most of it (even if it’s pretty cheap compared to other items of this quality). The fact that it looks really bad is a downer but I’ll take that over overpowered stuff you can get right from the start with almost no effort.